Cable/cord cutting advice requested
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  1. #1
    Schuylkill Trail Bum
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    Cable/cord cutting advice requested

    I can't deal with paying verizon fios another dime for crappy TV I don't even watch.

    I have the streaming services I like -- netflix, hulu, criterion, etc -- and Chromecast on TVs in the house.

    One thing that will be missing after I cut the cord is being able to have DVR-like functions... to use with free streaming services (Pluto TV and such) and maybe even over the air antenna stuff.

    Have any of you found a good DVR-like box that has no monthly fee, to record free programming for later viewing and skipping through commercials?

  2. #2
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    Just ride instead.

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  3. #3
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    I'm able to ride a lot, and then also watch TV when not riding.

    I'm a real renaissance man.

  4. #4
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    We cut the cord a couple years ago and haven't missed it a bit - and we don't use a DVR. Personally, I would suggest doing the cord cutting first and after you've lived with it for a while decide if you really need / want a DVR.
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  5. #5
    Boobies!
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    Not sure what you want to record, but one answer is to set up an OTA antenna, combined with an HTPC and tuner--look at the Silicon Dust products. They sell a DVR-like product to use with their tuners for a measly $35/yr--and it runs in the background on your NAS if you have one. I don't know of a way to record any of the streaming services although most let you download to watch later with a time stamp on the episodes or whatever.

    Link for DVR-esque product:
    https://www.silicondust.com/dvr-service/

    I played around with early gen tuner cards, and OTA antennas--and we still never watched live TV. These days we are watching anything we need to see on Locast.org--no fees--mainly the Dem convention these past months... Hit it with a browser and stream.
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  6. #6
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    Something went Eastern in this Post.
    Last edited by EverydayRide; 03-21-2020 at 03:33 PM.

  7. #7
    We're no better than mice
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    Great thread.
    Last edited by EverydayRide; 03-16-2020 at 08:05 AM.

  8. #8
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    XBMC is a good opensource live TV (for OTA) and DVR. If you end up keeping your TV package, get a cablecard pci tuner (look athe hardware compatibility list for XBMC to see which ones work).

    The reality is, it ends up cheaper to get a triple play package than internet alone (at least for FIOS and my area), we don't even have wiring for a landline.

    There is also Plex (free and paid for versions), and OSMC

  9. #9
    gazing from the shadows
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    hulu

    Hulu with the live tv option allows you to add things to a list to record new episodes.
    .
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  10. #10
    Schuylkill Trail Bum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    We cut the cord a couple years ago and haven't missed it a bit - and we don't use a DVR. Personally, I would suggest doing the cord cutting first and after you've lived with it for a while decide if you really need / want a DVR.
    Thinking about what you said... I did a "self assessment" and realized that I watch live TV as follows: Local morning news show from around 630 - 730; reruns of Law & Order or Seinfeld when I'm working out indoors.

    Hmmm.


    Quote Originally Posted by paredown View Post
    Not sure what you want to record, but one answer is to set up an OTA antenna, combined with an HTPC and tuner--look at the Silicon Dust products. They sell a DVR-like product to use with their tuners for a measly $35/yr--and it runs in the background on your NAS if you have one. I don't know of a way to record any of the streaming services although most let you download to watch later with a time stamp on the episodes or whatever.

    Link for DVR-esque product:
    https://www.silicondust.com/dvr-service/

    I played around with early gen tuner cards, and OTA antennas--and we still never watched live TV. These days we are watching anything we need to see on Locast.org--no fees--mainly the Dem convention these past months... Hit it with a browser and stream.
    Thanks. I'll check these out.


    Quote Originally Posted by QuiQuaeQuod View Post
    Hulu with the live tv option allows you to add things to a list to record new episodes.
    My wife is trying to talk me into doing the Hulu w/ live option. It's something like 50 bucks a month, which I'm trying to not get into.


    Quote Originally Posted by ljvb View Post
    XBMC is a good opensource live TV (for OTA) and DVR. If you end up keeping your TV package, get a cablecard pci tuner (look athe hardware compatibility list for XBMC to see which ones work).

    The reality is, it ends up cheaper to get a triple play package than internet alone (at least for FIOS and my area), we don't even have wiring for a landline.

    There is also Plex (free and paid for versions), and OSMC
    Thanks. I'll check these out.

  11. #11
    gazing from the shadows
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    My wife is trying to talk me into doing the Hulu w/ live option. It's something like 50 bucks a month, which I'm trying to not get into.
    It's 12/mo for the commercial free hulu, so think more like $40 more.

