Educate me on TV options (dropping cable)

posted 2 years ago in Home
Post # 2
Member
2428 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

There are lots of Blu Ray players that include Netflix and Hulu so you can easily stream through those, or you can get an AppleTV, or Roku Box (same thing). We use the Blu Ray player for Netflix in our bedroom and in the living room we use the Playstation. Our iMac is right next to the TV so we use a cable that connects it as a dual monitor when we want to watch things online (TubePlus, Movie4k, etc.).

We cut the cable cord almost 2 years ago and don’t miss it at all!

Post # 3
Member
8593 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I usually use my laptop for certain things (like HboGo and abc.com, etc).  But I don’t mind doing it.

There is something like a roku that basically just acts as your laptop would.  I don’t know how much they are, but I don’t think they’re that expensive.  Also, my DVD players have Netflix, Amazon Prime streaming built right into them so I just use those for Netflix and Amazon Prime.  You just have to log in. 

I use my laptop (hooked up to the TV) mainly for HBOGo and ESPN3/WatchESPN since they’re not on my DVD player.  Sports can be tricky so it depends on what you’re wanting to watch.  I mostly watch college basketball and football and between ESPN3 and a standard digital antenna I can pretty much watch most games.  There are some other streaming sites like justin.tv that I’ve used as a last resort.  But I’ve never missed a basketball game for my team.

Also I’d pick up a digital antenna ($30) so you can watch all the local channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS).

If you pay $60 a month, you’re probably fine on the internet speed but that is just a guess on my part and it depends on what you’re doing on them and how many devices.  But it should be fine for streaming video.

I’d either get a bluray DVD player or something like a roku. 

Post # 4
Member
5351 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

Chromecast!! 

I love ours and it’s like $35 that’s all, no monthly charge, you buy it, set it up and you are done. It can link to any device (phone, ipad or laptop.) It’s a small little plug looking thing that you plug into your tv and it reads from your device. So anything you watch online you send it to the Chromecast and it comes through your TV. We used to hook our laptap up to the tv, but this is so much better b/c it’s fast, no need for wires, and you don’t have to get up to change it when an episode ends. 

Post # 5
Member
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

We don’t have cable, either. We use our PS3/PS4 or AppleTV. I highly recomment AppleTV. It was $99, I believe. My only complaint is that there’s no Amazon Prime app on AppleTV, so I have to use a PS for that. Also, like PP said, most blu ray players have apps like Netflix and perform very similarly to an AppleTV/Roku box. We pay for monthly Netflix & Hulu subscriptions, in addition to Amazon Prime, and also rent movies through the PS Store or AppleTV, when we feel like it. When we had cable, our bill was almost $150 every month. We are saving so much money. I only miss cable during college football season!

Post # 6
Member
277 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Roku!! I have a roku in each room of my house. We stream all the stuff we could want from it. 

My best friend has Chromecast and loves it. =) 

Post # 8
Member
4805 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Waaaaait, a minute. I don’t get it. So if we get Roku or Chromecast how do we get stuff on the tV? And do we still need the digital antenna to get the local stuff? And would we be able to get HGTV and Food Network and stuff?? Thanks!!

Post # 9
Member
1779 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

sienna76:  We dropped cable. Freakin’ outrageously expensive. We have an x-box so we use that for Hulu and Netflix and Amazon. Amazon we get the Prime movies through our membership. If we don’t want to watch a movie we can usually find something on the 9 stations we get over the air with our antenna. So, so much cheaper. We don’t miss cable.

Post # 10
Member
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

DH and I cancelled our cable and just streamed stuff online or on Netflix for a few months. We caved and went back to cable a little while ago because DH is a huge sports fan and the cost of signing up for individual sports packages to watch online (e.g. NFL Game Rewind, NBA League Pass, etc.) was going to be close to just paying for cable! I believe there are sites where you can stream sports games live but they cut in and out and are usually pretty blurry in my experience. I think if what you typically watch on TV will be easy and free to stream online, then go for it. 

