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Technology and Internet Emerging and current tech related issues. Internet, DRM, IP, and other technology related discussions.

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  #1  
Old 05-29-2018, 1:53 AM
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Question Cutting Cable options? Still want Net access etc...

Comcast is killing us and wondering about work arounds to have decent services w/o getting raped. Some options and questions on elements involved include...

-Digital Antenanae for local broadcasts. Simple enough
-Dropping local phone service. Keeping smart cells. No biggie
-Internet access for PC's and other home devices? THIS IS A QUESTION...
-Premium and other channels? DO FIRE STICK, ROKU, KODI, CHROMECAST RECIEVE SIGNAL FROM CELL TOWERS OR STRICKTLY THRU CABLE ACCESS?

Paying $200 per month is too much. Looking for solutions please, not speculations or guesses to how to do this. My family already has provided those answers.
Thanks!
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Old 05-29-2018, 3:07 AM
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Might I suggest a Google Voice, set it to never ring, and give that to all your credit providers before dropping the land-line?

All streaming devices/services you mention only work with an Internet pipe, not cable access specifically, but can come from DSL, Cable, Fiber, cell-data, etc...

I had FiOS, for TV, Internet, and Phone.
To drop the TV and phone, I had to cancel my service to get a better rate, as if staying on the same plan, they will only discount (as I recall) about $10-$15 per service dropped, so there is no benefit to staying on your current plan.

What I did with FiOS was to schedule new service (called moving-in or something, as I recall), then make my cancel date for the same day. The other option is to put new service in the lady's/roommate's name while scheduling service install for the same day as cancel, and this can minimize downtime to that one day.
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Old 05-29-2018, 3:58 AM
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Just watch out for data cap limits. My Cox service in NV has a 1 TB limit per month. I watched all of the latest Bosch and a couple of movies and I used 60 GB.

When you start using Roku, etc it all applies to your data cap. Except any Over The Air shows using an antenna.
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Old 05-29-2018, 7:54 AM
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I use a roof top antenna. 5ft mast, and steerable, with built in amp. Main problem is no direction indicator in the house. I have to actually get up and go outside to determine where I'm pointing. 75% of San Francisco stations and 100% of Sacramento. LAVA Model: HD-2605 $70ish in 2013. the down lead (rg6) had to be replaced after 3 yrs in the sun.
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Old 05-29-2018, 8:59 AM
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I helped my parents cut the cord last year. TV, internet, and phone was killing them in bills. They went to 100mb ATT Fiber data only with no data cap. DirecTVnow was included and they kept their phone service. They saved about $100 a month in bills doing this. They are using Fire Sticks for DirecTVnow and I installed KodiTV to fill in what DirecTVnow dosent provide.

I did the same a few years ago. I was splitting the TV bill with my room mate but I do not watch TV as much as he does so I went with DirecTVnow along with FireTv for my TV. I was paying $50 for TV but after the switch im paying $35 for 100+ channels including HBO.

Last edited by hey8you; 05-29-2018 at 9:03 AM..
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Old 05-29-2018, 9:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpage View Post
Comcast is killing us and wondering about work arounds to have decent services w/o getting raped. Some options and questions on elements involved include...

-Digital Antenanae for local broadcasts. Simple enough
-Dropping local phone service. Keeping smart cells. No biggie
-Internet access for PC's and other home devices? THIS IS A QUESTION...
-Premium and other channels? DO FIRE STICK, ROKU, KODI, CHROMECAST RECIEVE SIGNAL FROM CELL TOWERS OR STRICKTLY THRU CABLE ACCESS?

Paying $200 per month is too much. Looking for solutions please, not speculations or guesses to how to do this. My family already has provided those answers.
Thanks!
Depending on where you live it may be your only choice for internet. Or it may be your only usable speed levels. ATT is very slow and the system is buggy. Fios is a good option but limited market. Fiber is fastest but again, limited market.

You will need internet to make the cord cutting work and you have to watch out for data caps as they very by market with some being very small.

