Switching from charter to ...

Posted on
Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:45 pm
kw123 offline
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Switching from charter to ...

I am considering cutting the cord and kill my charter cable and switch to Hulu+ Apple TV++.
Has anyone done this ?
And what works why does not pricing etc.

For Internet I have att fiber 1gb

Karl.


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Posted on
Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:22 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

I cut the cord years ago, before it became fashionable ;).

Make a list of your favorite shows and price them out on Apple TV or Hulu or Netflix, bearing in mind that you’ll often be a season behind. That’s how I determined I would save hundreds a month.

You can watch most shows for free if you don’t mind twice the commercials and using the providers app (CBS, NBC, etc).

Personally I use alternative methods to bring all content into Plex.

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Posted on
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:11 am
roussell offline
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

I got rid of DirecTV over a year ago. I use a 4 tuner Tablo with a 2TB USB drive for streaming and recording local channels, Playstation Vue for the “cable” channels, and FireTVs on all the TVs. I already had Netflix and Amazon Prime so I kept those.

Everything is watched from it’s associated app on the FireTV, which took the others in the house a little while to get used to. The separate guides and DVR lists for Tablo and Vue are still a bit frustrating, as is fast-switching between CBS and ESPN (Separate apps on the FTV) during football season, but we’re learning to live with it. Alexa integration on the TVs works well with Vue, but Tablo doesn’t support it.

At the end of the day I’m saving almost $120/month over DirecTV and still have all the same channels that we watch.

Terry


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Posted on
Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:23 am
FlyingDiver offline
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

A really good tool for pricing out streaming packages is https://www.suppose.tv/tv.

If you're reasonably close to broadcast transmitters, then getting your major networks OTA (over the air) makes streaming packages even cheaper. I use a Tablo network DVR for recording OTA channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CW, PBS), and Sling Blue for the few non-broadcast networks I want.

Unfortunately, I'm stuck with Comcast/Xfinity for Internet. The only other provider in my area is CenturyLink with sub-10Mb service.

joe (aka FlyingDiver)
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Posted on
Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:32 am
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

My setup is this:

Plex on a Mac Mini serves up all movie files, TV files, live TV, DVR and music
Apple TV is the client for Plex but also has a live TV option in case I feel the urge
HDHomeRun is used to let both of the above as well as my phones and tablets all access either antenna TV or limited cable (I do keep some for things like HGTV or History)

I used to be much more complex, also incorporating Windows Media Center, ROKU and others but this simple system pretty much rounds it all out now and I don't find myself wanting for anything. I was just talking to my dad about this solution last night as he is so in love with it that he's rolling it out on his end and it's really quite a simple solution to put together and maintain.

One of my favorite parts of this is my Apple TV remote. Between that and using voice commands (which I can also use that remote for) I can control everything that used to take a bulky remote control for. And if I'm not in the mood to pick it up, because it's so big and heavy and all, then one swipe up on my iPad and the full Apple remote is there too and with all the same capabilities.

But, in the end, I think you'll find that if you really narrow down the TV you enjoy watching that you can buy full season passes on Apple, Amazon or Vudu and pay less than cable any day. The first year I got myself one of those pre-paid Visa cards just for all the entertainment options. My Hulu subscription was on it, Netflix, Amazon prime, all of it so I could easily track my 'cut the cable expense' and it came out to a fraction, even with renting moves at $5-$6 each from time to time.

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Posted on
Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:37 am
Different Computers offline
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

I have never had Cable TV.

Hulu seems pretty awful though. You know it has commercials even though you pay for it? I spend almost all my TV time in either Netflix, Plex, or HBOGo. A bit of AMC or BBC. All via an ATV 4.

EDIT: Hey C4W: How do you turn your system on and off with only the Apple remote?

SmartThings refugee, so happy to be on Indigo. 10.13.6 on an i5 MBP w/Harmony Hub, Hue, DomoPad, Dynamic URL, Device Extensions, HomeKit Bridge, MatplotLib, Plex, uniFAP, Wunderground, Nanoleaf, LED Simple Effects, Airfoil Pro, Grafana.

Posted on
Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:44 am
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

Different Computers wrote:
EDIT: Hey C4W: How do you turn your system on and off with only the Apple remote?

The turn off is easy because the Apple TV can talk to "smart HDMI" devices, so my TV is smart enough and just press and hold the home button (next to menu) and it prompts to turn off the Apple TV, this in turn turns of my TV automatically.

To turn it on, change HDMI inputs and volume control I use Cynical Cache and iTach devices. "Hey Siri, turn on the TV" or "Alexa, turn on the TV" both work beautifully. Same with "Hey Siri, play Xbox". The volume is a little trickier but I wrote a plugin to handle it (I'll probably publish it eventually) that lets me treat my TV volume like a dimmer "Hey Siri, set TV to 50%" but if you change it manually it gets a little wonky, so my plugin is written so if I turn the volume to zero it goes overboard to make sure the TV is all the way down, then it knowns from that point forward all percentages are correct.

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Posted on
Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:57 am
Different Computers offline
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

Ahh, thanks.

My TV isn't that smart! too bad. Also the ATV is a backup home hub, so I leave it on.

SmartThings refugee, so happy to be on Indigo. 10.13.6 on an i5 MBP w/Harmony Hub, Hue, DomoPad, Dynamic URL, Device Extensions, HomeKit Bridge, MatplotLib, Plex, uniFAP, Wunderground, Nanoleaf, LED Simple Effects, Airfoil Pro, Grafana.

