Cutting the Cable in 2014 - Discussion of Options - Page 2 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-08, 06:42 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Coquitlam BC, Hitachi 55HDT79, Toshiba 47HL167
Posts: 129
A lot of my content is watched through Plex on different devices (using Couchpotato and Sickbeard) even though I have not yet cut the cord. I keep cable for live sports and stuff for my wife like award shows (Oscars, CMA etc.). OTA on the west coast is not an easy feat.

What I am most interested in is if we will see a Canadian version of Aereo, if it is successful in the US why wouldn't someone jump on this for Canadian cities?

Hitachi 55HDT79, Yamaha RX-V540, Energy RC Mini's, and S8.3 sub, Roku 3, Plex , Couchpotato and Sickbeard Google TV GS8
chadsfake is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-08, 10:35 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veee View Post
Hulu doesn't have many of the shows we watch. Not to mention sports.
This is really what it comes down to.. what you watch.

I am much in the same boat... even with US Netflix, hulu, etc.. there is about 1/3 or more things that are not available.
SOME of it, via their websites on demand offerings.. but takes a while to get up, etc.

GDKitty
Rogers Ignite Xi6, LG 47LV5400 LED TV, Yamaha
gdkitty is online now  
post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-09, 04:06 AM
OTA Forum Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 24,878
Given that in any part of Canada with Digital OTA TV stations the cost of entry is a one-time cost (antenna, maybe some gear, installation) with no direct cost to the consumer for any of the programming, OTA is what any cord-cutter should add to the mix. There it is, out there for anyone to grab, free of charge and in impeccable picture quality. No-brainer!
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadsfake View Post
OTA on the west coast is not an easy feat.
I've gotten lots of Digital OTA channels from Vancouver, Victoria, Bellingham, and Seattle/Tacoma OTA over the years. I run a MythTV HTPC with 4 ATSC and 2 NTSC tuners. Those NTSC tuners are for archival VCR use and analogue cable TV recordings from Delta Cable since they are my ISP (I also get basic analogue cable TV as part of that deal).

Parts of Coquitlam can be bad for OTA reception though, so you must have meant your own situation there. The channel selection is not as great as in Toronto but it is still a viable option for many Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island cord-cutters who may also want to use streaming services.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vee
OTA is not that great either here in Ottawa.
Compared to Toronto for channel selection, no it is not, but for cord-cutters it is a viable option for Canadian and U.S. digital TV reception. The Ottawa-area threads in the OTA Forum are some of the busiest here.




Last edited by stampeder; 2014-04-09 at 04:29 AM.
stampeder is offline  
 
post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-09, 10:16 AM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Craig Henry (Greenbank/Hunt Club), Nepean, ON
Posts: 3,222
Ottawa has the greatest number of available unique OTA stations in Canada (14 - 10 English and 4 French.)

It's on the American station side that Ottawa falls behind - The most Ottawans can expect is 2 PBS multiplexes and a low-power CBS/Fox multiplex.
tvlurker is offline  
post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-12, 10:46 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: ~100 Meridian
Posts: 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veee View Post

... To get the TV shows I watch through iTunes or Cinema Now plus the specialy sports channels, plus Netflix, I concluded I wouldn't be saving much at all at the end of the day...
If you figure that cable/satellite subscription costs about $100/month, that is about $1200 a year. At $30 per season, you can get 40 complete seasons (or season passes) of all the currently airing TV shows a year using AppleTV/iTunes!
Phage is offline  
post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-12, 08:49 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,130
Same for Xbox Video on Xbox gaming consoles or Windows 8.x PCs and tablets. Not sure if there is Xbox video on iOS devices but there is Xbox Music.
j0dest3r is offline  
post #22 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-17, 12:18 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 662
I still don't have a clue as to what legal option(s) would be best for me.

I assume that I will be happiest keeping things as simple as they can be.

I generally prefer software solutions over hardware ones, but I still don't like the idea of downloading software to access iTunes or Netflix content (I always assume that it will interfere with other programs I already run).

