Replacement for Cable TV

LittleCalm

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I know there have been some threads here on cutting the cable, but hoping to get some specific guidance for my situation. We pay around $250/mo for cable/internet/hard line phone (Fios). The Fios internet/TV/phone bundle is $140, then another $75 for services and equipment (4 boxes, multi-room DVR, and HBO). Finally, there is another $38 of various fees and other charges. I’m wondering what my options are to get this bill down and still get the content we want. Of course, to add insult to injury, we also pay for other content providers as well, like Apple TV, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime because content is spread all over the place. Anyway, trying to solve for one problem at a time so want to start with cable - I’d love to kill it altogether if I can. Some requirements:

- We need at least 100 Mps internet (we currently have 100 - you can pay more for 300 and 1 Gps).
- We think we can go without a land line phone.
- I watch football so would want to be able to have access to NFL games - a la cart would be fine. I often watch night games but not usually Sunday day games.
- Need to be able to access HBO.
- Wife needs regular network TV - all local and national crap networks.
- Wife wants smut and other TV channels - Bravo, HGTV, NatGeo, Animal Planet, etc.

Thoughts from the NES brain trust?
 
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RDG

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You pay for Hulu, Amazon, Apple TV, Netflix AND cable.

Good lord man.

You already have everything,,,, seems like YOU need to figure out which ones to get rid of.

Most people that cut the cord end up with an HD antenna and one or two streaming services.

Maybe check out SlingTV or YouTube TV.... maybe one of the has enough channels to convince your wife to let you ditch cable.
 

LittleCalm

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Thx and totally true. Problem is there is a show here or there we want to watch. The content is spread everywhere and there is no single source. So, yeah, probably only way is to cut out various shows. We don’t even watch a ton of TV. There are probably a dozen shows plus NFL and local networks but you need 6 content providers to get them all.
 

Fritz the Cat

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My wife watches her girl shows on Hulu. Network crap like "this is us" or "Grey's Anatomy". It is available a day or two after the original broadcast day.
We have Amazon prime and I have Vudu which is a pay per view type movie service. No monthly fee and a huge selection, usually about 5 bucks a movie.
We have no land-line, cell only.
I watch maybe 3 hours of tv a week. The wife watches a bit more than that.
Mostly I read books.
P. S.
To summarize, stop watching so much TV. It's going to rot yer brain.
 

LittleCalm

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I bet I watch 6 hours a week tops. Wife watches maybe 2 hours a day at night and also reads a lot.
 

Varmint

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How do you know you need 100 Mbps? We dropped from 100 to 25 Mbps and couldn't tell the difference. 25 is enough for streaming 4K to two devices at the same time.

Getting the regular channels is the hard part. I think DirectTV streaming might be an option.

You really want to ditch cable TV entirely, cause any little bit (like basic cable) and they'll hit you with all kinds of fees. Go cold turkey and you'll have a straight $75/month or so for internet.
 

Asaltweapon

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Good luck.
No easy answer as it depends on total watching habits.

Nothing. Not a single effin option fits my needs.

Without local coverage it’s all a joke. My phone and forums give me more intel.
 
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Check out fubo.tv. Their package has many channels. Cable boxes will have to be replaced with Fire TVs or Apple TVs.
 

Greg

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The thing that's gonna hamper you is sports.

There are plenty of sport options online,but HD is spotty..OTA HD antenna might get you games unless they are on NECN.

Your problem it seems is that you want to pay less,but get the same services.

Once you make a decision to sacrifice your bread and circus,the easier it will be for you.
 

crispnipz

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How do you know you need 100 Mbps? We dropped from 100 to 25 Mbps and couldn't tell the difference. 25 is enough for streaming 4K to two devices at the same time.
lol

maybe it's just because I'm a software developer, or because I have 3 roommates and a girlfriend and run a server out of my house, but I can't do below 100Mbps.

In fact I have 1Gbps through Comcast and will soon be switching to Fios. Around $70 per month is a good price for 1Gbps internet by itself. If you're paying more than $100 per month for 1Gbps internet alone, you need to call and negotiate because you're being fleeced.

