Questions about "Cutting the Cord"

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by michael1248, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Nov 4, 2018 #1 of 16

    michael1248 Member

    Feb 14, 2002
    I've just about had it with Comcast!

    I figure that if I just keep the internet, I can do the following:

    > Get an Ooma telephone system (which appears to be working great at a friend's house) for about $6 a month

    >Use the OTA on my Roamio here in Denver where the signal strength is pretty decent.

    > And then stream everything else.

    I am a big NASCAR fan and like to record both the race and the "pre" and "post" race programs. It usually takes me about 3 days to watch a race, so I am looking for a Channel(?) that I could watch all those shows.

    Any suggestions on which streaming devices (Roku, a DVD player, etc?) might have what I am looking for?
  2. Nov 4, 2018 #2 of 16

    WVZR1 Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    The WV...
    Ooma I've no experience with and I considered it myself BUT if there's an Xfinity Mobile Option available in your area I'd first see if the # you have now is 'portable' to Xfinity Mobile. I have an ATT connected cell via Bluetooth to my Panasonic Cordless Phones that works well. Until iOS 12 the 'TEXT Alerts' worked also. I've had no luck getting that aspect working again. I had some issues getting my Comcast VOIP # ported to Xfinity Mobile but it was no problem for ATT. I use very minimum ATT with 'no data' only because I'm interested just TEXT/Voice. Ooma, a neighbor had here and he mentioned it was a very difficult to 'port' out of. He said to avoid it unless no other options. It cost's to 'port' into also I believe.

    I have a Roku Ultra I like very much BUT for actual TV I've moved to Layer3TV - I have no OTA options and Layer3TV has given me PQ that I'm very happy with and the DVR is growing on me. It ain't TiVo but the price is actually less than Xfinity would have cost with similar programming.

    Denver & Layer3TV might be a reasonable solution.

    Do you have Xfinity 'Data CAPS'?
  3. Nov 4, 2018 #3 of 16

    wizwor Active Member

    Dec 17, 2013
    $80 fir Layer3 plus $80 for high speed internet plus $6 for ooma plus $15/premium channel? Plus hardware and support? I understand the political appeal of walking away from Comcast, but this cannot be a good idea.
  4. Nov 4, 2018 #4 of 16

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2015
    My parents have used Ooma for a few years now and it generally works quite well (although occasionally they have to unplug the Ooma Telo box and reboot it if there's not a dial tone on their phones). If you've already used phone service from Comcast at your home, then your internal wiring is already set up to use Ooma (as both services just run over the internet). If your home phone lines have only ever been used with a traditional phone company, then a bit of re-wiring work will probably need to be done to sever the link between your internal wiring and the phone company's external lines.

    The top-series NASCAR races are aired on four networks: NBC and Fox (both of which you should be able to watch and record via antenna on your Roamio), plus their related cable sports channels, NBCSN and FS1.

    In order to get those two cable channels, you'll need to subscribe to a streaming cable TV service that you would watch through an app on a streaming device. If you want a really nice one, I suggest the Apple TV 4K ($180). Otherwise, maybe just go with a Roku ($30 - $50, depending on whether you want one that does 4K or only HD and whether you want voice input on the remote).

    Your choices for a streaming cable TV service are:
    Sling TV - Blue package with cloud DVR add-on ($25 + 5 = $30) -- 50 hrs storage in cloud DVR
    YouTube TV ($40) -- unlimited storage in cloud DVR but recordings auto-delete after 9 months. May not be able to FF through ads in CBS recordings.
    DirecTV Now ($40) -- 20 hrs storage in cloud DVR but recordings auto-delete after 30 days. You can upgrade to 100 hrs / 90 days for an extra $10.
    Hulu with Live TV ($40) -- 50 hrs cloud DVR, cannot FF through ads unless you upgrade to Enhanced DVR (with 200 hrs.) for an extra $15
    PlayStation Vue ($45) -- unlimited storage in cloud DVR but recordings auto-delete after 4 weeks. May not be able to FF through ads in recordings from a few channels.

    Although Sling TV is cheaper, it does not offer any of your local channels, only various cable channels. Meanwhile, the other options all include your four major locals (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox) plus various cable channels. All options include both NBCSN and FS1. You would need to check for yourself which channels are included in each service to see which line-up you prefer.

    YouTube TV probably gets the best reviews overall. It has a reputation of generally being very stable and easy to use, with good picture quality. All of these services are available for both Roku and Apple TV devices. All of them except for YouTube TV are available for Amazon Fire TV devices. They all tend to come with 7 day free trials, so you can see which one you like best and what works best with your device, internet connection, etc.
    Bigg likes this.
  5. Nov 4, 2018 #5 of 16

    pdhenry Recumbent

    Feb 27, 2005
    You'd save money on phone service compared to Ooma if you got an Obihai box and Google Voice.

    *The linked graphic says "no monthly bill" but if you'd like to have E911 and CallerID Name on the phone you can get that via CallCentric for $1.50/month.

    As far as streaming devices, Roku has the most apps of all of them, i think.
  6. Nov 4, 2018 #6 of 16

    schatham Active Member

    Mar 17, 2007
    Get an Xfinity mobile phone. Keep data off and only pay taxes. My taxes are about $5 for 2 lines.
  7. Nov 4, 2018 #7 of 16

    pdhenry Recumbent

    Feb 27, 2005
    Kinda pricey if you're otherwise cutting the cord, isn't it?
  8. Nov 4, 2018 #8 of 16

    samsauce29 Active Member

    Nov 30, 2007
    Erie, PA
    We've used Ooma for awhile now with good results. It's $6.32 per month in my area.

