Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

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Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby Papa2x » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:42 pm

Hello. I just want an opinion on how far Roku can go to eliminate the need for cable / FIOS. I don't see me coming here a ton as I am on too many forums. :)

Basically we watch like 8 channels, and the important ones are HBO, Food Network, and USA. We also get local TV that way. My kids watch Nicklelodeon. Maybe I watch some UFC once in awhile... that's about it.

If I were to get the top Roku box, and add an antennae for local, how close would I be to getting rid of cable. I'm tired of paying $100 a month for TV.
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby scyber » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:51 pm

Well you can't get HBO w/o a TV subscription of some sort. Of course if you are willing to wait, I'm pretty sure all HBO series do eventually come out on DVD. So you could always view them that way. Of course you will be 12-18 months behind in the series.

USA currently does not have a streaming option. There are some pieces of software that can run on your computer and transcode the website to a format playable on the Roku. But talk of that type of software is typically discouraged here (since it typically is a violation of the content providers terms of service).

There used to be a Food network private channel, not sure what the current status of it is though.

There is a UFC channel on the roku.

There is alot of Nickelodeon content on Netflix. So much that I have stopped recording many Nick shows on my DVRs and just use Netflix. Of course the current season isn't usually available, so if that is an issue, then it may not work. My kids are 4 and 2 so they don't really care about the latest episodes, they are happy watching the same one over and over :)
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby scyber » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:55 pm

I should add that some (many? all?) of the USA original shows are available via Amazon videos. Of course you will have to pay $2 per episode to watch ($3 for HD). That can still work out cheaper than $100 per month.

Also don't forget that if you drop your TV service, your internet cost may go up. I know with my FIOS package, dropping TV only saves me ~$35/month.
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby KennyJ » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:59 pm

We use a mixture of Roku (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu+), OTA TV, and Computer (VGA cable hooked up) for our TV.

Right now, we probably pay about $34/mo for TV (We have 2 Netflix subs so we can put parental controls on the Roku in my son's room). So Netflix x 2, Hulu, and then $10/mo for TIVO. We could obviously drop our bill by $8/mo if Netflix allowed profiles or easier parental controls. We paid $40 for Amazon Prime, but actually use the Prime shipping relatively regularly, so it's not strictly a "TV" cost.

I think even if we had cable, we'd still pay for Netflix. We probably wouldn't pay for Hulu + though.

With those options, we get most of what we want. I don't hook-up the TV to the computer very much, but I've made it a little easier with the Kylo browser and a Android app that works like a mouse.
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby blue_94_trooper » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:17 pm

I can't because there is no good option for local sports besides cable. It's something you need to figure out based upon your own priorities.

I have the Roku on top of a full-blown cable subscription because I like options.
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby knuckle » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:18 pm

I am not so channel specific as content specific so "hbo" or "usa" doesn't mean much to me.I had satellite for a long time (both c-band and direct tv) and I find that netflix and the other services on roku replaced satellite quite nicely.I went from about $60 dollars a month down to $8 and as long as Justin tv works on my roku 1 I am happy---I was never big on sports or ppv tho...
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby optikhog » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:41 am

scyber wrote:Also don't forget that if you drop your TV service, your internet cost may go up. I know with my FIOS package, dropping TV only saves me ~$35/month.


This right here is why we still have Charter. After discussing internet pricing with a cord-cutting neighbor and then reviewing my own bill, I'd save all of $19/month by dropping cable - and even if we did cut the cord, we'd likely need Hulu+, bringing the savings down to $11/month. Smart move on the cable company's part as that's not worth the headache for us just yet since the wife/kids still love their up-to-date programming on Nick/Food and I get to keep watching Speed channel.

