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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  General Discussion  |  Topic: Fuck Comcast unto death. Help me cut the cord! (Streaming TV options) 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Fuck Comcast unto death. Help me cut the cord! (Streaming TV options)  (Read 2848 times)
WayAbvPar
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on: September 23, 2016, 06:39:30 PM

So, I fucking hate Comcast. I have already been investigating other options, since I am currently a full time college student on unemployment (yay global economy). Just got my bill, and Comcast added a charge that they EXPLICITLY told me wouldn't be added (basically, they changed NFL RedZone to a new package when the season started to gouge the fuck out of sports fans). After 30 minutes of jousting with Rahul, I beat a 1 time $9.99 credit out of them. Not going to fly, so I am now exploring my options.

Please, regale me with your experiences, your cautionary tales, and your recommendations. What streaming device should I use?  What antenna is best to capture local channels? What do you miss about cable? What is unavailable except through cable or satellite?

I am leaning toward some combination of SlingTV and maybe Hulu Plus (I already have Netflix and Amazon). I am trying to decipher what I am going to lose when I tell Comcast to mouthify my rectal cavity, and how much I will save (if anything) by doing so. I currently have cable, Internet, and phone through Comcast, and would like to trim that down as far as possible. I would even be happy to pay the same amount for similar services, just as long as it isn't going to Comcast.

When speaking of the MMOG industry, the glass may be half full, but it's full of urine. HaemishM

Always wear clean underwear because you never know when a Tory Government is going to fuck you.- Ironwood

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taolurker
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Reply #1 on: September 23, 2016, 06:49:52 PM

Sending you a private message.


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Torinak
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Reply #2 on: September 23, 2016, 07:23:49 PM

So, I fucking hate Comcast. I have already been investigating other options, since I am currently a full time college student on unemployment (yay global economy). Just got my bill, and Comcast added a charge that they EXPLICITLY told me wouldn't be added (basically, they changed NFL RedZone to a new package when the season started to gouge the fuck out of sports fans). After 30 minutes of jousting with Rahul, I beat a 1 time $9.99 credit out of them. Not going to fly, so I am now exploring my options.

Please, regale me with your experiences, your cautionary tales, and your recommendations. What streaming device should I use?  What antenna is best to capture local channels? What do you miss about cable? What is unavailable except through cable or satellite?

I am leaning toward some combination of SlingTV and maybe Hulu Plus (I already have Netflix and Amazon). I am trying to decipher what I am going to lose when I tell Comcast to mouthify my rectal cavity, and how much I will save (if anything) by doing so. I currently have cable, Internet, and phone through Comcast, and would like to trim that down as far as possible. I would even be happy to pay the same amount for similar services, just as long as it isn't going to Comcast.

If Comcast is still your ISP, you may save money by keeping the most-bare-bones cable TV package they offer--they play all kinds of pricing games with their bundling crap. I'm not sure if that applies to their Xfinity packages, because the Comcast website is so broken they won't even show me how I could give them more money if I wanted to--every attempt to look at their offerings for bundling, higher-speed internet, etc., results in one of a range of different internal server errors. They can't even tell me what channels I should be getting, but I did get a letter telling me they were sorry they accidentally gave me some (unspecified) channels that we weren't supposed to be getting. God help you if you just want to find out what package(s) would let you get a specific set of channels.

Oh, and they still suck as an ISP, at least as much as they do as a cable TV provider. Expect to still have all kinds of random charges show up (like cable modem rental fees for the modem you bought on your own) so you may not be done talking to "Rahul" just yet. It may be useful to have every call start out by letting them know you're gathering info for your complaint to your municipality's utility board or state's attorney general.

I'd be terrified of having phone service through Comcast. I'd fully expect to die at some point due to an unplanned outage (that they deny) that just happens to line up with needing to call 911. Same goes for any VOIP service if Comcast is still your ISP.

As for missing content, we just stopped watching TV. The last time we tried to watch broadcast TV, it was such a painful experience due to commercials and the format that we just turned it off. We have Netflix, so if something sufficiently interesting shows up there we can watch it, but otherwise we're content to just "miss out" on all that "quality television" out there. If there's some content you absolutely must have, some stations or shows have dedicated apps or websites where you can stream just that content either for free, usually only the most recent episode(s).

