Cut the Cable - Resources and Links


You can get a discount on Showtime if you have PS Plus and subscribe through PlayStation Vue. You don’t have to pay for any of their other channel packages. Hulu Plus subscribers can get the same discount as well.


Just want to say this. Cancelled Sling TV. It was great for the NBA playoffs, but man is cable a complete wasteland of television. The lack of DVR fuctionality and the poor controls (Roku and Tablet) really turned me off. Even if there were shows I wanted to watch, I couldn’t find them/DVR them. Great idea, poor execution.

Also, FYI, there are shows on some channels that are “blocked” from streaming. So, when they air, the channel is not available.

Yeah, no thanks.


I’m still subscribed, but pretty much only for ESPN since I’m a sucker for live baseball (3 or more times a week, this time of year) and football (MNF and college stuff once baseball season is over). I totally agree with how horrible the Sling app itself is. I hardly use it any more, since I can use my Sling login on the WatchESPN app. It’s not a lot better in terms of the controls but at least some of the shows are available as replay, and I’ve not had nearly the problems with the feed buffering constantly or failing completely as it does disturbingly often in the Sling app.


It’s live TV only, so I can’t imagine [I]anyone[/I] paying for SlingTV for anything other than sports. Other than sports, who watches live TV these days?


I watch The Americans and Game of Thrones live with my friends, and I’m not caught up but I think they watch Walking Dead live too. The Americans is just a favorite show of ours, it’s not exactly water cooler talk the next day at work, but GoT and Walking Dead are, so I think a lot of people still watch shows like that live to stay caught up in conversations.


I’m sure some people watch live, and some watch later on that night. For The Americans, if you watch it live that means you get all the commercials.


During this year’s Game of Thrones run, I added HBO to my Sling subscription. (The first time I’ve actually paid HBO to watch…happy to do it, just never had a non-cable-subscription option before.) I was able to watch it on my own schedule, since Sling does allow you to access a backlog of HBO shows. Worked for both GoT and Last Week Tonight. You can’t do that on ESPN, sadly…I may not want to watch live sports later, but it would be nice to have stuff like PTI or Baseball Tonight whenever I want to see it.

It’s a crazy patchwork of which Sling channels have on-demand access. Here’s a channel list, although who knows how up to date it is.


Oh yeah, I guess I was sort of responding to something different than what you actually said.

At my house, we don’t have cable (or even an antennae connected for anything OTA), so the earliest I can watch any show (other than stuff on HBO Now) is the next day when it’s available on iTunes/Amazon/some channel websites. So for me, watching something with friends the night it’s airing feels “live”.

But you’re right, even then, we’re usually not starting The Americans at 10:00 on the dot. Usually it’s 10:15 before everyone shows up, and so we’re skipping commercials for most of the show too. So yeah, not live.


So Hulu is apparently finally getting with the program and adding a no-ads subscription tier.

Hulu is the only place where you can legally watch the newest episodes of many shows online—but its incessant commercials have always been pretty annoying. Today, Hulu is launching a new tier of service priced at $11.99 a month, without commercials—mostly.

Hulu will be keeping it’s $7.99 ad-supported tier, but if you’re willing to pay a few more bucks, you can get most shows without ads. Some shows, however, including New Girl, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Once Upon a Time, Grey’s Anatomy, and Agents of Shield, will include a 15 second pre-roll ad and a 30 second post-roll ad. Most shows, however, will be truly ad-free.

I’d always resisted getting a Hulu subscriptions because I refused to pay for content and watch ads, but 15 seconds at the start of a show I can handle. Might be enough to get me to try it out for a month, see how it goes. Perhaps October, when Agents of Shield will be starting season 3.


So with Netflix discontinuing their liscensing deal with Epix, is Hulu the better option these days?


So, I just got DVR and cable in the new apartment I moved into.

Why did I do this?

Supposedly the introductory price of 86 bucks/mo is locked for 3 years.


I have Hulu Plus with the Showtime add on. I’ll probably tack on the 4 bucks to avoid ads. I really like it and it’s fairly cheap for all that you get. But you should realize that the audio on Hulu/Hulu Plus is still strictly stereo. No 5.1 whatsoever.


I recently upgraded my MythTV installation (DVR for over-the-air TV). I documented it, in case it might help anyone else interested in doing something similar.


What’s the best sub-USD$150 HW option for Kodi at the moment? My bro needs something to replace his aging WMC box. I love my N2820 NUC and the new N3050 replacement is even cheaper than mine was, but with SODIMM and SD card it will still be a little over that mark over here (~USD$180). More if he went for an SSD install.

FireTV is not available over here and shipping from the US will kill it anyway.

Are any of these android media players going to cut it vs a NUC these days? Matricom, Minix Neo, Nexus Player, Wetek, etc. Ebay via China/UK is an option for a few of those.

Use case is Kodi (or Plex) based HTPC only. Content coming from a NAS via wifi. Access to Netflix would be nice, but not essential as a cheap Chromecast in the mix could meet that demand. I realise there is also a Netflix plugin for Kodi, but apparently it is a bit flaky at the moment. No 4k content, but ability to play DVD would be great. Like, not ripped DVD, actual physical DVD (score 1 for NUC with external DVD player), I think)

He is also considering a RPi2, available for around $100 with case, power supply, SD card and remote, but I am not convinced it is grunty enough for a primary media hub. I use one in my car and it is friggin’ awesome for that, but is hardly pushed in played content, library size, networking, skins, additonal apps, etc.

I want to recommend the NUC, as mine has proven damn bullet-proof as a dedicated Kodi box, but want to make sure I am not missing something else that has come along. The ability to plug in a USB DVD player may also swing it that way as well.


I use my everyday-use pc (+external 4tb hdd) + Plex + Chromecast for local media, and it has access to Hulu, Youtube, Netflix, Google music, Spotify, Twitch, etc

I think Roku works well with Kodi?


I use the RPi2 in a couple of rooms, it works flawlessly for 1080p content. One of the rooms has a unit that is wireless, and that does fine too. Just make sure you use a decent SD card with it, doesn’t need to be big, but speedy (class 10). I also have a couple of older Atom-based micro-PCs. If either of them bites the dust, they’ll be replaced by the Pi.


Thanks, what Kodi build are you using?


Isengard - I use the Openelec builds for RPi2, they now allow for auto-update


The best cheap kodi box is a Haswell celeron chromebox. More info on the kodi wiki.


Sadly Australia tax just kills them dead - USD$196 + local freight. Then still need to add IR. Crazy. The newer NUC is a better deal over here at the moment.

But sounds like my idea is on the right track - none of the Android boxes are really going to stack up performance wise in comparison. RPi2 remains a great cheaper alternative if sticking to lighter skins.

I was intending to replace my aging second screen WDTV with a Kodi RPi2 anyway, so I’ll grab one and test in a situation more demanding than my car media box.