In discussing with another neighbor, it looks like our most significant cost savings WITH cable is in *not* renting all of their gear. We run BeyondTV for whole-house DVR functionality and when combined with the Roku, I only need one tiny set-top cable box in the house (hooked up to the DVR and with courtesy pricing bundled into our current package). That stuff adds up quickly - my neighbor is paying almost $20/month/TV to have their DVRs supplied for them. Yeesh. I've easily achieved ROI by rolling my own DVR several years ago from a leftover home PC and three inexpensive nettops plus three Rokus (<$1000 all in).
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby DBDukes » Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:07 am

Papa2x wrote:Hello. I just want an opinion on how far Roku can go to eliminate the need for cable / FIOS. I don't see me coming here a ton as I am on too many forums. :)

Basically we watch like 8 channels, and the important ones are HBO, Food Network, and USA. We also get local TV that way. My kids watch Nicklelodeon. Maybe I watch some UFC once in awhile... that's about it.

If I were to get the top Roku box, and add an antennae for local, how close would I be to getting rid of cable. I'm tired of paying $100 a month for TV.

You may want to jump to my summary...

As stated earlier, HBO requires a service like cable or satellite, unless you are willing to wait for content to become available via Netflix or Amazon.com.

Most USA content is available via Hulu or Hulu Plus. Note that Hulu is available only via browser or via Hulu Desktop (Windows, Mac, Linux). Hulu Plus is available via same, plus via Roku, iPad/iTunes, Android/Market, TiVo (Premiere box), and Xbox/Live Gold.

Amazon Video On Demand is available streaming on Roku or through a browser. App is Windows only and requires content be downloaded. Downloads are also required for TiVo viewing.

Netflix Streaming is on just about every kind of device you can imagine.

You didn't ask about sports via ESPN3, but others might be curious. You need either a browser or Xbox Live Gold and an affiliated Internet Service Provider (big list, but not all ISPs).

There is no one device that can replace all of your cable. However, Roku is one of the cheapest ways to get a lot of content. Next cheapest would probably be Xbox 360 with a Live Gold account, then TiVo (Premiere or later box) service.

Roku: $59 - $99 one time; Netflix: $96/year; Hulu Plus: $96/year. Total $16/month for services.
Xbox 360: $199 - $399 one time; Live Gold: $60/year; Netflix: $96/year; Hulu Plus: $96/year. Total $21/month for services.
TiVo Premier: $99 - $299 one time; TiVo service: $240/year, $500/life of device; Netflix: $96/year; Hulu Plus: $96/year. Total $36/month for services.

Summary

For me, it came down to adding up the yearly cost of cable, vs Netlix monthly, Hulu Plus monthly, and à la carte via Amazon or iTunes. I couldn't replace all shows, but it helped me determine how much extra I was paying for those few shows. So, I cut the cord and bought Roku devices.
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby Papa2x » Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:43 am

Thanks for the answers. I don't think Roku is what I was imagining it to be as far as content.
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby Gilgamesh » Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:54 am

I dropped cable almost 2 years ago and I have never regretted it. However I just recently moved to a new smaller place (The old one was just too big for my needs) and the rent includes extended basic cable. So I now have access to most of the standard cable content but I find I use it so rarely that I could easily not have it and never miss it.

Everything I want is either available from the network's various web sites or Hulu through a computer connected to my TV so there is nothing I miss except the hideously annoying local commercials. The national commercials shown on Hulu or the network web sites are much less annoying.

I had a computer running NPVR to record a bit over the air at my old place and I changed it to work with the cable when I moved but I used it so seldom that when it recently broke I have not bothered to get it going again as it seems I don't need it at all.

All in all I firmly believe that for most people once they drop cable and do without it for a while they will never miss it and save a lot of money and have more quality stuff to watch than the ever had with cable or any of the satellite services.

One more thing internet streaming is growing and content is being added all the time and discovering all that new stuff is simply fun and at my age fun is something rare.

