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Old 03-19-2012, 04:35 PM   #1
ScottE22
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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.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:13 PM   #2
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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
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:44 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:15 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntarvin View Post
PlayOn shows up on Tivo's My Shows (which was a surprise!)
oh yea? how?
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:01 PM   #6
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PlayOn and Tivo

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Originally Posted by Aero 1 View Post
oh yea? how?
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?????
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ntarvin View Post
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?????
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!!!
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:46 PM   #8
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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!!!
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...

Last edited by ntarvin : 03-20-2012 at 08:10 PM. Reason: forgot something...
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:26 PM   #9
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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...
well, your new job is to figure this out 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?
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:46 PM   #10
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(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/...ler-t1610.html

So, there you go - guess it works!
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:57 PM   #11
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(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/...ler-t1610.html

So, there you go - guess it works!
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.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:07 PM   #12
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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...
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:13 PM   #13
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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...
Just looked and it also works on the HD. This is great! Now I can skip the Hulu commercials with this!!
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:26 PM   #14
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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!
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:10 AM   #15
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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.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:24 PM   #16
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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!)
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.
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:52 PM   #17
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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.
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.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:14 PM   #18
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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...
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:11 AM   #19
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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.
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!)
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:44 AM   #20
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I need help to DOWNLOAD free XRumer 7.0.12 ELITE!!
SPAM!!!! Just like the other 308,000 comments exactly like it in Google.... (sigh)
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:06 AM   #21
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SPAM!!!! Just like the other 308,000 comments exactly like it in Google.... (sigh)
When you see spam posts, look to the left and find the little triangle with the exclamation point inside it, click on that, and just type the word spam in the text box with which you are presented and then click report and one of the mods will presently make that post disappear as soon as they satisfy themselves that you are correct in calling it spam. And at this point I'm sure they can sort the spam from the legit at 50 paces.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:46 AM   #22
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Hi -
...Also, I mentioned that I got 2 extra channels on the HD than on the Premiere...
Sorry - missed that in the original post.

Best wishes on the cord-cutting. I had done this previously, but since I was already paying for high-speed internet, I found my overall bill was lower when I bundled in the TV service. Now I use a combination of cable and OTA.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:59 AM   #23
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I found my overall bill was lower when I bundled in the TV service. Now I use a combination of cable and OTA.
For me, it's not "cheaper," but it's within $20 for the basic, basic package. Plus $10 for the, "Oh, you wanted it in HD!" fee. (I'm guessing that might be why you're using the cable/OTA combo.)

Question for the Cord-Cutters: What internet speed package are you using with your cord-cutting setups? I'm currently on the Comcast 25Mbps (with "bursts" to 30Mbps... ) and, at $65/month plus tax I'm wondering if it's overkill. I should mention that I have also been using Ooma since December as part of my ongoing quest to stop paying money to people for things I can do for free or cheap.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:31 AM   #24
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For me, it's not "cheaper," but it's within $20 for the basic, basic package. Plus $10 for the, "Oh, you wanted it in HD!" fee. (I'm guessing that might be why you're using the cable/OTA combo.)

Question for the Cord-Cutters: What internet speed package are you using with your cord-cutting setups? I'm currently on the Comcast 25Mbps (with "bursts" to 30Mbps... ) and, at $65/month plus tax I'm wondering if it's overkill. I should mention that I have also been using Ooma since December as part of my ongoing quest to stop paying money to people for things I can do for free or cheap.
I live in a "cable free" area so all I have access too is DSL, it claims to be "up to" 12Mbps but the best I ever get is 5-6Mbps, which is fast enough for standard Hulu (480p) with no issues. I don't have access to any HD streams so I can not speak to what is needed for them and don't ever do multiple streams either has I live alone.

Good Luck,
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:44 AM   #25
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For me, it's not "cheaper," but it's within $20 for the basic, basic package. Plus $10 for the, "Oh, you wanted it in HD!" fee. (I'm guessing that might be why you're using the cable/OTA combo.)

Question for the Cord-Cutters: What internet speed package are you using with your cord-cutting setups? I'm currently on the Comcast 25Mbps (with "bursts" to 30Mbps... ) and, at $65/month plus tax I'm wondering if it's overkill. I should mention that I have also been using Ooma since December as part of my ongoing quest to stop paying money to people for things I can do for free or cheap.
i have the fios 15 up and 5 down package and that is plenty. fios is so rock solid that i am able to stream multiple netflix streams while my server is doing other stuff and offline backups and watching a slingbox.

you might have a problem with a lower tier cable internet package since its so oversubscribed and at peak times speeds decrease.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:28 AM   #26
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We are in the midst of cutting off DirecTV. But, we are still under contract with them so I have not cut off yet, but rather brought things down to one receiver and negotiated a really nice discount on their "Entertainment" package. Our contract is for another year.

May bit the bullet in 6 or so months and take the hit to be done with them. Our TiVo's are working very well for us and we purchase our "cable" shows from iTunes via the Apple TV. This works very well.

I just hate to pay a termination fee! Dang...
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:41 AM   #27
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The termination fee is $20/month so you need to determine the point at which the remaining months outweigh the ETF for you.

And they said we'd never use Algebra 2 in the real world...
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:49 AM   #28
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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...
Yeah, it seems strange that it should take so long, but finally the online season pass manager and To Do lists are working. Very cool features that I didn't have with the DirecTv TiVos.

Expanding the hard drive was ridiculously easy. The disk with the tools made it so simple...so now I've got 317 hours of HD to fill!
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:00 PM   #29
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Expanding the hard drive was ridiculously easy. The disk with the tools made it so simple...so now I've got 317 hours of HD to fill!
Which vendor did you use for the drive and tools? I really want to expand one of mine in the near future...
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:41 PM   #30
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IMHO, "cutting the cord" implies severing all ties with any type of paid TV service provider or other source of "live" video that you have to pay for. To me, this also includes eliminating the Tivo service and your ISP. To truly cut the cord you should be getting TV via an antenna using something other than a Tivo box or other DVR that requires a service fee. If you stream movies and TV shows via the internet then you have to pay your ISP for the connection.

Obviously, this takes it to the absolute extreme and is not practical for most people given that the internet is such an integral part of our everyday life. For today's lifestyle, cutting the cord really means dumping your TV provider and getting TV via OTA antenna or streaming from NetFlix, Hulu, YouTube, or other online sources. Movies can still be rented from numerous non-streaming sources like NetFlix or RedBox.

I still believe that using a Tivo and claiming you've cut the cord is cheating since you still have to pay a monthly fee or buy lifetime service. A real cord cutter uses a PC with an integral tuner. If you're still connected to cable or satellite and use a Tivo then you've only unravelled the cord a little.
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