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It had to happen sooner or later. With the latest billing, Cox Communications finally raised our rate high enough to prompt us to cut the cord – or at least, most of it. We gathered up the cable boxes and associated hardware, returned them to the Cox store and cancelled the video service.

The video service was going to cost $130/mth. While home for Christmas vacation, my son-in-law had given me an Amazon Fire Stick which when properly set up provided all the viewing options we care about, especially when paired with YouTube TV which has a subscription cost of $50/mth (some other streaming services are cheaper). Net savings on the video = $80/mth.

Cox internet service (“Internet Preferred”) currently seems to be the best option in my area, so we kept that. Bundled with the video, the rate was $76; unbundled, it went up to $81. Overall, we’ll be saving ~$75/mth.

Most people have probably heard that you can put a frog in a pot of water, place the pot on the stove, and gradually raise the heat until the frog boils without ever realizing what is happening and jumping out (not sure if this is fact or fiction, but it is a good analogy). Too many businesses offering subscription services seem to incorporate the “boil the frog” approach!
 

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Cut the cord at the beach house a few months back.


I use an antenna for networks which are free in full HD (unlike cable which is not), and the a Tivo with Amazon Prime.


I can record 4 channels at the same time, watch when I want, and have more choices than before, and none of those stupid channels we are forced to pay for but don't watch.


Total savings is $80.00 per month.




I also use streaming from my laptop to the big screen via Miracast, which is free.


No lack of programming to watch at all.:biggrin2:
 

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I cut the cord years ago but Comcast got me back for one TV because the cost was only a tiny bit higher than no TV service. The other TVs are on antenna for broadcast and FireStick for streaming. For me the setup that works is a basic TV plan with very limited DVR and I use a HTPC with TV tuner card and PLEX for unlimited OTA DVR and streaming. PLEX is killer.

One thing to be aware of if really cutting the TV service out is that some Internet providers have data caps that you can easily exceed streaming. I just ran into this issue with Mediacom who provides my mom's service. My deadbeat niece moved in with her 4 months ago and mom started getting big overage bills from Mediacom for busting her data caps. I went into the router and watched traffic and soon found the culprit. Then I had to explain to my mom what data is... and tell my niece to stop using her Chromecast until she gets a job and pays for the service.
 

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FireStick, Chromecast, Roku, etc, are just smart TV platforms that have apps to connect to various streaming services like Prime Video, Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, PLEX, etc, etc. The devices themselves have no service fee, but many of the other services do have their own fees. These plug into HDMI port on your TV. But you do need an Internet service and wifi network to access any of the content. Depending on your TV you don't need the sticks if the TV is newish and has a decent innate smart TV platform. One benefit to the sticks is that if you have different brands of TVs they can all work the same as smart TVs... and the sticks firmwares seem to be kept more up to date than the TVs.



I've been sharing a satellite service with my ex and that made the
cost reasonable...but...she just let me know she doesn't want it
anymore cuz she's watching everything online.
Guess it's time to figure out wtf firestick and all these gadgets are...
Might look for help here.
 

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And therein is one of the main problems. Sports, and the fees they demand that drive up cable rates. It's hard to get a package without the ESPNs, etc. I mean I love sports but the costs and fees have gotten out of control.

The other main issue is that in our chaotic broadband environment the FCC has allowed rampant vertical integration where single entities own and control broadcast and Internet infrastructure as well as much of the content. Hence everything is moving to be behind pay walls, even a lot of stuff that used to be broadcast. Won't be long until the broadcast airwaves will be 24/7 infomercials. Halfway there already. If I were king for a day...

My problem is when the NFL game I want to watch is on NFLN. I can probably find an illegal stream or something, but the picture quality will blow.
 

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There's a new player coming to the streaming products that may well change the landscape yet again.


Peacock.


This is due to start up in April or july and ill be a free with ads (like with an antenna), a lower cost tier with less ads and more content, or a $10.00 per month with no ads.


We will see how this goes.
 

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We'll see. The problem with all these services is knowing exactly what content they have... and how that inventory and the costs will change over time. And no one service is likely to have everything you want. IMO this is all a chaotic mess.

