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Author Topic: Cut the cord!  (Read 4947 times)

Online bwarbiany

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #60 on: August 10, 2017, 03:27:51 PM »
Tvfool says I need an attic mounted antenna.  My cable if run through my crawlspace.

How do I get the antenna signal through to my TVs?  Run the cable through to the crawlspace?

Anyone have a beginner's checklist as I'm not sure how these things work

Some of these antennas can connect to your WiFi... Of course you'll need power in your attic for that. And for that you then need a box (Roku or similar) that can connect via WiFi to the antenna signal.

I'm assuming you also have cable internet, yes? I don't know what happens if you try to put your antenna signal and your internet signal on the same cable, so if you have cable internet you may have to split that off at the incoming cable signal to the house.

Offline Thumper

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #61 on: August 10, 2017, 06:58:14 PM »
The Mohu AirWave is one many have been waiting for.  It was supposed to be available at Best Buy for $150 last June.  IF it is a good antenna and has decent wifi capabilities, it looks close to ideal.

Online MikeDeTiger

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #62 on: August 14, 2017, 11:41:06 AM »
I still don't quite get it with that thing.  I think I'd have to see one set up and in action, because the descriptions are either currently inadequate or I'm too old and dumb to understand these new-fangled gizmos. 

Online bwarbiany

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #63 on: August 14, 2017, 11:53:42 AM »
It's quite simple, actually. It's an antenna with a built-in tuner. So it can decode the OTA signals all on its own. It then connects to your WiFi.

Other devices (phone/tablet, Roku/Amazon Fire TV/Apple TV, some Smart TV's) can connect to the antenna through an app just like they connect to Netflix or Hulu. That app will play the OTA channels on the device.

Online bwarbiany

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #64 on: August 16, 2017, 01:21:35 PM »
Article talking about the free options for watching streaming college football:

http://cordcuttersnews.com/legally-watch-college-football-free/

As most of us are P5 fans, this doesn't give us a great deal of help. But if you're a fan of some of the smaller conferences (C-USA and MWC being the G5, a few smaller FCS conferences as well), there are options to stream some of those games.

And of course, they highlight that over 100 games will be free OTA on the major networks. And for my money the picture quality watching via antenna makes that the best way to watch those games, rather than streaming them, even if streaming is an option.

Online bwarbiany

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #65 on: August 21, 2017, 06:41:46 PM »
So I made my decision... Signed back up for Sling Orange today.

I want BTN, but every place I looked at that would have BTN would also be $45-50/month. Instead Sling is $20. With the antenna, I don't need locals, so there's no benefit for me with the ones that provide locals.

While I'll miss out on BTN as well as FS1/FS2 there, I don't think that Purdue will be good enough that I'll care if I miss a game here or there. Maybe next year I'll make BTN a priority.

I managed to somehow get the new signup deal and get a Roku Streaming Stick for free... Going to pass that along to my girlfriend's dad who is looking into cutting the cord himself...

Online MikeDeTiger

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #66 on: August 24, 2017, 03:21:47 PM »
I don't have the guts to do this right before football season, so it's probably going to be January-ish for me. 

I had originally looked at DTV Now, Sling, and to a lesser extent Vue, and I thought Sling was going to be my pick, but I read how the sports add-ons work wrong, and then I also read Sling is 30 fps (although it's 60 for the ESPN family).  After re-evaluating, I think Vue would be my choice right now, and I'm currently doing the 5 day free trial this week just to check it out and see how it works, how I like it, etc.  It is a different world than cable/satellite, and there are a few ways in which it's clunkier than tradition TV, but most of those aren't problems for me with the way I consume television.  Channel surfing is the most obvious glaring difference to me.  But I don't channel surf, hardly at all.  This could be an issue on football days, when I absolutely do a lot of that, and it's just not nearly as convenient with Vue.  But I don't know that it's enough of a drawback to offset the big savings. 

I've also looked into Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV since my last posts.  Hulu seems ideal if they'd get the AMC family of networks (and I'm hopeful that maybe that will be done by the end of the year).  YouTube TV looks wonderful, but it's simply not available where I live, and who knows how long until it will be.  I'll re-evaluate in December/January and see where they all stand at that time, and probably make a decision. 

bwarbiany, let me know how it goes for you.  Also what platform you're using Sling on and what your comments are about it.  From what I read, platform/device can be critical to different services, and that's no surprise.  There's a lot more moving parts here than cable/satellite which is end-to-end handled by one company.  I've read that most people prefer boxes to sticks, for example, and prefer to hardwire them instead of streaming wirelessly.  But, I'm testing Vue this week on a FireStick (wireless of course) and I've had no problems.  I'd just like to collect more info from people actually doing it on what they find works best with what. 

