[kwlug-disc] Dropping Bell, Phase 5

CrankyOldBugger crankyoldbugger at gmail.com
Mon Apr 28 14:38:34 EDT 2014

Some good points there, but perhaps I should clarify something about my own

I don't care too much about online TV services like Netflix because I have
my torrent machine running nicely.  I use RSS feeds to automatically
download my favourite shows as soon as they're in the feed (usually an hour
or so after the actual broadcast).  These torrents are almost always
commercial free.  Only drawback is that I usually have to wait until Friday
to watch Thursday's Big Bang Theory..  I can live with that.

Essentially, using torrents negates the need for a PVR, at least for
"not-live" shows.  Live TV is another fish altogether.

Now being half-deaf myself, I'm particularly fond of subtitles.  Generally
I go to opensubtitles.org or subscene.com for subtitles; they're both
pretty good.  I have seen glimpses of programs that automatically download
subtitles on-the-fly but I haven't seen one that works reliably yet.  I
keep one half-pooched ear on the ground for news on that..

My living room TV doesn't do a good job of offering subtitles from my media
server so I'm thinking about a system where I can automatically hard-code
subtitles into the shows' mkv file.  Handbrake or ffmpeg might do the job.

The WD Live TV does offer live streaming services, but they're optional
AFAIK.  I'm just interested in making a nice menu system so my wife can
watch her shows (via torrents) without having to navigate the server's FHS
to find anything.  Ideally a menu system similar to what we had with the
Bell TV, where she just has to look at a list of shows, select Show XYZ,
then select the episode.  All with big thumbnails and descriptions.  I
could build a dedicated server to do this but that might be overkill, and a
waste of real estate in the TV cabinet...

I'm trying to con the daughter's skinny boyfriend to crawl up into the
attic and help me string network cables to two of the bedrooms so we don't
have to rely on spotty wi-fi.

I'm waiting for the videos of Khalid's roof-walk before I decide on an
antenna for live news and sports TV (would it be appropriate to say "film
at 11" here?)

I'll keep the Roger's PAYG plan in mind, but I doubt the missus will go
along with that.  She hates Rogers!  Still, those rates make good fodder
for bartering with the other providers.

Thanks for your comments, though.  Some useful stuff there.  Especially the
one about Canada Computers.. any reason to go there is a good one!

On 28 April 2014 13:42, unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> wrote:

> Phone: Hands down, Roger's Pay As You Go, $100 card good for a year ->
> $8.33 per month. Add $0.01/minute eve & weekends. $3/month 30 txt usually
> covers it for me. I don't do data, but if I did, as mentioned, $10 will let
> you try and let you figure out your usage. The $10 more than a few times
> will blow your $100 for the year, but that's OK when just figuring things
> out. Currently my balance is in the $100 from unusage. (I don't much use it
> during the day, thus the $0.01/min eve & weekends.)
> Note: Bell typically CDMA, Rogers GSM, i.e. SIM card. If you have a SIM
> card in your current phone you'll be OK. Otherwise - kijiji. Especially for
> a phone with a keyboard, or factorydirect for a BB or something.
> From my quick peek, your WD Live is just another device looking for
> subscription $ to the services. If I've misunderstood something about it,
> let us know.
> For TV, I'd probably think about vmedia's box http://www.vmedia.ca/vbox/- I assume it would be substantially equivalent. Add in TV (no antenna
> futzing) http://www.vmedia.ca/tv/ if you like, or not. You'd need their
> internet if you get their TV, but from all I've seen their internet is the
> best plan out there. http://www.vmedia.ca/internet/
> - apparently Canada Computer has these boxes up and going in store, so you
> can go touch it / see it / check it out.
> What I will most bitterly lose when I lose basic cable tv is my pvr. Give
> me the darned content locally on my own devices. Let me fast forward past
> the darned commercials. (I'm not convinced even with their TV I'll be able
> to fast forward past any commercials, and I assume they have commercials,
> as hassle free as I can with my own pvr and local content.)
> I contacted them not long ago, and they confirm they now have pvr (cloud)
> functionality. Their web site may not have caught up to that info.
> The other thing I will want is closed captioning and/or descriptive video.
> Haven't sleuthed those aspects out yet.
> On 14-04-28 09:37 AM, CrankyOldBugger wrote:
>> Well the satellite TV is now gone (I have receivers for sale cheap!) and
>> the home phone is in the process of being ported to Ooma, so that leaves
>> me
>> with only one more Bell product to dump: Wifeski's cellphone.
>> What recommendations for non-Bell and non-Rogers cellphone providers do
>> you
>> guys have?
>> She is a low-volume cellphone user, mostly just calls home like "how do I
>> find Suchandsuch Street?"  She texts a little bit as well.  Data is
>> optional, but not necessary.
>> She'd like to keep her current cell phone as she likes the slide out
>> keyboard.
>> I'm on Telus myself, so there's an advantage to having her account merged
>> in with mine, but I'm open to suggestions on a smaller provider like those
>> guys who have kiosks in the mall if they have an unbeatable deal.
>> I've gone through the various company websites and I'm familiar with the
>> pricing structures, etc., but I was wondering if you guys had really good
>> or really bad experiences with any of the smaller companies like Koodoo,
>> Solo or Wind or whatever.
>> By the way, now that the satellite TV is gone, I'm seriously considering
>> Western Digital's Live TV box for Wifeski's TV.  It looks pretty good, and
>> as far as I can tell it's the best device for streaming the stuff I have
>> already downloaded to my servers, whereas devices like Roku or Chromecast
>> seem intent on selling you monthly subscriptions to Netflix, etc.  I'll
>> keep you guys informed as this progresses.
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