Was finally able to cut the TV cable cord and felt like sharing

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Bozley0621, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Bozley0621 macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2009
    My husband was living and working in NC and I in MD outside of DC. He had cable with a lot of the extra channels such as HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime. I tried oodles of antennas in MD, but was never able to find one that brought in even one channel since half of my condo was semi-subterranean, so I had cable and FIOS for a bit after I tired of Comcast's left hand not speaking to the right hand.

    We have recently relocated to San Diego, but lived out of our camper for about a month and a half with only access to Hulu and Netflix on the iPads and laptops when the campground we were in had a reliable wifi signal. Realizing that he was satisfied with Netflix and Hulu only and his recent addiction to Lost on Hulu, my husband has agreed to a trial period of being cable free. I was also able to get OTA content from all of the major networks, except CW and some great sub-channels using the Leaf antennas. I like sports but am satisfied with what is shown on the networks.

    I don't think that I have a "stick it to the man" mentality regarding cable companies. I decided that their tv service was not for me since many of the shows were redundant with way too many commercials or the content didn't interest me. I wasn't willing to pay their price for the service and equipment. I do use Cox for internet which is necessary for Hulu and Netflix. However, I don't mind this charge because I feel that I get use the service enough to justify the cost.

    As an aside, the movers broke our Sony Bravia 55" XBR6 tv, so we are now in the market for a new TV. The moving company will reimburse us for the full replacement value once we submit the claim. So many choices! For the sake of our sanity and to avoid paying sales tax, I think we are going to limit our decision to what is available at the PX. We strangely have more ATVs right now than TVs. :rolleyes:
  2. jpix55 macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Southern California
    I like reading these stories about people who cut the cord and things work out. Soon, my satellite contract is going to expire and I am most likely not going to re-new it.

    My question for you is this: how quickly into the "cut-the-cord" trial period did you and your husband realize that cable was not necessary and that you were perfectly content with hulu/netflix and the OTA channels? Was it days, weeks, months, etc?
  3. Bozley0621 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2009
    I always liked and envied these stories too, which is why I was excited to share.

    I really began kicking around the idea two years ago and tried A LOT of antennas over that time in my condo. The reason I didn't cut the cable was that I couldn't get any OTA channels. I suppose you could say that was MY deciding factor. I had a DVR with cable, but never used it. All of my favorite shows are available on the major networks, so I used Hulu and sometimes TV On Demand through Comcast to catch up. The cable shows that I did like, I could watch on Netflix, even though they weren't the most current. Cutting the cord may not be for someone who likes a lot of the shows available via cable/satellite. I had to fly back to DC two weeks ago for work with full cable in my hotel. I rarely watched it the entire week and watched Hulu on my iPad and read a lot.

    Hubbs is still in his trial period. I think the transition was easier for him since he simply didn't have cable once we were "camping" across the country. He hasn't missed cable since he has been watching Lost every moment he is watching TV. He is on Season 5 and once he finishes season 6 and begins watching other shows on Netflix, Hulu, and OTA, I think I'll get his final verdict.

    I can honestly say that without cable, I am finding other things to do in the evening besides watch tv. I don't feel like my nights and weekends are flying by since I'm engaged in various other activities or not staying up to mindlessly watch "just one more show" that I never would've had an interest in had I not been channel surfing. I suppose the OTA channels that we are receive fill my need to channel surf just right: not to much to go through and enough to calm the channel surfing need in me.

    ....sorry for the rambling thoughts.
  4. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I would love to do that, but here are my main concerns.

    1) Sports. When there are 500 football games on ESPN, is there any option to see these? ESPN 3 blacks out a bunch of stuff and/or delays it. Plus you've got other stuff on Fox Sports networks.

    2) Recording shows OTA. I could probably find an OTA antenna, but what should I use to record? My Dish Network DVR is pretty nice. I have a $1300 TV, so I don't really want to watch crappy quality stuff on it.

    3) Original programming on cable channels. Aside from buying this stuff on iTunes, is there a way to get a lot of this stuff? I'm thinking Deadliest Catch, Whale Wars, etc. I guess for a lot of it you can wait for Netflix rentals, but some of these shows are about three seasons behind.

    I really wish there was a great way to cut the cord on so many channels I never use. I maybe watch 15 or 20 total. Plus for some reason I don't get the CW in HD. Arrgh.
  5. CocoaPuffs, Nov 2, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012

    CocoaPuffs macrumors 68010

    Aug 23, 2008
    There isn't alternative to sports on cable, and even if there are some sort of subscription base plan down the road, the cost will likely be very close to the bundled service of cable. The saving would then be a wash because of the various limitation of streaming as oppose to simply watching everything on cable.

    So ya...cable companies have sports fans by the balls (lol) and there really isn't much we can do about it.
  6. NeuroticNomad macrumors newbie


    Apr 3, 2007
    I cut the cord in 2008 and have never looked back.

    I even got my picture in the NY Times (and my Mac mini too!)

    Now that all my eye issues are cleared up, I'll be resurrecting my cord-cutter website (mentioned in the article).

