Yet Another "Cutting the Cord" - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 29 Old 06-27-16, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Yet Another "Cutting the Cord"

Hello! I searched for, but couldn't find, answers to my questions about saving money by replacing Cable TV service/hardware. And I haven't done much research on the different options either (Roku, Apple TV, etc.).
Please point me to a different thread if it's already been covered...

First, some background:
We don't watch many channels, but like on-demand type movies. Only three rooms need service. I think we live in a strong reception area being near a major metropolitan area (if that matters). We currently pay Comcast about $180/month for bundled TV/internet/landline. They maintain that the landline is required for internet service. I did notice quite a performance increase over my previous ATT service while surfing on my PC. But I was not streaming audio or video content at the time.

Next, a bunch of questions:
  1. Is there a "Guide to Cutting the Cord for Dummies" out there?
  2. Anyone favor one/some "aftermarket" solutions over others? Why?
  3. Specifically, what are the ups/downs of Roku over Hulu over Apple TV over Netflix?
  4. Do I need the fastest internet available in my region to stream content? If not, is there a downside?
  5. Can I get local channels over an indoor antenna? How much does a good antenna cost?
  6. Where on the roof do you mount an indoor antenna? Hey, just seeing if you're paying attention (lol)!
  7. Is more hardware needed for multiple rooms, or do you just stream to each TV?

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post #2 of 29 Old 06-27-16, 02:16 PM
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Re: Yet Another "Cutting the Cord"

Well, I see this offered in Indianappolis

http://www.xfinity.com/internet-service

It looks like internet only. Here in Tallahassee you have to have at least basic TV service to get internet. Do not have to have a land line. I'd call Comcast again & ask them, or go online to "support." They are at least famous for offering a deal to customers that say they are switching to another provider.
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post #3 of 29 Old 06-27-16, 05:31 PM
 
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Re: Yet Another "Cutting the Cord"

1: I haven't seen one.
2: My preference is Kodi. I like it because it looks great, and is super flexible too.
3: I don't use Roku...sorry
4: Fast internet is a good idea, but make sure you don't run into caps or go over your limits.
5: Try this website... https://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
6: I have mounted it to the peak of the roof, or attached it with straps to the chimney. A good rooftop antenna is under $100.
7: In our house we ran the antenna wire to our living room, and connected it to a splitter which feeds 3 SiliconeDust dual tuners. We now can record or view from any of the 6 tuners or our HDDs. The Silicone Dust tuners only require one antenna feed each, and then send the video via cat5 cable to your NAS, and Media Centers in each room. Our media Centers were around $100 each, but you can use Windows Media Center for free. The problem with WMC is that they have stopped supporting it, so we have no idea how long that will be an option. JRiver also is nice for a Media Center. Some people like Plex, but i prefer the Kodi boxes. It is all depending on what you like. You can download Kodi for free, and I believe Plex is either free or free for a trial period.

Hope this helps you...we cut the cable a year or two ago.

Ron

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Yamaha CX-A5100, (3) JBL 2360A/EV DHA-1s, (3) 1/4 Pie bass bins, (2 pr) JBL 8340As, (2 pr) JBL 8320s, PS3, XBox One, (2) Intel NUCs, Redmere HDMI cables, Monster Signature HTPS7000, (2) Furman Power Conditioners, (2) DTS-10 subs, Panasonic AE8000, SeymourAV 180 (195" diag) scope screen, Darbee Darcet, Panamorph UH-480 lens, (2) Crest Audio 2208, Yamaha XM-4080 & P7000s, (2) MiniDSP DDRC-88M, Oppo UDP-203

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post #4 of 29 Old 06-27-16, 06:13 PM
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Re: Yet Another "Cutting the Cord"

Ellisr63 wrote:

Quote:
we cut the cable a year or two ago
You did not mention what you do for internet.
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post #5 of 29 Old 06-28-16, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Yet Another "Cutting the Cord"

Thank you for all these details! Now digesting...

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post #6 of 29 Old 06-28-16, 12:23 PM
 
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Re: Yet Another "Cutting the Cord"

Quote:
Tonto wrote: View Post
Ellisr63 wrote:



You did not mention what you do for internet.
We have Wave (used to be Astound) for our internet with a 100 meg download speed, and a 1 TB cap. We stream some movies, but mostly we stream Youtube, and browse the internet with it. All of our Media Players access the internet with it too.

Ron

My Home Theater
Yamaha CX-A5100, (3) JBL 2360A/EV DHA-1s, (3) 1/4 Pie bass bins, (2 pr) JBL 8340As, (2 pr) JBL 8320s, PS3, XBox One, (2) Intel NUCs, Redmere HDMI cables, Monster Signature HTPS7000, (2) Furman Power Conditioners, (2) DTS-10 subs, Panasonic AE8000, SeymourAV 180 (195" diag) scope screen, Darbee Darcet, Panamorph UH-480 lens, (2) Crest Audio 2208, Yamaha XM-4080 & P7000s, (2) MiniDSP DDRC-88M, Oppo UDP-203

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post #7 of 29 Old 06-30-16, 10:24 AM
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Re: Yet Another "Cutting the Cord"

There are many different philosophies on cutting the cord.

