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Wisconsin Gaming Group - Oshkosh - NE Wisconsin
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 Post subject: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:33 am 
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Polyhedral Underground Master
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I am toying with the idea of dropping my basic cable and just using Netflix (I have now) and Hulu Plus. It looks like Roku boxes will be on sale for Christmas so maybe I'd get a couple of them.

Have any of you done this? What has your experience been?

I generally enjoy flipping channels and coming across some late night poker tournament or watching Big Bang for a couple of episodes on TBS during supper (I love that show). Are the subscription services worth it?

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:57 am 
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I haven't had cable in 5 years or so. (I take that back. last spring we had the option to get JUST the off-air channels and HBO, so we added that. But as soon as we can get HBOGo direct, we will be dropping it through Time Warner and buying direct from HBO.)

Surfing and sports don't work well with cable cutters.

Sports seems to be a big thing in your house. If you only watch the stuff you could get on and antenna, you are fine, but there is no good way to get ESPN or anything like that without cable really.

"flipping through channels" doesn't work too well either. BUT... you can scroll through nexfix, hulu, youtube, and hundreds of other "channels" made JUST for roku and streaming devices. We have found some really cool British reality shows, random Youtube channels that we watch daily now, etc. There is a metric shit ton of content you can browse through. It takes a slightly larger brain effort than just clicking "next channel" on your remote... but not much more. After a little while, you can scroll through lists and channels with no more effort than watching the tv guide channel.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:21 am 
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Sounds very cool SB! What services do you exactly pay for? How many Roku's do you have? Did you need to crank up your internet service?

We got my in-laws a Roku last year and they seem to like it OK for Netflix but their viewing habits are different than ours. They didn't want to pay for Hulu because they claimed they had seen all the shows on there already (of their interests). Sports is a thing but doesn't have to be. Has anyone bought a set top antennae?

Our top shows that we make a point to watch every week would probably be: Big Bang, Modern Family, Castle, and Goldbergs (love it!). I think if we could get those for sure on Hulu we'd be fine. Then Mrs S has a variety that get dvr'd but may or may not be watched. I think you can stream them from the station website too right?

I realize I'm being purposefully ignorant here, I just know some of you are really into this already so I'm just coming straight to you experts.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:08 pm 
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Hulu has all of those shows, except Big Bang. CBS keeps tight reign on most all of their stuff. You won't find anything current, other than direct streaming from their website.

We pay for Hulu Plus, which is what you need to stream it to a TV.
We also pay for netflix.
I have Amazon Prime for shipping from Amazon, and that includes their streaming service as well.

Of those three though, only the Huluplus is specificaly for cord cutting reasons. We already had netflix and Amazon.

We have a couple of Roku's, and a couple of "smart" televisions with built in wifi and access to many of the same apps as roku. Understand alos, that these services are not limited to any of these devices, and they all have web viewers as well, so you can have any laptop or tablet in your house be a screen. (There is a device limit for some. Like Netflix will only go to two devices at once with their cheapest package. You can sign up on all of them, but only stream to two at a time without paying extra.)

We have Time Warner's 30Mb service and it has never caused an issue for any of these, other than being shitty Time Warner, who throttles certain video services (even though they say they don't), because they are punk asses. That covers 2-3 tv's and a computer and maybe an ipod or two all going at the same time in our house. I have never seen a video streaming slowdown caused by anything other than outside issues. (i.e., never see a speed slowdown, unless ALL the internet is slowed down from being on a crowded node, or other non-video streaming related reasons...because it's shitty Time Warner.)

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:49 pm 
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Great information. Basically it looks like some Hulu shows and CBS let you watch the last 5 episodes or so which is about the same number you get if you don't dvr them and go to ondemand. It looks like Charter has 60Mb speeds to start if I redid it.

Have you used your iPad connected to your TV to stream?

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:15 pm 
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I have 'amish TV' at my house with only OTA HD option. I bought the attena and digital receiver when I re-roofed my house in 2003. Haven't paid a cable bill since.

My family goes to the library every week, so if there is something I want to watch, I usually check it out from there. They have fairly recent stuff and I prefer to binge watch shows anyways.

