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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2646 NorthWest NJ
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2013-10-25          188183


The beginning of September 2013 I suspended my Directv account and went to Internet TV only. I took my laptop computer and attached it to my 55 inch not smart TV in the Family Room. So I have offically joined the ranks of Cord Cutters.

I also bought a Google Chromecast that I installed in an available HDMI port and hooked up the USB for power to USB port on the TV.

Because my frequent flyer miles were about to expire by the end of September I also got a free 50 inch Smart TV from Uniteds mileage program.

For content I subscribed to Aereo and Netflix streaming service. Neflix has the best video streaming quality, Aereo is OK though and has a cloud based DVR service. I record all the Football I want to watch and any shows that are worth viewing.

And as of this week I can watch Aereo DVR content and live TV on my Samsung Galaxy S4 (android 4.2 or higher). On the S4 the football games look fantastic with no fast action flicker. Aereo also works on Apple products. The fees for Aereo start at $8 per month, Netflix is also $8 per month both with one month free trials. So far I see no reason to need Huluplus a Comcast owned company now.

Now as to smart vs dumb tv, vs Chromecast, vs laptop I would have to say that of the three Chromecast is very high on COOL but lower on practicality usability. So I rate the laptop TV combination with remote wireless keyboard and mouse as the best, Smartv second (no Aereo app yet for a lacal channels), and Chromecast last.

My wife is the only sad person around here now... cannot get her favorite cable news that she was addicted to. Also using the laptop is just a little bit technical that only now after 2 months of being off Satellite is she even beginning to try to use without my doing it for her.

Anyway I would have to say that I do not see any reason yet to reactivate my Directv account and pay $93 month if the only thing we are getting is a All News channel. The only reason that would push me back is a Happy Wife is an Inexpensive Wife, so far though is aint Happy pay Directv $1200 a year has cooled her displeasure so far. I let you know if she keeps complaining...

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2013-10-26          188188


Our apartment rent includes Mediacom cable as part of the rent, I've never ask, but I don't think canceling the cable would lower the rent. Some of the residents here have bought the upgrade package that gets them more sports, or more specialty channels, but the basic package is plenty for us.
We had DirectTV at the farm that started out as the 30. dollar promotional package that we knew would increase to about 50.00 after the first year, good deal right? But the monthly charge just kept creeping up about every month for this or that "Premium" addition to about where Dennis jumped ship. I would call and ask for an explination, well of course the person who could help me was never there, but they would call back, nobody ever did, so enough was enough, I too jumped ship. I'd have a hard time recommending Direct to anyone, their programming was fine but their business manners weren't.

Frank.

....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2646 NorthWest NJ
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2013-10-26          188192


Yes with Directv you have price creep, to stem it you have to call and ask for the customer retention department ans say that you want to disconnect the service. They will try to convince you to stay with offers of $10 off for this and that and stuff for free for a short period like free showtime or Starz etc..

Once you leave they know it may be a long time before you come back if ever. But after checking out Comcast I would have to say Directv has better phone support. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2013-10-28          188213


Dennis I appreciate your sharing such info as this. Our cable is with our local phone company which is a cooperative and we pay somewhere about $50 per month for our cable which is also what they use for internet transmission. We get all we care for in that package other than would like the classic westerns and Hallmark channel but frankly the premium channels do not fit our care to watch list. Wondering about the SEC bringing new channel next year if that will be the last of our watching one of our favorite but if it does will see their highlights on some channel. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2013-10-28          188215


The channels I miss most that Direct had were History 2 that had actual history shows instead of the History channel we get now that is Pawn Stars almost 24/7, the other is the RFD channel. Pawn Stars does have some educational value, but I simply cannot accept their coarse language and calling their father "The Old Man". I don't claim to be a saint, but rough language has no place on TV or radio shows.

Frank ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2646 NorthWest NJ
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2014-01-28          188785


Six month update:

1) In October cut the cord with the local phone company for phone service and moved home phone number to VOIP with Vonage.

2)Last week had Comcast Business 50MB/10MB internet installed, canceled phone company DSL 10/.6 internet.

