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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:47 am 
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Location: Guelph, ON, CA
Hi all. My wife and I have finally got to the position where we are looking at the TV programming on Rogers cable and at $80.00 per month, the stuff that they broadcast in my opinion is absolute garbage. Constant reality TV shows, movies that are 15 years old over and over. Totally sick of it We have had enough and will consider not even having television any longer if it comes to that. For us to move into a Bell or Shaw service will only offer the same thing at the end of the day. No point even investigating this. I have been looking at these Android boxes as of late. "Seems" like an alternative but after all the " free-to-air " revolution of the past, I am very skeptical of investing in a device that our CRTC and cable giants are continually litigating against to reduce anything we may get for low cost . I have read briefly on the KODI situation and have came across a couple of vendors selling " fully loaded " Android boxes which also have many live TV stations that we get now, yet again, I am very skeptical if they are legal or will last any reasonable length of time before they get zapped and you have yet another box that is useless.

Can anyone comment on this format and if they have had success with employing it as a replacement for cable and perhaps what the legalities of these devices really are?

thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:02 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
If you have clear line of sight to where TV OTA (Over The Air) broadcasting originates from, then your best route is to try that. I don't have direct Line of Sight but close enough, and I can get 5 HD OTA channels using a $30 antenna. The channels are crystal clear most of the time and look really good. I believe the CRTC requires all local stations to broadcast HD OTA for free. Your results will depend on the line of sight and distance from the broadcast stations, but even if you are farther you might be able to use a higher gain antenna to receive the stations.

Supplement this with a streaming service like Netflix, On Demand service like digital rentals from Google, and purchasing Blu-Ray when they go on sale and you should have all your bases covered at a very low cost, assuming you have a device to play the stream/digital on-demand.

I have little experience with Android boxes, the few I've seen in operation were shut down because they illegally rebroadcast TV stations. Having seen the quality of those illegal streams I'd rather have 5 high quality HD OTA channels w/ commercials than 50 poorly streamed channels.

Btw, with a previous budget of $80/mo you can easily subscribe to Netflix, CraveTV, and Amazon Prime Video together for 1/4 the monthly cost.

PS: I've never tried renting movies on Google, I've read there might be quality issues for some people due to network connections. I think buying Blu-Ray when prices go down or buying them used offers good value for money until a truly high quality digital buy/rent movie service becomes more mainstream.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:12 am 
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Location: winnipeg, MB, CA
I dumped that type of service years ago. IMO subscription cable and satellite (and landline telephones) are obsolete. The only things I use for television are Netflix and free live stream services. I have been meaning to add Codi, but have not got around to it yet. Honestly, even $20 a month is too much for cable or satellite service. Those services are doomed and they know it; right now they are trying to milk every dollar they can out of it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:32 am 
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Posts: 624
Location: St.Catharines, ON, CA
Kids bought the wife and I a TV with Roku for Xmas and seems to work good.
Been on the couch since watching Netflix.Has a bunch of other stuff on it to.

G


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:51 am 
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Posts: 1032
Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

I went through this deliberation a few years ago and here is what I found.

1) Android devices - yes they work, or at least some do. I set up a Rapsberry Pi and then sold it on. I set up another unit which was highly recommended for smooth video, I can't even remember the name, and then sold it on. Why? They seemed like toys and I was the only person in the house who could use them. You have to consider the WAF score! Before you get an Android box, boot up Kodi on a lap-top and see if you can live with it.

2) Satellite feeds. We had Bell for 15 years and now Shaw. Shaw offers a superior experience, everything from the layout of the remote to the quality of the picture. Trouble is this; 150 channels of nothing. I am forking over $80 a month to be able to watch Global news for a half hour (some nights) at 6:30. All my other news feeds are on the computer.

3) OTA - we live in Stratford, a fringe area, and this is a problem. I just bought another high gain outdoor roof OTA antennae from Amazon with an 85 mile range. I will put it up in the spring, and, hopefully I will use it to get Global News. Toronto residential options like a window installed OTA system are not workable.

4) Netflix - now the main option for content. Our eyeballs are falling out from binge watching, most recently Peaky Blinders, and there is enough content on there to last a lifetime. $10 a month for HD and no ads, it's the bargain of the century.

5) DVD rentals - we have a good store here and we occasionally use it for Blu-Ray rentals, especially for HBO content such as Game of Thrones and British series stuff.

My plan is to put up the new OTA antenna and ditch Shaw satellite, or if the OTA doesn't do it to reduce our satellite service to just the CRTC mandated minimum. One other benefit of Shaw is that you can cancel your feeds (on-line) for lengthy periods of time, like all summer for us, and then reconnect. But network TV is just so 'fifties' and I hate all the ads interrupting the narrative.