    I like it, but the compression algorithms REALLY show up in sports. Watchable, but noticeable difference from dish. You might want to try it for a month at some point. Super easy to downgrade to the free/commercial free level at any point in time.

    There are many other options as others have pointed out. Try setting those up, then a month of full hulu, then talk with your wife about whether it is worth it.
    .
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  12. #12
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    It's been 5+ years since we've cut the cord and I don't miss it at all. 80 percent of our TV viewing was from network broadcasts and we already had an aerial antenna in our attic. The vast majority of the those 200+ channels on our package we never even watched and was paying $120/month
    The turning point was when we lost our local NBC broadcast and then later on our ABC broadcast from DirecTV. It returned a few weeks later but that was it -- we cut the cord!

    https://forums.roadbikereview.com/lo...rs-354441.html

    I had the same concern that I would miss the DVR function of our satellite box but turns out with the exception of live TV broadcasts, most are available somewhere on the cloud.
    I had built a Raspberry Pi box for a streaming box but any of the streaming sticks now (Firestick, etc) can do the same job (for cheaper), all dependent of your needs. I just bought a 4K Firestisk for $25 a couple weeks ago.

  13. #13
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    I run everything media related on my Synology NAS. This is my previous setup:
    https://youtu.be/qfPHMqORNDk
    It handle all the tuners, program guide, recording and playback. I've now upgraded to the TV-Mosaic package on my new NAS and that one also handles IPTV as well as over the air TV. I need to put together a video on the new setup, but it works very well. One big feature with this package is how it copes with the ongoing signal repack issues. Since I have channel by channel control of the program guide data, I can go in a fix up the linking of the guide data with the correct channel. I see lots of folks in the area complaining that they're not getting guide data for channel X or Y and having to wait until whatever provider they have updates the listings.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by config View Post
    It's been 5+ years since we've cut the cord and I don't miss it at all. 80 percent of our TV viewing was from network broadcasts and we already had an aerial antenna in our attic. The vast majority of the those 200+ channels on our package we never even watched and was paying $120/month
    The turning point was when we lost our local NBC broadcast and then later on our ABC broadcast from DirecTV. It returned a few weeks later but that was it -- we cut the cord!

    https://forums.roadbikereview.com/lo...rs-354441.html

    I had the same concern that I would miss the DVR function of our satellite box but turns out with the exception of live TV broadcasts, most are available somewhere on the cloud.
    I had built a Raspberry Pi box for a streaming box but any of the streaming sticks now (Firestick, etc) can do the same job (for cheaper), all dependent of your needs. I just bought a 4K Firestisk for $25 a couple weeks ago.
    Thanks. I'm looking at firestick.



    Quote Originally Posted by 4Crawler View Post
    I run everything media related on my Synology NAS. This is my previous setup:
    https://youtu.be/qfPHMqORNDk
    It handle all the tuners, program guide, recording and playback. I've now upgraded to the TV-Mosaic package on my new NAS and that one also handles IPTV as well as over the air TV. I need to put together a video on the new setup, but it works very well. One big feature with this package is how it copes with the ongoing signal repack issues. Since I have channel by channel control of the program guide data, I can go in a fix up the linking of the guide data with the correct channel. I see lots of folks in the area complaining that they're not getting guide data for channel X or Y and having to wait until whatever provider they have updates the listings.
    That's music to my ears. I have a fairly new synology NAS in a datacenter I'm about to decommission.

    Thanks.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    That's music to my ears. I have a fairly new synology NAS in a datacenter I'm about to decommission.

    Thanks.
    I originally just used the NAS as a file/media server then later moved all the live TV over there as well. Since it's on all the time, it can handle the network tuners (HDHomeRun) and recording and all that stuff, too. I run Kodi for my media playback and have the NAS set up to serve all that content.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPlKE View Post
    Thanks. I'm looking at firestick.

    Thanks.
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  17. #17
    Eddy 53:11
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    No thread hi-jack, but how can you watch the TDF in the evenings???? I'm cutting z cord in 2 weeks. Spring Classics and TDF is all I'm worried about missing.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetSpeed View Post
    No thread hi-jack, but how can you watch the TDF in the evenings???? I'm cutting z cord in 2 weeks. Spring Classics and TDF is all I'm worried about missing.
    This year, not an issue

    But I use a VPN service (PureVPN bit.ly/2ZTnWsm) and then connect to a UK server and view races on the EuroSport player where I have a subscription ($6-$10/mo depending on your plan and the exchange rate). Have heard of some folks having issues with non-UK credit cards, although I've not run into that problem myself. There are some virtual credit card options available with UK home country if that's an issue.

