Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

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Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:32 am

I'm thinking of cutting cable. Has anyone done this? I figure if I add Hulu Plus, an HD Antenna, and maybe purchase a DVR of some type (not sure?) I could pretty much get by perfectly fine.

The big problem, of course, is trying to watch hockey. I see that NHL Gamecenter is now on the 360, but I read that it is only out of market games. I have a brother in law that lives in Atlanta that I could have purchase this for me. Will this work or is this somehow IP location based?
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby mac5155 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:34 am

I think its IP location-based. Ergo you could use a proxy server.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby Idoit40fans on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:34 am

Yeah I tried to drop cable in favor of just getting gamecenter, but my new apartment had a special where I got the internet I wanted plus basic cable for the price of just the internet I wanted. Still getting gamecenter, but now I have basic cable at least. Still getting gamecenter on 360.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:36 am

mac5155 wrote:I think its IP location-based. Ergo you could use a proxy server.


Damn that complicates things.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:37 am

this is my numero uno hobby.

first question is what is your budget? you have a few options and I can give you my preferences.

also, do you have an xbox 360?
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:43 am

Yeah just did some googling around and it is definitely location based on IP. I guess I could simply cut cable until December when the season starts haha.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:44 am

You have a few basic options:

1) buy a basic Tivo model.
2) buy a Channel Master DVR unit. I've heard very mixed things about these
3) use Windows Media Center - by far my personal preference.

If you have an Xbox 360 and a desktop PC you already have almost everything you need to do this. You will buy a device called a TV tuner for your PC. That is how your antenna will connect to your pc. Word of advice is that if you still subscribe to cable internet it might actually be cheaper to get internet AND local basic channels than it will to just get internet (it is for me). That eliminates your need for an antenna.

So you have your PC running Windows Media Center. It is connected to your network. The PC is really just a server host - it doesn't ever need to actually do anything. You won't need to open it up to schedule recordings.

That is the magic of the 360. You connect them both to the same network and now your 360 is your live tv viewer and DVR. You can also start putting dvds and the like on your PC and the 360 can play your movie library as well.

All the DVR recording is done on your PC, but the 360 is what renders and displays the video. Works fantastic for live tv. I used to use a 360 in this manner in my bedroom but now have it in my living room connected to a Sling Box.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:45 am

pittsoccer33 wrote:this is my numero uno hobby.

first question is what is your budget? you have a few options and I can give you my preferences.

also, do you have an xbox 360?


Yeah I have a 360 and PS3. Budget is negotiable depending on what I'm getting out of it. This will save me like $150/month so that is a lot of money I'm willing to spend.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:46 am

pittsoccer33 wrote:You have a few basic options:

1) buy a basic Tivo model.
2) buy a Channel Master DVR unit. I've heard very mixed things about these
3) use Windows Media Center - by far my personal preference.

If you have an Xbox 360 and a desktop PC you already have almost everything you need to do this. You will buy a device called a TV tuner for your PC. That is how your antenna will connect to your pc. Word of advice is that if you still subscribe to cable internet it might actually be cheaper to get internet AND local basic channels than it will to just get internet (it is for me). That eliminates your need for an antenna.

So you have your PC running Windows Media Center. It is connected to your network. The PC is really just a server host - it doesn't ever need to actually do anything. You won't need to open it up to schedule recordings.

That is the magic of the 360. You connect them both to the same network and now your 360 is your live tv viewer and DVR. You can also start putting dvds and the like on your PC and the 360 can play your movie library as well.

All the DVR recording is done on your PC, but the 360 is what renders and displays the video. Works fantastic for live tv. I used to use a 360 in this manner in my bedroom but now have it in my living room connected to a Sling Box.


How do you set shows to record? With the 360 remote?
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby mac5155 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:47 am

holy crap u pay $150 a month for just cable?
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:49 am

mac5155 wrote:holy crap u pay $150 a month for just cable?


I think it is like $220 or something with internet, phone, and cable (with HBO and Showtime). So I'm estimating $150 off once I cut the cable and phone.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:51 am

Image

Image

Those are some screen shots of how I used to have my Windows Media Center DVR set up. It's changed since then and I can post some updated screen shots later.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:52 am

So is Windows Media Center a program you install on the PC or is it part of Windows 7 or something?
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:53 am

yep. you can set the 360 to boot straight into Window Media Center when you turn it on. you can use the DVD player remote, 360 controller, or any one of a dozen WMC remotes you can find online. any universal remote will have codes for it as well.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:53 am

its part of most versions of Windows 7 and some versions of Vista. Its not a separate component you can download.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby mac5155 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:54 am

AlexPKeaton wrote:
mac5155 wrote:holy crap u pay $150 a month for just cable?