Also, if you (or others) have a way to track your data usage, I'm curious about that as well.  My ISP has a data cap of 1 TB/mo., which I've never even come close to before.  But I'm unsure as to how much internet TV would bump that up. 

Online bwarbiany

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #67 on: August 24, 2017, 04:28:31 PM »
bwarbiany, let me know how it goes for you.  Also what platform you're using Sling on and what your comments are about it.


I used Sling from mid-2015 up until this spring on a Roku Streaming Stick. I just recently restarted Sling and it's on a Roku Premiere+.


I've found Sling has been consistently upgrading their UI over this time. I've generally been happy with it. The streaming stick can be slow when navigating the Sling app, which I think is more likely due to inherent processing power limitation on the stick. So far (only a few days now) it seems snappier on the Premiere+.

Quote
I've read that most people prefer boxes to sticks, for example,

Yes, but only because the boxes tend to have more powerful processors, more RAM, etc. User experience is HUGELY impacted on waiting for things, and you'll wait less on the box rather than the stick. The stick for both cost, power supply (they sometimes must be fed by the TV's USB output port), and cooling HAS to have a lower-end processor. So the user experience from a stick will have a very difficult time being as responsive as the box.

Quote
and prefer to hardwire them instead of streaming wirelessly.  But, I'm testing Vue this week on a FireStick (wireless of course) and I've had no problems.

I like it hardwired, but never has a problem with the stick via wireless on my main TV. I will state that in the bedroom, I was having trouble getting a reliable wireless connection on the Roku stick. Part of this might be that it was stuck behind the TV which may have interfered. We now use my girlfriend's Apple TV, which although connected wirelessly, gets a much better signal (and it's not blocked by the TV).


I think it's just a personal preference that if I can hook something up wired, I'd prefer to.


But wifi is plenty fast enough for anything you need to do, as long as it's 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.11ac. The only one that might be questionable is 802.11b.

Quote
Also, if you (or others) have a way to track your data usage, I'm curious about that as well.  My ISP has a data cap of 1 TB/mo., which I've never even come close to before.  But I'm unsure as to how much internet TV would bump that up. 


Don't worry about it. Here's my last 3 billing cycles. I'm not going to get anywhere near 1 TB/month from this.

(Note: not sure why this is only showing up as a thumbnail. But I'm not going over 100 GB in any individual month.)

« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 04:30:48 PM by bwarbiany »

Online MikeDeTiger

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #68 on: August 25, 2017, 12:00:09 PM »
Thanks!  I'm learning a lot here. 

Online DevilFroggy

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #69 on: August 25, 2017, 11:24:15 PM »
Well with the Pac-12 Network being available on Sling that made cutting the cord that much easier for me, along with moving back to Phoenix where I get plentiful OTA channels (crystal clear even at 31.8 miles from the nearest towers).
I thought I settled my debts that night on the ride home
But I have still got hell to pay

Offline Thumper

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #70 on: August 28, 2017, 02:19:28 PM »
Ready to kick off the cord free season and encountered the first glitch.  I have CBS All Access which I thought included CBS Sports.  Nope.  It includes NFL Live which I don't watch.  
Next up is Oklahoma State v Tulsa this Thursday on FS1.  I get FS1 with DirectvNow so it shouldn't be an issue.
Saturday, OU v UTEP is on Fox.  DirectvNow doesn't have my local Fox station yet so I will use my antenna to watch that one.
All other games I want to watch are covered by channels included with DTVNow so I'm good.  With PlayOn I can record any game and play it back without commercials.

MDT asked about data cap.  I have a 1 TB cap also and it has never been an issue.  I work from home as does my wife so we have multiple computers going 24/7.  We stream a lot of video after work and we use 300-400 GB per month.  

Update:  DirectvNow includes FoxSportsGo so I loaded the app on my Roku and I do not need the antenna.  It also includes some regional Fox Sports so things are cool.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 11:25:20 AM by Thumper »

Offline Thumper

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #71 on: September 18, 2017, 01:13:41 PM »
3 weeks into the season and things are going very well.  Every game I've been interested in has been available except for PPV only and I could have used some dodgy streams for those.
DirectvNow gives me access to the FoxSportsGo and watchESPN apps which gives me many more games than what are on the TV channels.  This includes games on ABC and Fox channels.  The BTN and SEC Networks are channels on DirectvNow.  DTVNow doesn't have the local stations in my area yet but they are getting close.
I can watch games on CBS via my CBS All Access service for now.  I have not had to use my antenna for any games so far.
Here is a tip:  DirectvNow allows 5 streams so it is easy to have one game on the big screen while keeping tabs on others on a tablet and or smartphone.  

Online bwarbiany

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #72 on: September 18, 2017, 02:05:34 PM »
FYI, I added the "Sports Extra" package on Sling for $4.99/mo in order to get the SEC Network for the Purdue @ Mizzou game yesterday. Glad I did :)

When I added it, it said it was going to be $7.18, basically (I assume) covering the remainder of September and then the month of October (ending the 28th, which I assume is the end of my monthly billing cycle). Which is fine, I figured I might keep an eye on what's on ESPNU during that time anyway.

But I figured maybe I'd try to cancel today, and get most of that $7 back. Turns out Sling doesn't allow this. If I cancel today, I still own the channels until October 28. 

So just for other people's reference, you can't add/drop on a daily/weekly basis. If you add a package on Sling, you end up paying a prorated amount for that month and then the whole next month.

So I paid about the equivalent of a pint and a half of beer at a bar for the game, which is still worth it IMHO because if I'd gone to a bar to watch the game, I would have drank WAY more than that lol.

Online utee94

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #73 on: January 09, 2018, 02:51:16 PM »
OK, with football season over and Game of Thrones Season 8 a year away, now's the time for me to dip my toe into cord-cutting and see how the hardware works, while figuring out which combination of services I'll ultimately need to cover the football games and shows I want to watch.

It may have already been covered, but what options are there for DVR for programs that I'm streaming?  I know I can get DVR coverage for OTA television, but what about covering "cable" programs that I'm getting through various streaming services?

I've finally convinced my i s c & a aggie wife that this is the way to go, but she likes to DVR various shows that come on AMC and other "cable" networks, and don't have a handle on how to get that done.

Thanks in advance! :)

Offline Thumper

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #74 on: January 09, 2018, 04:12:54 PM »
DVR for streaming is a rapidly moving target.  I use DirecTV now and it gives me a cloud DVR BUT it doesn't work with my Roku players, just with my Android devices.  It also works with Apple TV but I gave that to my daughter.  Bottom line, I don't use it.
I use a separate service called Playon Desktop.  It was around $50 for a lifetime subscription.  It works for all my streaming services (DirecTV Now, Netfix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, CBS All Access, etc) and records whatever program I want to a PC on my home network as a standard MP4 file and it cuts out commercials.  A couple of pluses is that the shows remain on the PC even if you cancel or switch services.  The shows can be copied to a portable drive and taken along to places you may not have internet access.

Online bwarbiany

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #75 on: January 09, 2018, 04:32:36 PM »
It may have already been covered, but what options are there for DVR for programs that I'm streaming?  I know I can get DVR coverage for OTA television, but what about covering "cable" programs that I'm getting through various streaming services?
First things first, look into some of the streaming services that offer a "cloud DVR" option. I know Sling has this, and I think many of the other streaming live TV services have done it as well. Not sure what all the other services charge for this (it's $5/mo on Sling), but it's usually a separate charge.

The only thing you might want to look at is whether they restrict certain programs from DVR based on their agreements with the content providers. For example I know on Sling that they have some VOD content, but usually the VOD content doesn't allow rewind/fastforward. And ESPN doesn't allow rewind/fastforward either. Yet some of their other channels do allow these functions.
Also you might want to ask your wife if she's willing to try without it at first. There are a few reasons for this:
  • Some of the live TV streaming services have "video on demand" viewing options. So if she's just looking for something to watch instead of a certain very specific episode of a single program, she can probably still watch the program she wants to see even during times it's not normally broadcast. 
  • Some programs are available on other services, such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu. If they're available on these other services, you may be able to save the cloud DVR cost and watch them through a service you're already subscribing to. 
  • One of the key elements of cutting the cord is breaking the old TV habits. If she tries it for some time without cloud DVR, she might realize she never missed it. But if you initially start with the cloud DVR option off the bat, it might be harder to get her to allow you to get rid of it in the future.

