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  1. #1
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Exclamation Can you do live without Cable/satellite?

    My one year promotional price with Comcast is ending (was paying half price) and after seeing the regular price for just barebone basic digital service ($60), I will probably cancel.

    Not a big sport fan and only watched may be three or four channels regularly out of their basic package line up. And since have most of my favorite movie and TV shows on DVD (with no commercials ), probably will not miss anything by not having cable.

    So was wondering if anybody else can do without their Cable or satellite service?

  2. #2
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Not a chance. It's the reason for my being.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  3. #3
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    I'm pondering that exact same question.

    I just cut a deal with comcast that will expire in a few months. even so, with internet and all the movie channels except the cinemax family, it's stil lcosting $140. It'll go up to over $160 in a few months.

    The movies don't bother me that much. I've got a Blockbuster on the next block.

    I'm not a big sports fan either.

    As for OTA, I get all the major network feeds (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, CW?, PBS and some other thing) in crystal clear HD. I also get a handful of UHF digital stations as well, including ION, which seems to be an up-and-comer.

    My only concern is that I really like BBCA and Dr Who on Sci-Fi. Jimmy Neutron is gonna be missed, too.

    Methinks I'll be buying Dr Who when it comes out on DVD.

  4. #4
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    I'm doing just fine without either thank you.

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  5. #5
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    I'm currently in medical school, so I do without TV of any kind. Not only do I not want to use my loan money for something I have little time to enjoy, but any time spent watching TV is time I should probably spend studying. I don't need the extra distraction. Still, I keep a TV around for the occasional movie night. To tell the truth, I haven't had TV for close to 2 years now, and I haven't missed it much, but only because I'm so busy.
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  6. #6
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    I got the starz/HBO deal with phone & internet service. I got about a year still on my triple play deal since I just signed up but no way I'm paying the regular price. I love the HD premium channels on demand but not willing to pay regular price for it.

    Not sure what I'm gonna do when my promotion expires but I gotta have my cable.

  7. #7
    RGA
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    MarkW and others

    I was living in Korea for two years with 3 channels in English.

    Don't pay these silly fees for cable. What you do is get bittorent through Btjunkie. Doctor Who would come out on Saturday in the UK. I would go online Sunday and download the file - a few hours later boom you have the 350mb file. Outstanding picture quality even uploaded to the 40 inch Sony Bravia. Downside is you lose some added features like CC(or I have not figured it out).

    But I downloaded every show I like such as Boston Legal and Dexter. All with no commercials and really only one day late - all FREE.

    Plus if you have missed shows you can download entire seasons. I have both Seasons of Dexter and they have not even started to show season 2 in Canada. I have all 7 years of Star Trek TNG, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, all of the Doctor Who Tom Baker seasons, John Pertwee, Sylvester McCoy and most of the William Hartnel - in fact I have most all of the Doctor Who Episodes since 1963.

    Almost any HBO series - I download all the Bill Maher shows, you can get pretty much anything - certainly if it's on DVD.

    The program takes up no space on your computer and viruses are almost unheard of. I won;t be buying any form of cable ever again. Why pay to watch adverts?

    And music - type in Johnny Cash and you can get his entire catalog in a few days.

    Buy a big external hard drive or two - Seagate or something 750gig for under $190 and you can get a LOT of stuff on there.

    Still I believe in the notion that if you like it you should buy it. I really liked Dexter so I recently bought the season on DVD. If you don't like it don;t buy it but don't keep it - you get to try on a T-shirt before you buy and you get to listen to a CD before you buy so you should get to watch some episodes before you buy. I do the same with music. But paying to watch a coke commercial is nuts if you think about it - they should be paying me to have to sit and watch their adverts.

  8. #8
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    I wished cable/satellite providers offer some type of ala-cart packages where one could choose and pick their favorite channels in package without having to subscribe to basic service. I remember when Direct broadcast satellite got launched in 90ís, one could choose only premium movie channels packages for $35 without having to subscribe to basic channels.

    Think the main reason I could do without Cable is having DSL Internet service with unlimited free MP3s and music feeds (not to mention porn ), and chatting with good folks like you. That pretty much take most of my free time.

    But some like Natronforever have homework to fill their free time. I donít know what GMichael and Rich do to fill in their free time

    L.J. mentioned that he have Internet thru cable company, and that might be reason for some to keep their cable service, as it make sense since DSL is not available outside telephone company set radius.

    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    As for OTA, I get all the major network feeds (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, CW?, PBS and some other thing) in crystal clear HD. I also get a handful of UHF digital stations as well, including ION, which seems to be an up-and-comer.
    That is also another reason that could do without cable. Although my TV is not HD, but it does have digital tuner and get about 14 OTA digital channels. PBS have four channel feed in my area and always find something to watch when get tired of computer or watching DVD.

    Shows like Nova, Nature, Independent Lens, Frontline or Ask This Old House are very addictive.

  9. #9
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Plus if you have missed shows you can download entire seasons. I have both Seasons of Dexter and they have not even started to show season 2 in Canada. I have all 7 years of Star Trek TNG, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, all of the Doctor Who Tom Baker seasons, John Pertwee, Sylvester McCoy and most of the William Hartnel - in fact I have most all of the Doctor Who Episodes since 1963.

    Almost any HBO series - I download all the Bill Maher shows, you can get pretty much anything - certainly if it's on DVD.
    That is good point RGA. One can get pretty much download any shows (even classic TV or movies) from Usenet if not found on the net.

    And you right on about commercials on TV. Anytime I surf basic channels and a program is on, I bet to myself that withing 15 second it will go into commercial. And most of time I am right

  10. #10
    Forum Regular filecat13's Avatar
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    I've never had cable, so obviously it's possible to live without it. I've sometimes lived in remote areas where only two or three broadcast channels could be found, if the atmospheric conditions were right. So I resorted to playing games with the kids, conversing with other adults, reading, listening to music, volunteering, engaging in hobbies, and (legal) sex. All of those are by far more useful than TV.

    I still got to see all the major news events, sports events, and prime time shows that shaped my generation.

    Now that I'm in a major city, I got a couple of Samsung OTA HDTV receivers, and I can get way more channels than I can watch. I don't know what I'd do with more. I still do most of the things listed above, although the kids are gone, I'm divorced, and the sex is now with a younger woman.
    I like sulung tang.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey
    That is good point RGA. One can get pretty much download any shows (even classic TV or movies) from Usenet if not found on the net.

    And you right on about commercials on TV. Anytime I surf basic channels and a program is on, I bet to myself that withing 15 second it will go into commercial. And most of time I am right
    In other words you dont have a dvr.
    Right now I am waiting for Battlestar to finish recording on sci fi.
    Then I will zip through the commercials.
    The premium pay channels were nice in HD, but expensive.
    But when you consider the HD channes I still have not to mention the cable modem,
    theres no way I would get rid of cable.
    As for dvd, theres a lot of movies on the on demand, and a lot are free, some HD.
    Not to mention 30 channels of music.
    Its a bargain, really
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  12. #12
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Due to a very tight budget we did not have cable for about 6 years.
    i think it drove the cable company crazy as we must have got 2 calls a month asking us to subscribe. They even sent a guy to the house who seemed to be amazed we were able to wathc TV w/o cable or satellite dish. He treated me like an idiot who did not really "understand" how TV worked and that I must be using satellite when I said we used an antena to watch TV.

  13. #13
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    I could do with out it I don't watch that much TV. I do like Nat Geo and Discovery. The main thing is I'd have rebellion in my household if we couldn't get Sponge Bob. Then my wife likes the watch the House, Law & Order & CSI re-runs on USA and TNN.

    I think once people realize the benefit of digital to OTA it will gain some popularity again. It's free and being able to offer more than one channel per network adds options. Not to mention the best way to receive HD.

    You know though if things don't get better and budgets tighten at an average of $80.00 a month for either service people are going to be tempted to see if they can live with out a few favorite shows. You can cut off cable and get one more tank of gas a month

  14. #14
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    I have DirecTV, and like it very much, though whenever there's a bad storm in the area, I usually lose the signal. The picture and sound quality are excellent, as is that of any program I record. Recording is incredibly easy to set up, and I can even record two different programs at once. The HD quality of recorded material is every bit the equal of an HD broadcast too.

