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Thread: Cutting the cord (cable tv)

  1. #1

    Default Cutting the cord (cable tv)

    Interested to see who has cut their cable dependency and gone with OTA HD signals.. what's the availability of channels here and how much quality programming can be picked up with a sensitive antenna setup?

  2. #2
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    CFRN, CBC, CBC (French) Global, City, Omni and CTS. With the digital antenna (Radio Shack) the signal is awesome. Only issue is you have to move the antenna a bit depending on the channel, at least at my house. HD viewing though.
    My antidepressent drug of choice is running. Cheaper with less side effects!

  3. #3

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    I have yet to cut it completlely as WWE doesnt offer a proper live streaming service or even recorded streaming service of their programs.

    Once that show makes the hop to streaming I am done with cable!
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    Cut the chord but not doing any OTA. All AppleTV and Netflix plus a media box for my ripped content.

    How much does an digital antenna go for? If it's cheap enough I might try it just to see how well it works.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  5. #5

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    I've cut my cord half a year ago and have no regrets.

    Paul, a metal coat hanger could do the trick, give it a try! You can buy an antenna from Princess Auto for less than $20.
    Edmonton first, everything else second.

  6. #6

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    Check out www.tvfool.com to see what you can get from where you live.
    Edmonton first, everything else second.

  7. #7

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    On another note, we are still receiving analog cable for free since the cord was cut. You can get channels 2 to 19 on analog cable but no HD.
    Edmonton first, everything else second.

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    im down for cutting the cord during non hockey season.

    But as soon as the first HD Oilers game is on i am back.
    be offended! figure out why later...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    Cut the chord but not doing any OTA. All AppleTV and Netflix plus a media box for my ripped content.

    How much does an digital antenna go for? If it's cheap enough I might try it just to see how well it works.
    ^ Ditto.

    Love the USA netflix.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by richardW View Post
    im down for cutting the cord during non hockey season.

    But as soon as the first HD Oilers game is on i am back.
    You can hack NHL Live... I get all the oilers games and I can watch it from the oiler perspective of the other teams perspective..
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  11. #11

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    I want to cut the cord, tired of Telus increasing my cost, not telling me, and not giving me anything more....but I will miss my PVR. haven't watched live TV in years. So how I can PVR OTA digital signals??? I heard newer HDTVs have them built in but they are disabled? anyone know anything about this? thanks,

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    ^Not sure about PVRs but you could install a video card on your computer and hook the computer to an antenna. Then use your hard drive for storage and replay. The good thing about that is that the DVR isn't dependent on an outside source to run. If your current hard drive isn't that big, then perhaps buying a portable hard drive if you want to stockpile or save a lot of recordings. If your computer has Windows Media Center, then it'll handle recording and replay, plus download a TV schedule on a regular basis. If not, have it installed with the video card.

    I used to have a setup like that and it was great as an alternate TV. Only problem was that I had one monitor so it's better if you have a display card that can output to 2 or more monitors or to a monitor and TV. That way you can watch and do other stuff if you need to.

    One more thing is that the DVR can be programmed to record like a PVR.
    Last edited by TerryH; 09-02-2014 at 10:51 PM.

  13. #13

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    I got myself a Roku (very nice device, easy to use, only $60 for base model), with the thought of cutting the TV Connection. It has Netflix (not much else, NHL Central and a few other channels) - Netflix is surprisingly good now (not like when it first came out).

    Well, I called TELUS and said, "I'd like to cut the cable, and just have internet", and they offered me the TV for roughly the same price as the internet connection, a $55 discount. Oh well, guess I'll keep connected a bit longer...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TerryH View Post
    ^Not sure about PVRs but you could install a video card on your computer and hook the computer to an antenna. Then use your hard drive for storage and replay. The good thing about that is that the DVR isn't dependent on an outside source to run. If your current hard drive isn't that big, then perhaps buying a portable hard drive if you want to stockpile or save a lot of recordings. If your computer has Windows Media Center, then it'll handle recording and replay, plus download a TV schedule on a regular basis. If not, have it installed with the video card.

    I used to have a setup like that and it was great as an alternate TV. Only problem was that I had one monitor so it's better if you have a display card that can output to 2 or more monitors or to a monitor and TV. That way you can watch and do other stuff if you need to.

    One more thing is that the DVR can be programmed to record like a PVR.
    Not sure since I haven't had broadcast TV in close to a decade but I think the antenna to computer only worked when there was analog broadcast. Now you need a digital receiver and the outputs on those are locked down pretty hard.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmnat65 View Post
    I want to cut the cord, tired of Telus increasing my cost, not telling me, and not giving me anything more....but I will miss my PVR. haven't watched live TV in years. So how I can PVR OTA digital signals??? I heard newer HDTVs have them built in but they are disabled? anyone know anything about this? thanks,
    I haven't heard of TVs with built in PVR. Most newer TVs have a built in ATSC tuners, but there are very few TVs with an HDMI output to record from, if any.

    Member Totoriko posted at Red Flag Deals about the HomeWorx HW-150PVR ATSC Digital Converter Box w/ Media Player, which should meet your needs. It has a built-in ATSC/Digital HD tuner, can pass the signal via HDMI to your TV, can record over the air signals to at scheduled times for later playback to an external USB hard drive or flash drive, and can playback other media files via USB. You can get it from Memory Express locally. NCIX currently has a sale on the unit, so you may want to take advantage of Memory Express's 25% Price Beat polciy before the NCIX sale ends.

