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  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845

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    There actually are only a handful of shows that I watch regularly. Those are the ones that I typically record on the DVR. However I do keep the TV on a lot to drown out the noisy neighbors. For that, I put on a channel that generally does not annoy me and just leave it on for as long as needed. Mostly I use the Food Network for background noise, and as a result I've found a few shows there that I like. I'm not much of a cook but I do pick up a few good tips now and then. And I really like to see the interactions between the contestants on some of the cooking competitions on Food Network, especially with the kids.

    So, I'm working on step 1, getting a new router. After that I guess I will sign up for some free trials for some of the streaming services, to see which might work out for me. I have pretty much decided which Roku model to buy, though I'm still confused about how it works. I need to see one in action, I think. I've thought about how I might hook up Roku or a similar device with a wired connection. Right now the modem and router are on the opposite side of the room from the TV -- I think I did that so that the router would be centrally located in the apartment. I think I might already have a really long ethernet cable, though, and if not I could buy one. I could run it around the room along the baseboards and it would be pretty well hidden by my furniture.

    I looked at the PBS website last night as well as the site for one of my local stations (I get one from northern VA, which is located a mile from my house, one from Maryland and another from Howard University in DC.) It looks like I can get access to lots of programs on demand if I make a donation, which I am happy to do. I still have to figure out how I can watch F1 races, practice and qualifying. I know I can get the channels from services like SlingTV and Playstation Vue, but it's not clear if I would have the option to watch on-demand after they have aired live.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that my internet bill will go up if I drop the cable TV. Also I might end up needing to upgrade to a faster internet option, but hopefully with a better router that won't be necessary.
    Last edited by ny biker; 05-04-2017 at 01:53 PM.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    487
    My SO, Don, who passed away January 21, 2017, was so into TV! He had TV's in every room. Two in the computer room and that doesn't count the two monitors that also could be used as TVs.

    So he had the best cable package and TIVO package you could buy. Since he passed away I have removed all the TVs except the one in the living room which I want to sell - I have no use for 55" inch curved tv -- and the one downstairs. As soon as the contract is up, the cable TV is going bye-bye! I rarely watch TV and what I watch is available on the basic channels that I don't need cable for.
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    How sad and am so sorry Kajero for your loss.

    I haven't lived a home with any tv for past 7 years. I don't subscribe to Netflix and seldom watch shows on 'Net.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    487
    Shootingstar -- thank you for your condolences.

    I don't know how to get Netflix or any other of that streaming stuff on Don's fancy TV. I tried to but all I did was mess things up so badly that I had Don's son come and fix it. So all I do is watch very basic television because three remotes are too hard for me to figure out. Oh wait, there are four. One for the TV, one for the cable company, the apple TV remote -- which is beyond me, and the Harmony remote for the sound bar. Of course the DVD player has a remote but seeing as I can't quite figure out to use it without messing up the TV, I don't use the DVD player.

    I CAN figure out the ALEXA he bought. I just tell her to play public radio and she does. And she doesn't cost anything!
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    I totally get that about the remotes. At my brothers house at Christmas my SIL asked me to put on the channel showing "It's A Wonderful Life", couldn't even figure out what button to push to turn the thing on, four remotes and all sorts of components, nope.

    Electra Townie 7D

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,128
    I am the same way. We only have 2 remotes, but I don't even know how to get the channel guide on. DH is always talking into the remote and then gets mad when the thing doesn't get his command correctly. He uses voice for everything. I just think it's dumb.
    I do know how to get my DVD player to play a DVD, which I mostly use for yoga or other workout stuff. That involves 2 remotes, but I've been doing it a long time.
    One time, many years ago, when my kids were away at camp and DH was on a business trip, I rented a movie (a tape). I couldn't get the movie to play, so I returned it within an hour. How pathetic is that?
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    I am the same way. We only have 2 remotes, but I don't even know how to get the channel guide on. DH is always talking into the remote and then gets mad when the thing doesn't get his command correctly. He uses voice for everything. I just think it's dumb.
    This is the point I tried to make to the Comcast people about the "upgraded" DVR they forced me to get. They added so many features that I have no interest in, and as a result the things that used to be simple now take multiple steps and drilling down through several menu layers. And the stupid voice command thing is of absolutely no interest to me. I have enough problems with sore throats and laryngitis, I don't want to have to talk to change the damn TV channel.

    Some people just want it to be simple but they have decided they don't want those people (included me) as their customer.

    I bought a new router which should give me faster download speeds but haven't had a chance to hook it up yet. And I was delaying the Roku purchase for a month or so because I've been spending too much money on other things lately. Meanwhile Comcast billed me $30 for the technician who came out to hook up the new DVR that I was forced to get, even though they had told me that I would not be charged anything for it. So I had to go back to them and ask them to refund the money. This is on top of the extra $10/month they billed me for two months after I bought my own modem and returned the one I was paying them for -- if I hadn't called to ask for that money back they never would have refunded it. I have more motivation than ever to find alternatives to getting cable TV from them.

