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  • HTPC and cutting the cord

    Any thoughts on if building an htpc and cutting the cord are worth considering? I will probably cut the cord after football season because the cost has gone up yet again. I kinda like the roku, but I also just want everything in one box. Can one build an htpc box which covers all audio, blu ray, all the digital media I have, (plus netflix, hulu, prime, etc) and use my speakers which use wires rather than plugs (the speakers have wire fished through the walls around the room and I don't feel like refishing wire for the plug kind)? Can one be built for a reasonable price?
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  • #2
    Re: HTPC and cutting the cord

    As someone who has looked into this exhaustively and repeatedly over many many years, let me save you some time and get right down to the most pertinent bit. If you are a sports fan, it really just depends what channel(s) the team(s) you follow are on. If they are on broadcast TV, and you have good signal to your house, you can get HD over the air. The main thing is, decide which sports / teams / shows you really like to watch, and then go from there. All the other things you mentioned are easily achieved. So, what do you (and/or, your family) really need / want to watch?
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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    • #3
      Re: HTPC and cutting the cord

      We can get most of what we need through other services. Football and sports will be the hard part, but I will do the antenna for hd after we cut the cord (after the upcoming football season) and hope alternatives present themselves before next years football season. I was thinking an htpc would be my best choice for this route so everything is in one box, blu-ray, online subscription services (Netflix, hulu, etc), and any digital media like home movies or electronic copies of movies can be played off the hard drive. Alternatively, I can go with the roku, but I would need to keep my blu ray player and ancient stereo receiver, which I would rather not have to do. Looking to lose clutter.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: HTPC and cutting the cord

        You can cut the cord. However, you'll need a decent internet connection, so it might mean paying your cable provider still for internet access (unless you have other choices in your area for cheaper). Since you're into sports, you'll want to subscribe to Sling TV and add the Sports Package which includes ESPN and such. Then you could subscribe to other media content from Hulu, Netflix, etc. All in all, you could end up spending $80 a month easily on content subscriptions on top of whatever you pay for internet. However with that said, you still won't have access to everything that's out there.

        Personally, I'm not a sports guy and I never had cable. I started doing online content subscriptions years ago and have never felt the urge to get cable. Netflix, Hulu (won't re-up due to more ads), Amazon Prime Videos, Google Play Music All Access, and Oyster Books provides me with hours and hours of entertainment. I might even add Sling TV to the mix for HBO and such. Comcast actually just put out their own streaming service, it's $15 a month (StreamPix). I own few Blu-Ray media so even though I have a BD burner in my desktop, I've rarely used it to watch anything (and mostly to burn backup disks).
        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
        Former 9th & 13th

        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

        TG Primer and Rules

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        • #5
          Re: HTPC and cutting the cord

          Something to keep in mind is that you need BluRay software to play the bluray films in addition to the drive.
          Viking

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          • #6
            Re: HTPC and cutting the cord

            I cut the Cord last year from Comcast that was costing me $275.00 a month for Internet, Phone, and TV. That comes to $3300.00 dollars a year. Now I am paying only $1207.52 a year for most of what I had.

            For the phones I took the Ooma Primere which was $120.00 one time fee for the Ooma Device and $119.00 a year for extra features. A onetime fee of $50.00 for the Linx device that will give you an extra line for another number or Fax capability that will Plug into any outlet anywhere in your home.

            For $100.00 I bought the Apple device which gave me a lot of choices for any streaming TV or Movies. I opted to do Netflix and Hulu Plus for better streaming choices. I also picked up the Rouku Device for another area of our Home.

            I still kept Comcast as my Internet provider only and that runs me $85.00 a month for High Internet bandwith plus their Modem.

            I am not a Sports viewer as most of you in this thread have mentioned, but my Son is and He just finds a web site that broadcast those events as they are happening.

            All in all we are happy to know, that, for the little we have lost in viewing of certain programs or events, we have saved over $2000.00 a year.

