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(USA Today)   How to properly ditch Cable TV   (usatoday.com) divider line 251
    More: PSA, Fan TV, hangers, power cords, digital recording, instant gratification, ditches, Hulu, Roku  
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23933 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Jul 2013 at 3:40 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-08 12:23:40 AM
If you're interested in watching sports or other live events, broadcast TV is still the most reliable way go.

I can only speak for the NYC market, but aside from the NFL, I don't think you can see much in the way of live sports on broadcast TV.  The Yankees and Mets are almost exclusively on cable/satellite, as is the NHL, as is the NBA.  I think you can still watch some golf OTA, as well as some NASCAR.

So, I guess broadcast is fine for a casual fan, but for anyone who has any enthusiasm for their team, broadcast won't cut it.
 
2013-07-08 12:27:31 AM
No mention of Sick Beard on there huh?
 
2013-07-08 12:43:53 AM

RodneyToady: If you're interested in watching sports or other live events, broadcast TV is still the most reliable way go.

I can only speak for the NYC market, but aside from the NFL, I don't think you can see much in the way of live sports on broadcast TV.  The Yankees and Mets are almost exclusively on cable/satellite, as is the NHL, as is the NBA.  I think you can still watch some golf OTA, as well as some NASCAR.

So, I guess broadcast is fine for a casual fan, but for anyone who has any enthusiasm for their team, broadcast won't cut it.


With most college conferences going to the network model, it's almost to the point where you can get any game online.  WatchESPN is where I usually go to watch Mizzou games that aren't on tv, but with the move to the SEC and the pending SEC Network, even that's not much of an issue anymore.  Most of the networks and major sports leagues also have streaming content, so within the next few years, there will be no excuse for not being able to find your games of interest.
 
2013-07-08 01:08:02 AM
How to make sure the shows you watch get cancelled.
 
2013-07-08 01:12:30 AM
This thread is relevant to my interest.

Does anyone know of a good website for HDTV antennas..or any brand recommendation?
 
2013-07-08 01:17:22 AM

Mentat: RodneyToady: If you're interested in watching sports or other live events, broadcast TV is still the most reliable way go.

I can only speak for the NYC market, but aside from the NFL, I don't think you can see much in the way of live sports on broadcast TV.  The Yankees and Mets are almost exclusively on cable/satellite, as is the NHL, as is the NBA.  I think you can still watch some golf OTA, as well as some NASCAR.

So, I guess broadcast is fine for a casual fan, but for anyone who has any enthusiasm for their team, broadcast won't cut it.

With most college conferences going to the network model, it's almost to the point where you can get any game online.  WatchESPN is where I usually go to watch Mizzou games that aren't on tv, but with the move to the SEC and the pending SEC Network, even that's not much of an issue anymore.  Most of the networks and major sports leagues also have streaming content, so within the next few years, there will be no excuse for not being able to find your games of interest.


Usually with local blackout restrictions, though.  For that reason, the non-cable options still aren't good enough for many sports fans (other than those who don't live in their 'home team' market).

Also, many of the streaming options (including WatchESPN, I believe) require some form of verification that you are a cable subscriber.
 
2013-07-08 01:23:20 AM
I don't mind having cable. Streaming still has a long way to go both in terms of content and technology. There are probably more shows worth watching on Cable now than there are on any of the major networks, and even Hulu only has a limited selection of options. Most of the major cable networks require you to prove you are a cable subscriber before you can stream any of their stuff.

Yeah, cable can get expensive if you go with Comcast and their HD every channel bundle, with all the premium channels, porn and PPV, but both DirecTV and Dish Network have basic plans that are very reasonably priced. There's no need for 200+ channels, why bother paying for a bunch of stuff you don't watch? Yeah, if your purse strings are really that tight, you can certainly afford to lose cable, but for those of us that cut it close but still make it, there are other places you can cut, and still afford your $50 a month cable bill.

