Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby steelhammer on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:40 am

Always love reading pittsoccer33's posts on these subjects. A wealth of information compressed and spelled out clearly for idiots like me to easily understand. How much does gamecenter cost? Is the quality good when hooked up to a ~40" TV?
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:44 am

Image
from top to bottom:
-htpc with a digital cable card tuner, qam/atsc/fm radio tuner, and bluray drive
-sony receiver
-hd-dvd drive
-vhs player routed thru the pc
-DLink DSM 320 network media player (obsolete junk that just sort of looks cool)

The computer is plugged into a network switch along with my 360 and a Linksys DMA 2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833124281. That way I can get all of my movies, music, fm radio, dvr recordings, and live tv to all my tvs and my Android phone.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:49 am

Image

That is the TV tuner I use for digital cable - ATI Digital Cable Tuner. It is an obsolete and discontinued model that was released with Windows Vista to allow you to get premium channels like ESPN and HBO onto the pc. It can only do one channel at a time, so you can't record Pawn Stars and watch Kardashians live at the same time.

These things are cheap used now - $35-$50. But they will not work on Fios at all.

In addition to that I also have a card inside my pc that allows me to get only local channels as well as FM radio. This set up works out pretty well for me - I am able to record The Office on NBC as well as Beavis and Butthead on MTV at the same time that way. Mostly this works out pretty well for me since I live alone (don't normally watch two programs in two different rooms at once) and most of what I record is stuff on the History Channel that is replayed several times a day.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby Idoit40fans on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:50 am

I have a better system. Modem > Computer > Bittorrent > 360Connect > Profit
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:01 am

steelhammer wrote:Always love reading pittsoccer33's posts on these subjects. A wealth of information compressed and spelled out clearly for idiots like me to easily understand. How much does gamecenter cost? Is the quality good when hooked up to a ~40" TV?


To give you an idea of what the quality is like check out NBC's NFL broadcasts live on their website. Not a direct approximation but will give you the feel of what live streaming sports looks like over IP. It is a reasonably high bitrate and quality above SD

I think NBC's online sports coverage is actually really good on the pc - you can pick different camera angles, pause, rewind, and follow different star players. That goes for hockey as well as football.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:16 am

Thanks for the info. I think I'm going to try and pricing out a windows media center setup.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby King Sid the Great 87 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:37 am

Are there chunks of the year where you aren't watching any television? DirecTV will let you suspend your service for up to six months at a time twice a year. You don't get charged during this time.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby mac5155 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:37 am

King Sid the Great 87 wrote:Are there chunks of the year where you aren't watching any television? DirecTV will let you suspend your service for up to six months at a time twice a year. You don't get charged during this time.


Really... ? Do you still have to pay for 24 months of the contract though?
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby steelhammer on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:39 am

pittsoccer33 wrote:
steelhammer wrote:Always love reading pittsoccer33's posts on these subjects. A wealth of information compressed and spelled out clearly for idiots like me to easily understand. How much does gamecenter cost? Is the quality good when hooked up to a ~40" TV?


To give you an idea of what the quality is like check out NBC's NFL broadcasts live on their website. Not a direct approximation but will give you the feel of what live streaming sports looks like over IP. It is a reasonably high bitrate and quality above SD

I think NBC's online sports coverage is actually really good on the pc - you can pick different camera angles, pause, rewind, and follow different star players. That goes for hockey as well as football.


I used a VPN through my laptop and then HDMI'd it to my TV for BBC website coverage of the Olympics. I was impressed with the quality despite a lower range computer and bottom range TV.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby scb147 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:54 am

mac5155 wrote:
King Sid the Great 87 wrote:Are there chunks of the year where you aren't watching any television? DirecTV will let you suspend your service for up to six months at a time twice a year. You don't get charged during this time.


Really... ? Do you still have to pay for 24 months of the contract though?


Yes. For example, if my contract was up November 2012, and I suspend my account for 6 months, then my contract would be pushed out until May 2013.

Downside, any discounts you have would keep running. So if you had $10 off/6 months and it was suppose to start in September, then you'd lose anytime that you suspended your account.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby mac5155 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:03 pm

scb147 wrote:
mac5155 wrote:
King Sid the Great 87 wrote:Are there chunks of the year where you aren't watching any television? DirecTV will let you suspend your service for up to six months at a time twice a year. You don't get charged during this time.


