Computers & Electronics

Cable Cutting in Nova Scotia... HDHomeRun?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 17th, 2017 11:29 am
[OP]
Member
May 24, 2014
204 posts
107 upvotes
Dartmouth, NS

Cable Cutting in Nova Scotia... HDHomeRun?

I'm trying to wean my in-laws off cable. Currently, they pay for Eastlink TV. At their old place, there were a ton of analog channels, and so they got cable for free. But when they moved, at the new place, everything (and I mean... EVERYTHING) was digital. So now the were "forced" to rent the set top box and pay for cable.

I'm trying to understand how this all works. I know that HDHomeRun plugs in your router so you can stream via ethernet or wifi anywhere in the house. Would HDHomeRun (the appropriate model) decrypt the cable internet signal (which is also the "tv signal") so the channels can be viewed via the appropriate app (such as the Live Channel app)?

Does anybody have any experience with this?
22 replies
Member
Jan 24, 2008
283 posts
128 upvotes
Scarborough
I have a HDHomeRun and I use it a lot. I am cable free for 4 years now. HDHomerun has it's own Windows application that connects to your device and streams to that PC. Also Plex has a channel to stream HDHomeRun signal and Plex can be run from Roku. Kodi also has a HDHomeRun add-on that does the same thing. The only thing you can't do is recording but there are multiple choices. The easiest one now is buying PLEX pass and now they have a recording feature and inlcudes the GUIDE data(just search for it). Or you could use SiliconDust app(pay 69$) or some apps that are free but more complicated to setup/use and you need to setup/pay for your EPG guide.
[OP]
Member
May 24, 2014
204 posts
107 upvotes
Dartmouth, NS
Ok... but that doesn't really answer my question. Are you streaming OTA (over the air)? Or are you streaming actual cable? Like... do you pay for cable internet only (not cable TV), and plug the coaxial into the back of the HDHomeRun, and it gives you basic cable channels?

I'm wondering this because previously, before everything went digital and was still analog, you could pay for internet only, plug the coaxial cable into the TV, and it gave you basic cable channels.
Sr. Member
Mar 6, 2012
766 posts
250 upvotes
I'm guessing he's streaming OTA, I also use an HDHomerun and that is what I do. While the box does support clear cam, I'm pretty sure no providers in Canada provide it. As for saying that while it was still analog you could just plug a coax into the TV and get basic channels while only paying for cable internet, it depends on how lazy your cable company is. They could block this by adding filters to the line but most of the time they were simply too lazy (or too cheap) to send a technician over to only do that.
[OP]
Member
May 24, 2014
204 posts
107 upvotes
Dartmouth, NS
toy187 wrote: I'm guessing he's streaming OTA, I also use an HDHomerun and that is what I do. While the box does support clear cam, I'm pretty sure no providers in Canada provide it. As for saying that while it was still analog you could just plug a coax into the TV and get basic channels while only paying for cable internet, it depends on how lazy your cable company is. They could block this by adding filters to the line but most of the time they were simply too lazy (or too cheap) to send a technician over to only do that.
Hmmm... interesting. I spoke with Eastlink over the phone and brought up the filter thing (because I didn't want to do anything illegal), and they told me that if they put a filter on the line, it would block out the internet signal itself. So basically, they said, "Go ahead and watch free TV," lol.
Member
Jan 24, 2008
283 posts
128 upvotes
Scarborough
threehappypenguins wrote: Ok... but that doesn't really answer my question. Are you streaming OTA (over the air)? Or are you streaming actual cable? Like... do you pay for cable internet only (not cable TV), and plug the coaxial into the back of the HDHomeRun, and it gives you basic cable channels?

I'm wondering this because previously, before everything went digital and was still analog, you could pay for internet only, plug the coaxial cable into the TV, and it gave you basic cable channels.
Only OTA. The other things I get from Netflix or other internet sources. All my 4 TVs have Roku connected or Chromecast. I watch the Plex HDHomerun chanel stream on all these devices. Plex server runs on a desktop in the basement. Plex is also used to organize and index all my TV shows and movies.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jan 22, 2015
601 posts
671 upvotes
N/A
threehappypenguins wrote: Hmmm... interesting. I spoke with Eastlink over the phone and brought up the filter thing (because I didn't want to do anything illegal), and they told me that if they put a filter on the line, it would block out the internet signal itself. So basically, they said, "Go ahead and watch free TV," lol.
If they have a TV with a digital tuner (https://www.timewarnercable.com/en/supp ... tal-t.html) then if their erstwhile cable company is not filtering the clear QAM then a newish television (flat panel one in other words, even though some really late model Sony Wegas had them (and a couple of other HD CRT behemoths)) then you don't even need an additional box...just plug in the cable and run a scan for accessible channels. We're in Rogers territory and they started filtering clear QAM last year or so and we're still getting internet. So, in the clear can be filtered without affecting internet.
Member
Jul 15, 2003
439 posts
251 upvotes
A lot of this depends on what your parents' viewing habits are, what type of content do they enjoy? Regular TV shows? Sports? Movies? Local Content?

I live just outside Halifax and have been cable/satellite free for many years. Where I am with an OTA antenna, I can pickup CTV and CBC easily, but not Global due to positioning. If I wanted to spring for a rooftop antenna (which I may after I get my roof redone next year) then I should also be able to pickup Global. This will do for most of the average person's basic viewing needs. Add in Netflix and whatever official Canadian streaming service still exists (Crave?) and that will meet a lot of needs.

There are other grey options, such as Android TV boxes using Kodi, or setting up a Plex server and adding some channels that way to watch on demand shows as well. It all depends on the comfort level that your parents have with technology and their willingness to deal with technical issues at times.
Deal Addict
Jan 18, 2009
3132 posts
1725 upvotes
sorry for hijacking this thread, but any one know a current good deal for a HDHomerun Connect?
The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Usenet
[OP]
Member
May 24, 2014
204 posts
107 upvotes
Dartmouth, NS
They live wayyyy out in Musquodboit Harbour. Actually, past it. I dont know if they would get any channels OTA at all.

They love watching The National, The Nature of Things, CBC News, and a lot of documentaries on Netflix. They already have on of those cheapo boxes, and didn't have cable for almost a year, but my mother-in-law went through severe withdrawal not having The Weather Network. I showed her the app, but she hated it. She wants a "live feed" to basically... feed her. I explained that the live feed is simply videos that play in a loop, but she doesn't care. She just wants traditional TV. She's already upset that she has to use a digital receiver to get TV.

They also like to channel surf, "to see what's on."

I've tried setting up live feeds on Kodi, but no matter what they are, they're not reliable and keep going out. And I tried using the add-on PseudoTVLive, but it runs terrible and freezes.

I am going to give them a Mi Box for Christmas. It runs Android TV (as opposed to being an OS designed for a tablet). I hope to start trying to wean them off cable again with something like PlutoTV (which now has Weather Network!!) and the CBC app for Android TV.

But I thought I would look into HDHomerun (it's also supported on Android TV and the Mi Box). They are cable junkies. You know what some people are like with change. And any little hiccup in technology has them freaking out and longing for "the good old days" of cable.
Last edited by threehappypenguins on Nov 29th, 2016 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Member
May 24, 2014
204 posts
107 upvotes
Dartmouth, NS
They live wayyyy out in Musquodboit Harbour. Actually, past it. I dont know if they would get any channels OTA at all.

They love watching The National, The Nature of Things, CBC News, and a lot of documentaries on Netflix. They already have on of those cheapo boxes, and didn't have cable for almost a year, but my mother-in-law went through severe withdrawal not having The Weather Network. I showed her the app, but she hated it. She wants a "live feed" to basically... feed her. I explained that the live feed is simply videos that play in a loop, but she doesn't care. She just wants traditional TV. She's already upset that she has to use a digital receiver to get TV.

