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Old 10-09-2013, 02:31 PM   #31
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To the OP: It really is a matter if you want OTA, Cable, or Sat services. Both the TiVo Roamio line and the Hopper are excellent DVR's with nearly identical features, and both have their annoying fees. You can't go wrong with either service or systems. The only downside for TiVo is the stupid CableCards. This is not TiVo's fault but the cable companies fault. Some people are doing OK with Cable Card, but others are having living nightmares. Also, there is the additional expense of the CC and the cable cos. still finding way to INCREASE the monthly fees for CableCard.

For you, look at what each has to offer as far as channels, and, of course, crunch the numbers. No matter which you choose, it should be a good experience.
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:37 PM   #32
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2TB / 2000 hours = 2.4Mbps. There is no way they could do decent HD video in 2.4Mbps, so it has to be referring to SD. My new TiVo Roamio Pro with 3TB says 470 hours of HD. Which means TiVo assumes an average bitrate of about 14Mbps for HD. Even with H.264 you typically only see a 40% savings so that would still be about 8Mbps, so a 2TB drive would only hold about 550 hours of HD.
You also need to account for MPEG4 HD streams, the use of 8PSK to allow more throughput and Turbo Coding for even more throughput, and the hardware in sat boxes that exploit software that allows for high quality HD PQ at the users end while using less bandwidth and requiring less data to sent to the home.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:27 PM   #33
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Rather than starting a new thread on this subject, I decided to resurrect this one. I currently have Dish Network and the original Hopper with 1 Joey. I like it fine, but the price is excessive given we also pay for access to Amazon Prime, Netflix, and iTunes. The interface can be a little sluggish at times, especially since they added Apps and "You Might Also Like". Dish PQ could be better -- it is between TWC and DirecTV in my experience. The Hopper has more space than I ever expect to need. It never gets more than 40% full, even with full seasons of shows and lots of movies we plan to watch. AutoHop is nice, but isn't a must-have.

I dislike the bundling of channels that cable/satellite requires. I am paying for way more than I will ever watch. If I were to just buy the shows we watch on iTunes, we would still pay less than paying for Dish every month, and it is the cheapest pay TV option I have right now. If I get an OTA DVR and factor in Amazon and Netflix, the price goes down even more. I don't need cable to get sports because we just don't watch them, and I can wait for shows that come on HBO/Showtime/Starz to come out on iTunes or Blu-Ray.

My question is this: From a purely functional standpoint, how does the base Roamio as an OTA DVR compare to the Hopper? What I am looking for is an easy to use, reliable, DVR which is not a pain to deal with, like the Premier was when I tried it out. I would add a Mini for sure and maybe a Stream later on to take some shows with us on the iPad when we travel. I'd be interested in how the mini compares to the Joey as well.

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Old 04-20-2014, 04:27 PM   #34
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What I am looking for is an easy to use, reliable, DVR which is not a pain to deal with, like the Premier was when I tried it out.
Were you saying the Premier was easy to use, reliable or a pain to deal with?
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:03 PM   #35
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Sounds like he's saying the Premiere was a pain to deal with.

I'd say in general, the Roamio experience is nothing like what the Premiere was.
However, I might hold off on getting one until TiVo sorts out the mess they created with the last update.
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:12 PM   #36
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Sounds like he's saying the Premiere was a pain to deal with.

I'd say in general, the Roamio experience is nothing like what the Premiere was.
However, I might hold off on getting one until TiVo sorts out the mess they created with the last update.
I have had no problems with the last software update.
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:44 AM   #37
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My question is this: From a purely functional standpoint, how does the base Roamio as an OTA DVR compare to the Hopper? What I am looking for is an easy to use, reliable, DVR which is not a pain to deal with, like the Premier was when I tried it out. I would add a Mini for sure and maybe a Stream later on to take some shows with us on the iPad when we travel. I'd be interested in how the mini compares to the Joey as well.

Thanks,
Ted
I am guessing you will not find very many people that have actually had and used a Dish Hopper DVR and a Base Roamio DVR for OTA.

I do have a Roamio I use for OTA only and it is easy to use and reliable however I can not compare it to a Hopper as I have never seen one.

