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Level 18

Re: Getting ready to "cut the cable" - can anyone coach me? I have questions...

I agree about using external devices instead of the "smart" TV functions. Almost every TV in my home has some sort of smart functionality, but they all have a Roku or Shield connected. Better performance, more channel/app availability, easier to use, etc. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Level 11

Re: Getting ready to "cut the cable" - can anyone coach me? I have questions...

I am a strictly external devices hooked up on "dumb" television sort of user.  As for buying the more dumber non-smart televisions, it's still possible buying a new one.  

I just bought a basic Sceptre 32 inch plain jane dumbbell TV for my 90+ year old mother (who gets too confused with any device that's too fancy).  It is cheap (under 100 US dollars!), nice specs for it's price, surprising really good  color/sound for a sub$100 basic set, and a remote with a large button numeric pad.  And I am planning to add a Roku Stick+ to one of it's HMDI ports when I am able to physically shop again in a store after this Coronavirus goes away (soon I hope!).  

I know it will be better than a already familiar  brand to most with just a simple addition.  You pay for only the basics and you add the what you want to the television if and when you choose.  

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Level 7

Re: Getting ready to "cut the cable" - can anyone coach me? I have questions...

I don't think this has been discussed very much so here's my $0.02:

I live in a big city and get my local channels over the air (OTA). OTA signals are NOT compressed, so the picture is breathtaking. Here's how I do it:

I have one of those flat antennas for $35.00. Soon, I'm going to get an antenna put on the roof. My antenna connects to a HDHomerun box from Silicon Dust. This converts the OTA signal to a local area network (LAN) signal. The HDHR box has an Ethernet connector. It has no wifi capabilities. The Ethernet cable goes through an inexpensive hub and then into an old, retired computer. The computer is running Windows 7 because I hate Win10.

There are several choices for software to run in Win7. The HDHR site lists:  Plex, Kodi, Open Elec and Emby. I'm using an old open source program called SageTV and I love it. You can set it up quickly and easily and watch TV in an hour or so but it will take a few weeks to get it tweaked the way you want it. Do not go to sagetv.com, you must go to sagetv.com/forums

SageTV is a media center so once installed, the main menu offers TV, Videos, Music, Photographs (the last three from your hard disk) and Online. The only cost is $25/year for the TV program schedule. Now I just click Program Guide and it shows the next 14 days of TV in my area. I click a show to watch now or I select something in the future. Everything I choose gets recorded. I got dozens of shows scheduled to record and hundreds of hours of shows I've recorded. If I'm watching something that is currently on, I wait about 12 minutes after it starts then watch the recording. That allows me to skip through the commercials. I have a plug-in for SageTV that will skip the commercials. It needs about 10 minutes to work its' magic after the show is over. Unfortunately, The main guys who wrote SageTV have gone away and the program is getting long in the tooth. Most in the forums thing it's only got a year or two left before it just won't work anymore. Most believe Channels will replace it. Find it at getchannels.com

Between Roku, SageTV and Netflix and Amazon, I don't need anything else. Netflix $144/year, Amazon Prime $120/year and $25 for Schedules Direct is my total cost for a year of television. My Blu-Ray player is also connected to a HDMI input so I can pick up movies at thrift shops or off of Flea Bay. Usually for a buck or two. In ROKU, I even set the PIN code for purchases so neither I nor anyone else makes a mistake and buys something.

As I'm almost your age, I grew up on free TV and can't believe the prices they're now charging. When cable came on the scene, it was $8.00/month for basic and $24.00/month to max it out with HBO, Cinemax and Showtime. I cut the cord 8 years ago and I'm happy as a clam. And yeah, if it's not available from any of the previously mentioned sources, I don't watch it.

I'm self-certified curmudgeon so no need for the "OK boomer" replies. Now get off my lawn!

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