    I did have the additional "premium" package at one time (HBO, Showtime, etc.), but cancelled it, as I rarely ever watched those channels. While I loved programs such as "Rome," and "Dexter," I rented the DVD set and watched them in that manner.

    And I can't deny how much I appreciate being able to pause, or rewind live TV.

    I don't know the answer to this, but is it even possible to receive an HD broadcast without either cable or satellite?

  15. #15
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    Emaidel if a HDTV has the HD tuner you can receive HD using an antenna. If you are close enough to pick up local channels over the air from an antenna. Some of the stations even offer more than one feed now, as Smokey mentioned above. My local PBS is the same way, using over the air broadcast with an antenna channel 9 is the normal PBS then there is 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4. Each having a different program line up. One is even 24 hour PBS kids. If I had known that I probably wouldn't have satelite right now. The TV has to have a digital tuner though. When you go through the set up the tuner will scan for these digital channels. It has been my experience that over the air has looked better to me than either cable or satelite. When I had cable the HD picture was the least favorable but the sound is better than satelite, with satelite the HD content is slightly better but the sound is pretty poor. Over the air picture was best, I have not had over the air sound hooked to my sound system yet to judge but I suspect it's superior as well.

    The big deal about analog TV being shut off 2/09 is related to this. After 2/09 if they stick to their guns, there will not be anymore analog over the air transmissions, you can only get digital broadcasts with a digital tuner. This won't effect anyone hooked to cable or satelite, only those who watch TV using an antenna. I would doubt if any local station has not upgraded to a digital transmission by now. In my local area the digital is very good and it would even be better if other stations went to the multi feed programming. So far PBS does this and our NBC affiliate offers NBC HD on 5.1 and a 24 hours weather channel on 5.2. When my contract runs out I'm seriously considering just using over the air, the prices of various content providers is ridiculous. First of all you have to have some type of package and then if you want anything premium you are pushing up toward $100.00 a month easy, add some bundling to that and you are probably well over $100.00. Add to that the fact that if you ever have a problem you usually have to deal with some one on the phone who seems not to even know what a cable or satelite box is. You are right, the DVR/TiVo whatever your provider calls it will certainly spoil you. Pause and rewind of live programs, record shows while you are gone or busy to watch later and being able to skip commercials are all very very nice. If receiving cable they even offer VOD (video on demand) which has a lot of free content. You can go in and watch a episode of Dexter that aired the previous night or week, our cable had quite a bit of this content from various networks. Them and I just couldn't get along though. These people act like they are doing you a favor by taking your money and to make me happy they take as much as they can

  16. #16
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    My job keeps me out of town for 10 days per month on average, sometimes more. I couldn't live without a PVR. I watch enough sports in HD alone to make the cable fees worthwhile. It's a small price to pay for the satisfaction I get, really. I'm a big VOD user too for stuff I can't find in rental stores, or TV series. If I break it down per hour, and attribute a premium for the quality feed I'm watching (audio and video), it's a good deal for me.

    I've watched downloaded HD TV shows when I had to, but I honestly find better value in paying the cable bill than watching this poor quality illegal reproduction for free. I'm not preaching morals here, I just find it comparatively unwatchable once you've become used to higher quality, lower compression HD feeds. Especially when streamed to my 51" HDTV. Puke. On a 21" monitor, it's not as bad.

    I probably watch 15 hrs per week at home. A few hours each day on average. Football season puts that number up, hockey season too. I'm hooked on MMA now. I don't watch near as much network TV as I used to. I skip through commercials. My wife maybe watches another 10. We watch very little together from cable - Lost and a few other shows. I don't think we're high users really compared to a lot of families.

    But $100-$140 for internet plus the full package is a good chunk of money to a lot of people and I can see the downloading trend being attractive to some. While I don't agree with illegally downloading TV shows in principle I guess its out there for people. It's not going to lower prices to a point people will suddenly stop downloading and start paying because some arbitrary "fair price" has been reached. It can't be helping the entertainment biz much, but I'm guessing a lot of families don't have $1500 per year to spend on cable TV.

    Not sure I could pull the plug, go through the hassle of downloading shows I wanted, suffer through the quality loss, and give up all the news and sports I watch to boot. I hope enough people pull the plugs on it just to convince the cable companies to lower prices some though...

