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Topic # 224115 3-Nov-2017 09:54
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Today is the day. We have cut the cord, said bye bye Sky, dived into the stream.

 

It was not really a hard decision to make, though there are unknowns. Our Internet is RBI, and we sometimes have issues with speed and congestion of the distant tower we depend on. Sometimes we get buffering, sometimes so bad as to make things unwatchable, but this is better than it used to be and it doesn’t affect everything. Time will tell. The hope is that our connection will get better, not worse. 5g is on the horizon, I suppose.

 

Most things work pretty well most of the time. The FTA live streams are almost always flawless. Most of the on demand stuff works well. The buffering and stuttering issues seem to affect only a few sites, and those are not ones we rely on.

 

Sky has not been a value for money proposition for us for a long time. We don’t watch sports. We rarely watch films. The Arts channel and the documentary channels were the selling points for us. But Sky is an expensive choice just to get arts, and the frequent, lengthy, repetitive promos on Discovery, Nat Geo, History and BBC were driving us to distraction. Why pay tons of money to put up with this crap when it can be so much better?

 

I have done my research. For our viewing tastes, many of the free options are better than the paid ones. We do not care about blockbuster films. We do not have a giant screen in a dedicated home theatre. For us, regular HD is more than good enough, and even SD is perfectly acceptable. It is better than what we were getting on our old Sky decoder. Most of the stuff we like to watch is in lower resolution anyway. You can’t put something back that isn’t there in the first place.

 

I looked at pre-packaged solutions like Roku and Apple TV, but was worried about lack of flexibility if tied to their apps since our viewing tastes are not mainstream. I finally decided, in the first instance at least, to go it alone with Android and Kodi. For me that was a steep learning curve, as I had no prior experience with either. It is still a work in progress, but it is going well so far.

 

The hardest thing is avoiding illegal pirate streams. Even with the crackdown they are still everywhere. My add-ons mainly come from the official Kodi repository, plus a few others. I don’t have a problem using geo-unblocking to access overseas public service broadcasting and those are the additional sites. With that, and the FTA channels made available by Apsattv and others, and the enormous amount of content on YouTube, we have far more choice, and far fewer ads, than we ever had on Sky. To say that piracy is responsible for declining Sky subscriptions is nonsense. What is responsible is Sky itself. When I can get sites like Curiosity Stream for a few dollars a month, and Medici TV for a few dollars more, I have no need for Sky at $100+ and I don’t have all the bloody ads either. It is a no-brainer.

 

Because our RBI has a data cap, we have fallbacks. We can get Freeview via both UHF and Satellite. I have LNBs for D1, D2 and Intelsat 19, and I use the last two in particular for International news services. That includes RT, Euronews, and the French English-language service. On UHF there is Al-Jazeera and RNZ. We are well-covered.

 

I notice that free film services like Tubi and Pluto seem to have about the same older films as Sky does, so no losses there and there are plenty of other choices to take the place of Rialto. This is also an advantage of having non-mainstream tastes.

 

Sky still has value for those who can’t find legal alternatives for what they want to watch, but for us it has had its day. We are free, in more senses than one, and we won’t be looking back. I don’t think we will miss Sky at all.





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 1894629 3-Nov-2017 10:27
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Well done. Enjoy not giving that cash to the Man every month.

 

For NZ based content, the AppleTV is a pretty comprehensive device now. You can also (through DNS jiggery-pokery and having an overseas iTunes account or two) get a fair bit of overseas content on it also. I'm sure Android/Kodi will also do that, just that the ATV is an easy to use, tidy solution.


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  Reply # 1894763 3-Nov-2017 13:47
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Well done. We ditched them a year ago and have never missed them. Now all our viewing comes via online with just the odd Freeview program recorded to edit out the Ads. We've rarely experienced any ads now for a year except for the daily One News. Got a HTPC and an Android box (with Kodi, plus inbuilt Sat and UHF tuners) so everything's covered.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1894974 3-Nov-2017 21:21
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Ditched them a couple of years ago...no regrets at all. There are lots of alternative ways of getting advert free high definition entertainment.

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  Reply # 1894981 3-Nov-2017 21:36
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Rikkitic:

 

We don’t watch sports

 

 

Holy heck, this is the only reason to have sky in the first place. 