Really... ? Do you still have to pay for 24 months of the contract though?


Yes. For example, if my contract was up November 2012, and I suspend my account for 6 months, then my contract would be pushed out until May 2013.

Downside, any discounts you have would keep running. So if you had $10 off/6 months and it was suppose to start in September, then you'd lose anytime that you suspended your account.


Good to know I guess. Would work out if you lost your job or changed your income or something.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby King Sid the Great 87 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:44 pm

scb147 wrote:
mac5155 wrote:
King Sid the Great 87 wrote:Are there chunks of the year where you aren't watching any television? DirecTV will let you suspend your service for up to six months at a time twice a year. You don't get charged during this time.


Really... ? Do you still have to pay for 24 months of the contract though?


Yes. For example, if my contract was up November 2012, and I suspend my account for 6 months, then my contract would be pushed out until May 2013.

Downside, any discounts you have would keep running. So if you had $10 off/6 months and it was suppose to start in September, then you'd lose anytime that you suspended your account.


True, but my understanding from talking with retention is that there are always discounts available to those who call. I had my service suspended for the summer (don't really watch anything in the summer, had a few series on my DVR buffered to watch, etc. Disconnect the cable from the box before you call so they can't wipe your DVR access) and called to "cancel" on Friday. I got $30/month off of my package for the next 12 months, $5/month off Showtime and free Sunday Ticket. She explicitly told me they don't have anything available for Center Ice yet, but to call back in about a month and see what they are offering.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby scb147 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:43 pm

King Sid the Great 87 wrote:
scb147 wrote:
mac5155 wrote:
King Sid the Great 87 wrote:Are there chunks of the year where you aren't watching any television? DirecTV will let you suspend your service for up to six months at a time twice a year. You don't get charged during this time.


Really... ? Do you still have to pay for 24 months of the contract though?


Yes. For example, if my contract was up November 2012, and I suspend my account for 6 months, then my contract would be pushed out until May 2013.

Downside, any discounts you have would keep running. So if you had $10 off/6 months and it was suppose to start in September, then you'd lose anytime that you suspended your account.


True, but my understanding from talking with retention is that there are always discounts available to those who call. I had my service suspended for the summer (don't really watch anything in the summer, had a few series on my DVR buffered to watch, etc. Disconnect the cable from the box before you call so they can't wipe your DVR access) and called to "cancel" on Friday. I got $30/month off of my package for the next 12 months, $5/month off Showtime and free Sunday Ticket. She explicitly told me they don't have anything available for Center Ice yet, but to call back in about a month and see what they are offering.


I agree, discounts are almost always available, especially if you threaten to cancel (also depends on the agent you get). But, I was just pointing out that any promotions you've already obtained would keep running, so you'd have to do it again when you re-instated the account.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:24 pm

Ok I called FIOS and got rid of 1 Multiroom DVR, HBO, Showtime, doubled my internet speed, and I am now saving $90/month lololol. I replaced the DVR with a cable card, so now i have to figure out if I just want to stick the cable card into my TV or try to do some media center fun with it (still kept 1 DVR for my wife).

I think I'm going to try to do something with media center. What exactly do I need? I have the 360, so I need something that connects the card to my PC.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:27 pm

does your tv support cablecard?
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby mac5155 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:40 pm

King Sid the Great 87 wrote:
scb147 wrote:
mac5155 wrote:
King Sid the Great 87 wrote:Are there chunks of the year where you aren't watching any television? DirecTV will let you suspend your service for up to six months at a time twice a year. You don't get charged during this time.


Really... ? Do you still have to pay for 24 months of the contract though?


Yes. For example, if my contract was up November 2012, and I suspend my account for 6 months, then my contract would be pushed out until May 2013.

Downside, any discounts you have would keep running. So if you had $10 off/6 months and it was suppose to start in September, then you'd lose anytime that you suspended your account.


True, but my understanding from talking with retention is that there are always discounts available to those who call. I had my service suspended for the summer (don't really watch anything in the summer, had a few series on my DVR buffered to watch, etc. Disconnect the cable from the box before you call so they can't wipe your DVR access) and called to "cancel" on Friday. I got $30/month off of my package for the next 12 months, $5/month off Showtime and free Sunday Ticket. She explicitly told me they don't have anything available for Center Ice yet, but to call back in about a month and see what they are offering.