  17. #17
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Directv's sports package alone makes satellite service worthwhile. Since I don't live in SoCal, the satellite feeds for FSN West and Prime Ticket let me keep up with my favorite teams. Plus, it gives me the NFL Network, Speed, ESPNU, CBS College Sports Network, NBA TV, NHL TV, the Big Ten Network, and all of the regional FSN and Comcast Sports feeds.

    Aside from that, I'll also watch TNT, USA, Investigation Discovery, CNN, MSNBC, Food Network, TruTV, A&E, and History Channel. Plenty of programming to choose from, and with the full channel palette, it's nice to know that if some program arrives on a channel that I rarely watch (e.g., Bridezillas on WE), I have it.
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  18. #18
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emaidel
    I don't know the answer to this, but is it even possible to receive an HD broadcast without either cable or satellite?
    Absolutely. Almost all of the over-the-air TV broadcasts are now simulcast digitally. All new TVs sold for at least the past couple of years have had to have DTV tuners built in, regardless of whether their screen resolution is HD. The upcoming government mandate for DTV does not mean that these signals must be HD resolution, but the signal format is readily scalable to HD resolution. In fact, the OTA signal has a higher bandwidth than what Directv and Dish Network use for those channels. Directv and Dish compensate for this by using the more advanced MPEG-4 format on their HD receivers, but OTA signals still retain a higher bandwidth.
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  19. #19
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    I posted a thread in news and views, comcast and most other cable companies are
    ditching analog service, so digital will be the only choice.
    And the DTV standard only means that a signal must be compatible with the new
    standard, doesnt specify HD at all
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    Yeah my special rate with Comcast also recently expired. Shortly the apartment living will be history and once again my own place. So this thread really got me thinking. I'll for sure be looking at other options. I think once the withdrawals from the DVR , pause live, on demand etc pass I'll be alright. After all as a young co worker reminded me the other day, I'm from the era of half a dozen channels and rabbit ears.

  21. #21
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Im not really at home enough to warrant the cost anymore...that, and the fact that if you know where to go you can find almost anything you want on the net. Free movies, network broadcast, , sports, etc., it's all there. For the two or three shows a week I might miss that's a pretty big price ( I also don't have a family clamoring for it so I understand there are different perspectives).

    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc

    I'm hooked on MMA now...

    Hey Kex,

    Whattya think of the upcoming "Affliction" show being headlined by the Sylvia v. Emelianenko match? Personally, I think it's gona be a blowout but stranger things have happened.

  22. #22
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    I'd miss it admittedly

    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey
    My one year promotional price with Comcast is ending (was paying half price) and after seeing the regular price for just barebone basic digital service ($60), I will probably cancel.

    Not a big sport fan and only watched may be three or four channels regularly out of their basic package line up. And since have most of my favorite movie and TV shows on DVD (with no commercials ), probably will not miss anything by not having cable.

    So was wondering if anybody else can do without their Cable or satellite service?
    I watch enough that I'd miss it if it weren't there. Principally I watch news, principally CNN, CBC, and BBC, plus documentaries and Jon Steward and Steven Colbert

    We don't subscribe to any sports or movie channels, or HD (given I my wife and I have only a 27" CRT). I have zero interest in sports. I'd watch the odd movie I'd watch but I'd need to do some serious time shifting and I don't the patience or equipment to do that.

  23. #23
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2chAlex
    Yeah my special rate with Comcast also recently expired. Shortly the apartment living will be history and once again my own place. So this thread really got me thinking. I'll for sure be looking at other options. I think once the withdrawals from the DVR , pause live, on demand etc pass I'll be alright. After all as a young co worker reminded me the other day, I'm from the era of half a dozen channels and rabbit ears.
    Me too.
    BUT LIKE an alchohic whos gone off on the crack I CANT GO BACK.
    Speaking of which, the "net" was off last night, fine, watch some cable.
    AND then the POWER went off, over eight counties, for ten minutes.
    MY cable box lost power and the program guide.
    No problem, but the power comes back on and...NO PROGRAM GUIDE.
    Seems its downloaded! Didnt know what channel I was on half the time, didnt know what was on, couldnt get on the net...
    I think I have ONE fingernail left...
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