    One more option, as noted upthread, is to record to a computer using a USB ATSC/Digital HD Tuner. An example is the Kworld UB435-Q USB ATSC TV Stick , also available at Memory Express. This is a good option if you already have a home theatre pc. I posted about it at Red Flag Deals myself a while back. You can use the software that comes with it, or use the built in tuner software in Windows 7 and above.

    For your antenna, Princess Auto has a good selection at a good price, as well as inexpensive long runs of coaxial cable and inexpensive HDMI cables.

    Remember to get an antenna that can handle both VHF and UHF signals. Here's the TV Fool report for the Edmonton antenna locations, to give you an idea where to point your new antenna. I could get CityTV, OMNI, and CBC (all UHF) with a cheap antenna in my apartment building, but the bloody rebar in the concrete blocked CityTV and Global (both VHF). I hope you have better luck. Good luck with your over the air experiments!
    Last edited by Ustauk; 10-02-2014 at 10:42 AM.

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    ^It is kind of hard to properly point a directional antenna here in Edmonton, with multiple transmitters located on opposite sides of the city. I have a cheap rabbit ear + loop antenna that works great in my attic, although when I tried it in my living room I could only get one channel (City) reliably. While the gain is low, loop and dipole antennas are fairly omnidirectional and will work well with strong signals unless they are edge-on to the transmitter. You just need to get them above the low level interference. High quality RG6 cable is also essential if you need to locate your antenna away from your TV, particularly for higher frequency stations like CBC. A test with an old, thin RG59 cable gave me CTV and Global (VHF) just fine, some signal for City (lower part of UHF) but nothing for CBC, CTS or Omni (upper UHF).

    There are pci-e card alternatives (like this dual tuner card) if you don't want a USB dongle with an antenna cable attached hanging off of your media center PC. Dual tuners are also useful if you want to record two things at once or watch one thing while recording another, although for the latter you could also split your antenna feed and use your TV tuner to watch live.

    The Homeworx converter box is a much cheaper alternative to a computer, although it sounds like the PVR functionality is timer-based like an old VCR rather than program guide based, and it can only do one thing (playback, record, or watch live) at a time. It does have feed through though, so you could use your TV tuner to watch live while recording something else.

  17. #17

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    ^
    Titanium, what kind of antenna are you currently using? I tried using an RCA ANT1050 I got from Dollarama, and was able to get City, OMNI, and CBC quite strongly in the park across the street from my building ( using a netbook, USB tuner, and the antenna), and Global and CTV more weakly. When I moved inside my Faraday cage of an old 1969 vintage condo, I lost Global and CTV completly. I've been meaning to try another antenna, maybe a Terk, but haven't gotten around to it yet, and would appreciate any advice to get a good VHF signal that'll work in my bunker of an apartment. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TerryH View Post
    ^Not sure about PVRs but you could install a video card on your computer and hook the computer to an antenna. Then use your hard drive for storage and replay. The good thing about that is that the DVR isn't dependent on an outside source to run. If your current hard drive isn't that big, then perhaps buying a portable hard drive if you want to stockpile or save a lot of recordings. If your computer has Windows Media Center, then it'll handle recording and replay, plus download a TV schedule on a regular basis. If not, have it installed with the video card.

    I used to have a setup like that and it was great as an alternate TV. Only problem was that I had one monitor so it's better if you have a display card that can output to 2 or more monitors or to a monitor and TV. That way you can watch and do other stuff if you need to.

    One more thing is that the DVR can be programmed to record like a PVR.
    Not sure since I haven't had broadcast TV in close to a decade but I think the antenna to computer only worked when there was analog broadcast. Now you need a digital receiver and the outputs on those are locked down pretty hard.
    The last time I had to use OTA to watch TV was in the 80s, so I'm out of touch. Maybe there's some answers to the OP's questions here: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=81

  19. #19

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    One more thing to note about the Mediasonic HomeWorx PVR I mentioned above is that it could be used as converter box if you have an old standard definition (old big-box style TV with a 4:3 width to height ratio screen (modern HD screens are 16:9 ratio)). The box includes outputs in coaxial cable and RCA video cable for these older TVs.

    Also, some older HDTVs lack a tuner and HDMI inputs; the box has component (red-green-blue) output as well. It also has a digital audio output port (coaxial audio) to route sound to older home theatre receivers that lack HDMI input.

    From ncix.com:



    According to an Admin on the Mediasonic forum, the box supports the following file formats:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mediasonic Admin
    Supported
    .avi (XVID video codec)
    .avi (DX50/ Divx video Codec)
    .avi (avc1 video Codec)
    .mp4 (avc1 video Codec)
    .mov (avc1 video codec)
    .mkv (Vorbis and AAC HE Audio codec)

    Not Supported
    .WMV (WMV3 video Codec)
    .MKV (Dolby DTS audio codec)
    .avi (DIV3 video Codec)
    .RM
    .RMVB
    According to the manual, the following file types are supported:


    If some of you have country-bound relatives, acreages, or lake-side cabins that have old analog TVs and big mast antennas lying fallow and no satellite TV to replace them, you may want to give this box a try. You may able to get some of the local channels, depending upon location and signal strength, and the box can playback the file types mentioned. As a kindly granchild, for example, you could make digital copies of your grandparents Matlock and Murder She Wrote DVD Collection so that they won't have to get up to switch DVDs all the time Or, for parents taking their kids to the lake, you could convert the DVDs or download compatible legal copies of your kids favourite shows for those long, rainy days, while later allowing you to watch the Eskimos lose again after a long day of fishing You could do the same with another media player, but this one also has the tuner, so it may come it useful to some of you. Good luck!
    Last edited by Ustauk; 10-02-2014 at 02:32 PM.