Posted on
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:47 am
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

Different Computers wrote:
My TV isn't that smart! too bad

Then use iTach, that's what I do in my other rooms with less smart TV's.

Different Computers wrote:
Also the ATV is a backup home hub, so I leave it on.

Turning off your Apple TV doesn't "turn it off" it "puts it to sleep" and still acts as your HomeKit hub and can be awoken by an Airplay command, etc.

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Posted on
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:58 am
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

I have indeed considered switching from Harmony Hub to iTach. The Harmony software is pretty cumbersome to work with, to the point that I have Indigo issuing secondary commands through it to set some things as I need them to be, because I can't get the Hub activities to do it right.

SmartThings refugee, so happy to be on Indigo. 10.13.6 on an i5 MBP w/Harmony Hub, Hue, DomoPad, Dynamic URL, Device Extensions, HomeKit Bridge, MatplotLib, Plex, uniFAP, Wunderground, Nanoleaf, LED Simple Effects, Airfoil Pro, Grafana.

Posted on
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:39 am
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

Different Computers wrote:
I have indeed considered switching from Harmony Hub to iTach. The Harmony software is pretty cumbersome to work with, to the point that I have Indigo issuing secondary commands through it to set some things as I need them to be, because I can't get the Hub activities to do it right.


Interesting - I totally agree that the Harmony setup UI/experience is horrible. It always has and this really does just amaze me - it's like they don't even use their own product! But, once set up, I've had very few issues. The biggest one was getting the timing right because my Visio "smart" TV takes FOREVER to boot up (and I use those words rather than 'turn on' to impress how bad it is). I'm a firm believer in remote controls with physical buttons so I doubt I'll ever use touch-based or voice-based remotes (like the Apple TV remote). I love the Harmony Companion remote - nice feel and performance, I can easily navigate it without looking at it, and the battery lasts forever even with pretty heavy use.

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Posted on
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:00 am
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

jay (support) wrote:
I'm a firm believer in remote controls with physical buttons so I doubt I'll ever use touch-based or voice-based remotes (like the Apple TV remote).

I remember saying that as I was pulled, kicking and screaming, from my Palm OS device with the nice tactile keyboard when the iPhone came out - I hated typing on a screen versus the buttons. I felt the same when I went from a dumb universal remote to my first partial touchscreen Sony remotes and then to the almost all touchscreen Marantz remotes and I felt that way when I went from the Marantz to the Apple TV remotes. It takes a minute but it's OK.

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Posted on
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:33 am
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

Colorado4Wheeler wrote:
I remember saying that as I was pulled, kicking and screaming, from my Palm OS device with the nice tactile keyboard when the iPhone came out - I hated typing on a screen versus the buttons.


Totally different use-case - you're directly looking at those devices because that's where your attention is focused. Your attention is directed at a totally different location when you're using a remote control to control a TV, DVR, streaming device, etc. Having to split your attention from the TV screen down to a touch device to control it then back to the screen just doesn't make sense to me.

I bought a Pronto touch remote as soon as it came out - that was a huge waste of money for me because I had to look at it to use it.

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Posted on
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:46 am
DaveL17 offline
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

jay (support) wrote:
The biggest one was getting the timing right because my Visio "smart" TV takes FOREVER to boot up (and I use those words rather than 'turn on' to impress how bad it is).

No more smart TVs for me in general and no more Vizio TVs for me in particular. Not only do they take a long time to boot, but we'll be in the middle of watching a program when the TV will just freeze and then reboot on its own (I have two different models and they both do this.) Also, Vizio was caught with their hand in the cookie jar and got in trouble for collecting and selling data without telling their customers. Nope.

Moreover, I find that smart TVs get abandoned by their manufacturers too quickly and their software isn't adequately kept up to date (I have a limited sample of experience on this point, though). What I want is a good display, preferably with IP or RS232 control, and that's it. I'd rather throw down $100 for a new Roku every once in a while to get the latest software. Plus, in my experience, Roku does a nice job of keeping things up to date and the things just work.

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Posted on
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:48 am
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Re: Switching from charter to ...

jay (support) wrote:
I bought a Pronto touch remote as soon as it came out - that was a huge waste of money for me because I had to look at it to use it.

Basically the same as a Marantz and I can tell you I rarely had to look at the screen. On the Apple TV too, I never look at the remote because of how it fits in my hand and the only touch part of it is navigation and that's easy to do eyes-free.

But then again I think you and I are in different places when it comes to our Home Automation needs. I like the simplicity (which is terribly complicated to achieve) of using my voice for 90% of what I need and screens for 10%. For me, if I want to do something with voice and cannot then I do something to fix it (i.e., writing plugins). But sometimes I like to look at a screen too, I could do a control page (and I think Room O Matic is still awesome) or I can look at a control page that I didn't have to build in HomeKit. Again, for me, it's easy. Like when I want to know the temperatures around the house, it's nice to see a screen where all that is right there - but I also have a voice command "Hey Siri, summarize house temperatures" and she tells me :).

This isn't so different to how I approach my businesses or even my home theater. I define what my personal or business ecosystem is (by the way, I am writing a book about that topic right now, with another book planned right after as a twist on it) and then ask if whatever I'm thinking of doing fits and if it doesn't fit is there a way I can make it fit. And right there defines probably 95% of all plugins I write, trying to shoehorn something into my ecosystem.

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