Next step is to completely cancel Directv as I was on 6 month max account suspension which expires in March.

We have 3 DirecTV DVRs that have hundreds of hours of content on them but not once in the last three months have we watched anything on them.

The main things we are using remains Aereo, and Netflix. To a lesser extent other internet available content. Netflix has very good video quality, Aereo is not as good and based on the load on their servers is subject to some buffering delays and pixel choppiness on fast action shots. But I can gennerally live with it. Mostly improved with Comcast speed improvement.

I have tried Amazon Prime Video and HuluPlus. Amazon prime is not bad but most content with few exceptions is on Netflix and Netflix is easier to use by a wide margin. Huluplus is owned by Comcast and they show mostly current content that I can record on Aereo where I can skip commercials, Huluplus forces you to watch commercials!

The cable companies and Aereo are going tot he supreme court over their service. Looks like the outcome may not support my cord cutting position. Of the 110 million families in the US with TV only 10 Million watch with an antenna.

So if Aereo wins it is likely that ABC CBS FOX and NBC will change their over the air (OTA) broadcast practices to no longer transmit all episodes of first run shows OTA and sports, only providing content to Cable and Satellite firms. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2014-01-28          188788


It is amazing how the junk mail industry finds you back where ever you move to. The only part of our mailing address that resembles our old address is the state, that didn't change. We hadn't lived here six weeks when the first Direct TV "We want you back", type mailings started coming along with all the other junk mail we used to get, how did they find us?

Frank. ....

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bristan8
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 61 Camden NSW, Australia
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2014-02-21          189101


Dennis, did the cable companies win their court case?

I have been watching your TV lately as I am over here in Canada for six weeks from Australia and am interested in the various countries approach to TV service. I must say that the system here IMHO is not giving the public a very good product. At home the Majority of sets are tuned to the Free to air channels. Cable TV is struggling and will probably shrink further when internet Tv gets stronger.

In the uk BBC and the commercial channels also provide a very good FTA service. I found BBC4 an excellent channel for our taste and better than our channels in Aus. If and when they allow streaming I would subscribe to it.

I like the USA and find things like accommodation and car travel to be very good. I do think that capitalism needs some regulation by government and tv is one that, I think, is better where it is regulated. My other little peeve is air travel, where we found that unless you book about six weeks in advance, it is hard to find a direct flight at a reasonable cost in daylight hours. We have flown around Europe a bit and also in Australia and have found it to be much more user friendly. Flights are available when you want to fly and at a reasonable cost. I think that also is a case for governments to regulate the carriers so as to provide a better service for the public. ....

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Woodie
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 104 Michigan lower
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2014-02-22          189113


Dennis- We've been "cord free" for over 30 years. Not by choice-it's been the 2 locales we've lived in, the cable svc did not not extend out far enough to provide svc.

Over The Air we get about between 25 and 35 channels, usual CBS, NBC, FOX, ION, CW etc plus shopping channels a couple weather channels(radar scans)bunch of local types all on a 30ft tower with rotor. One thing with the digital signal with OTA if the weather gets funky the screen will freeze up/pixelate and get garbled if non existant voice especially on the weaker stations. (Old analog you'd get snowy screen but still hear).

Even per the phone company we are just a tad to far for DSL pickup point. So we are stuck with 'standard landline' aka dialup for internet (yes we do still exist).

As to cell service "you have to be in the right spot" in the house for a weak signal and that can vary. Now a state legislator is pushing a bill 'cut the the phone cord "everyone can go VOIP". Checked with our security company, a switch over to wireless would mean over a hundred $ for the main panel sending unit upgrade plus another $8 dollars a month monitor fee on top of the usual fee "because thats what the wireless provider charges them". sorry for going a tad off topic. I'm getting a wee frustrated with the changes foisted on us with no concern for the consumers wallet (aka fixed income)

How does Chromecast work? I've only just begun to see the little 'widget' forsale in the sale flyers(Best Buy, etc). ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2014-02-22          189118


I'll have to confess, since I last posted saying the package we get with the rent bill from Mediacom was adequate for us we did buy a couple of extra "Packages" to go along with the basic. The Mrs. loves basketball and I was missing not having RFD so for about 20 some dollars plus all the taxes for this and that it comes to about 30 dollars a month. I have no idea what it costs the apartment complex for the basic but they likely get a bulk discount, there are 76 units in our building. We get probably 10 or 15 extra sports channels, a couple extra movie channels with movies from our time, and maybe about the same amount of RFD, Smithstonian, another history, National Geo, and others on astronomy etc., that trip my trigger.