For sports, I'm really only a NFL nut so I get the Packer game on local stations and subscribe to NFL Rewind ($45 a year) if I miss it or want to see a different un-televised game. Only problem with the NFL Rewind is that I cannot display from IPad to the big TV.

For streaming, I have successfully used the family Ipad to display YouTube or free Hulu broadcasts.

Sorry, I don't have much experience with the paid options. Just too cheap and not enough time to watch a lot of TV.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:54 pm 
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Seripmav, you should be able to pick up the Green Bay stations fairly well at your house. That, a DVR, and some Rokus you'll be set. I have all the cabling and what-not to get you set up with an antenna so it gets to all your TVs.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:13 pm 
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Yeah, I dropped cable when I moved. Like DE, I just use a Leaf Digital Antenna and it has been three months now and I'm still alive. :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:23 am 
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You can probably just have my Roku 3 if you want to try it out. Honestly I can't even remember the last time I used it. I'm currently just using an antenna for the local channels and also have a computer connected to the TV for anything else. With a wireless mouse/keyboard I can basically watch anything you can view online. I also have some of my favorite shows saved on the hard drive and it's nice to just hit shuffle in VLC, go full screen and get a random show to play. There are also lots of websites like http://www.giddyupnetwork.info that stream various TV channels, shows and movies for free. Quality won't be HD, but sometimes they don't look too bad.


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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:49 pm 
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Thanks for the offers Harb and Lartarin! Great info in this thread. I'll drop my cable fairly soon now thanks to the overwhelming response to ditch it. I'm not sure that the Leaf antenna will work for me (that would be easiest though) because I have metal siding.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:15 am 
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Great info guys! We have been toying with the ideal to drop cable too. Just not sure what to go with and try to speed up the inter-net (DSL) with out braking the bank.
DE where did you buy your antenna and digital receiver?
We too would like to leave the cable grid.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:20 pm 
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Darth, if you want to feed more than one tv, that style is not great. Plus you may not get all channels clearly. But I know menards caries that style in a cheaper version.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:03 am 
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So is the leaf a solid product then? I was looking at the one with the amplifier and it's gotten good reviews. Are you saying that it doesn't work well for multiple TV's? It's not a deal breaker for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 1:50 pm 
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The leaf won't work as well if you want to split it and run it all over the house. For a single TV, it's a better option.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:26 pm 
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When it works it's fine, but it's got that amplifier that burns out, then it's junk.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:50 pm 
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Should a person stay with the so call amish TV or go with a smart TV. Don't know that much on how a smart TV works.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:49 pm 
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Smart TV's are problematic and expensive. It is better to go with a basic one and add something like a Roku for over-the-top content.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:05 am 
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Polyhedral Underground Master
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I agree with Harb. I have a couple of smart TV's that are a pain in the butt, and never work right. I got them on sale last year, so the price was less than the same tv in a non-smart version, but to be honest, I wish I had paid more for less features, since both of them are now hooked up to roku's or other streaming devices, and the "smart tv" aspect just makes them slow to turn on, and stupid to work around.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:47 pm 
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darthgamer wrote:
Great info guys! We have been toying with the ideal to drop cable too. Just not sure what to go with and try to speed up the inter-net (DSL) with out braking the bank.
DE where did you buy your antenna and digital receiver?
We too would like to leave the cable grid.



My specs are old (over a decade), but it all still works for us. There are probably better setups today, but we only need to view broadcast TV in one room.

Antenna: Terk TV55
Receiver: Samsung SIR-T351 HDTV Tuner
Display Monitor: Panasonic TH-50PH9UK Plasma TV

The antenna is attached to a mast with a rotator engine attached to my chimney. There is also a signal amplifier I picked up from Radioshack that is installed on the coax at the halfway point to boost the signal strength.

Side topic: I've very sad that Panasonic doesn't sell/make Plasmas anymore, so I hope mine never dies. I still haven't seen a monitor I'd rather have than my current display.

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 Post subject: Re: Cable-free?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:48 pm 
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I am going to start looking at items for the set.
Any suggests about multiple, TVS like two?
How about Plasma vs LED vs what else out there?

Thanks again on the info.

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