1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Official TiVo-Centric Cord-Cutting Thread

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by ScottE22, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Mar 19, 2012 #1 of 119
    ScottE22

    ScottE22 How YOU doin'?

    2,979
    0
    Sep 19, 2003
    Loveland, CO
    So, I've never started an "official" thread before so I hope this takes! I did quite a bit of research before cutting the cord and there's a lot to consider. I still enjoy reading about other people's setups because I always learn something new.

    I hope that maybe those of us who cut the cord in a TiVo-centric setup can share our current setups, some of the hiccups we encountered, and possible solutions. There is so much good stuff scattered through all these threads, it'd be nice to have a "one-stop shop" for all things related to ditching traditional pay TV.

    Current round-up of cord-cutting threads that I found in my searching:
    My contribution as a cord-cutting newbie...

    The Current Setup

    Source:
    Attic mounted EZHD Antenna from Denny's with Winegard 8700 Signal amplifier

    Video Hardware:
    • Living Room - TiVo Premiere + Roku XD
    • Master Bedroom - TiVo Premiere + Roku XD

    What I'm still working on:
    Basement theater: Currently there is only an Apple TV (1st gen - 160gb) and a DVD player. It's based around a projector so there is no TV tuner. I have coax to the area, but with DirecTV I would always just move one of our HD boxes down there if we were going to watch a "live event." Due to the initial and ongoing costs associated with an extra DTV box, we just never watched much TV in this room. I'd like to start. Right now, I'm thinking of a third Premiere, but I'm also reading about the possibility of the "Preview" IP-based transcoding box that may or may not come out this summer. I may hold out for that and move the bedroom TiVo to the theater (because it has a tuner) and use the mythical transcoder box in the bedroom because the TV already has a tuner.

    Basement guest room: This room currently has a 26" LCD TV that was purchased in late-2005 (they were expensive back then!). As such, it does not have a digital tuner. It used to have an SD box from DirecTV. So when I pulled the box and hooked up the coax, imagine my surprise when it can't tune digital channels.

    Both of these scenarios make me wish I'd snagged a couple of the converter boxes when they were giving them away in 2009...

    Miscellany:
    In order to access some of our digital movies ripped from DVDs (that we own, thank you very much...) I am running a Plex Media Server on an iMac so I can stream to the Roku boxes as well as serve my Apple TV. I am also subscribed to Netflix and in the 6-month trial of Hulu Plus.

    Next up:
    I'd like to take a look at how I could make PlayOn work in my all-Mac home. It just seems that the expense of Parallels, a Windows license, and the cost of the service would be pretty significant.

    Overall impressions:
    So far, I'm pleased. Though we officially canceled DTV yesterday, we'd been "test-driving" the TiVo/Roku/OTA setup for a couple weeks. There are definitely things we miss (like Storm Chasers and a couple other Discovery and HGTV shows), but I don't miss paying DirecTV $100/month for a handful of shows we only watch when there's nothing else on the TiVo.

    Another thing is that initially, it does seem like you're nickel-and-dining your way back up to pay TV with $8 here for Netflix, an $80 MoCA adapter there to connect your TiVo... But when you really sit down and do the math, it would take a LOT of nickel-and-diming over a calendar year to be anywhere close to where you were with cable or satellite.
     
  2. Mar 19, 2012 #2 of 119
    ntarvin

    ntarvin New Member

    31
    0
    Jan 28, 2011
    OK - I'll jump in from the PC perspective...

    We're in the midst of cord-cutting. For cash flow reasons, we cannot fully cut the cord from Dish until June or so (early termination costs...). So, (temporarily!) we have a Dish box sitting next to the Tivo while we try various and setups...

    My current setup is...

    1. a Tivo Premiere and Clearstream antenna for OTA, (got this as a package along with Tivo service for $9.95 per month back in October).

    2. Roku (not version 2 - the one before that) - (subs for Netflix, Hulu+, Amazon)

    3. PlayOn and PlayLater - another package I got on sale last month for half-price. PlayOn shows up on Tivo's My Shows (which was a surprise!), and also works with Roku.

