May cut off cable, what do I need to know first

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Darin1138, May 6, 2011.

  1. Darin1138 macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2008
    My cable bill is to high and we are trying to cut back. Also they cable here SUCKS and Cox has said I have to pay them to come and rewire the bad job. Now we dont watch a lot of tv. Maybe channel surf, a few things on History Channel, daughter watches Disney. Growing up all my life with cable the idea of cutting it off for nothing seems crazy but I really thinking off calling them and cutting it off and going Apple TV only. Along with Apple I will get a Netflick accout and maybe Hulu Plus. That way not only do I lose the Cox Cable bill but also TiVo (unless I can save my Apple TV downloads to my TiVo harddrive?)
    My plan is to do this in the living room and if I am happy with Apple TV add one to my daughters room. Before I do anything, what are the pros and cons? Also a few questions:

    How many TV shows (30min shows mostly) can I have on Apple TV at once?

    My daughter has a older tv, no HD, and the old A/V hook up. Can it hook up to Apple tv?

    Is there anything else I need to pay with it? I have a Blu-Ray player and loved the idea it had Apps but then we told after I got it I had to pay $75 for thing to connect to the wifi!

    Is there anyone to watch Live News on it? I like to watch Live News on CNN or Fox if there breaking news. I care NOTHING about local news

    Are most news shows (like Breaking Bad, kid Disney Shows) on Netflick, or Hulu? If so how long after there first time airing will it be ready for download?

    Is there a Apple TV 3? I know every year it seems to be something new and I haven't heard a official statement yet. I dont want to go get and find out a week later there a better Apple TV coming.

    Do any of just have Apple TV? Do you worth my time or shlould I just get Netflick over my Wii and go with that?

    any help at all. I did some google searching but lot of the info is months old and i want a current review.
  2. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    Cutting off your cable is an excellent idea. There is so much useless trash on there and you are paying for it! I wish I could do the same at my house, but unfortunately my wife and kids are too addicted to the useless trash...
    Anyway, to answer a few of your questions:
    You can't actually store programs on the AppleTV 2 like you could with the first gen. It has a very small amount of memory (8GB I think) for storing rentals and buffering. You will need to store your media on a computer with iTunes and connect to the ATV through Homesharing. It's not a bad solution, but the computer has to be on and iTunes open for it to connect.
    You can only connect the ATV to a digital TV, as it connects through HDMI. You can connect it via component to an older TV (I think) but you will only get audio, no video.
    If you have an iPhone or iPad I think you can stream the video from the CNN apps to the ATV. I imagine this content will come to the AFT soon though.
    I'll let someone else answer the other questions, as I'm not 100% sure of the answers. Good luck!
  3. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I don't have cable or satellite TV anymore ever since I moved out of my parents' house. Living alone, it's simply not worth it to pay $50-80 a month when I'm asleep or away at work for 2/3 of the day, and then the other 1/3 of my time is split between my own house, friends' houses, going to movies or shows or shopping or whatever.

    I have an Apple TV, a PS3, and Netflix. I'd have Hulu if I could but it's not available outside the USA (there are workarounds, but not worth the bother).

    My first go-to is Netflix. The selection isn't great, but there are a lot of older TV shows or movies that I haven't seen. "Classic" movies like Sneakers or Starman, for example, that I would probably never think to pay for. It's even fun sometimes to watch a stinker of a movie (I watched RV and Tooth Fairy the other day, just for kicks :) ).

    I use my Apple TV to watch Netflix. It works great. I also use the PS3 but ever since Sony's little PSN fiasco...

    I don't really find myself renting with Apple TV. Instead I'll buy a show (like Nikita) one episode at a time, and stream it from my Mac using Home Sharing. I'd rather pay a couple bucks a week for the one or two shows that I want to watch than to pay tens of dollars for cable.

    When I buy a movie with a Digital Copy, I import it into iTunes and it becomes available to the Apple TV.
  4. cdavis11 macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2009
    Here's how I did it:

    Leave cable in place for a month, but disconnect your box(es) - just in case. If IP streaming doesn't work for you, you won't have a big hassle reconnecting things if you decide streaming isn't going to work for you.

    I use an Apple TV and a Roku. I find that they're complimentary products - and both inexpensive. Roku gives me Hulu plus, and another option for MLB should the Apple TV have problems streaming for any reason. It's also a good backup for Netflix.

    Apple TV streams local content from my media server via iTunes, Roku streams new shows from Hulu and Netflix in good HD quality.

    I also have a Terk HDTV powered antenna for local channels. I went this route because I felt isolated after making the switch and wanted my local news - the $26 antenna pulls in local HD stations very well and gives me local programming in HD for nothing - also a good way to get football from local stations.

    I had all of this in place, and had my wife and family using it with the cable still in place - just in case it proved too wonky for them. After a 30 day test, we pulled the plug (except for cable internet) and have been happy for months now saving about $70 a month.

    It's not earth shattering, life changing money but it's better spent elsewhere (on a tank of gas) than on 300 channels of garbage we didn't watch anyway.
  5. Darin1138 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2008
    Can I only download one TV show at a time, and then have to watch it right then? I dont care much about keeping movies/shows once I watch it but would be nice to download one, and if something comes up I can watch it a few days later and maybe download something else in between/
  6. macking104 macrumors 6502


    Jan 14, 2003
    California, USA
    I know many providers offer better prices when you bundle services... I.e., you might pay more for just internet...

    Call Cox and ask them how you can save money (reduce tv programming package, add phone, mention deals you've seen on tv/paper). A lot of times they'll deal instead of losing business... Same goes for newspaper, magazines.

    One time when I called my cable company to cut back services, they saved me $3/month by adding Showtime for free!
  7. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    AppleTV is all about streaming. You aren't storing anything, and you're watching it as it downloads (ignoring buffering).

    You can download items into iTunes and stream from there. I'm not sure if Rentals work this way or not - maybe someone else has tried it.

    Netflix will give you a ton of content, but not current season TV or new release movies generally. This is again a streaming system - you watch as it downloads.

    OTA (Over The Air) TV can get you a lot of content depending on your location. Personally I am using Elgato's EyeTV to record OTA, edit out the commercials then export it to iTunes to watch on my Apple TV. I use a SiliconDust Dual tuner connected to my network, which lets my tune and record two shows at once. Beware though - HD shows are storage intensive - ~7GB for a 1 hour broadcast.

    I'm not interested in Hulu since they include commercials - Netflix and iTunes have spoiled me :)
  8. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    Netflix streaming is on demand. You can resume the show / movie from any point at any time. The same is true for Hulu Plus.

    If you rent through iTunes, you have to see the content during the rental period.

    For your older tvs, I highly recommend a Roku. Besides Netflix and Hulu Plus, the Roku has many other pay and free channels.
  9. LIVEW1RE macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2011
    Can you tell me how the antenna is set up? Does it sit on the roof the house and how does it connect to the HDtvs?

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