The Five Best Cord Cutting Devices (Plus One Bonus!)

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#1
From The Article
1) An ATSC Tuner
Believe it or not, there are glorous HD signals flying around your house right now. America switched to the all-digital ATSC broadcasting standard back in the summer of 2008, but most TV stations were beaming out HD signals well before that. Now all OTA stations are broadcasting at least a 480i signal with most opting for at least one high definition signal. Best of all, it’s free.

It’s as easy as hooking up an antenna to an ATSC tuner. All 25-inch and larger TVs sold after March 2006 should have the right tuner with smaller TV sold after March 2007 also rocking the goods. Just hook up an antenna and *BAM* you’re TV will be filled with crystal clear digital signals.

The trick is that older TVs can join in on the fun as long as HD isn’t necessarily important. Basic ATSC tuners run $40 – $60 and often include basic electronic programing guides and reminder functions but only output the digital signal at 480i. Proper HD OTA tuners are becoming increasingly harder to find as the tuners are now built into TVs.

Using OTA is a no-brainer even if you’re also using Netflix or any other streaming services. Why not, right? It’s free. If you have a flat screen, you likely have all you need minus a cheap antenna. Use AntennaWeb.org to fine tune your signal. Ironically going back to just an antenna and good ol’ TV signals are the best alternative to cable or satellite.
The Five Best Cord Cutting Devices (Plus One Bonus!)

Boxee Box, Roku, TiVo Premiere, and the Dell Zino or Mac Mini, fill out the top five, and the bonus (the public library).
 
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Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Doh.

The $99 Apple TV didn’t make this list because there are better devices for the job.
I'm still thinking about going with Apple TV despite popular opinion (and what my friends on facebook say!). lol. To me, it's about the cloud, and though Apple TV doesn't actually store video content, it does receive streams from devices that do.

With that said, the Roku is pretty tough to beat for the price.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#3
Five best in their opinion. They left out the xbox and the good old htpc. I'm rockin xboxes and my htpc for media center. Htpc beats them all when it comes to flexibility.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#4
Five best in their opinion. They left out the xbox and the good old htpc. I'm rockin xboxes and my htpc for media center. Htpc beats them all when it comes to flexibility.
HTPC, all the way. While it may not be "push the remote easy", it's flexible and doesn't get restricted from sites (try to access HULU FREE with a set top box!) It also does DVD / Blu-Ray, stores my favorite movies, it's a DVR, accesses the TitanTV program guide, has my MP3, photo and home video collection.

Too bad commercially produced HTPCs are so overpriced, most people have to build their own. There's no good reason for them to be so expensive, and using Mythbuntu as the OS (About Mythbuntu | Mythbuntu) would cut the cost even more.
(screen shot)
 
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Free DTV ota

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#5
Hey Jay, saw your Apple tv comment and wondered if you have considered the free ota antenna hd/dtv? Most don't know they have the option or if they do, they don't realize that it matters a whole lot which antenna to purchase. Not any antenna will do and the ones avail. in stores are crap. You've got to get the most powerful, high-range, amplified one available. They are not all created equally. And, I saw someone here talking about making your own antenna? Why reinvent the wheel? The objective is to be able to receive all the channels possible to receive over-the-air (OTA). If you want to be discouraged and told lies, go to TVFool and antennaweb which do not give correct, truthful, or accurate information. Trust me, someone who gets it and gets it good.
Doh.



I'm still thinking about going with Apple TV despite popular opinion (and what my friends on facebook say!). lol. To me, it's about the cloud, and though Apple TV doesn't actually store video content, it does receive streams from devices that do.

With that said, the Roku is pretty tough to beat for the price.[/QUOTE]
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#6
Hey Jay, saw your Apple tv comment and wondered if you have considered the free ota antenna hd/dtv? Most don't know they have the option or if they do, they don't realize that it matters a whole lot which antenna to purchase. Not any antenna will do and the ones avail. in stores are crap. You've got to get the most powerful, high-range, amplified one available. They are not all created equally. And, I saw someone here talking about making your own antenna? Why reinvent the wheel? The objective is to be able to receive all the channels possible to receive over-the-air (OTA). If you want to be discouraged and told lies, go to TVFool and antennaweb which do not give correct, truthful, or accurate information. Trust me, someone who gets it and gets it good.
Doh.



I'm still thinking about going with Apple TV despite popular opinion (and what my friends on facebook say!). lol. To me, it's about the cloud, and though Apple TV doesn't actually store video content, it does receive streams from devices that do.

With that said, the Roku is pretty tough to beat for the price.
Yes we do receive HD via OTA and love it.

I don't think TVFool tells lies as far as their prediction data goes; I think they give the most accurate results, and considering it's a free service that provides accurate location distances from antenna towers (I know because I've mapped distances on Google maps myself)...I'm a fan of their site.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#7
Hey Jay, saw your Apple tv comment and wondered if you have considered the free ota antenna hd/dtv? Most don't know they have the option or if they do, they don't realize that it matters a whole lot which antenna to purchase. Not any antenna will do and the ones avail. in stores are crap. You've got to get the most powerful, high-range, amplified one available. They are not all created equally. And, I saw someone here talking about making your own antenna? Why reinvent the wheel? The objective is to be able to receive all the channels possible to receive over-the-air (OTA). If you want to be discouraged and told lies, go to TVFool and antennaweb which do not give correct, truthful, or accurate information. .
AntennaWeb is not a very good resource. But TVfool? It's not perfect. There's too many variables to consider, but it's one of the best tools there is. That combined with rabbitears.info and my experience installing and building antennas gives me what I need to help anyone - anywhere in the USA -install an antenna.

There is no magic one-size-fits all antenna - every situation is unique. Amplifying an antenna when you're too close to the transmitters is a sure way to kill your signal - or your amplifier! And you just aren't going to pick up channel 2 RF on a Winegard Square Shooter at 40 miles. And sometimes, yes, you have to build an antenna because you can't buy the one you need, or if you can, it's way too expensive. Some people just enjoy making an antenna and knowing they did it by themselves. I have seen antennas made from coat hangers outperform commercially made antennas, too. Hell, I've built HUGE telescopes, too. Not because I can do it better than the company that makes a $40,000 scope, but because I can build it cheaper, it's exactly what I want, and I enjoyed doing it myself.
 

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