Of course if you're one of these Amish hipsters that think you're better than everyone else because you don't have cable or any television for that matter, you'll never be convinced, but me, I like my TV.
 
2013-07-08 02:23:15 AM

optikeye: Does anyone know of a good website for HDTV antennas..or any brand recommendation?


This is the one we have.

We get most, but not all of the major networks (I think we don't get ABC, or PBS), but we do get a lot of others.  Except most are in Chinese, Korean, or Spanish.  I'll add that we're on the top floor of our building (6th floor), the antenna is in the window that faces another apartment building, and we're facing the opposite direction from the broadcast antennas (we face east, the antennas are broadcasting from west of us).

On the whole, we get pretty clear reception, but to be honest, we don't watch broadcast TV unless it's either a weather emergency or a major social or political happening (e.g., presidential debate, Bin Laden death announcement).  We're mainly Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu people.

spman: Of course if you're one of these Amish hipsters that think you're better than everyone else because you don't have cable or any television for that matter, you'll never be convinced, but me, I like my TV.


To each their own, obviously, but for my wife and me, there is literally nothing on cable that justifies the price.  We don't watch sports (the only sport I follow is baseball, and I listen to the games on radio).  Most of what we'd watch on Comedy Central we can stream the next day.  I follow business news, Bloomberg streams for free.  The major news stations all suck in their own ways, but if anything is that major, they'll host some video on their site. If shiat is going down in the Middle East and I want to watch, Al Jazeera English streams for free.

Between Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, there is pretty much no end to the television and movies that will keep us entertained.  And this is taking into account that my wife is mostly on bedrest following spinal surgery, so she's watching Netflix/Hulu/Amazon for roughly 10-14 hours a day (a bit less now that we have her archaic laptop connected to our TV, with a wireless keyboard and mouse).

Cutting cable saves us roughly $75 a month, of which maybe $15 a month flows to Netflix for streaming and 3-DVD unlimited.

When we first dropped cable, we thought we'd miss it.  We honestly don't.  And I've had cable since it was introduced in my neighborhood way back in 1987 or so.
 
2013-07-08 03:07:44 AM
My wife insisted we get cable again, so we're paying a bill for occasionally used TV and admittedly good internet connectivity (compared to the DSL we used to have). I didn't care, I got by on Netflix, Amazon and First Row Sports if I didn't simply go to the bar to talk shiat to the other football junkies.

Cutting the cable is easy. It's trying to keep it cut that's hard, especially when you're not flying solo.
 
2013-07-08 03:37:34 AM
Comcast has a monopoly on high speed internet where I live, so we're stuck.  If not for that, I would have dumped cable TV a long time ago.
 
2013-07-08 03:45:16 AM
Dear Google,

Where can I watch (tv show or movie name) streaming?

Google replies: Here, my child.

There.  You've just ditched cable.
 
2013-07-08 03:46:21 AM
How to ditch cable TV

Step 1: Get a minimum wage job. Or a decently paying job, but with student loans, auto loans, a mortgage, or a baby to provide for.
Step 2: Congratulations, if you haven't ditched cable yet, you're about to.
 
2013-07-08 03:49:05 AM

optikeye: This thread is relevant to my interest.

Does anyone know of a good website for HDTV antennas..or any brand recommendation?


I've bought 4 or 5 different antennas.  From $30 up to $80.  High rated at Amazon, the one from monoprice everyone gushes about, etc.  The best one for us?  An old pair of bunny ears I found in storage.

Here in L.A. most of the channels when they switched to HD also changed their frequency to UHF bands.  Most of the commercial antennas don't seem to handle UHF well.

With the bunny ears at their default position we get maybe 85% of the stations, and to get the last 15% we just have to get up and fiddle with the antenna slightly.

This is for indoor antennas.  Nothing beats a rooftop antenna still.
 
2013-07-08 03:50:59 AM

ShawnDoc: optikeye: This thread is relevant to my interest.