As more people try to ditch cable TV, expect even more blatant attempts to get you to pay both ways--bandwidth caps are just the beginning. As you change your relationship with Comcast, watch out for getting pushed into any plans that will screw you over with exceptionally low caps. I don't know if they have any of those around here (because their website is so broken) but they probably exist at the lower tiers of non-bundled packages.
Hawkbit
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Reply #3 on: September 23, 2016, 09:14:25 PM

I would like to know what solution you come up with. Our options in West Seattle are Comcast or Century Link, though the latter isn't run to my house. My 50mb service is $73/month. Internet only.

I did get moderate success trashing the shit out of them on twitter and got my bill lowered to $40 for a year, but that expired a while back and I just don't have the energy to tell them to fuckoff again.

I considered keeping them on speed dial just to fucking verbally abuse some random person every now and again when I have a bad day.
HaemishM
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Reply #4 on: September 23, 2016, 09:31:37 PM

You will never NEVER never ever never get a real, satisfactory answer to how much you should be paying for a certain set of not-bundled services from Comcast. Like ever. The first 2 levels of customer service reps will only be allowed to tell you about the bundles they have, and they will even lie and tell you that you will pay more if you only want 1 of the 3 services from the bundle (like just Internet). You will literally have to escalate 3-4 levels up to get a straight answer and it will still be fucked up when you get your bill.

Live sports are the only reason I haven't completely ditched all cable TV companies.

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Reply #5 on: September 23, 2016, 11:34:14 PM

Sending you a private message.
well i want to know what the pm was about
Viin
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Reply #6 on: September 23, 2016, 11:52:56 PM

I use Comcast internet but use DirecTV for cable. I'm pretty close to pulling the plug on DirecTV as I can get most of my shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. And if you are "smart" about it, you could subscribe to just 1 or 2 of those and cycle them around as new content is made available. Of course, just Netflix alone has months and months of original programs. The only thing you don't get easily is Sports.

- Viin
Trippy
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Reply #7 on: September 24, 2016, 01:19:35 AM

What antenna is best to capture local channels? What do you miss about cable? What is unavailable except through cable or satellite?
The HDTV antennas that look like large mouse pads work remarkable well. They don't, of course, work as well as a real roof-mounted HDTV antenna that's installed and pointed properly but if that's not an option you can try one of those. They are so cheap that even if one of them doesn't work for you you aren't out much money (or you can just return if you buy it from some place like Amazon). There are a ton of different manufactures of that type of antenna but if you can't figure out which one to get just get a (Mohu) Leaf since they are the original.
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Reply #8 on: September 24, 2016, 01:21:57 AM

I'd be terrified of having phone service through Comcast. I'd fully expect to die at some point due to an unplanned outage (that they deny) that just happens to line up with needing to call 911. Same goes for any VOIP service if Comcast is still your ISP.
I especially like how their cable box that provides the telephone jack comes with a slot for a battery for backup power but they don't provide the battery for it.
Velorath
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Reply #9 on: September 24, 2016, 04:27:12 AM

I kinda miss watching football at home. Then I remember how little I've been enjoying the NFL in recent years and I don't feel so bad about it. Aside from that, with HBO Now being available more places now, I don't miss cable at all.

If you have a PS4, maybe look into Playstation Vue (it's available on PS3 and Amazon Fire TV also but I've read that content runs at 30 FPS on those as opposed to 60 on PS4) as a competitor to SlingTV. I don't have either but I've read there are pluses and minuses to both. I think Vue costs a bit more, but has some sort of cloud save DVR feature.

Personally I'm mostly happy with Netflix and Hulu. I had Prime for a while also but canceled the service when Amazon consistently shipped my stuff through USPS who are terrible in my area and frequently claimed that they attempted to deliver stuff to my apartment, even when I was home all day and never saw them. Hulu is especially great for their Criteron selection.
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Reply #10 on: September 24, 2016, 04:49:39 AM

For NFL games, couldn't you just sign up for the online streaming service, and then use a VPN to get around the geoblocking?