  20. #20

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    ^
    For the PVR and media playback functionality of the HomeWorx box, a flash drive, like this one, will do the trick if you're dealing with recording a week's worth of shows. If you're wanting to archive an entire season's worth of shows, you'll likely need a portable hard drive, like this one. Such devices are handy to have around to back up critical files from your computer, too, plus having your family photos and videos on the drive would allow you to view them on your TV through the HomeWorx.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ustauk View Post
    ^
    Titanium, what kind of antenna are you currently using? I tried using an RCA ANT1050 I got from Dollarama, and was able to get City, OMNI, and CBC quite strongly in the park across the street from my building ( using a netbook, USB tuner, and the antenna), and Global and CTV more weakly. When I moved inside my Faraday cage of an old 1969 vintage condo, I lost Global and CTV completly. I've been meaning to try another antenna, maybe a Terk, but haven't gotten around to it yet, and would appreciate any advice to get a good VHF signal that'll work in my bunker of an apartment. Thanks!
    This one: http://www.philips.ca/c/Home-enterta...121_27/prd/en/
    Like I mentioned above, it didn't work very well on the first floor, even near the ceiling. I had better results on the second floor and it has been very reliable in the attic.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ustauk View Post
    ^
    Titanium, what kind of antenna are you currently using? I tried using an RCA ANT1050 I got from Dollarama, and was able to get City, OMNI, and CBC quite strongly in the park across the street from my building ( using a netbook, USB tuner, and the antenna), and Global and CTV more weakly. When I moved inside my Faraday cage of an old 1969 vintage condo, I lost Global and CTV completly. I've been meaning to try another antenna, maybe a Terk, but haven't gotten around to it yet, and would appreciate any advice to get a good VHF signal that'll work in my bunker of an apartment. Thanks!
    This one: http://www.philips.ca/c/Home-enterta...121_27/prd/en/
    Like I mentioned above, it didn't work very well on the first floor, even near the ceiling. I had better results on the second floor and it has been very reliable in the attic.
    Thanks, I may give yours a try next, as its $8.99 at Princess Auto

    If anyone is handy, you can build your own antenna. Here's a pretty good youtube video from CBC Ottawa on making your own. This would be a good one to stick in the attic, as significant other may not find it stylistically acceptable to be visible in your home



    As stated in the above video, a signal amplifier can be useful if you're doing an extremely long cable run between the antenna and the TV, to prevent a strong signal from weakening. You want a low noise amplifier, like this RCA AMP1450R amplifier, available at Princess Auto.
    Last edited by Ustauk; 10-02-2014 at 04:35 PM.

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    Default Tablo Debuts at CES

    CBC News

    Ottawa startup Nuvyyo crowdfunding to produce DVR-like device that streams HDTV signals caught by antennas

    Tablo is a small DVR-like device that plugs into an over-the-air HDTV antenna and transmits the signal to any device that is connected to the Tablo or the internet. This includes iPads and other tablets, smartphones, PCs and televisions that outfitted with Apple TV or Google Chromecast.

    Content can be recorded on the Tablo and viewed later or streamed live. A software interface makes it easy to find the signal you want and stream it when you want it.
    Did my dog just fall into a pothole???

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    Default Tablo Video

    Sorry embedding was not permitted.
    YouTube Promo Video


    CNET
    Last edited by norwoodguy; 10-02-2014 at 09:12 PM.
    Did my dog just fall into a pothole???

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    I have a Roku 3 and Western Digital Player, the one major short fall with the Roku is that it can't easily connect to my NAS and stream movies and TV shows I have saved on it, if it would have I never would have bought the WD player. The one problem is the paucity of TV programming, Netflix has some but if you want more TV shows you need to go to Hulu which isn't offered in Canada. Roku has stated they will be offering more TV channels in the future however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    I have a Roku 3 and Western Digital Player, the one major short fall with the Roku is that it can't easily connect to my NAS and stream movies and TV shows I have saved on it, if it would have I never would have bought the WD player. The one problem is the paucity of TV programming, Netflix has some but if you want more TV shows you need to go to Hulu which isn't offered in Canada. Roku has stated they will be offering more TV channels in the future however.
    I have a Roku3 and it works great with my NAS, through Plex.

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    I tried Plex but I found it to be a bit jumpy and grainy, the WD player gives me better quality. Perhaps I need to hardwire the Roku to the router.

  28. #28

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    Are you ready to cut the cord? Six ways to reduce your TV bill
    July 11, 2013

    excerpt:

    "6. Boost your home network. If you’ve run into those annoying buffering delays – like when the hockey players all of a sudden slow and stop – you may want not want to cut the cord and stick with the reliability of your TV services. However, there are ways to improve your home network. The best is to hardwire your Apple TV, Boxee or other set top box through an Ethernet connection. In our very old and wireless-unfriendly home, I opted to step up the wireless network with a more powerful router than the one provided by Telus to improve wireless connectivity."



    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/201...-your-tv-bill/

  29. #29

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    I have a habit of taking any regular monthly subscription charge like cable, satellite, internet and calculating the 1 year cost AND THEN the 10 year cost of service, just to hammer into my head what I'll likely be out as that's probably how long I'll have that or a similar service.

    eg. A $35/mo. alarm monitoring bill quickly become $4,200 before you realize it. The guy below mentioning the $275/mo. could have spent between $12,000 and $33,000 over the last decade.