With Comcast the best deal you're gonna get is the premiere double play for $150-$154 after taxes, depending on location with taxes. This will get you all premium channels, 140-170 mbps down internet speeds, 1 set-top box for X1, plus you can get unlimited talk/text (included) on xfinity mobile (through Verizon) since you will be a internet subscriber (data is extra but wifi hotspots are included). If you have additional outlets then just buy a roku stick and use the beta xfinity app as it will be cheaper than renting additional boxes every month (plus it dose not count towards data cap). They were supose to incude Samsung TV's in the beta but that was cancelled (a surprise to many of us who shelled out for new TV's) so Roku is the exclusive option for the app.

Don't let them up-sale you on the triple-play as that is for suckers and/or those unfamiliar with technology. They sell you phone service that is essentially already free and more equipment to rent. Equipment rentals beyond the X1 Dvr are not really necessary.

Another point to consider is if you just get internet, you'll already be paying around $75 for fast internet so it's like getting premium cable for an additional $75. I cut the cord and did internet only and tried many different options. I eventually came back because I like to watch sports and setting up a vpn and sports sub for out of area is a pain. I also like the dvr and voice functions (hate commercials). Another reason is that other internet options are slow and we have a lot of devices connected so I need the additional speeds to keep things moving. Subscribing to premium channels through Amazon was an additional $10 or so for each. All the add ons really add up and it just made more sense to return to the mothership. It's expensive but I still see value in it and it's just a bit more than a patchwork of similar services would be.

In the end you may find you are in the same boat.
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Last edited by Anonymous_Ghost; 05-29-2018 at 9:37 AM..
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:33 AM
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We use the unlimited plan on the Verizon phone $50/month and set the phone up as a mobile hit spot for wifi. Not blazing fast but decent.

We watch TV over the roku which also connects to the wifi.

Unless too many people connect to the wifi speeds are fine for generic stuff.

Since we already pay for the phone the wifi part is basically free.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:21 PM
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Location definitely helps.
A flat antenna that sits behind your TV should work fine. Or you may need an external antenna pending area/location.
Internet, also pending location, can do just that through cable, fios, dsl, wireless, satellite etc.
Those other services require some sort of internet access.
There is always netflix/amazon prime, etc as well.

Also, pending your cell provider.. wifi/usb tether for interweb and other activities possible. Most limit your usage with this, and can limit your bandwidth if you consistently hit XX bandwidth usage.
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Old 06-03-2018, 6:08 AM
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Yes, plain and simple– negotiate internet only. Choose your streaming box– I'd recommend the Roku Ultra and Roku in general. Skip the "Smart" part of your TV if you have one. Again, buy the Roku, and Chromecast too while your at it. We likely pay Comcast too much at $75 for 120 mbps. We were up to $200 with Comcast prior to this. Comcast is the only game in town for us. AT&T is a non-starter.

For broadcast over the air, invest in a decent antenna – maybe $100-150. If you're going to be serous about it, you must get the antenna on the roof as high as possible. Those leaf antennas hanging from a window are very rarely optimal. I get many, many channels OTA crystal clear with a Clear Stream 4 max UHF/VHF on a mast 10 feet off the peak of the roof.
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Old 06-03-2018, 7:11 AM
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Youd be surprised how well a straightened paperclip works vs a $50 antenna.

Cut my cable 2 years ago, use my unlimited data plan on my cell to hotspot my various devices.

I do miss the speed of a hard line connection, but im saving about $1800 a year.
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Old 06-04-2018, 6:21 PM
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Use your phone. Download the terrarium and mobdro apps. Project that to your smart tv
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Old 06-04-2018, 7:52 PM
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We cut cable about 2 years ago and never looked back. How happy you will be will partially depend on how many over the air stations you can receive.

If it is a good amount (there are websites to check which channels and signal strength for your area I recommend the following:

1) keep your cable co for internet only (or switch to who ever provides a strong and fast internet connection in your area. )

2). Get a TiVo Roamio or similar OTA DVR. I went with the TiVo as I like their guide system and it behaves exactly like the cable DVr you are already used to.

We record all our favorite network shows and sports and usually just let the DVR collect seasons at a time. Then we watch straight through like a Netflix series over several weeks or so.

The best thing about that Roamio is that it has commercials skip. One button press and you pass any commercial break that was recorded on your show.

If that is not enough TV for you then I recommend DirecTV NOW. All the cable channels you used to love delivered via your internet connection. And as part of the service you get access to many provider websites for instant watch of any shows they have on their individual websites. So you can directly go to Disney.com or Foxnow, etc and watch any shows you want that are up.

