MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 56.0° F  Partly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

Considering cancelling cable TV

Wiis, PlayStations, iPads, blogging platforms, Facebook and anything else worthy of buzz in the digital world.

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby wallrock » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:16 pm

I'm in Middleton in a ground floor apartment and I get mostly excellent reception with this indoor amplified antenna. The only time I get disruptions are when I'm tuned to Channel 3 and standing to the east side of the TV.
wallrock
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 806
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:11 am
Location: Middleton

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:21 pm

I got this antenna.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/RCA+-+Indoo ... Id=8939839

My HD reception sans satellite is actually better as it is supposed to be, and I live on the near east side. Reception is dependent on the right antenna. Plus, any interference should be pixilation or the channel cutting out. Other than that it should be crystal clear.
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4837
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby markkay » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:24 pm

Hmmm, maybe my antenna stinks. I'm using this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Amplified-Hi ... _e_image_1
markkay
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:26 am

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby Crockett » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:27 pm

LargeMarge wrote:I would love to quit cable. The only thing I can't figure out is how to get NFL games. I would not have access to over-the-air signals due to my location. Even if I moved, I would still need ESPN for Monday Night Football. Does anyone know how to legally get NFL games online? I would be willing to pay extra.


The only reason I pay for cable is the Big Ten Network. Any way to stream Badger BBall games?
Crockett
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1206
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:37 am

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:28 pm

markkay wrote:Hmmm, maybe my antenna stinks. I'm using this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Amplified-Hi ... _e_image_1


I don't know how well it works, but it looks bad ass.
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4837
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby markkay » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:26 pm

I'm back in the HDTV antenna market.

Does anybody on the near east side have any good or bad experience with installing an outdoor antenna and improving reception? It seems you can get a good exterior at a price comparable to a good interior. Of course, there's installation cost or hassle, but I am, once again, unhappy with my indoor antenna. Reception is spotty in bad weather.

I'm wondering if an external antenna on a roof is a better choice than an internal antenna pointed at a window. Or maybe bad weather screws with exterior reception, too, I don't know.
markkay
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:26 am

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby jman111 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:23 pm

Have you tried an amplified internal antenna? I've seen these very reasonably priced and suspect they may offer improvement over standard (unamplified) options.

Edited for clarity: By "amplified", I mean one that is AC-powered. I see that yours is advertised as "amplified", but I don't see an AC plug.
jman111
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3000
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:43 pm
Location: Dane County

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby john_titor » Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:04 pm

Going on maybe three years now without cable. I installed an outdoor antennae when I switched back then. I didn't want to climb on the roof, so I basically just stuck the antennae on a pole, next to my house. I then ran coax, proabably 30' to the back of the house where the TV is. Plugged that into a lightening strike thingy and then to coax outlet on side of house (where the cable used to go). The reception is better than an indoor, but would be much better on the roof. I too have problems with certain channels versus others, especially when weather is moving in.

I added in a signal amplifier a few months back.
(14 bucks, in stock: http://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-Digital-S ... s/16422800)
I wasn't expecting much but it has improved the drops I used to get. I was also able to pull in a few extra stations.

This guy lays it out cold, old skool, shop teacher style:

There are no magic antennas using breakthrough technology. A lot of what you'll read as you do your research is simple hype. There's no such thing as a 150 mile antenna or a thin indoor antenna that works as good as a quality outdoor antenna.


If the antenna is not receiving an acceptable digital signal then no amount of signal amplification will improve the reception. You can't amplify a signal into existence if the antenna is not receiving it with sufficient strength.


There's no such thing as an HDTV antenna.

http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/better_digital_tv_reception.html

Never saw this thread until now, but if that reporter is still interested, I would be happy to spread the word.


edit: Three years ago, heh. A little over a year! viewtopic.php?f=32&t=57730
john_titor
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 652
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:18 pm

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby markkay » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:57 am

jman111 wrote:Have you tried an amplified internal antenna? I've seen these very reasonably priced and suspect they may offer improvement over standard (unamplified) options.

Edited for clarity: By "amplified", I mean one that is AC-powered. I see that yours is advertised as "amplified", but I don't see an AC plug.


Yes, I am currently using an amplified internal antenna with an AC plug. It seems counter-intuitive to me, but I recall reading some websites that said that un-amplified antennas may be better than amplified. Don't recall where I read that or why they said it. I suppose I could try unamplified, but if an external is the way to go, I should probably stop spending money on internal ones and bite the bullet and get an external one installed on the roof.