    4. Stream, Baby, Stream for my (owned) movies/tv etc. - shows up on Tivo as a home app.

    Everything works well together. There is a lot of duplication in PlayOn, Roku and Tivo - ie: Netflix, Hulu +, Amazon, and podcasts, but the GUI's differ and some are better than others.

    I'm constantly playing with other things, too - for example, the Logitech Revue (hated it!), Miro (kind of limited), and a computer with a customized Windows Media Center (with Hulu, PlayOn, BBC iPlayer, Media Browser, Kylo, Zinc, live TV, internet TV and more...) I keep this computer in the cabinet under the tv for when I want to mess with it, or when I need an extra tuner or two for recording.

    One other thing - unlike many people, I don't use wireless to network everything - I'm using powerline boxes...

    Yes, it's all very geeky and other than the Tivo and Roku, my wife doesn't want to mess with any of the rest of it. (Gee, I wonder why????)

    The other day, my son brought over his old Tivo HD for me to try. Oddly enough, the tv tuner in the HD is much, much better than the tuner in the Premiere. The HD will show consistent strength at 90+ on all OTA channels (plus 2 additional channels I cannot even get on the Premiere) while the Premiere gets a max of 70-80 and the lowest is 50 or so. (I think I'm going to buy the HD from my son...)

    Despite the duplication of programs, this is probably the setup we're going to use (minus Dish, of course!) when the final cord-cutting happens this summer.

    Neil
    ================
     
  3. Mar 19, 2012 #3 of 119
    synch22

    synch22 New Member

    335
    0
    Dec 30, 2003
    I cut the cord but down to limited basic with Comcast for $15 a month. That way cable cards stay in the tivos, get hd channels and there is plenty to watch. I have thought about the antenna route but there is an increase in charge on the internet. I also have Netflix streaming which isnt half bad.
     
  4. Mar 20, 2012 #4 of 119
    jcthorne

    jcthorne Active Member

    2,787
    20
    Jan 28, 2002
    Houston
    Play-On and Play-Later are a package that I keep hearing about with regard to tivo. I looked at the web site but am still at a loss for what it actually will let me DO on the tivo that I cannot do now.

    What do you folks actually use these for on Tivo?

    We cut the cord from Comcast several years ago. Went with a large OTA antenna and DSL internet. Bill went from 160 to 40 a month. Never looked back. I rent BR from Blockbuster and dump the movies to the tivo and occaisionally use Amazon or YouTube but not often. Would like to get Amazon Prime on the Tivo as we already have the account.
     
  5. Mar 20, 2012 #5 of 119
    Aero 1

    Aero 1 Member

    560
    5
    Aug 8, 2007
    oh yea? how?
     
  6. Mar 20, 2012 #6 of 119
    ntarvin

    ntarvin New Member

    31
    0
    Jan 28, 2011
    I have PlayOn running on a Windows 7 Pro computer that is networked with everything else using Network Magic.

    It shows up on the bottom of the My Shows list along with NetFlix, Hulu, etc.

    I'm not sure how or why - perhaps because I have "home apps" activated on the Tivo and the PlayOn server is recognized as such.

    It also recognizes another server - I haven't looked at this one very thoroughly yet, but it looks like it's either Win7 itself or maybe Miro. It lists all the media directories on Win7, along with the Miro directories (and will transfer and play media from the Miro directories through the Tivo)

    When I had Twonky on the computer, it also recognized that... (but Twonky caused some problems with Win7, so I removed it).

    Haven't tried TVersity since I got the Tivo, but it wouldn't surprised me if it saw that, too...

    But, then isn't the Tivo supposed to recognize DLNA servers - or have I got that wrong?????
     
  7. Mar 20, 2012 #7 of 119
    Aero 1

    Aero 1 Member

    560
    5
    Aug 8, 2007
    TiVo does not recognize dlna servers. Double check if you are mistaken about playon. Disable the playon service and check the TiVo again. so you an browse regular Hulu or espn3 or tv.com via playon on TiVo? That's impossible. If you are doing it, you need to figure out how and post it!!!
     
