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Old 20th Nov 2012, 12:49   #1
dave_c
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save money and stream TV and phone?

hey, im trying to think of ways to cut house hold bills and the first thing that came to mind was my Virgin media stuff.

i currently pay about 45 a month for TV (basically freeview + sky 1), Broadband(10mb) and phone(free evening and weekends)

i was wondering if I were to purchase a decent media centre PC for in my living room and get a better internet connection i could:
a: pay for unlimited skype phone (4.59p p/m)
b: use the media centre PC to stream TV (iv found a few free sites)

i recon this would make my monthly bill approx 20 for all 3.

so i could get rid of the phone and TV package and get a better internet connection to allow for more usage

would just like a few opinions on:

1. what is the best place/best piece of software to stream freeview TV? (preferably HD)
2. is skype as good call quality wise?
3. is this a good idea or am i missing something?

thanks, longer post than i thought it would be
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 12:50   #2
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How much are you planning to spend on the media PC?
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Old 20th Nov 2012, 12:54   #3
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How much are you planning to spend on the media PC?
dont know, havent bought one before will probably do a self build one for 500ish (big on the ish there)
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 12:23   #4
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no one?
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 13:11   #5
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do you own a mobile ? if so why bother with a landline

30mb broadband with virgin is 22.50 a month on its own and is now the lowest option (its also the cheapest broadband pretty much & please people dont reply with that free talk talk crap either)

use freeview + iplayer, 4od, itv one etc etc (all free)

you could look at a mediacentre and they dont need to be that powerful - get a nice case and pick up some 2nd hand components on here job done.

Ive built mine brand new for less than 400 and that includes an SSD and 2TB storage drive.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 13:25   #6
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Originally Posted by adam_bagpuss View Post
do you own a mobile ? if so why bother with a landline

30mb broadband with virgin is 22.50 a month on its own and is now the lowest option (its also the cheapest broadband pretty much & please people dont reply with that free talk talk crap either)

use freeview + iplayer, 4od, itv one etc etc (all free)

you could look at a mediacentre and they dont need to be that powerful - get a nice case and pick up some 2nd hand components on here job done.

Ive built mine brand new for less than 400 and that includes an SSD and 2TB storage drive.
yer i wanted to use mobiles but the misses wants landline.

what talk talk crap? have i missed something? i have virgin at the moment and only get 10mb (which is actually closer to 1.5 despite the junction box being basically outside my house)

the only issue with freeview is that we dont have an ariel at the moment and are in a low reception area (which sux)


You dont recommend skype as a land line then?
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 13:39   #7
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Dave are you on cable though.
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 21:53   #8
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Dave are you on cable though.
yer I am mate.
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 22:50   #9
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It would probably just be easier to use a freeview hd box, and I think you can get skype phones but I haven't looked into it that much.

Just be aware, you do need a tv license to legally watch iplayer etc.
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 22:52   #10
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Why stream TV though, get a freeview card and you're ready for TV (i've used indoor aerial previously)

My living room HTPC is using 2nd hand parts, a 15 HDMI gfx card and a small HDD, everything streams from a storage PC, even have a bedroom HTPC again with basic PC.

Reckon you could do one for 150 easily
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 09:25   #11
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 09:57   #12
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"currently pay about 45 a month for TV (basically freeview + sky 1), Broadband(10mb) and phone(free evening and weekends)"

seems you are being robbed by virgin there mate

I pay 44 for
60Mb broadband
large TV package
phone (talk weekends)

it would be 39 if I paid via Direct Debit.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 11:21   #13
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You can't save money by streaming freeview. It's already free.

You can't save money by streaming Sky 1, you'll have to pay for it no matter how you receive it.

It it doesn't matter how you watch TV you will of course still need a TV licence.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 11:34   #14
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Whenever we needed to cut a household bill we usauly just booted sky in to touch for a few months. Advantage of not having everything combined.

If you threaten to leave virgin they will offer you a better deal more than you are likely to save.

Spending 500 on a htpc sounds like a bad idea. As it will take you at least 2 years to save cash, So long term it might be a decent idea but short term your down 500 on money it sounds like you dont have.

And a higher internet connection may not be viable if your in a cable area there is only 1 major cable provider in england. You will still end up spending around 35 for a phone line ( which is required )And an internet line + skype.

Cant get fixed line internet without a phone line in the uk unless your going cable. In which case they will sell you the phone line as part of the deal wether you want it or not.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 13:42   #15
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What about freesat, could you get better reception with a satellite dish, rather than going with an aerial. Those kits even pop up in lidl for like 90 satellite and box included.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 15:10   #16
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Do you really need "posh" TV? What do you watch? I think most people like having it and yet hardly use it.

For me I use BT infinity BB and Lovefilm, with freeview for live TV which frankly is a waste but I've got the equipment and asides for the cost of a TV license it free.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 21:56   #17
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tbh couldn't give a rats about sky1 as i inly watch it for Simpsons when there is nothing else on anyway.

ill take a closer look at getting virgin to reduce our bill or up our net for same price. have been on a 2 year contract with them and it is coming to an end 1st of Jan.

Im thinking of just dropping the TV and getting a super arial (**** reception here) and getting a decent freeview box.
will have to keep the phone and broadband tho. no one else even seems to offer it in my area.
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 23:15   #18
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I'm surprised no one mentions voip or is it really not popular at all in the uk? I've been using it for years now and am happy with the 1p a min. to normal uk landlines and a lot of international numbers any time of the day, no connection charge and billed by the second . The only downside I can think of is you have no phone when the broadband is down but then that's what the mobile is for.
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Old 24th Nov 2012, 17:54   #19
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it doesn't matter how you watch TV you will of course still need a TV licence.
You don't need a tv licence if you just use catch-up services



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Old 24th Nov 2012, 18:01   #20
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You don't need a tv licence if you just use catch-up services



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very difficult to prove that your just using catch-up services
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