Anyone tried cutting out cable entirely?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by Papageno, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. telandra

    telandra New Member

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    Jun 13, 2008

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    I'm in PDX, on Qwest with a local independant ISP at a whopping 1.5mbs advertised (the exact same service and price for 10 years :p, but I also still have my assigned IP and get Xmas cards signed by the staff and talk to real people) and have always been cable TV free.

    1) The OTA channels are great but it really depends on where you are vs. the broadcast towers. I get all the local stations and extra HD channels (2.2 old movies, 22.2 Ion kids shows, 10.2 PBS Create, etc). I'm using a Series 3 HD (not the THX one, the cheaper one.) All of my reception went up when the transmitters switched from SD to HD and went up when I went from Series 2 to 3. I don't get the 15.x channels which Tivo thinks I should get and are out of Euguene or something -- it shows mostly old westerns.

    2) The Priemere has (had?) a crappy OTA tuner card compared to the Series 3 and IIRC is designed to be used with cable. When it first came out the OTA users were complaining their reception went down. Tivo may have fixed it -- I doubt it.

    3) I use a Roku box for my streaming and do a -ton- of it. Its good enough for my eye despite the advertised slow Qwest speeds and gets 3 out of 4 dots and almost never rebuffers. Tivo's built in Netflix is badly executed and IIRC lower quality and more buffering and was quicky abandoned. (I already had the Roku box before Tivo implemented streaming.) Speeds and quality on Roku has gone up since it first came out. Note: I am using the SD connectors and not even trying to put HD through my narrow pipe :).

    4) I have a horizonal 'bow tie' antenna on top of my TV for indoor reception. I went through several antennas before finding the bow tie works best at my locale. A rooftop antenna would, of course, get a stronger signal.
     
  2. Papageno

    Papageno Member

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    Jan 30, 2005
    Much to my dismay I also noticed that the over-the-air ATSC tuner in my new TiVo Premiere pretty much sucks and is clearly an afterthought, compared to the tuner in the older Samsung HDTV it's hooked up to (a SlimFit CRT 30-in). The location of the antenna has not changed, nor has the length of the cable from the antenna to the unit (it is rather long, but how long does it have to be for a digital signal to significantly degrade?). I'm really disappointed in this aspect of the Premiere.

    So much for my dreams of cutting the cord.
     
  3. wireless200

    wireless200 New Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    I'll add another data point. I didn't not notice any difference in the tuner between ther series III and the Premiere. I receive one channel that pixelates during bad weather and every now and again. It's exactly the same. I tweaked my antenna slightly and it's been working fine. I have a DB4 in the 3rd floor attic with a coax drop down to the crawlspace which I ran over to the cable junction box inside the house and the looped back under the house to a place get up behind the tv.

    I also bought a second Tivo Premiere (not hooked up yet) and have run the coax from a splitter I installed the aforementioned junction box. The working Premier is one of the splits and even though 3 dB (half) of the signal should be attenuated I haven't seen degradation.

    Also my netflix streaming works fine (wirelessly) connected to router and to the TW cable-modem (8 mbs).

    I wouldn't expect too great a result using a rabbite ears setup on top of the TV. It's really just not high or directional enough to do a lot.
     
  4. jrfuda

    jrfuda New Member

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    Oct 14, 2010
    You're right on that one. In addition to my 4 Premeires, I have 2 Dish DTV Pal boxes for 2 analog TVs. They get nearly every channel the TiVos get at 90% or higher, plus another 5 or 6 channels that TiVo cannot see at all at a good 70-80%. And these percentages are not just a difference in measurement that different manufactureers use, the DTV Pals have never dropped a picture or pixelated, they are rock-solid.

    All the 4 TiVos and 2 DTV Pals are fed from a single antenna array (2 x UHF and 1 VHF combined using the joining features of a CM7777 PreAmp and an additional channel-specific CM Jointenna) and distributed through a combination of a passive splitter and a super home node (the most noise-free combo I found through expiremntation), so basically each run of Coax has the same singal quality at the receiver end... I know I'm repeating stuff from an earlier post.

    Anyway, I agree that the tuner section on the Premeirs are awful compared to other options out there.
     
  5. jayn_j

    jayn_j New Member

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    Oct 29, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI

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    Agreed. When I had the premiere installed with TWC, it initially wasn't getting a half dozen channels. They came out and found that those same channels were pixilating but coming in on their SA box. Added an amplifier and all is well.

    I had been blaming the tuning adapter for not passing the weak signal through, but this makes sense.
     
  6. jmatero

    jmatero Member

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    Apr 8, 2003
    Keep in mind that this is coming from someone who doesn't watch sports and doesn't buy movies:

    Im seriously considering dumping cable all together.

    My new Apple TV with Netflix streaming-only for $7.99/month will save me $$$. It's a matter of time before CBS/NBC (and the cable channels) get on the Apple TV bandwagon. Now Netflix will begin streaming abc content 15 days from broadcast. So, want to watch it now 24 hours after broadcast? .99. Want to wait 2 weeks? Just watch it. Even more nuts is that anything on my computer/iPhone/iPad will stream to the Apple TV wirelessly which covers the rest.

    And Netflix on Apple TV is the best implementation of this out there right now.

    We'll see. Seriously thinking of doing it for few months.
     
  7. JimboG

    JimboG Member

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    May 27, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    Erm, what does this have to do with Tivo?

    You are paying Apple a buck an episode to watch ABC shows in lower quality than over the air HDTV. You aren't getting any current episodes from CBS and NBC, and even if you were, you would not get them at 1920 by 1080.