Cord-cutting is a change of TV-watching lifestyle. While these services are all falling over themselves to offer "cloud DVR" for those users initially trying to switch from cable/satellite, the truth is also that it raises the price of the service which is one of the things we all were trying to get away from by ditching cable/satellite. I always recommend starting with the minimum baseline and then seeing what you value enough to add, rather than starting with the top-end package because it replaces most of what cable offered you. If you start with the top package, good luck dropping to a lower package later.

For me, I went without network TV for a while, but especially with the NFL, realized I need the local networks. I get them through an antenna rather than one of the streaming services which includes locals, so it was a one-time cost. But I feel like it was a better option to start without the networks and then add it back in when I realized there were programs I wanted to see but was missing. 

Offline Thumper

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #76 on: January 10, 2018, 07:43:21 AM »
The thing with streaming is most shows are on demand.  Let's take AMC for exmple.  If you don't watch a show when it airs, after 24 hours it is available to be streamed whenever you like.  No DVR necessary.  Usually shows are available for a couple of weeks to a couple of months after they air.  Cloud DVRs also have limits for how long they store shows.  That is one of the reasons I like Playon, there is no expiration limit.

Online utee94

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #77 on: January 10, 2018, 08:40:23 AM »
Thanks guys.

As Thumper stated, some of the shows On-Demand, are only available for a short period of time, maybe 4-8 weeks.  And that's already been a problem for us.

For example, my kids love Supergirl, and we tend to watch it as a family and it's actually some really great family time for us.  We typically record it because we're seldom able to watch it live, but last Fall my DVR screwed up and missed a few episodes for reasons I don't know.  I thought, "no problem, it's available on demand."  But lo and behold, once we finally got around to trying to watch some of those older episodes, they'd already fallen off the list of available on-demand shows.  Another example is the Shannara Chronicles (yeah, I know it's a cheesy MTV production for teenagers, but I grew up reading the Terry Brooks novels and really loved them, so sue me ;) ).  Same thing happened, the DVR missed the first few episodes and when I realized it, the entire first half of the season was already killed for on-demand availability.

As for TV habits, I'm not really worried about the surfing or browsing.  I don't do that at all myself, and I think my wife is ready (and perhaps relieved) to move on from it.

But there are still some specific "cable" shows that we DVR and time-shift our viewing, and as stated above, they don't always stick around for long on the on-demand lists.

We do have Amazon Prime so all of that content is already available to us.  Eventually I'll be ready to try the various options like Sling or DTVN or any of the others that you geniuses have already figured out!  But ultimately I still foresee a need for some kind of recording capability for cable programming, due to the lack of total widespread on-demand capability for some of those shows.

Thanks again, fun discussion!
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 08:42:04 AM by utee94 »

Offline Thumper

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #78 on: January 10, 2018, 02:54:35 PM »
This is a good example where PlayOn Desktop works well. It will record any show that is streamed such as those from TV channel websites like AMC, the CW, etc.   You can schedule to record a whole series just like a DVR.  You don't have to subscribe to any streaming services to use it and the videos never expire or go away if you change providers or streaming services.

Online bwarbiany

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #79 on: January 10, 2018, 06:45:18 PM »
This is a good example where PlayOn Desktop works well. It will record any show that is streamed such as those from TV channel websites like AMC, the CW, etc.   You can schedule to record a whole series just like a DVR.  You don't have to subscribe to any streaming services to use it and the videos never expire or go away if you change providers or streaming services.
Interesting... I might have to check it out. Are you able to record streamed ESPN content through either WatchESPN or the DirecTV Now app? That would be really helpful.
Unfortunately it doesn't seem to have a Linux version. The only always-on PC I keep in my house is an Ubuntu server. I'd hate to have to pick up a dedicated PC of any sort to run one app. 

Online utee94

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #80 on: January 10, 2018, 11:38:15 PM »
Interesting... I might have to check it out. Are you able to record streamed ESPN content through either WatchESPN or the DirecTV Now app? That would be really helpful.
Unfortunately it doesn't seem to have a Linux version. The only always-on PC I keep in my house is an Ubuntu server. I'd hate to have to pick up a dedicated PC of any sort to run one app.
That's the easy part for me.  Working as I do for the extremely large computer company based in the Austin area, I have an almost-embarrassing amount of PC-based hardware lying around, much of it completely unused.