There's a new player coming to the streaming products that may well change the landscape yet again.


Peacock.


This is due to start up in April or july and ill be a free with ads (like with an antenna), a lower cost tier with less ads and more content, or a $10.00 per month with no ads.


We will see how this goes.
 

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But you do need an Internet service and wifi
Yes, you need internet, but not necessarily WiFi. Dunno about the other devices, but there's an optional ethernet adapter you can get for the Fire TVs. And your TV, if it has on-board apps (Hulu, Netflix, etc.) probably also has an ethernet port.

But odds are your intarwebs service comes with a router that has WiFi anyway.

I prefer the LAN cable though, if you're streaming 4K media and doing other stuff on the internet at the same time.
 

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Agree, if you are able to get an ethernet cable to your TV that is ideal. But modern WiFi routers are plenty fast enough for multiple 4K streams. I have my HTPC connected to the router via gigabit cable so that part of any intranet streaming is very fast.

I never use the provided Comcast gateway (modem, router, phone box) that you have to pay a monthly fee for. I have my own components and keep them up to date. I also never use their phone service even if it is bundled. I have an Ooma Telo for that part.

Yes, you need internet, but not necessarily WiFi. Dunno about the other devices, but there's an optional ethernet adapter you can get for the Fire TVs. And your TV, if it has on-board apps (Hulu, Netflix, etc.) probably also has an ethernet port.

But odds are your intarwebs service comes with a router that has WiFi anyway.

I prefer the LAN cable though, if you're streaming 4K media and doing other stuff on the internet at the same time.
 

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I havent had cable service in over 10 years. Only time I see live TV is when I leave the house, or its being streamed live online.

All major sporting events are streamed in 4k on youtube
All major political events are streamed by multiple sources online
Some news casts are streamed live
Any MAJOR news event, such as the earth quake in Japan in 2011, mass shootings, ect are all streamed live online

Why do you need cable service?

Going further, depending how techy you are, or your friends/family are you can also gain access to most TV shows for free and comercial free... while it falls into a legal grey area, you can also host your own Plex server which will stream your movie/TV collection to anyone with the right credentials wether at home or on vacation.

So why pay for TV service? I have an ISP, and a VPN... total cost per month for both is like $68
 

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Subscribed.
I’m looking for something to put in the RV for when we go away. I have 2 flatscreens out there but service isn’t always great.
I used to hook my phone up to them with an iPhone to HDMI adaptor cord and stream prime video. But when apple changed their iOS it blocked the phone from doing that.
So I’m looking for a streaming service to use out there.
 

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If your phone service has a personal hotspot you could stream any of these services (assuming you have 4G LTE connectivity out there) from the phone to FireSticks or Chromecast sticks on the TVs via wifi. This would work well if you have unlimited 4G data... or if not and you maybe only spend a few days there per month. This option will be even better when 5G service and phones fully roll out.

Another thing you could of if you own content like movies is copy them onto a laptop and bring it out to the RV and jack into the TVs with an HDMI cable to play them. Or keep a router out there and bring the laptop running a PLEX server there and connect to the router. Then the TVs' sticks could stream that stuff via wifi.


Subscribed.
I’m looking for something to put in the RV for when we go away. I have 2 flatscreens out there but service isn’t always great.
I used to hook my phone up to them with an iPhone to HDMI adaptor cord and stream prime video. But when apple changed their iOS it blocked the phone from doing that.
So I’m looking for a streaming service to use out there.
 

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My problem is I love college football, and my favorite team (season ticket holder) is hard to watch without ESPN or Fox sports.
They did start a new ACC network last year, but my cable provider doesn't carry it.
I do have a broken firestick that helps with watching shows that I have missed, but it is hit or miss depending on usage.
 

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I was going to start a new thread.... but this one is helping me so I will coattail....Thanks to everyone giving help.

1) I would like to cut the cable service cord.

2) I am woefully ignorent of all these different technologies. As best you can,please dumb down any of your answers for me as I learn.

3) I have 6 TV's. Three are roku...3 are not. (They are used seldom in guest rooms, but I would like them operative for there seldom use. I could sell them, and get roku's if that simplifies my issues, or maybe put them on a firestick.

