Satellite / Cable replacement

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Satellite / Cable replacement

Postby wendyshinyo » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:11 am

Hi all,

I'm about to take the deep plunge and give up DISH TV. I watch very little of the content that I can't get through Roku or OTA. My few hesitations are typical:

*I will miss live Cable News on TV - no answer to that really

*I haven't found a reliable delivery of MSNBC content to TV through Roku

*I'm still searching for the "perfect" solution (if there is one) to a media player/streamer for content I can't get through Roku (like Hulu, etc.). I have a wii and PlayOn server, but I hate the quality through the wii and the wii interface

*I'm in process of deciding on the best solution or "box" for playback of recorded (through Windows Media Center which will function as my DVR) - Popcorn Hour? Western Digital HD TV Live? I'm looking for something that will support almost any media formats and has both wired an wireless potential, plus an easy USB storage device playback (probably local to the unit) that won't have local wifi streaming issues.

*I'm also going to finally dump my Sony Trinitron and get an HDTV (the savings of no satellite justifies it) and I want to get my infrastructure decided on prior to buying.

So, wise tech / media gurus - do I wait a while to see what happens in this market - or do I just do it. And if I just do it, would something like Western Digital TV Live fill the bill or do you think I need Popcorn Hour C series. I don't want to do a lot of technical wrangling, but I'm willing to walk a portable hard drive from one room to the other.

I'd love to stick with Roku only, but I don't think it's the everything box yet - although it's what made me see the possibility of dumping satellite to begin with.

Thanks for any thoughts and comments.

Wendy
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Terk HDTVa antenna (3 TVs)
Roku 3, 2-Roku 2, Roku XDS
Simple.TV 1
Acer Aspire R3700
Windows 7 PC / Hauppauge tuner / WMC
Samsung BluRay/DVD
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Re: Satellite / Cable replacement

Postby jcmolet » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:31 am

I ditched DirecTV about four months ago and I don't regret it for a minute. Going without satellite is not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I maintained basic cable - which is also my ISP - so I still get approximately 30 channels there, five of which are HD. Between the basic cable, Roku DVPs (Amazon, Netflix, Pandora, Revision3, TwIT and various podcasts) and AppleTVs (iTunes, ripped DVDs and various podcasts) I have access to everything I want to watch. My cable/satellite bill went from $220/mo. down to $60/mo. Actually, it has recently gone up to $80/mo. as I upgraded from 12.5 Mbps to 25 Mbps service. I am not familiar with WD Digitial TV Live, however, I did use a Popcorn Hour A-110 briefly. Unfortunately, it crashed way too often, was too slow and the UI was painful to look at; it currently just sits in a closet. Unfortunately, there isn't a perfect solution. However, there are definitely enough solutions out there to meet your needs if you get creative enough.
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Re: Satellite / Cable replacement

Postby QuantumIguana » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:29 am

Get a PC to supplement the Roku, and connect that to your TV. It doesn't have to be an expensive one, I use an old Celeron PC to play web content and to play back TV that I recorded using the TV tuner on my main PC.
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Re: Satellite / Cable replacement

Postby BoloMKXXVIII » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:31 am

It sounds like you already have a Media Center PC. If it does not have a tuner you can pick up a cheap USB tuner and connect it to a good antenna. You can load up Hulu desktop and I would install VLC for any media you get with funky codecs. I like Clicker.com in Firefox but that is just me. You might want to try out Miro too (getmiro.com). With all of this and a Roku you will have more media than you can watch in a lifetime. I ditched cable completely back in November and have never looked back. If you find it doesn't serve your needs you can always go back to the dark side. :D
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Re: Satellite / Cable replacement

Postby moviegeek65 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:40 am

I ditched cable one year ago and I don't miss it, I have a Roku and a OTA antenna for local programming. I get 12 channels OTA and all network news, I go online to get the latest news or use the Pod TV channel. If you can get OTA where you live then I say get an HDTV and a good antenna, the picture quality is very good.
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Re: Satellite / Cable replacement

Postby wendyshinyo » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:45 am

Thanks for the input. I already bought an indoor antenna and I get good reception from it - so that part is taken care of. And I have recorded OTA via Windows 7 Media Center and that worked great. Those steps are complete. I'm now working out best media storage-server to TV scenarios. And also trying to get my Sony laptop to display on a Samsung TV to check. That's in a stall right now ;)

But I consider this a project and work-in-process. It's kind of fun thinking about everything, too. I was a broadcast engineer in TV (one of the first female FCC First Class Radiotelephone Engineers back when it mattered in the early 1970s) and I'm a writer now, so it's fun to be back thinking about "broadcast" technology.

Thanks!

Wendy
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Terk HDTVa antenna (3 TVs)
Roku 3, 2-Roku 2, Roku XDS
Simple.TV 1
Acer Aspire R3700
Windows 7 PC / Hauppauge tuner / WMC
Samsung BluRay/DVD
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Re: Satellite / Cable replacement

Postby QuantumIguana » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:42 pm

What I do for my DVRing is to record OTA TV on my main PC, and then play the recorded files back on an old Celeron PC that is hooked up to my TV. I could run a long VGA cable from my main PC to the TV, but this avoids the cable and that long of a cable can pick up interference anyway. My recorded TV files go into a shared folder on my main PC so my second PC can access them.

The second PC also is useful for Hulu and other web content that I can't get on the Roku.
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