    Cutting the Cord – A Comprehensive Guide

    Written by Guest Blogger on Feb 10, 2014

    " $275 for cable, internet and phone? I could lease a car for that price. Over the past 12 years of being a Rogers customer I have watched my bill go ..."

    http://www.milliondollarjourney.com/...sive-guide.htm



    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    The one problem is the paucity of TV programming, Netflix has some but if you want more TV shows you need to go to Hulu which isn't offered in Canada. Roku has stated they will be offering more TV channels in the future however.
    Access to Hulu US content is possible by subscribing to proxy services such as Unblock-US if your device allows you to enter custom DNS settings.
    Did my dog just fall into a pothole???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    I have a Roku 3 and Western Digital Player, the one major short fall with the Roku is that it can't easily connect to my NAS and stream movies and TV shows I have saved on it, if it would have I never would have bought the WD player. The one problem is the paucity of TV programming, Netflix has some but if you want more TV shows you need to go to Hulu which isn't offered in Canada. Roku has stated they will be offering more TV channels in the future however.
    I have a Roku3 and it works great with my NAS, through Plex.
    I have Roku1, just as a Netflix player yet. It works fine for spare TV. Haven't tried plex yet, I'm too lazy to set it up I think.

    I like how Roku is going into a consortium with some TV makers, to make Roku smart TV's. The great thing about Roku is how simple it is, the controller for example, is nice and elegant, simple and small:

    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2014/01/roku-tv/

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    Quote Originally Posted by norwoodguy View Post
    Access to Hulu US content is possible by subscribing to proxy services such as Unblock-US if your device allows you to enter custom DNS settings.
    You can use Unblock US to connect to US Netflix but Hulu Plus also had a policy of a US credit card, not sure if they've changed it lately. But it looks like you can set up a US Paypal to get around that problem.
    http://o.canada.com/technology/perso...lus-in-canada/

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    for those who have cut the cord, how do you get your oilers hockey games?

    Do you use Gamecenter live with modified DNS settings?
    be offended! figure out why later...

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by richardW View Post
    for those who have cut the cord, how do you get your oilers hockey games?

    Do you use Gamecenter live with modified DNS settings?
    For games on CBC, try hooking an antenna up to your tv, if it has an ATSC/Digital tuner. If I can get that in my bunker of an apartment, you should be able to get it, too.

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    ^With Rogers having TV rights I wonder how this will impact CBC's hockey broadcasts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardW View Post
    for those who have cut the cord, how do you get your oilers hockey games?

    Do you use Gamecenter live with modified DNS settings?
    http://www.wiziwig.tv/competition.ph...line=icehockey

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    I have Bell Expressvu and love it.
    Fly Edmonton first. Support EIA

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    lol. I just heard the point of this whole thread going *woosh*

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    ^Well, technically sat TV has no cable...
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwoodguy View Post
    ^With Rogers having TV rights I wonder how this will impact CBC's hockey broadcasts.
    CBC will still get to broadcast Saturday night games for 4 years. Not sure about other network nights or playoffs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TerryH View Post
    CBC will still get to broadcast Saturday night games for 4 years. Not sure about other network nights or playoffs.
    I know that CBC has a sub license but I wonder how much choice they get as to the exact games they get to broadcast. Given the eastern centric nature of Rogers and the viewer ship numbers there I would imagine Rogers may keep the more lucrative games for themselves.
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  42. #42

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    I bought a cheap OTA UHF antenna at London Drugs (Trek brand $20 on sale)and can get 4 channels in HD and super clear; City, Omni, CTS, and CBC French. Little confused as to why I can't get CBC english as they are both broadcast from the same tower... Anyone familliar with OTA have any insight?

  43. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by dukeofducks View Post
    I bought a cheap OTA UHF antenna at London Drugs (Trek brand $20 on sale)and can get 4 channels in HD and super clear; City, Omni, CTS, and CBC French. Little confused as to why I can't get CBC english as they are both broadcast from the same tower... Anyone familliar with OTA have any insight?
    Very strange. You may want to post at the Edmonton over-the-air thread of digitalhome.ca to see if anyone can give you insight.

    I don't know if Dollarama has any stock left, but the were selling RCA ANT1050 antennas for $3 a while back you can try that I got CBC English on, as pictured below.
    From member jrGarma on Red Flag Deals:

  44. #44

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    ^
    One more thing, maybe try a rescan to see, as these signals can be temperamental. Point the broad face of your antenna towards Sherwood Park, as that is where the CBC broadcast tower is located. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by richardW View Post
    for those who have cut the cord, how do you get your oilers hockey games?

    Do you use Gamecenter live with modified DNS settings?
    http://www.wiziwig.tv/competition.ph...line=icehockey
    I'll have to check this one out. I've been using http://vipbox.net/ to watch all kinds of sports, including hockey. I use the Opera browser with pop-up blocker, but you still need to get rid of some along with extra windows, etc, and wait maybe 30 seconds before you can close ads. Sometimes the feed isn't good on one satellite and you have to try other feeds.

    It's a bit of a hassle, but it's free, and I soon got used to the routine. Don't sign up for anything, and don't give out any of your information - you don't need to. Some unscrupulous "services" are "encouraged" by advertisers and can be misleading, giving one the impression you need to sign in.