Just some random thoughts -
  1. With the Roamio when used with OTA "reliability" is mostly affected by how well it receives your OTA signals. If you have no reception issues it will be very reliable.
  2. Easy of use is in the eyes of the beholder. It may take you some time to get used to how TiVo's UI works compared to the hopper's as they are different, but after you go through the learning curve I think you will find it is a good UI and easy to use.

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Old 04-21-2014, 07:32 AM   #38
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Were you saying the Premier was easy to use, reliable or a pain to deal with?
The Premier was a pain for me due to reception issues, probably muti-path related since the TivoHD I had worked just fine with OTA, and buggy software, resulting is unpredictable reboots. The UI was fine, if slow in HD mode. I had DirecTivos for years and loved them, so I am familiar with using Tivos.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:50 AM   #39
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I am guessing you will not find very many people that have actually had and used a Dish Hopper DVR and a Base Roamio DVR for OTA.
Yes, that is my conundrum. I will probably try out the Roamio while I still have the Hopper, so I can compare, but I was hoping to come across someone who has at least some familiarity with both.

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Old 04-21-2014, 05:01 PM   #40
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The big part of the decision is DISH vs. Cable. If you don't watch sports, and don't watch much other TV, then you might be able to cut the cord, in which case the discussion is about OTA DVRs including Roamio, and Hopper is irrelevant. If you're going to have a standard "cable" subscription, then the big discussion is DISH/Hopper vs. Cable/TiVo, and to be fair, you have to include DirecTV/Genie. That can depend a lot on the market. DISH doesn't even bother to compete anywhere in the NYC market or CT, due to lack of SNY and YES, so I'm a little biased against them (even though as a Red Sox fan... but I need my SNY for basketball). They are the cheapest of all the major MSOs, but you get what you pay for...
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:20 PM   #41
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The big part of the decision is DISH vs. Cable. If you don't watch sports, and don't watch much other TV, then you might be able to cut the cord, in which case the discussion is about OTA DVRs including Roamio, and Hopper is irrelevant. If you're going to have a standard "cable" subscription, then the big discussion is DISH/Hopper vs. Cable/TiVo, and to be fair, you have to include DirecTV/Genie. That can depend a lot on the market. DISH doesn't even bother to compete anywhere in the NYC market or CT, due to lack of SNY and YES, so I'm a little biased against them (even though as a Red Sox fan... but I need my SNY for basketball). They are the cheapest of all the major MSOs, but you get what you pay for...
What my wife and I are discovering is that we don't watch any sports other than the Olympics, and what we do watch from non-OTA sources, aside from HBO series, is all on streaming within a year or so. If we were to stay with a pay TV provider, Dish is our only real choice. TWC is horrible, and we have no LOS for DirecTV.

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Old 04-22-2014, 04:36 PM   #42
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What my wife and I are discovering is that we don't watch any sports other than the Olympics, and what we do watch from non-OTA sources, aside from HBO series, is all on streaming within a year or so. If we were to stay with a pay TV provider, Dish is our only real choice. TWC is horrible, and we have no LOS for DirecTV.

Thanks,
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Even the Olympics are partially only on cable. My point is that streaming and OTA can not, and for the forseeable future, will not replace cable. "Cutting the cord" is fine for people who don't watch much, if any, TV in the first place, but it is not a replacement for cable/satellite/telcoTV.

So if you barely watch TV in the first place, then it would probably not make sense to pay for TV. Streaming doesn't have much to do with that...
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:30 PM   #43
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I like it fine, but the price is excessive given we also pay for access to Amazon Prime, Netflix, and iTunes.
Wow, I'm amazed you get all of those AND DISH. (I have Amazon Prime, largely to 'play' with the video, but I use it sporadically.. I have thought of resubscribing to Netflix for a month or so to catch up on their originals and a couple other things they have exclusively that I care about.)


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Even the Olympics are partially only on cable. My point is that streaming and OTA can not, and for the forseeable future, will not replace cable. "Cutting the cord" is fine for people who don't watch much, if any, TV in the first place, but it is not a replacement for cable/satellite/telcoTV.
For the Olympics, the "big events" are on the broadcast network (I think NBC for the foreseeable future).