But I do have to say that old age memory loss has a huge upside: I NEVER have to watch a rerun. In fact I watched a new episode of "I Love Lucy" a few days ago. She still looks as young as ever and it was funny watching her attempt at filming a commercial for a daily vitamin supplement.
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby mommom » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:26 am

Vitameatavegamin :lol:
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby mkiker2089 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:38 pm

Can you do without cable? Yes, easily

Will you be able to watch anything at anytime? No, and you can't with cable either. However between Netflix, Hulu, and Crackle you will always find something great to watch. People have to get out of the shot attention span mentality. If it isn't brand new then it's crap, well that line of thinking is crap. There are many channels that I haven't even began to research because the three I use have more than I have time to sit down and watch.

Will you get sports? Not all but what you can't is available online.

Here's the final word on it from me, people spend too much time killing time. I watch A LOT of Netflix so don't think I'm judging or anything. The point is that viewed media is just that, killing time. Does it matter if you watch the latest episode of Teen Mom? Really? No, it doesn't. Does it matter that you watch something that you enjoy as much, well yeah that matters.
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby ericdouglas17 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:50 pm

I've been using roku exclusively for a couple of months now. DirecTV is "suspended", meaning I can go back to my old pricing if I want. The argument for cost is easy for us:

2 roku boxes, upgrade wireless router, digital OTA antenna: $275 or so
Hulu+, Netflix: $8/month
DirecTV: $75/month

I'll admit that it's been a little tough at times. Not having CNN live, or ESPN are bummers. Not being able to record specials like the Peanuts Halloween for my kids is a bummer as well. But we're getting almost everything we need through Roku, and with more flexibility.

Just spent two weeks in CA with my family, and we brought it along (nice and small, easy to travel!). Plugged it in, and had all of my content at my fingertips in under two minutes. We can also watch a lot of stuff online or on our Androids, so there's that flexibility too.

I've been disappointed with some Roku channels, however. The CNN one always seems to freeze, and never loads a show. Crackle is ok, but lacks decent content. My goal wasn't to watch more TV, but to pay for what I do watch. So we're achieving that goal, and getting used to the lack of ESPN/CNN.
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby Papa2x » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:37 pm

Thank you all for your replies. :)

I have some thinking to do.
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Re: Can you really do away with cable / FIOS?

Postby Crow550 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:06 am

You can research on your PC now at what is available before deciding to cancel. Consider trying some options out now while still having cable.

For Netflix streaming look at: http://www.instantwatcher.com & http://www.thenowhereman.com/netflix/

For upcoming films look at: http://feedfliks.com/streaming/coming-soon

Crackle: http://www.crackle.com

For Amazon look at: http://www.amazon.com/vod

Local TV. Check http://www.titantv.com or a better TV listing site.

Roku channels: http://www.roku.com/roku-channel-store

Not every device will have it all. Consider mixing & matching net enabled devices that do offer different stuff than the rest. Like with Blu-Ray players and such.

Also consider a Media Center PC or getting a tuner for your PC then streaming recorded shows.

Look at the content you will be getting. Then decide if you & your Family can adjust to it. Tell your Family you can use the cash you save from cable on something extra for the Family.

Roku has a lot of content. Even cool private channels.

You like to keep up with the News because there Newscaster channel is pretty good.

Take your time & do your Homework. You'll figure it out. Don't be afraid to add in content while you still have cable. Also a good way to see if the added content will help decide if the cable is really worth it to you. So try a Roku box & Netflix. Try setting up an Outdoor Antenna for OTA TV. Maybe even a Indoor and such and still keep the cable. Just do it now and add it on top of the cable then make the choice. Don't just cancel and get a Roku & OTA. Try it while you still have Cable to see if it's right for you. It's that simple.

I do not understand why some people immediately will just cancel Cable or Satellite & get something like a Roku box without looking much into it. Then come in places like these Forums and complain & say how Roku sucks & lacks there favorite content and so forth. When they could have just tried the other options before choosing just one over the other? :roll:

So don't make that mistake. Add on to your current service then compare and contrast. Then decide. :D
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