    As for remotes, with the old DVR that I was perfectly content with, I never bothered to program it so that I could use the DVR remote to control the TV. With the new hated DVR, the technician who was supposed to be there at no charge programmed it for me. Then he tried to show me how to use it, but I kept saying "I won't ever use that feature so you can skip it" and got increasingly annoyed at all the extra steps for doing what I did want to do, so by the time he left I'm pretty sure he thought I was crazy.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,128
    That's why we don't have a DVR. We *never* used it when we had it. Even DH hated the thing.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sillycon Valley, California
    Posts
    4,869
    I upgraded to DirecTv's Genie, and couldn't be happier. The remote is much more user friendly, the only other remote I use is the one for my Roku 3, when I want to watch Netflix, Hulu, etc. I rarely watch any of the "lower" channels, mostly BBC America, SyFy, MSNBC.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    487
    I am thinking of buying my own router. It would help the cable bill when it is paid for. I haven't turned on the television in two days. Ugh. I still have to pay them $167. I am looking to somehow reduce that.
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    487
    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    Of course you need a decent internet speed to make it worthwhile but still...
    Comcast raises your rate for your internet service if that is the only service they provide. Still, my bill will be less without cable TV, the $7 rate increase this month, and the $3 for sport shows that I NEVER watch. I am not sure if the $7 is for cable TV or for everything which would include internet service.

    I don't understand why Comcast is not considered a monopoly and is not broken up the way Bell telephone was a gazillion years ago. I am sure they have great lobbyists in Washington!
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  12. #27
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    Quote Originally Posted by kajero View Post
    Comcast raises your rate for your internet service if that is the only service they provide. Still, my bill will be less without cable TV, the $7 rate increase this month, and the $3 for sport shows that I NEVER watch. I am not sure if the $7 is for cable TV or for everything which would include internet service.

    I don't understand why Comcast is not considered a monopoly and is not broken up the way Bell telephone was a gazillion years ago. I am sure they have great lobbyists in Washington!
    They are a monopoly in my neighborhood, but Verizon just recently signed agreements with the condo associations there to install FIOS. It will take time for the infrastructure to be in place but at least it will be another option. Satellite TV is not an option for me due to strict condo rules regarding installation of the dish.

    Until this past winter I rented a modem from Comcast and had my own router. I replaced the modem with one of my own, not sure which specific model but it was an Arris Surfboard modem. I found a page on the Comcast website with a list of modems that work with their system, and chose a highly-rated one from that list. I had to call Comcast for them to activate it, otherwise it was easy to set up. (Then they continued to bill me for their old modem for two months after I returned it, and didn't refund the money until I called and demanded it. )

    More recently I replaced the router. I had thought it was fairly new, but found a receipt indicating it was actually several years older than I remembered. And it used older technology. After poking around online doing research, I bought a new Linksys dual band MIMO router which is working well. I connect to one band with my pc, tablet and phone and use the other band for the Roku. The Roku has an ethernet port for a wired connection, but so far it's working fine on wifi.

    (There is a Micro Center store near me, and they tend to have good customer reviews for many products, which I rely on when making purchase decisions. They also have excellent tech support if you have any problems setting up a new device.)

    I'm very happy with the Roku and would use it even if I decided to keep the cable TV. I'm actually using the youtube app a lot, watching training videos related to my job as well as putting on music videos when I get ready for work in the morning. I also love the AccuRadio app -- many many music genres to choose from, free and no commercials. I am somewhat happy with Playstation Vue for watching live TV. I'm able to watch most shows I like, but am not thrilled with some aspects of how the dvr works and also can't seem to pause live TV or rewind it if I want to replay something. The Comcast dvr records any show while you are watching it so you have the ability to pause and rewind.

    Next I plan to try Hulu or Netflix. Hulu has released a live TV streaming service with dvr that I want to try, but it's not available for Roku yet. I also need to find a source of TV listings since there is no on-screen guide for Playstation Vue with the Roku. I like to scroll through the guide for certain channels to see what they will be airing, and select things that look interesting to record on the dvr. I've found some very interesting movies and documentaries by doing this, things I wouldn't have known about otherwise.

    I also will be getting a digital antenna so I can watch local news and PBS live.

    I haven't actually cut the cord and canceled the cable TV yet, but have not thought of any reason to keep it. I'm only delaying the decision because the channel lineup I get is no longer offered for new customers; if I get rid of it and ever decide to go back to cable TV, I will be stuck with a more expensive plan that includes tons of channels that I don't want.

    I don't know yet how much I would save by getting rid of cable TV since that depends on what other services with monthly fees I decide are worthwhile. And that can vary, for example I could pay extra for live streaming TV with sports channels during some months of the year and drop to a less expensive tier without sports during the off-season.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Quote Originally Posted by kajero View Post
    I am thinking of buying my own router. It would help the cable bill when it is paid for. I haven't turned on the television in two days. Ugh. I still have to pay them $167. I am looking to somehow reduce that.
    I don't even remember when I got rid of cable for good. Maybe around 2011. I got tired of paying. Now I have internet and data plans and nothing else. It's enough. Lack of cable is enough for a car payment. Or nearly so.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    18
    I cut the cable 20 years ago. A couple years back I was able to get cable at my condo due to a mix-up in the building's wiring. But every time I looked at the cable TV schedule I was unable to find anything that I wanted to watch. So I'll never do cable TV.

    Using an antenna that I built, I manage to get 19 local channels in the Austin TX area. With the exception of PBS, the networks seem to me to have really degraded their programming. So now I mostly rely on a Roku unit to stream Netflix and some freebie channels. I still want to try Hulu some day.
    2011 Specialized Ruby Elite - my "go fast, go long" road bike
    1997 DiamondBack Expert - old road bike currently serving duty as a gravel bike
    1989 Klein Pinnacle - classic unsuspended mountain bike

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    487
    NY Biker
    What router did you buy?
    What is Roku?
    Thank you. I am willing to pay a decent price for a new router. I figure Comcast costs over 140 a year once they add taxes and other fees.
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

 

 

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