What I'll probably do is 1Gbps internet only from Fios and basic cable only from Comcast. Total will be around $130 per month which is fine.

Netflix, Hulu, and the like are worthless trash content which I wouldn't watch even if offered for free.

Edit: I should add I use a CableCARD for receiving the cable to my TVs/computers/phone without a cable box, so don't have any equipment fees or BS like that.
 

LittleCalm

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If I get basic cable I still need a bunch of boxes to get local channels? I.e. bedroom, living room, kitchen? If I could get local channels without a STB that would be great - maybe that is just OTA. But then I can’t DVR/pause stuff on the local channels? Wife likes to pause stuff all the time. Doesn’t YouTube TV now offer all the local crap?
 

jpdopes

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We get all the local channels with a digital antenna. It's actually a higher quality picture than what we were getting through Comcast-cable feeds are compressed. We also have Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sling. Sling is great- it gives us live Espn and most of the networks like Discovery, History, HGTV, CNN etc and on demand options. During football season we never miss a game. We do not miss cable at all. With all of that we're still paying less than the Comcast package we had.
I believe Hulu offers a live TV option as well.
 

LittleCalm

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JpDopes, thanks, that is the real world experience I’m looking for. Will check that out. If I have live TV plus can see the patriots games and can record/pause stuff, that takes care of a lot. The other stuff we can already stream from AppleTV or from Amazon prime with a typical smart TV or the phone using AppleTV. I think the rental of STBs and all the related charges are the killer and would be great to ditch all that and just stream from some service over internet.
 
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Cut cable for TV. Figure out what the cost would be for just internet and telephone. I don't recommend cell only phone service because it's not that reliable, at least in our neck of the woods in CT. Typically the phone service is pretty cheap anyway. Now, for TV watching, we don't live in a metropolitan area like Boston but we still get 50 (!) channels OTA with one antenna. It's mounted in our 3rd story attic, out of the weather, and we get all those stations, including ones that show football. I would recommend that you check out this website to see what you can expect:

AntennaWeb.org - Antenna Signal Prediction

Plug in the info and you'll pretty impressed with your options.

What I strongly recommend is that you keep all the cable outlets in your home. Disconnect the incoming cable from the street and simply plug in your new Antenna cable. Now you're powering all your cable outlets with the antenna signals. In our case we even had an amplifier installed and it works perfectly with the antenna signal!


Next, pick up a Roku or Amazon Firestick. Those units will make your relatively smart TV very smart indeed. Yes, there are some subscriptions you can buy but trust me when I tell you they are far less expensive than your current cable bill and you won't have to pare out the home shopping networks and religious channels (not that there's anything wrong with them but.....). We cut our cable years ago and have never been happier watching FREE television in full 1080i and with Netflix and Amazon there's an unending litany of TV entertainment you'll be able to select at low or no cost.
 
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I got a TCL/Roku TV for my bedroom (no cable wire). Comes loaded with apps I access via WiFi. Best part of the TV is Roku. Using the antenna, get the local channels, but with Roku and a memory stick, I can actually pause and rewind the local broadcast, so I wont have trouble giving the football games a head start, and skipping commercials. Kind of a DVR-lite.
 

rep308

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The WSJ just did a series showing no difference between 80 meg and anything faster. Find the article and read it, you don’t need 1gig.

You could buy a TiVo set up and save on box rental. My setup was $400 and paid for itself in 8 months

Go to AntennaWeb.org - Antenna Signal Prediction and check out you Over The Air options. That will get you NFL games but no Red Sox.
 

lancecolonel

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we just ditched cable for youtube tv. nesn was the only channel i cared about. yt tv will give you your local fox, nbc, abc and cbs stations live. there is dvr-like capability. if you don't have a smart tv, i'd suggest getting a roku as it works with every streaming service. only downside is only 3 devices can stream yt tv at the same time.
 

crispnipz

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The WSJ just did a series showing no difference between 80 meg and anything faster. Find the article and read it, you don’t need 1gig.
That entirely depends on what you're using the internet for and how many people are in your household. There is absolutely a difference between 80 meg and "anything faster." You may or may not notice the difference, but it's there.
 

