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Any Suggestions for “Breaking the Cord” on Cable TV
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 

April 16, 2021 - 8:08 am
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 1589
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My wife has told me that she has paid her last bill for the cable company.  I have now received a commission to receive any over the air transmissions I can in the dim reaches of the homestead, and to supplement them with streaming services.

My immediate concern is to find a means to archive the over the air programming on some sort of a dvr so I can view upon my schedule and fast forward through commercials.  Comments and suggestions welcomed.

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed. —William Gibson


April 16, 2021 - 9:37 am
Member Since: August 23, 2020
Forum Posts: 544
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Dont you have freeview boxes over there. In the uk for free programs we buy a freeview recorder works just like a sky box.


April 16, 2021 - 9:45 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 1800
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@Irv -

Here ya go - 

I'm not very tech-savy, but says here - you can use these OTA devices or that most streaming services offer cloud DVR.


Only reason I haven't completely cut the cord is because our great internet speed is tied to our cable TV... but won't be long - already using mostly ROKU in the house. 


April 16, 2021 - 4:20 pm
Member Since: July 13, 2017
Forum Posts: 304
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@Irv I have steadfastly refused to subscribe to any cable system, even when it was available. Now that I'm in very rural east Texas (70 mi east of Dallas TV towers!) I've had to find more reliable means to watch TV. 

I've also refused to go with the little dish TV (DISH, DIRECTV) because their pricing tactics are too similar to cable systems. For several years I used a 10' movable dish and subscribed to TV programming that used to be available on that medium. I still have the dishes up and tried to use FTA (Free to Air) satellite receivers, but most of the programming was not to my test (lots of Arabic, Indian, Chinese programs though!)

Now that I've been able to get 20MB dsl service out here, my main TV provider is using a ROKU (several actually, one on each TV) to subscribe (many free also) streaming services. My main source is Fubo.TV which has most of the normal cable channels as well as locals. They provide a "cloud" DVR that gives me 500 hours of recording time. This allows FF through commercials and remembers were I left off if I don't finish watching a program. Also, the price has stayed very stable over the last couple of years. 

Bob in Lone Oak, Texas


April 16, 2021 - 4:52 pm
Member Since: June 24, 2020
Forum Posts: 222
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I got rid of cable TV a couple of years ago.  I record from OTA TV with a “leaf” type indoor antenna & a digital converter box—they are fairly inexpensive ($20-$35).  Here’s the one I use:

ViewTV ATSC Digital Converter Box for TV, HDMI Cable Recording PVR Function Output USB LED Timer Display AT-163

digconverterbox.jpgImage EnlargerIn order to record (for the one I use), you need plug a USB storage device into it (I use an external hard drive). 

I like this device because I can watch the recordings on the TV its hooked up to, or I can take the USB hard drive, plug it into my PC, & copy the recordings to it & watch it on any of my devices in my house (different ways to do this, internal network, etc., I won’t bore you with my geekiness).

As for streaming, I use Roku.  I used Amazon Firesticks previously, but I like the options on Roku much better, and I think they operate better than the Firestick (you can access Amazon Prime on it, too, if you have that).  Roku also has lots of free apps with free shows on them.

I’ve used SlingTV when it first started—I liked that it is pre-paid, & you can cancel anytime, no contract.  I would cancel it during the summer months, because I wasn’t watching much of it, & then restart it in the Fall.  Cancelling/restarting very easy—can be done online, with no hassle (definitely not like cable company).

However, I now use Philo TV—it’s cheaper ($20 a month).  Not a good option if you are looking for sports channels, though (doesn’t have them).  Same deal as SlingTV—prepaid, no contract, cancel/restart anytime.

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Sacramento, California

April 16, 2021 - 7:40 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 1144
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I use Hulu Live, which includes local OTA channels. I believe YouTube TV does as well. 

I don't see a huge difference between different streaming services other than their channel lineups. Cloud DVR is pretty much standard now.


April 16, 2021 - 7:49 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 1589
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Bob, I was unable to find your name among the offerings to send you a notice.  

Are you able to view the United armed forces satellite network on your satellite dish?  I would think that would be useful and it would have major sport events.

I found a version of roku that has a head phone jack on the remote control.  That feature looks useful.

I have attempted a 30 mile range indoor antenna and could not get anything but court tv (which I had no idea could be an over the air channel).  My next attempt was a 60 mile range outdoor antenna mounted on a camera tripod.  That worked well as I got all networks except abc.  An antenna router does not appear to be an option as the tv does a scan (which takes about half an hour) and likely does not store old scans.  I do not see a mechanism to get around the scan problem.

I am going to mast the antenna off the deck hand rail post and guy wire where possible to curtail wind loading.  

Now if I can find a streaming channel on engineering, chemistry, physics and woodworking.

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed. —William Gibson

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