4) Simplification is probably best for me. (I don't know half the initials used above PLEX isp,vpn, 4GLTE) etc):sad:

5) Obviously in cutting the cord, my objective is to save some cable fees.

6) I'll ask questions incrementally. Thanks for any advice/answers.

Questions to start:

a)Is Firestick or chromcast just a service like Roku that costs nothing and just hooks you up to purchase other straeming services. Do you just buy a stick with no rental fees. Would it be feasable to just plug a little firestick into my non ROKU TV's. The tV's have usb and hdmi ports.

b) If feasable, could they independently access (for free...no additional charge) any streaming source that I had subscribed to on my main TV via ROKU.

c) If I understand what they are, Is there any inate/material difference between firestick and chromcast or maybe amazon prime.

TIA
 

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Ans to (a): Yes, you have all this correct.

Ans to (b): Yes, but it depends on your account for each service and how many simultaneous streams it allows. For instance my Netflix allows 2. Those can be anywhere on any platform.

Ans to (c): I have never used a Chromecast but I believe the 2 devices are pretty much the same. Might be a little different mix of apps and services. Also the voice control would be different. Firestick comes with an Alexa like voce control remote. Since the Firestick sits on your network I believe it will also accept voice commands from Echo and Echodots you may have around.

FYI PLEX is a PC app that if you go premium includes an online guide and DVR function that works pretty much like your normal cable or TIVO box. But it costs only $100 for life. You need to put a TV tuner card in the PC (and have it connected to an antenna) with the app and with a big hard drive you can pretty much record entire seasons of broadcast shows in HD. Then these stream to all your smart TVs, Firesticks, Chromecasts, PC's, tablets, phones on your home network and LTE cell networks. There is a bit of a learning curve and t takes a bit of fiddling but is a great thing for cable cutters to have.




Questions to start:



a)Is Firestick or chromcast just a service like Roku that costs nothing and just hooks you up to purchase other straeming services. Do you just buy a stick with no rental fees. Would it be feasable to just plug a little firestick into my non ROKU TV's. The tV's have usb and hdmi ports.




b) If feasable, could they independently access (for free...no additional charge) any streaming source that I had subscribed to on my main TV via ROKU.




c) If I understand what they are, Is there any inate/material difference between firestick and chromcast or maybe amazon prime.




TIA
 

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Ans to (a): Yes, you have all this correct.

Ans to (b): Yes, but it depends on your account for each service and how many simultaneous streams it allows. For instance my Netflix allows 2. Those can be anywhere on any platform.

Ans to (c): I have never used a Chromecast but I believe the 2 devices are pretty much the same. Might be a little different mix of apps and services. Also the voice control would be different. Firestick comes with an Alexa like voce control remote. Since the Firestick sits on your network I believe it will also accept voice commands from Echo and Echodots you may have around.

FYI PLEX is a PC app that if you go premium includes an online guide and DVR function that works pretty much like your normal cable or TIVO box. But it costs only $100 for life. You need to put a TV tuner card in the PC (and have it connected to an antenna) with the app and with a big hard drive you can pretty much record entire seasons of broadcast shows in HD. Then these stream to all your smart TVs, Firesticks, Chromecasts, PC's, tablets, phones on your home network and LTE cell networks. There is a bit of a learning curve and t takes a bit of fiddling but is a great thing for cable cutters to have.
RAYLO.....Really THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've read others of your posts here and you have a great way of explaining things clearly for the non-technical (dumb) of us.:wink2:

Couple more questions:

1) Is it difficult to put a PLEX card in my laptop. (I have put extra ram in a desktop, but have never been inside my laptop.) $100 forever is great.

2) Ditto as above with an antenna. Where does that go

3) If my laptop hard drive is getting full....would it work to use portable Seagate drives.

My thoughts are that my wife and I have wanted to catch up on a lot of older movies we never had time to see. I've been looking at some of the streamers like Netflex, Hulu,Amazon etc.......and it seems at this time those old movies are owned by all different streamers.

So being retired, I was wondering if I could subscibe for a month on different services and make a library on PLEX that we could then watch when we had time over the next year.

Do you think that would be feasable.

Thanks Again

Peter
 
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