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Old 12-08-16, 06:40 AM  
sherry7899
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OT -Getting rid of cable

We currently have Verizon Fios. We use it for our internet and landline (which we may be getting rid of also).

We are frustrated by the cost, and the continual problems with using on demand. A lot of times it does not load. Anytime I call for technical support they want me to disconnect the cable box hookups, which is a pain for two our tvs since they are in entertainment centers and it's really hard to get to the hook ups. The reception for some channels is not great either (and we live in a pretty populated area with flat landscape-no mountains to interfere with reception). There are also a ton of channels we NEVER watch.

If you have cut the cord from cable, what do you use? We still want the major networks and would also like to get local news if that is possible.
I will miss the variety of PBS stations we have, though. We get them from NYC, NJ and two areas of Pennsylvania.

I am going to look into Hulu and Roku.

We see tv ads for using antennas, but I have a feeling they would not work well in our area.

Any input would be welcome.

Thank you !
Sherry
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Old 12-08-16, 06:55 AM  
Carol K
 
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Location: Chicago, IL
I cancelled my cable TV in 2013. At that time I had Limited Basic service, but Comcast encrypted even those channels in 2013, requiring a cable box. I have a TV and DVD recorder with digital tuners and I like watching one channel while recording another without paying for DVR. You can't do that with a cable box. I didn't think an antenna would work for us (we live in Chicago surrounded by trees and tall buildings), but I got a Micron-R DirectStream and it works beautifully. There is an intermittent problem with CBS, because it's the only VHF channel in the city. My backup solution is Chromecast. If a show is pre-empted, or I forgot to watch it or record it, or I didn't get a good signal on CBS that day, I use Chromecast to stream it from the network website to our TV. I still use Comcast for our internet service.
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Old 12-08-16, 07:17 AM  
sherry7899
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Thanks, Carol! I have not heard of that. I will look into it.

Does anyone use Sling tv? That is another option.

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Old 12-08-16, 07:27 AM  
Cher
 
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Location: Michigan
We have never had cable so our solution is probably really old and outdated and alot of work but it was the only solution 23 years ago when we moved into our house. My DH put a regular old fashion TV antenna in our attic (so it's not sitting on top of our roof for everyone to see). He then ran the wiring down into the basement then got a spilter (or something like that) and conncected all our TV's to the antenna.....we have 4. Most of the channels came in pretty well but since we had trouble with a couple, he bought a booster thing and wired that from the antenna and placed it in our cabinet. This way, if there ever is a problem, you can turn the dial and it will rotate the antenna in the attic to see if we can get the channel in any better. We rarely ever have to use it though because just attaching it to the antenna boost our signal so we get an even clearer picture. BTW, we live about 45 miles from the city where all the tv stations are broadcast from.

Sherry....are all your TVs digital TVs? My tv in the basement where I workout isn't so I had to attach a digital box to it in order to watch it when they changed all the channels to digital. (I rarely watch it though.....just run my dvds to it).

My tv in my kitchen is not hooked up to the antenna so I had to buy an antenna to attach to the tv which works most the time; although, on windy days it sometimes doesn't get the signal as well. I'd really like to get rid of those because I hate how they look but we've tried a couple small type antennas that just attach to the back of your tv and don't look hideous.....but I could only get like 2 channels with them, so gave up on that idea. Carol, how far are you from where your signal comes from? I'm wondering if that would work for this tv??? I just looked it up and it says 35 miles so I'm probably still to far for this.

Also, like Carol, we also have a dvd player/recorder that gets a digital signal so that we still record shows when we want to.

I do also watch streaming stuff occasionally from Netflix or Amazon thru my Wii U and my internet. We only have AT&T Broadband for internet but it still works for streaming.
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Old 12-08-16, 07:48 AM  
Carol K
 
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Location: Chicago, IL
Cheryl, we're probably pretty close to the signal, although our windows don't face in the optimum direction. Our antenna sits on a stand next to our TV facing a window. I never touch that antenna. We get about 47 channels, although some of them are duplicates and I only watch 6 of them. The TV in the basement has a digital tuner, but no antenna and I only use it for workouts. There is a small window near it and one of those flat antennas that you put in the window might work, but I haven't tried it.
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Old 12-08-16, 08:14 AM  
sherry7899
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Cheryl-all of our tv's are digital except for one. We would need to figure out something for that one.

Thanks!
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Old 12-08-16, 09:34 AM  
KarenP
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Location: Milky Way Galaxy
I use appleTV, netflix and amazon prime. With appleTV, you get some local NYC news channels, but I never watch them. I don't have local TV because I never watched it. I stream PBS through their on-line service or app.

If you're sure you want local TV and PBS broadcast and feel a digital antenna won't work for you, why not ask Verizon how much their most basis cable TV package is? It may be worth it to you to just keep that and then add on Hulu and/or Netflix, etc. with a Roku or AppleTV box.
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Old 12-08-16, 10:51 AM  
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Sherry, I tried Sling TV but was disappointed. It worked fine when I watched it during the day, but at night (when more people are using the Internet) I had problems with buffering. I never had that problem with other streaming services like Netflix. Too bad, because the Sling TV price is good (starting at $20/month). Sling TV offers a 1-week free trial so you can see how it works for you. It was easy to set up, and to cancel.

For myself I have a limited basic cable package (mostly paid for by my homeowner association), including the On Demand channel (left over, I think, from when I had a more extensive cable TV package). Believe it or not, I pay less than $3 a month for cable TV! I do, however, pay separately for a strong Internet connection. I have Roku boxes on all my TVs. I have used Netflix, which is a good service but I just found I wasn't watching it so I canceled. I currently have Amazon Prime, which costs about the same -- it has fewer shows, but of course there are other benefits . Other popular services are Hulu and Acorn (both of which are under $10/month). I prefer to get my news online from my computer or tablet, although at least one local station streams their local news online. I also supplement with DVDs from the library where I work. I always feel I have plenty to watch!
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Old 12-08-16, 10:57 AM  
yogapam
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Location: West coast of Canada, eh. ;)
We got rid of cable several months ago and have an appletv now. We are more limited in streaming services up here in Canada, but we have Netflix & Cravetv. My DH likes news channels and there are several free ones he can access. We don't miss cable at all, haven't looked back!
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Old 12-08-16, 11:48 AM  
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Sherry, I cut the cord almost three years ago. I too was very frustrated with the cost. It took a little while to get used to, but I won't ever go back. I have a Roku streaming device. It has lots of channels on it. I don't watch the news much but when a big event is happening, such as the election and the presidential debates, the network that is hosting usually streams it on Youtube. The news channels in your area may very well have a streaming channel available on Roku, and how that often works is you have to authenticate your cable or FIOS account before you can access the channel. That's fine for the basic channels, but if you want sports channels, then that might be a problem for you. Your son is a Yankee fan, right? I'm not a sports nut, so I haven't researched this. Roku does have sports channels, but I'm not sure how the subscription to those channels works.

About the channels, if you have Amazon Video, there's a Roku app for that and you can subscribe to many premium cable channels. I subscribed to Showtime, binge watched my favorite shows then cancelled the subscription. I think it is worth investigating further to see if they have what you want, but aside from the Yankees, I'll bet they do. There are even some free local news and weather channels.
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