OT: Cord cutting

Submitted by MGoBoz on June 21st, 2017 at 9:34 AM

I'm thinking of cord cutting and the only thing holding me back is UM football access. Any tips on how to watch the games on a smart TV, sans streaming options? 



June 21st, 2017 at 9:38 AM ^

I just got Playstation Vue with the Elite Slim package ($45 a month) which includes FOX (OSU game), ESPN, ESPN2, and BTN. Games on ABC are the only part that I haven't figured out yet.


June 21st, 2017 at 1:09 PM ^

I've been wanting to move from cable to PSVue for some time, but the local channel thing has kept me from pulling the trigger.  Yes - as noted in the comment above, you can access the games/shows on broadcast networks via other apps (ESPN3, NBC Sports, etc.), but then you can only watch live or once the game is posted for replay sometimes hours after the conclusion (it's like a VCR, but worse).  Full DVR functionality for all channels is the most important thing for me because I like to start the game 45min after kick so I can skip commercials/half time and be live at the end of the game.  Once this is solved, my cord will be cut.  Until then, it's a premium worth paying for IMO.


June 21st, 2017 at 10:16 AM ^

This can definitely be a pain; not all HD antennas are the same for sure.

My parents tried a RCA one and got 5 channels. I let them borrow mine, they got 30 channels.  Same placement. Same cost range.  I've had luck with the TERK ultrathin indoor HDTV Antenna. Ranges from $25-50 depending on the current sale.

I do have problems with the NBC stations though on some days but mainly it's a distance thing. Perhaps your house is just a bit too far.

Its me Dave

June 22nd, 2017 at 8:10 AM ^

Not always.  I have a roof-mounted antenna with a booster and rotator in AA.  I can only get Fox 2 from November to April - when the leaves are off the trees.  Weird, but according to cord-cutter sites, not uncommon for being 30-40 miles from the transmitter.  (And I think Fox Detroit OTA is on VHF, not UHF like almost everyone else.)


June 21st, 2017 at 10:16 AM ^

In the early days of HDTV, the only way to get HD channels was over the air.  I went to Radio Shack (RIP) and bought a nice channel master antenna with an inline signal amplifier and installed that bad boy in my attic.  Need the signal amp given I am over 30 miles from the broadcast antennas in Chicago.  I finally disconnected from the antenna a few years ago when DirecTV dropped support for external antennas on their HD receivers/DVRs.

PB-J Time

June 21st, 2017 at 10:29 AM ^

One (specific) catch. If you, like me, are in or around Philly, you need to be right in the heart of center city because ABC broadcasts on old fashioned VHF as opposed to all the other stations on UHF, so I don't ABC on my antenna.

To answer OP, lots of options but from what I've seen PS Vue is really good one. You should have a Roku to put whichever service you decide on to run the various apps (Amazon, Netflix, HBO Go, PS Vue, etc.)


June 21st, 2017 at 10:09 AM ^

So you pay $45 a month for the Vue Package and what $40 a month for internet?  At that point why not just call your local provider and get on their promational packages?


If promotional packages don't work, pack your lunch once a week for work and use the savings towards cable.


I'd love to not have Comcast, but at this point, the alternatives aren't there yet.


June 21st, 2017 at 11:01 AM ^

Why do people call psvue or similar services cord cutting?  You are just getting a smaller cable package.  Its not like you get to select each individual channel as an a la cart option and psvue is still paying distribution fees.

You are cable downsizing, not cord cutting. 


June 21st, 2017 at 10:33 AM ^

They were uninterested in making a deal. Don't fell like changing providers all the time. Had a network tuner so no equipment rental from twc. Commas bought them and my bill went up $50. Happily living without cable right now. Just 100Mb internet for $45. Bought my own modem.


June 21st, 2017 at 2:58 PM ^

Their business model apparently now relies on their customers laziness. Their service is overpriced at your existing rate. You threaten to go elsewhere, they say they don't care and won't change the price hoping you're too lazy to go through with the threat. You then go elsewhere.

One week after I quit fios they had a door to door rep asking if I wanted to come back and cancel my current provider I had just switched to.

So their policy is we don't negotiate with terrorists (those who dare ask for a lower price).

Then after you leave they want to offer a lower price and have you come back.

Ecky Pting

June 21st, 2017 at 4:52 PM ^

My understanding is that PSVue includes local network affiliates for most major markets. If you live out in the boonies, well, same as it ever was I suppose...

Does the Cloud DVR function work well with BTN and/or ESPN? From what I've read, you can't view DVR'd content outside the home or out of town. However, you can DVR anything except HBO, Showtime and Cinemax, which is no biggy since they're all available On Demand.

Alternately, do the PSVue credentials work for DVR'ing content using something like the TiVo Roamio? Then in theory you could go anywhere out-of-home and watch a recording.


June 21st, 2017 at 6:33 PM ^

Cloud DVR isn't bad actually.. you select your 'favorite' shows and it records them anytime they come on.. ALL of them. Keeps them for 30 days then deletes the oldest. No, you can't view any DVR'd content anywhere else, as far as I know. You can get an over the air antenna for locals though.

Never had issues with any channels. Not sure about TiVo Roamio but I've been pretty pleased with it, been almost a year. Biggest drawback for me is lack of local channels and I can't keep recordings indefinitely. I get basically all the same channels as I did with DirecTV, the ones I watched anyway, save a few.. and I save like $100/mo. The drawbacks have been offset by Netflix, Hulu and any of the other network apps and the savings, of course. 

No, it doesn't have the convenience of watching stuff anywhere on any device or keeping your recordings but if you're looking for cost cutting I've found it to be worth the small hassles. 



June 21st, 2017 at 6:13 PM ^

WatchESPN app for ABC games but I've had issues with it, always buffering and rarely in HD. Not the internet connection either as every other streaming service is crystal clear... you could get an over the air antenna for locals though, I've been considering that for next season.


June 21st, 2017 at 1:00 PM ^

This. Well.. I'm 31 so not exactly this, technically.

I pay $45/month for internet. I purchased an Apple TV, then use my parents' cable login for all of the channels/apps. I, too, share my Netflix/Amazon Prime logins with them.

The only tricky thing is Apple TV doesn't have a BTN app... yet. However the workaround is if you have an iPhone you can open the BTN2GO app on that, then Airplay it on your Apple TV. You can do the same Airplay workaround if you have a MacBook.

Then I'm relatively close to all of the local TV stations in our area so I purchased an antenna and it works pretty well. 

It's not a perfect setup, and good luck trying to get anyone 50+ years old to understand how to use it, but it has saved me $75/month for the past year now. What's almost worth more to me, though, is never having to call and negotiate my rate with these companies again.

Oh, plus the "sticking it to them-ness" of all of this. That's always fun.


June 21st, 2017 at 9:51 AM ^

Yes this is a topic that's been discussed several times HOWEVA......

1. It's a relevant topic that lots of people are interested in

2. Technology moves quickly so this is one area where recomendations posted 6 months ago may not be relevant today

3. It's peak OT season (we still have content on the first page of the sidebar from two days ago)



Uncle Rico

June 21st, 2017 at 10:02 AM ^

I've read all those other posts as well, but I value having the updated questions and recent experiences.  

Personally, I plan to activate the PSVue option in August (just a couple months now).  This helps to validate that plan or not, as new user experiences come forth.  I don't recall ABC being a problem in my area, so I might need to double-check that.

I'm also interested to hear from others how the cloud-based recordings work, because I simply can't stomach live TV.