I also think that your statement is not true of most people. I watch tons of TV.. I have _two_ Tivos that REQUIRE cable (Premiere 4 and Roamio -- I should sell one since I now have tons of tuners).. But the MAJORITY of the shows I watch, and I think is true for many people, are the broadcast stations. (You may say then why do I have cable? Because I _do_ watch cable shows, and even though I could watch many via other means nowadays, I couldn't watch them as easily _without_ commercials.. Also, while this is less true nowadays, when I originally got cable, the cable signal was generally more reliable than an antenna I had to rotate in different directions for different channels.)
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:14 AM   #44
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Even the Olympics are partially only on cable. My point is that streaming and OTA can not, and for the forseeable future, will not replace cable. "Cutting the cord" is fine for people who don't watch much, if any, TV in the first place, but it is not a replacement for cable/satellite/telcoTV.

So if you barely watch TV in the first place, then it would probably not make sense to pay for TV. Streaming doesn't have much to do with that...
We only watch the evening NBC Olympics broadcast (which we almost didn't get to see due to a contract dispute), and even then, we FF through a lot of it. I've considered all that we watch, and the only thing not available on OTA/Streaming/iTunes is the Suze Orman show in CNBC. There used to be a free video podcast on iTunes, but it is audio only now.

There are a lot of advantages to streaming, including lack of commercials (except Hulu of course), and paying less for more appealing content. With Cable/Satellite, I pay for hundreds of channels with shows I don't care about just so I can get the few I do want to see. I already have to subscribe to Netflix and Amazon to get certain content I want to see, so why not watch more on those services for the same price? I may be paying for a lot of shows I won't watch on streaming services, but I will be paying a lot less in general, so the value proposition is better.

Also, not paying for Dish frees up money I can spend on cable shows on iTunes that don't have commercials and the money I spend is targeted directly to that show, not some channel I care nothing for. Anyway, I am not looking to "replace cable." I am looking for a solution that fits our content interests and financial needs better than cable.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:20 AM   #45
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Wow, I'm amazed you get all of those AND DISH. (I have Amazon Prime, largely to 'play' with the video, but I use it sporadically.. I have thought of resubscribing to Netflix for a month or so to catch up on their originals and a couple other things they have exclusively that I care about.)
Well, we get Amazon mainly for the shipping, but we have watched it a lot more lately. We actually prefer it to Netflix as the apps load more quickly and it seems less likely to suffer buffering issues. Netflix we get for the original series and movies. iTunes is for stuff we can't find elsewhere. Apparently, we are very picky in what we like to watch, so we have to source content from various places.

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I also think that your statement is not true of most people. I watch tons of TV.. I have _two_ Tivos that REQUIRE cable (Premiere 4 and Roamio -- I should sell one since I now have tons of tuners).. But the MAJORITY of the shows I watch, and I think is true for many people, are the broadcast stations. (You may say then why do I have cable? Because I _do_ watch cable shows, and even though I could watch many via other means nowadays, I couldn't watch them as easily _without_ commercials.. Also, while this is less true nowadays, when I originally got cable, the cable signal was generally more reliable than an antenna I had to rotate in different directions for different channels.)
Luckily all my stations are in the same direction other than PBS, which is so close, I don't need to point an antenna in that direction to receive it.
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Old 04-23-2014, 04:23 PM   #46
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I also think that your statement is not true of most people. I watch tons of TV.. I have _two_ Tivos that REQUIRE cable (Premiere 4 and Roamio -- I should sell one since I now have tons of tuners).. But the MAJORITY of the shows I watch, and I think is true for many people, are the broadcast stations. (You may say then why do I have cable? Because I _do_ watch cable shows, and even though I could watch many via other means nowadays, I couldn't watch them as easily _without_ commercials.. Also, while this is less true nowadays, when I originally got cable, the cable signal was generally more reliable than an antenna I had to rotate in different directions for different channels.)
Most people do watch quite a bit of network content, but also watch plenty of cable content. Just HBO and Sports alone, not to mention all the other cable channels are big draws for a lot of people.