    There are other option out there.
    Last edited by 4Crawler; 03-22-2020 at 02:14 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Crawler View Post
    This year, not an issue

    But I use a VPN service (PureVPN bit.ly/2ZTnWsm) and then connect to a UK server and view races on the EuroSport player where I have a subscription ($6-$10/mo depending on your plan and the exchange rate). Have heard of some folks having issues with non-UK credit cards, although I've not run into that problem myself. There are some virtual credit card options available with UK home country if that's an issue.

    There are other option out there.
    Using a VPN is a game of whack a mole.. sometimes they work.. then bam and you have to move on to another service provider because your IP block gets filtered.

    If you have a friend in the UK.. on a high speed residential line.. make nice.. have them setup openvpn, do the same on your side, and the use dynamic routing to route traffic through either end point (for example, you can use AS numbers to determine the route, figure out what the BBC BGP AS number is to find the net blocks, then setup dynamic routing to route anything to those netblocks through your friends residential line. works great...

    Granted.. it does require that both you and your friend are basically nerds... like me . Okay, no one is as nerdy as me.

  20. #20
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    I'm cutting the cord for good now. My telecom co once had a decent deal of like 90Cdn a month for phone, basic TV and 150mbps internet. But then after I added a couple channels to water classics and TDF, somehow my rate drifted up to like 170 a month. But now with my biz shut down and hemorraging money, I am going with a rival company starting tuesday $70/Cdn a month, no more telephone no more television cable.
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetSpeed View Post
    No thread hi-jack, but how can you watch the TDF in the evenings???? I'm cutting z cord in 2 weeks. Spring Classics and TDF is all I'm worried about missing.
    NBC Sports Gold is great if you don't mind paying.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljvb View Post
    Using a VPN is a game of whack a mole.. sometimes they work.. then bam and you have to move on to another service provider because your IP block gets filtered.

    If you have a friend in the UK.. on a high speed residential line.. make nice.. have them setup openvpn, do the same on your side, and the use dynamic routing to route traffic through either end point (for example, you can use AS numbers to determine the route, figure out what the BBC BGP AS number is to find the net blocks, then setup dynamic routing to route anything to those netblocks through your friends residential line. works great...

    Granted.. it does require that both you and your friend are basically nerds... like me . Okay, no one is as nerdy as me.
    I've not had an issue with blocked IPs, my VPN has a number of UK servers. What I find happens is that from time to time, iplocation.net will show some ambiguous country information, maybe 5 queries show UK and one shows Netherlands or something. When that happens, I just connect to a different UK server, like change from London/Maidenhead to Manchester. I've not tracked down which exact IP location service EuroSport uses, but if I get a clean UK page on iplocation.net, it's good to go.

    Some years ago, EuroSport had a series with Greg LeMond along with the TDF coverage. As an intro to that, they interviewed him in his Minnesota home living room. Big screen TV in the background with EuroSport playing. He mentioned how he loved the cycling coverage and watched it all the time with the family. No mention of surprise that he was able to do that or any mention of how he did it, nor any mention of it not being available in the US.

    Any way, they seem to be happy to take my money every month and at least I feel I'm supporting their coverage in some small way. If I happen to catch some of their content on a pirated stream or whatever, I have at least paid for it.

  23. #23
    Eddy 53:11
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    pricing ???
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetSpeed View Post
    pricing ???
    On the PureVPN plan, anywhere from $10/mo. down to a bit over $3/mo on the 2 yr. plan. I signed up for a 5 year plan a few years ago and that's around $1.50/mo. EuroSport is in the range of $5-10/mo depending on plan and the pound/dollar exchange rate. If I look back, I was paying that much extra for the Direct TV sports package to get the channels that carried some of the cycling events.

    I've also used VPN to get around geo-restricted videos on Youtube. The only issue there is you don't know the region that the video is enabled for, so it takes a little trial and error to find the right server. I run the VPN client on my home router, so I can change all my connected devices in one place.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetSpeed View Post
    pricing ???
    On PureVPN, plans run from $10/mo to about $3/mo. I signed up for a 5 yr. plan a few years ago and that's $1.50/mo. EuroSport is $5-10/mo. depending on plan and exchange rate. This is roughly what I was paying extra for my old Direct TV "sports package" that got me the channels with cycling coverage.

    I've also used VPN to view geo-restricted videos on places like YouTube. Takes a little more work there as the video description won't tell you what regions are allowed, so you need to make some educated guesses on which country(s) to try. I run VPN on my home network router so I can change all connected devices from one place.

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