Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

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Re: Dropping my cable TV package - advice

Sat May 21, 2011 1:04 am

kc8pql wrote:
^ +1 Cable has nothing to do with the Roku. It's the speed of your internet connection, no matter where it comes from, that determines the quality you receive.

+1. Both kc8pql and nnc3 describe it well.
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:15 am

Re: Dropping my cable TV package - advice

Wed May 25, 2011 7:54 am

claire9 wrote:
Thanks for your post. I have absolutely no qualms cutting the cord/doing without my cable TV lineup per se since Roku regular and private channels seems to address everything I need in terms of choice. My question was a "technical" one or rather elucidation since I don't know the first thing about how cable works/I want to keep only my cable internet with them and the Wi-Fi they just installed.

First things first. Don't pay the cable company for wi-fi. You can buy your own router and save about 10 a month rather than pay them for it. That is one more scam of theirs to nickel and dime you out of your money. Set up is easy - buy a router compatible with your wireless in your computer. Wireless G router with Wireless G in the computer, or Wireless N with Wireless N. If your computer supports wireless g and you buy a router that says Wireless B/G/N that will work as well. Then follow the instructions on the disk.

claire9 wrote:
What I was asking--because I don't understand how much power the cable company has over my
TV reception is: if they let me keep just my internet cable and the wi-fi, will it affect
the image quality of what I watch thru Roku on my [b]digital TV,[/b] because Roku HDMI
and the Wi-Fi will no longer be used with any of their TV digital packages.ter basic lineup.

I have a 1080p 120hz TV. I have cable Internet with Charter and have been cable free for almost a year now. My reception on the Roku is fine. Occasionally I have a loading issue with Netflix or Hulu that does not seem at all related to my cable or network. I also suffer from the green screen problem once in a while that seems more a result of my Roku and the interaction with my particular TV. It only happens on one of my TV's (use two Rokus on two different TV's). Comparing problems I face now with TV and back when I had cable TV, I have less problems now. Charter Cable TV would often freeze up on me or cause other issues for weeks on end. But keep in mind, I pay for 18 MBPS Internet. If you just go with the cheapest package and end up with 1 MBPS Internet you may have more problems.

claire9 wrote:
I don't want to suddenly have a lousy visual reception or no reception on my digital TV just with
ROKU if I no longer have cable TV. In other words does the Cable company can mess up
my TV reception if no longer subscribe to their TV package, but only to the cable Internet and Wi-fi.

No but they could cancel you cable internet if you eat bandwidth up. I pay for 18 MBPS Internet. But when I test it, it seems to always be closer to 11 MBPS (unless I run the test on charters website, then I get 20 MBPS). I would research you internet provider first and see how bad they are about using a lot of bandwidth. I have heard stories of people being cut off after only a few Gigabytes in a month. If you are going to rely on Internet for television a few GB may be a problem. I think on average an hour of HD TV uses almost a GB, although I have read articles that say it is lower you can use that 1 GB per hour rule to, figure out how much TV you watch per month. If you watch 2 hours a day, 30 days a month that can get you 60 GB of bandwidth used. Ask the company if they will cut you off if you use 60 GB a month. I think both Charter and Comcast try to keep you under 250 GB per month.
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:15 am

Re: Dropping my cable TV package - advice

Wed May 25, 2011 8:12 am

claire9 wrote:
I've had ROKU for about a week and it is working superbly. Already had Netflix and
from that platform got about everything else I need and more--foreign channels,
Nowhereman, etc. I called my TV provider. I want to keep cable internet and of
course I had wi-fi set up in order to use ROKU. I have a digital TV with the router
the cable folks put and HDMI cable. My initial platform was Netflix I've had
forever, so basically I did not need to have pay channels: I did sample
Hulu Plus for a day, but it isn't worthwhile. I can watch the few shows I
watched on expanded basic cable, from the web.

This may be a dumb question, but it's because I did not get a straight answer
when I called the cable folks. Can I drop my digital cable package from that
provider--keeping only the cable Internet and wi-fi and still be able to enjoy all
Roku channels clearly, in digital, since it is set up that way. Or will the fact
that If T do drop my digital package basic cable channels affect the quality
of watching Roku on my TV.

(If I do keep basic only with them...just a few channels I watched even less than
the extended-basic, my astronomically expensive monthly bill would only
be reduced by $6.00). Please let me know. Though I use my
computer a great deal, I am "a babe in the woods" about some simple
understanding of all that. Thanks!

Wow that's brave. When I called to cancel my television I just said, "I don't watch it enough" (which is true). I didn't want to say, "I am not going to pay for your TV service but instead I am going to use your Internet service to get my TV. That is what they hate. That is also probably why you didn't get a straight answer. We are still in relatively nerd territory with the cable cutting business. You have to sort of be covert about it as many of them have their own online packages they want you to pay for and are working to kill the cheaper options. I was able to cut a deal with my cable provider and got the basic local service for free with my 18 MBPS Internet. That year long deal is almost up so I will have to call and cancel the basic service and go back to an antennae. We rarely watch the basic local channels anyway. Who knows what will happen to my internet service with my large use of bandwidth when I cancel the local channels.

My advice, cancel TV totally, go to over the air TV and a Roku - wait for them to call you and see if they cut you a cheap deal on basic service then. That's how I got it for free.