Although if I lived in the USA, I might be willing to try some of the superior hardware options that Canadians might not have access to through our own cable/satellite/ISP providers.

The BDUs tend to have so many technical problems and content limitations that I was happy to rid myself of the standard digital box TV hookup and don't look forward to the idea of adding another box from Apple, Roku, etc.

Since most ISPs can properly adjust to any of the occasional glitches in service that arise, my only constant complaint is that I have too much desirable content to watch.

I no longer need to call Rogers about any technical problems, and I'm still shocked that DSL can handle all of my streaming/downloading demands.

I'm a big complainer, but now that I've switched to the simplicity of the Internet for most of my content, I tend to focus most of my complaining on the annoying tenants that constantly let their doors slam and also fill the hallways with cigarette smoke.

If I ever stumble across something that I desire, and it's only available with one of the streaming boxes (Apple, Roku, etc.), that's when I might force myself to make things a bit more complicated ... still hoping of course that after a few weeks or months, it will all seem just as simple to use as my current bare-bones setup.
PokerFace is offline  
post #23 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-17, 12:34 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Scarboro
Posts: 6,331
Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
I generally prefer software solutions over hardware ones, but I still don't like the idea of downloading software to access iTunes or Netflix content (I always assume that it will interfere with other programs I already run).
I am not sure if you are being sarcastic or not, but do you never install any software on your PC other than what comes with your OS?

It isn't like you have to install a whole bunch of software to play content via Netflix - it plays through your browser using Silverlight. And iTunes stuff generally plays through iTunes which then starts Quicktime. Most folks will already have this software installed on their PCs.

The most likely way to screw things up for media playback on your PC is downloading a codec pack that you need to play some content that one acquired through less that legal means.
Wayne is offline  
post #24 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-17, 02:43 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 662
I tend to stay away from anything that might interfere with my current Internet addiction.

Silverlight has always been something that others have dissed. I've read so many negative comments about it that I simply can't get myself to download it ... even to stream free Amazon content, or try the free month of Netflix.

I use the VLC media player and have never bothered to download any other codec packages. Again, my stuff is working, so no need to risk screwing something up with Silverlight.

I even run into problems when I sometimes try to stream content using Quicktime, so when I see the streaming option for it, I generally avoid it, unless I have no other tabs opened and don't mind rebooting my computer if the Quicktime stream locks my computer up.

I even stayed away from adding the adblocker extensions for fear that they might cause problems and also assumed that most of the official websites wouldn't be stupid enough to let any adblocker extensions work, anyway.

I finally bit the bullet this year and decided to try the adblockers when I got tired of the repetitive commercials, increased volume for some commercials (hello, CBC) and constant popups from the various file hosts that made it tougher to continue with streaming.

I now love the adblock extensions and often don't bother using any website that asks me to disable them (unless it's an official website like CTV). I don't know how I lasted so long without using them.

When my friend wanted to get some music a few years ago that wasn't available on YouTube for free, I used my credit card and bought it for him using HMV's online site. I didn't have to download any program to use the site and it was also the very first time I had ever bought music online. I first checked iTunes, but was immediately turned off by the fact that I had to download a program that might somehow interfere with one of my other programs. No thanks.

I simply don't want to support a product that might interfere with my current setup, especially when there are other simpler alternatives.

When I used the HMV website (via 7digital I think), it felt like I was using a site run by pirates (bare bones), so I liked it immediately.

Netflix might eventually dump Silverlight and move to something better, but until that time comes, I'm not even tempted to try it.

I didn't even bother downloading the Hoopla program that was necessary to stream content using my Toronto Public Library card. I just went to the library and used Hoopla on the library computers, instead.

I don't have much memory left on my hard drive, nor do I have a fancy new computer to keep up with some of the fancier software, so anytime I have to install something new, it's only because it can potentially offer something that I simply must have (even though there's always a risk that it might screw something up that requires me to spend some time to counter any conflicts).

I'm sure it's easy to see how much I hate relying on computers for anything, but as long as there are so many brilliant people coming up with new ways for dummies like me to get online content, I'm not willing to let the fear of the unknown completely shut me out.