    Been trialing Hulu Live TV on Roku the past couple of weeks. Picture quality and enhanced dvr are nice. Will probably migrate there soon whenever our Spectrum discounts start to drop off.

    We're also in a good OTA location so will likely convert a TiVo Bolt to OTA and ebay the other when the time comes.
    Ooma likes this.
  9. Nov 4, 2018 #9 of 16

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    I've installed a couple dozen ObiHai devices configured for free Google Voice. They seem rock solid reliable. Adding 911 service requires a couple hoops to jump through but can be done for just over a dollar per month.

    tarheelblue32 likes this.
  10. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
    I don't think I've seen this mentioned yet, but you need to confirm your Tivo can do OTA. Some models can't.

    @NashGuy laid your options really well. But you may also want to consider Fubo, a more sports-centric streaming service.

    I can also vouch for Ooma, having had 2 lines for many years. Speaker is completely shot on both my Ooma boxes, so I have to listen to my voicemail online rather than on the box itself. Not a big deal and not worth buying new boxes.

    I've always been paranoid that Google would eventually shut down Voice or start charging for it, hence have avoided free VIOP. I guess you could just cross that bridge.
  11. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Misanthrope

    Aug 2, 2003
    If GV did shut down, big deal -- I'd just port my number to CallCentric or something. (There's no way they'll shut down without you being able to port out your number.) Currently, I use CC for incoming caller ID names, and for 911 -- for just under $2/month. If I had to port in my GV number, I might have to take that up to $5 or so. It's really not much of a bridge to cross.

    But Ooma seems like a perfectly reasonable choice.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    tarheelblue32 and pdhenry like this.
  12. WVZR1

    WVZR1 Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    The WV...
    Xfinity Mobile so long as you're an Xfinity Internet Customer can be kept to 'just fees' so long as you keep 'DATA' off if he's an appropriate BYOD phone. Here my Xfinity Mobile is less than $5 with 'DATA' turned off. I can use it anywhere there's WiFi for free. I did the ATT to retain a # that I've had for 40+ years that all of my providers, friends and relatives are accustomed to using. Xfinity/Verizon said it couldn't be 'ported'.

    For the OP it seems there's DATA CAPS so Layer3TV wouldn't likely be considered a good choice. OTOH - it wasn't mentioned exactly why he was 'fed up' with Comcast. I was looking for an alternative with better/improved PQ (Picture Quality) and it was a 'fit'.

    Your suggestion of the ObiHai & GV looks like it could work for me. I'm going to consider that. Thanks for the mention!
  13. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2014
    Raleigh, NC
    I get 911 service on my Obi w/Google Voice through Anveo for 80 cents/month.
    kpeters59 likes this.
  14. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    911 service is standard with Ooma. Have used it for 2.5 years and love it. I did have a speaker failure after just over one year but Ooma replaced it free even though it was slightly beyond warranty. The basic charge is just government-imposed taxes and is currently $4.96/mo for me. Caller ID is standard but if you want it to give you the name of the caller instead of just their telephone number you have to pay for Ooma premium which is $129/year. Premium also gives you a bunch of other benefits, most of which I don't use. Installation was very simple: (1) disconnect a single RJ-11 connector in the phone box on the side of my house (2) plug in a telephone cable between Ooma box and inside telephone connector and (3) connect Ooma to ethernet drop to my router. I have four phones in the home and Ooma services them all with this setup. Has been extremely reliable.
  15. schatham

    schatham Active Member

    Mar 17, 2007
    I use 1 gig data for 2 phones at a cost of $12. My total cost is $17 a month for 1g data (all I need) and unlimited talk and text. Both phones total $17 ($17 total not $17x2) a month using Verizon network.

    That seems like quite a good deal to me.

    If you time it right you can get the phone free or at a big discount with specials.
  16. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2015
    Yeah, Fubo is also an option too. It costs $45 per month and, although their channel line-up is more sports-centric, it doesn't include any Disney-owned channels, so none of the ESPN channels and no ABC. However, they do carry the 4K or 4K HDR versions of certain sporting events when channels in their line-up offer them. (Fubo and DirecTV satellite are the leaders in offering 4K/HDR live sports.)

    The included cloud DVR has 30 hrs of storage and never auto-deletes. You can upgrade to 500 hours for an extra $10/mo. You may have to wait an hour after a recording finishes before you can start watching it, depending on your device. Not sure if their are any "gotchas" with Fubo's cloud DVR, like not allowing FF through ads on recordings from certain channels. I do know that they also offer a 72-hour "Lookback" feature, where you can watch most games and shows that aired in the past 3 days even if you didn't record them, although a few channels apparently don't support that feature. Fubo is available for Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV.

    One last thing I'd point out is that if you're using a streaming cable TV service that includes all of the local channels you care about, then you may not even want to switch back and forth between the streaming device (for cable channels) and your TiVo (for local channels). I personally don't think I would bother with switching TV inputs, remote controls, and user interfaces when I wanted to jump from live or recorded TV on, say, NBCSN to my local ABC channel if both channels were right there in the same app on my streaming device. Kinda makes the TiVo superfluous, IMO. That said, if PBS or various OTA subchannel networks (e.g. Me-TV, Cozi TV, etc.) are important to you, then you'll probably still want to use an OTA antenna and maybe your TiVo with it, since none of the streaming cable TV services currently offer PBS or most subchannel networks. However, the PBS app on streaming devices does offer pretty much all recent content for on-demand viewing.
    Bigg likes this.

Share This Page