OT: Get cable w/o cable? (long)

OK, weird question. Read on:
I just got rid of Verizon cable partly because it was getting more expensiv e every year and partly because I watch maybe 10 channels out of the 500+ ( ?)channels of shopping, religions, soap operas, crappy bottom-tier movies, exercise videos and machines, knives, cooking equipment, and other debris. Good sports, but I'm not a fan.
And partly because their TV service has been so atrocious. (I had pckg of T V, phone and Internet; the latter two were OK) "Atrocious" is mild! Their techs hooked up things wrong *more than once*. After unproductive calling w/long waits on phone, I would ask my neighbor to come over & fix things. W hen the techs DID come out, they didn't know what to do.
But the worst is that I HAD NEVER HAD A FULL PICTURE! 1/5 was cut off on e ach side. So I was paying for 5/5 picture and getting 3/5 All those years I contacted Verizon, nobody knew what to do. I got a new TV. Same thing. They sent me a new box. Same thing. Somebody somewhere along the line g ave an explanation which I did not understand.
OK, now what? With rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna, I can get non-cable c hannels (I assume?). But one of my major watches was C-Span, esp weekend B ookTV. Yes, I can get them on-line but I'd rather watch big screen in bed.
Now to weird question: Is there any way to get a cable channel w/o subscri bing to a cable company?
If the answer is "no", which company, other than (tfui!) Verizon is the bes t in my area, So. Calif coastal. The other day in Best Buy, the Direct TV team was pushing hard to sign me up. ***Any experience out there about Dire ct TV?***
Also, they do not give a trial period. If I sign up for a 2-year contract (first year, loss-leader price; 2nd year, back to market rates), and don't like it, I'm stuck. Don't most companies have a 30-day cancellation period ?
Excuse long post. Smart people on this NG; hoping for some answers.
TIA
HB
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On 01/23/14 11:42 am, Higgs Boson wrote:

I assume that the service you had from Verizon was their FiOS service: optical fiber to the home, which is alleged to be good when it works but terrible when you need customer/tech service. Technically, Verizon is not a cable TV company, so you probably do have a "real cable TV company" serving your area as well -- Charter, Comcast? We have Charter Internet but not their TV service, so I can't express an opinion on the latter. My wife has some responsibility for some student apartments with Comcast, and their customer service is awful.
Most parts of the US (AFAIK) have awarded a franchise to only one "real cable TV company" (Canton, MI is one exception of which I have heard), so you're not going to have much choice:
1. Phone company (usually only one in any particular area), and you've tried that.
2. Cable TV company -- whichever one is authorized in your area.
3. One of the two satellite services: DirecTV or Dish. We have DirecTV, which is OK but the price keeps going up. Our next-door neighbor started with Dish but now has DirecTV -- not because of anything we said or did.
Probably all of these companies will offer your wonderfully cheap deals for the first six or twelve months, but it might not be so easy to find out what will happen to the price afterwards.
Perce
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Using your TV remote, find the setting that controls how the picture is re-scaled on to the screen.
--
Dan Espen

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On 01/23/14 12:58 pm, Dan Espen wrote:

I forgot to deal with that in my initial response. There may be a setting in your Verizon box that takes care of that, rather than on the TV.
Perce
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On Thursday, January 23, 2014 9:58:29 AM UTC-8, net cop wrote:

I ca't find the notes, but it was something the system could not handle.
HB
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On Thursday, January 23, 2014 11:42:37 AM UTC-5, Higgs Boson wrote:

ive every year and partly because I watch maybe 10 channels out of the 500+ (?)channels of shopping, religions, soap operas, crappy bottom-tier movies , exercise videos and machines, knives, cooking equipment, and other debris . Good sports, but I'm not a fan.

TV, phone and Internet; the latter two were OK) "Atrocious" is mild! Thei r techs hooked up things wrong *more than once*. After unproductive callin g w/long waits on phone, I would ask my neighbor to come over & fix things. When the techs DID come out, they didn't know what to do.

each side. So I was paying for 5/5 picture and getting 3/5 All those yea rs I contacted Verizon, nobody knew what to do. I got a new TV. Same thin g. They sent me a new box. Same thing. Somebody somewhere along the line gave an explanation which I did not understand.

channels (I assume?). But one of my major watches was C-Span, esp weekend BookTV. Yes, I can get them on-line but I'd rather watch big screen in be d.

ribing to a cable company?

That would seem to be an oxymoron. However most of the cable channels are also carried by DirectTV or Dish. A small selection may be available via internet. And I presume you're not asking for illegal options, like climbing the utility pole, or tapping into your neighbor's cable, right? That's gotten more difficult to do with the new technology anyway.

est in my area, So. Calif coastal. The other day in Best Buy, the Direct T V team was pushing hard to sign me up. ***Any experience out there about Di rect TV?***

t (first year, loss-leader price; 2nd year, back to market rates), and don' t like it, I'm stuck. Don't most companies have a 30-day cancellation peri od?

What most do or don't do doesn't really matter, does it? What's available in your area and what deals they currently have does. Here, NJ, Verizon FIOS is available and in some areas in overlaps with cable companies, like Cablevision. It shouldn't be hard to find out what your neighbors are using, who the companies are, there are usually only one or two that are landline based.
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On 1/23/14 10:42 AM, Higgs Boson wrote:

Cut rest.
Have you looked at streaming media players? Roku is one. How about connecting a tv directly to the internet? Some cell phones have a tv out function. I don't have any idea how expensive that would be or how reliable.
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On 1/23/2014 1:02 PM, Dean Hoffman > wrote:

Horribly expensive. Cellular data plans are spendy. You can afford to watch the occasional movie, but it is not something the average person could afford to do on a hours-long daily basis.
The OP can look into streaming video over the Internet. If he has a smart tv, it is equipped to provide a certain amount of access to various entertainment sources. If it is not, he'll need to connect some type of internet-ready hardware (pc, laptop, Roku, Apple TV, smart DVD player, etc.) to the tv to watch the content he selects. Depending on his needs, he may (probably) also need to subscribe to a content package (Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, etc.). Hardware cost - free to a couple hundred bucks, depending on what he uses. Subscription costs - averages less than ten dollars per month per source, many people subscribe to multiple packages.
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is it cable channels you want or shows only shown on cable?
if the latter, you could try hulu or similar services, even netflix
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Per Higgs Boson:

This might sound like killing a fly with a sledgehammer, but one approach would be an itty-bitty PC under the TV. There's the issue of an Ethernet connection to that PC... but that's kind of what I have for my Tivo-on-steroids setup.
There are WiFi/BlueTooth keyboards/trackpads available roughly the size of a TV remote.
And don't be too quick to write off OTA TV - especially if you don't need sports. OK, C-SPAN isn't going to be there.... but I've had nothing but OTA plus recording capability for the past 10+ years and I've got more interesting stuff to watch than I have time to watch it.
--
Pete Cresswell

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Yep, a little computer or lappy, a HDMI cable to the TV ... remote mouse... onscreen keyboard and ur in business. http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN2/ http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/type-without-keyboard#type-without-keyboard=windows-7
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On 1/23/2014 11:42 AM, Higgs Boson wrote:

The people on this list will have some wisdom. But, I think the best will be the person who suggests you talk to your neighbors, and see what they use for TV reception.
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Christopher A. Young
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well lets imagine you have a friend with a extra cable or sat box and high speed internet at both ends.
you can use a slingbox to watch and remotely control the tv at the other end.. and use a slingcatcher to watch the tv at your end.
its legal its what slingboxes were designed to do.....
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<<OK, now what? With rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna, I can get non-cable channels (I assume?). But one of my major watches was C-Span, esp weekend BookTV. Yes, I can get them on-line but I'd rather watch big screen in bed.>>
The best solution would be to route your PC's screen output to your PC. Many TV's have a VGA connector on the back that allows you to plug a cable between your PC and the TV. It's what I use to watch streaming video. It all depends on your PC and TV models. Newer PCs come with an HDMI output that plugs directly into the back of most modern TVs that also provides an audio signal. If you connect PC to TV via VGA cables you'd also have to pipe the audio signal from the PC into the TV. Sounds a lot more complicated than it is. Almost all my large screen TV's have this setup.
Share the make and model number details of your PC and TV with us and we can better help you figure out how to get your internet to display on your bedroom TV. There are lots of devices that can do basically the same thing and much more, but I think the cheapest method with the smallest learning curve is to attach your PC's video output to your TV's video input.
--
Bobby G.



