Spectrum going all digital - do I need it to use Bolt?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by rswc90, May 30, 2018.

  1. rswc90

    rswc90 Member

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    I have a TiVo Bolt and a Mini. We mostly watch ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and MeTV. We have basic cable with Spectrum. We have Netflix. We just received notice that in less than 3 weeks, Spectrum is going "all digital" and that anyone whose TV plugs into the TV cable from the wall will lose all their channels unless they purchase digital boxes from Spectrum. (And unrelated: They just raised my rate $40 as well.)

    1. Are there other choices out there?
    2. Does a Roku stick (or another way to watch) allow for the channels I watch?
    3. Does my TiVi Bolt help in any of this?

    Please let me know if my question is not clear. Thank you!
     
  2. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Just one thing. A Bolt only works with a digital signal. If your Bolt works now it will work next month too.

    You don't plug your cable into your TV, right?

    On your Bolt there is a System Information display (part of Help). What is the Cable Provider and Program Source?
     
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  3. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    I also got tired of cable TV costs. I now get everything I used to get on my $125 Spectrum plan for $40 on DirecTV NOW running on a Roku. Depending on what you watch, something like the $16 Philo or $20 Sling TV service may be all you need.

    As Joe said, if you stick with cable, you won't notice any change when they go all digital, and you don't need any boxes. They're just shutting down the analog signals you never used in the first place. This only affects people who don't currently have any Tivos or cable boxes at all. Since you already have Tivo, you're fine.

    If you want to keep your current cable package, you can use the Spectrum app on your Roku for free. But since you have Tivo, it's kind of pointless. If you didn't have Tivo, that would be one way to avoid cable box fees.

    Spectrum also has some new low cost plans you may want to look into, like Spectrum Choice. It works with your current Tivos as well as Roku and includes all locals plus 10 a la carte channels of your choice for $29. I had it for a couple of years and loved it. But when they raised the bogus "broadcast tv" fee to $8, I dropped it in favor of DirecTV NOW which had more channels for the same price.

    Tons of options out there if you're looking to cut the cord and keep your Tivos.
     
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  4. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Except for CNN, connecting an antenna to the BOLT may suffice.

    See:
    antennaweb.org
    tvfool.com​
     
  5. rswc90

    rswc90 Member

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  6. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    If you drop cable entirely and switch to just an antenna, you can live stream CNN for $3/month or stream an aggregate of several news sources including CNN for free on Haystack.
     
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  7. rswc90

    rswc90 Member

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    Thanks! I never heard of Haystack! It looks interesting and promising.
     
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  8. aspexil

    aspexil Member

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    SlingTV out there too (and they also have AirTV for OTA integration) with DVR.
     
  9. ManeJon

    ManeJon Active Member

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    Make sure you check sources (other than antenna) some streaming services don't carry CBS - CBS wants people to use its own streaming subscription so there are places without CBS
     
  10. rswc90

    rswc90 Member

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    Y’all were right on. TiVo works without buying Spectrum’s boxes. I am still pondering getting a digital antennae and cancel Spectrum TV but I am unsure if CBS would come through. I wanted to post back to thank you. Great community!
     
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  11. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Please don't buy into the 3 a.m. infomercials about "digital antennae"--they're just antennae (I'm still using 2 tabletop "analog antennae" from 10-15 years ago).
     
    PoohLuvsTIVO likes this.
  12. rswc90

    rswc90 Member

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    Please explain how an analog antennae will work for "digital only" broadcasts? Thanks!
     
  13. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    My tabletop 10-15 year-old Terk model antennae (one amplified, one not) receive the current OTA television digital signal, just as they had received the earlier OTA television analog signal before the U.S. transition from analog to digital OTA television signal. They receive the signal that is broadcast over the airwaves--there's no "digital magic" to that.

    Or are we talking different things?

    [​IMG]
     
  14. ajwees41

    ajwees41 Well-Known Member

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    do you have a cable card in the bolt? if yes then you are fine, but any tv's without a tivo or cable box will need a digital tuning adapter for a monthly rental fee they do not sell cable boxes
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  15. rswc90

    rswc90 Member

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    I was thinking something like this: RCA - Multidirectional Indoor HDTV Antenna - but only because I don’t know anything about this stuff! I am so tired of Spectrum but I feel like my hands are tied because I don’t know about this stuff!
     
  16. ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    Radio signals are analog by their nature; digital information is encoded in analog radio transmission signals. The decoding is not done by the antenna, it is done by the circuitry of the receiver. The term "digital antenna" is a marketing term without technical meaning.
     
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  17. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Yep, the same antenna designs that have worked since the dawn of television continue to work just as well with "digital" broadcasts. The fundamental things about TV signals that dictate the shape and size of an antenna, like wavelengths, are determined by carrier frequency which happens to be exactly the same now as it was with analog (UHF and VHF).

    Bottom line is traditional rabbit ears will suffice if you have a strong signal, or something bigger if you have a weaker one. Would also be helpful to know if your stations are primarily UHF, VHF or both.
     
  18. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Don't feel badly--you're not the only one guessing at this stuff!

    In my humble experience, getting a good television signal is very idiosyncratic, depending on where you live, the terrain, the distance to the TV transmission towers, your home's construction, and the antenna itself, among other factors--this especially can be the case for tabletop antennae. Professional and user reviews (like those on Amazon.com product webpages) can be helpful.

    In the end, what works for one person may not work for someone else. A good reason to buy something that has an easy return policy--I bought my antennae locally, after trying out (and returning) 2 others that were more expensive but no better, in the end.

    But, going back to my original point, no need to be impressed by those ads for "special digital antennae that will get you hundreds of stations"--they're "just" antennae in one form or another that you've used for years, plus marketing.

    And, of course, you can enhance your OTA TV reception by purchasing and erecting an outdoors antenna. But more expensive and more hassle, plus the looks issue.
     
  19. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Just like "color" antenna back in the '60s.
     
    aaronwt, Mikeguy and krkaufman like this.

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