Ken S

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With all the subscriptions u have I would think a OTA antenna should get almost everything you need. You might want to check out kodi although some of the content is bootleg there is a lot of legit things on there also
 

Dennis in MA

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we just ditched cable for youtube tv. nesn was the only channel i cared about. yt tv will give you your local fox, nbc, abc and cbs stations live. there is dvr-like capability. if you don't have a smart tv, i'd suggest getting a roku as it works with every streaming service. only downside is only 3 devices can stream yt tv at the same time.
This is what I’m considering. What is frustrating is there is no service that has the breadth of channels that cable has. . . . Yet. I think YT has the best chance of that. Haven’t pulled that trigger, but I’m getting there.
 

Maddawg1952

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I live 25 miles northeast of Boston, for OTA TV I have a simple basic indoor antenna I bought on Amazon,in the window upstairs pointed Southwest. I get 38 Channels OTA in great Digital color and picture. only draw back is if the wind is right and I'm on the Glide Path to Logan I lose reception when a plane crosses my area, sometimes for 4-5 seconds. Other than that small glitch FCK! Comcast and all there extra fees
 

rep308

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That entirely depends on what you're using the internet for and how many people are in your household. There is absolutely a difference between 80 meg and "anything faster." You may or may not notice the difference, but it's there.
I know it’s behind a paywall but the article does a pretty good job of showing that with 8-10 streaming sessions it really doesn’t matter. If you are transferring gigs of data it may.
 

LittleCalm

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YouTube TV seems to be the leader in content. $50/month. If internet is $70 I would be cutting cable bill in half It would seem that traditional cable TV must die -- why pay for two types of bandwidth (internet, TV) when you can pay for just one?.
 

thorin

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we just ditched cable for youtube tv. nesn was the only channel i cared about. yt tv will give you your local fox, nbc, abc and cbs stations live. there is dvr-like capability. if you don't have a smart tv, i'd suggest getting a roku as it works with every streaming service. only downside is only 3 devices can stream yt tv at the same time.
This is exactly what I did, for the same reasons. Only channel I miss on Youtube TV is Comedy Central. I got a $45 Sling credit so I'll use that to make sure I can get the new season of South Park. After baseball is over and depending on my experience with Sling, I might drop Youtube TV for the winter. Unfortunately in the area I live in, there's virtually nothing I can receive over the air.

Now that you can make outgoing calls on Google Voice its actually better than my cable landline was. Can be used with old droids which work much better than standard land phones, hardly any spam calls.
 

crispnipz

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I know it’s behind a paywall but the article does a pretty good job of showing
I am a software engineer, I don't need the WSJ to explain bandwidth to me.

that with 8-10 streaming sessions it really doesn’t matter.
That is true if you are watching 8 streams at once and each stream does not individually consume more than 10Mbps of bandwidth during a given time. For YouTube and maybe something like Netflix, an individual 1080p stream will probably not go over 10Mbps. But we're starting to stream 4K (which can be in the neighborhood of 30-50Mbps for 1 stream) and not every streaming service (especially ones used for streaming games like Twitch) have a hard limit on how much bandwidth a stream uses. Video also tends to be variable in its bitrate, so certain scenes may cause the bandwidth use to spike well over 10Mbps for an individual stream.

If you are transferring gigs of data it may.
Not may. Does. At 100Mbps it will take over a minute to download a gigabyte of data. At 1Gbps, that becomes about 10 seconds. It adds up. I do enough waiting in MA traffic, I don't need to do any waiting when it comes to computers.

And to all the people in the thread talking about canceling cable, these streaming services are steadily raising their prices just like cable did. Cable prices can actually be lower than streaming services if you negotiate with them. I have Comcast cable. $35 per month. More channels than YouTube TV. And Comcast is certainly a degenerate company, but ask yourself: Do you really want to give financial support to leftist swine the likes of Google or Netflix?
 

Dennis in MA

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YouTube TV seems to be the leader in content. $50/month. If internet is $70 I would be cutting cable bill in half It would seem that traditional cable TV must die -- why pay for two types of bandwidth (internet, TV) when you can pay for just one?.
Yep. Within 10 years, maybe 20 at the outside, cable will be a "utility" like water, sewer, electric and gas. No content. Just bandwidth.