    Lots of helpful info on this thread. Thanks!
    aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukeofducks View Post
    I bought a cheap OTA UHF antenna at London Drugs (Trek brand $20 on sale)and can get 4 channels in HD and super clear; City, Omni, CTS, and CBC French. Little confused as to why I can't get CBC english as they are both broadcast from the same tower... Anyone familliar with OTA have any insight?
    That is strange. Not only are they on the same tower, but CBC English is broadcast at higher power than CBC French. When testing antenna locations I found some where I could get English and not French, but never the reverse. Have you tried tuning the channel manually? It is on physical channel 42 and won't be remapped to 5.1 until your tuner locks onto it.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasH View Post
    On another note, we are still receiving analog cable for free since the cord was cut. You can get channels 2 to 19 on analog cable but no HD.
    Is that still working for you? My analog was filtered out almost immediately after cutting the cable, even though I still have internet with Shaw (for now). Only channels 14, 15 and 16 are making it through.

  48. #48

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    With an unamplified RCA ANT121 Rabbit Ear/Loop antenna in concert with ANT1450 low-noise signal amplifier (both from Princess Auto, I was able to easily get CBC, CityTV, and OMNI. With all the rebar in my centennial era apartment, I've been able to get Global, but only in one particular spot in the whole room, just below and slightly away from the window, and only with one particular angle of the rabbit ears (away from the tower, I must be getting a bounced signal), and only, oddly enough with the rabbit ears completley collapsed. So far, no luck getting CTV.
    Last edited by Ustauk; 21-02-2014 at 12:47 PM.

  49. #49

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    ^
    I finally got all channels today, including CTV. I moved the antenna a bit to the west of the north facing window, with the rabbit ears in a V and UHF loop straight up and down and both facing east/west. I figure I'm getting a better bounce from the building north of me for the southeast signal, while the closer UHF signals remain strong bouncing between all the buildings around me
    Last edited by Ustauk; 22-02-2014 at 03:22 PM.

  50. #50

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    For anyone who needs to transcode video recorded from your favourite PVR software automatically to a different format, member mdavej over at AVS Forum recommended a program called MCEBuddy, which monitors a folder and can automatically convert to a format of your choice. It worked fine converting 1080i MPEG2 video (Global, CTV, and CITY broadcast in 1080i, while CBC does 720p) to high quality 720p H.264/MKV files, to play on my Android Xios Media player across the network from my PC (the XIOS couldn't hardware decode the 1080i video, stuttering and having the audio cut out.) You could readily use MCEBuddy to convert video to a smaller sized MP4 file for use on a portable device.

  51. #51

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    If anyone has a Windows 7 PC they've hooked a USB ATSC TV tuner too, and your version of the OS has Windows Media Center included, you can use an Xbox 360 as a Media Extender with it. You can then use the Xbox to watch live ATSC TV, TV shows you've recorded using Windows Media Center, and other pictures and video files and listen to music files you've put in the shared Windows folders. It worked well on my wired 100bT network; you'll probably need a fast wireless network to make it work. This can be handy if you have you're computer in a better spot to catch signals then the TV (TV is in the basement, for example), your TV doesn't have an ATSC tuner but it has a 360 attached to it, it's easier to run cable from an attic antenna to the computer room then the TV room, and or you have enough space on your computer to use it as a PVR. You must leave Windows Media Center running on the PC for this to work, but it can be minimized.

    Here are instructions how to get Windows Media Center working with ATSC over the air signals in Canada; Microsoft did not allow it to work out of the box in our country. I've had to use the Waybackmachine to pull the instructions, as the original web page is dead. Click on this sentence to get the batch files referenced in the article.
    Last edited by Ustauk; 08-03-2014 at 04:48 PM.

  52. #52
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    ^ Interesting - looks like Microsoft just killed that very useful page recently. The instructions for enabling ATSC can also be found here. The custom guide hack (found here) is also useful, as there is no official ATSC program guide for Edmonton (or anywhere else in Canada). I used the Shaw Edmonton guide, ID = 28482782

  53. #53
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    I recently cancelled our cable tv service, and I had to laugh at the Shaw guy's response. He asked why we were cancelling, and I told him we simply didn't watch tv enough to justify the price. I expected to be offered some chintzy token discount to "lure" me away from cancelling. But his dead serious suggestion was, instead of cancelling, why don't I add more channel packages so I will have more options to watch... :/

    Our package had gone up $30 a month in the span of one year. That was motivation enough to cut the cord. Haven't missed it at all. It's been three weeks, and I haven't even bother trying OTA yet. Netflix and Amazon prime streaming work for me.
    Last edited by halocore; 11-03-2014 at 01:34 AM.

  54. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ustauk View Post
    With an unamplified RCA ANT121 Rabbit Ear/Loop antenna in concert with ANT1450 low-noise signal amplifier (both from Princess Auto, I was able to easily get CBC, CityTV, and OMNI. With all the rebar in my centennial era apartment, I've been able to get Global, but only in one particular spot in the whole room, just below and slightly away from the window, and only with one particular angle of the rabbit ears (away from the tower, I must be getting a bounced signal), and only, oddly enough with the rabbit ears completley collapsed. So far, no luck getting CTV.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ustauk View Post
    ^
    I finally got all channels today, including CTV. I moved the antenna a bit to the west of the north facing window, with the rabbit ears in a V and UHF loop straight up and down and both facing east/west. I figure I'm getting a better bounce from the building north of me for the southeast signal, while the closer UHF signals remain strong bouncing between all the buildings around me
    To give an update, I was having severe signal trouble with the VHF with the coming of the cold weather. Global and CTV kept dropping below 60%, and occasionally below 50%, and were becoming unwatchable. I found a second spot elevated next to the east section of my north facing window where I was getting about the same reception. I ended up getting two Philips SDV1125T rabbit ear/ UHF loop combo. The two antenna are elevated at about the same height, about two feet apart. The rabbit ears are laid flat, oriented with the ends pointing north and south, to catch signals bouncing off the building from the east and west. As per the Kyes.com antenna length chart, I have one set to 27" length for CTV (frequency 12, virtual channel 3.1) and 26" separation for Global channel 13/13.1. Feeding the two to a regular cabble splitter (which I'm using as a signal combiner) I'm now getting around 70% signal, still using my RCA signal amplifier. The UHF stations are coming in strong, with the antenna pushed back flat, rather then standing up.