A $40 Amazon TV fire stick is a pretty cheap and good way to run the DirecTV app and any other provider apps if you go the DTV route. (It’s a good
Choice if you already have Prime). Otherwise go with Roku device.
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Old 06-04-2018, 8:12 PM
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I cut out DishTV many, many months ago and never looked back ($100 saved). Also dropped AT&T for Internet as it was s-l-o-w at 10Mbps for $40/month. I've been using Google Voice for a couple years for a landline Ionly use when I have to give a stranger a telephone number. No problems at all and its free (other then initial $50ish for set-up & equipment)

Switched internet to Comcast (Spectrum) for $45/mo (was $35 when I signed up). 50 Mbps d/l (usually I get 65-68) and 5Mbps upload. Amazon Prime & antenna TV does the rest.

The BEST thing about cutting DishTV was I feel more productive with my time. No longer rely on any of 220+ stations to fill dead time (that wasn't really dead - just an excuse for being lazy). Starting reading more for pleasure, took up cooking (eat healthier than a couple years ago), and started being more social (said the introvert).
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Old 06-05-2018, 7:32 AM
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Interesting article about OTA DVRs...

https://www.groundedreason.com/ota-dvr-without-cable/
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Old 06-05-2018, 6:06 PM
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Good input here..

We had a 3 month trial with DirecTVnow that was seemingly not so great at first, but with the DVR option and improvements, it became doable enough for us to drop regular Directv, which still had some pluses but not enough for 100 or more per month. We'll see how we hold up for sports, so far OK. We mostly have FireTV iterations here, works for us for Netflix, Prime, apps etc
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Old 06-05-2018, 9:49 PM
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Welcome.... grab a book, any book, and have a seat.



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Old 06-06-2018, 5:44 AM
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Hulu w/TV streaming =2 TVs @ $39.99
+$14.99 for unlimited screens (from the same router/IP?), and 3 mobile.

This looks like the best deal for me.
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Old 06-06-2018, 6:16 AM
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Don't use the term "cutting the cord" if you are still giving them money for data. They don't care how they get your money whether it's twisted pair, fiber, satellite it all goes to a box in your house. Truly cutting the cord means local only channels and rabbbit ears.
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Old 06-06-2018, 6:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGGRO View Post
Don't use the term "cutting the cord" if you are still giving them money for data. They don't care how they get your money whether it's twisted pair, fiber, satellite it all goes to a box in your house. Truly cutting the cord means local only channels and rabbbit ears.
Cutting the cord to monthly cable box rentals...
And paying for adverts, via big corps,plus cable rates.
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Old 06-07-2018, 6:10 AM
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If it helps anyone as a data point, I'm paying $130/mo. for FiOS triple play, 1 TV box, no "premium channels". Not sure what basic cable package I have...we have the networks plus IDTV (wife's favorite), TBS, NatGeo, CNN, etc.
I'm seeing ads for $80/mo. for FiOS triple play now. Pretty happy with it, except when the plan expires and I have to go thru customer service hell to get things ironed out. Maybe I'll try cancelling my 130/mo service and have my wife or kid sign up for 80/mo service.
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Old 06-07-2018, 6:17 AM
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I dropped my land line. First night was weird knowing for the first time in my life I didn't have a wired phone in the house. Second night I complete forgot about it.
Bought a FireStick ($30) and did a couple mods to it. Watch pretty much any TV or movie I want via WiFi.
Cancelled the movie channel package I had but still kept cable for WiFi and channels I like to watch.
Total savings about $540 a year.
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Old 06-07-2018, 6:24 AM
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AT&T just ran fiber optic lines through our neighborhood. Dropped Comcast immediately, consistent 920 Mb/s up and download speed.

http://att.com/fiber0251

I didn't even have the comcast cable box hooked up and those jackwagons came into my house and cut one of my cable lines without even telling me. Saying i had a line that was putting too much of a load on their system and slowing down the neighborhood. F Comcast.
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Old 06-08-2018, 3:55 AM
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Paying about $55/month for FiOS 85/85, data only.

Since this is a 3-paycheck month, I think I am going to drop the $40 for Hulu Plus LiveTV and try it out this weekend... and if good, I might pay the extra $14.99 for unlimited screens, if I drop DirecTV. Should be good for WIRED hotel visits when traveling...
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