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Comcast Cable HDTV monthly costs

by danscruz / February 27, 2009 12:13 PM PST

Is there any way to get cable HDTV without a satellite and without having to pay a monthly charge to Comcast? I would prefer to pay a one time installation and/or access charge than a monthly rate.

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RE: Comcast Cable HDTV monthy costs
by CompMAS2 / February 27, 2009 1:00 PM PST

I got rid of cable completely. I setup a Desktop PC with Windows Vista Home Premium (Vista Ultimate will work too) and use an XBox 360 as a TV receiver. Connect the XBox 360 as a Windows Media Center Extender to the Desktop PC. Purchase a Digital TV Tuner for your computer and install. Windows Media Center which is on the Desktop PC will receive signals to watch and can record shows as a DVR. This will let you get all the over the air digital signals (many in my area are in HD 1080i). The XBox 360 will then play the shows live or recorded from the Desktop PC over a home network. I found it best to get a digital TV tuner with 2 inputs connected to the same antenna so you can record 2 TV shows at the same time or watch one while recording another. Also if you have more than one TV, get another XBox 360 as a receiver and connect it to your network. If you don't want to wire your house with Ethernet cables, set yourself up with Wireless N networking and connect the XBox 360 to a Wireless N Bridge ( through an Ethernet cable to make it wireless.

Additionally if you are a fan of or use Netflix you could purchase a program called PlayOn for 39.99 from which will stream Hulu, Netflix, CBS, YouTube, CNN, and ESPN web content to your TV. This is done by installing PlayOn on your Desktop PC and using the XBox 360's Upnp client to receive the media.

The whole setup may cost a decent amount up front, but I have been using it for several months now and I am saving around $80 a month on HD cable service and the money saved from canceling cable has paid for the original setup cost.

XBox 360: $200
Desktop PC with Windows: ~$400-$600
Digital TV Tuner: ~$70-170
Network Router (Wireless N): ~$70

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by queenofcheap / February 28, 2009 7:51 AM PST

I can tell you that I got the digital/analog converter box hooked up to a set that has 2 DIALS! VHF and UHF just to let you know how old the set is;... and I am getting all kinds of channels I couldn't get before with an indoor radio shack antenna.
I have been studying this concept for a couple of years because I cannot afford cable and didn't want to spring for something that had to have cable to work.I understand it if the tuner is ASTC you can get signals out of the air without cable for digital televisons.Even though the picture is great on the old set it is still an analog TV so thats all I will ever get.I am if fact so sure that I am getting ready to purchase an LED flat screen.(However I am still seeking a smoking deal)

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Media Extender
by user1405 / February 28, 2009 11:30 AM PST

I have Windows Vista Ultimate, have installed a LInksys "N"; have a media center extender that I have not installed on my tv yet. I was going to install the Directv cable into my PC tuner to stream Directv to my tv. One tech told me I could install up to 3 media extenders; another one told me up to 5 media extenders. You say "the Desktop PC will receive signals to watch" - excuse my ignorance, but could you elaborate on this? Where do you get the signals? Do I not need to subscribe to Directv? If not, what are the limitations? Also, you talked about "PlayOn" - do you have to use an XBox or can you use a media extender?

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RE: Media Extender
by CompMAS2 / March 2, 2009 10:16 PM PST
In reply to: Media Extender

The Desktop to receive the signal would be your Windows Vista Ultimate PC that you would need to leave on all the time. You would need a TV tuner installed in your Vista PC to connect Direct TV to it. You could get a digital TV tuner and use component cables or maybe HDMI if you can find a TV tuner that supports it and the Direct TV box has support. I would suggest a tuner that has IR output so you can control your DirectTV box from your computer.

It you just use over the Air Digital Broadcast television, you will be able to HD quality but only the channels that are broadcast in your area.

The PlayOn program content can be received by any Upnp or DLNA compliant client device. This includes XBox 360, Playstation 3, some new Samsung HDTVs, HP MediaCenter TVs, and others.

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