Jeff is amazed by the uncompressed quality of HDTV you can get with a TV antenna. Leo says that's because the signal is sent over the airwaves uncompressed. You don't get that with cable or streaming. But is there a DVR for over-the-air recording? Leo says yes, there are a few. TIVO makes one. ChannelMaster is very popular. And then there's the SiliconDust HDHomeRun. Leo likes the HDHomeRun the best. One box can feed multiple TV and mobile devices around the entire house. But it's just a box.
WD would like to cut the cord, but he doesn't want to pay extra for the internet as well. Leo says that's what ISPs will do. If he has a cable provider also handling internet access, they'll just make up for the cord-cutting by jacking up the rate on internet access. Can he cast to his SmartTV and just use his mobile data plan? Leo says it depends on what his cellular carrier provides. Most will have data caps, but if he doesn't do it all the time, he can "cast" it. It's called DNLA, or Miracast. Samsung can do it if both TV and mobile phone are Samsung. It's called SmartView.
Patrick wants to cut the cable. How can he cancel cable and stream live TV? Leo says if he has straight access to a line of sight to the tower, then an antenna is the best option out there. What about a DVR? Leo says that there are two OTA DVRs. One is ChannelMaster, and the other is the Silicon Dust HD Home Run. Both will work with an antenna and home network, so he can stream to any TV in the house. Is there a monthly charge? Leo says just for the channel guide, though only for the HD Home Run. Channel Master doesn't charge.
Dave is cutting the cable and wants to look into getting an indoor antenna. Leo says to first check out Locast.org. He can stream live local TV. It'll work on Roku, the computer, and the phone. And if he wants to avoid being nagged for donations, he can pay $5 a month for the service. A lot cheaper than DirecTV's $150 a month. He can also consider YouTubeTV. For $65 a month, he will get live and local channels, plus select cable stations. Roku also has a lot of free channels like PlutoTV. PeacockTV has a free tier.
Tierney cut the cord recently with the Amazon FireStick. She also uses a VPN. She says she'll never go back. Leo says that if you pit the streaming services against each other, you can also keep the prices down on streaming. But eventually, the ISP will raise your rates because you're not using their cable service. Tierney may want to check with another internet service provider in the area to see if you can get a better deal on internet access. Then take that to your current ISP and see if they'll match it.
Harold's father is tired of paying $200 a month to watch TV on cable. So he wants to cut the cord. He's looking at the FireTV with Sling. Leo says that the FireTV is fine, but they are engineered to encourage buying stuff from Amazon. Leo prefers the Roku player. There's also the Apple TV. Leo also recommends YouTubeTV for his local channels and other streaming options. Sling is another that's good; AT&T has one, but Leo's favorite is YouTube TV. It's $50. But that, on top of the internet, and you're already over $100.
Daniels' cable bill keeps rising. He uses TIVO. Is there a service where he can still use his TIVO and not pay for cable? Leo says he can get an over the air TIVO, and if he has that, he can put up an antenna and still record local channels. Check out tvfool.com and AntennaWeb.org to find out what he can get over the air in the area and what antenna is best.
Micah was frustrated with his cable company and left it for DirecTV. But the over the top services are now the same as the cable in terms of price. Leo says that's not by accident. It's by design. You also notice your internet fees are higher as well. Most of us are paying more for data and have bandwidth caps. The irony is, if you go back to the cable company after 30 days, they treat you as a new customer and give you a great deal. But it'll start going up almost immediately. And since most cable companies have a virtual monopoly in a community, there's no competition.
Janet wants to cut the cable. She's heard of the StreamSmart TV box. Does Leo know anything about it? Leo says that there's a lot of boxes for sale on the internet that pirate content online. The StreamSmart TV box is one of them. Leo recommends getting a Roku device and YouTubeTV. But if you think you'll save money cutting the cord, it's not really going to happen. Internet access. Over the top live TV. A premium channel here or there. Netflix. Next thing you know, you're paying $200 a month again. It all adds up.