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We only watch the evening NBC Olympics broadcast (which we almost didn't get to see due to a contract dispute), and even then, we FF through a lot of it.
You're missing out on a lot, especially in the summer Olympics. They only put a few sports on the network broadcast. The rest of the stuff is sprawled out on several cable networks at all odd hours of the day. Yay for 4 tuner TiVo!

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There are a lot of advantages to streaming, including lack of commercials (except Hulu of course), and paying less for more appealing content.
That's great if you don't watch much TV in the first place, and everything you want is available streaming. For most people, this is not the case. I could survive without some of the stuff that I watch, although I wouldn't enjoy TV nearly as much. Between sports and HBO, I'm at the point where the high-value content that I want is sprawled out across the higher cable tier (XF Preferred) and HBO.

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Anyway, I am not looking to "replace cable." I am looking for a solution that fits our content interests and financial needs better than cable.
There you go. Not paying for a cable TV package is a good idea for people who are willing to give up cable TV. And that's been the case since digital OTA broadcasts started, and you could get a good quality signal on the networks.

As for me, I'm sticking with my XF Preferred and HBO. Hopefully eventually I'll live somewhere where I can get FIOS Extreme TV and 75/35 internet.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:13 PM   #47
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You're missing out on a lot, especially in the summer Olympics. They only put a few sports on the network broadcast. The rest of the stuff is sprawled out on several cable networks at all odd hours of the day. Yay for 4 tuner TiVo!
Not really from our perspective. We barely have time and interest level to watch the stuff on the nightly broadcast. I'm not saying there isn't interesting stuff there, just not for us.

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That's great if you don't watch much TV in the first place, and everything you want is available streaming. For most people, this is not the case. I could survive without some of the stuff that I watch, although I wouldn't enjoy TV nearly as much. Between sports and HBO, I'm at the point where the high-value content that I want is sprawled out across the higher cable tier (XF Preferred) and HBO.
Yeah, the pay TV industry knows what keeps people subscribing, and it is sports. I expect that to be the last hold out. Even HBO sees the writing on the wall as evidenced by their Amazon deal this week. I wouldn't say we don't watch much TV, but we watch less than we used to. Even so, we have way more we want to watch than we have time to watch it. Moving to OTA and streaming will not change that -- we'd just be paying less.

I guess we're not "most people," and that is why I asked my original question. I'm not trying to convince anyone else to do what we're contemplating, but I was looking for some guidance from someone who may have already been down that road.

Thanks for all the responses from everyone.

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Old 04-25-2014, 02:08 PM   #48
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No. It can record all 4 big nets on ONE tuner even outside of PTAT and even if PTAT is NOT enabled.

Further, a USB OTA demod is available, and one can received OTA and all data is integrated into the EPG and one can set a recording just as one would for a SAT channel.
Those two "features" are, of course, for most people, mutually exclusive. If you can record all four networks with one tuner, any time, and since those ARE the OTA channels most people care about recording, why would you need an OTA tuner module? Is the Dish OTA tuner module still only one tuner?

The Hopper is a 3 tuner, Dish Network only (plus OTA if you add the extra box) DVR with a Slingbox built-in. Dish employs the trick of putting all the 4 major broadcast networks on one satellite frequency so that they can record all 4 at once. It includes no other streaming service apps. The boxes perform well, the user interface is responsive, and visual good (not great).

The Roamio is a 4 (base) or 6 (Plus and Pro) DVR capable of OTA and cable (Base) or cable only (Plus and Pro) reception. It includes apps for several streaming services. The boxes perform well, the user interface is responsive and visually great.

Personally, I would look at the cost of Dish network programming for what you want to watch, versus your option with cable and/or OTA and streaming services. If both meet your content requirements, only then would I consider the hardware and DVR service fees. While Dish's HD picture quality isn't quite as good as DirecTV's or FiOS's, it is better than most other services.
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:54 PM   #49
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Not really from our perspective. We barely have time and interest level to watch the stuff on the nightly broadcast. I'm not saying there isn't interesting stuff there, just not for us.
Seems like a classic "doesn't really watch TV case". In that case, you shouldn't pay for TV if you're going to watch it!

