Getting rid of cable...

Discussion in 'Technical Reference Threads' started by evenflow, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. evenflow

    evenflow Lofty Administrator

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    Okay, not cable but Direct TV. The bills have gotten a bit ridiculous, and still there's nothing on. I know the tech is out there, but I'm ignorant of what exactly it would take. I still want the shows I want, when I want them, and I love my DVR. Not too mention sports, I will need ESPN.

    So, assume all stupid questions, how do I go about it? Streaming, Hulu, Netflix? Do I need a wifi capable TV? Doctor Who is a family event in this house, really don't want to huddle around the ipad to watch the latest episode.

    Here's the tech currently in the house...

    iPad
    Kindle Fire
    Laptop
    Netbook
    Wii (wifi w/netflix)
    Direct TV w/ DVR

    I can of course get over the air HD no problem, so that takes care of the locals. I'm currently paying $100 per month, without a premium movie channel, what's out there?
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  2. Fisherman's Worf

    Fisherman's Worf Hamachi is a fish best served cold

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    Hulu Plus and Netflix should cover most of your needs for under $20/month. There are other streaming services (Amazon I think?), and I think iTunes still sells TV episodes the day after they air for certain shows. You already have a Netflix capable Wii and an HD antenna so you're more than halfway there, but I don't know if you can get Hulu on the Wii. I usually run both Netflix and Hulu on my PS3. You don't need a Wifi capable TV--if your TV has an ethernet port you can hook it up directly. Otherwise, look into finding the right cables to hook your laptop up to the TV. If your laptop and TV both have HDMI ports, use an HDMI cable. Otherwise you will need a VGA-to-Composite cable and an audio cable or VGA-to-Component cable and an audio cable.

    Don't buy the cable(s) in a store, buy it from Monoprice.com. Waaay cheaper.
  3. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    We've been without cable since April, no big deal. We don't watch much TV and what we did watch was covered by Amazon Prime.

    A couple months ago, my brother got me this. I have it hooked up to my TV and it's great. Thought I would never have a desktop again, but it is really nice actually.

    As for sports, PM. I figured out how to stream any live sport you want. It won't be HD, but it's decent.
  4. Mr. Plow

    Mr. Plow Fuck Y'all

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    Hulu is available on the Wii now.
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  5. Phoenix

    Phoenix Sociopath

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    We got rid of satellite TV several years ago for the same reason. Hulu will get you most of the first run TV shows either a day, or a week after it is first aired. For the shows that aren't, I suggest: http://www.free-tv-video-online.me/internet/ for free streaming TV, I've been using them for a couple years now and I've never gotten a virus, or even malware. Use either "Putlocker", "Sockshare", or "Gorilla Vid" for the best results.
  6. Fisherman's Worf

    Fisherman's Worf Hamachi is a fish best served cold

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    Awesome! :techman: In that case, evenflow, all you really need is your Wii running Netflix and Hulu, plus whatever secretive fix Ancalagon is suggesting in order to get sports. Plus I'm sure your local broadcast channels carry plenty of sports.
  7. evenflow

    evenflow Lofty Administrator

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    I'll mess around with it this weekend then. Thanks.
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  8. Aenea

    Aenea .

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  9. Ramen

    Ramen Banned

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    Let me know if you would like a subscription to the Ramen's Online Penis Escapades (ROPE) channel. :yes:
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  10. frontline

    frontline Hedonistic Glutton Staff Member Moderator

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    Let me know how this goes. I've about had it as well. Like your, Dr. Who is a family event. If I can get Nat Geo, Discovery, cartoon, boomerang, History, science, Animal planet, outdoor channel, maybe smithsonian I'd be set.

    Oh and SHE wants lifetime so she can watch "Drop Dead Diva"
  11. Aenea

    Aenea .

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    That's our list as well.... minus lifetime. :D
  12. frontline

    frontline Hedonistic Glutton Staff Member Moderator

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    You have no idea how much I hate your husband right now.
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  13. Eccentric

    Eccentric Budtender

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    I thought the biggest problem with Netflix streaming with the Wii is that the Wii can only output 480p, whereas with other devices you can stream at least up to 720p or 1080p. It would seem the picture quality would lack with the Wii compared to 360s, PS3s, PCs or a Roku-like device.

    So while not all shows are in HD, you'll still lack the HD option with Wii video streaming.