And all this 4K crap - do we really have TV's big enough in our homes to get this??? Or is this another hype. IIRC when 720/1080 was the "thing" and it was determined that the minimum screen size for noticing a 1080 at 6 feet was 40" or so.

Now we're up to 4K. Given we can't resolve 720 from higher res under 40" at 6', are we talking 60" or better to get it??? My point is this: How many handhelds are trying to stream 4K and they are a complete waste of that bandwidth?

Reminds me of when iPods came out and every turd and his uncle REFUSED to use Apple b/c their compression was too strong and it "ruined" the music. Three years later and Apple's compression was basically standard and zero people were complaining that the sound was bad. (4bit vs 16bit or something like that. We're talking 20 years ago.)
 

LittleCalm

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I am a software engineer, I don't need the WSJ to explain bandwidth to me.

That is true if you are watching 8 streams at once and each stream does not individually consume more than 10Mbps of bandwidth during a given time. For YouTube and maybe something like Netflix, an individual 1080p stream will probably not go over 10Mbps. But we're starting to stream 4K (which can be in the neighborhood of 30-50Mbps for 1 stream) and not every streaming service (especially ones used for streaming games like Twitch) have a hard limit on how much bandwidth a stream uses. Video also tends to be variable in its bitrate, so certain scenes may cause the bandwidth use to spike well over 10Mbps for an individual stream.

Not may. Does. At 100Mbps it will take over a minute to download a gigabyte of data. At 1Gbps, that becomes about 10 seconds. It adds up. I do enough waiting in MA traffic, I don't need to do any waiting when it comes to computers.

And to all the people in the thread talking about canceling cable, these streaming services are steadily raising their prices just like cable did. Cable prices can actually be lower than streaming services if you negotiate with them. I have Comcast cable. $35 per month. More channels than YouTube TV. And Comcast is certainly a degenerate company, but ask yourself: Do you really want to give financial support to leftist swine the likes of Google or Netflix?
Yes, do agree. Running the math, I can pretty much get everything I want using YouTube TV or Hulu (all local and national networks, all the lifestyle crap (HGTV, Food Network, Discovery, Nat Geo, Animal Planet, Bravo, etc.) plus can pay a la cart for premium stuff like HBO, Showtime, etc. through Amazon Prime I am not a sportsaholic and just watch Patriots games, so just need regular network TV for that. And we are already Amazon Prime members so can get HBO for $15/mo there. So basically running the math we would be paying $60/mo for mid-tier internet speeds (300 Mps), $55 (if we go with Hulu plus enhanced DVR), $15 for HBO and $16 for Netflix. About $150/mo in total vs. the additional $100 in STBs, land line phone and misc cable delivery/infrastructure charges. I suppose I can just ask Verizon to take $100/mo off my bill but otherwise makes financial sense to switch. I also agree that the streaming content providers will continue to raise their prices and the traditional cable companies will probably raise their internet provider fees. If nothing else, it would be nice to ditch all the silly cable infrastructure (STBs).
 

LittleCalm

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Yep. Within 10 years, maybe 20 at the outside, cable will be a "utility" like water, sewer, electric and gas. No content. Just bandwidth.





And all this 4K crap - do we really have TV's big enough in our homes to get this??? Or is this another hype. IIRC when 720/1080 was the "thing" and it was determined that the minimum screen size for noticing a 1080 at 6 feet was 40" or so.

Now we're up to 4K. Given we can't resolve 720 from higher res under 40" at 6', are we talking 60" or better to get it??? My point is this: How many handhelds are trying to stream 4K and they are a complete waste of that bandwidth?

Reminds me of when iPods came out and every turd and his uncle REFUSED to use Apple b/c their compression was too strong and it "ruined" the music. Three years later and Apple's compression was basically standard and zero people were complaining that the sound was bad. (4bit vs 16bit or something like that. We're talking 20 years ago.)
Yeah, I have always understood that anything beyond 720p is basically a waste, particularly as you get older and eyesight deteriorates.
 
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