Just "cut the cable"

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by sdilley14, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #1
    So I finally cancelled my cable TV subscription a couple days ago. So far so good! I got an OTA antenna and I'm able to get FOX, NBC, CBS, and ABC in HD (mostly for football and a few sitcoms). I have an Apple TV and picked up a Netflix subscription, so I have plenty of TV show/movie entertainment there. Also, the Watch ESPN app has worked wonderfully so far. I'm actually really surprised at how well that has worked. It's more or less the same as watching it on regular cable. There are also a few other shows I watch on MTV, Spike, etc. I just go to their websites and stream the episodes and AirPlay mirror them up on the Apple TV.

    It isn't the most simple or elegant way to consume all the content I want, but so far it has worked nicely. It was also kind of freeing and liberating in a way, doing away with the cable box. I'm far less tempted now to just flip on the TV right away when I get home and let it spit out white noise in the background all night. Or just passively watch whatever junk is on, mindlessly flipping through channels.

    Money wise, it isn't a MAJOR savings, but it's a savings. $60 cable bill is gone + $9/mo for Netflix + $10/mo increase on my internet bill since I am no longer "bundled" with cable. So I'm netting about a $40/mo savings.

    Any other suggestions for a cable cutter in search of simple ways to get media content to his TV?
     
  2. rmuller612 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Ohio
    #2
    I also have cut the cord on directv and am using my apple tv plus Netflix for my shows. I also was able to get in on the sling tv that was recently released so I would have espn. My question for you is....how are you getting access to the watch espn app without a cable provider????
     
  3. HobeSoundDarryl, Feb 5, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #3
    Consider adding a Roku https://www.roku.com/products/compare for much more Internet programming: https://www.roku.com/channels#!browse/movies-and-tv/by-popular

    Consider adding a Tivo or EyeTV setup or similar for DVR functionality for your over-the-air channels.

    Some of your "just go to their website and stream" solutions will work if you are single living alone. However, if you have a family or less tech savvy roommates (or roommates lacking hardware for airplay), such solutions can seem less than worth the $40 savings.

    If it's more than just you and others have some trouble setting up the TV or Receiver inputs to get what they want on screen, consider a learning remote with macros so you can make it very simple to go from one channel to another channel served by various sources. A dedicated remote would also break any dependency on using an iDevice as THE remote to control it all.
     
  4. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #4
    I'm using a relative's login info to use Watch ESPN. :) Shhhhhh! ;)

    ----------

    Is there enough content on Roku as opposed to Apple TV that would justify making the purchase? I don't really see much of a difference?
     
  5. ABC5S macrumors 68040

    ABC5S

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    #5
    I'll cut the cable when I can get CNN news, FOX news, SMITHSONIAN, FOX Business news. Right now its not possible, sadly :(
     
  6. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #6
    Enormous amount of "channels" on Roku. :apple:TV is not even close UNLESS what you want in cord cutting is fully covered by :apple:TV plus the antenna. I suggest going to the link and considering all of what is there. If there's a few things you'd like to add to your setup, it's pretty cheap to add a second little box to cover a lot of stuff NOT available on :apple:TV.

    Now again, if you are single, living alone, your streaming + airplay solution will replicate much of what you can get through adding a Roku. But if there are others at home and those others are unable or less successful at sourcing & working airplay streams, a Roku is about as simple to use as an :apple:TV. So you add it and your computer or iDevice can go out with you while anyone left back home can still watch whatever they want to watch (not available on :apple:TV or over the air).
     
  7. sdilley14, Feb 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2015

    sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #7
    Hmmm. Is Sling TV a box + monthly service? I went on their website and it looks like it is "invite only"?

    Edit: Nevermind. Did some research on it. Sounds like an interesting service!
     
  8. rctlr macrumors 6502a

    rctlr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    #8
    Cable TV is not really an issue here in the UK. Some people say the TV licence fee is a cable though.

    I dropped using a TV, and watching live broadcast a few years ago, going for online media like BBC iplayer ITV Player and 4OD, all of which are free to view.
    Netflix was the newest service to the household, and all 5 of us use it to some degree.

    If negates the requirement for a TV Licence, as I have several large monitors, hooked up with speakers.

    Never been happier.

    Im not opposed to the TV Licence here in the UK, paying for content the BBC produces, I have just moved on from having to watch things at a specific time, or live events.
     