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Yeah, the pay TV industry knows what keeps people subscribing, and it is sports. I expect that to be the last hold out. Even HBO sees the writing on the wall as evidenced by their Amazon deal this week. I wouldn't say we don't watch much TV, but we watch less than we used to. Even so, we have way more we want to watch than we have time to watch it. Moving to OTA and streaming will not change that -- we'd just be paying less.
Sports just keeps getting bigger and bigger, now with more and more games televised, especially in NCAA basketball and football. And the amount of money these conferences are getting is getting bigger and bigger, and someone (ESPN, CBS, Turner, FOX, etc) has to pay for that...

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Those two "features" are, of course, for most people, mutually exclusive. If you can record all four networks with one tuner, any time, and since those ARE the OTA channels most people care about recording, why would you need an OTA tuner module? Is the Dish OTA tuner module still only one tuner?

The Hopper is a 3 tuner, Dish Network only (plus OTA if you add the extra box) DVR with a Slingbox built-in. Dish employs the trick of putting all the 4 major broadcast networks on one satellite frequency so that they can record all 4 at once. It includes no other streaming service apps. The boxes perform well, the user interface is responsive, and visual good (not great).

The Roamio is a 4 (base) or 6 (Plus and Pro) DVR capable of OTA and cable (Base) or cable only (Plus and Pro) reception. It includes apps for several streaming services. The boxes perform well, the user interface is responsive and visually great.

Personally, I would look at the cost of Dish network programming for what you want to watch, versus your option with cable and/or OTA and streaming services. If both meet your content requirements, only then would I consider the hardware and DVR service fees. While Dish's HD picture quality isn't quite as good as DirecTV's or FiOS's, it is better than most other services.
You could probably have both OTA and PTAT if you wanted PTAT for casual viewing and OTA for better quality or sub-channels that DISH doesn't carry...

DISH's PQ is OK, but it's arguably not even as good as cable...
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:25 PM   #50
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OTA and cable (Base)
OTA _or_ cable, not OTA _and_ cable.

Or rather, it's "capable" of both, but you can only use one of them at a time (and obviously need to rerun guided setup/change what cable is plugged in to switch).
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:26 AM   #51
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Seems like a classic "doesn't really watch TV case". In that case, you shouldn't pay for TV if you're going to watch it!
Sorry, but I think I'm not stating the case well. We do watch a fair bit of TV, probably about 25-30 hours per week BUT we're paying for a lot of TV we don't watch, hundreds of channels worth, much of it sports, which we're forced to pay for if we want AMC, FX, TBS, etc. for their original content.



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Sports just keeps getting bigger and bigger, now with more and more games televised, especially in NCAA basketball and football. And the amount of money these conferences are getting is getting bigger and bigger, and someone (ESPN, CBS, Turner, FOX, etc) has to pay for that...
Right, just as long as it isn't me



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You could probably have both OTA and PTAT if you wanted PTAT for casual viewing and OTA for better quality or sub-channels that DISH doesn't carry...

DISH's PQ is OK, but it's arguably not even as good as cable...
Comcast must have pretty good PQ, because TWC PQ is far worse than Dish where I live. That said, I am looking forward to better PQ with OTA.
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:57 AM   #52
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OTA _or_ cable, not OTA _and_ cable.

Or rather, it's "capable" of both, but you can only use one of them at a time (and obviously need to rerun guided setup/change what cable is plugged in to switch).
Yup, fingers and brain got out of sync there.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:16 PM   #53
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Sorry, but I think I'm not stating the case well. We do watch a fair bit of TV, probably about 25-30 hours per week BUT we're paying for a lot of TV we don't watch, hundreds of channels worth, much of it sports, which we're forced to pay for if we want AMC, FX, TBS, etc. for their original content.
If you watch much of any TV, I have a real hard time believing that cutting the cord makes any sense, even if you could get the content you want to watch.