Last edited by PokerFace; 2014-04-17 at 02:45 PM. Reason: typo
PokerFace is offline  
post #25 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-17, 04:48 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,573
Get a Chromecast, plug it in and away you go, no need to download anything to your PC, though this isn't 1995 where things get screwed up so much.
brownstar is offline  
post #26 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-17, 10:48 PM
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Maple Ridge BC
Posts: 1,181
Go on ebay. grab a quad core processor android box out of china for less than $100,

Run any app you want, Netflix, Hulu, Plex etc.
And depending on your moral view, patience and a/v quality standard, there is XBMC

can get it for around $50 if you go dual core, but they can freeze up no different than a cheaper android phone,
you can push a quad core with 2gb of ram pretty hard
with a keyboard remote, now your TV is basically an android PC, way better than any smart TV

Sony 75" X940D, 7.1 Klipsch, Onkyo TX-NR656, Xbox One/360, Nvidia Shield Alienware Alpha, Arris Gateway, 42" Samsung
Steve604 is offline  
post #27 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-18, 01:02 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: 43° N, 81.2° W
Posts: 8,240
Don't know why Silverlight is an issue. I've never had any problem with it and it's just a video library. It's definitely better than QuickTime on Windows, which has caused lots of problems for me every time I've tried it. There is a QuickTime alternative that I've used with better results. These days, I just ignore anything that requires QuickTime.

At the low end, and Android box is one way to go. For XBMC, a Pivos Xios (about $120) is the best bet. For anything else, other good Android boxes should work. There are lots available. Just make sure it has good vendor support, a newer quad core processor and Android 4.1 or later. Some video apps don't work well or are unsupported on anything less. The type of processor can be an issue for video playback with some apps so do some research and shop carefully.

If considering the Chromecast route, an EZCast may be a better option. The cost is about the same but the EZCast supports more file types and is not locked down by Google. To use either, a good Windows 8.1 or Android (4.1 or later) smartphone or tablet is required so it's not a good purchase unless one of those is already owned.

Another option would be an Intel NUC. This is the most expensive and the only advantage over a standard PC is form factor.

For storage, use a networked drive such as a small NAS device. Some routers support external drives for network sharing.
ExDilbert is online now  
post #28 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-18, 05:39 PM
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Maple Ridge BC
Posts: 1,181
my buddy has a pivos xios, its a bit under powered IMO, tends to lock up, If you straight boot to xbmc it's not bad, as an android box heavy apps like xbmc are a bit hard on it. My no name android box has twice the power, time will tell on the quality side of things though

I got a raspberry pi on its way, going to see how that works out as a media streamer,

Sony 75" X940D, 7.1 Klipsch, Onkyo TX-NR656, Xbox One/360, Nvidia Shield Alienware Alpha, Arris Gateway, 42" Samsung
Steve604 is offline  
post #29 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-18, 07:07 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: 43° N, 81.2° W
Posts: 8,240
You will probably find that the Raspberry Pi is a bit underpowered as well. The best way to run XBMC on the XIOS is probably to use the Linux version, not the Android version. I haven't played with that so don't know the details. The best way to run XBMC on lightweight hardware is to use the OpenELEC distro. That's what the Raspberry Pi uses. It also runs very well on Intel Atom MiniITX boards.
ExDilbert is online now  
post #30 of 36 (permalink) Old 2014-04-18, 08:45 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,564
That's where I am sort of stuck on my other TVs in the household.

My living room, main TV watching place.. I have a LG smart TV. Built in app for PLEX and Netflix.

In the basement, I have a Dual Core full size spare PC, which I have set for media playback.
Plex home theatre software is GREAT on it.. but for Netflix, am forced to use the web based Netflix

That's one thing I like about the TV.. or many of the android, etc type boxes... that there is a specific APP for things.
(though that can be limiting, like if development stops a lot on it like Boxee..)

GDKitty
Rogers Ignite Xi6, LG 47LV5400 LED TV, Yamaha
gdkitty is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome