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New Getting up-to-Speed re alternatives to F-ing Cable TV Merchants-of-Shyte
T. fucking-M. I.nfo advertainment on all the little boxees now proliferating, from Apple-Tee-Vee through all the clones. (That's my problem.)

[tl;dr: Looking for a Best-site ?? which munges the kinds of questions below, offers both tech-ept and English descriptions of the Pros/Cons SANS the usual purveyor hype-machine distortions; not asking anyone to edjumacate moi ... (entire topic is TMI from the get-go.]

Aim: To have the distinct-pleasure and privilege of introducing The President of the dis-USA telling Comcast to go-fuck-themselves re any Tee Vee. (I have 0 alternative to the mofos, for basic-web. Except dial-up! ... via my ex-ISP , who still run my mail; they're a bitchin bunch, but no wires up here.)

Locus-of-isolation: Any local wi-fi-based solution is Fail. Am ~ 8 mi. from the local biggish-town and 10 from a lesser one. (Local phone Co,--unlike the rest of County--was a tiny incursion of G.T.E. then Verizon: who never installed DSL.) Other areas have ATT and a few more options than the execrable-Comcast.

Wants: PBS is #1, and I know where to find out the extent (or not..) of any easy streaming of their regular(?) programming; various Specials and flics they broadcast have their own sources. An option I'm considering too, is to Up my antenna to intercept the S.F. (50 miles) Xmitters and get back On-air, lost with the fucking ON-good OR fully-OFF as defines bloody-digital processes; we millions lost the capacity to settle for a bit of snow as weather changes ... for now pure-BLACK, as few added (at least not PBS) any co-transmitters for those killed by the physics of RF.

Seems likely that many, most? cable-only channels will remain dark. I can live without them; will miss only a few of those sources, as I can rarely stomach meeja, Ree-ality and other wastelands. But maybe there are some arabesques for those, too? (Or paying HBO via web for the occasional program..) Not asking for anyone to describe the alternatives in any detail: asking if there's a *SITE, containing encyclopedic, focussed info on the many TV-oriented boxes/packages as {via some copyright-magick?), manage to get a few Dark cable options, all of PBS ... via web-only connection.
* Surely I'm not the only one who needs a guide through the sales-hype. I get that I can pay for NetFlix and by now n others to which I've paid no attention, before. I could spring for a box, etc. $$ there.. at least doesn't go to Comcast. (I hope.)

Comcastbeast just upped my minimalist rate another $10/month. I could.. afford this but despise feeding their rapacity in arbitrary rate and content revisions and lying Salesperps. (It's bad-ju-ju to feed the Cheneys of the sheep-shall-be-sheared mofos anywhere, right?)

Thanks for any aid in zeroing-in on something pitched to the thus-far-iggerant, but capable of assimilating tech and other info, without-moving-lips. Have dealt with big-Techno for an entire career-thing, and now feel a surfeit of the endless lore merely to do relatively simple things; (my interests diverged long ago from.. any desire to know-Everything about some trivial 'thing'.) Well.. cats, Vincents and 3.6 other things. And the Odds of getting the Shogunate Yoo-grade perps off to Geneva--for that I'd even Pay.


I, not perplexed, just weary of all the junk-hits when one's query is Boolean-specific and the S/N ratio is about 3 dB. Google knows how to do this Better/not by Selling initial spots; I fear they are now as corrupt as Apple's CIEIO/BOD--would like to ration Air, too--may even succeed in that.
New you have decent cell phone coverage?
Any opinions expressed by me are mine alone, posted from my home computer, on my own time as a free American and do not reflect the opinions of any person or company that I have had professional relations with in the past 59 years. meep
New It's becoming more popular.
If J weren't such a fan of the RedSox and Tennis, we'd probably have dropped cable TV a while ago. The Tennis Channel is adding more web stuff (at a price) so maybe we'll check into it more this year.

http://parents.berkeley.edu/recommend/home/cable.html is a page that talks about experiences in the Bay Area. Maybe it'll help?

My general understanding is that lot of people get a digital antenna to receive local HD channels. But, as you note, digital doesn't transmit as far as the old analog channels, so your choice of channels might be more limited than in the past. That should/might get you PBS and the big networks for "free" - if you can get a signal.

We have a couple of Chromecasts that seem to work fine, but we've never actually tried to watch a streamed movie on them yet. I need to replace our old cable modem with a DOCSIS 3 box I got months ago but still haven't found time to do the changeover (calling the cable company with the numbers is something I dread). We've got Amazon Prime, too, but I've never watched anything through them, either. (I'm not a big TV watcher.)

