Author Topic: Killed Cable  (Read 6821 times)

Spoom

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Killed Cable
« on: November 14, 2014, 08:51:53 AM »
So I finally completed my antenna project, and a couple of days ago I cancelled the cable.  This is the second MMM major change we've made to our bills (the first was replacing the crazy $40 / mo. landline with a voip.ms account and ATA device).

We subscribed to a couple of streaming services, but the net savings are still upwards of $100 / mo. :)

Not missing it at all so far.  The antenna provides football for my wife, and the streaming services have just about everything else we want (save new Whose Lines which are on local CW broadcast).  The antenna picks up all the major networks except CBS, but I'm planning on building a small Yagi tuned for that specific frequency to pick it up (apparently they got shafted in the digital transition so they're very underpowered here).

Next target is the Verizon bill.  We're hoping that Republic gets the new Moto X but we might look at other providers soon since it appears Sprint never got the phone (so Republic getting it is unlikely).  Then a couple of months into the new year, we'll be replacing my wife's car with a more efficient one.  We can't get rid of the commutes at the moment (my wife's job is her dream job and it is in the opposite direction from mine) but we can at least make them more efficient.

Edit: Oh, I should mention: If you haven't negotiated with your internet provider, you are wasting money!  I found a comparable quote to U-verse from DSLExtreme, and I told the retentions agent about it when I was cancelling cable.  He gave me a 50% discount for a year (over a one year contract) which made them cheaper than the quote.  You just have to be willing to ask!
« Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 08:53:40 AM by Spoom »

skunkfunk

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2014, 09:13:48 AM »
Nice work.

I need to do this.

Exflyboy

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2014, 09:36:31 AM »
Republic does have the Moto X...

Frank

Spoom

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2014, 09:51:59 AM »
Republic does have the Moto X...

Frank
This thing, not this thing.  Starting to wonder if I should either just get the old one or go with another carrier though.

TheThirstyStag

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2014, 03:49:47 PM »
Great work.  I build my own UHF antenna last year and haven't looked back.  I, too, regularly negotiate with ISPs.  I'm fortunate to have multiple high speed options servicing my area.

Can I convince you to build a home theater PC?  My homemade antenna is fed to two TV tuners in my HTPC, and I now have a logitech harmony-driven 15 foot experience with DVR capabilities and streaming goodness via XBMC that exceeds any of the overpriced cable company-owned boxes. 

Spoom

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2014, 09:47:12 AM »
No convincing necessary, we are already looking at TV tuner cards / rigs.  We also have a Harmony remote (from immediately before learning the MMM ways) and I will probably be building an XBMC-based rig.

Any suggestions on build specs?  I've seen builds from MyMediaExperience and they look reasonable, we'd just need to add a TV tuner backend, for which I was looking at the HDHomeRun CONNECT.  I guess I'd need a NAS so the recordings are available everywhere as well?  Or possibly a backend box with a TV tuner card and storage instead of the HDHomeRun, and just make that machine's storage available over the network so the frontend boxes can interact.  Still researching all of this.

pbkmaine

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2014, 10:17:57 AM »
I don't know if this will work for everyone, but we have Comcast Internet, which we pay for. In our area, Comcast also carries unscrambled network and oldies channels. By using our TV tuner, we can scan and lock in those channels in HD without an antenna. We get about 40 channels in all. NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, 5 different PBS channels, CW, ion, MeTV, CSPAN, LiveWell and a bunch of Spanish and religious channels.

Spoom

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2014, 11:02:31 AM »
I don't know if this will work for everyone, but we have Comcast Internet, which we pay for. In our area, Comcast also carries unscrambled network and oldies channels. By using our TV tuner, we can scan and lock in those channels in HD without an antenna. We get about 40 channels in all. NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, 5 different PBS channels, CW, ion, MeTV, CSPAN, LiveWell and a bunch of Spanish and religious channels.
That would be nice, but I'm still glad I installed the antenna as it means I don't have to worry about losing the unencrypted QAM channels if I later switch away from AT&T entirely (plus I don't know if they do that, since it's not a true cable connection; it comes from the "gateway" device which ultimately connects via DSL).

briang

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2014, 09:26:16 AM »
I don't know if this will work for everyone, but we have Comcast Internet, which we pay for. In our area, Comcast also carries unscrambled network and oldies channels. By using our TV tuner, we can scan and lock in those channels in HD without an antenna. We get about 40 channels in all. NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, 5 different PBS channels, CW, ion, MeTV, CSPAN, LiveWell and a bunch of Spanish and religious channels.

pbkmaine...would u please describe in a little more detail what u are suggesting?  i dont quite follow.  You have internet through comcast but you do not have cable?  thanks!