    If you're having difficulty catching signal, and can't use an outdoor antenna or want to exhaust your indoor options first, try and combine a couple of antennas; you might get lucky like I did

  55. #55
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    Uh...you know Ustauk....for a whopping 70 buck a month you can get cable.



    Instead of farting around with antenna placement all over your crib you can tumble into your la-z-boy and drill farts into the seat cushion while watching sports.

    Or porn.

    Top_Dawg jus' sayin....

  56. #56

    Default

    ^
    I have cable; I'm mostly fiddling with the antenna for fun. I grew up with peasant-vision in the country, so fiddling with antennas is a bit nostalgic for me. It is saving me upgrading to HD cable and getting a Shaw DVR, but I can get HD TV from other sources over the Net, so its not necessary, but I like to do it anyways. I'm sure its not your idea of fun, TD, but to each his own, eh?

  57. #57

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    I can count the number of times I've watched our actual TV set in the last year on one hand. Dropped cable and watch Netflix / website streaming, with the (very) occasional session with peasantvision... Don't miss the 200 channels with nothing to watch, with the exception of the odd sports tournament.

  58. #58

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    ^another nice thing, is if you get a Roku, you can through the internet open up free adult channels, like Nowhere porn (not that its for me of course...). I haven't looked back since I cut the cord.

  59. #59
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    I'd miss my Discovery/ History/ A & E/ HGTV channel too much. I know it's mostly crap but I love it

    We have Netflix, Apple TV and some other one now too, and I find that, at least for the TV shows, it's the same garbage, different pile on those. Those low quality HBO series are painful to watch

    I did enjoy the Netfix exclusive last run of Arrested Development though
    Last edited by 240GLT; 30-12-2014 at 03:02 PM.
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  60. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
    I'd miss my Discovery/ History/ A & E/ HGTV channel too much. I know it's mostly crap but I love it
    I get my documentary fix through youtube, you set it up so it runs from an IPAD or similar and instantly shows on the TV through the app. Its amazing how many fantastic documentaries are on youtube, I'm a fan of WWII stuff, and there is a ton of it on there, better than history channel.

  61. #61
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    Still subsisting on a diet of iTunes purchases, Netflix, and, as a last resort, 'acquired' digital tv.

    Just discovered 'Peaky Blinders' on iTunes. Unfortunately BBC isn't very prompt with their iTunes releases so the second series isn't available yet.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  62. #62

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    Get a US DNS and watch all sorts of shows from the network websites for free...

  63. #63

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    Found a great piece of open source home theater software I thought I would share here:

    http://kodi.tv/about/

  64. #64

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    ^a bit like Plex? I've had mixed results with Plex, because some purchased content seems to be controlled in sub windows that can't be "Plexed". My fiance has a smart TV (LG) which does a WIDI mirror from a PC, which works very well (although connection speeds can hamper it). Sometimes its just as easy to plug an HDMI cable in from the PC to the TV.

  65. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^a bit like Plex? I've had mixed results with Plex, because some purchased content seems to be controlled in sub windows that can't be "Plexed". My fiance has a smart TV (LG) which does a WIDI mirror from a PC, which works very well (although connection speeds can hamper it). Sometimes its just as easy to plug an HDMI cable in from the PC to the TV.
    In my sister's condo, we find even her Chromecast has frequently stuttery performance when casting from phone or laptop to TV, and all three pieces of tech—source device, router, and Chromecast/TV—are within 3-4m of each other. It's unfortunate they bought a gigantic overshielded Monster HDMI cable (nicknamed 'the umbilical') but sometimes the physical cable is best.
    Last edited by Dialog; 17-04-2015 at 02:05 PM.
    I think of art, at its most significant, as a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. —Marshall McLuhan

  66. #66

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    Kodi is the new name for XBMC, which is like Plex. I personally use Plex.

    I cut my cable a few weeks ago. Bought a new LG with WebOS, which lets me stream anything on my computer using a number of services (DLNA is built in, or I can stream from my Plex Media Server, or I can use the Plex app on the TV). I picked up internet with Distributel (Shaw reseller w/ no data cap), Netflix, and a VPN. Between Netflix and "obtaining" the remainder, I have access to all the content I could possibly need. Your mileage will vary if you need news or sports. I'm able to stream 4K Netflix over wi-fi, so didn't even need to run cables.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  67. #67
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    YMMV with streaming over WiFi. I never even tried - I ran cat 5e to my HTPC at the same time I ran my antenna cable.

    I'm running windows media center on my HTPC now, as I found it easier to setup for OTA despite all the hacks you need to make it work properly outside of the USA. I will probably migrate to kodi or some other open source solution eventually, as Microsoft seems to be letting media center die a slow death. Hopefully the CRTC will force all of the OTA stations to broadcast at least a week (preferably 2) of guide data by then so I'm not tied to some sort of kludgy or non-free source for that.