I think it is like $220 or something with internet, phone, and cable (with HBO and Showtime). So I'm estimating $150 off once I cut the cable and phone.


I pya $120 a month for cable internet and direcTV. It would be like $140 with HBO, showtime, and cinemax. Maybe you need to look into ditching cable providers??
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:57 am

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... dia%20duet

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815116037

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815345007

My preference would be for the 3rd product I listed. It does not need to plug into your pc - it connects to the network and can be used by any pc you own as well as your 360.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:01 am

You can also use WMC and your 360 as a DVR for premium channels too, you just need to the appropriate tv tuner device.

If you live in Pittsburgh you will not get Penguin games on Game Center. You can try fooling the IP address, but theres some scary language about fining you, cutting off your subscription, and informing the authorities if youre caught in the Game Center TOS.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:05 am

mac5155 wrote:
AlexPKeaton wrote:
mac5155 wrote:holy crap u pay $150 a month for just cable?


I think it is like $220 or something with internet, phone, and cable (with HBO and Showtime). So I'm estimating $150 off once I cut the cable and phone.


I pya $120 a month for cable internet and direcTV. It would be like $140 with HBO, showtime, and cinemax. Maybe you need to look into ditching cable providers??


Yeah I coudl get a lower deal if I went to a contract with FIOS but I dont' want a contract due to the likelihood of a move to an area without FIOS in the next 6 months. But yeah I'm going to shop around once the hockey season starts since my plan of gamecenter is falling through lol.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:06 am

pittsoccer33 wrote:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815100044&Tpk=avermedia%20duet

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815116037

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815345007

My preference would be for the 3rd product I listed. It does not need to plug into your pc - it connects to the network and can be used by any pc you own as well as your 360.


Oh man that would work great! However one of the PCs still needs to act as a DVR for that to work right?
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:11 am

When watching on a PC: as soon as you start watching live tv the PC starts recording. This is what allows you to rewind and pause. Any PC accross the network could do that.

When you're watching on the 360: the 360 is called a Media Center Extender - it cannot work without being paired to a host PC. That host pc holds the hard drive that stores the tv buffer and recordings. It needs to be running to use the 360 and also to flip channels to record Honey Boo Boo.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:13 am

http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/05/tivo ... ia-center/

good run down of the capabilities of WMC versus Tivo.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby thepittman on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:27 am

Pay $9 a month for a vpn service that changes your IP to a different location and watch the games on your computer. If you have a modern TV it should have a VGA input or HDMI.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:27 am

Another question lol. I was looking at comcast and their cable only packages are pretty cheap for new subscribers. However once you throw in a DVR and whatnot it is going to get expensive. Is there a way to do this media center DVR setup without paying comcast for a DVR? I imagine the HD stuff is encrypted or something, but can you get a tuner that decrypts it somehow?

Just read about cable cards, is that what these things are for?
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:33 am

AlexPKeaton wrote:Another question lol. I was looking at comcast and their cable only packages are pretty cheap for new subscribers. However once you throw in a DVR and whatnot it is going to get expensive. Is there a way to do this media center DVR setup without paying comcast for a DVR? I imagine the HD stuff is encrypted or something, but can you get a tuner that decrypts it somehow?


Yep.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815116072

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815706002

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6815345006

Thats exactly what I use now. There are various models that can tune two channels at once, three channels at once, or four channels at once.

Then to get TV to other locations in the home you could buy this. Is in beta testing now and should be out for Xmas. I am going to buy one to replace an obsolete model in my bedroom: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1386351/offic ... nfo-thread

You will get a little card called a cable card from comcast Image

this is the same thing you would get from them if you bought a Tivo device. That plugs into the tv tuners i linked about and is what decypts your cable.

I get a $2.95 CREDIT on my bill for using that instead of a DVR. I also skip the HD Technology fee, so I don't pay for HD. I have a htpc plugged directly into my main tv and a little extender device in my bedroom.
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