For streaming, I think a ROKU box is a better bet than a SmartTV - I have both and the ROKU has a simple remote interface and is WAF friendly (unlike KODI) and also offers a lot of other content connection options (these are updatable) than available on most SmartTVs. The general idea is to get a device (yet another box) that offers ties to as many streaming channels as you can get and that is updateable and extendable. Streaming is the way to go. It is better to pay an ISP monthly for unlimited bandwidth than a TV supplier like Rogers. It just makes more sense and I just upgraded my router from a Belkin 300N to a dual band AC TP Link router and the transfer effect was immediate. The best I can get here in the older part of Stratford is about 10Meg/sec download speeds via DSL using an ISP that is reliable and business friendly. But this is plenty of bandwidth for us as HD video streaming only needs about 1Meg/sec at maximum. This is the standard Netflix uses.

Sorry to go on and on but it is a complicated topic and not really about audio. Streaming and multiple low cost sources is I think the way to go. A bit of this and a bit of that - it is not the fifties anymore.

Cheers,
Dvaid Neice

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:29 am 
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Posts: 1860
Location: Fairport Beach (in Pickering), ON, CA
buybye88 wrote:
Hi,

I went through this deliberation a few years ago and here is what I found.

1) Android devices - yes they work, or at least some do. I set up a Rapsberry Pi and then sold it on. I set up another unit which was highly recommended for smooth video, I can't even remember the name, and then sold it on. Why? They seemed like toys and I was the only person in the house who could use them. You have to consider the WAF score! Before you get an Android box, boot up Kodi on a lap-top and see if you can live with it.

2) Satellite feeds. We had Bell for 15 years and now Shaw. Shaw offers a superior experience, everything from the layout of the remote to the quality of the picture. Trouble is this; 150 channels of nothing. I am forking over $80 a month to be able to watch Global news for a half hour (some nights) at 6:30. All my other news feeds are on the computer.

3) OTA - we live in Stratford, a fringe area, and this is a problem. I just bought another high gain outdoor roof OTA antennae from Amazon with an 85 mile range. I will put it up in the spring, and, hopefully I will use it to get Global News. Toronto residential options like a window installed OTA system are not workable.

4) Netflix - now the main option for content. Our eyeballs are falling out from binge watching, most recently Peaky Blinders, and there is enough content on there to last a lifetime. $10 a month for HD and no ads, it's the bargain of the century.

5) DVD rentals - we have a good store here and we occasionally use it for Blu-Ray rentals, especially for HBO content such as Game of Thrones and British series stuff.

My plan is to put up the new OTA antenna and ditch Shaw satellite, or if the OTA doesn't do it to reduce our satellite service to just the CRTC mandated minimum. One other benefit of Shaw is that you can cancel your feeds (on-line) for lengthy periods of time, like all summer for us, and then reconnect. But network TV is just so 'fifties' and I hate all the ads interrupting the narrative.

For streaming, I think a ROKU box is a better bet than a SmartTV - I have both and the ROKU has a simple remote interface and is WAF friendly (unlike KODI) and also offers a lot of other content connection options (these are updatable) than available on most SmartTVs. The general idea is to get a device (yet another box) that offers ties to as many streaming channels as you can get and that is updateable and extendable. Streaming is the way to go. It is better to pay an ISP monthly for unlimited bandwidth than a TV supplier like Rogers. It just makes more sense and I just upgraded my router from a Belkin 300N to a dual band AC TP Link router and the transfer effect was immediate. The best I can get here in the older part of Stratford is about 10Meg/sec download speeds via DSL using an ISP that is reliable and business friendly. But this is plenty of bandwidth for us as HD video streaming only needs about 1Meg/sec at maximum. This is the standard Netflix uses.

Sorry to go on and on but it is a complicated topic and not really about audio. Streaming and multiple low cost sources is I think the way to go. A bit of this and a bit of that - it is not the fifties anymore.

Cheers,
Dvaid Neice


+1 Great post David. Yes, Netflix is the deal of the century: current movies, great Netflix originals, all kinds of series from various TV channels, etc. Rogers and Bell are just double dipping ... you pay for their internet service to watch their programming, which is pretty crappy at times.

I'm happily using OTA, Kodi on Android Box, and Netflix on Roku. I watch OTA on my 80" Samsung 4K tv and the picture is fantastic. I used the TV's digital out to go to my pre/pro for 5.1. OTA HD channels are 1080p and 5.1.

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Collecting vintage tube Pilot (Pilotone) HiFi gear.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:25 am
Posts: 449
Location: Comox, BC, CA
To the OP: big question is what do you like to watch? Lots of networks stream their content online. You can often find content on Netflix and or get a season's pass on itunes and watch only what you want.

