Super Old School Cord Cut

Mister B

Mister B

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El Paso County Texas
Just two weeks ago I cancelled my Directv service. After the promotional period expired I just was not going to pay over $90 a month for TV. I even paid off my contract for the remaining year at $ 20 per month but of course still save a lot of money.
I immediately remounted my antenna but with my odd schedule the only shows of interest in the daytime are crime dramas on the ION SD sub channel and instructional videos from the Community College.
I remembered that I still have a very good VHS machine from 2008 and have been hitting all of the thrift stores for old movies. The most I have paid is $1.00 and on senior citizens day at Goodwill they are $0.18. It is a lot of fun and I have been re-watching some great classics like Apollo 13 and Titanic. I also like the fact these VHS movies were professionally pan and scanned to keep the action in the 4:3 frame and not just sides chopped off like a modern converter box would do.
Obviously this solution can not run forever, I will eventually deplete the local inventory of interesting VHS movies but this will give me time to research the cord cutting options on this forum and is a great pass time for these over 100 degree days we are having here in West Texas.
 
jayn_j

jayn_j

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These days, a DVD player can be had for $25 and a Blu Ray player for $35. Blu Ray can play DVDs as well, so IMO a better value. The thing here is that adding such a player would greatly increase the variety of titles available. They haven't released a new title in VHS for nearly 20 years.
 
osu1991

osu1991

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A laptop/computer with dvd or bluray drive connected to tv would allow for more variety too. Internet connected to said device would allow access to some free online content like Sony's Crackle as well as some of the pay tv sites also have some free episodes that don't require a paytv login to view.
 
harshness

harshness

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If you're committed to OTA (and even if you haven't really decided yet), you can pick up a tuner for under $35 that can act as a DVR with the addition of a modest USB hard drive. This can instantly compensate for your "odd time schedule".

Of course if you're fully embracing being "odd" with an umpteen year old CRT, watching TV programming created in the last 15 years or so is likely to annoy you.
 
Mister B

Mister B

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Thanks for all of the interesting comments. Of course, I have had DVD players in the past although have not replaced the last one that broke. That is certainly an option.
I will be considering all of the streaming devices or could even get a cable to connect this MacBook Air to the TV.
More information on these under $35 tuners that can record with an attached USB hard drive would be appreciated. I see two of them at Walmart and have read some on-line reviews. As one would expect at that price they seem to all have some bugs. My main concern would be that the TV stations here are not very good at providing the correct time by PSIP. A manual clock setting would be preferable. I have had several Tivo's in the past and read that company has only gotten worse in providing proper channel listings. I just will not go that route again. Tablo also seems to use the same Rovi information and I am not inclined to broadcast recordings by wifi to yet another device just to connect one TV.
So, like I said, I can take my time researching the options, but in the mean time the old VHS movies are fun.
 
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harshness

harshness

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I will be considering all of the streaming devices or could even get a cable to connect this MacBook Air to the TV.
That's perhaps one of the most expensive solutions of all -- especially if your TV doesn't have an HDMI input. I'm pretty sure that would beg for an AppleTV and those things are relatively expensive and feature only HDMI output. A Chromecast might work but there's that insufferable HDMI requirement again.
More information on these under $35 tuners that can record with an attached USB hard drive would be appreciated.
There are also a couple on Amazon.com. I don't recall if they support manual time setting. There are reviews all over the Internet including some on YouTube.
 
Mister B

Mister B

Thread Starter
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That's perhaps one of the most expensive solutions of all -- especially if your TV doesn't have an HDMI input. I'm pretty sure that would beg for an AppleTV and those things are relatively expensive and feature only HDMI output. A Chromecast might work but there's that insufferable HDMI requirement again.

I have a modern TV with two HDMI inputs. I believe this adapter is all I would need to connect this MacBook to the TV. ref=sr_1_2
 
harshness

harshness

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I believe this adapter is all I would need to connect this MacBook to the TV. ref=sr_1_2
There's a good chance assuming there's enough video RAM (perhaps it uses shared system RAM?).

Being hardwired to the TV is not something I could live with in the long term and I'm generally opposed to touch-pad remotes but I'm finicky that way.
 
andy_horton

andy_horton

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I personally think the OP's idea of vhs is entertaining..adding a dvd player w/a converter for an older tv is an option. You can go to Wal-Mart, buy an inexpensive HD 32 inch tv add protection plan between $5-8 for a few more yrs and then no converter required. Basically just plug and play from HDMI from device to tv. But I personally have a 19 in old RCA tv that uses a converter..works great!!
 
harshness

harshness

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I personally think the OP's idea of vhs is entertaining..adding a dvd player w/a converter for an older tv is an option.
Absent a way to time shift, it doesn't address the real problem of the TS observing unconventional viewing hours. Part of the attraction of TV is being able to keep up on what's going on in the World and have something in common with others.
 
jayn_j

jayn_j

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Absent a way to time shift, it doesn't address the real problem of the TS observing unconventional viewing hours. Part of the attraction of TV is being able to keep up on what's going on in the World and have something in common with others.
That's assuming you are addicted to the nightly gossip.
Most of us have many ways of getting our news. Don't get me wrong, I have TIVOs, and would not be without them, but not for the news.
 
harshness

harshness

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Most of us have many ways of getting our news.
I'm not talking about news or weather. I'm talking about what's going on with the TV series and sports of the day that can keep you involved in the watercooler conversations rather than withdrawn from the World.
 
osu1991

osu1991

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I'll watch the news when they start giving unbiased facts and not opinions based on whomever the station/network owner is or what has the most shock value. Also when they get back to having actual local sports news and not a 30sec blip of whatever the shocking sports headline of the day is. Until then I might catch the weather update at the 15 min mark in between the psuedo news and commercials. I can go to a local high school game or festival to find something in common with others.

Otherwise I have a large personal library of movies and shows from around the world to keep me entertained at all hours of the day/night. Internet and a cheap VPN opens up a lot of stuff to see from around the world 24/7 when there isn't anything on locally. Up at 2am working, switch to vpn and watch the UK as its day is just starting or look to NZ or AU where its already late afternoon of the next day.
 
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osu1991

osu1991

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I'm not talking about news or weather. I'm talking about what's going on with the TV series and sports of the day that can keep you involved in the watercooler conversations rather than withdrawn from the World.

I don't see any of that type of news on our local affiliates. I haven't looked at access hollywood or entertainment tonight in a decade, if they're still around. Last I saw, it was just gossip and hollywood drama of the real housewives type stuff which is what turns me off.

The locals might give a quick 60 second blurb on Fridays and Saturdays if there is a local festival of some type going on, but that is the extent of their entertainment news. Sports is severely lacking on locals unless its High School and College Football season, then you get the 10 min highlight show on Friday and Sat nights when the local newscast is over
 
comfortably_numb

comfortably_numb

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I'm not talking about news or weather. I'm talking about what's going on with the TV series and sports of the day that can keep you involved in the watercooler conversations rather than withdrawn from the World.

In this day and age, I think being somewhat withdrawn from the world is the only way to survive it.
 
harshness

harshness

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Sports is severely lacking on locals unless its High School and College Football season, then you get the 10 min highlight show on Friday and Sat nights when the local newscast is over
My local school and college activities are only available on the local cable access channels. OTA almost categorically doesn't cover them.
 

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