If you want to get really geeky, cut the home phone too. You can get an Ooma Telo and only pay about $3.50 a month (taxes and 911 fees) for a home phone. In addition, they also have a premier service for $10 a month which can give you a second line and an Android or iPhone app that you can use to make unlimited calls over the Internet on your cell phone using the Ooma Telo service. The ultra geek can build their own (which I was going to do until I found the Ooma Telo), but I am not sure how to get 911 service working with it. ooma Telo can actually send your address to 911.
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Location: Nevada

Re: Dropping my cable TV package - advice

Thu May 26, 2011 1:19 pm

kc8pql and nnc3 did indeed say it well. I have cable Internet and cable TV. Maybe it is easier to visualize your reception by knowing that least in my case....I have one cable coming into the home which is bringing in my TV stations and my Internet signal. This cable is attached to a splitter..which from one connection goes directly to my cable modem to my wireless router ..the wireless part services the Roku and another computer which has a wireless card installed in it...wireless uses radio signals to communicate with other wireless. The other end of the splitter goes to my TV which gets expanded basic.

I watch my Roku using the wireless Internet signal. If I were to cut out my cable TV, it would not affect my viewing of Roku. What I would be doing is not have the signal splitter but simply have the original cable go to my cable modem which allows the cable company to connect me to their Internet which in turn allows me to watch the Roku using that Internet signal.

Keep in mind that your ROku viewing and your regular basic cable are really two separated viewing does not affect the other.

I would think that your cable company would have no problem letting you subscribe to the Internet signal only...and probably try to talk you into keeping your TV cable viewing..but that should be your decision. Perhaps you can have a friend call the cable company who is not a customer, and say they are interested in subscribing to the cable Internet and is that available to consumers...without using the cable TV at all. If the answer is Yes...then you should be able to do the same...just subscribe to what you want to.

I don't know what speed your Internet connection is but if it is giving you a good picture, you could stay with that speed. I have read that in the future cable companies and other Internet providers might try putting a cap on the amount of information you can access a month and you could ask at anytime if your Internet connection has any restrictions that you don't know about.
People can use the Internet without using streaming video so the providers don't know if someone just wants the Internet access without streaming while others will want both.

So whatever picture quality you are currently getting over the Internet connection to your Roku box should stay the same as it is really its own signal inside what is coming through your cable.

Hope this helps make more sense out of exactly what your cable company is sending you through your connection to them through the coaxial cable coming into your home.

I see other good suggestions in here about setting up your own wireless in case you are paying extra for that and also checking to see if there are any restrictions on an Internet account with your cable company. Like do they have a "cap" on total usage during the month. I would not talk specifically about streaming (cause I think they are getting sensitive to losing business to streaming) but would talk in general terms (IF they bring the subject up) as if I am not sure whether I am definitely interested in downloading streaming video...maybe in the future :wink:

Good luck.
Original Roku Model N1000,bought 2008 (2014 still works perfectly)
2014 new owner of Roku 3500 (HDMI) streaming stick
2016 new owner of Roku 3600 (HDMI) streaming stick
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Re: Dropping my cable TV package - advice

Fri May 27, 2011 6:00 am

One piece of advice is have an alternative quote available when you call. If you can get DSL in your area, get a quote and use that as leverage. If there is no alternative in your area, then don't mention it - but when you as a consumer have another option and if they don't give you the option to have just internet, you mention, "Well, Company XYZ has DSL service here, and their price is $$$" (of course, it will be lower, right :) ) - all of a sudden they will start making an exception.

With satellite, you always mention this when downgrading -"Company X has a package for 2 years for $29 and you are charging me $80!" - or with CC's when you are renegotiating an APR - your requests suddenly get noticed. I have dropped my CC rates by 5% by calling up my existing company (which I never had planned on leaving) - and telling them I had a pre-approval for a fixed rate, no annual fees - and the matched. Did this countless times in the past. One time AMEX wouldn't, so I left them.
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Re: Dropping my cable TV package - advice

Fri May 27, 2011 12:32 pm

claire9 wrote:

What I was asking--because I don't understand how much power the cable company has over my
TV reception is: if they let me keep just my internet cable and the wi-fi, will it affect
the image quality of what I watch thru Roku on my [b]digital TV,

Posts: 229
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:07 am

Re: Dropping my cable TV package - advice

Fri May 27, 2011 8:52 pm

Two things to remember with broadband (i.e. cable internet):

The speed you pay for is only the theoretical limit.....I paid for 3 meg and never saw 1.5, however when I called and complained, they directed me to the fine print. Turns out the neighbors (or in my case the whole town) share my bandwidth.

The second, and I tell you because I used to sell Charter--you'll have to be persistent if you only want internet. Cable is a cash cow, and they go so far as to tell their employees that internet only is just not possible. Retention is the way to go, be firm, and by all means threaten them with DSL.

I'm a cord cutter myself, three years now, and could NOT be happier. The last straw was when, at a whim, I plugged the HD tv into the mast antennae and found out that the local cable company was rebroadcasting HD in SD to save money--but of course for a monthly fee I could have those channels in HD. I went with DSL and I STILL marvel at saving $65 a month.
Very funny Scotty now beam down my pants!!!!

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