In the pre-HDTV days, one could fairly easily build a computer to act as a DVR to store shows and speed through commercials. Giving up cable boxes generally means giving up DVR functionality (and I don't think on-demand streaming is exactly equivalent). That's one of the reasons why I haven't looked at cutting the cord more closely yet. (J loves the DVR - when she remembers to record her shows, and when they don't get cut-off half-way through because of schedule delays or non-half-hour starting times.)

Lots of the cable channels have increasing web presence because they want to be on everyone's phones. If you don't insist on watching the shows the same day as they originally air, many have last-week's episodes on their web sites.

Eventually, local WiFi will be ubiquitous and these issues will go away. The FCC's latest proposed rules will help that happen (if some Teabagger judge doesn't strike them down). Wireless peer-to-peer is coming, too.

Technology Review:

In some countries, big ISPs have less of a grip on their markets, and new wireless technology is creating a more open marketplace. Emerging technologies could accelerate this trend. The experimental LTE Direct protocol, for example, provides peer-to-peer communication without cell towers (see “Future Smartphones Won’t Need Cell Towers to Connect”).+

Here in Spain, engineers and volunteers have pioneered a peer-to-peer network called Guifi.net that uses long-range wireless nodes. Its creators are advocates of net neutrality and have the means to ensure that all content that passes through their network gets equal treatment.+

In some markets—including large swaths of the U.S.—just one or two companies have the right to transmit over the most versatile bands of radio spectrum or to build cable connections using public rights of way. This means those companies can dictate the terms and price of the connection, and as a result, an Internet connection in most U.S. cities is costlier and slower than it would be in cities in comparable countries, reports the New American Foundation.+

“The entire net neutrality debate would not exist if there were competition at all layers of the Internet,” says Steve Song, a part-time researcher at the Network Startup Resource Center at the University of Oregon who also builds and sells kits for peer-to-peer mobile networks.


See the original for embedded links.

Best of luck! Let us know how it goes!!

Cheers,
Scott.
New Re: Giving up cable boxes generally means giving up DVR functionality
No. There are OTA (Over The Air) DVRs. Here is an example of one. Not all the reviews on this one are very positive. And, I'm sure you need to have the TV scheduling information from another source e.g. Yahoo TV website. This is less convenient then a cable/DSL/satellite DVR with built in schedules and more like the old-fashioned VCR programming where you had to know the channel and start and end times to record.

Because the TV signal is weaker, and digital reception is binary :) (you either get it or not) with perhaps pixilated or frozen pictures a directional Yagi antenna would make sense. You can check out how your location fares at TV Fool. If TV stations are all over the map you need a rotor for the antenna. If the stations are all from the same direction, you can skip the rotor. You may want a signal strength meter for aiming the antenna and possibly and signal amplifier. Winegard makes some decent gear. You do have the advantage of being in a fixed location.

I came close to buying a OTA DVR while wintering in our motor home in Florida. The wife did not want to miss Downton Abbey and missed other activities at the campground. Also, because my motor home's HDTV does not have a strength meter, I'm probably going to buy this. Finding a distant station is sometimes a real PITA.

This does not address the cable channels that are only on cable.
Alex

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

-- Isaac Asimov
New Thanks for all the info!
New Pricey, but Winegard has an automated RV HDD antenna as well.
Rayzar Automatic. Nothing particularly magic about it being for an RV other than it runs off 12 Volts (i.e. "house" battery). I'm not sure what the effective range of the antenna is.

What I mean by pricey is here.
Alex

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

-- Isaac Asimov
New we bought a Panasonic DVR 4 years ago
because the wife and daughter like watching shows that are broadcast at the same time. The unit has worked well until around 6 months ago, when it started having trouble with the rewriteable disks. We'd reformat and keep trying, getting at least 50% rejection rate. Then it refused all disk brands except the Sonys I bought around the same time. Now it's starting to act up such that we set it to record, the time arrives, and it just sits there.

Can't find a replacement at retail, and I will not get cable.




Satan (impatiently) to Newcomer: The trouble with you Chicago people is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the most numerous.
- - - Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar" 1897
New With respect to streaming solutions...
Of the big 4 (Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon TV), I believe the Roku is the best all around.

It's cheap, unlike the Apple TV. It gets All Of The Things like NetFlix, Hulu, HBO, PBS, and Amazon Prime, and since it can stream from a computer you can also play iTunes on it. The device comes with its own remote so you don't need to control it with a phone or whatnot. From a content perspective I believe it's the only one that will do everything, mostly native.