Never say never I guess, never is a long time.

Frank. ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2646 NorthWest NJ
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2014-02-22          189119


Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodie | view 189113
Dialup ....How does Chromecast work? I've only just begun to see the little 'widget' forsale in the sale flyers(Best Buy, etc).


Hi Woodie,

Wow I was just thinking about how I started using Dialup many many many years ago and how laptops do not come with modems or sometimes no DVD player anymore, high speed networking is so dominant.

What speed do you get on Dial Up?

Chromecast is very high on COOL, lower on practical so far.. It depends on the use of a very high speed WiFi network in your home that is connected to a very high speed internet provider 10 MB per sec would be very good you might be able to stream with gaps at lower speeds. Dial up must be below 1.5MB so I don't think you want to go that direction.

How long does it take to load the pages on the Tractorpoint site? ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2646 NorthWest NJ
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2014-02-22          189120


Quote:
Originally Posted by bristan8 | view 189101
Dennis, did the cable companies win their court case?


The cable companies and Aereo are due in Supreme Court later his Spring so the final decision is yet to come.

However the Cable and Satellite providers scored a recent win in the western states where a Federal judge placed an Injunction on Aereo prohibiting them from doing business in six western states pending the Supreme Court decision.
....

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Woodie
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 104 Michigan lower
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2014-02-22          189121


Wweell being with AOL dialup, the sign in box tells me I connect 'normally' between 23000bps and 26800bps (yup BPS). There are times we've connected at 36000 and 38000bps (very rare) but we will be bumped off and will have to reconnect at the lower speeds of 24000bps. If there are vids i want to watch from like my woodworking emails Ican do a minute or so youtube clip(just go have dinner and come back to den and vid might be ready):( Generally I drive into town and use the library's Hispd once a month for those videos

From pasteing the notice link into the broswer line a Tractorpoint page can take about a minute to 1 3/4 minutes to load sometimes a tad longer and others less. Seems like all the ads load first (guess ya have to have them and give them their due) :) ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2646 NorthWest NJ
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2014-02-22          189122


Ok that is what I was afraid of.

I have a Mobile Version of Tractorpoint for Smartphones and Tablet users.

On your dialup connection you should use this site instead. Even at the speeds you mention it will be much faster than the full site.

Not all things are available on the mobile version and sometimes things will go to the full version, but for reading and responding to threads you will be better off with the Mobile view.

Try the link below.

http://tractorpoint.com/cgi-bin/dev/pda_main.pl ....


Link:   Tractorpoint Mobile Version

 
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Woodie
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 104 Michigan lower
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2014-02-22          189124


Thank You Dennis for recognizing the 'tech divide/limits' for some of us. Truly Appreciate your Efforts in trying to keep the info flowing no matter the 'electronic platform'= hispd, dialup, mobile,etc.
Once I figure out my wife's handme down smartphone (which was a handme down from daughters requiremnet in grad school - profs would text students late nite for pop quizes due by 2a.m.!!) Sorry for the off track must be "cabin fever" with 2 foot of snow still on grd even after our short thaw I must be getting antsy to do more than tractor seat time..lol :) ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2646 NorthWest NJ
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2014-02-24          189182


Let me know how much better mobile version works for you! ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2014-02-24          189195


Woodie I know very little on what I am going to say here but met a gentleman about two months back who sells a dish for internet service where high speed is not available. I think have his phone number if you want I will try to find out info for you. I know he does not service your area but he may can give you some info. kt

....

