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Cutting the Cable


boiler rat
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I'm ready to cut the cable and boost the internet speeds. This is always the best place to get advice on such things. I've been doing some research but am kind of overwhelmed with info.

Anybody have advice on this?

I don't really want to do the apple TV thing, I'm not ruling it out but I want whatever I do to be a little more "adaptable" (aka free!).

Anybody have any experience with chromecast or android based devices? I may eventually have some one like elemeno build me a PC :) to use as part of a home entertainment device but not now.

I've thought about using an HD antenae but I'm not sure how well that would work for me being that I live in the boonies.

Thanks folks.

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Since your last visit, the basement has seen massive upgrades across the board on both the audio and video side of things.

Chromecast is pretty good, but you have to watch the file formats that you download. Most stuff works, but mkV for example won't play audio. Or should I say, I haven't been able to do that.

Between Chromecast and an HDMI cable, if it weren't for sports I wouldn't need cable at all.

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Whatever the Western Digital media player is called these days will do the trick. Plays almost every format, has all the internet video things (netflix, youtube, mlb.tv, etc etc), doesn't require any software (such as itunes) to use. It can be wired or wireless I think.

For HD antenna stuff, check out http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29 to see what signals are available in your area to help make the choice about getting an antenna or not.

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For HD antenna stuff, check out http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29 to see what signals are available in your area to help make the choice about getting an antenna or not.

Thanks for that AD, as suspected I won't get much where I'm at. Two, maybe 3 channels. I notice a lot of homes in my village have big towers, not sure I want to go there.

Sounds like I'm going to have to come over for some record listening and a couch tour event at your place sometime soon NW to check out your setup. Is there a liquor store next door yet? ;)

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I'm at 2 years without subscribed cable and haven't missed a thing. I was on PVR time, so I never watched live TV. I'm not into sports or events like the Oscars/Grammies, so that part isn't a problem.

For content, one needs a source, delivery device, an internet connection with lots of bandwidth (not the basics).

Sources:

for tv shows, EZtv.it will cover most of it. other private torrent sites like IPTorrents, TVTorrents, etc. will fill the gaps

for movies, IPTorrents, RessurectTheNet, Passthepopcorn

if all else fails, Piratebay's latest URL. They move every few months.

here's a guide to find some public torrent trackers

Fuckin' NETFLIX ($7/mth). Get an unblock-us.com account for $5/mth and have access to stream content from any locale.

Connection:

The speed doesn't necessarily matter, but the bandwidth allowance does. one can work with 250 GB if they don't get all the super high quality bluray rips. If you have a 1080p display and 5.1 digital system, you will do fine with each compressed format (x264, xvid, and mp4) without noticeably losing quality.

Delivery:

I've found AppleTV to be a great device. Having a mac, and the worst thing one has to do (which isn't bad) is to convert formats like xvid and mkv to mp4/m4v. Buuuut it pretty much requires iTunes. So if organizing video media in iTunes is agains your morals, you can try other media centers with 3rd party tools. They definitely exist. There might be some hacking (jailbreak) involved though. Dangerous road.

I have tried the PS3 functionality with a windows app that takes care of streaming and I found AppleTV to be superior and stopped there. So I can't comment on Roku (apparently great) or chromecast. If I was dependant on a windows PC, I would probably avoid AppleTV and go for Roku.

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I've been researching the Roku, I think I'm going to get it. I still have the original Roku, which is just for audio/internet radio. It has come a long way since then. I'm pretty lucky with my internet provider that I have unlimited bandwidth allowance. I also have netflix and I have unblock-us. My biggest problem is my wife, lol. She's been the resistance.

There is a way to sign up with hulu plus also, with a combination of unblock-us and using a fake zip code.

I've also discovered that with unblock-us and mlb.com, you can watch Blue Jays games. That's a big issue. I watched almost every Jays game last year and if I lose that, things won't be good. mlb.com has a blackout on all local mlb games, and in Canada that means Blue Jays. Apparently unblock-us can get you around this. NFL is another issue I will have to figure out.

I'm currently downloading a couple seasons of Imagination Movers and Wiggles for the boy so that should take care of him.

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Saw this the other day, not sure if it's helpful for you given your location but figured it's worth sharing anyway.

An Ottawa startup is aiming to give television viewers who want to cut the cord that binds them to traditional content providers the ultimate device: a digital recorder that streams and records programming from dozens of local high-definition stations that are available over the air.

Nuvyyo brought its Tablo personal digital recorder to the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas earlier this year, attracting a lot of attention at a time when consumers are looking for alternatives to cable.

Tablo is a small DVR-like device that plugs into an over-the-air HDTV antenna and transmits the signal to any device that is connected to the Tablo or the internet. This includes iPads and other tablets, smartphones, PCs and televisions that outfitted with Apple TV or Google Chromecast.

Full article:

Tablo device snatches over-the-air HDTV signals for free

Short video from CBC's The National:

Canadian company changing television viewing

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There are some advantages for that player for sure. It seems to support every file format known but unblock-us does not support Hulu on it, yet.

No one device seems to give you everything you need (or want). There is definitely room for some company to come out with the do everything solution and take control of the market.

I looked into the Tabloo. I don't think that would do much for rural folks.

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I was just able to migrate my xbox live account to the United States, which allowed me to install the Hulu Plus app (plus there are a ton of other apps available to me now which I haven't tried yet) I signed up for Hulu using a fake US zip code (using the numbers in my postal code and adding 00 to the end of it).

The key to this is to have the unblock-us account. It was a bit of a difficult work around but it's working. Hulu is really good.

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If you have a mac, iphone, ipod, or ipad Airplay is a great AppleTV feature. If you're not an apple household there's little reason to go with one over a new Roku (so I've read)

...You could always get all nerdy and make a Media centre computer with a Linux box and XBMC...

My problem was more sending my signal to a non-apple device that uses DLNA instead of UPnP. I downloaded XMBC media centre, a free app, and it worked just fine after a trip to the settings menu.

Not sure if you can get it for iPhone but there must be some other fix for that one.

If you're into the iTunes/Apple thing then the AppleTV is probably the way to go.

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