Are you Ditching Your Cable Company?

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,530 22 9
#1
On December 26th of 2018, my household officially joined the cord-cutters club. For the first time since 1988, I don’t have cable TV (at least not in the traditional, non-streaming sense). The process has been relatively painless thanks to a high-speed internet connection, a Roku set-top box, and the plethora of streaming services that are finally creating real competition for the big cable companies. If you aren’t satisfied with your cable company’s bloated content packages and sluggish hardware, you have options. Subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, and Sling TV are providing nearly everything I could ever want to watch, but there are some notable omissions. If you’re a fan of local news and sports, you might not be fully satisfied with your chosen collection of streaming services. For that you might find yourself hooking up an HD antenna to capture the free, over-the-air uncompressed broadcasts of local channels.

tivo.jpg


The TiVo Bolt OTA is vying for your business to become your one stop shop for all streaming and local content from one box.

Will it having you cutting the cord once and for all? Share your thoughts in the forum thread below.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,053 9 12
#2
I cut the cord years ago- found that I was watching about 20 channels on a regular basis and since I'm not a sports addict (basically like to watch local or state teams),all of the ESPNs aren't an attraction. I had to go to the 2nd tier packages in order to get the Golf Channel and there's still no 'a la carte' packaging, so.....

I decided that I don't want to be a slave to TV in the sense of "I have to watch if paying so much will provide enough value" and because I have other things to do. Another reason- I just don't like a lot of what's on TV. No Dancing With The Stars, no America Has Talent, no shows that make people look stupid so I can feel good about myself or any of that stuff- I just don't care.

I have Roku on my TVs and to be honest, I watch YouTube. A lot. The Bucks and Brewers aren't on local channels, but I can watch highlights on YT. When the Brewers were heading to the Series last year, I signed up for one of the sports channels to watch, but canceled after they lost in their last round of playoffs. This year, I expect to do the same with the Bucks, since they're kicking but and taking names and, hopefully, with the Brewers. I'm even able to watch highlights of the high school I went to- I didn't know the basketball program had improved so much and they even have two of the Top Ten players in the country on this year's team- when I was there, they couldn't play their way past a grade school team. YT has a lot of live music shows & clips or info about just about everything and I also watch webinars for the products I sell, or am considering. Other than that, I use Netflix, Qello, Amazon Prime and a few other main channels- given the choice between music and TV, I prefer music, so.......
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
7,313 8 26
#3
I DID ditch them. They know that people are cord cutting, so they give MUCH better deals to add TV service back that it is actually more cost effective to do so, so they can keep their numbers and look good. They even go so far as to require you to activate the box, which I didn't do the first time and they charged me for NOT using it WTF? (I got them to reverse the charges). This time I just activated it and then don't use it.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,468 7 20
#4
We cut the cord years ago, never looked back. Technically, I maintained the minimal local channels because the package actually worked out better with the upgraded internet, and it was more convenient than an antenna.

You can always find a local bar with plenty of big-screen TVs to go get your sports fix.

When I moved recently, speaking with the Spectrum rep to get my internet transferred over, I discovered that Spectrum has a stream-only option. I was able to get upgraded internet and the stream-only option for a very desirable price, and this includes the local channels. The catch is that you need a smart TV, an XBOX, Roku, or some other device to run the Spectrum App. I already had XBOX, so I was all set. The app is also available on the Play Store, so we can also stream cable on any Android device.

Of course, there are other streaming options out there.
 
J

Jamesrxx951

Enthusiast
Ratings
5
#5
I got rid of them while my wife and I were building our 3rd home. DirecTV now fit our needs. Especially since we didn't watch much TV at the time. Right now I have DirecTV but if they don't keep me at $35 a month like i am at now, they are gone. I wired for an antenna in my attic space to pull local channels and CAT6 in all rooms. It was weird at first streaming but you can get used to it and we may be back to streaming in a few months again. Since we don't watch much TV I'm not going to pay much to watch it.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
1,045
#6
It’s been around a year since the Lady fires DirecTV... every year it was a hassle arguing with them over the “end-of-contract wallet-rape” they engaged in. She succeeded in getting them to drop the price every time for 5+yrs, until finally, their retention rep wouldn’t go along. Between Sling and other streaming options, she gets everything she wants at over 50% savings for what DirecTV was charging!
 
Phase 2

Phase 2

Full Audioholic
Ratings
170 1 33
#7
I have cable, COX with internet, added HBO for the upcoming GOT. Also have home phone. I went with that because it's their (bronze package) 89.00 a month. But your locked in a two year contract after 12 months it goes up to their regular price something like over 200 bucks! Needless to say I'm not to thrilled about it. HBO plays to same movies over and over! Since GOT took so long for their last season I've lost interest. Outside of the internet which is what I really wanted in the first place. That alone would have ran me close to 90 bucks a month. I stream the apps on my 4K TV which is much better than what is on the COX cable. Now I did add a over the air antenna 27 bucks. I get 15 channels from that, very clear too! All the local channels for free. So at a $149.00 a month and after the 12 month goes up to past 200, I don't believe I'll keep it. Sorry COX! As for the early cancellation fee, yeah try and get that from me. Sure my credit score will get jacked up oh well.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
7,394 19 6
#8
We're champions. We don't quit. Except for Cable. We quit cable. :D

I love that DTV football commercial. :D

 
XEagleDriver

XEagleDriver

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
250 1
#9
BLUF: We have ZERO regrets in dumping the low signal quality, over-priced, and ancient channel search/guide function of the cable company.

We performed a cable-cision in the Summer of 2018 and initially used indoor multi-directional antennas on stands or the wall.

1) ANTENNA INSTALL. I re-installed the multi-directional indoor HDTV antennas up in our attic, one for each of three primary TVs. The attic installation choice was to get them above the AntennaWeb.com recommended install height of 30' above ground level. This move improved reception and signal quality immensely, well worth the bit of crawling around I had to do!

2) ANTENNA CHOICE. The best constructed indoor multidirectional antenna I found was the~$30 Mohu Leaf model 30 with ~30 Mile Range. This type antenna was appropriate for our location in relation to distance from the broadcast sites. I like it because the antenna has a connector to the RF cable, not an integrated low quality and fixed length wire like most others, and price was about the same.

3) CHANNELS. In our area (outskirts of Columbia SC) we pull in 31 OTA HDTV channels, when you eliminate the QVC, HSN, and other BS channels, it leaves 25 solid performers.
The 25 include local affiliates for ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and four ETV stations.
- What we did not expect was the wide variety of other channels like; Bounce, Comet, Cozi, CW, Escape, Grit, Heroes & Icons, ION, Justice, Laff, Me-TV, Qubo, Quest, Start, and TbD.
These channels plus a $25 FireStick streamer on each TV is more than enough.

Cheers,
XEagelDriver
 
Phase 2

Phase 2

Full Audioholic
Ratings
170 1 33
#10
What I would spend on (COX) in the two years for having nothing in the end, could buy a Flagship AVR and a nice pair of speakers.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
7,394 19 6
#11
I have COX cable, internet, home phone. So at a $149.00 a month and after the 12 month goes up to past 200, I don't believe I'll keep it. Sorry COX! As for the early cancellation fee, yeah try and get that from me. Sure my credit score will get jacked up oh well.
Yeah, we quit cable when we moved into our new house 2 years ago.

Home Phone - I switched to Ooma. You need to buy a one-time device for like $99. Then it's free home phone - you just have to pay the same government fees of $4/month as you would pay for Cox home phone. You can even transfer your old home phone number if you don't cancel the old number first.

Home Internet - I have AT&T 1-gigabit fiber optic internet for $80/month for life.

TV - I have Direct TV Select. I have to call them every year to get them to lower the price to $40 per month. If they ever decide to not give me the deal, I will cancel and go to SLING TV.

Cell Phone - AT&T. $189/mo (include all tax, fees) for 4 cell phones. Unlimited Data up to 20GB for 4G.
 
Last edited:
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
4,930 22 9
#12
It has been over 10 years since I quit!
I'm not much of a sports fan, so it was a no-brainer.
I live close enough to Atlanta to pick up a pretty good assortment of over the air broadcasts and recognize a fair number of games are available OTA, but I can't give details because other than the SuperBowl and a couple of college meet-ups, I just don't care that much. I really only look at OTA if there is some seriously important local news. The free services through Roku plus Hulu plus NetFlix plus Amazon Prime offer more watchable programs than I am willing to spend time in front of the TV.
A few months ago, I bought a BDP that had been returned and the person who had it left his HBO account setup on it. I haven't checked to see if it is still active, but I am hoping it is still good when GOT comes back on! In the past, I have signed up for HBO and watched GOT then cancelled.
How good are the sports options now? I have generally advised anyone who watches sports to stick with cable!
 