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On 1/23/2014 11:42 AM, Higgs Boson wrote:

I'm somewhat in the same hunt as you. Due to the ever rising cost of these channel providers, I've been contemplating eliminating cable television but keep the internet. The ONLY reason I don't cancel is my favorite NHL team. I have no idea how I will watch my team if I cancel. Buying the NHL package is pointless because my team would be blacked out in my area due to broadcasting rights. If you don't care for any sports, then there's very little keeping you from cancelling cable.
First, I wrote down all the programs I like to watch. Then I wrote the channel which they air. Then I did a search on that broadcast station's website. 90% of the shows I like can be seen on their website after it's air date. Some are ready the next day while others within a week.
Second, what I couldn't get from a website I checked Hulu, Netflix and other misc stations which come with a media receiver such as Apple TV and Roku. I can view most of the shows on these devices as well. IF i recall, I think there was one or two shows I couldn't find but I can deal with that.
Bottom line, after my search and questioning the same as you, I've yet to discover anything other than mentioned which will allow a cable package without paying for a monthly service.
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On 1/23/2014 11:42 AM, Higgs Boson wrote:

After replying, I decided to do another search for opportunities and discovered this >>>> http://www.complex.com/tech/2013/11/watching-tv-and-movies-without-cable/
It looks promising. I be giving some of them a try in the coming days and weeks.
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its not illegal, slingbox got that issue resolved:)
its not illegal because it requires a password for the watching end and ONLY provides one output, that cnt be shared.
so it does not distribuite signals.
I suggest some googling of sling is it legal then come back and post some links
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On Friday, January 24, 2014 8:29:05 AM UTC-5, bob haller wrote:

I'd like to see some ruling, etc that says it's legal to do what you propose, which is to use a slingbox to send cable channels to a neighbor in a separate household. The purpose of a sling box is so that persons within the same household can view the cable service they've paid for on other devices, eg, PC, tablet, in that household or when traveling. What you're proposing as legal is to use it to provide cable service from one house to another. I would be very surprised if that wasn't a violation of the cable contract. What is the essential difference between that and just running cable service from one house to another?

NLY provides one output, that cnt be shared.

Isn't it just like me adding an additional cable box on my cable plan, which costs just a small fee, like $10, and then letting my neighbor use that box connected to my cable? It would seem to me it's exactly the same thing, the neighbor in an entirely separate house, now has cable for $10, vs paying the cable company $80 a month.

It seems to me it's distributing cable signals from house A to neighbor's house B to avoid house B paying the cable company.

links
What about this:
"1. Grant of License. Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, Sling Media grants a limited license for you, as a single user, to install and use the executab le form of the Software on a single computer or mobile device owned by you. This license may not be transferred by you to any third party and is non- exclusive, as Sling Media may grant the same or similar licenses to other t hird parties."
To me that says I can't buy a slingbox, install it on a cable box in my house, then give my neighbor the slingbox software to access it via their device, because that software is only licensed to me to use on a PC, device, etc owned by ME.
Or this:
"The license granted to you by Sling Media is solely for your personal, law ful, non-commercial use in connection with a Slingbox owned by you and conn ected to an audiovisual source that you are lawfully entitled to view. "
Letting your neighbor access cable doesn't sound like "pesonal use" to me. And it would seem the neighbor is not lawfully entitled to view the cable channels, because they aren't paying the cable company a dime.
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