  9. csarran macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    #9
    Yes I signed up the day it was announced in early January. Got my invite last week and have used it at work(shhh) and home at night for basketball games. No box, fees, etc. Took about 3 minutes to get set up with them over the phone once my invite code came in. I am very happy with it.

    We'll see what other services come out, if any.
     
  10. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #10
    What device are you using it on? I have a MacBook Pro, iPhone 6, Apple TV, PS3, and XBox 360. Not sure if it will actually work on any of these devices?
     
  11. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #11
    I dropped cable TV about 2 years ago. Haven't looked back.

    I just hated paying over 100 dollars a month to have access to the 4 channels I wanted and even then 2 of them weren't in HD because that was a DIFFERENT more expensive package. I would get channels in foreign languages in HD but not Discovery? Frustrates me even thinking about it now...

    Regardless my decision was fueled by spite and actually has become a good decision. I can get enough of the content I like from Netflix, Hulu and Youtube.

    It wasn't until I cut the cord that I found out Youtube isn't just a bunch of guys hurting themselves and girls twerking. There is some really good science based "shows" with a fairly high production value (for what they are and need to be).
     
  12. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #12
    So close to cutting the cord again from Comcrap after my first year just expired... I've been not watching the tube - practicing for about a week. I will miss the Comedy Channel. I do have a Tivo Roamio - the basic version that allows for recording OTA. Keep in mind that cable sometimes includes local channels - I have Comcast Business Class internet, and don't have the caps and outages my neighbors have to deal with... I'd cut the cord for 4 years but wanted to get caught up with SOA, Suits, Justified, and Castle, but after the steep hike in prices after my year was up, it's time to go dark again...

    My "in" is I'll be tuning into DirecTV via a relative's account - she has no choice but satellite where she lives. And, I'll be checking out Sling TV too - more about Dish below.

    My adds to this, hmmm. First, if you're an Amazon Prime member as I am, there's a huge library of free movies and TV series available at no cost to Prime members. Also, if you're a cycling fan - as I am, or are interested in the NBC Universal (not owned by NBC or Comcast) or BeIn programming plus other channels over IPTV check out the "DishWorld" English package - and there's an iOS app for that, plus Dish offers a 50% discount on a ROKU for signing up with Dishworld; there's foreign language and a standalone sports package available. The DishWorld "sports" package also includes several non-sports channels, like Bloomberg.

    And, a tip. I buy discounted iTunes Store cards during the holiday - 20% off through eBay and Staples - and pay for Hulu Plus and Netflix via the iTS, so I save about $1.50 each month for each subscription.

    Here's hoping Apple ends up with a decent IPTV box!
     
  13. csarran macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    #13
    I use it mostly on my retina iPad mini, but used it tonight on my iPhone 6 at a restaurant and once on my computer. My wife wanted to see it, so i streamed it on my television through Airplay and it worked beautifully. It is really an incredible service! Surprised more people don't know about it since it was the top product at the CES in January.
     
  14. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #14
    Nice. I just got my invite in my email. I'm going to check it out soon!
     
  15. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #15
    good job, been cable tv free for the last 7 years now. Love it!

    Best of all you can rechannel the money you are saving into the top-tier internet package.
     
  16. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #16
    Same here (We dropped DirecTV after ~10 years). Started last week when we dropped HBO, and setup the return of an unused STB. Then a couple of nights ago, we bailed on the entire service. To their credit, it was pretty much hassle free.

    Yeah, if you have the option to share an account (or two), you almost don’t even need an antennae for network (Fox and ABC native ATV) :)

    With us, our available ATV channels, plus Netflix sub, Amazon Prime - we’ve got access to pretty much everything (Prime via a PS3, smart TVs or Wii U). We were actually catching up on some Travel Channels using Airplay (from an iPhone) to the ATV, pretty painless.

    The only extra channel we needed access to is AMC, and that’s really only for The Walking Dead, so tomorrow (the 5.2 premier), we’ll just pick up the EPs ala cart for the remainder of the season.

    We may _still_ pick up an antennae, I’ve got an Amazon Basics 50 and Mohu Leaf 50 in my cart.

    :cool:
     
  17. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #17
    I got an Amazon Basics 50 antenna. Works like a charm. I get ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS, and a few other random channels, in HD. But it all depends on where you live and what the signal strength is like in your area.
     
  18. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #18
    Cool, thanks for the feedback!