    I now have iTunes running like a TiVo - thanks to TV Shows, Transmission, and iVI.
  7. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    Totally seeing this point.
    We subscribe to a Triple-Play service (Phone, TV, internet) I currently do not subscribe to Netflix or Hulu. We have 2 premium channels but don't watch their TV shows, just movies if any good ones on. (We never wanted to watch, say, an HBO show if one day we dropped HBO.)

    We could get the MLB package but for 15 years the O's sucked so not a huge loss to miss them. Then there is NFL. We love the Ravens and watch many other games too.
    With a toddler we sometimes record a show and watch later when he is asleep…getting interrupted too often means hard to watch Live TV.
    We have gotten into some shows we never would have thought about watching without simply flipping to them…but unsure if available via netflix (or hulu) and not keen on paying iTunes to watch episodes.

    I think the thing is it is very SIMPLE to have cable. I hate that we only watch 10-20 channels out of hundreds. But we have an AppleTV now so things could change. And thanks to a few Apps, our son can watch Disney Junior shows on the iPad (not available to airplay on TV though). Though we have started to watch a few shows randomly thanks to seeing it and watching and being wowed, there are MANY times we simply flip and flip and flip through the guide and TRY and find something to watch. All too often we see channels simply showing marathons…we either saw all those episodes or don't care about XX show. Another thing is paying a monthly fee we know how much we are spending…switching to either netflix/hulu or a Pay as you Go means we could suddenly hit $100 or more one month if I want to DL and have Areal America or something else.

    *sorry for the long post
  8. donrsd macrumors 6502


    Dec 16, 2011
    South Florida
    If ESPN & other 'sports channels' were available LIVE, while ;cutting the cord', Id be all for it.

    I could care less about Lifetime, Oxygen, etc.
    ESPN's, News & other sports is all I need
  9. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    you could use a computer to record the OTA channels. EyeTV for Mac or windows media center for pcs.
  10. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2012
    More and more cable programming is showing up on Amazon Prime, so I recommend checking to see if it has what you want.
  11. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    We cut the cable back in 2002.... 10 years ago. Went through phase of trying to stream TV shows over the internet... now... we don't even do that.

    We watch The National (CBC's national news show) nightly, will stream the Olympics and other special events... and watch iTunes movies and TV shows (old classics - not current schmaltz)...

    Don't miss it at all. We go go out more, we go to live shows, we have dinner with our friends, we build things around the house....

    And we totally don't get some pop culture references... so our friends explain them to us.

    We do end up reading a lot of news online though.
  12. mmagbee macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2009
    I have been a "cable cutter" for over 3 years now. Utilizing both Apple TV 1 ,take 2 and both of the new apple tv's and various Roku boxes. WIth the same subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu I almost right away found that cable was not needed. Now, I did cheat a bit and purchased a hd receiver for local channels (free to operate) for weather and local news. But myself ,wife and kids have not had any remorse. THe only crazy thing is now , when we goto friends houses my kids keep asking what is happening when a commercial airs.

    Welcome to the club!
  13. Bozley0621 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2009
    Have any cable/satellite ditchers, or others for that matter, strongly supplemented their TV watching with video podcasts?
  14. mslide, Nov 2, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012

    mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    For my wife and I, it was instant. We cancelled about 6 months ago and haven't looked back. Keep in mind that this is coming from 2 people who were totally hooked on TV. I was most worried about my wife, who was hooked on reality TV shows (i.e. of which almost all of them are not available on Netflix/Hulu/website/etc). We used to watch tons of TV and never thought we could live on just Netflix and OTA. Now, I couldn't imagine going back to paying for Comcast/Dish/etc. It's a matter of watching less TV, changing how you watch TV and being okay with the idea of always being a season or 2 behind on some shows.

    We used to sit down and flip through channels until we found something we wanted to watch. Now, we sit down knowing exactly what we want to watch. It's given us the opportunity to get into a lot of shows, that have been on for a few years, that we probably wouldn't have ever considered watching before (e.g. Burn Notice, White Collar, How I Met Your Mother, etc). We've also gotten much more into watching movies.

    When we just want to have something on for background noise or just want to watch anything to kill time, we'll put on a show that has tons of episodes on Netflix, like Family Guy or Law and Order SVU. I only wish they had a 'Random Episode' option for those times.

    To anybody on the fence about cutting the cord, I highly recommend giving it an honest shot. You might surprise yourself. Of course, neither of us care about sports. If we did, then that might change things.
  15. rhp2424 macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2008
    When I ditched cable, I had four shows I HAD to be able to watch at least the next day. Three of those were on Hulu and one of them was a cable news show.