    You said you don't watch sports, but you won't have the option to watch the Superbowl through Apple TV. Meanwhile, a Tivo owner with an over the air antenna can watch college and pro football, same day episodes of HD programming from all of the over the air broadcasters, and not have to pay per episode.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the Apple TV or the Roku box would be a better way to stream Netflix content than Tivo's ancient Netflix client. However, I question whether Apple TV is superior to an HD Tivo for over the air HD content. I also question the relevance of just having an Apple TV on a Tivo forum.:confused:
     
  8. JimboG

    JimboG Member

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    May 27, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    Apple TV's Netflix client is superior to Tivo's Netflix client. However, it looks like the Playstation 3's Netflix implementation is superior to both of them.
     
  9. aaroncgi

    aaroncgi New Member

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    Apr 13, 2010
    I haven't seen any significant changes in our Premiere's reception ability since we got it last April, so as far as anything being fixed, nah. It's a good enough tuner for our location for the most part. But admittedly, we aren't that far away from our stations (29-31 miles) and use an excellent roof mounted antenna (ChannelMaster CM4228 - the original, not the new dumbed down version). A couple channels pixelate and stutter late at night, so I'm thinking of adding a low gain preamplifier, but it's almost never at a time we are recording on those channels. It does seem extremely odd that Tivo can't put a tuner into a $300 box as good as in their previous box, or as in almost any current TV, which also comes with, a TV! :rolleyes:
     
  10. jmatero

    jmatero Member

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    Apr 8, 2003
    I don't care about the superbowl. LOL. I guess what I'm saying is that, for me personally (and I've been with TiVo since the beginning) my TiVo seems to be becoming less and less relevant. Anything I watch on AppleTV looks amazing on my 50" panasonic so no worries there. I live in a Condo so OTA antennas aren't an option and I'm paying cable and TiVo $$$ to essentially come home at night and watch sitcoms and family guy reruns broadcast on a different day... 75% of which are available on either Netflix or appletv. Eventually, 100% I suspect. I would have to watch 120 99-cent appletv shows a month to = what I pay for cable and TiVo. I mean, look at apple and netflix stock. Again, my viewing habits are not everyone's but the tv "model" of a decade ago is changing quickly. Also, I have a ps3 and it's the best of the gaming consoles for Netflix, but the appletv still beats it hands down Should be an interesting couple of years... Can't wait to see where we all are in 2015! The way it's going now, I have a hard time seeing where TiVo fits in. Their main market will probably be homeowners with OTA antennas but I really don't see how they plan on staying afloat. Best Buy, Sears, Target and Frys are all reporting TV sales are tanking while iPad sales and portable devices that display video are through the roof.
     
  11. TVCricket

    TVCricket HDUI

    141
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    Mar 7, 2010
    I'm getting my Premiere later today and cancelling Directv. The cost of the Premiere plus service will be the same as my bill for a year. Everything afterwards will be savings of over $900 a year.
     
  12. wireless200

    wireless200 New Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Bingo!
     
  13. kturcotte

    kturcotte Active Member

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    Dec 8, 2002
    Portland, ME
    If you can get the channels you need/want OTA with the Premiere, there is NO reason to have cable or satellite. However if there are some OTA channels you need/want that you can't get with an antenna, you might see if your cable company offers a basic or locals package. Time Warner out of Portland, ME offers it for $17 a month, but that's just SD. If you want HD, you have to get digital and a cable card for $70 a month. However, I'm not sure whether or not the HD channels would continue to come in if I downgraded to basic and kept the cable card.
     
  14. brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

    12,045
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    Oct 11, 2002
    Powder...
    I cut ties with Charter this past Summer and wouldn't go back to them if they offered me free service. I am 100% OTA and can watch about 90% of what I use to. Luckily I also qualify to get ESPN3 so I was able to stream several college football games to my TV this past season.
     
  15. arrarrgee

    arrarrgee New Member

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    Dec 21, 2010
    I am in the process of cutting cable. With kids we mostly watch Kids channels which is free to air..so i settled for basic subscription from Cable which is 11 bucks with 2 USD for the cablecard..and netflix for 10 bucks...this again until i set up my antenna after the holiday season...after which i am gonna cut cable completely

     
  16. wireless200

    wireless200 New Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    I'm convinced that if more people knew about OTA with the quality and number of channels many many more would cut the cable. I know two families that did it and got Tivos and they couldn't be happier!
     
  17. arrarrgee

    arrarrgee New Member

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    Dec 21, 2010
    I keyed in my address and tvfool.com says that i should be receiving 13.1 (PBS channel)...But I really want 13.3 which is PBS Kids...are these the same? does 13.1 on the website mean that i wud receive 13.3 as well? could someone pls clarify
    My zip is 08820

     
  18. forum junkie

    forum junkie New Member

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    Oct 2, 2004
    If you do receive 13.1 you should also get 13.3. They are sub channels of the same station.
     
  19. wireless200

    wireless200 New Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    What do you have on 13.2? Our PBS kids channel is on x.2.

    All subchannels come in equally except some of them are not broadcasting anything except a gray screen.
     
  20. archer75

    archer75 New Member

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    Apr 13, 2004
    Gresham, OR
    Most streaming video is horrible quality. And many shows we watch are missing. So no, not willing to cut the cord yet. We have dish network with an HD only package and it's a whopping $36/month so i'm happy.
    Also I have a helluva time justifying $19.99/month just for a DVR fee when dish charges me $6/month.

    Now I may be interested if I could get my antenna to work with it. I have a huge honking thing in the attic and it works fine plugged into my dish receiver but when I connect it to an HDhomerun and my HTPC the signal is too weak. So the strength of the tuner matters a lot. I hear these premieres are worse than the series 3 in this regard.
     

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