Does this work even if you are in the middle of your contract period? I'm starting my second year of the contract, so a lot of my promotions are running out and my bill is set to go up substantially here in the next month or so.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby guiner on Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:40 pm

I know someone, ahem, who has used a VPN for a few years with gamecenter. They say all you have to do is initiate the connection to the game, then turn off the VPN (which, uh, from what I heard, improves streaming dramatically) One would need it for any national game as well.

Just so you know, its a violation of the NHLs terms of service and could result in a permanent ban from the service, or some other nasty legal action if they so wanted.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby AlexPKeaton on Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:46 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:does your tv support cablecard?


I'm almost positive it does, I will check tonight. But I'd rather get that Silicoln Dust HDHomerun Prime thing and beam everything around the house for maximum coolness. I assume that is the only thing I need?
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby DocEmrick on Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:47 pm

Use a VPN or Proxy for GameCentre. I get all my movies from torrents, and have a Netflix subscription. It's all I ever needed, cable is an outrageous waste of money imo. I cut cable last year, haven't looked back since. Never even missed it to be honest.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby pittsoccer33 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:50 pm

AlexPKeaton wrote:
pittsoccer33 wrote:does your tv support cablecard?


I'm almost positive it does, I will check tonight. But I'd rather get that Silicoln Dust HDHomerun Prime thing and beam everything around the house for maximum coolness. I assume that is the only thing I need?


Youre going to need your connections wired via eithernet, powerline, or moca. wifi will not cut it. But as long as your PC that you intend to save your recordings to has windows media center on it, yes basically.

go onto that computer tonight, fire up WMC, and go into the extras tile. run the digital cable adviser to make sure your computer passes. its been a long time since ive done this but i think you have to window the screen (as opposed to full screen) since you have to ok some kind of prompt.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby PghSkins on Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:21 pm

This thread made me think to call Crapcast and tell them that I don't really want to hang a dish on my house but I will if they continue to hose me. They cut my bill by $20 a month. Still getting hosed but better than it was.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby legame on Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:22 am

I haven't had cable in two years. The only time I miss it is when I want to watch Breaking Bad or Mad Men, so I just make sure to be at the gym when they're on.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby DelPen on Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:38 am

I did cut everything but Time Warner was doing an insane deal where you could get Cable and Internet for $60 a month for 2 years with no contract. In was paying $45 a month for just internet through a local cable co. I then returned the base digital box to knock $10 off the price. Seeing as how just abotu every show I watch has recent episodes on demand I question the need for the DVR service as well and if I hook the cable right up to the TV I get my local HD's and then the SD feeds of basic.

Going to use GameCenter again though this year but for what is essentially an extra $20 a month from what I was paying for Internet alone I will have NHL Network and NBC Sports and not have to get season passes through iTunes.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby Moe Wanchuk on Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:20 pm

Pittsoccer, what do you think of XBMC? I haven't seen what Media Center can do since XP, but this is sick. Check out this site where a guy put up a video of his setup. [url]http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=366437&page=11/url]

Mine is getting close to that, but having problems with the emulators. I only have a 3TB drive and was looking at a NAS, but for how much is available on streaming, I dont know if it's worth it anymore.

To the OP, a Roku box and an OTA antenna should be all you need (except for Pens games that was already mentioned). If you want a full HTPC especially for games, don't get a Mac. The emulators are very out of date, and bluray is a pain in the ass to do. Xbox and PS3 are decent at streaming, but Roku's have a hell of a lot more channels, and the 720p box is only $50 bucks. The other alternative is if you can "mooch" a cable/sat box using Vulkano or a Slingbox (I prefer Vulkano, as the mobile apps are free, and can has DVR capabilities). The only thing for that is they'd need to have a good upload, and you a good download speed if you want HD video. What I did for a few years was to connect it to another Directv box not hooked up to a tv in my Mom's house that I could control.
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Re: Cutting Cable, Has anyone done this?

Postby ulf on Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:21 pm

i aspire to be like pittsoccer33 when i get my own house
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