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Consulting the Geek Oracle: Cutting the Cable
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Author:  Nanohedron [ Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Consulting the Geek Oracle: Cutting the Cable

So yeah, on a recommendation I'm looking at Android TV boxes, and although at first glance the concept looks really attractive, I'm confronted by the fact that I simply don't have a clue. I really could use information on what this technology entails if I should go with it. Here are my wants, needs, and doubts, so far as I'm able to come up with them:

1. I'm not into gaming.
2. I have zero interest in using a TV box to control my smart devices, because I don't have any smart devices, and I like it that way. If I want something done, I'll get up and do it myself, thanks.
3. Internet access is a nice idea, but I'm unlikely to use it that much, if ever, on the tube proper. If a TV box supports WiFi so that I can continue to use my laptop that way, that's great. It's how we roll at Casa Nano.
4. Land line's probably an issue, because along with WiFi, that's bundled with my cable service. I'm not ready to give up land line yet; it has its uses.
5. All I'm looking for is TV content similar to what one gets with cable. I don't need the whole shootin' match, because most of the cable channels on offer, including the ones I pay for, are of no interest to me whatsoever. BIG waste of money, especially when you consider how infernally much cable costs already, and for what's almost all reruns anyway whether you watch it or not.
6. Live sports. Gotta have live sports.
7. TV box movie channel selection looks good, but I'd like some pros-and-cons feedback.
8. I guess what I'm looking for are practical (and easy-for-me-to-understand) considerations.

Thanks in advance!

Author:  fatmac [ Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Consulting the Geek Oracle: Cutting the Cable

Sounds like all you want is a Freeview TV, those plug in Android things are like your cable TV supplier, they let you access certain media.

I have a Virgin package; Internet access, landline, TV channels; & as like you, get almost nothing but repeats on TV, I mainly use it to grab stuff (record programs) that are being broadcast at the same time as something that I want to watch. My TV is actually just like a computer monitor, just somewhere to see the picture.

Author:  BigDavy [ Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Consulting the Geek Oracle: Cutting the Cable

Hi fatmac

Nano is in the US. They don't have Freeview, they may have something equivalent.

A smart tv might be the way to go.


Author:  Nanohedron [ Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Consulting the Geek Oracle: Cutting the Cable

BigDavy wrote:
Nano is in the US.

I should think people could tell from my accent. :wink:

Author:  an seanduine [ Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Consulting the Geek Oracle: Cutting the Cable

For the princely sum of a $5 monthly donation you can get Locast Internet to provide you with internet access to all the broadcast content in your area. Essentially they telecast over the internet clear, interference free content of all Over-the-Air broadcasts for your region.

I know you don´t want to drop your landline. . .but T-Mobile Home, @ $50/mo unlimited wifi is now available in your Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Just sayin´.


Author:  Nanohedron [ Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Consulting the Geek Oracle: Cutting the Cable

I'm not so interested in what providers are available, although of course it factors in. Primarily, I'm more concerned with what's involved in making the switch away from cable. I did a bit of introductory looking online, but most of the info out there is couched in terms that wrongly assume I will be conversant in techspeak, and the writers also seem to wrongly assume I'll know how to set it all up. So, I'm hoping for input from Chiffers who have made the switch themselves, and can in everyday language give a heads-up about potential issues that I would need to be aware of, and tackle if need be.

Author:  PB+J [ Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Consulting the Geek Oracle: Cutting the Cable

We dumped cable over a decade ago. I don't miss it one tiny bit except for the occasional live sports event. We have a netflix subscription and Amazon prime, and a free year of Apple TV which we might or might not renew. My wife watches a lot of netflix or amazon prime shows. I only watch dumb action movies when doing my morning rowing machine session. Jason Stathem I can report, has been in a lot of movies, which are extremely hard to tell apart

Such a relief not paying for 200 channels of utter BS and commercials.

If you love love sports then I'm not sure what way to go--sorry.

Author:  an seanduine [ Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Consulting the Geek Oracle: Cutting the Cable

Cutting the cable. If it is available to your address (they have a tool on the web): I called up T-Mobile Home and gave them my info. They said they would send out my device ASAP (about 8 days). I got the device and unwrapped it. . .inserted the backup battery and closed it up and plugged it in. You have to be able to operate the enclosed Phillips Head screw-driver. :D
In about 10 minutes of charging the system, the system ´came up´ with all three lights green. . .I know, very complex dashboard :D . Turned on my laptop, fired up my browser and typed in the login address: . Logged in with the unique login found printed on the bottom of the device. Done and Dusted.
Acting as your own Administrator is slightly more challenging, but quite clearly outlined in the very slim manual. There is, of course, an Advanced Admin section which is more complex if you choose to dive into the weeds. . .

The Device is an Internet Gateway Router. My model says it will support up to 15 wifi devices. YMMV. It operates on two different Channels, 5 ghz. and 2.4 ghz, connecting to the internet through 4 G LTE cell phone connection. This is only important to the distance inside your home from your laptop and the Device. It also can provide internet connectivity through a 5 G LTE channel as well, but this is not universally available geographically yet. My smartphone likes this channel when I am home. . .seems quite fast. . .usually.

I have no connection to T-Mobile outside of being a customer. There is no metering of data usage. However, like every
provider, cable or cell, they occasionally have congestion issues. . .and occasionally employing what I call ´stealth throttling´.
Every month they debit me the $50. I am happy for now. . .probably until I´m not :twisted:


Author:  an seanduine [ Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Consulting the Geek Oracle: Cutting the Cable

I would like to add one other thing. T-Mobile absolutely is not charging me for the use of this equipment. If and when I discontinue this service I must return the equipment, and absorb the return postage, otherwise then I will be charged for the equipment. Contrast this with your typical cable provider. I was gob-smacked by this.


Author:  Nanohedron [ Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Consulting the Geek Oracle: Cutting the Cable

Thanks for the info, folks. It's evident that savings aside, this will involve some big changes and shuffling should I go through with it. As to my initial questions, though, it's evident that I'll have to set up a talk directly with the person who made the recommendation; it came to me as second-hand info, and that source didn't have much in the way of details.

Author:  Katharine [ Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Consulting the Geek Oracle: Cutting the Cable

FWIW... do you also have cable for your internet? If so, could be worth keeping the cable TV anyway; I've found in the past that TV + internet has magically seemed to be about the same price as just internet (seems pretty unfair, like being penalized for only buying one of their services). Might be different these days, but if not, you might not actually save anything by dropping the cable TV in favor of cable internet only. (If your internet isn't also cable, then disregard...)

(The question about your "land line" is-- is it a true land line, or is it VOIP--internet based-- anyway? I've never had a "land line" through a cable company so I don't know if it's truly a land line, as in, "I have this in case the power goes out" or if it's internet based, which means if you have no power or internet, it doesn't work anyway...)

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