Does anyone know of a good website for HDTV antennas..or any brand recommendation?

I've bought 4 or 5 different antennas.  From $30 up to $80.  High rated at Amazon, the one from monoprice everyone gushes about, etc.  The best one for us?  An old pair of bunny ears I found in storage.

Here in L.A. most of the channels when they switched to HD also changed their frequency to UHF bands.  Most of the commercial antennas don't seem to handle UHF well.

With the bunny ears at their default position we get maybe 85% of the stations, and to get the last 15% we just have to get up and fiddle with the antenna slightly.

This is for indoor antennas.  Nothing beats a rooftop antenna still.


We'd have to do outdoor ones or attic ones.
 
2013-07-08 03:51:50 AM
Here is how I did it-

Torrents
Network websites- CBS, ABC, etc (shows and live sports can be watched)
Netflix

for live sports you can hit up either network websites or places like  http://www.stream2watch.me/  or  http://www.vipboxonline.eu/

Add in hook ups from friends or families who still pay for the services if they don't mind sharing and you can watch HBO GO, etc.

Then finally a nice OTA antenna like a Clear Stream 2 for a stations if  I want to tune in live.
 
2013-07-08 03:52:25 AM
Why would I want to do that?

I get to see 98% of Giants games, if I wish to.  I get HBO with no hassle... I get blazing fast internet speeds... I get many other channels and shows I like to watch on occasion and I find some things I like that I never knew about.  And I get all of this for a reasonable amount that is pretty easy to budget towards.

Is comcast great?  No.  They have a lot of farking problems, especially when it comes to their internet.  But they're still okay.
 
2013-07-08 03:52:26 AM
My wife and I ditched DirecTV finally and it's one of the best things we've ever done. We bought our HD antenna from Antennas Direct and installed it on the same post that the satellite dish was installed on. We don't like broadcast sports so that wasn't an issue. We have both Hulu+ and Netflix for a grand total of $25 a month. To top it off we have a NAS with 10 TB of storage so that's handy too. We watch the same shows we liked on cable via these services without any of the garbage and we watch them when we like. We even have access to HBO, CNN, etc via a nice "sharing arrangement" with a relative who still has cable.
 
2013-07-08 03:54:24 AM

optikeye: This thread is relevant to my interest.

Does anyone know of a good website for HDTV antennas..or any brand recommendation?


Go with a Clear Stream 2 or anything from Clear Stream they have some high marks and I have heard a lot of good things from friends who used them.
 
2013-07-08 04:10:19 AM

serial_crusher: No mention of Sick Beard on there huh?


Sick Beard would be awesome if no one decided to keep blabbing on about Usenet. Although by the time Sick Beard came about NZB indexers already became commonplace. I've tried seedboxes but it isn't the same level of convenience. I haven't had a Usenet sub in months, ever since things started getting taken down hours after being posted.
 
2013-07-08 04:12:37 AM

spman: I don't mind having cable. Streaming still has a long way to go both in terms of content and technology.


Translation:   You can't live without American Idol or Honey Boo Boo and you have to watch it as soon as it's released.

Fark cable and fark Dish.   it's all shiat anyway except for a few things which will eventually be available on Netflix.  And if Netflix can't get it, it will eventually be available elsewhere.
 
2013-07-08 04:18:08 AM
I just got cable installed on Saturday, so I'm getting a real kick...
/AT&T
 
2013-07-08 04:20:35 AM
My Mohu Leaf antenna works great but I've only use it for college football, superbowl, nba finals and presidential debates. The rest of the time the TV is on Netflix... usually streaming cartoons for the kids.
 
2013-07-08 04:21:18 AM

ShawnDoc: This is for indoor antennas.  Nothing beats a rooftop antenna still.


Pretty much this.
I've tried half a dozen different antennas. The one thing that helped my reception the most was moving to a third-story apartment.
 
2013-07-08 04:24:35 AM
Cable what?
 
2013-07-08 04:29:42 AM

CPT Ethanolic: Comcast has a monopoly on high speed internet where I live, so we're stuck.  If not for that, I would have dumped cable TV a long time ago.


Dump the cable anyhow. The "bundle" of internet/phone/cable is usually not cheaper than just internet and phone. Ask them how much for just internet and phone.

On another note, we have four Mohu Lief antennas. They are quite worth the price and work well with ever set in the house, even the one we have hooked up to a coverter.
 
2013-07-08 04:29:51 AM
Now, does anyone know how to get out of a DirectTV contract?

I entered it under the assumption it would be bundled with my internet but after waiting over three months and calling about it three times, they finally told me that it couldn't be bundled because of some agreement they have with our apartment complex.

I thought that entering the contract under false pretenses would be enough to get the contract released but all I got was the run around. Maybe I didn't pitch a big enough biatch fit.
Any ideas?
 
2013-07-08 04:32:30 AM

Hermione_Granger: Dump the cable anyhow. The "bundle" of internet/phone/cable is usually not cheaper than just internet and phone. Ask them how much for just internet and phone.


If you are getting phone service through your cable company you're getting screwed.
 
2013-07-08 04:37:25 AM
We get free expanded basic cable at our apartment complex so all we pay for is internet from Comcast. Right now we're getting HBO for free (through August, IIRC), but we'll be dropping that as soon as the free trial is over.

So, not really an option to drop cable since we automatically get it free.
 
2013-07-08 04:38:39 AM

ajax6677: Now, does anyone know how to get out of a DirectTV contract?

I entered it under the assumption it would be bundled with my internet but after waiting over three months and calling about it three times, they finally told me that it couldn't be bundled because of some agreement they have with our apartment complex.

I thought that entering the contract under false pretenses would be enough to get the contract released but all I got was the run around. Maybe I didn't pitch a big enough biatch fit.
Any ideas?


Lawyer? Although you'd may as well just pay the ETF at that point.
 
2013-07-08 04:38:49 AM
I have a hard time believing nobody has come out with a box that acts as a DVR solely for over the air broadcasts aimed at cord cutters. I'm talking about a device with a big local hard disk, none of this cloud BS.

There is more than enough content broadcast over the air to keep you entertained a couple of hours a day. It just may not be broadcast during your personal down time. Save it up on the box and have it waiting for you, but with no monthly cable bill, Tivo subscription fee, or set top box rental fee.

You buy the box outright, and you're done paying.

Since most cord cutters keep their internet service, let that same device stream with the usual suspects (Netflix, etc) and I think you would have a winner.
 
2013-07-08 04:52:16 AM
How to ditch cable TV

Easy: Find something to do with your time more interesting than RealityTV and vapid talking heads trying to fill a 24/7 "news" cycle. That's 97.8% of cable programming so you won't find yourself missing it once you've ditched it.
 
2013-07-08 04:55:07 AM
Do you really need a guide on how to ditch TV?  This is utterly pathetic.

go watch your Programming, and don't bother wondering why it's called that.
 
2013-07-08 04:55:16 AM

ajax6677: Now, does anyone know how to get out of a DirectTV contract?

I entered it under the assumption it would be bundled with my internet but after waiting over three months and calling about it three times, they finally told me that it couldn't be bundled because of some agreement they have with our apartment complex.

I thought that entering the contract under false pretenses would be enough to get the contract released but all I got was the run around. Maybe I didn't pitch a big enough biatch fit.
Any ideas?


Direct TV has faced actions by all 50 states and at the Federal level multiple times. Often, a written complaint directly to Direct TV that mentions your intention to issue a formal complaint to the relevant state and Federal authorities if you cannot come to an agreement will work wonders.

At the state level, the Attorney General would be a good place to complain to.

At the Federal level, you can issue a complaint on the FCC's web site.
 
2013-07-08 04:57:14 AM
Ordered a Roku, cancelling the cable. Not a sports fan. $80 a month for channels from Comcast? Buh-bye. I'll pay $8 a month to netflix, and maybe I'll sign up for hulu plus (I can torrent the same stuff, but I have no problem paying a fair fee to support the programs).
If you are a sports fan, or you have kids, then I get that you need cable. For the rest of us: are you effing kidding me, at these prices?

I would dump Comcast's ridiculous prices for internet, but I work from home. Still tempting to just get a usb stick for $35 a month, but the job is important and I can't trust Sprint's claims about service.
 
2013-07-08 05:13:39 AM
1) Call your cable company
2) Cancel your subscription.
 
2013-07-08 05:18:56 AM

Bathia_Mapes: We get free expanded basic cable at our apartment complex so all we pay for is internet from Comcast. Right now we're getting HBO for free (through August, IIRC), but we'll be dropping that as soon as the free trial is over.

So, not really an option to drop cable since we automatically get it free.


I can see that you can't drop it, but don't kid yourself that you're getting it for "free".
 
2013-07-08 05:21:03 AM

gfid: Fark cable and fark Dish.   it's all shiat anyway except for a few things which will eventually be available on Netflix.  And if Netflix can't get it, it will eventually be available elsewhere.


THIS

Point out to people just how much their Sky TV is costing them for the content they really want to watch on it, and they start to rethink it. A friend of mine ditched it when he realised that all he really cared about was Game of Thrones and he was paying £300/year for 10 hours of (very good) TV.

We had cable, including the movie channels, at £15/month but you quickly realise that there just aren't that many good new movies each month, or at least, they aren't getting the rights to all of them. So, you might get Skyfall to watch, this month, but the rest of the movies suck. You end up watching Rear Window, that you could have watched on TV a week ago for free.
 
2013-07-08 05:35:20 AM
I haven't had a TV since my dog knocked mine through the window four years ago. I debated getting a new one then, but decided I didn't really need one. I've never been a huge TV watcher, so I haven't missed it much and most things I want to watch are available online for free, either through the networks' sites, Hulu, or Netflix.  I find it very convenient to be able to watch what I want when I want, rather than when it's aired. For some shows, such as GOT, I wait until the season DVD comes out and then have a marathon.
 
2013-07-08 05:37:59 AM
#1 Pirate the shiat out of everything (yes, even live sports)
 
2013-07-08 05:38:44 AM
Ditched cable 5 years ago.
Got a good antenna from Antenna Direct, watch streams on the tubes.
Oh, and MagicJack phone for the win!
Total bill for phone/internet/TV =  $50 a month. No need for a cell either, my magicjack hooks into my tablet (Asus Slate rumming Windows 7), which I take with me on my trips --free Wifi is ubiquitous enough these days.
Total savings of several thousand dollars.
 
2013-07-08 05:42:52 AM

MisterRonbo: If you are a sports fan, or you have kids, then I get that you need cable. For the rest of us: are you effing kidding me, at these prices?


We dropped our cable, and we are getting the NFL games we want on broadcast TV. And as for kids, have you seen the selection of kids programing on Netflix, and Amazon? (I haven't played with Hulu). There's tons of it! We are saving about $40 a month by cutting the cord. We will never go back.
 
2013-07-08 05:53:40 AM
I rent movies from my local library for nothing. I live close enough that gas isn't a big factor, and I don't care if I have to wait a bit for something popular.
 
2013-07-08 05:59:33 AM
I dropped my cable some time in the mid-'90s while out of a job. Turns out when they added cable to the old apartment building I lived it, my unit was wired as if it was another room of the unit below...so I still had cable. Then those neighbors moved out, the new neighbors didn't get cable, and I've been without ever since - despite having moved to a new place a few years ago.

Then two Xmases ago, my sweetie got me a Roku. Now, that I might miss.