TheThirstyStag

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2014, 12:20:01 PM »
I don't know if this will work for everyone, but we have Comcast Internet, which we pay for. In our area, Comcast also carries unscrambled network and oldies channels. By using our TV tuner, we can scan and lock in those channels in HD without an antenna. We get about 40 channels in all. NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, 5 different PBS channels, CW, ion, MeTV, CSPAN, LiveWell and a bunch of Spanish and religious channels.

pbkmaine...would u please describe in a little more detail what u are suggesting?  i dont quite follow.  You have internet through comcast but you do not have cable?  thanks!

It sounds like he's saying that in his area, Comcast chose not to encrypt ClearQAM channels, which cable companies up until recently were required to keep free and clear.  Basically, it used to be the case that the gov't required cable companies to carry over-the-air channels for free until a recent (2012ish) FCC ruling that retracted this requirement.  Now it's up to the cable company whether they wish to encrypt them.  Most of them encrypted them almost immediately and started to offer a "value/lifeline/etc." service that offers less than what you can get with an antenna and used to be free.

Correct me if I am wrong.

DrF

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2014, 11:34:28 AM »
No convincing necessary, we are already looking at TV tuner cards / rigs.  We also have a Harmony remote (from immediately before learning the MMM ways) and I will probably be building an XBMC-based rig.

Any suggestions on build specs?  I've seen builds from MyMediaExperience and they look reasonable, we'd just need to add a TV tuner backend, for which I was looking at the HDHomeRun CONNECT.  I guess I'd need a NAS so the recordings are available everywhere as well?  Or possibly a backend box with a TV tuner card and storage instead of the HDHomeRun, and just make that machine's storage available over the network so the frontend boxes can interact.  Still researching all of this.

I built my own htpc, after getting some advice from the web.

Check out this article (http://lifehacker.com/5936546/how-i-built-the-media-center-of-my-dreams-for-under-500).

You don't need to spend a lot in order to have an effective htpc. You aren't building a gaming pc. My htpc has an AMD A4 with integrated graphics, a tiny motherboard, 4gb ram, hard drive, dvd drive, wifi usb and that's about it. I bought a case with integrated power supply. Overall mine was ~$300-$400.

The price can escalate very quickly if you get tricked into buying bigger, better, faster components.

I use mine as a dvr after I bought a usb tv tuner. I love it!

falcondisruptor

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2014, 08:09:57 PM »
Congrats on getting your antenna up!  $100/month is awesome savings, especially if you're only giving up one show!

We use an internet reseller and whenever the big guys try to convince us to switch, we just say who we're with and they leave us alone.

redbirdfan

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2014, 01:05:07 PM »
I've been cable free for a little over a year now.  The hardest part in getting rid of cable for me was losing access to all the live sporting events that are only available on cable.  Additionally, my sports teams are all out of market.  I solved the problem by purchasing a slingbox that is connected to an "extra" television back at my parents' home (where my sports teams are local).  It cost $150 (about 1.5 months of cable), but now I have cable and access to all of my local teams without shelling out $$$ at sports bars.  My parents have refused to get rid of cable and I have several friends who would never consider getting rid of it (they've all heard my MMMisms).  This is a great way to capitalize on the anti-Mustachianism of those we love!  I have an over the air antenna that brings in all the basic network channels and I have Comcast internet which is about $35/month after taxes.

tracylayton

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2014, 02:01:44 PM »
I cancelled cable last month, which saved $80/month. Not only do I not miss it, but have found several "antenna" channels that I really like. I've watched some episodes of MASH, All in the Family, and Magnum P.I.

OutBy40

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2014, 04:25:10 PM »
Congratulations!  We are close to doing something similar.  We have an HD antenna and get about 10 stations with it sitting right next to the television, but we definitely need to find a better location because I watch football on Fox pretty much all Fall long...and Fox, of course, isn't one of the stations that we get with where the antenna is at the moment.

SJS

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2014, 05:57:38 PM »
We've never had cable.  EVER.  I get about 6 good local channels in to watch local/world news and a few other things, but since hubby watches no television, ever, it's fine for me.  We do have cable in our second/winter home, but we think they goofed when they signed us up for internet and we have cable they aren't charging us for.  If they cut it, no big deal for us.    But we've saved a TON of money over the years with no cable, and you know what they say, "You don't miss what you never had!" 

TheThirstyStag

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2014, 10:32:02 AM »
I cancelled cable last month, which saved $80/month. Not only do I not miss it, but have found several "antenna" channels that I really like. I've watched some episodes of MASH, All in the Family, and Magnum P.I.

Haha!  Sounds like you discovered Cozi TV.  Love it.  That's one great thing about going back to OTA tv - discovering all of the syndicated shows on sub channels!

I'm a red panda

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Re: Killed Cable
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2014, 09:50:16 AM »
We haven't had cable in about 8 years. I don't miss it. When I go to a hotel for work, I like to watch HGTV or Food Network, but really- cable is a whole bunch of crap I really don't need to be watching.

I do subscribe to a specialty sports network online- it is $50 a year, but for the past few years I've gotten it for $25.  When I lose the discount, I'm not sure if I will renew or not. There are usually free streams from Russia; but I worry about viruses.