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Cutting the Cord

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by OfTheDamned, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. OfTheDamned

    OfTheDamned The Friendly Undead
    Thread Starter

    We, as a family, just started discussing cutting cable and using a streaming box along with an antenna to provide our TV needs. We are trying to save some money, but more importantly I'm looking to just get away from cable or satellite tv.

    My two big concerns are a lack of kids programming (I have an 8 and 4 year old and they love Disney and Nickelodeon) and missing NHL games (I know I can use NHL Gamecenter, but I figured that local games would be blacked out). I know I can find a lot on my phone or the computer, but I would like to have stuff on the actual TV.

    I am leaning towards the Roku2 XD (don't need the games on the XS) because my TV doesn't have HDMI inputs and I can use my Hulu+ account along with Netflix and Crackle. I like the Boxee Box as well, but it only has HDMI connections. I'm not interested in Google TV because nobody wants to deal with the keyboard. I have seen people mention sites that stream live TV broadcasts, but I'm not sure if any of these will let someone access those. Is there one feature that anyone finds to be a must have that one box offers?

    Does anyone have any experience with the Roku2 or can you suggest other boxes? Has anyone tried getting rid of cable? What has your experience been?


  2. Kelmar

    Kelmar Done by choice

    I ditched cable for a few years. TBH, I didn't miss it too much. Staying up on hurricane news was a bit of a pain during hurricane season though.

    I have cable again now and, having been without, it wouldn't bother me to go without it again.
    Duckster and OfTheDamned like this.
  3. saptech

    saptech Android Expert

    I haven't had cable in over a year after being laid off during that time. I currently have a Mini Mac connected to my HDTV that I've ripped dvd movies to. I do watch some stuff over the internet like Crackle, Hulu etc. I can switch from the tv to the Mac using the tv remote. I also use a wireless keyboard & mouse to use from the couch.

    For the kids, PBS does have some digital channels and one of those are for kids. That's about it for me, I mostly watch movies using the Mini, either rip or dvd. And surf the net
    OfTheDamned likes this.
  4. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    OfTheDamned likes this.
  5. 330D

    330D From My Cold Dead Hands

    And don't discount over the air digital channels... I get PBS, and Qubo, which are both very kid friendly. (I have a 12, 7 and 4 year old.)
    OfTheDamned likes this.
  6. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven ...eschew obfuscation...

    My 4yr old has found plenty of kid appropriate shows on netflix. For me it is History and Discovery why I keep cable (and sports:D). He uses it on his Wii, my old OG Droid, and my Blu-Ray and he can find his way around. There are shows available from all the child friendly channels (disney, pbs, cartoon netowrk, etc.).
    OfTheDamned likes this.
  7. AntimonyER


    Yeah have to agree, netflix is pretty solid on kids offerings. We would have dropped our package to a basic one a few years ago, but with my mother-in-law living with us, she likes a lot of the channels the basic package doesn't have.
  8. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

    We got rid of cable a couple years ago. We're not home a ton and after they doubled the price since the initial offering, I was happy to give Comcast the middle finger.
    For now, we have a Blu-ray player that can connect to Netflix. Like others said, there's a ton of streaming content that's kid friendly. Not a lot of new releases to stream. Couple other options are Amazon and CinemaNow (a purchase/streaming service from Best Buy). Both of those have all the new releases.
    For keeping up with new cable shows, I use either Hulu or Project Free TV (not a wholly "legal" site and it has a TON of popups).
    One "problem" you mention is your TV doesn't have HDMI inputs. What, are you living in the 20th century!? :p;)
    With the money you're saving on no cable you can get a flat screen real cheap these days. One thing we do is hook up my laptop to the TV via HDMI to add even more flexibility. The last thing is our antenna is fine for watching the news, some sports, PBS, Create (my fav. channel) and like others said, there's quite a bit of children's programming.
    You'll be fine, with the tech available now, it's easier than ever. Also, there's quite a articles and reviews on Cnet about cutting the cord.
    Good luck! :)
  9. pool_shark

    pool_shark Android Expert

    I have a roku box for the bedroom for watching Netflix. The picture quality is fine, but I can't speak to the kid friendly offerings.