Of course, I'm not a sports guy at all, so I can't speak to the issue of live games.

For me it's...

Roku (incl. BBC News & Twonky for streaming YouTubes of Craig Ferguson episodes from my tablet)

+ Netflix

+ Hulu on my laptop for the few network shows I like (haven't yet found the need for Hulu Plus)

+ occasional $1.99 to Amazon for fresh episodes of shows I can't wait for/can't get on Netflix ("Doctor Who")

+ leaf antenna for the occasional breaking news broadcast (Saturday's SFO crash)

And that pretty much has me covered.

Granted, this leaves some gaps (I haven't seen anything HBO has produced in years, including "The Sopranos"). But when I feel like I'm missing something culturally, I remind myself that I have 300 titles in my Netflix queue (about half of them TV), so it's not like I'm hurting for something to watch.

/never learned to do teh torrents
 
2013-07-08 06:01:23 AM

BigBooper: MisterRonbo: If you are a sports fan, or you have kids, then I get that you need cable. For the rest of us: are you effing kidding me, at these prices?

We dropped our cable, and we are getting the NFL games we want on broadcast TV. And as for kids, have you seen the selection of kids programing on Netflix, and Amazon? (I haven't played with Hulu). There's tons of it! We are saving about $40 a month by cutting the cord. We will never go back.


My sister has two kids. They have Netflix and have never had cable. Their kids are plenty entertained. Granted, they think TV happens whenever you want it and haven't the slightest concept of scheduling. Don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
 
2013-07-08 06:01:31 AM
If you have comcast, here's a warning when you cut the cord- KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS for any equipment you have to turn back in.  2 months after I ditched them I got a notice from a debt collections-type office to return my HD/DVR box or else I'd get charged for it.  I had to call in with the confirmation number off my receipt to clear up the mess.  It wasn't a big deal, but if I hadn't had that receipt they would have burned me.  After talking to other former comcast users, its apparent that I wasn't a lone example.  They use this as a dirty underhanded scam to get as much cash out of you as possible.  Don't let them.
 
2013-07-08 06:03:09 AM
Fark has given me the same advice. I hate that these people make money for these articles.
 
2013-07-08 06:03:36 AM

RodneyToady: When we first dropped cable, we thought we'd miss it.  We honestly don't.  And I've had cable since it was introduced in my neighborhood way back in 1987 or so.


Funny thing happened when my wife and I cut the cord. We started reading more.
 
2013-07-08 06:04:09 AM

juvandy: If you have comcast, here's a warning when you cut the cord- KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS for any equipment you have to turn back in.  2 months after I ditched them I got a notice from a debt collections-type office to return my HD/DVR box or else I'd get charged for it.  I had to call in with the confirmation number off my receipt to clear up the mess.  It wasn't a big deal, but if I hadn't had that receipt they would have burned me.  After talking to other former comcast users, its apparent that I wasn't a lone example.  They use this as a dirty underhanded scam to get as much cash out of you as possible.  Don't let them.


noted.  TY bro.
 
2013-07-08 06:24:52 AM
We cut off Dish not too long ago.
While at work, I got a call from my daughter (10) asking "where's the pause button?"  She got so used to the DVR she thought that just how things worked.

I had to let her down gently.
 
2013-07-08 06:33:59 AM
I ditched Comcast cable and phone last December and now have ....

a Roku box
MLBtv
NHL Game Center
Amazon Prime
Netflix
an OBi and Google Voice for making and receiving unlimited free calls in the USA and Canada

My internet went up $13.00 per month after dropping their cable and phone service, but the net savings still add up to $130 a month. I pay $5.00 a month for a proxy service, which allows me to watch Formula One coverage on the BBC along with their other great programming. I'm also still getting all local channels in HD through the existing coaxial for the rare occasions something good is on broadcast TV. I don't miss cable at all, this setup suits my viewing needs perfectly.
 
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