Has anyone with a Series 3/HD "cut the cord"

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by rbenotti, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. rbenotti

    rbenotti Member

    Oct 22, 2003


    Have people cut the cord and used their TiVO as a standalone box with an antenna as the source? Unfortunately there aren't a lot of channels here over the air. Curious as to combinations people are using.

    Netflix ($8 - streaming only)
    Roku (up front cost, but great for a second room)
    TiVo ($6.95 sub in my case - either way)
    Indoor antenna (up front cost, possibly x 2)
    Old PC to transfer recordings too (cost of electricity to operate basically)
    High speed connection (I suspect this would go up dropping FiOS TV)
    xBox Live Subscription ($50 for the year or something - I hear you can at least get ESPN channels - oh and play games too :) )

    Things I would lose - NESN (given the Sox fiasco, I could listen to the radio, Briuns via 98.5)
    There are other channels too (Science HD, Food Network - though I assume you can download stuff pretty quick for "recent" stuff)

    Anyone got opionions and thoughts? Is it "do-able"
  2. cl8855

    cl8855 woot!

    Jan 2, 2009
    St. Louis MO
    There are a ton of other threads on this, its very doable depending on what you watch. I myself only do OTA w/ Tivo
  3. Aero 1

    Aero 1 Active Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    i did, many people here has.

    i standardized on two platforms just to make it easy on my wife, tivo and boxee. i get all the NYC OTA channels perfectly. That covers 99% of the stuff we watch. the rest, i torrent.

    for sports, i use espn3, OTA and a slingbox thats at my dads house.

    cable free for over a year, works great.
  4. poppagene

    poppagene User

    Dec 29, 2001
    I cut the cord. I use playon software with my DLNA capable sony blu ray players to add hulu, amazon prime instant, espn3 and a host of other options to the OTA and netflix on the Tivo.
  5. sathead

    sathead Member

    Jan 12, 2008


    Check with your cable co, they may have a "basic OTA" package that gives you the major OTA channels plus a few others for $10-$15/month.

    We get that from our cable co- it's $13/month and we get 20+ channels and all the major networks are in HD.
  6. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    It really depends on what you want to watch and how you look at TV in general. I break it down into three types of show News, Live Sports, and Entertainment. OTA has more News than anyone should watch, Live Sports is limited, and Entertainment is in the eyes of the the beholder.

    I am OTA only and currently have 3 HD TiVo's with 5.25TB of space. I record anything that maybe of the least bit of interest and save stuff for the summer when OTA is in re-run time. This provides me with 2+/- hrs of good enough "Entertainment" per day. I get 16 stations including ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, ION TV, NBC, PBS, 2 that run stuff from the 60's - 80's and one music video channel.

    I also have a cheap HTPC attached to my setup, but do not subscribe to any paid service (Netflix, Hulu+, ect.)

    I am not a big sports watcher so OTA has more than enough sports for me. I will occasionally pick up a blu-ray from Red box or rent something from Amazon, but that is it for paid stuff.

    Good Luck,
  7. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    I haven't completely cut the cord with FIOS, but I'm trimmed down my package considerably. I switched from using Tivos in my Home Theater to an HTPC with ATSC and cablecard tuners to get both OTA locals in HD and the handful of FIOS channels I watch (USA, FX, AMC, A&E, SyFy, and a few others). I'm probably about 60% OTA and the rest FIOS and other sources. I dropped all of my premium channels and now get just the ExtremeHD package. The TV package is about $51 and my hardware rentals total about $24 (one HD STB and four cablecards - 2 for a S3 Tivo and two for my Ceton tuners). The STB is used for the bedroom TV and the Tivo is in the family room. The HTPC is the sole component in my HT setup, which I watch almost exclusively.

    I don't use streaming services, but I do rent a lot of Blu-Rays from NetFlix and supplement my premium viewing with torrent downloads. Everything else is available on the FIOS channels I receive.
  8. rbenotti

    rbenotti Member

    Oct 22, 2003
    Good stuff. Not really sure about streaming myself, but for $8 it may be worth it to have as a backup - especially with kids :)

    Need to sit down and crunch the numbers so to speak.
  9. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    You have got to be kidding!

    (Though I admit I mostly *listen* to the news -- NBC nightly news podcast, Nightline Podcast.. though I also get the Piers Morgan podcast..)

    I also use CNN as 'what to listen to when I'm going to sleep', but also use it to turn on when there's some big breaking news.
  10. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    The reality is that there's very little actual news that gets reported in this country, especially on the 24-hour news networks like Fox and CNN. It's mostly whatever opinion the networks want you to swallow. I stopped watching my local news years ago. It was mostly nothing but reports about who got shot in the city, who died in fires overnight, who got killed in an accident on the beltway, or some other tragic incident. I'll watch if there's some breaking story that captures my interest, but if it's about a white Bronco being chased by the cops or something similar I'll go about my business.
  11. teasip

    teasip Member

    Aug 24, 2002
    I have Verizon FiOS with their PrimeHD (lowest TV package),internet (15/5), and two Lifetime TiVo HD's (2 CC's total). I do have an attic antenna which catches all my locals on one TV but I have it as a backup in case of power loss (lose the FiOS at that point) since my TV is on a UPS. I'm taking my other TV to my daughter at college today to replace a Sam's Club TV purchased several years ago which they say they will replace under their old electronics return policy (remote sensor has gone out on the set and her dorm channels are all over the cable spectrum making it difficult to change channels manually; and no, a programmable remote did not fix the problem). I still toy with the idea of a second attic antenna dedicated to the BR since a split signal degrades the signal strength enough to affect received channels on each of the two sets. I'd prefer not to add to the rat's nest of wiring by using signal amps. If it weren't for the sports I'd drop Verizon TV.

