Cutting the Cord - NO MORE CABLE!


I've been wanting to do this for a long time.  I currently have Comcast Xfinity services and want to essentially get rid of my cable bill (minus the internet of course).


So what is the best way to do this?


I assume an HDTV antenna.  Any suggestions on which one?


And would like suggestions or recommendations on how to record anything I view on television.  Software/hardware required?  PCI DVR cards / set-top box options?


And finally, without a cable provider, is there any way to still get premium channels like HBO, Showtime, etc?


Any direction you can provide would be appreciated!!  And DAMN those ISPs!!! :)

Find out about your OTA situation before looking for an antenna. You might have a channel in the area that operates on the low end of VHF so most indoor  antennas wont cut it unless they have very long rods attached. Use this site to see what your up against and analyze the situation before selecting an antenna.

Your choice. You can build a Linux based DVR or add a pci/e or network tv tuner to an existing windows/linux box to provide DVR  capability. TIVO is an easy option if you want to part with the extra cash involved. Look on craigslist for deal on older units that have the lifetime sub attached  to them.


Check to see if Comcast is offering HBO to GO  alacart to their internet subscribers.


I personally use a Windows 7 machine with an Hauppuage 2250 installed and a 2T drive for the storage. Seems to work well in WIn Media Center for me.  Add two Roku 3 boxes with subs to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime and I am pretty much set with content.


I agree if you have something with Windows Media Center on it, it will work great as a dvr.

Their is no way to legitimately get HBO or showtime without a cable subscription, but if you know someone who subscribes, but doesn't use their HBO GO streaming account that might be a way to go.

HBO and ESPN are the big things I've noticed that you might miss cutting the cord, most other stuff is pretty easy to find somewhere on the internet.

I did it a long time ago (but kept the Internet). My bill is currently about $50 a month for 50MBps/down. But I'll be going back to it's normal price in a few months to about $65 and a reduction back to 25MBPs/down which is fine for me.

For TV, (regretfully) I use Windows Media Center to record over-the-air (OTA) shows. I use it mostly because it's just too easy to set up which then acts as my "DVR" (and is essentially free to use).

I also exclusively use ATSC TV tuners since that's all that available for OTA content. And for my PC, I have 3 of them: a Hauppauge TV card with a single ATSC or "digital" tuner and an external HD Homerun connected to my network that I can't recommend highly enough since even the Linux world loves this thing. (However, be aware the difference between the Homerun "Dual" like what I have from their "Prime" which though also great is only for use on cable systems -- keep reading).

I think I should also mention that I live in the USA. So if you do too then be sure you get an ATSC compatible tuners for OTA content too (very critical). You should note that we all went "digital" a while back meaning no one in America is broadcasting using NTSC standards - not even on cable (which is now all QAM). Almost all of it (OTA) moved to the UHF spectrum too so there's no real need for a VHF antenna either. I only mention this since you will almost certainly find cheaper equipment out there that some stores are still selling. So read the specs and don't pay for junk you don't need or can't use.

And on a side note, please be aware that NTSC is still available for the masses of people who still use old devices that output to "channel 3" or "channel 4" - like your cable company does with many of their converter boxes! So NTSC is not exactly a "dead" standard either.

Now, for my antenna, it isn't anything special and is really just an average $20 cheap wall antenna from Home Depot (go there, it's amazing some of the tech stuff they have too). But your choice in antenna can be dictated on where your local broadcasters are in relation to where you are. So if you live out in the sticks where the nearest local broadcaster is like 500 miles away then you may want a huge array of some kind. But for the most part, placement and direction of a cheap old whatever-(UHF)antenna is key.

And for my home phone service (since I like having one in combination with my cell) I use one of the cheapest VoIP providers out there - NetTalk which you should be able to find at most any local Walmart even. For about $30 a year, it really works pretty well. Although the customer service is a bit lack luster. And the same is true of the more famous Magic Jack too, which I've also tried. There are still other (more expensive) choices like Vonage, I just happen to be cheap and didn't really like the idea of loosing my phone number. And for $30 a year it's almost like I'm robbing them! (That is, until you get into the whole customer service thing.)

Now, I will warn you about changing phone carriers and to expect a few headaches. But more importantly, get your VoIP service up and running (with a temp phone number) before you port any phone number(s) you want to keep.

That's it. I'm not sure if it helps. But if you're really looking to cut the cord then maybe it does. Good luck.


OH! I almost forgot to mention that if you really like the HBO lineups, there's always Netflix (assuming you can't leach off a friend with a HBO subscription and use his/her credentials for the new HBO-Go stuff).


try to get an invite to noobroom, learn how to use xbmc and all of it's awesome addons, get urself a cheapo htpc, never need tv service again. if you really want local stations sure grab and antenna.

ok thats the short i'd tell myself. but for most people i think, they like tv more than me. i grew up with no tv service, only over the air, so anything extra feels like extra to me. so what you might have come to expect, you may not get. generally speaking, if you like something enough, you'll find a way to get it.

there is no seamless TV service alternative thats going to have everything that your service had in an easy no hassle way, but there are a multitude of options that can give it to you with some work, plus more. don't expect it all to be legal though. aka noobroom,, many xbmc add-ons.