They also like to channel surf, "to see what's on."

I've tried setting up live feeds on Kodi, but no matter what they are, they're not reliable and keep going out. And I tried using the add-on PaeudoTVLive, but it runs terrible and freezes.

I am going to give them a Mi Box for Christmas. It runs Android TV (as opposed to being an OS designed for a tablet). I hope to start trying to wean them off cable again with something like PlutoTV (which now has Weather Network!!) and the CBC app for Android TV.

But I thought I would look into HDHomerun (it's also supported on Android TV and the Mi Box). They are cable junkies. You know what some people are like with change. And any little hiccup in technology has them freaking out and longing for "the good old days" of cable.
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2014
1285 posts
711 upvotes
Ottawa
Why are you trying to wean your in-laws off of cable? It sounds perfect for them.
[OP]
Member
May 24, 2014
204 posts
107 upvotes
Dartmouth, NS
Because they complain that it's too expensive and unaffordable, and they're trying to save for retirement. It's also the reason I got them all set up with Voip phone with an Obihai device. Sometimes there are little technological hiccups here and there, and they want to switch back to a landline, but I remind them that it's another $780 a year for landline + long distance from what they're currently paying (for my mother-in-law's 4000 minutes a month all over North America needs), and they rescind and are like, "Oh yeah." So as it stands, they are not too happy to be forking out large amounts of money for cable TV, but feel like they have no choice.

I'm trying to keep things the same as much as possible. That's how I was able to convince them to move to voip. I have an ATA device hooked up to a phone line at the breaker panel which powers the whole house's phone jacks, and they don't notice a difference between that and landline (I also have a UPS for power backups).
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2014
1285 posts
711 upvotes
Ottawa
Do you have cable? Or someone else in your family? One option would be to get a dedicated cable box located at your house and hook-it up to a Slingbox that your in-laws would have access to via an Android Box.

That would be very similar to how they watch TV now and they would only be paying for the extra cable box.
Member
Jul 15, 2003
439 posts
251 upvotes
They aren't at the point where they are ready to go off cable. Try doing the basic $25 (you know more like $50) cable service for them. They want to be able to surf, but not pay for it, but also have it fully reliable.

Check out TVFool to put in their actual address, but it looks like they can probably get CBC & CTV at least

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapp ... 54f349ec46

But in reality, it is probably best to keep them on a basic service and not try to cobble together something that they (especially MIL) won't enjoy.

I've done an alternative setup with my inlaws, and they are ok with it, but mostly because I was able to set them up with ways to watch UK tv shows (since they were from there originally) and they don't like too many other shows anyway, and don't watch sports.

There is no way my own mother will ever get rid of her $100/month tv addiction for any sort of alternative. She wants what she wants and won't change
[OP]
Member
May 24, 2014
204 posts
107 upvotes
Dartmouth, NS
SecretSauce, $126.44 taxes in for basic cable and internet. :( https://www.eastlink.ca/bundles.aspx That is their cheapest option (they can only get Eastlink). However, if they were to get internet only, they can have City Wide Communications (which uses the Eastlink network), and they only charge $55.14, taxes in (that's what I have). That would save them $855.60 a year.

yow2kvil, my husband's brother (in-law's son) pays for cable, and we could easily use the Slingbox solution that way. However, I'm hoping for a Slingbox alternative because I would really like an Android TV app (not an app that runs on a regular Android OS; they act like a touchscreen and you require a mouse; super annoying and they already hate doing it with their current cheapo box... have to use a mouse for Netflix & YouTube). I bought them a Mi Box Android TV from the American Walmart website and that will be the same OS that's on my NVIDIA Shield TV. I am hoping for a Android TV app solution.