    I am curious how those of you with ESPN 3 are receiving it without a TV package? It was my understanding that it was only included if one had TV, not just internet alone (at least with Verizon).
  12. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    +1 but with one correction: Fox and MSNBC don't give you what they "want you to swallow". Rather they give their watchers what they want to be fed, to reinforce their political bias. Media sources don't make money trying to preach to you -- they make it by telling you what you want to hear.

    Now, back on topic:
    As this thread has already shown, "cutting the cord" is a practical action for many TiVo owners. However it is problematic for people who watch a lot of sports. Neither OTA nor Internet offer the broad choices for sports that cable or satellite do. For those who don't watch a lot of sports, the knowledge that a major portion of your cable bill was subsidizing all that content for the jocks will give you an extra warm feeling when you cut the cord! :cool:
  13. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    Absolutely true. I was trying to suggest that the media sources are biased towards a particular viewpoint that they feel will attract the largest audience. I once heard a statement (I believe it was from Keith Oberman) that Rupert Murdoch would switch to a more liberal presentation of the news in a heartbeat if he thought it would make him more money.

    I'm no big sports enthusiast, but I do follow the NFL and occasionally the NHL. I get all of my local NFL games (Ravens and Skins) via local channels, unless they're on Monday Night Football on ESPN. For the Caps I have to watch one of my RSNs (MASN or CSN) or Versus, although I think one of the local affiliates does carry some of the games. I gave up on MLB years ago (it's never been the same since Cal Ripken retired) and I could care less about the NBA (most of them look like street thugs with all the ink they showcase nowadays). They could cancel all future NBA seasons for all I care.
  14. rbenotti

    rbenotti Member

    Oct 22, 2003
    Yeah - the last part is very true. Given the state of most major sports, the less I give them the better. The days of over the air Sports in New England died with the advent of NESN & Comcast Sports Network. I'm still waiting for Football to go away from ABC/NBC/FOX (knowing Monday night is lost to ESPN in most cases)
  15. jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    Burlington, VT
    That's exactly what we do. $11 for the locals with HD plus Ion and a few others......

    More than enough for us....
  16. rbenotti

    rbenotti Member

    Oct 22, 2003
    Going to have to look into this. I think I actually get like 20 channels over the air :).

    Got to compare which one's.
  17. rayik

    rayik New Member

    Feb 4, 2006
    We've cut the cord.

    We use a S3 with lifetime for OTA.
    We use a Roku for internet streaming. Pay $8 / month for netflix and $8 / month for hulu plus
    We use an XBOX 360 to play ESPN3 sports programming
    We use a PC to stream regular Hulu (not Hulu plus) to an unofficial roku channel for playback on the Roku.

    Cost of hardware was $100 for "new, old stock" S3, $400 PLS on the TIVO, $100 for Roku. Thus, total cost for hardware was $600.

    We used to pay $81 / month for D* TV with DVR service. Now we pay $16 / month for TV. (XBOX 360 has a GOLD membership which it would have anyway even if we were still with D* so I do not count that in costs.)

    Thus we are now saving $65 / month (D* cost minus streaming subscriptions). At that rate, our initial equipment cost was recouped in 10 months.

    We are fortunate in that we could continue to subscribe to D* if we wanted to. In looking at OTA and streaming, I found that we could still watch 35 of the 40 shows we have been recording with D* DVR. Saw no need to continue to pay D* when we could watch the same shows for less $$.

    The weakness with OTA / Streaming is sports programming. In our market, the pro hockey and basketball teams are only on cable and not D* (Philadelphia market). Thus we did not lose watching them as we already could not get them on D*. The baseball team has 1/3 of their games on OTA. There is loss of other sports programming.

    However, ESPN3 offers many, many live sports in HD. Also, most professional leagues offer streaming options. MLB, NBA and NHL all offer "season passes" for streaming through the Roku. (They all have the same blackout restrictions as D*). The NFL offers "Game Rewind" for $40 a season and you can watch any NFL game (without commercials) starting one day after it's played.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  18. georgepds

    georgepds New Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    I cut the cord. I use an OTA antenna and netflix like many here. I've been doing it since about 2002 ( back when netflix was not streaming)

    I do find netflix comes in better over a roku than over a tivo. I often have to pull the plug and reboot to get the tivo to work with netflix.

    There is another advantage to roku-- more services, including netflix on demand-- which gives compete access to all the streaming netflix without first putting your selection in the queue

    There are advantages to both tivo and roku. The tivo is great for recording OTA news and drama.. things that wont show up, if ever, on netflix. OTOH.. roku just offers so much more.. e.g. japanese anime or bolllywood channel
  19. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Sports are a killer for me, and will keep me paying the man. Way too much lost if you cut the cord.
  20. teasip

    teasip Member

    Aug 24, 2002
    So how are you who use ESPN3 receiving the package without a cable subscription allowing for access? In my case I understood that Verizon FiOS does not allow access to it with only internet, but with a television package.

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