  8. Mar 20, 2012 #8 of 119
    ntarvin

    ntarvin New Member

    31
    0
    Jan 28, 2011
    No, I am NOT mistaken. The impossible isn't always impossible!

    Well, I disabled PlayOn on the computer and it went away from the Tivo listings.

    I started it up again and went in to check what it was doing - PlayOn comes up again in My Shows at the very bottom of the list. It shows on the list as as "Internet TV - PlayOn" I am using the "Premium" (ie: paid) version of PlayOn.

    When I open PlayOn, all the channels that I have added to PlayOn show up in the listings - I don't know about ESPN3 (I don't do sports), but Hulu (regular) comes up with User Q, sort by name, sort by date, etc. Individual shows come up with episodes and clips. TV.com comes up - shows by name or network, etc. MyMedia (beta) comes up with my personal movies, etc. Msnbc comes up with individual shows, etc. PlayLater comes up with the shows I have recorded using PlayLater.

    When I go into any of the shows in any of the channels individually, it comes up with the "transfer to Tivo" dialog.

    Also, the other server that shows up is listed as "Neils Videos on Neil-Win7" so it must be reading the computer itself. Within that server are all my downloaded YouTube videos, Miro, Twonky, etc. from the Users->Neil->My Videos directory.

    The only thing I can think of is that I specifically had to turn on the activate home apps selection in settings to get Stream, Baby, Stream to work. Maybe that had something to do with it??

    No DLNA, huh? Maybe UPNP???????

    I have one other thing that I'll check later (after my wife is done with her shows tonight) and that is the 2nd computer I have that I sometimes use with Windows Media Center. It also has PlayOn on it - I'll see if Tivo also reads that from the network... that will be interesting...
     
  9. Mar 20, 2012 #9 of 119
    Aero 1

    Aero 1 Member

    560
    5
    Aug 8, 2007
    well, your new job is to figure this out :D you seem to be the only person in the world that has this working.

    edit: i found this: http://code.google.com/p/pytivo-jkasyan-fork/

    are you using this pytivo fork?
     
  10. Mar 20, 2012 #10 of 119
    ntarvin

    ntarvin New Member

    31
    0
    Jan 28, 2011
    (I was in the middle of posting this when you posted yours...)

    Another thing - when I installed Stream, Baby, Stream - I believe I also installed a version of pyTivo that was in the form of an executable (.exe) file.

    After a little research, this is the solution to the mystery -

    (from the page - which is listed under the pyTivo Discussion Forum The subject is: "pyTivo for jython/windows installer")

    The main purpose is so that people with MediaMall's Playon software can get playon content (Hulu/Netflix/etc) on their tivos without configuring anything, but i've modified the plugins to behave properly under jython, so this is a fully functional pyTivo installer. My installer will automatically create a windows service, and open up win7/vista firewall permissions.

    Not sure if this address will show up...

    http://pytivo.sourceforge.net/forum/pytivo-for-jython-windows-installer-t1610.html

    So, there you go - guess it works!
     
  11. Mar 20, 2012 #11 of 119
    Aero 1

    Aero 1 Member

    560
    5
    Aug 8, 2007
    that was it!! i was using wmcbrine pytivo fork, and by you mentioning it, i would of never thought someone put out a fork with playon support. this just made it much easier and cooler! thanks again.
     
  12. Mar 20, 2012 #12 of 119
    ntarvin

    ntarvin New Member

    31
    0
    Jan 28, 2011
    Glad that's figured out - I thought I was going crazy and hallucinating, or just had one hell of a blast of pure dumb luck! LOL!

    I have a Premier, but tonight I'm going to plugin my son's series 3 HD and see if it also works with that one. (His HD gets much better OTA than mine.... and I'd rather use it!)