I went with TiVo and an antenna. Yes, there's a monthly fee, but it's a far cry from what I was paying for satellite.

If you get a 'master' TiVo unit for one room, you can then get 'slave' TiVo Mini boxes for the other rooms and not have a monthly fee on the Minis. This setup does, however, require all devices to be connected via ethernet, but it's a great setup.

The TiVo will include your Netflix, Amazon/Prime, Hulu, Vudu, and more accounts when searching for content, which is REALLY nice when you're trying to find something specific. Or, did your local channel break-in to cover weather during the last 10 minutes of your favorite show? That's cool, delete the recording and if it's on Hulu or any other provided streaming service, it will show up immediately and you can finish via stream. Just now realizing Aquarius is a great show? No problem, when you set up your season pass to record it, it will automatically tell you that season 1 is available from Netflix, so you can binge that quick before you continue watching season 2 via the antenna.

The Bolt is 4K. It's fast. It's really a great starting point, depending on what you need, it may be a one-box solution (plus your blu-ray player). It's the closest thing to an off-the-shelf all-in-one I've found if you want to have an antenna & DVR. Outside of TiVo, you're building a home theater PC for this much.

I also have a couple AppleTV boxes, but rarely use them anymore. Only for other things, like Cody or iTunes. The differences between AppleTV & Roku are getting smaller now that Apple opened up the OS for developers. I'm a Mac guy, so it was the no brainer, but if you use Vudu or any of the other Ultraviolet streaming services, the AppleTV can't access them. And vice versa, the iTunes store isn't on any of the other boxes.

As for the antenna, the antenna manufacturers are really doing a pretty good job of giving you good info for selecting an antenna. Check out http://antennaweb.org and tvfool.com/ to get started selecting an antenna. If you plug in your location, it will show you all the towers around you, which you should receive, and what design of antenna to get. Then you can shop around and figure out exactly what model to buy and where you want to mount it. I have a ClearStream 2V and it works great...I'm surrounded by tall, old trees and about 15-30 miles from most of the towers, in two different directions.

There are also a couple DIY antennae that supposedly work fantastically that are made with a couple wire hangers, some screws and a 2x4. If you're attic mounting, perhaps that is something you want to try to save money.
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post #8 of 29 Old 06-30-16, 10:34 AM
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Re: Yet Another "Cutting the Cord"

I would also add that if you haven't already, if at all possible, get an ethernet switch to put behind your rack and hardwire everything you have to the network. Performance blows wireless away, and if you're going to be streaming more content than before, it's worth the trouble.
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post #9 of 29 Old 07-01-16, 09:15 PM
 
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Re: Yet Another "Cutting the Cord"

Quote:
thrillcat wrote: View Post
I would also add that if you haven't already, if at all possible, get an ethernet switch to put behind your rack and hardwire everything you have to the network. Performance blows wireless away, and if you're going to be streaming more content than before, it's worth the trouble.
That's what we did too, and I will add get one with more ports than you think you will ever need, and you might not run out of ports.
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Ron

My Home Theater
Yamaha CX-A5100, (3) JBL 2360A/EV DHA-1s, (3) 1/4 Pie bass bins, (2 pr) JBL 8340As, (2 pr) JBL 8320s, PS3, XBox One, (2) Intel NUCs, Redmere HDMI cables, Monster Signature HTPS7000, (2) Furman Power Conditioners, (2) DTS-10 subs, Panasonic AE8000, SeymourAV 180 (195" diag) scope screen, Darbee Darcet, Panamorph UH-480 lens, (2) Crest Audio 2208, Yamaha XM-4080 & P7000s, (2) MiniDSP DDRC-88M, Oppo UDP-203

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post #10 of 29 Old 07-08-16, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Yet Another "Cutting the Cord"

Quote:
ellisr63 wrote: View Post
2: My preference is Kodi. I like it because it looks great, and is super flexible too.
The Kodi Edition Raspberry Pi Case does look super fine, as does the GUI. And after skimming the app notes I agree it's a tinkerer's dream!

Quote:
ellisr63 wrote: View Post
4: Fast internet is a good idea, but make sure you don't run into caps or go over your limits.
Thanks for the caps & limits reminder. I'll be sure to revisit that... Comcast initially had a ridiculously low cap, but I believe has since lifted it to almost unlimited levels.

Quote:
ellisr63 wrote: View Post
7: In our house we ran the antenna wire to our living room, and connected it to a splitter which feeds 3 SiliconeDust dual tuners. We now can record or view from any of the 6 tuners or our HDDs. The Silicone Dust tuners only require one antenna feed each, and then send the video via cat5 cable to your NAS, and Media Centers in each room. .... JRiver also is nice for a Media Center.
That's good news - I already have and use JRiver for music, so double duty for video is possible; but I don't plan on configuring or using a HTPC. Is that a deal breaker? Please explain exactly what you mean by "Media Center in each room." TIA!

Quote:
ellisr63 wrote: View Post
Some people like Plex, but i prefer the Kodi boxes. It is all depending on what you like.
And therein lies the rub. So many choices are daunting. Please answer me this... Aside from manually switching sources, what are the pros/cons of just using your smart TV to find media?

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