The one snag is finding sports content ... but CBC lets you watch hockey on Saturdays and nearly every other sport can be found simewhere unless its the NFL.

The best thing about cutting the cable tv is simply that it cuts most of the ads too.

I actually got rid of my tv this weekend. I dont miss it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:30 pm
Posts: 107
Location: Victoria, BC, CA
Some comments -
1.Yes Netflix is a fine service, too bad it only offers 1/2 of what is available in other countries due to locks on distribution by the likes of Bell etc who buy up broadcast rights
2."Free to air" tv is lowest common denominator - have to get eyeballs to watch the ads ..days seem numbered. At least there is PBS ... too bad about state TV - I mean CBC
3. Kodi is nothing more than the modern version of black-market satellite services from years ago except when using it as an in house media streamer but there are much better options for streaming .Also getting more suspect to hacking etc.
4. A neglected resource may be your local library . Here is Victoria we are fortunate to have a great library system with considerable depth in DVD and Blu-ray discs including new releases . Given there is one video store left in a metro area of 275,000 it's an option. ..so is going to the movies .
5. High speed routers and fast internet can make all the difference in my experience and are often neglected while people fuss over USB reclockers etc.
6. I am amazed at how backward we are compared to other countries in this area- not just US and Europe but Asia as well but then who contributes to the political parties and who gets appointed to the CRTC ( mainly ex-industry types or academics who disdain popular culture). hmmmm.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:47 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:47 am
Posts: 3961
Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
Cutting Rogers Cable is a gratifying moment.

As admin has pointed out, also consider OTA transmission.

To add

The higher the antenna the better

Consider using RG-6 cable from the antenna to the TV - it has lower losses than RG-59.

To check the OTA channels in your area, suggest you try http://www.TVFool.com
Enter your postal code, and this website will tell you the signal strength
of all the channels available,
and the location of the transmitting antennas in your location.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapp ... 55cfd785ab

Your receiving antenna should be mounted perpendicular to the transmitting antenna.


Last edited by Uunderhill on Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:51 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:39 am
Posts: 29
Location: North Bay, ON, CA
vinylbrother wrote:
snip

Can anyone comment on this format and if they have had success with employing it as a replacement for cable and perhaps what the legalities of these devices really are?

thanks


I think the L word is your answer - legalities. My understanding is an Android box is a way of receiving content without paying for it. Tempting, perhaps, but as with all gizmo’s of this nature they end up being shut down by a combination of lawsuits and developing technology to block the pirates.

Remember grey satellite dishes? Now illegal in Canada. Let your conscience be your guide.

You have the option of not subscribing to a television broadcast service. We pulled the plug close to twenty years ago. When people go on about some TV show I’ve never heard of and couldn’t care less, I’ve learned to shut up and wisely nod my head.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 7:02 am
Posts: 176
Location: Cornwall, ON, CA
I have an android box and have had it for more than 3 years. No problems so far. I use showbox or terrerium tv which have every imaginable show, except for reality shows which i don't like much anyway.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:46 pm
Posts: 141
Location: Guelph, ON, CA
buybye88 wrote:
Hi,

I went through this deliberation a few years ago and here is what I found.

1) Android devices - yes they work, or at least some do. I set up a Rapsberry Pi and then sold it on. I set up another unit which was highly recommended for smooth video, I can't even remember the name, and then sold it on. Why? They seemed like toys and I was the only person in the house who could use them. You have to consider the WAF score! Before you get an Android box, boot up Kodi on a lap-top and see if you can live with it.

2) Satellite feeds. We had Bell for 15 years and now Shaw. Shaw offers a superior experience, everything from the layout of the remote to the quality of the picture. Trouble is this; 150 channels of nothing. I am forking over $80 a month to be able to watch Global news for a half hour (some nights) at 6:30. All my other news feeds are on the computer.

3) OTA - we live in Stratford, a fringe area, and this is a problem. I just bought another high gain outdoor roof OTA antennae from Amazon with an 85 mile range. I will put it up in the spring, and, hopefully I will use it to get Global News. Toronto residential options like a window installed OTA system are not workable.

4) Netflix - now the main option for content. Our eyeballs are falling out from binge watching, most recently Peaky Blinders, and there is enough content on there to last a lifetime. $10 a month for HD and no ads, it's the bargain of the century.

5) DVD rentals - we have a good store here and we occasionally use it for Blu-Ray rentals, especially for HBO content such as Game of Thrones and British series stuff.