Post # 12
Member
3 posts
Wannabee

I have a Roku in the livingroom and bedroom. It is a small box that connects to the TV and can be hardwired into the internet or it can be used with wifi. You have apps on it that come preloaded (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBOtogo, Blockbuster) and you can add additonal apps (sports, politics, exercise channels) and they are around $40-$50. You of course have to have a subscription to some of the channels (Netflix, Hulu, Ect.) You cannot get food network or HGTV unless the show you want to watch is on one of the apps. With the roku you cannot get local channels, but you can get get an antenna from Best buy or Radio Shack for $20-$30.

Post # 13
Member
7179 posts
Busy Beekeeper

sienna76:  We made the leap about a year ago, so I definitely feel your pain and confusion.  All that said – I am SO glad we got rid of that extra expense!!!

First -what kind of TV do you have?  Is it newer (like the last 3 years or so)?  or older.  I ask, because a lot of the newer TV’s are ‘smart’ TV’s.  What that means is you can connect to the internet from the TV (which would give you direct access to Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, etc.)

Now, if you have an older TV, that’s when you’d might need an extra device to connect you to the internet.  But, that’s basically what you are trying to accomplish – getting your TV connected to the internet (could be done through by connecting a laptop, through some DVD/BluRay players, even some game systems, I think!).

Once you are connected to the internet…. then you have options!  This is where Hulu, Netflix, or even streaming online comes into play.  

After a WHOLE YEAR of only using the internet to watch TV, I discovered getting an antenna to get broadcast signals.  I AM KICKING MYSELF IN THE BUTT for waiting so long.  I bought an antenna from Amazon (their AmazonBasics High Performance Ultra Thin HDTV Antenna for about $35) (I tried tons of antennas and this one was the best) and voila!  I have sooooooo many local channels and it’s all in high definition!  ALL for free (well, just the cost of the antenna!!).  Keep in mind, the antenna is just for network TV and it all depends on how far you are from the broadcast signal.  There’s a website called antennaweb.org that you can use to see how far you live from the signals in your area.

For sports, basically – DH is screwed IF they only broadcast what he watches on cable channels.  However, depending on what it is – they could stream it online.  If it’s on regular network TV, then the antenna would take care of that.  What channel(s) does he currently use to watch his games?

Post # 14
Member
8593 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

RedHeadKel:  I think Roku plugs into your TV and you pick with application (like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBOGo) you want to use and sign in (if needed).  Digital antenna is just standard live television, but just the free channels (which are ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS, etc).

Many channels stream their programming online too.  ABC does.  HGTV says they have full episodes http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv-full-episodes/videos/index.html but I’m not sure, they look a little short in length?  http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/players/food-network-full-episodes.html

It really depends on what you watch.

Sports really depend on what sports and teams you follow.  For the most part, I am able to watch what I want.  Especially with college basketball since ESPN dominates most of the broadcasts.  There are some of the individual networks that sometimes I am not able to access (Big 10 network, Longhorn network), so you can run into problems there.  But it also depends on the teams, some are more readily available than others.  If you happen to follow a team that is always good than you get a lot more airtime and it’s easier to watch.  All of the better games are usually on ESPN3 or a major network so aside from the ones that are on conference specific channels, I can watch all of the major games. 

The only thing I have to watch out for are blackouts with following my own team because occasionally ESPN3 will blackout certain games if you’re within the viewing area.  That is when I’ve used justin.tv but the quality isn’t as great.  With that I am basically watching a stream of ESPN3 that someone else is streaming from their own computer outside of the blackout area.  There is a specific user that streams all of our games.  Or I can just go to a sports bar to watch.

But I don’t follow baseball or the NBA really so I’ve never tried to watch those.  The only NFL I watch are local games which are always played on CBS or Fox, so a regular antenna works for those.

Post # 15
Member
825 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception / Courtyard Marriott Legacy Ballroom

I use a Roku connected to the internet via WiFi – our internet comes via FiOS (fiber optics) and I don’t know off the top of my head how much we’re paying. I stream all my main shows on the Netflix app and Hulu Plus app; the subsciption is about $8 per month for each. The Roku was a $50 one-time fee. I also watch shows on the PBS app on Roku, no subscription necessary, and I have a couple fitness channel apps – I always look for the ones that don’t require a subscription. We no longer have cable, and the only thing I miss is the Syfy Network – I used to watch a lot of shows on there! But Netflix is starting to have more of those shows available now.

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