    Based on a couple of those “check for reception” type sites, we’re in very-good-to-excellent range for all the locals (one indicated 4.5/5 stars for signal strength).

    I think if we get one, we’ll just do the Amazon basics too, seems like it’s almost identical to the Mohu for $20 cheaper. I’ve used some Amazon basics cables, some audio components (banana plugs) and it was excellent quality.

    :cool:
     
  19. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #19
    I've been set up this way ever digital OTA came along. Netflix + OTA covers everything I want except ESPN.
     
  20. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #20
    Good call. And the nice thing about Amazon, especially when you buy Amazon brand products, is that the return process is very simple and usually free. So give the cheaper antenna a try, and if it doesn't work just send it back and maybe try a different one.

    ----------

    ESPN is a killer for a lot of people.

    I think its only a matter of time before basically every channel offers its own "app". I envision being able to put together your own channel "packages" through paid subscription apps. $5/mo for ESPN, $5/mo for AMC, etc etc. All of the apps working across all devices/OS platforms. It will probably take years before it shakes out that way, but it's coming.

    At this point it feels like TV shows are like songs, and cable providers are like Sam Goody and Tower Records.
     
  21. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #21
    I notice that many of the channels already have apps like that (though they require you to have a cable account login) but yeah I'd love it when it gets to the point where you can just subscribe to the channels you want. For right now I'm using a relative's cable account to watch the channels I want on my Apple devices.
     
  22. JeffPerrin macrumors regular

    JeffPerrin

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    #22
    2+ years here!

    Unfortunately, our area's only choice for real high-speed internet is Comcast so we're not saving THAT much money considering they charge much more for internet if you don't buy into their overpriced TV packages... :mad:
     
  23. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #23
    Couple weeks in. So far so good! Not really missing cable at all. Watch ESPN has been my saving grace, lol. I pretty much keep that on all the time for my "background noise". Netflix has come in very handy too. Then other shows like Walking Dead, Parks and Rec, etc. ...I've been able to torrent those and AirPlay them up on the Apple TV. Yes, yes, I know, torrenting is bad. :(

    FWIW, I changed routers recently. I swapped out my Netgear router for an Airport Extreme. Ever since doing that AirPlay has worked MUCH better! I used to get all sorts of lag, stuttering, buffering, etc. It has worked MUCH better with the AirPort router.

    I also have a 1TB external hooked up to the AirPort. I'm able to store TV shows and movies on that and stream them to my phone so I can watch while in bed, or stream to my phone then AirPlay up to the TV. This has also worked really well! It's nice being able to stream content to my devices without needing the MacBook running with iTunes.
     
  24. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #24
    That's a great idea and further ding on the cable monopolies when it comes to selling additional cable service for other rooms such as bedrooms. I'm going on 2 years as a recovering cable addict. Primary benefit? I'm seeing more quality programming when I want and wherever I want, commercial free, so it's been a superior use of my entertainment time.
     
  25. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #25
    Hard to say you're really cutting it when you login with someone else's ESPN credentials. I know plenty of people do, but that's kind of a big cost reduction if you do it legit.

    I signed up for Sling TV last week after living off of Netflix and Hulu Plus. It's not bad, but some things aggravate me. You can pick up these broadcast networks for free using an antenna but they're quite stingy on letting you watch any of their stuff online. I tried an antenna and got a crappy signal since I'm a good 40 miles from the big city. This Hulu Plus, but I miss out on live sports unless I'm lucky like when CBS lets you watch college football in its app. The NFL doesn't play so nice.

    I'm likely going to cancel Netflix because it should more be called Netshows. They are horrible about adding more than a couple new movies released within the past year or two. They have a good collection of TV shows, but so do I. Plus Hulu Plus is starting to offer a lot of past seasons.

    But the misnomer of "cutting the cord" -- aside from the fact that I previously had Dish Network -- is your Internet connection. I had Windstream but it was too slow and got bogged down when I did multiple things on it. So now I'm with Comcast, the only other option around here that isn't some satellite service with a limit of like 15 GB per month. Comcast's autopay does NOT work and has made me miss payments a couple of times. I now just know not to bother trying, but I'm stuck with them until Google Fiber or someone else can expand out here to save the day. Comcast has good speed, but they try to ruin it with all the sales email and CALLING ME ALL THE TIME TRYING TO SELL ME TV.
     

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