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            • #7
              Re: HTPC and cutting the cord

              Why hope, when you can plan? :)

              Start antenna / channel research now. In my area, I know once (several years ago) I was able to find some database online with the locations of TV towers near me. Most of them are clustered in 2 areas in my area (Tampa Bay, FL). HTPC / AV forums will also be very helpful in this regard. Others who have cut the cord in your area will be able to tell you what's available. Also figure out / pay closer attention to what channel(s) your team(s) are usually broadcast on.

              And yes, you can certainly find pretty much any sporting event streaming live online. But in my experience (and this was a couple years ago) those are usually about potato quality (think bad YouTube / 420p). Dunno if there has been any improvement on that front since.

              I used to be such a huge sports fan a few years ago, but now I just have lost interest. I think a large part of that has been the cost. Tickets, parking, cable TV, sports packages, etc. It's just getting ridiculous. I realized I was being a mark. And for what? So millionaires can argue with billionaires over money (sports strikes)? I finally just said to hell with it. I guess I just heard one too many free agents say it was a "business decision." Well, it's a "business decision" for me not to go to your stadium and pay $86 for the cheapest ticket, $20 to park, pay $8 for beers on top of that, just to be hot and uncomfortable and maybe get into a fight with some loud mouth Philly fan, etc... To mention nothing of the nerve of the NFL to black out games locally, in a stadium that tax dollars helped to build! I think the first domino that fell for me was several years ago when the Super Bowl was held here in Tampa. We learned that none of the NFL controlled / stadium parking lots allowed tailgating. Yes, you heard that right. I was floored and couldn't believe it either. Stadium opened it's doors at like 10 AM though. I guess they wanted you to go get dropped off in your limousine at the front door and buy $8 (or more likely, $12 for Super Bowl) drinks all day long! But I digress...

              So now I go outside more, I run (usually at the beach) and lift weights. I am down to sub 15% body fat, and I have added 20 lbs of muscle and have never looked better. I can run about 6 miles without stopping. Keep in mind that a couple years ago, I was almost 30% BF, no muscle at all and I probably couldn't run 50 yards (typical fat 'Murrican). LOL! For R&R, I read a lot, mostly on the internet. I have a tablet that works great for that (small and light weight, can sit up in bed, or on the couch, or wherever). Now I am getting into a broader topic here, but as I said in my first post really the first thing you need to define is exactly what you want/need to watch and how much that is worth to you. Many people nowadays have decided there is enough to watch on Netflix for $8 per month. Myself personally place very little to no value whatsoever on most of this garbage that passes for "entertainment" on prime time television nowadays. I do appreciate a good movie now and again, which I will download a torrent of. All I really need is an internet connection. But that is my scenario, YMMV as they say.

              I think the thing to do is have a sit down with the family and really decide what is needed/wanted, and then go from there. Because when you look at the larger picture, you may decide that spending so much for "entertainment" is just not worth it. JMHO.
              "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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              • #8
                Re: HTPC and cutting the cord

                EDIT: double post. Muh flaky interwebz!
                "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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                • #9
                  Re: HTPC and cutting the cord

                  Originally posted by DaViking View Post
                  Something to keep in mind is that you need BluRay software to play the bluray films in addition to the drive.
                  Oh yes, I completely forgot about that. Since I own the disks, I actually spent a unkind amount of time stripping away the DRM and ripping it before I watched it. As far as I could research, there are no free BR software players out there that will let you watch DRM'd Blu-Rays. Another unfortunate side effect to Sony winning the HD Disk War.

                  You can also ditch your computer too (or the HTPC build) and get a settop device like the Roku or Amazon Fire TV instead. You'd still have access to streaming services but won't be able to watch any local media unless you stream from your PC (or a mobile device). They might be more attractive due to their small footprint, size, and relative cost.
                  |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                  TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                  Former 9th & 13th

                  Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                  Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                  SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                  TG Primer and Rules

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