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Thread: Getting rid of cable...?

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm not sure if this is the right place to being this discussion - could someone please move it if not?

    As fellow frugal people, I thought some of you may have some opinions on this question... does getting rid of cable 'work' (and if so, how did/can you do it)? I rarely watch TV... maybe a half hour of news in the morning and a couple evening shows a week (e.g., I love 'Top Chef', and often watch a few sitcoms like Modern Family and the Big Bang Theory), but that's it. The rest of the time if I'm in front of the TV I'm either randomly flipping around complaining about how there's nothing on, or throwing in a DVD of an HBO series. Lately I've been considering 'quitting cable', but I have no idea where to start... I always hear people talking about how Netflix has replaced their cable, but I can't find a lot of good info online. Has anyone does this and/or does anyone know how one might go about it?

    Any info/insight would be appreciated!!!

    Thanks in advance for your help!
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    Smart Canuck mulock's Avatar
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    I ditched cable years ago.....in fact, just set up Genesis through XBMC last night on my BoxeeBox.
    http://www.maketecheasier.com/xbmc-a...oy-cable-bill/

    Also have USATVnow for streaming the major USA networks.
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    When I moved out on my own I decided not to get cable but get a good internet package instead. I'm not usually home and I rarely watched "live" TV anyway. The layout of my apartment doesn't allow a clear sight line to the TV from the kitchen so I wouldn't even use it for background, so I figured it would be a waste of my money. Now, I primarily watch Netflix and most TV shows are on channel websites (ie. Citytv, CTV, CBC). You can also add an extension for Chrome that masks IP addresses so you can watch geo-blocked content online if you can't find it on a Canadian website.

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    • The easiest way to cut the cord is with an ATSC Over the Air (OTA) antenna. This how I cut my cord. You get local stations streamed uncompressed HD from nearby broadcast towers. In Vancouver, I get about 6 stations. However I'm lucky to have a window facing local broadcast towers to place an antenna. Antenna performance varies from home to home.
    • Netflix is basically a movie service that you can also have on your computer. Note... Netflix Canada content is very limited to Netflix USA. The Canadian content is very old when I looked at it. Also video streaming services can impact your monthly internet cap.
    • You can get content by going to your favourite TV station website. However, they are often news highlights and TV episodes may be limited.


    I got rid of cable for 4 years and recently went back when I got myself an HD TV with surround sound.
    • love the PVR, love being able to record 4 stations at the same time with crystal clear images
    • love the 5.1 surround audio
    • there is no impact to my internet cap
    • love the Telus wireless cable boxes that I can put TV's anywhere in the house, not just the window that faces the broadcast towers
    • love Optik on the Go that allows me to send broadcasts to my laptop, tablet or phone
    • if the basic TV doesn't have anything good, I sign up for movie packages or video on demand. While the movie packages cost more.... I save on gas and time going to the theatres. I saved money in not buying Blu-Rays and DVD's too.
    • I used to pay for CinemaNow on the internet, but cable images are in HD and I also have closed-caption.
    • Telus Video on Demand has me watching movies in 3D! Much cheaper than 3D Blu-Ray.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephy8200 View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I'm not sure if this is the right place to being this discussion - could someone please move it if not?

    As fellow frugal people, I thought some of you may have some opinions on this question... does getting rid of cable 'work' (and if so, how did/can you do it)? I rarely watch TV... maybe a half hour of news in the morning and a couple evening shows a week (e.g., I love 'Top Chef', and often watch a few sitcoms like Modern Family and the Big Bang Theory), but that's it. The rest of the time if I'm in front of the TV I'm either randomly flipping around complaining about how there's nothing on, or throwing in a DVD of an HBO series. Lately I've been considering 'quitting cable', but I have no idea where to start... I always hear people talking about how Netflix has replaced their cable, but I can't find a lot of good info online. Has anyone does this and/or does anyone know how one might go about it?

    Any info/insight would be appreciated!!!

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    If I interpret what you're asking... "Can Netflix replace my cable?" -- the short answer is no.

    You watch Top Chef (FoodTV), Modern Family (ABC/City), and Big Bang Theory (CBS/CTV) -- all on their current run versus reruns, I am assuming. Netflix will not replace current-run programming. Anything on Netflix is (essentially) anything that has made it's way to DVD by now.

    So you'll get older episodes of TV shows, but nothing current* (more on that to follow).

    Now, if you can quit those shows and watch them "eventually" when they come to Netflix, sure. But bear in mind: not EVERYTHING makes it to Netflix. Don't presume that if seasons 1-5 of your fav. show are on there, that Season 6 will appear. That's not always the case.

    Also don't presume that what content is on Netflix today will still be there in the future. Netflix is forever changing their content. So if you signed up thinking you'll get to watch older versions of "Show-X" for eternity, don't count on it.

    Think of Netflix more of a 'digital' replacement to your old-school video rental store. They have a lot to choose from, but they dont have everything. And from time to time, they will purge titles from their inventory. So even if you watched Apocalypse Now 50 times, they might get rid of it next week.

    Now, Netlfix DOES have NEW first-run original content programming... Shows like House of Cards, and Orange Is The New Black, that you wont see on TV... so you might enjoy those in addition to what you have now.