We really don't want to go back to cable. We rely on Charter for internet and, other than cost, don't have any service complaints. As for TV viewing, we rely on Google Chromecast to watch Hulu Plus, Youtube, and Netflix. Oh, and we still get DVDs from Four Star Video. God bless Four Star!
markkay
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:26 am

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby markkay » Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:02 am

john_titor wrote:This guy lays it out cold, old skool, shop teacher style: ....


Thanks for linking to that guy's articles!
markkay
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:26 am

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby Athena » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:23 pm

I've got a flat indoor antenna - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Winegard-Fla ... /203972854

It works great, much better than my old antenna. It's cheap too. I never bothered to mount it and it sits on top of the entertainment center completely unseen.
Athena
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 258
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:33 pm

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:29 pm

Another reason to not need cable anymore.

You May Soon Be Able To Get HBO Without Paying For Cable

Granted there is no concrete plans, but it's only a matter of time. Looks like they would probably bundle with the internet provider for an extra fee.
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4837
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby Sandi » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:38 pm

Stebben84 wrote:Another reason to not need cable anymore.

You May Soon Be Able To Get HBO Without Paying For Cable

Granted there is no concrete plans, but it's only a matter of time. Looks like they would probably bundle with the internet provider for an extra fee.


Stebben. You still need cable, it is just a smaller package. Even if you only get HBO, it is one channel via you cable provider.
Sandi
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1551
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:31 pm

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:45 pm

Sandi wrote:Stebben. You still need cable, it is just a smaller package.


I misread that. You're right. Well, we're getting closer at least.
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4837
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: Considering cancelling cable TV

Postby Kenneth Burns » Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:37 am

Kenneth Burns wrote:I built a homebrew DVR and do just fine with the broadcast channels, plus free streaming stuff from Hulu and the like ("Jersey Shore" on mtv.com was a highlight), Redbox or video store rentals and occasionally a streaming rental from Amazon.com.


Kenneth Burns wrote:I live in Midvale Heights and get acceptable but not pristine results with this antenna. It's an outdoor model, but I use it inside.


Update on those posts from a few years ago: I'm still limping along with that homebrew DVR and Eagle Aspen outdoor antenna, which I mounted inside on a mic stand (I knew being a musician would finally come in handy). I wasn't getting good signals here in South Knoxville until I added an amplifier -- actually the one that came with the Leaf antenna I bought. The Leaf didn't work out, but the amp is working well with the other antenna.

The DVR software I use, Beyond TV, is no longer available for consumers to buy. But the company still provides guide data for free, I guess because it continues to market a business-class version of the software. So I suppose I'll use it till the wheels fall off.

I think the market for PC-based DVRs was always small. It's a finicky, somewhat maddening technology, but when everything is set up properly, it's great. The Windows Media Center DVR software is still an option, and it works with an antenna. It comes with some versions of Windows 7 and is available as a download for Windows 8. I've fiddled with Windows Media Center and find it compelling, but it appears Microsoft is backing away from it. I won't be surprised if it's not available in the next Windows release, due out in 2015.

I see that TiVo is marketing a DVR for antenna users, but you have to pay monthly for the guide data. Something else to consider: the subscription-free DVR from Channel Master. I don't know much about it.

My earlier reference to Hulu amuses me. I never use Hulu now, and I haven't rented a DVD in years. But the PC connected to my TV works great for watching streams on Netflix and Amazon.

I've been pleasantly surprised by some of the streaming video apps available for the Metro interface on Windows 8. The Netflix app, for example, offers multichannel sound, which isn't available for Netflix on the web. Likewise, streaming web video from MLB.tv doesn't look quite right and is much better in the Windows 8 app.

Speaking of this:

Kenneth Burns wrote:I was disappointed last week when I learned ABC wouldn't be broadcasting the British Open live, then relieved that I was able to watch it on espn3.com.


ESPN video also doesn't look very good on the web, but this summer I watched the British Open using the Watch ESPN app for Window 8 and was perfectly satisfied. Most of ESPN's TV content isn't available for free on the app -- I'm not sure why the British Open is. But the Internet-only ESPN3 content is available, which means you can watch ... cricket. Among other things I actually have been watching some cricket, thanks to the app.

I know the Windows 8 apps are designed primarily for mobile, but they offer a very good living room experience, too.
Kenneth Burns
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2991
Joined: Fri May 24, 2002 3:14 pm

Previous

Return to Technology & Video Games

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar