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Cut the cord

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by rayik, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. Apr 8, 2011 #1 of 32

    rayik AllStar

    Mar 30, 2009
    With the approval of the entire family, we have comletely cut the cord. TV is now OTA and internet (through a Roku).

    For the past two years we had been using D* (3 years prior to that cable and four years prior to that D* at a different house). I love D* and have no complaints of any kind. We had an HR23-700 and an old Samsung DTIVO that both worked fine. The HR23-700 is a good dvr. I'm a long time Tivo user and I actually prefer the HR23 interface.

    D* has been raising prices over the years (it was 40 when we first started). No complaints about the price of service going up. It's D* perogative to charge what they wish. It simply reached the point where I questioned whether it was worth it to us. Turned out we could keep watching what we normally watch at a big savings.

    We are in a major metropolitian area. I originally hooked up a cheap $5 antenna to the TV and got in about 5 HD stations. Surprised by the quality of the picture, I picked up a $27 antenna and put it in the attic. We get all local stations (11 of which are HD). OTA looks great.

    We picked up Tivo S3 with lifetime subscription for OTA recording. We also picked up a roku. It's an amazing device (as long as you have at least a 4mb internet connection to be able to stream HD). Subscribed to netflix streaming ($8 / month) and hulu plus ($9 / month).

    On the HR23 we had season passes for 40 shows. Between OTA and the roku, 35 of those shows are available for viewing. Netfix also has over 18,000 shows / movies to stream (and they rotate what is available). Hulu plus has current shows plus past seasons for many shows. Roku has many "channels" and the amount of quality material available (and a lot in HD) is simply amazing.

    The negative is sports availability. We are in the Philadelphia territory and thus do not get Comcast SportsNet as our RSN. Thus our loss is not as great as others may be. Our local MLB team is scheduled to be on a local OTA channel 55 times. We have a Xbox 360 which plays ESPN3. ESPN3 surpisingly has a large selection of live sports (include many MLB games) which are streamed to us in HD (thanks to a 20 / 4 internet connection).

    We have suspended service with D* so that if the family is not happy it will be easy to reconnect.

    We went from $84 / month with D* to $17 / month for TV. Savings of 67 / month. With cost of roku (100) and Tivo S3 with lifetime (406), we will recoup that cost in 8 months. After that it is a savings of $67 / month or $804 / year.

    We have enjoyed D* over the years. We look forward to enjoying OTA and internet streaming.
  2. Apr 8, 2011 #2 of 32

    pfp Whatever

    Apr 28, 2009
    Uuuuh, what cord? :confused:

    JK. Congrats. With the ever increasing prices this is something I am definitely considering.
  3. Apr 8, 2011 #3 of 32
    The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    That's awesome. I definitely wish I could be brave enought to take that plunge. Do you have the ROKU feed all your TV's (I'm guessing you had 2 since you mentioned only 2 receivers for DirecTV)?

    - Merg
  4. Apr 8, 2011 #4 of 32

    Aridon Mentor

    Mar 12, 2007
    With torrents and a decent site like iptorrents it is possible to never miss a show and never pay a dime.

    I'm still with d*but it gets more tempting every year.
  5. Apr 8, 2011 #5 of 32

    JeffBowser blah blah blah

    Dec 21, 2006
    I'm getting that direction myself, however, I also know that free, or low priced TV via internet is not going to last forever. When it starts seriously eroding profits, things will change, then we're back to square one.
  6. Apr 8, 2011 #6 of 32

    Wisegoat Icon

    Aug 16, 2006
    Just wait until metered bandwidth makes its way to the USA. Once your "all you can eat" bandwidth changes to X dollars per Gigabyte, you will find you costs increasing dramatically. Or your viewing decreasing dramatically. Metered bandwidth will be the death of all online audio and video streaming. I wouldn't invest a plugged nickel in any service that has streaming as its primary revenue source.
  7. Apr 8, 2011 #7 of 32

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    I was just about to post this. Well said.
  8. Apr 8, 2011 #8 of 32

    JeffBowser blah blah blah

    Dec 21, 2006
    It is already here now, in its first incarnation as bandwidth caps.

  9. Apr 8, 2011 #9 of 32

    davejacobson Legend

    Mar 14, 2005
    If I could get OTA I would seriously think about dropping dish. With the "new and improved" digital signal I am left with only 2 channels. A lot of people in the fringes are left with the decision satellite tv or nothing.The on line stuff just isn't for me.
  10. JeffBowser

    JeffBowser blah blah blah

    Dec 21, 2006
    I'm lucky in my positioning halfway between the Miami and West Palm Beach antenna farms. I can pick up 55 digital channels, that's more than cable gave us in its very early days.
  11. Gloria_Chavez

    Gloria_Chavez Godfather

    Aug 11, 2008
    Congrats Rayik. Many recent younger college grads who saw PayTV as a rite of passage are now joining you. Two demos are leaving PayTV. Young college grads and Households who are experiencing stagnant wages.