  68. #68

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    I'm waiting for CBC to start streaming, I pay for them in my taxes, so I want them on my Roku / web. They can cut the over air antenna thing then eventually. More and more channels will go to streaming. I am using google play movies on Roku to buy the odd movie, and I also used it to purchase game of thrones. The money saved cutting cable has easily paid for NHL live, and the odd show or movie I can't find on Netflix.
    Last edited by moahunter; 19-04-2015 at 10:16 AM.

  69. #69

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    NYTimes article on Netflix adding more original content:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/20/bu...ming.html?_r=0

    Some television executives have started to worry that the rise in Netflix viewing — its members streamed 10 billion hours in the first quarter — is cutting into the time that people spend watching traditional, ad-supported television.

    The fear is that advertisers will start cutting their spending on television, which captures about $70 billion in the United States each year, and shift to digital outlets. That has led to questions about whether television networks would reduce the amount of programming they sell to Netflix.

    Mr. Hastings said that he does not view Netflix as a threat to ad spending because the service is commercial free. If the television networks stop selling shows, he said, the company has a game plan. “We just do more originals,” he said.

  70. #70

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    Netflix tried cutting me off from viewing foreign content. Thankfully my location-blocking service is on top of it!

  71. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    Netflix tried cutting me off from viewing foreign content. Thankfully my location-blocking service is on top of it!
    Well, I'm still getting increasingly bored with Netflix content and can now get a lot of other or the same content via Telus Optic. Paying a netflix subscription seems less and less worth the cost.

    I wouldn't mind cancelling all 'cable' anyway. Everything is going to "on demand" on optic and that just means I have to click and click my way to get anywhere just to watch something or anything. All the old advantages of just mindlessly scrolling down a list of programs to find something interesting is disappearing.

    Now I have to look at a bunch of useless space wasting photos/tiles for everything, click a bunch of times, etc. It all takes a lot of time and work to find something to waste my time. Might as well go back to the old pre-remote control days where you had to turn a dial and click through programs to see what was available for mindless watching.

    Basically, today you get what you want - if you want to do the work to figure out what you want and don't mind doing the work to get to what you want.

  72. #72

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    Netflix tried cutting me off from viewing foreign content. Thankfully my location-blocking service is on top of it!
    Well, I'm still getting increasingly bored with Netflix content and can now get a lot of other or the same content via Telus Optic. Paying a netflix subscription seems less and less worth the cost..
    Your logic is losing me here, paying a handful of dollars for Netlix is a lot cheaper than paying for Optik. I have never regretted cutting the cord, aside from an occasional sports event (although even those I can often find on CBC sports app, or just paying for).

  73. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    Netflix tried cutting me off from viewing foreign content. Thankfully my location-blocking service is on top of it!
    Well, I'm still getting increasingly bored with Netflix content and can now get a lot of other or the same content via Telus Optic. Paying a netflix subscription seems less and less worth the cost..
    Your logic is losing me here, paying a handful of dollars for Netlix is a lot cheaper than paying for Optik. I have never regretted cutting the cord, aside from an occasional sports event (although even those I can often find on CBC sports app, or just paying for).
    I've got both. So I'm talking about cutting back somewhere. So you're saying ditch cable and keep Netflix. The thing is I watch more on Optic than I do on Netflix, so I value Optic more than Netflix. I like the odd movie but really don't care much about series and serials. They increasingly soap opera approach increasingly requires an ongoing time commitment. I prefer shows that are more episodic and watching 1/2 for or 1 hr is enough. The "to be continued" style just means I get into binge watching.

  74. #74

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    ^i think the one thing I don't get is reality tv, but I don't really miss that much, and you can get it at those dodgy web sites. If you find you like Optik and don't use Netflix, then that might make sense. I am the other way, I mostly watch documentaries (YouTube has pretty much everything ever on the history channel), tv series, and occasional movie. An Apple TV or roku provides all of that.

    I love newsy channel (have no idea how it makes money / pays for itself).
    Last edited by moahunter; 28-02-2016 at 06:14 PM.

  75. #75
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    So we got a 4th gen Apple TV at Christmas which consolidated all our TV into one remote. We have Netflix, Shomi (24 months free from a Rogers signup), iTunes, and a Plex server for ripped content. The vast majority of what we like is coming from speciality channels and we like to binge watch it when we can. Netflix's original content is very good and Shomi is picking Amazon's original stuff. Everything else we buy show by show.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  76. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Paying a netflix subscription seems less and less worth the cost.
    I am personally finding myself unable to keep up with the stuff I want to watch on Netflix, but I can understand how it would eventually begin to feel like a Blockbuster video store circa-2000. Sure they had a large video selection, but I don't like how they push their 20 shelf copies of 'The Matrix' in my face every time I enter the store. I get that vibe from Netflix's "Recommended for you" list.

  77. #77
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    Netflix has fantastic shows and a great selection of documentaries. The majority of what I watch on it are documentaries.

    I see no reason to have cable any more. When I "cut the cord" they tried to give a promotional deal. I told them the only promotional deal worth taking is "free".

  78. #78

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    Documentaries are the main thing I use Netflix for as well.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  79. #79

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    If I wasn't a sports fan, I would've cut cable a long time ago. Pretty much the only thing that is keeping me tethered is NFL/CFL/NBA/NHL

    yes I'm aware of things like centre ice, and various sites that broadcast illegally, but quality and reliability of those are still not there

  80. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    Documentaries are the main thing I use Netflix for as well.
    Youtube is also fantastic for documentaries, and works really well with Roku or similar. Only bad thing is I noticed it eats more bandwidth than Netflix (which costs you dollars if with TELUS).
    Last edited by moahunter; 29-02-2016 at 01:36 PM.