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Woodie
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 104 Michigan lower
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2014-02-24          189197


Dennis- thank you for the mobile link seems link when i checked my email via smartphone it seemed to automatically have that link (i have an iphone3 using safari) don't ask i'm a tad in the fog banks on how all this meshes. As to usability mobile seems fine for quick read-loads pretty quick.. as to replying/posting via mobile :( SCARY. As I'm not comfortable not knowing what some of the icon /symbols mean/do. From ancient history I have an adversion to 'pushing buttons' as in early days of the 'dumb terminals' at my former employment I managed to get the cursor inputing data in the "non enterable sectors of the input screen" --I wasn't trying to hack or anything just typing data in--I got a 'grilling for several days' and took the programmers a week to undo. So I'm a bit bashful ....

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Woodie
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 104 Michigan lower
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2014-02-24          189199


kthompson-thanks for the offer and would appreciate info on install costs, monthly fees etc and if there are any 'requirements'. About 2-3 times a year we get a flyer/postcard stuck in our regional weekly newspaper from a satelletie based internet svc -think it's called Hughesnet, for about $20.00** per month, the ** referes to a bunch of 'fine fine print/requirements ' that kinda scare me.
Again thanks would be interested to see if they be the same or how they would compare. ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2646 NorthWest NJ
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2014-02-24          189200


I think Hughes is associated with Directv. The only gotcha with satellite Internet is that you pay by usage. Which might be better than what you have. You just have to be careful as one movie streamed would Gigabits alone. ....

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Woodie
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 104 Michigan lower
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2014-02-24          189201


Dennis- per the CFO here, she's already on the 'warpath' with our smartphone usage and not wanting to pay more for more GB. We're pretty much happy with watching movies OTA or we buy the DVDs when on cheap sale we have both DVD and VHS recording (she has to record her soaps). We considered satellite at one time so we could telework from home but the cost at the time was we would not be saving much on gas and the agency we worked for was very particular about which providers we used ( for the short time we tried via dialup it became more of a hassle- our tech support would say it's our IP the IP would say it's our settings and gateway. only to find our tech guru's forgot to trip certain switches for the morning.) darn soapbox off track again... sorry :( ....

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crunch
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 264 Niagara County, NY
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2014-02-28          189294


I have considered cutting the cord for a while, haven't had the guts to do it yet. I have had my laptop wired to TV through HDMI for years. I agree that Amazon prime does not offer much that Netflix doesn't have. Considered chromecast but it doesn't work with skype. I don't like the lineup on Hulu-Plus.

The biggest deterrent for me is news. There doesn't seem to be any online substitute for live news. I switched from cable to dish tv and love it but price is high. I am considering the dish "smart pack" for $33 a month has the most commonly watched shows. That plus Netflix would be a good combo.

....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2646 NorthWest NJ
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2014-02-28          189301


Quote:
Originally Posted by crunch | view 189294
I have considered cutting the cord for a while, haven't had the guts to do it yet.I have had my laptop wired to TV through HDMI for years.......


Cutting the cord is probably the future of the home entertainment market.

Yet right now I have to admit it is one of those mixed metaphors where as a attempting to be a pioneer or ahem cost saver, you wind up spending more money on other things.

Much as my father laughed at me 20 years ago with my wood stove firewood cutting penchant. He enumerated all the costs, work, and injuries sustained in the name of saving money on heat. Pickup truck, chain saw, splitter, wood stove, chimney, hours and hours of hauling and stoking. And the inevitable accident like crushing my finger in the log splitter.... Or my neigbor burning his house down jsut before Xmas.

So on cord cutting my high end Laptop has now become a permanent entertainment center in the family room, so I cannot use it in my office. So I got a desktop for my office that I am running Linux on. So when I need something on my laptop like Office 2013, I remote access the laptop. To make the network better for streaming I replaced by aging router with the Netgear Nighthawk ac1900 r7000 for $200. Then I canceled by land line and DSL and got high speed cable at 50MB for $120.....

So as you can see you can really save money by staying with your current cable or satellite provider rather than cutting the cord.... hey but I am having so much fun with all these gadgets, for this much entertainment I would have to spend much much more or would I ? ....

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