    With respect to Hulu, you will see a significant price hike next year. Right now, Hulu pays Starz about 25M a year for very popular programming (15 of the top 30 streams on Hulu come from Starz). Starz is looking for 300M to reup, and Hulu will probably get less programming than it does today.

    That said, I see many more Americans pulling the plug. Over the last twelve months, adjusted for inflation, the average wage was down 1%.
  12. Gloria_Chavez

    Gloria_Chavez Godfather

    Aug 11, 2008
    Not Hulu, but Netflix pays Starz 25M a year. My bad.
  13. rayik

    rayik AllStar

    Mar 30, 2009
    Right now we have it on only one TV (main one). If the family continues to like the OTA and internet set up, I'll add a second roku to the other TV.

    One unexpected benefit to this set up, the kids are enjoying watching "TV" on their ipods throughout the house.

    There really is no need for torrents. Hulu Plus has most current shows. The latest episode is available usually the day after it airs. They also have the prior seasons for most shows. Also, the roku has many "channels" and it is amazing the amount of shows that are available legally and for free. Recent shows and movies are usually HD. Also, shows on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX and CW are available OTA HD in our area.

    Metered bandwidth is my biggest concern with this setup. We are residential comcast with a 250GB / month cap. Last month we were almost anothing but OTA and streaming. We used 37GB for the month. As far as I can figure, we are using an average of 1 - 2 GB / hour for HD streaming (less for SD).

    Comcast internet is now $30 / month (for next 4 months), then $45 / month for six months and finally $60 / month therafter. I figure if we are going to go over 250GB, we can go comcast business class tier. Business class 8 / 2 will be $80 / month with no caps. Even at the business class tier we are saving substantial money. (We have also cancelled Verizon phone and gone VOIP with OOMA which is $3.74 / month)

    If that happens (and it probably will), time for another cost / benefit analysis.
  14. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
    The time to do this, of course, is now. I'm certain that within a few years this "free" service won't be as free.

    OTA of course will remain free and that alone is a good alternative for many.

    I plan on sticking with DIRECTV as (quite frankly) MRV, HD everywhere, no bandwidth killer (6MB DSL for me) all make it easier. It's like anything though if you want to work at it (multiple platforms, etc.) you can save money. For me, the entire experience carries value.
  15. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    If it works for you, congrats. I couldn't do it. The PQ is just not there yet especially for sports.

    What I don't get is the business model. These streaming companies are charging so much less. Yes, their infrastructure costs are less than a cable system or satellite but they lose the scabale costs as everyone gets their own stream rather than broadcasting.

    And a large cost is programming. At this point they are getting away cheap, I guess.

    Too much of it reminds me of napster or the Internet bubble. Something does not add up and at some point payday will arrive
  16. ehilbert1

    ehilbert1 Godfather

    Jan 22, 2007
    I've thought about this for years now. I have no problems with D* either. I just figure I could save some money if I did cut the cord. Honestly if I could get the Big ten network to stream on our Xbox like ESPN3 I would do it,

    As for bandwith caps..... Oh yea their here. I have AT&T DSL and starting May 2nd I will have a cap of 150GB. That sucks because we love Netflix at my house. Infact during the summer we suspend our service and watch a lot of Netflix. I'm probably going to have to switch to Time sucky Warner for my Internet again. I hate Time Warner and their nickle and diming ways, but I have no choice for now. That is until they have a cap too. We all know they will soon. Its just a matter of time.

    Congats on everyone that cuts the cord. Maybe if enough people did this we could stop these companies from raising prices year after year after year. Then again they would still do it.
  17. APB101

    APB101 Icon

    Sep 1, 2010
    I wish you the best with this.
  18. gitarzan

    gitarzan Godfather

    Dec 31, 2005
    The live TV solutions are still not good for locals, sports, news and business channels. Also, the solutions are too fragmented and become annoying when you have to have multiple set top boxes and more remotes.
  19. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
    Absolutely, and this is far and away the biggest thing that would keep me from doing this.
  20. AMike

    AMike Godfather

    Nov 21, 2005
    We began using streaming video extensively last year while maintaining our D* subscriptions. We had Comcast residential service, but we were using a substantial amount of bandwidth and coming close to the 250 gb limit. We switched to Comcast business at the essentially the same price we paid for residential. We signed a 3 year deal with Comcast so we are locked into this price for the next 2 years.

    I doubt I will fully drop D* because of live sports in clear HD.

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