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Comcast must have pretty good PQ, because TWC PQ is far worse than Dish where I live. That said, I am looking forward to better PQ with OTA.
A lot of OTA is heavily compressed too...
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:34 PM   #54
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If you watch much of any TV, I have a real hard time believing that cutting the cord makes any sense, even if you could get the content you want to watch.
Believe it, my friend. I've done the analysis, and we're only going to miss exactly 1 show, which is available as an audio podcast or in Internet video clips.


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A lot of OTA is heavily compressed too...
Certainly, but , at worst, it shouldn't look any worse than what I'm getting with Dish now for the same channel, which is received and transcoded to MP4 and back before I see it. I am sure some of the sub-channels will look like hell, but they do now.
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Old 04-27-2014, 02:22 PM   #55
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Believe it, my friend. I've done the analysis, and we're only going to miss exactly 1 show, which is available as an audio podcast or in Internet video clips.
Then you're watching a small amount of TV, and shows that happen to be available online. Many shows are not available online in any meaningful way.

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Certainly, but , at worst, it shouldn't look any worse than what I'm getting with Dish now for the same channel, which is received and transcoded to MP4 and back before I see it. I am sure some of the sub-channels will look like hell, but they do now.
DISH may be getting a fiber feed, although they may not, so who knows how it will end up comparing...
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:11 AM   #56
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Sorry, but I think I'm not stating the case well. We do watch a fair bit of TV, probably about 25-30 hours per week BUT we're paying for a lot of TV we don't watch, hundreds of channels worth, much of it sports, which we're forced to pay for if we want AMC, FX, TBS, etc. for their original content.

That argument always annoys me. Sure you are paying for tv you don't watch. But you are also paying lower prices than you otherwise would for tv you do watch.

25-30 hrs/week means you are getting your money's worth at the cable tv buffet.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:22 AM   #57
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That argument always annoys me.
The one that annoys me is the notion that if one does not have cable, they must not watch a lot of TV.

I must be an outlier. I have nothing to do BUT watch TV. With the amount of time I have on my hands these days, you'd probably think I struggle to find something to watch.
Nope. My 2TB Tivo capacity is at 90% and I have another 2TB worth of shows sitting on my computer. Way more than I have time to watch. I would just be throwing money away if I subscribed to cable.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:27 AM   #58
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The one that annoys me is the notion that if one does not have cable, they must not watch a lot of TV.

I must be an outlier. I have nothing to do BUT watch TV. With the amount of time I have on my hands these days, you'd probably think I struggle to find something to watch.
Nope. My 2TB Tivo capacity is at 90% and I have another 2TB worth of shows sitting on my computer. Way more than I have time to watch. I would just be throwing money away if I subscribed to cable.
I agree I am OTA and free streaming only and have way more content to watch than I ever will have time for. But I am not very picky about what I watch and care nothing about sports. I do go to the movies a few times per month and rent a few Blu-rays from RedBox so I am guessing I do pay for around 4 movies/mo and do turn Hulu+ back on at times but because of the free 6 months I got from TiVo and bing rewards I have only paid for 3 months over the last 4 years and don't expect to ever pay again as long as bing rewards is around.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:06 AM   #59
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That argument always annoys me. Sure you are paying for tv you don't watch. But you are also paying lower prices than you otherwise would for tv you do watch.

25-30 hrs/week means you are getting your money's worth at the cable tv buffet.
Sorry to annoy you. Perhaps you could describe what exactly is annoying about wanting less of my money to go for things I don't like and more to go to the things I do like?

Thanks,
Ted
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:13 AM   #60
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Then you're watching a small amount of TV, and shows that happen to be available online. Many shows are not available online in any meaningful way.
Or perhaps you are just unaware of how much is available online? Perhaps you could go through your Season Passes and share some shows which aren't available online, because, as I said, I only found 1 in my list.



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DISH may be getting a fiber feed, although they may not, so who knows how it will end up comparing...
I can say that the HD OTA broadcasts I get now on my TVs are less "soft" and "bright" than the same shows I get from Dish. I am not saying Dish looks bad, but OTA looks better. I am not an expert in what things should look like on a properly calibrated set, so my descriptions are just my personal impressions.
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