    I consider Netflix to be a secondary "complement" to any service you have now.

    --

    What CAN replace cable? Going with an antenna as XLXO suggests... then perhaps adding Netflix to your option. But depending on where you live, you may be limited to reception. In a perfect world, you'll get CTV, Global, and CBC via OTA (over the air). In larger metro areas, you might get a City station as well.

    In the US, they have some services like HULU that air first-run TV programming (a few days delayed) - but you can't (properly) access that content from Canada - and there's nothing in Canada to rival that as of yet.

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    Your cable provider likely requires 30 days' notice of your request to disconnect cable service and collect any box that you were provided with if one was needed for the digital channels-check the bill for the fine print or visit the website for customer FAQs. So basically another month of cable billing.

    There's another thread where non-cable alternatives were discussed:
    http://forum.smartcanucks.ca/383307-...please-canada/

    Hamilton, ON-area, up on the escarpment, house with good distance between other houses: brother put in flat-pad antenna so we get Global, CBC (Toronto, English and French), TVO English, CTV (either both 1 and 2 or 2 only that appears as 40 on the channel range), CHCH, occasional OMNI1 when signal is strong enough, a couple of Christian tv stations and US channel Bounce. We may get channel 7 (ABC) some days. No PBS or WUTV-29 (Fox) or CBS. Sporadic signal for CITY Toronto-so I cannot really see too much of Breakfast Television or Cityline. Thankfully, Dr. Oz shows up on one of the stations so my parents get their one hour with him each weekday.
    Last edited by Ciel; Tue, Nov 18th, 2014 at 02:01 PM.
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    tightwad and proud of it! brunt's Avatar
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    Got rid of cable about 10 years ago. Don't miss it a bit.

    We buy some seasons of TV on DVD, but we probably watch only three or four hours per week. Far cheaper solution to buy seasons at $15 each, and have enough TV for more than a month. Then you can swap seasons with someone else.

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    I believe that cable is a waste of money nowadays. People becomes too busy to watch ,movies overnight and with all the stuffs that the internet could offer, movie time surely lessened. Call you cable provider and ask to remove the subscription. In that way, you can save your extra money to internet payment or to other deals.
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    I haven't had a cable tv bill in 13 years, run off from my cable internet provide some channels and music. est.saving=(12x35)x13=$5460
    An OTA, $50 8 bay antenna in Lower west Stoney Creek, Ontario gets up to 32 channels; strongest (thru rain or snow) are cbc, cfto, global, fox, zuus, cw, omni1 , omni2, city, bounce, cbcf, yestv, ctv2, chch, pbs, pbs2,Grit tv, tvo. Want to see what OTA channels you can get check out https://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
    I don't like the idea of paying for Netflix atleast with downloading or OTA I don't have to worry about a bandwidth usage overage charge or paying a higher price for better pakage to support the streaming video which is just like downloading it, because it is in a temp download folder that Netflix uses.
    Worst case scenario is torrents/newsgroups/IRC they post tv shows seconds after the show ends and you can use an internet tv guide like zap2it/tvguide to find what's on or new shows.
    Last edited by lms1979; Sun, Jan 25th, 2015 at 04:21 PM.
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    Oh my gosh, everyone - thank you so much for your replies and all of the information! So much to think about and still some research to do, but all of your thoughts/insight/info are really helping! I'll keep you posted on what we do!
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    Another thread on watching shows without cable:

    http://forum.smartcanucks.ca/335995-...online-canada/
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephy8200 View Post
    Oh my gosh, everyone - thank you so much for your replies and all of the information! So much to think about and still some research to do, but all of your thoughts/insight/info are really helping! I'll keep you posted on what we do!
    We have cable but may disconnect within a month.
    We watch shows online as others have said: globaltv.ca, cityty.ca, ctv.ca, YouTube. While they may be a day or two behind, we can wait.

    The CRTC was talking about "pick and pay" cable packages. Rogers and Bell are not too happy. This may occur in 2015
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    Mastermind Shwa Girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brunt View Post
    Got rid of cable about 10 years ago. Don't miss it a bit.

    We buy some seasons of TV on DVD, but we probably watch only three or four hours per week. Far cheaper solution to buy seasons at $15 each, and have enough TV for more than a month. Then you can swap seasons with someone else.
    @brunt , the Black Friday sales may have TV on DVD less than $15, in the next couple of days
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    Last year I cancelled cable and bought an indoor antenna at The Source for $24.95 and I get 17 local channels. I rarely turn on the TV so this is perfect for me. Most stations come in fairly clear in high definition. The only problem is on windy days the reception might flicker but that doesn't bother me.

    I use my laptop to watch shows on the internet and I am planning on buying a Roku unit so that I can download movies and TV shows for free and use Netflix.

    Before I got rid of cable I was spending over $75 a month on garbage. The only channel I miss is Slice but my boyfriend gets it so I watch it at his house.
    Last edited by barbis9; Tue, Nov 25th, 2014 at 09:49 AM.

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    Smart Canuck frugal50's Avatar
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    since cable tv is my only source of entertainment, i'm willing to pay the hefty price.
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