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Thread: HTPC or continue to pay way too much for Cable TV?

  1. #1
    Modders block rendermandan's Avatar
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    Default HTPC or continue to pay way too much for Cable TV?

    Hey everybody, I am curious to see what other people thought about paying for Cable TV vs. building a HTPC and watching everything over the Internet.

    Today I read this article on Yahoo.com. http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home...ries-a-article

    It basically describes how you can cancel your Cable TV service and instead watch everything over the Internet.

    I currently pay $160 a month for Cable TV. HD, DVR Service, HBO, Internet and Phone service.
    My thoughts are I can build a HTPC with a HD TV Tuner built so I can still watch HD TV, It would also act as a DVR service so I can still record my shows. I can watch other shows on hulu, Youtube, Internet TV etc.
    I also already subscribe to Netflix, So I could stream movies to my tv anytime I want. That takes care of HBO.
    Lastly, normal local channels are provided free of charge in HD over the air to my TV!

    So All I'm left with is the Internet service, which I will have to keep, and Phone service.

    Obviously I would use Windows Media Center, and a remote. But it will be a really different way of watching TV.

    Here is the downside. Its not just me using this. Its My wife, and my 6 Yr. old son that has to use it too. I'm not worried about my son picking up on it, but my Wife is another story. She's not very Tech savy, so for her to learn a whole new way to find a show might be too much for her.

    If I end up doing this I would build a new computer dedicated to this. It would replace my Cable box and Dvd player as I would install a BD drive to play moves and BluRay. It would probably run around $1000, but in the long run, I would save around $100 a month for cable tv. So in 10 months, it would pay for itself.

    So here are my questions in a nutshell.
    1. Do you see TV in general going away from broadcast to Internet?
    2. Do you feel $100 a month is enough money to save to warrant doing this?
    3. Do any of you have this kind of setup, if so, How do you like it? Do you wish you had cable back?
    4. Do you find it difficult to find a show using the internet (for those that use a HTPC)
    5. Anything else that I'm not thinking of?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Resident 100HP water-cannon operator SXRguyinMA's Avatar
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    Default Re: HTPC or continue to pay way too much for Cable TV?

    I'm working on idea for an HTPC right now as well. I'm going to put some components into a home theater receiver case and make something work. Although my wife and I live in an apartment attached to my parent's house, so we sap off their wifi and we get Direct TV in our living room and bedroom for free. My dad got a free DVR for setting up 5 rooms, and our living room and bedroom ended up being #'s 4 and 5

    I'm basically just going to do it so I can watch ripped movies on my TV, and not have to sit in the cramped computer room with a mediocre sound system to watch a nice movie. I've got a full Bose 5.1 system in my living room so I'd much rather prefer to do it that way. I was thinking of hooking it in with a tv tuner to use as a DVR as well.

    As far as your situation goes, You could try both. Set up a lower spec rig to see if your wife can catch on to it, if not part it out or keep it just to stream your netflix and drop your HBO

  3. #3
    rawrnomnom diluzio91's Avatar
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    Default Re: HTPC or continue to pay way too much for Cable TV?

    I like the HTPC better, its just a pain sometimes, (im looking at you megavideo!) but with google everything becomes clear... The only thing i regret is that you cant channel surf, but its really nice that there are never "dead times" like you get with cable... Giving her something like the kylo browser makes it easier too... http://www.kylo.tv/ and a good htpc remote is a must (i use this one from lenovo and love it)
    Not dead yet

  4. #4
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: HTPC or continue to pay way too much for Cable TV?

    I would definitely recommend doing this. In my personal experience, the only thing I've ever used cable TV (ok, it was FiOS TV, but same idea) for when I had it available was for running in the background while I worked on stuff...and there's no reason my media server can't serve the same function. Because of this, I have never paid for TV service..it just seems like a colossal waste of money to me. I can think of many much better ways to spend that $100+ each month.

    Pretty much all the shows I watch are available on Hulu, and those that aren't are available through other online methods.
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    Resident EE mtekk's Avatar
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    Default Re: HTPC or continue to pay way too much for Cable TV?

    IMHO, for a computer to be a HTPC it must have a TV tuner card, hence you are at a minimum receiving OTA digital TV, or you are piping your cable through it as well (like me) and use you HTPC's DVR abilities.

    We don't pay near 100USD per a month for cable TV, the total bill from the cable company is over 100USD a month but that's including internet access at ~50USD a month. We don't get the movie channels (Starz, HBO, Showtime) so that cuts down on the cost. I still don't see how people are spending over 100USD a month for just TV (I consider Internet a separate service).
    Quote Originally Posted by xRyokenx View Post
    ...I'm getting tired of not being able to figure this crap out because it's apparently made for computer-illiterate people by computer-illiterate people. lol

  6. #6
    If you can't hack it, you don't own it! Oneslowz28's Avatar
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    Default Re: HTPC or continue to pay way too much for Cable TV?

    Dish Network FTMFW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Switching over next month. $49 with free local, free HD and HBO is cheap!!!! Oh and with 2 room install you get 2 DVRs

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    Resident 100HP water-cannon operator SXRguyinMA's Avatar
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    Default Re: HTPC or continue to pay way too much for Cable TV?

    I get direct tv for free, so the only thing I'll use my HTPC for will be for movies, as my dvd player is crap

  8. #8
    A.B. normal msmrx57's Avatar
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    Default Re: HTPC or continue to pay way too much for Cable TV?

    The ONLY reason I don't do this is the only way for me to get fast internet is to have friggin cable. We could get DSL bt that is slower than what we've got and then there's a bill for a phone we wouldn't use. I'd be interested in finding out how much it would cost to have a dedicated line but don't know who to call.
    Quote Originally Posted by SXRguyinMA View Post
    Now, off to the basement to do some fiddling with the rods and such.
    so far left of center i'm in right field

  9. #9
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: HTPC or continue to pay way too much for Cable TV?

    Does your cable company not let you get an internet-only service? I know around where I live, if you read the fine print on Comcast's website it says that they won't sell you just internet, but if you order just internet service, or if you call them, you can get it.
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
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  10. #10
    Fresh Paint
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    Default Re: HTPC or continue to pay way too much for Cable TV?

    There is always the cell-phone carrier option. I know AT&T offers DSL w/o phoneline, "Broadband via. Satalite" (which looks expensive), and their U-Verse thing has a internet plan with wifi included.

    You could also catch wifi signals from around your neighborhood, or apartment complex. If you choose that path, you will need a wifi pci(-e) card. You will also have to check if that is legal in your area, even then, it would be wise to ask the owner for permission to use it (If you don't ask, they will likely eventually block you out.)

    Personally, I would go for the u-verse because several in my house use wi-fi enabled phones and I have several gaming systems that use wifi. I would also use this because I hate "leechers" and the thought of being a "leech".

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