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MrHat
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Reply #11 on: September 24, 2016, 09:05:52 AM

If you are a student, last year I used a college email address to get RedZone streaming separately through Sunday Ticket.  Sure it was about $20/mo when I did it last year.

We haven't had cable at our house for 5 years.  One of those years I did have a free HD cable through Comcast deal. I actually really liked it because their On-Demand had literally EVERYTHING.  Then about 8 months in, they changed it.  Lots of shows went out, or went to only the last 4 episodes available.  And then they did the worst thing imaginable: anything you watched On-Demand was unskippable. So you had to watch commercials for on-demand shows. So I cancelled that out.

We use Netflix (Family), Hulu (No-Ads), and Amazon Prime.  Hulu has most of the big popular shows streaming the next day.

For sports, I use a Mohu antenna (the one Trippy recommended).  I have to change it from one wall to the other if I want to catch CBS vs. ABC, but NBC and Fox always come in.  I literally only watch live TV for sports.

HBO and somehow ESPN is still included in my Comcast internet package. I just use the log-ins there with Chromecast to watch MNF and HBO on TV.

For Redzone this year, I started by just using a friends log in since they don't stream anything (THIS IS YOUR FIRST OPTION). Then you can stream on your iPad/phone and send to your TV with Chromecast/Apple TV.

If that doesn't work, Playstation Vue is ok (their on-demand/DVR service is unskippable ads). You get all your basic cable channels (USA, FX, ESPN, news?). It's like $30/mo and an extra $40 (no per month, just flat fee) will get you RedZone for the whole season (and it streams beautifully).  Vue works on your playstation best, but their apps for phone/tablet are decent too.

I'd just like to reinterate that using someone else's login to stream RedZone is the best method if you don't have cable.

Also, there's a pretty great website that, if you have adblockers, lets you watch pretty much any TV episodes you want and you can always chromecast mirror that to your TV too.
taolurker
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Reply #12 on: September 24, 2016, 09:47:40 AM

Also, there's a pretty great website that, if you have adblockers, lets you watch pretty much any TV episodes you want and you can always chromecast mirror that to your TV too.
This was basically why I sent a private message, because I didn't want to advertise sites for streaming or disseminate links/encourage piracy. There are however sites, and I've had Comcast internet only because, fuck them, and their wanting to temporary package for 6 months then screw you with a $300 bill... Which happened perpetually with them. I didn't want phone or a "package" and using browser streaming (and mobile device ones), I've eliminated the tv cost and chrome cast sort of to my tv, on pcs + televisions (but with hdmi dual monitor on my "media center pc" instead of bothering with chrome and their gadget).


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Khaldun
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Reply #13 on: September 24, 2016, 09:54:14 AM

I am starting to think about all this too. I guess I'm just a kind of eh, meh, I have this and I don't want to think about it (we're Verizon FIOS) but the cost of it and the fact that most of that cost is subsidizing live sports which we just don't watch any longer. Three-quarters of what we watch is on Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Starz or Netflix; a smattering of on-demand movies when we can't find it anywhere else. The only shows we watch when they come on are a few network shows ("The Good Place" was fun in the first episode), Top Chef, and my wife still watches General Hospital sometimes because it's mindless comfort food for her.

I am just trying to decide what the best basic route to go is to cut the cord. We still have an old XBox 360 running which we use for Netflix and Hulu, that's probably not going to survive much longer.
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Reply #14 on: September 24, 2016, 11:16:50 AM

Get a Roku if you want to be able to access Amazon, Netflix, HBO Now, Sling, Hulu, and a bunch of other stuff on one device. They are cheap and pretty no frills. The apps can be a little meh on the user interface but they function.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
WayAbvPar
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Reply #15 on: September 24, 2016, 07:26:19 PM

Sling TV has a deal for 50% off the Roku 3 if you pre-pay for 3 months of TV service...eying that very closely at this point. I think I will probably end up using that in my bedroom, then picking up a Xbone eventually for our downstairs TV.

When speaking of the MMOG industry, the glass may be half full, but it's full of urine. HaemishM

Always wear clean underwear because you never know when a Tory Government is going to fuck you.- Ironwood

Who the hell taught you how to write? Fuck, that sentence is like internet transmitted face-attacking knives. Jesus. schild
Logain
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Reply #16 on: September 25, 2016, 12:27:52 AM

Slingtv is pretty good if you just can't bring yourself to do without broadcast channels, commercials and all. For sports, get an antenna. Personally I subscribe to Netflix and amazon prime. Between those two and youtube there's not much I want to watch that I can't find. I'm not completely sold on youtube red. I used up the free trial and did not renew. I used to subscribe to Hulu but their show offering just didn't seem worth it, especially if one already has netflix and amazon prime. If I had to pick just one service to keep, I would definitely go with amazon prime as it's the best value in my opinion.

As far as hardware, a simple solution is to hook up a Roku. Personally I prefer to connect the tv to a pc. I would take some of the savings from dropping your cable package and roll it into a faster internet connection. I pay $100/month for 300mb down/75 mb up with time Warner. Me and my brother are consitantly pulling over 1TB downstream bandwidth monthly and I have yet to run into any data caps or additional charges. If you do decide to supplement your legal viewing options with a bit of piracy, definitely pick up a VPN.

One thing I can see cutting the cord being a problem for is if you are a reality tv junky or if you like to "channel surf." I don't really find myself missing any content I don't have access to, as I never see the commercials for them and the shows effectively don't exist for me.
Draegan
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Reply #17 on: September 25, 2016, 03:06:12 PM

PlayStation Vue is tits. Get it.
WayAbvPar
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Reply #18 on: September 25, 2016, 04:00:02 PM

Buddy linked me this- http://gizmodo.com/slingtv-is-so-bad-it-forced-me-back-to-cable-1786029642

That has me reconsidering. Also the Comcast Twitter account dug up a promo for me to cut the bump from $9.99 to $5. Still hoping to discontinue. Exploring options.

When speaking of the MMOG industry, the glass may be half full, but it's full of urine. HaemishM

Always wear clean underwear because you never know when a Tory Government is going to fuck you.- Ironwood

Who the hell taught you how to write? Fuck, that sentence is like internet transmitted face-attacking knives. Jesus. schild
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Reply #19 on: September 25, 2016, 04:22:14 PM

PlayStation Vue is tits. Get it.
Yup, this is what we're signing up for when we get back to Austin.
Yegolev
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Reply #20 on: September 26, 2016, 09:31:35 AM

I generally trust you guys but since I already have signed up for lots and lots of services, why would I want to get Vue as well as all this other horseshit?

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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Viin
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Reply #21 on: September 26, 2016, 11:39:18 AM

Vue doesn't seem any different to me than any other cable package, except you also pay someone for Internet to get it? So the only positive is that you have to deal with Sony instead of Comcast .. seems like a weak trade off.

- Viin
Rasix
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Reply #22 on: September 26, 2016, 12:01:27 PM

Well, we kind of all buy internet access anyhow. Might as well pay less, which is what the cost here looks like.  

Honestly, all I need are live sports and cable can rot. I'm willing to get stuff later on streaming services or binge on available backlogs.

I have Cox and it's not any better than Comcast in regards to pricing. Their name is just more honest about what they're shoving in your backside.

-Rasix
Yegolev
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Reply #23 on: September 26, 2016, 12:58:41 PM

My wife is the one that needs football, so if I can get rid of her then I won't need Red Zone.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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vos
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Reply #24 on: September 26, 2016, 03:41:53 PM

One thing not mentioned so far is sound support. Sling TV, PS Vue, and Hulu are only Stereo. Only Netflix consistently has 5.1 or better audio. Amazon can be hit or miss. The reason of course is that Netflix can spend days encoding what the live TV streamers have to do in seconds.

Most of the live TV streamers are geared towards mobile devices or lower end smart TVs. People running your $5-10k TV setups generally aren't looking to save money on cable bills. There are of course exceptions, for example Netflix 4k streaming is good on it's original programming and Vudu does 4k UHD with Dolby Atmos (but that's once again not live).

Another thing some do as part of their solution is the Tivo (or other DVR) + Antenna for local channels.

