Cut the Cable - Resources and Links


Not the exact intention of this thread, but I think it fits in spirit. A friend of mine is looking to switch providers to Time Warner from AT&T due to costs, and while I haven’t convinced him to completely cut the cord I think he’s very open to an HTPC solution with a cablecard tuner. Is anyone using that sort of setup that can recommend a good tuner and advise of any downsides of using XBMC/Kodi and a tuner vs the $30+/mo he’d be paying for a whole house DVR package?


No, if he really wants a DVR, get the cable company STBs.

If he doesn’t really need DVR, the firetv and roku boxes have TWC “apps” that play live TV and stream in-demand content.


And now I own an Asus Chromebox too:

Openelec on this thing is the best xbmc experience I’ve had. Too bad xbmc doesn’t support frame packed MVC 3D MKV files. That’s about the only minor knock I have against it.

I went with a dual boot chromeos/crouton and openelec setup with flash write protect disabled and boot time set to 1 sec chromeos. I love this thing so far.


Unsurprisingly, Australia gets fucked on those too. Cheapest model is AUD$280.


Good choice!

I actually think the chrome[I]books[/I] are even better, since they come with a UPS built in. But the form factor isn’t as nice, and you can’t upgrade them.


For NYers looking for an aereo replacement: Chicago too.


Yowza, their service is as expensive as the cable company’s I left behind.


My understanding is that nimbletv somehow purchases a cable TV package with the standard providers (comcast, TWC, etc) and then streams it to you. So it’s full price. More, actually, if you get any premium channels or want their DVR service. So it has the enviable combo of being very expensive and also shitty.

It’s not really made for cable cutters at all. You’re much better off getting a cheap slingbox and plugging it into your DVR, unless your upload speed is very low.


That’s actually not how it works. If you have a cable tv package nimble authenticates it and will let you stream live whatever you have access to for a small fee…$5? I think.

If you don’t have a cable subscription, nimble signs you up for one through their dish network agreement. I believe they have some agreement with dish where they are allowed to resell access to 3rd parties. The cheapest plan being 29.98 a month and if you live in NYC or Chicago they throw in local broadcast stations for free. There are other tiers above that that will include more channels.

It’s actually a pretty good, albeit more expensive replacement for aereo for me and actually includes more channels than aereo did.

For $29.98 on nimble I get 50 channels including all networks in HD with 20 hours of dvr; no contract required.

To get the same on TWC(the only provider available to me):
Time warner’s starter tv is 20 channels for $19; hd dvr box is another $25 a month throw in taxes and licensing fees and I’m well over $50 and I am locked into a 12 month contract and I can’t stream recordings without purchasing more hardware.


So I tried nimble the free version and the best quality I could get setting it on high is what looked like a low bitrate 480p netflix stream. Really, they need just 1 channel or even some demo looping video to give me an idea what their definition of HD streaming is because the free stuff doesn’t really sell the service. There’s no access to the DVR so no way to test that. On the free account they should let you just record 1 show a week or something just to test out the feature. It’s not like people are dying to record the home shopping network or bloomberg anyways.


I upgraded to the pro plan today for football.
Watching the game tonight I would say that it’s definitely HD. Picture quality is as good as aereo was and it buffers and drops quality a lot less than aereo did. I have not had a quality drop through the end of the first half and it only buffered once. Aereo did both far more often.


I know they’re limited by their reliance on cable providers, but I wish they offered an a la carte option. I’d buy the channels I don’t get on hulu plus if they did.


Thread res time.

My comcast cable bill is getting increasingly higher and its at that line where it’s getting harder to pay for it so I’ve been looking at some other options. I just started a month free of Hulu Plus and while it’s nice, it’s missing the channels and shows that my family like to watch (the latest stuff on Discovery, Food Network to name a few.) Are there any other options out there that are good for watching shows that are currently on or I’m going to be stuck with Comcast?


Nope, you’re still going to be stuck, if you have to be up-to-the-minute on cable shows. Even channels that have standalone apps are usually tied to a cable subscription (i.e. WatchESPN).


How often does Hulu update new or recent shows? I noticed that it has the past 7 seasons of New Doctor Who but nothing from season 8 yet.


It depends. With some networks they have deals for next day streaming on new episodes, others are just catalog deals like Netflix where you are often a year behind.


For Food Network, I have a lot of full episodes available through Plex (which really just scrapes the Food Network website for them). I don’t have a channel for Discovery Channel, but I do see some full episodes on their website.

Reality is that, generally speaking, cutting the cable requires changing how you approach TV watching. With Hulu and, in some cases with devices/software like Plex or Roku with channels that scrape web sites, you can get current episodes of certain TV shows, but more than likely the stuff you like on cable channels you have to wait to come on some streaming or disc platform like Netflix. Once you adjust to it, it’s not anywhere near as bad as it might sound.


Agreed. And I like having that extra $80-100 a month sitting in my pocket. I don’t watch enough TV (I would guesstimate that the critical threshold would be something like 3+ hours a day, or a live event every day) to justify paying for cable.


If you have Amazon Prime you get a lot of free stuff though it is often a bit behind, though they have alot of HBO shows on it now.

You can also see some stuff on the History Channel app on the Roku.

In general as stated above I changed how we watch TV. I just wait now for shows to appear, I do not care if I am a year behind.

If you really need to watch a show you can buy the season which can be cheaper than cable if you are careful in your planning/budget. Take 50% of your cable bill and buy want you want may work depending on how much TV you watch.

I alternate different channel subscriptions. Like I subscribe to Acorn (British shows) last year but did not this year. I got rid of Netflix for a year and now on Hulu plus. When they slow down on shows I will switch back to Netflix for a year etc.


Totally agree with this. The only shows I watch as they come out are those on network TV. Stuff on cable I either ignore (plenty of it deserves that) or wait for the DVD sets/release on Netflix. If you can convince your household to go that way (and losing live sports doesn’t bother you), cutting the cable is an easy choice.