Streaming TV (or other ways to ditch cable) - what do you have?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Jim Nazium, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. I know I'm late to this, and yes I'm searching on Google. But help me out if you feel charitable. How can I watch basic TV via the internet?

    I currently have Verzion Fios internet + basic cable, and they keep raising the price and dropping channels. They recently dropped Bloomberg TV and BEIN Sports, which were two of the few channels I actually watched. I don't watch a lot of TV, but it's nice to have access to network news, local sports, maybe the occasional movie or Star Trek rerun. Roku? Antenna + Amazon Prime?
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I have an antenna for basic channels that I never watch and an older apple tv for Netflix and youtube. That gives me all the home entertainment I could ask for and I never miss cable. I just pay for internet and Netflix.
    the harp unstrung and murphy like this.
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Hulu has a great library of material in addition to it's live lineup, including some exclusives (like Stephen King's 11/11/63).
    MJ5150 likes this.
  4. What do you consider to be basic?
    Your local TV stations are about as basic as it gets.
    You may be able to pick them up over the air with an antenna connected to your TV.

    Those channels may also stream over the internet.
    See if they have their own apps.
    Otherwise, there are a number of streaming services, like Hulu Live or Sling, for instance.

    None of them give you all the channels that you usually get with even basic cable.
    Some of them charge extra for the more “premium” of basic channels.
    None of them, that I’ve seen offer some of the channels you get with cable.
    A big hole in that lineup for me is the Weather channel.
    But the Weather channel app is not too bad.

    Other than what you get over the air, there is no free lunch and you often end up paying less but get a lot less.
    If you can live with not having some stuff you’ve come to expect with cable, you’ll be alright and save a little bit each month.

    I’m not an advocate for cable, but you often give up the convenience of having it all in one place when you cut the cord. If you’re into tech stuff and don’t mind switching inputs or messing around with an antenna, then you may be a candidate for dropping your all in one service,

    By the way, antennas are not as easy or work as well as most of the sellers would have you believe.
    Some of them just outright lie to you about what they will do.
    I saw one ad recently that claimed you could get all of the channels you are currently getting on cable by using their antenna. It’s a lot like buying a new amp. There are a lot of smoke and mirrors in the sales pitch. So you really need to know what you’re doing.

    Don’t drink the antenna cool aid, no matter how thirsty cable has left you. Antennas may or may not get any, or all of your local stations. It all depends on your reception environment and the type of antenna you use. If you can get the locals most of them will have 2nd, 3rd or even 4th additional subchannels with different programming.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  5. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    We use Roku and Hulu with an over the air antenna for the one local network we can pick up, Fox.
    These threads may help.....
    Alternatives to Cable Television
    Advice needed: Cutting Cable TV

    To the point made by @Old Garage-Bander, do your research before buying an antenna. It's true, they promise the world and often deliver much less.
    Lots of websites out there can show you exactly what you'll receive at your address and even how high off the ground the antenna needs to be.
    An unbiased resource would be the FCC, DTV Reception Maps.

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
    the harp unstrung likes this.
  6. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    With regard to just the streaming device, I have nothing but positive things to say about Roku. Talking the standalone box, not the HDMI sticks (which I've never tried and probably wouldn't for a couple reasons). I stream Amazon Prime and Netflix all the time via Roku and it just works.

    I just discovered Roku has a feature that allows you to rewind the program by 15 second increments, and replay that scene with closed captioning on. So if you can't pick up some piece of dialog, press rewind and the scene replays with captions. Once you get past that rewind section, captioning turns off again. Maybe that feature has always been there.

    Apple TV's current remote control is horrible. It wouldn't have made it past the prototype stage if Steve Jobs was still in charge. Also the device itself is just too expensive.
  7. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I love the headphone jack in my Roku remote. They call it private listening.
    We just upgraded to a stick recently from the Roku 3. It's faster and has better WiFi reception.

    OldDog52 likes this.
  8. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    we use netflix and prime video, the second is included for amazon prime members.

    your best bet is probably to check which shows/movies each service offers and choose the one that has the most of what you want to watch.

    btw, our antenna does get our local stations but the image quality is pretty meh, sometimes a bit worse.
    the harp unstrung and MJ5150 like this.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    We use ROKU for Amazon Prime, VUDU, HULU, Netflix, etc.
    My over-the-air antenna is powered ($80 at Best Buy). I get about 40 channels. Iusr this for NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, etc. Mostly for football.
    The HD from the antenna is much better than the local Cable Company's BS HD...
    the harp unstrung and MJ5150 like this.
  10. wesonbass


    Nov 26, 2012
    Graniteville SC
    A power antenna for free over the air. Got a $15 one in one room .works fine. Looks like a flat helicopter wing. o_O a much better power one $39 have 14 channels. The 4 major networks. Can't get PBS tho. And that's my favorite. Netflix. Hulu. For movies. An ocassional redbox when they send me a free coupon. Which seems like every other day.
  11. Takoma Park... my hometown... shout-out

    TV antenna + internet and nextflix thru Roku

    I bought one of these antennas at amazon ant.jpg

    for $30 and can pick up all the DC stations from Westminster. (40+ miles away) From Takoma Park you can probably get away with putting it in your attic and be able get all the broadcast stations (I had to roof mount mine to get the DC stations but could get everything in Baltimore with it siting in my attic) )
  12. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    Does the stick require using an HDMI extender cable and a wall wart power supply connected to the stick?
  13. filmtex


    May 29, 2011
    I have one of those and although we’re about 65 miles from the antennas, we get just about everything over-the-air. There’s a lot of action in the sub channels now too. Very highly rrecommended can’t mended. Everything else I get with a (family shared) Netflix subscription, and our Amazon Prime account. Haven’t had cable for years-haven’t missed it.
  14. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    No. No.
    I have the Streaming Stick +.

  15. twinjet

    twinjet Powered by GE90s; fueled with coffee. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    No time for that now. Prime Video when I did.
  16. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I'm getting 4 PBS channels with my antenna.
    ROKU also has a PBS channel. With that, I can select various PBS channels by zip code.
    wesonbass likes this.
  17. bigdaddybass12


    Feb 26, 2021
    Guys, I need suggestions & costs of internet live TV streaming services. like ESPN, fox news, home shows , etc. My area does not have the fastest broadband,
  18. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    There’s a lot that’s steaming but ESPN and Fox News, as far as I know, would both be premium paid services on their own. I think ESPN is part of a bundle offered with Hulu. But if your area doesn’t have fast broadband you’re not gonna have fast streaming anyway.
  19. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    Do you know what speed you do have?
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