    I'm a huge boxing fan, so I'd miss out on a lot without HBO and Showtime. I ditched my landline phone long ago, but can't do that just yet with the cable.
  10. OfTheDamned

    OfTheDamned The Friendly Undead
    Thread Starter

    Well, I just got off the phone with Comcast and for some really odd reason it is more expensive to use their 12 Mb internet service by itself ($75 a month) than it is to get 25 Mb + Basic cable ($59 a month). No idea why though. This solves the local news problem at least and gives me the basic network channels. I'm also being an idiot and renting a modem from them right now (you don't even have to say it, I already know:(:rolleyes:)).

    I did find out that there are a bunch of non-listed (Private) channels out there for the Roku and I can use it for live TV via a few different channels if I want.

    So overall I need to buy the Roku2 XD, a new modem (Moto SB6121) and since I'll be doing so much streaming a new router is probably a good idea (Linksys E2500). Any ideas for something better or at a better price that will work with Comcast?

    I also talked to the NHL and they won't let me stream local games via Roku, so unless I can find a way to spoof the roku as to my location I am going to have to use my phone for NHL games. So now I need a MHL to HDMI cable and an HDMI to Component converter.

    So, I need to spend about $220 to get rid of cable and be happy. :D:rolleyes::(. The nice thing is that I don't have to do it all at once. I'll also come out ahead in the end saving over $50 a month which would switch to $90 a month next month. The equipment will pay for itself in just a couple of months.
  11. Dark Jedi

    Dark Jedi Android Enthusiast

    I have Netflix and couldn't be happier and cheaper too than cable. I have it through my ps3. It my all in one device (blu-ray player, gaming system and TV program player.) I tether off my phone and if I had 4g I would have hulu plus.

    I hope more internet TV movie streamer comes out it will make the cable companies drop their prices. I kinda like watching TV shows and not have commercials lol.
  12. 2003vstrom

    2003vstrom Android Enthusiast

    yeah Our internet is provide through Our cable TV line, and it was just cheaper to get both tv and internet, actual our utility bill is pretty reasoable, high speed internet,tv with a lot of channels, electricity,sewer,runs us about 165.00 a month:D
  13. shalemail

    shalemail Android Expert

    I am coming up on my 1 year anniversary of cutting the cable. I personally never miss it. I occasionally miss ESPN MNF depending on the match up but otherwise not a bit. The wife misses her style network and E network but overall, it's MUCH better this way. I have internet apps on my Blu Ray players and Tivo boxes, plus I hook up my lap top (or my Atrix) to my tv to get real internet access, much cheaper than ruku boxes.

    Good luck, I will never go back to cable.
  14. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog

    yes getting stuff here and there is always nice. I would check online for the cables and stuff you need can probably find some good deals on them. More than likely can find good deals on modems and routers as well. Try Pricewatch.com they always put together some good deals. I've gotten a lot of stuff from the different vendors over there and never an issue. You may be able to save about $50 or so.
  15. OfTheDamned

    OfTheDamned The Friendly Undead
    Thread Starter

    DSL is with century link (formerly qwest) and we had them when we first got in the house. It was horrible and every tech that came out claimed there was nothing wrong even though the speed was 1/4 what it was supposed to be and the modem had to be reset at least 15 times a day. After the 17th service call in a month we canceled. They wanted to charge me $250 for the "service" and an additional $1200 for the 7 modems they claimed I had. It was over 4 months before everything was straightened out and that was only after I retained a lawyer.

    So, yea DSL is kind of out of the question.
  16. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

    Yeah, Comcast did the same thing when we cut cable and just use internet, it sucks to pay $75 a month just for internet. I've heard some great stories from folks who have fought the cable companies to get them to lower the rates. The best (and this is actually true) was my brother in law got really tough with them saying he just lost his job and the bills are too high (I know, 1st world problems when you need to have cable over, say food). Guy on the line said "You know, I hate hearing when a fellow American just lost his job". Went on to lower the hell out of his bill.
    I tried the old trick of threatening to cancel my service all together with no avail. Lady on the line couldn't care less. As argedion pointed out, it really is pointless for them to wire you for only one service (though I live in an apartment building and EVERYONE has cable/internet).
  17. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog

    Sorry for your troubles with that. I definitally understand your reservations there. Was just trying to help with some other alternatives. :(

    Still check pricewatch and see if you can get some good deals on the cables and boxes you need. I've wanted to get rid of the house phone and tv for a while now and everytime the wife agrees she calls them and they talk her into another "deal" but she is the one who pays that bill so its up to her. I just want the internet. Maybe one of these days soon I'll get of my butt and get the Media Server running again. Fedora is ending support for F14 so I'm trying to determine if I want 16 with just Lxde or what. But thats another thread at a nuther time :p

    I would still talk with them at comcast give them some single mom raising kids making minimum wage with 8 jobs. (meaning it takes all 8 just to make minimum wage) :D

    Good luck and let us know if you need anything else
    OfTheDamned likes this.
  18. OfTheDamned

    OfTheDamned The Friendly Undead
    Thread Starter

    Please don't think I viewed your question as anything but helpful. I just hate my local DSL company with the fiery passion of a thousand suns to put it mildly. ;)

    I'll keep an eye on pricewatch. Since I don't really "need" any of this stuff I can take a little more time and save a little money.
    argedion likes this.
  19. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time...

    I had a ROKU 2 box for a bit... namely 2 days! The form factor was cool but the sheer volume of spam that I got from Roku in just those two days... along with no support for DLNA killed it for me. After 2 days I boxed it up and sent it back to Amazon.

    In lieu of that I've got an older Blu-Ray player that I got on serious discount from Best Buy taking it's place. The Blu-Ray player has DLNA support and access to many of the more popular services. Only thing missing is Crackle...
  20. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    I see a lot of folks asking for advice on an HDMI to composite converter elsewhere on the forums - here's one:

    Amazon.com: HDMI to 5 RCA component AV Converter: Electronics

    Please let us know what one you find that works well for you, OTD, I'd rather give recommendations based on user endorsements from someone I know and trust.

    Remember to convert MHL to HDMI, you're going to need a USB-powered adapter - you can usually find those on sale for around $20 or less, and to have everything work correctly, definitely power it. ;)

    Of course, if you go that route, you're now open to a Boxee as well. You can either swap cables as you go, add a switch, or go with a 2-hdmi-in component converter. Examples:



    Probably you knew all this, but just in case, hope this helps.

    And for top notch video cabling at bargain prices, go with monoprice.com - the best. :)
  21. OfTheDamned

    OfTheDamned The Friendly Undead
    Thread Starter


    Yes, I know most of it. I have thought about getting Boxee quite a bit and using an converter with a switch, but I think I'll try the Roku2 out first. Considering that it is close to have the price and I can hack it to play some extra stuff I want I think it will work better for me.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  22. angldvl81

    angldvl81 Android Expert

    i cut the cord a month ago and while i miss it at times (mainly when i'm bored and dont feel like searching through netflix) i'm happier with my cheaper bill. my daughter (3 next month) mainly watches Spongebob and Dora so shes quite content. there are a few shows that arent available on hulu but since my laptop is up and running a quick hookup to HDMI fixes that.
  23. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    LoL cool - I like to kibbitz on TV stuff. :)
  24. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog

    Trust me I understand all to well. I feel the same about Insurance company's.

    I do think that once you get everything setup the way you want you'll be happy with it. May also help with the kids wanting to read more. I know my 11 year old reads a lot because we limit computer time/tv time. I feel a bit hypocritical about it though cause I'm always on the computer or the phone. I read post *L* But she does enjoy reading she gets that from Mom however.
  25. danaj

    danaj Android Enthusiast

    I haven't had cable in years. I just recently found a tv out by the dumpster, so I got a digital converter and an antenna for it, so I get the broadcast channels, (pbs world is my fav). I also got a converter to hook my laptop up to the tv. I have no problem finding stuff to watch. I also am "borrowing" my neighbors wifi, and "borrowing" my ex boyfriend's netflix account, so after the initial costs of the 2 converters and the antenna, my entertainment is free! I don't understand why people have cable any more. I never have any problem watching what I want, though I do miss the travel channel.
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