davidscott

davidscott

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
225
#14
It has been over 10 years since I quit!
I'm not much of a sports fan, so it was a no-brainer.
I live close enough to Atlanta to pick up a pretty good assortment of over the air broadcasts and recognize a fair number of games are available OTA, but I can't give details because other than the SuperBowl and a couple of college meet-ups, I just don't care that much. I really only look at OTA if there is some seriously important local news. The free services through Roku plus Hulu plus NetFlix plus Amazon Prime offer more watchable programs than I am willing to spend time in front of the TV.
A few months ago, I bought a BDP that had been returned and the person who had it left his HBO account setup on it. I haven't checked to see if it is still active, but I am hoping it is still good when GOT comes back on! In the past, I have signed up for HBO and watched GOT then cancelled.
How good are the sports options now? I have generally advised anyone who watches sports to stick with cable!
Yep GOT was the only reason I had HBO and I cancelled after season 7. Might have to pick it up again for the last season.
 
Phase 2

Phase 2

Full Audioholic
Ratings
170 1 33
#15
Since I'm older and having had the so called American dream, meaning, cars, trucks, motorcycles, brick home, some of the best audio/video gear. Nothing seems to impress me that much anymore. I find less is more at this stage in my life. If I had the best money could offer don't know what I do with it.
 
one more time

one more time

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
28
#17
When we lived outside NYC we got about 40 OTA stations. Since moving to the middle of nowhere, we get five channels and the nearest large markets are 90+ miles away. The only networks we get are the CW and CBS.

Streaming content is no problem, Getting real time network programming is. We're forced to go either cable or satellite.. ...at least the cable provider provides a solid, quick internet connection, albiet at a price.

As for FM, thank God for Tunein.
 
Phase 2

Phase 2

Full Audioholic
Ratings
170 1 33
#18
When we lived outside NYC we got about 40 OTA stations. Since moving to the middle of nowhere, we get five channels and the nearest large markets are 90+ miles away. The only networks we get are the CW and CBS.

Streaming content is no problem, Getting real time network programming is. We're forced to go either cable or satellite.. ...at least the cable provider provides a solid, quick internet connection, albiet at a price.

As for FM, thank God for Tunein.
Much better music on netradio! It's really sad how much censorship here in USA, FM radio? Stick a fork in for as I care.
 
Joe B

Joe B

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
435 1
#19
Cut the cable cords in 2005. But unlike most here, having only DSL, I've never even considered streaming services. Display is hooked to Oppo 103D. Any TV shows, movies, concerts, etc. I want to watch I purchase on disc.
 
G

GymW

Audiophyte
#20
I have used OTA TV all my live coupled with internet streaming devices. I have always been satisfied with it. That said my experience with TIVO (I have a Roamio) has been abysmal with abhorrent customer service and technical support combined with terrible and complex user interfaces, both on-screen and mobile devices, unreliable connectors, poor implementation of voice recognition and Alexia, control redundancy, and costly additions for multiple TV's. While the actual boxes are of reasonable value, the subscription costs are ridiculous. Additionally the lifetime subscription is NOT transferable if you ever decide to upgrade the primary hardware box. They require you to pay hundreds of dollars all over again for the same subscription you already have. Alexia commands are poorly documented. The are advertisements appearing on the equipment and often offers offering hardware upgrades at low prices so they can hit you with new subscription costs. There are times the equipment just stops working for no reason at all, causing you to miss recordings, requiring a complete reboot of the box. Internet connectivity sometime just simply ceases to work require a systemic reboot of all your TIVO devices if you have TIVO accessories hooked to other TV's. While the main TIVO box supports WiFi, the TIVO Mini's (for other TV's) do not requiring a wired ethernet connection or special cable. I you wish to expand storage it must be done externally and should you wish to change out or remove the external storage, all you shows must be seen and/or deleted as removing the external storage will cause loss of everything you have saved on the main box. This means you cannot swap out your external storage with an additional drive for archive or to save more recordings. TIVO allows view of shows on a computer or mobile device but does not allow downloading or copying recordings from the main box. However their is 3rd party software that will do this. So I invite you to do your research. Their are other worthwhile competitors to TIVO available that will likely cost less and are more flexible. The only differences I have found between the Roamio and the Bolt so far, is that the Bolt has streaming and voice recognition built-in instead of being an paid accessory and the case styling is different. In regards to commercial skipping, it only works if the broadcast station allows it. Otherwise you are either using fast forward or the 1 minute jump button repeatedly to skip the commercial. FYI: As an example of poor engineering the Voice Recognition Remote 4 ways on the same remote to skip a commercial on the same remote, each requiring a button push, but Voice Recognition does not have a way to place the box into "Standby" mode (turn the box off).

In my opinion the only reason to choose TIVO is if you have money to burn and/or are a masochist.
 

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