I also have two 34" curved WQHD Ultrasharp monitors from work for my home office.  My recent move into Marketing for flat panels has really paid off... :)


Offline Thumper

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #81 on: January 11, 2018, 08:32:34 AM »
They have channels for ESPN but I haven't tried it.  All the games I want to rewatch are on YouTube with all the commercials, TOs and halftime removed.  
Actually, I haven't used it for a long time now as DirecTV has gotten so much better with more apps for channels.  I'm glad you mentioned no Linux version.  I was planning to change the laptop that is running Playon to Linux.  

utee, those 34" monitors are sweet.  I'm jealous!

Offline Thumper

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #82 on: January 11, 2018, 08:34:30 AM »
Just a quick thought, could you run Windows on a VM on the Ubuntu server?

Online utee94

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #83 on: January 11, 2018, 08:48:00 AM »
Just a quick thought, could you run Windows on a VM on the Ubuntu server?
My extremely large computer company also (sort-of) owns VMWare, which I believe should be able to run a virtual machine version of Windows within Ubuntu.  I used to have an old dedicated x86 box running a very old version of linux that I used for various things (firewall, gateway, etc.) and I would dual-boot to Windoes, but never ran a VM for it.  I long since ran out of time for toying around with that stuff, which is one reason I've put up with cable for so long rather than researching and experimenting with the tech for cord-cutting.
But now that my cable (plus internet and home phone) sub has crept back up to the $230/month range, it's once again caught my attention.

Online utee94

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #84 on: January 11, 2018, 08:50:56 AM »
Oh, and I tried to get dual 38" curved Ultrasharps, but the execs took all of those.  My boss has a 40" monitor sitting on his desk.  Which is kind of ridiculous actually, you have to sit back to see it clearly... :)

Online bwarbiany

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #85 on: January 11, 2018, 06:23:26 PM »
LOL... I recently got a new laptop at work and was talking about how I needed all the adapter cables for my monitors for the docking station. The old monitors were kinda flaky too. The IT guy said "well, those are old, and they're not corporate issue. Why don't I bring you some new 27" monitors from [utee's extremely large computer company] to replace them?"

So now I've got two 27" on the desk. Which isn't as nice as what utee's got, but hey, at least I can get SSDs and HDDs real cheap from my company ;-) 

Before I posted about Linux, I did some research on PlayOn. Apparently you can run it in a VM, but people have had some issues running it in a VM successfully due to resource needs. 

Online utee94

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #86 on: January 17, 2018, 01:43:52 PM »
Nice.  I've got twin 27s at the office, but I haven't actually been to my office cube in a couple of weeks.

Offline Thumper

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #87 on: January 21, 2018, 10:08:55 AM »
I work from home only.  The company supplies a laptop with docking station and three 27" monitors.  The monitor size is OK but I could use two or three more.  I probably won't bother changing the setup as this I will be retiring in 14 months.

I moved into this house a little over a year ago and it has been streaming only.  My previous cable was $127/mo which I replace with DirecTV Now for $40 with tax.  DTV Now includes HBO which I didn't have before so that is a big plus.  I got in early and got the Go Big package for that price.  I believe it is $65 now.

I have Netflix and Amazon Prime but I had those when I had cable so it isn't an additional cost.  I added PlayOn for a $50 one time charge and I have CBS All Access for $6/mo.  DirecTV Now has local stations for 75% of it's viewers but I'm in the 25%.  For the rare occasion I want to watch something on the other network stations, I just use the free apps.  DirecTV Now does include NBC Sports and Fox Sports and I can watch ABC Sports via the watchESPN apps.  I didn't miss any games I wanted to see so it was a successful first year IMO.


Online utee94

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #88 on: January 23, 2018, 10:58:30 AM »
How much is your Internet-only access?  That factors into your total cost as well, not just the DTVN expense.

If I unbundle from my current Spectrum (formerly Time Warner) cable package, the internet climbs from around $30/month to around $60/month.  So adding another $50-$65/month or so for one of the streaming services, takes me back up to the $110-$125 range. I just rearranged and renegotiated by Spectrum package down to $132/month all-in, so at this point unless I could save $30 or more per month, I'll jut stick with the convenience, ease, and reliability of the cable package.


Offline Thumper

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Re: Cut the cord!
« Reply #89 on: January 23, 2018, 06:58:35 PM »
Internet prices here (Cox) are awful.  This year mine went up to $80/mo.  $132/mo for internet and cable sounds really good.  Cox bundles are about $139 for the first year then goes up to $179.  That doesn't count their bogus "broadcast fee" of $9.99 and "sports rebroadcast fee" of $6 then the adder for HD of $5 per TV and set top box rental after the first year.  Add taxes and everyone here with Cox is paying $200/mo.

 

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