  81. #81
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    I'm mostly into British stuff which is well supplied on Netflix. If there's anything special I want I buy it off iTunes and it's still cheaper than having a cable subscription.

    I watch way more television that is good for me.

  82. #82

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    ^I started watching English show Misfits on Netflix, OMG its funny / good.

  83. #83
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    We just finished off Black Books which was great. Looking up info on Tamsin Greig from that show led us to Episodes, also on Netflix, which also looks very good.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  84. #84
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    Black Books was great, you saw a lot of Simon Pegg/Frost associates in that series, another good one is Spaced, not sure if its on Netflix though.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0187664/

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    Black Books was great, you saw a lot of Simon Pegg/Frost associates in that series, another good one is Spaced, not sure if its on Netflix though.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0187664/
    We've seen Spaced as well. They both have the same producer, Nira Park, and there are four actors that appear in both. There's also some connection to Green Wing, also brilliant, as Tamsin Greig and Julian Rhind-Tutt (who's in the Travel Writer episode) are both in that.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  86. #86

    Default Cable cord-cutting numbers soar in Canada thanks to Netflix, high prices, says report

    The number of Canadians cutting the cord is soaring in Canada, says a new report.

    According to the Convergence Consulting Group, 190,000 Canadians ended their ties with traditional TV in 2015. That's an 80 per cent increase from the previous year when 105,000 people cut the cord.

    "It's almost a doubling of a loss," comments Brahm Eiley, president of the Toronto-based market research company. He says the jump is statistically significant because it's such a radical shift compared with just two years ago.

    According to his numbers, only 13,000 Canadians cut the cord in 2013, while in 2012 there was actually a gain of 32,000 TV subscribers.

    Eiley expects the big drop in 2015 to be "the new normal." His company forecasts that 2016 will see a decline of 191,000 TV subscribers in Canada.

    ...

    "I feel like cable is almost a thing of the past, like dial-up internet," says Gray.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/cabl...flix-1.3525949

  87. #87

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    Between the ongoing cord-cutting & the de-bundling of channels it's gonna be interesting to see how the more expensive channels (aka sports) pay for their expensive content deals.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  88. #88

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    ^its why they moving into streaming I think. Their prices still seem a bit high, but I expect they will start to drop as their viewership drops and they need to regain audience.

  89. #89

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    As their viewership drops the streaming will need to cover more & more of their lost revenue. Most people who drop channels are going to drop their expensive sports channels & not look back, meaning the costs of these deals is going to be borne on an ever-dwindling amount of people. That doesn't bode well for price cuts.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  90. #90

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    ^on the other hand, higher viewership = higher advertising revenues, the sports streams can still have advertisements (although will depend on their business model). The NFL superbowl was streamed for free in the US for that reason I think (it wasn't available in Canada).

  91. #91

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    It'll be an overall decrease in viewership. They'll lose the casual fans who might tune in, because they will have stripped their cable lineup of the expensive sports channels & wouldn't consider paying for streaming. If casual fans are not gonna pay for TSN/Sportsnet/etc they're not gonna pay for Centre Ice.

    Pro sports aren't as popular as the leagues want you to believe. More Canadians watch The Flash than Hockey Night In Canada. The entire business model in North American for pro sports is predicated on advertisements/endorsements/sponsorships, expensive media deals for broadcast rights & public funding for their stadiums/arenas. One of the reasons the first are worth so much money is because of the value of the broadcast itself, which relies on ubiquity, which has relied on mass subsidization through the bundling of channels to accomplish it. The entire house of cards is built on the backs of cable subscribers forced to pay for channels they may not want.

    There's a reason the media conglomerates went (unsuccessfully) to the Supreme Court to try and maintain their business model by preventing unbundling. They know the writing is on the wall & they're scrambling to try and replace their revenue streams any way they can.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  92. #92
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    Sigh, Samsung's smart TVs will have more ads.
    http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/31/s...-smart-tv-ads/

  93. #93

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    ^silly, it just proves the point that smart tvs are a rip off, just put a roku or apple tv on. They are making their own technology redundant by doing this.

  94. #94

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    My Panasonic TV has no ads or any of the monitoring that plagues Samsung's product line & still obviates much of the need for anything like a roku or Apple TV through its built-in apps & increased functionality.

    I didn't buy the TV for any of the "smart" stuff though, I wanted a specific display panel & the only TV that had it was the top-of-range with all the bells & whistles.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  95. #95
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    I'll be happy when, if ever, the unending frustration of the borders messing up licensing is over. Saw an announcement for Peak Blinders S3 on Netflix and was very excited until I saw it was not in Canada. :/

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  96. #96
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    Well, so much for our 24 months free Shomi. Time to binge watch the new season of Transparent, Mr Robot, and finish off Bob's Burgers before the end.

    Web streaming service Shomi to shut down as of Nov. 30


    Other than access to specific shows, not a huge loss. The interface was poor (although it had improved a bit) and the performance was often dodgy compared to Netflix. They also had a real lack of any documentary or non-fiction material.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  97. #97

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    Spent the weekend configuring my sister's cord-cutter box. (Chromebox - ChromeOS)+ Ubuntu + Kodi + Sonarr + Couchpotato + Headphones + Mylar, all behind a nginx SSL reverse-proxy. My own box has been so stable for so long & so much has been updated since I built it that it took a fair amount of figuring & fiddling to get it all running, but now that it's done it should suit her just fine going forward.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  98. #98

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    ^^hopefully those shows will be picked up by Netflix, not Crave. No real surprise here, our telecom companies can't compete against an open market.

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