    Just something to keep in mind, not sure if it matters to you or not.
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  14. Azure

    Azure I could kick your ass

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    What kind of internet connection do you have?
  15. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    :backaway:
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  16. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    Wow.....a few decades ago I was watching three channels (four counting public television) and I needed plyers to change the channel knob, the television costing two week's wages. :rant:
  17. Aenea

    Aenea .

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    Not sure what it will be when we move in a couple of months. But I think DSL at the moment.

    There is a reason we don't know. We were the last on this hub 8 years ago and they haven't put in a new hub. So we aren't sure what will happen when we move.
  18. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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    You could always use an aerial for local news and just get high speed internet & netflicks for the rest.
  19. Tex

    Tex Forge or die. Administrator Formerly Important

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    I added Hulu Plus a few days ago, honestly I'm not seeing any real advantage on that one vs regular Hulu. I'm going to use it for a month and see how I feel.

    I actually have Amazon Prime because I use the 2 day shipping a lot but haven't tried the video service yet. So I need to play around with it too.

    I also have Netflix which has a great deal of content. In fact I still have a Slingbox hooked up to my parents cable from back in my Shreveport days and access to their HBO Go account.

    I haven't done the research on it but if a Roku or Boxee Box has access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus I'll probably pick one up. It would be a bonus if they could also access the Slingbox and/or HBO Go.

    The only reason I'm not just hooking up a computer to the living room TV is that the simple interface of our current Apple TV (and future Roku or Boxee) keeps me from having to be the over the phone IT support when something goes slightly wrong for whatever reason when I'm not home.

    I'm thinking that after football season I'll get rid of cable again.
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  20. Mr. Plow

    Mr. Plow Fuck Y'all

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    Roku has Netflix & Hulu+. Not sure about Amazon.
  21. Talkahuano

    Talkahuano Second Flame Lieutenant

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    Amazon has mostly old stuff, and a lot of stuff for sale at a "discount" to Prime members. You'll have good luck with stuff 10 years or older, anything else is hit and miss.
  22. frontline

    frontline Hedonistic Glutton Staff Member Moderator

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    So how did this go? What did you find? Did you guys ever make a decision?

    Any comments on Roku Vs. Boxee? Any other alternatives? Would you really need either of them if you have a Blu-Ray player / game system with internet access? What about DVR capability? Do you even need DVR capability?
  23. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 RadioNinja

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    I actually brought home a Roku. It worked as advertised, but the problem was that certain channels like ESPN and Hulu will only work with high-end boxes like an X-Box.
  24. frontline

    frontline Hedonistic Glutton Staff Member Moderator

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    Wait..what? Only work with an X-Box? Please elaborate.

    I'm asking because SHSBOED has had it with our current fees.
  25. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 RadioNinja

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    ESPN and Hulu won't come through the browser on the Hulu. Check the label on the box carefully, because if it doesn't show the channel you want, you won't be able to see it.
  26. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    There is a place that has pretty much every sport channel streaming. Hit me up over PM if you want the link.
  27. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    IIRC, Hulu+ will work with a Roku, but not the free version of Hulu. The ESPN/X-Box requires, at the least, an X-Box Live membership ($12/mo., IIRC) and may require paying ESPN some $$ as well. For the widest variety of content, your best bet is a PC hooked up to a TV, Roku is the second best option. Clicker.tv has listings for most movies and TV shows on which service.
  28. frontline

    frontline Hedonistic Glutton Staff Member Moderator

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    So a PC costing $500 or more is the best bet? I'm going to assume that it's also one PC per TV? I.e. I've got 5 of them in the house.
  29. Tex

    Tex Forge or die. Administrator Formerly Important

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    Raspberry Pi, $25.
  30. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Can't watch Netflix on a Raspberry Pi, though, as it doesn't support Silverlight, which is what Netflix is currently using.

    frontline, it all depends upon what you want to do. For example, if you want to make sure kids can only see "kid friendly stuff," then you can probably get away with a Roku box in their room, since sites like Netflix have "Just for Kids" sections, while sticking a PC in the family room/den/your bedroom.

    There might be away to set up a media center PC and have it stream to the other TVs in your house, but I don't know for certain. If you do go the PC route, you either want a fairly powerful PC, or you want one you've got stripped down to little more than the OS and the browser. I used an older PC with XP on it, and didn't have too many problems (until the PC died, that is), so you wouldn't necessarily have to spend $500. The big issue is going to be the amount of RAM you have available, not the processor or video card specs (though you don't want something completely ancient, either).

    I'd stay away from Google TV devices for a while, however. Everyone hates the UI on them, even though the current version is better than the previous versions.