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Reply #25 on: September 27, 2016, 10:35:30 AM

I no longer detect the appeal of live television.  At least since I've established that I don't need football.  It also helps that I don't have to worry about dickholes spoiling it for me or (far more likely) that I put money on the game.  If you bet on a sport game and need to know right away if you lost, just go to a sport bar with the other addicts.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Rendakor
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Reply #26 on: September 29, 2016, 02:39:32 PM

Relevant to this thread, I need a new streaming device for our bedroom. We've been using an Apple TV that the wife's had for ages with no remote; there are cellphone apps that act as remotes but now that we've both upgraded to phones without IR functionality that's a no go. The remote for it is $27, but for a bit more I could get something that isn't Apple which would be great since we have no other Apple devices nor an iTunes account.

I was originally leaning towards a Chromecast but that appears to need another device to actually play the video (like my phone or a PC) and all it does it display it on the TV; do I have that right? The other option would be a Roku, but that raises the question of which one to buy. They seem to be rolling out a new line of products 10/7/16 so the stuff they have listed on their website doesn't match what's currently available for purchase. swamp poop

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Reply #27 on: September 29, 2016, 02:46:33 PM

I just bought a Roku Streaming Stick because Groupon had a refurbed one that I got for $20 with shipping and a coupon. I just got it in last night and messed with it a bit. I like it. It's a little slow to start some of the apps, but streaming quality both audio and video was good. It also has apps for a ton of things including Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Prime Video, and others.

Viin
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Reply #28 on: September 29, 2016, 05:20:03 PM

The new Roku is suppose to be only $30, so might as well wait and see what it is. I actually like the Apple TV, it has a pretty good interface, and is reasonably quick, as far as these things go.

- Viin
Chimpy
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Reply #29 on: September 29, 2016, 05:40:58 PM

The new Roku is suppose to be only $30, so might as well wait and see what it is. I actually like the Apple TV, it has a pretty good interface, and is reasonably quick, as far as these things go.

If you are doing HBOGo/Now the interface on the AppleTV is like a billion times better than the Roku.

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Reply #30 on: September 30, 2016, 04:59:20 PM

I played the 6 month best deal with Comcast for ages, did the basic cable cause the bundled deal is cheaper than internet alone blah blah.

Finally realized I own a home and won't be moving anytime soon:  Comcast 1 year contract 100 mbs for $49 a month internet only. Have Netflix and Amazon prime and all is well.   Going to buy an antenna as I miss PBS.

That might not help you as a student, but I have been avoiding contracts instinctivley for so long it was a eureka moment when I realized that it was "ok" not to be month on Internet now that I own a house.  Too bad it took me about three years to figure that one out...

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Reply #31 on: September 30, 2016, 08:05:57 PM

Relevant to this thread, I need a new streaming device for our bedroom. We've been using an Apple TV that the wife's had for ages with no remote; there are cellphone apps that act as remotes but now that we've both upgraded to phones without IR functionality that's a no go. The remote for it is $27, but for a bit more I could get something that isn't Apple which would be great since we have no other Apple devices nor an iTunes account.

I was originally leaning towards a Chromecast but that appears to need another device to actually play the video (like my phone or a PC) and all it does it display it on the TV; do I have that right? The other option would be a Roku, but that raises the question of which one to buy. They seem to be rolling out a new line of products 10/7/16 so the stuff they have listed on their website doesn't match what's currently available for purchase. swamp poop

Rokus are excellent.

Amazon stuff is ok.

NVidia Shield and PS4 are excellent.

Chromecast is tolerable.
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Reply #32 on: September 30, 2016, 08:12:08 PM

Vue gets me local broadcast channels since digital antennas don't work where my house is. Thus is how I watch NFL games. No other product has this.

I also watch CNN on it.

If you're in to all the other standard cable channels then you get most of those too.

It's only 40bux with no other fees. Beats out cable for me.
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Reply #33 on: September 30, 2016, 08:54:52 PM

VUE has Food Network and Cooking Channel. Worth the cost of admission.
Draegan
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Reply #34 on: September 30, 2016, 09:47:20 PM

And NFL redzone and NFL network if you want to upgrade your sub.

The UI is very good on my ps3. It's shit on my old roku2.
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