For example:

The Live Channels app on Android TV is simply fantastic. I can import various channels from various apps, such as Haystack TV & PlutoTV. So all that would require of them is they open the Live Channels app, and BINGO, "cable TV." It would be great if the SlingPlayer app would run on Android TV and would be able to be imported into Live Channels. HDHomeRun can actually do this. But then the problem is that HDHomeRun can't be remotely viewed (at least, not with some significant hacks and proxies, lol).

"But in reality, it is probably best to keep them on a basic service and not try to cobble together something that they (especially MIL) won't enjoy."

Exactly. I'm not trying to force anything on them. Just simply continuing to do research to find a solution that is not "cobbled together" too badly. Right now, cable is their "best option," because it requires no thinking, no hacking, no issues. I'm going to start with the Mi Box Android TV that I bought them, and then see how they do from there. As it stands, they have a Tronsmart box and the OS is like a tablet interface and not very TV intuitive.
[OP]
Member
May 24, 2014
204 posts
107 upvotes
Dartmouth, NS
As for the tvfool website, it looks like they can get CBC and CTV with a set top box (if that website is accurate), Global with an attic-mounted antenna and CTV with a roof-mounted antenna. I'm 30 minutes closer to the city compared to them, and I everything is the same for me, except Global theoretically should be accessible with a tv set top box. CTV apparently still needs a roof antenna.

Lol Nova Scotia sucks for OTA. I grew in Niagara region in Ontario where we got all the Buffalo stations, and all the Toronto stations. It blew my mind (and still blows my mind) that people pay for cable there. My in-laws are also from the same area, and they paid for cable when they lived there. So it's definitely an addiction for them, lol. My dad (who still lives in Niagara) has always refused, and still refuses to pay for cable. Always had a roof mounted (rotating) antenna. He must have 40+ channels. I think it's good we never had cable TV. I rarely saw music videos until YouTube came out. Would have totally corrupted my childhood and teenage mind bahaha.

I'm actually amazed my husband hasn't forced cable on us. But I think it all comes down to is that he is sick and tired of commercials. We are the type of people who pick a show, and binge watch it. Even my kids don't know what to do with themselves with commercials. When my son was a toddler, he was watching a kids show on cable at my mother-in-law's, and a commercial came on. He kept looking at the remote, crying, and asking, "How do I skip it?" (He was used to being able to skip the YouTube ads).
Member
Jul 15, 2003
439 posts
251 upvotes
Hiya,

Depending on what they want to watch, is the basic cable service from Eastlink an option ($31/month), and then couple it with Citywide?

http://www.eastlink.ca/cabledigitaltv/tvpackages.aspx

Personally I use Plex, and "acquire" my content that I want to watch, and then watch it via the Plex server. I couple that with a set top antenna and get CBC and CTV. I also have "channels" added to Plex, so I can get some IPTV feeds that way as well. Its a solution that works for me, but not for everyone.
Banned
Mar 12, 2010
1281 posts
53 upvotes
Aurora
threehappypenguins wrote: I am going to give them a Mi Box for Christmas. It runs Android TV (as opposed to being an OS designed for a tablet). I hope to start trying to wean them off cable again with something like PlutoTV (which now has Weather Network!!) and the CBC app for Android TV.
Does PlutoTV have local Canadian Channels?

Is silicondust PVR functionality free, or do you have to pay for it? They have some monthly service. Was hoping to use their android app on my mi box.
[OP]
Member
May 24, 2014
204 posts
107 upvotes
Dartmouth, NS
I don't really know anything about silocondust. But as for Pluto, there are no "real" channels. Most of them are either steams that are already free for viewing online, or cobbled together YouTube videos that are supposed to act like a channel. It is to give the experience of channel surfing.

The Weather Network on Pluto is the American one, so it's not of much use. If I had an American IP address, then the Weather Network app itself would offer a live stream. I contacted weather network about a Canadian stream, and they don't offer it.

I think all the old people would cancel their cable subscriptions if they offered a live Canadian stream. It's like old people crack. All the videos are in the app, but people need to be spoon fed a stream. That plays on a loop. LOL

Top