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  Reply # 1895001 3-Nov-2017 22:29
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+1 to Curiosity Stream.
There are often Nat Geo docs on YouTube too.

Haven't heard of Medici TV I'll check them out.

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  Reply # 1895005 3-Nov-2017 22:50
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A good place to get your documentary fix that I've recently found is vpro on YouTube. They're a Dutch national broadcaster that publish a lot of their content on YouTube with English subtitles as well if the programme isn't in English.

https://www.youtube.com/user/VPROinternational
https://www.youtube.com/user/VPROBacklight

I recommend the borderland series which looks at Russia's neighbouring states.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYnzaTEs0mI&list=PLVhS7OMlNhVsS3bPO4-erTyJgLy5LZg_Z





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  Reply # 1895461 5-Nov-2017 12:42
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I'm close too.

 

Fibre should be installed up to the house exterior in the next two weeks, they start doing the fibre install on the complex I'm in on Wednesday apparently (after a few delays). Before jumping ship I also need to:

 

  • sort the fibre hookup
  • fix my terrestrial aerial which seems to have a lousy signal at the moment
  • build the HTPC, which I have been working through options for recently
  • sort the HTPC clients for the spare rooms (probably Kodi RPi boxen, possibly USFF PCs and/or Plex, possibly the nVidia sShield)
  • sort the services to replace Sky (Lightbox is part of my existing broadband package, probably Netflix and a VPN service for overseas streaming sites such as the BBC iPlayer), and
  • most critically, get sign-off from "she who must be obeyed".

I have dialled back my Sky package to the basic one plus SoHo at the moment (Sports, Rialto & Movies have all been dropped). But after over a decade of having had a DVD recorder hooked up to the decoder with the movies package, it will be a few years until I have worked my way through my unwatched recording backlog. I have just finished ripping all those DVDs, encoding them to MP4, and putting them on a networked server.

 

Looking a bit like a Christmas project.

 

 




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  Reply # 1895530 5-Nov-2017 16:41
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Very interesting item that also fits with this theme, though not specifically Sky-related. But this is also what we are doing and why we feel no more need for Sky. I think they have big problems.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 1895533 5-Nov-2017 16:45
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SkyTV also operates here in the Philippines and it's a lot cheaper!


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  Reply # 1895556 5-Nov-2017 17:33
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MichaelNZ:

 

SkyTV also operates here in the Philippines and it's a lot cheaper!

 

 

i would hope so the avg income in PH is a lot less :P 





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  Reply # 1899340 11-Nov-2017 18:40
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I like the docos. I like that you turn on the TV and there they are.

 

No scrolling though listings to find one.

 

No downloading.

 

Just there.

 

 


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  Reply # 1899346 11-Nov-2017 18:52
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MichaelNZ:

 

SkyTV also operates here in the Philippines and it's a lot cheaper!

 

 

Sky Cable in the Phillipines has absolutely no relationship with Sky TV here except having "sky" in the name.

 

 


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  Reply # 1899348 11-Nov-2017 19:09
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surfisup1000:

 

Rikkitic:

 

We don’t watch sports

 

 

Holy heck, this is the only reason to have sky in the first place. 

 

 

 

 

100% this.


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  Reply # 1899349 11-Nov-2017 19:13
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OP, if Sky was no value and you don't watch films (with streaming Sky Movies died a long time ago) and you dont watch sports why have you had Sky for so long?

 

I have Sky, I have no ads (FF always, and record 99% of what we watch, so I can FF through THE MNANY FTA ads as well)

 

Docos I am addicted to, I also have CuriosityStream

 

To those who ditched good on you, it has value for me. Sports, recording (= no ads) and I'm on the $50 deal. If that stopped, I can afford the equivalent of a takeaway once a week to have everything there. I have NF and LB on an Apple TV, so all sorted.


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  Reply # 1899350 11-Nov-2017 19:17
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Jaxson:

 

surfisup1000:

 

Rikkitic:

 

We don’t watch sports

 

 

Holy heck, this is the only reason to have sky in the first place. 

 

 

 

 

100% this.

 

 

Not the only reason. One box, recording (= no ads), all in one place. And while there are many channels which many call rubbish (which is in fact rubbish), there is something there for everyone, particularly families, i.e. a few differing demographics.


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