My plan is to put up the new OTA antenna and ditch Shaw satellite, or if the OTA doesn't do it to reduce our satellite service to just the CRTC mandated minimum. One other benefit of Shaw is that you can cancel your feeds (on-line) for lengthy periods of time, like all summer for us, and then reconnect. But network TV is just so 'fifties' and I hate all the ads interrupting the narrative.

For streaming, I think a ROKU box is a better bet than a SmartTV - I have both and the ROKU has a simple remote interface and is WAF friendly (unlike KODI) and also offers a lot of other content connection options (these are updatable) than available on most SmartTVs. The general idea is to get a device (yet another box) that offers ties to as many streaming channels as you can get and that is updateable and extendable. Streaming is the way to go. It is better to pay an ISP monthly for unlimited bandwidth than a TV supplier like Rogers. It just makes more sense and I just upgraded my router from a Belkin 300N to a dual band AC TP Link router and the transfer effect was immediate. The best I can get here in the older part of Stratford is about 10Meg/sec download speeds via DSL using an ISP that is reliable and business friendly. But this is plenty of bandwidth for us as HD video streaming only needs about 1Meg/sec at maximum. This is the standard Netflix uses.

Sorry to go on and on but it is a complicated topic and not really about audio. Streaming and multiple low cost sources is I think the way to go. A bit of this and a bit of that - it is not the fifties anymore.

Cheers,
Dvaid Neice



David, as usual, your advice is appreciated and helpful and from my limited experience and prior investigations, I tend to concur with your observations 100%, the Roku box with as many apps as I can get plus a OTA antennae mounted are making the most sense at this point. I have never been much of a television watcher for the most part, but during the winter months I will tend to watch more TV, yet with our rogers cable VIP package that costs more per month than my motorcycle insurance, I find myself spending more time with my finger on the channel button than my eyes on watching. It has come to the point where I am channel surfing for 30 minutes trying to find a program that is engaging enough to hold my attention for more than 3 minutes ! It's kind of like that Dos Equis guy. "I don't always watch television, but when I do , I prefer to watch something that is actually enjoyable ! " Presently, i am just trying to find something " tolerable " . Cable TV should be $14.99 per month at best. I can simply no longer pay out this money for junk programming.

Thanks again for the insightful reply, I was thinking exactly what you have stated.....

-- 21 Jan 2018 15:15 --

StephenJK wrote:
vinylbrother wrote:
snip

Can anyone comment on this format and if they have had success with employing it as a replacement for cable and perhaps what the legalities of these devices really are?

thanks


I think the L word is your answer - legalities. My understanding is an Android box is a way of receiving content without paying for it. Tempting, perhaps, but as with all gizmo’s of this nature they end up being shut down by a combination of lawsuits and developing technology to block the pirates.

Remember grey satellite dishes? Now illegal in Canada. Let your conscience be your guide.

You have the option of not subscribing to a television broadcast service. We pulled the plug close to twenty years ago. When people go on about some TV show I’ve never heard of and couldn’t care less, I’ve learned to shut up and wisely nod my head.


Yes, exactly my friend as I mentioned the " FTA " revolution which I used and now have hundreds of dollars worth of useless hardware and only lasted a few months. this argument is what prompted my questions initially. I don't want to be involved with anything that is controversy or " grey " which often means illegal. Rogers has been ripping us off for years, yet I am not going to lower myself to that platform an " knowingly " steal as well. Maybe I have become a bit thin filtered in my 55 years, but if whats being offered to me on cable TV is considered " entertaining " and/or quality programming, then I have become brain dead already !

Thank for chiming in, much appreciated. I always receive objective advice on these forums :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:52 pm
Posts: 530
Location: Waverley, NS, CA
Wow, great thread, I am going to dump cable, I am paying 220 mth for cable and internet. [Halifax] I only watch 5 or 6 channels.

TvFool says I can get CBC, CTV and Global with a set top antenna. Easy and cheap to check before disconnecting.

So, what about mulitple Tv sets, can Roku or similar be networked or would you need a unit for each Tv.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:40 pm 
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Location: Fisher Branch, MB, CA
I cut the cable a couple of years ago and bought an android box. I am too far away for OTA channels so that wasn't an option. My oppo can stream Netflix and I have a Samsung Smart tv as well but the interface on my Android box is nicer.

I don't miss satellite tv one bit and watch Netflix, a couple of movie sites with hundreds of movies and cbc for the evening news on weekdays. I don't watch sports so it works well for me. I should buy a second one for the bedroom system as they are so cheap.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:17 pm 
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
I tried going the OTA route a few years back. The picture quality is actually quite stunning (uncompressed). It's OK if you like CBC and French channels, at least here in Ottawa. As long as I have my Netflix, I'm good.


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