The Purge

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Do you still watch broadcast TV?
Yes -- I have cable or satellite and plan to keep it 44%  44%  [ 11 ]
Yes -- I have cable or satellite and am seriously thinking of canceling it 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
Sort of -- I have an antenna but canceled cable/satellite 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
No -- I just use internet streaming services 36%  36%  [ 9 ]
No -- I don't watch any sort of shows, streaming or broadcast 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 25
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 Post subject: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:38 am 
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Interesting article:
http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/04/08/ ... p=features

"Zero TV" households are those without traditional ways to receive broadcasts -- no cable, no satellite, no antenna, just internet.

I joined the ranks last year and haven't missed my cable subscription at all. I was almost never using it.

Netflix is now about 90% of what I watch. I do a lot of streaming TV shows and movies and I have their two-at-a-time DVD deal as well.

Once in a while I fill in with Amazon. I have Amazon Prime, mainly for free two-day shipping, but that also gets me access to some free stuff. Occasionally I will purchase episodes to bridge the gap between what Netflix has on streaming (e.g., seasons 1-3) and what Hulu or the channel's website has available online (e.g., season 4, episodes 6+ -- I may buy episodes 1-5 on Amazon to catch up to what Hulu has)

I don't use iTunes because I hate the iTunes interface and refuse to be subjected to it. (Sadly, Lost Girl episodes beyond what Netflix streams are only for sale in iTunes, so no Lost Girl for me til Netflix gets it or they sell it on Amazon!)

I haven't been roped into Hulu Plus yet. I'd like to resist a third subscription streaming service. I have used Hulu regular though.

I watch everything (except Hulu) on my Tivo but I could also use my XBox if I blew the dust off and re-upped my subscription. I hear the Roku is good though and streams just about everything imaginable.

I'm not much into sports so no loss there.

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:58 am 
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I have a Roku, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and a satellite subscription. I have not seriously looked into getting rid of the satellite - my wife watches a lot of tv as she is home all day.

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:12 am 
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I wouldn't have cable but for sports and hbo. Once they have legal streaming options for college football and hbo go is delinked from having a cable account I will ditch it altogether. (I still could just pirate and do bootleg streams, but I'm an adult now and have better things to do with my time.... oh, okay, I don't really, but I am lazy).


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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:14 pm 
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I have wanted to go cable free for years, but the wife and kids are less keen. Really my wife is the main problem, but 90% of what she watches in on ABC. We are out in the boonies (long way from TV transmitters), so I bought a high powered antennae and installed it in the attic. It gets about 30-40 OTA channels, including NBC, Fox, etc...but not ABC. :(

Slamz, if you don't like iTunes, you should get an AppleTV. You can instantly buy or rent and watch movies and TVs directly via the (very nice) interface, without ever having to use iTunes or even a computer at all. You can get the latest model for around 80 bucks. We watch Netflix on them too (have three around the house).

I have Amazon Prime too, which we can watch through an internet-enabled DVD player. But we never watch it - Netflix is better, and easier to get to (via AppleTV).

I'm still holding out for the mythical "pay just for what you watch" cable plan. Maybe will come with the also mythical iTV...maybe not...

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:06 pm 
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My wife and I are seriously talking about get rid of cable. Frankly the only reason I'm holding on is hbo. So while hbo is 18 bucks, I'm paying about 90 a month for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:28 pm 
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I would be happy to get rid of cable completely if I could, but I wasn't able to figure out how to get all of my favorite shows or news on an As Released basis.

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:38 am 
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If you dont live in the boonies, why wouldnt you use a digital receiver for local news/world news/good syndicated stuff to watch, weather channel, late nite, etc? $40 or less for old tv's, free with new tv's.

I would use Netflix but my 20 yr old TV is still kickin it live and I dont feel like giving money to Sony for a Netflix enabled bluray. Trying to skip that generation!

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:38 am 
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Roku HD (720p) is $58 on Amazon. You can pay more for the 1080p but I don't know how much streaming stuff does 1080 anyway. I may actually get one myself -- looks like it does a hell of a lot more than my Tivo.

I don't do broadcast stuff at the moment because I basically live in a ravine. I have to be on my 3rd floor to get cell reception (fixed that with a Network Extender though). I'd have to put up a roof antenna for reception but I'm lazy. And for shows that are airing now you can often get it the next day on the channel's website or on Hulu (or Hulu Plus).

Really it was easy for me because TV isn't much of a foundation of my entertainment. I watch a lot of Netflix but I haven't sat down to watch network TV in years. (I think the last show I really sat and watched was BSG. I was watching Walking Dead but that's on Hulu anyway.)

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:28 am 
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Slamz wrote:
I don't do broadcast stuff at the moment because I basically live in a ravine. I have to be on my 3rd floor to get cell reception (fixed that with a Network Extender though).


What did you buy? I need to get one for my folks as they get awful reception in their Houston place.


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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:58 am 
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Here's the Verizon one:
http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/stor ... toFeatures

This is a different model than mine but I don't seen mine listed anymore and it didn't support 3G data (I have wifi for data anyway) where this one does. You'll need a broadband internet connection to hook it into and it should be fairly near a window -- mine came with a 50' cable for the GPS receiver so you'll just need to run it somewhere so that it can see the sky and get a GPS lock.

It's basically a mini cell tower that should easily cover the whole interior of your house. Each carrier sells their own version of this so if you need to support multiple carriers you might need something more like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Extender ... B003VOW5WI
...which works with most phones and carriers but requires you to install an antenna. I don't think it acts as a cell tower so much as a signal repeater and amplifier. I've not tried this one, just looked at it when I was originally looking for a solution.

I have no complaints about the Verizon Network Extender. Bit pricey but works great.

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:43 pm 
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I have officially skewed your poll as I have full cable but get it for free so have no intention of getting rid of it. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:53 pm 
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Still, out of 15 people who watch TV at all, 7 have canceled or are seriously considering canceling cable.

Five years ago I think it would have been more like 0-1 canceled and everyone else having cable with no intention of dropping it.

Gonna be interesting to see where this goes....whether cable companies will find a way to fight it or a way to embrace it.

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:54 pm 
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I've been cable free for years.

The only shows I watch are all on Hulu or are shows like Dr Who that are not available on Cable anyways.

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:27 pm 
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Slamz wrote:
Still, out of 15 people who watch TV at all, 7 have canceled or are seriously considering canceling cable.

Five years ago I think it would have been more like 0-1 canceled and everyone else having cable with no intention of dropping it.

Gonna be interesting to see where this goes....whether cable companies will find a way to fight it or a way to embrace it.


As someone who works for the cable company:

We go as the baby boomers go. They are still old school, don't like change and are used to paying big cable bills for decades now. I think our industry peters along fine for the next 15 years, but at some point we turn over from a "programming packaging" company to a bandwidth company. Pricing will be done by the size pipe you want.

But keep in mind, cable is all about what content is provided and the giant programming groups still see cable as their meal ticket and financial windfall. It is the only model that works to keep both companies in the money. Programmers are able to milk cable companies (and their customers) by dangling the one or two channels people actually watch, but require you to carry all their shit channels no one cares about so that they can make extra profit. Even HBO has come and defended why they don't separate themselves from cable....it's simply too good a deal for them.

I think if anything the past 5 years or so have shown that people still crave content and want programming options. Cable can still work that angle to their advantage.


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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:28 pm 
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Chain wrote:
I've been cable free for years.

The only shows I watch are all on Hulu or are shows like Dr Who that are not available on Cable anyways.


BBC America airs Dr. Who. In fact they should just rename it the Dr. Who channel because it's on all the time, heh.

See, now Hulu I don't get. I am paying you the same amount as I do Netflix but I still have to watch commercials? Screw you very much, Hulu!


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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:10 pm 
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Yeah, I've been avoiding Hulu Plus so far. I do check basic Hulu (which is free with commercials) but Hulu Plus charging me to watch commercials is not very alluring.

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:12 pm 
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cable companies have ample opportunity to grow from being primarily content resellers to being bandwidth providers.

I am a cable customer, not because I watch any TV, but because in my area cable Internet is fast, reasonably-priced and available. I consider their TV and phone service offerings to be "add-ons" to my basic bandwidth/connectivity package, in the same way that I consider Verizon fiber TV and phone service to be add-ons over their basic bandwidth/connectivity package.

in the case of Verizon, this treatment is particularly apt because whenever I finally decide to get fiber, it will be as an in-place upgrade from my existing copper DSL service from them. a big part of why I haven't done this already is because Verizon makes it difficult to get basic fiber bandwidth/connectivity without also getting TV and phone service at the same time (things I don't want).

-ken

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:27 pm 
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I had a job offer in Austin, and even though it would have been a slight downgrade, I almost considered it since I could get google fiber soon :)


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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:01 pm 
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Jakensama wrote:
I had a job offer in Austin, and even though it would have been a slight downgrade, I almost considered it since I could get google fiber soon :)


And you are a whore for texas.

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:57 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:02 am 
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Netflix for sure. Their streaming options, especially for TV shows, are a lot better today than 2 years ago.

You still can't get A-list American movies most of the time, often including old ones, presumably because American movie studios don't want to deal, but TV shows and anything foreign are frequently available.

I still do their DVD mailing too.

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:22 am 
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yeah netflix streaming is still the best bang for your buck to go back and watch television series. I believe they have all of the "new generation" Dr. Whos.


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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:57 am 
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my wife has been getting the current Dr Who shows from amazon.com, which are available after a one-day delay. she has Amazon Prime and I think watching previous episodes for free is what got her hooked on the show enough to pay for this season.

-ken

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 9:47 am 
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We finally made the switch. I talked my wife into it after showing her the numbers. We had TV from DirectTV, cable internet from Comcast, and phone from Verizon. All in all we were paying $253 a month, or over $3k a year.

We changed it to both internet (bumping up to their 50Mbps service) and digital phone from Comcast. We dropped DirectTV altogether, and now get Netflix ($7.99 a month) and Hulu Plus (also $7.99) instead. Internet is 2.5X as fast, and we are saving almost $3200 over the first two years alone.

What's good and what's bad about it?

We can do everything we want via AppleTV, no switching inputs anymore. It has a nice consistent look and feel for all the apps (NetFlix, Hulu, computer streaming, and iTunes movies and TV shows). What it is missing (and I hope they get soon) is a global search feature (e.g. "find me Season Three of Lost", whether it’s Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, or whatever). The rumored Siri support will likely add this.

Almost all my wife's network shows (Grey's Anatomy, Castle, Nashville, etc) are available the day after their air on Hulu Plus (in fact you can watch the whole season there). Really nice HD as well. It does has ads, but only one or two at a time (instead of 5-10 on network TV). You can't fast forward through the ads... Another option is to use the ABC app on the iPad, and Airplay it to the AppleTV.

For the kids, Netflix has full older seasons of most of the Disney shows the older kids watch (Shake It Up, Ant Farm, Good Luck Charlie, etc). It doesn't have the current seasons, but they are not old enough to care about that (yet). On the other hand, most of the recent Disney shows for our younger kids (Octonauts, Jake and The Neverending Pirates, Little Einsteins, etc) aren't on there. We'll probably have to get the DVDs.

I don't watch a lot of stuff, but I do like Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Netflix has older seasons of Walking Dead, but I'm going to miss watching it live. You can buy older seasons of Game of Thrones from Apple (for a hefty price), but there is no option of the current season. HBO refuses to sell HBO Go standalone, although I'd be happy to pay up for it at a good premium.

Although I hadn't done it for years, I went back to torrents to get my Game of Thrones fix. But...I've had two “Notice of Claim of Copyright Infringement” e-mails from Comcast, listing exactly what I downloaded and when. So I’ve had to stop that, or risk getting my service cut off (or worse). This is probably the biggest downside for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Zero TV
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 10:06 am 
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Interesting that Comcast now tracks your downloads. I guess that's the final solution to piracy. (Although for a small fee you could probably rent a server like the one The Purge is run on, torrent stuff to it and then FTP it from there. I bet they only look at torrent streams.)

Why in the world did you have DirectTV and Comcast at the same time?

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