    Maybe this pyTivo fork will help others with PlayOn... between the services that are already on Tivo, and the addition of PlayOn/PlayLater, it's getting to be a really good substitute for cable/satellite...
     
  13. Mar 20, 2012 #13 of 119
    Aero 1

    Aero 1 Member

    560
    5
    Aug 8, 2007
    Just looked and it also works on the HD. This is great! Now I can skip the Hulu commercials with this!!
     
  14. Mar 20, 2012 #14 of 119
    ntarvin

    ntarvin New Member

    31
    0
    Jan 28, 2011
    Excellent!

    Now if my wife will just get off the tv so I can switch out the Tivo's, I'll be a happy puppy! LOL!
     
  15. Mar 21, 2012 #15 of 119
    hefe

    hefe Rebus Philbin

    32,906
    319
    Dec 5, 2000
    CO via Chi-town
    Next step accomplished. I received my Premiere and put it into service last night. (Going to expand the drive when I receive my new one today.)

    I've never had a non-DirecTv TiVo before. Seems like it is really slow to set up. Is that normal? I turned on the remote season pass manager online, but some of the scheduling isn't working, it shows nothing in my ToDo list.
     
  16. Mar 21, 2012 #16 of 119
    blackngold75

    blackngold75 Member

    203
    2
    Mar 9, 2010
    Northern...
    I saw you mention this earlier in the thread; if you haven't already done so, compare the actual reception instead of the signal-strength meter. My Premiere shows a lower level on signal-strength compared to my TivoHD, but I get all the same channels, reliably, on both.
     
  17. Mar 21, 2012 #17 of 119
    steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
    0
    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    On a brand new box, it wouldn't surprise me if initial setup seems slow. The software that is shipped with the Premiere only has one core of the processor enabled. IIRC the dual core is enabled on version 14.x.
    Current software is at 20.2.
    If you just put it in service last night, give it a couple of days. There is a lot of info the Tivo has to process on an initial setup. You probably still need to get the latest version of the software (unless you forced the calls home to speed up the process).
    It will also take a day or two for the info on your Premiere to show up on TiVo's website.
     
  18. Mar 21, 2012 #18 of 119
    ScottE22

    ScottE22 How YOU doin'?

    2,979
    0
    Sep 19, 2003
    Loveland, CO
    I can vouch for the fact that setup times are inconsistent. My first box took a few hours. Box 2 took three days.

    I don't really get why that is when I can buy an iPhone and walk out of the Verizon store talking on it, or buy a laptop and have it up and running in a couple hours, but TiVo takes three days...
     
  19. Mar 22, 2012 #19 of 119
    ntarvin

    ntarvin New Member

    31
    0
    Jan 28, 2011
    Hi -

    I *have* compared them, and while I get decent reception on all channels with the Premiere, the HD is less prone to artifacts, etc. Also, I mentioned that I got 2 extra channels on the HD than on the Premiere - AntennaWeb shows these 2 were in a north direction - the rest were southeast. I could not get them to come in at all on any other tuner, and had given up even trying. They come in perfectly clear on the HD with no effort at all.

    BTW, I'm using both UHF and VHF antennas with a combiner - we have a bit of strange situation with antennas. We're on top of a hill, and about 30 miles from the source. (3 of the major network channels here - NBC, ABC, and PBS are VHF, the rest UHF. It was easier to get a second antenna.)

    After trying literally hundreds of different heights and positions, from the roof to the tops of fences, our BEST reception comes when the VHF is no higher than 6 feet, and the UHF is practically on the ground, pointed slightly up. We tested it in all kinds of places and this was the absolute best for us. I'm sure it has something to do with the trees and buildings around us and between us and the source, but this is what works, and once we got this setup - we don't touch it. (If it ain't broke, don't fix it!)
     
  20. Mar 22, 2012 #20 of 119
    ntarvin

    ntarvin New Member

    31
    0
    Jan 28, 2011
    SPAM!!!! Just like the other 308,000 comments exactly like it in Google.... (sigh)
     

Share This Page