    I saw they had a video podcast of the show and so now for the last 3 years I've been able to enjoy that show from my AppleTV along with the Hulu+ shows as well.
  16. linds15 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    i didnt want to cut simply because of sports. everyone else i could live without live, either waiting for netflix hulu or itunes. but i now stream the nfl on my ipad/iphone to the apple tv, and it works great. dont miss cable at all

    the cost of each stream is 100. so in a given year i pay 200+~200 for netflix and hulu much cheaper than the 130+/month going to the cable companies
  17. iHailCarlo macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2012
    This is something that I have kicked around for awhile now. I want to do it, but its the Sports that has me tied to DirecTV. There is nothing ever on any of these hundreds of channels and it gets very depressing to spend on it and not watch it all that often. We do have Netflix and love it along with an AppleTV and have an HDD that is loaded to the gills with content. Actually I need another HDD to start filling that up.

    Its all because of sports, I have to watch Basketball, Football, and Baseball. Does anyone know of any great sports streaming sites to watch? Please let me know, it would make my decision easy. I almost get pissed that I pay for this crap.
  18. linds15 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    you can stream all those sports on apple tv, football with need to be done through the gamepass app but its do-able
  19. CocoaPuffs macrumors 68010

    Aug 23, 2008
    I think you're totally missing the point.

    Discussion is to get away from cable's grip, not to cut yourself off from mass media altogether.
  20. JAT, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012

    JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    I dropped 2 years ago.

    Go to antennaweb.org and find out what you need for size, then follow it. Completely ignore any marketing or good ideas from friends or the web. The Leaf and other funky antennas aren't going to change the technology. It's pretty basic tech, and rabbit ears (or a coat hanger) can still work for some people. They aren't magic, it's about how strong the signal is at your house, and placement of the antenna. It is NOT about how the antenna is made (other than the same design tech that has been here for over 50 years), the marketing makes you think there is something special about each new model. There isn't. Put up a real antenna on the roof, in a week you'll forget it's there.

    This is the biggest issue, imo. My favorite is NFL, and I get bored with the local team, so I just want to find interesting games to watch. This year, I got NFL Rewind. It is delayed, but I can watch any game I want. And with high speed internet, the quality is actually better than my local stations since they bit-starve their channels with sub-channels. I had to give up on grand slam tennis, although they are starting to stream stuff, now. If you are a huge fan, the other major sports "tickets" are available to AppleTV or just via computer, I believe. NFL is via PS3. And, contrary to one post above, these "ticket" add-ons cost more for cable users, too. They may cost slightly more for streaming, but often not. So this is actually a wash for price.

    Most "cable" shows are available either from the source websites or Hulu. Obviously, if there are specific shows you can't find that you really want, then it isn't good. What I found, the reason I was able to drop it, was that almost all of my shows were on the 4 major networks. So I was paying to have these sent to me instead of just using an antenna. I have 2 computers with EyeTV and a Tivo to record shows, just like I did with DirecTV. Just don't miss CBS shows, because their streaming is crap.
  21. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    Sure. But how many do you actually watch? 168 hours per week real time, and you may spend some of that sleeping. ;) I did this for all 5 family members: write down the shows you actually want to watch, sports included. Then find whether you can watch them after cutting the cord. As several of us have posted, there are far more live sports available today via streaming than even 2 years ago. Plus, I still got something like 8 college games yesterday via OTA, and 4 NFL today.

    As I said, EyeTV and Tivo. But to quality...OTA will give you the best quality, cable companies suck. I have to keep my mouth shut at other people's houses so I don't tell them just how bad their "HD" picture is. (Dish is better than most cable, I'll grant you)

    That would be CW's fault. Crappy network is crappy. I don't think there is a single show I watch from that network. I don't mean to dismiss it if it is your favorite, but....wait....yes, yes I do.
  22. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    My point is that a lot of people put a whole lot more importance on mass media than mass media actually deserves. We cut the actual cable... we didn't trade a different type of 'cable' for another one.
  23. Bozley0621 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2009
    Although it is true that we got the same channels with the RCA rabbit ears. The LEAF has a much lower profile and looks better sitting in the room.

    I wondered if we would receive more channels with an outdoor antenna, but didn't want to spend the time or money only to not have a difference. Our camper has a rooftop antenna and is parked vey close to where an outdoor antenna would go for best reception. I tried the camper antenna and received the same channels.

    I'm very pleased with the free broadcast channels we get. Yes, I would like a broadcast sports network like MASN in DC/MD. However, I still get my fill of sports. I'm super excited that the Steelers\Giants game is being aired in San Diego this afternoon.
  24. JAT, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012

    JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    Check the website I mentioned. It will list the channels you should be able to receive. Should only take a minute, free.

    If you have multiple TVs, it is nice to have only one antenna to cope with, otherwise you'll need another for every room. You can often hook it to the cable lines everyone has always run through homes. Maybe you can even accomplish this with the Leaf in one room.

    A higher antenna (roof, presumably) will have more consistent signal over all weather conditions. Of course, you said San Diego, so maybe that's not a worry. :) What you described in MD probably would have benefited from an outside antenna.
  25. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I've actually cut the cord and was thinking about going back to the monopoly cable company just to get the local channels clearly. Each time an airplane passes over my signal is interrupted for 10 seconds. When I spoke to TimeWarner the condescending CSR refused to offer any kind of discount to come back and even tried to get me into a package that would cost over $100 per month. I think I may give that antenna yet another try...

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