We happily turned off our cable TV a few years ago and don't miss it at all. We've got a plethora of streaming devices (Apple, Amazon TV Stick, PS3, Wii), and I've seen enough of the comparisons to recommend the Roku.
Regards,
-scott
Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.
New Cool, going to look into that
--

Drew
New We did the same thing three years ago.
All of our TV's (1 46 inch, 1 50 inch LED and an old 27 inch tube tv) have roku boxes on them. We have prime and Netflix. We occasionally watch the other free-bees on roku, but cannot seem to force ourselves to watch anything with a commercial anymore. Of course, 99.5% of my viewing is hockeystreams on roku.

Cut our bill literally in half and we're much more pleased with the content. The one thing I do miss is the weather channel. With cable, you got local weather. WeatherUndergound and Weathernation are both free via roku, but don't give wind forecasts. If I were flying as much as I used to, I'd probably miss that a lot. But, there's always the Tubes when I need them. It's just that I have to lift my lazy arse out of bed and log into the computer whereas before (with cable) I could be in a semi-conscious state when I woke up and see what the wind was going to be like.
New Thanks! for the many real options.. just had a Surprise.
Sometimes ya gets Lucky, when fortunate to draw (an ept guy in Minnesota, named Andrew, yet!) who had quite more Authority chops than I thought you'd find, short of a Suit.
What I got was: the sort of informed-adversary you'd hope to draw.. know that that's fantasy.. and then: he's not even adverse!

In sum, got rebate on a couple month of [Surprise: New! higher!!-price w/ no explanation] and a nextyear's break at 'trial' rates; Andrew flipped my specs instantly (didn't know the fone-Answerers could drill-down menus that far; did you?) and split the extra-Tenner these mofos charge just to get now-fucking-Standard HD. Shocked!! I tell you; he agreed that, however the messy details and fact that CCast get their non-HD feed direct from the er 'Originators': it *is* unacceptable when the text, important on some prgms. I watch, is either unreadable or truncated. Not to mention small.

Bonus! the set-box (Seduction-grade originally delivered) remains still; the Dee-luxe w/HD model. I never much used the feature so as not to get hooked (but time-swaps are obviously the way all meeja should accommodate, as we always realized.) This could integrate well w/ some of the above options, no? (Dunno if you can snatch a Netflix offering/DRM and such.)

Ed: nope. [My DVR] button now throws a message, Disabled etc. So without a key logger in corporate, hors de combat. That alters a few options :-/ Oh well.

In brief, a fellow geek; gots Apple at home, mentioned Onyx re. periodic dust-removal etc. [sneered w/me when I casually inquired if he was using Doze at work heh] and we had a fine half-hour chat, to point that clearly suggested he would change lots of stuff there (sub-rosa of course.) I called up Input on my nearby small Vizio, cursored to 'HDMI' et VIOLA! viewable eye-candy ..almost Too-much: {oblig, Thaves' Frank and Ernest at the optometrist's} Don't make 'em too good, Doc; there's not much I want to see that clearly..

So then, if you remember you catch more bears with honey than with vinegar, you can get the come-on rates almost consecutively. I figure that, after that bitchin FCC slap on further-monopolizing, in a year there just may be? some rate-lowering for us barely-TV-interested plebs.

Meanwhile after I digest the above options, maybe will bail much sooner; the little boxes, Netflix ... it's time to see TDTESS! one more time, in luscious B&W.


We each have our Corporate-dolls, pincushions all.. this little interlude reminds of my mind-boggling treatment by Canon, re. an unobtainium battery-door part for the fine L1-A SLR, (it's wrapped now dust-tight) ... free Everything including refurb of the soft-parts of the focal-plane shutter, overall cleaning, with Air Fed-Ex pickup and return. Good reminder that all generalizations are false, including this one.
Expand Edited by Ashton March 17, 2015, 03:52:40 AM EDT
New NYTimes quick summary of options.
NYTimes on Cable TV cord-cutting.

Cheers,
Scott.
     Getting up-to-Speed re alternatives to F-ing Cable TV Merchants-of-Shyte - (Ashton) - (11)
         you have decent cell phone coverage? -NT - (boxley)
         It's becoming more popular. - (Another Scott) - (4)
             Re: Giving up cable boxes generally means giving up DVR functionality - (a6l6e6x) - (3)
                 Thanks for all the info! -NT - (Another Scott) - (1)
                     Pricey, but Winegard has an automated RV HDD antenna as well. - (a6l6e6x)
                 we bought a Panasonic DVR 4 years ago - (lincoln)
         With respect to streaming solutions... - (malraux) - (2)
             Cool, going to look into that -NT - (drook)
             We did the same thing three years ago. - (mmoffitt)
         Thanks! for the many real options.. just had a Surprise. - (Ashton)
         NYTimes quick summary of options. - (Another Scott)

Too busy performing brain surgery on sick children to respond, sorry.
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