Header image

Header image
"Hang on, let me pause it"

Sunday, August 20, 2017

I Cut the Cord!

I did it, I finally cut the cord & for the most part it's not affecting me at all.  I have had so many people ask me about it that I wanted to share my experience & knowledge & detail my setup.

So as you know I'm a TV junkie so I never thought I'd be able to cancel cable considering how much stuff I watch.  Just to put it into perspective, I record everything & when I was going to cancel I went through & deleted all of my series recordings so after I removed everything that I dumped or was cancelled after last season there were 99 series recordings left.  That's a lot of shows to still watch when you don't have the convenience of cable, or so I thought but I know now that's not the case.

Obviously I record a lot of TV, I record everything really so that I can skip commercials & watch more shows in less time.  I did all kinds of research because I knew there had to be DVR's that work with an HD antenna and I was right.  Of course you've got Tivo which has always had a great reputation and they have a couple of different options for OTA (over the air) DVRs with varying prices but my biggest issue with Tivo is that I could only watch my shows on the TV that the Tivo is connected to.

I did more research and I ended up going with the 4 Tuner Tablo.  The Tablo is very unique in that I can watch my DVR anywhere, anytime and here's how it works.  I connected the Tablo to the TV in my guest room which gets the best HD antenna reception.  The Tablo is connected via wi-fi to my network & then I have a 2 TB portable hard drive connected to the Tablo.  I can access not only the DVR but the live TV feed from that antenna through the Tablo app on my Roku, phone, computer, etc.  Being a 4 tuner means that I can record 4 shows at once which is great...come prime time in the fall that's certainly a possibility!  So sometimes I will have some spotty playback or buffering but I know it's because of the wi-fi so come the fall season I'm sure I'll be dealing with it more & might add a powerline adapter to my setup.  Basically I plug one into a wall outlet & hard line it to my router & then I plug another one in the wall near the Tablo & hard line into it which creates a hard line connection from the DVR to the router.  One other thing I really like about the Tablo is the guide that it offers and it's free for the first 30 days but you have an option to purchase.  I went ahead & purchased the lifetime guide for $150 ($4.99/mo, $49.99/year) as it covers every Tablo you may ever own on your account & having the guide makes life so much easier.  Here's some photos to show you what Tablo looks like (on Windows 10 though all apps are very similar).

Prime Time Guide

Live TV Guide

Well that covers all of my local stations and the big networks but what about the insane amount of Bravo, Hallmark, Logo, A&E, AMC, FX, TBS, TV Land and more that I also watch?  Well, I went through my options on Hulu and they just weren't enough, obviously I'm willing to jump through hoops or take extra steps to watch some shows but having to use 10 different apps a night just seems a bit cumbersome.  As you saw in my previous posts, I tried PlayStation Vue and I also tried Sling and opted to go with Sling primarily for the channel options & pricing.  Both of these offer a free trial so I suggest you give them both a whirl to find out what's for you.  Believe you me as any other competitors show up I'll be going with a free trial on all of them.  Below are a couple of screen shots of the Windows 10 Sling guide & DVR.  When watching on Roku the guide can also be toggled to a grid version rather than the channel view guide.

Sling Guide (By Channel)

Sling My TV (shows DVR, My Channels & favorites)
For those few shows I'm not able to get from Sling, Hulu, other app I pay for, or antenna I can record it to my friend's DVR from my phone & watch it when I'm at their house or online when I can cast it from my phone to the Chromecast that is connected to my TV.

So basically I had to buy a good antenna ($25+, I had a hand me down that gets slightly better reception than what I bought), a Tablo ($190-276), an external hard drive ($55+), Sling TV service and bump my internet service up a notch while I already had a Roku ($40+) on every TV and Hulu service.  All in all it was a large investment up front but luckily for me I had an Amazon card & was able to get 95% of what I needed there so I was able to start saving from day one where some folks might be waiting upwards of 10 months to recoup their expenses.  Obviously I watch more TV than the average person so you might not need so much when it comes to your setup and might be able to cut the cord for less. 

There is a good chance that I've provided information you don't need & haven't touched on something you do want to know so feel free to comment & I'll reply best I can as it relates to my experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment