08 Aug

Cord Cutting Story along with getting NFL Game Pass & Red Zone

You’ve heard this term as of recently due to the disputes with AMC + Dishnetwork and Viacom + DirectTV “Cord Cutting”

Definition – What does Cord Cutting mean?

Cord cutting refers to the process of cutting expensive cable connections in order to change to a low-cost TV channel subscription through over-the-air (OT) free broadcast through an antenna, or over-the-top (OTT) broadcast over the Internet. Cord cutting is a growing trend that is adversely affecting the cable industry.

Netflix, Apple TV and Hulu are some of the popular broadcasting services that encourage cord cutting. The cord cutting concept received a considerable amount of recognition beginning in 2010 as more Internet solutions became available. These broadcasters have convinced millions of cable and satellite subscribers to cut their cords and change to video streaming.

In the last 6 months I’ve spent most of my free time converting a spare low powered computer into my home’s very own Home Theater PC and Storage Server. This has been a trial and error process of finding which applications work well with the requirements that i have set which is basic ” Easy to follow UI , Remote Control Friendly, HD Quality and easy for my Girlfriend to Understand” . I’ve toyed around with Windows Media Center at 1st it seem to support my USB remote control but when it came time to play some mp4 or mkv’s i notice it would attempt to play but then fail. 2nd attempt with Xbmc – while at 1st it looks like it can be the end-all solution i learned at 1st when attempting to build Htpc you have to organize your media if its not organized you’ll won’t be able to enjoy all the features built into xbmc.  Getting the Media on the PC was the 1st step – I’ve always been a fan of the Usenet’s as its always been reliable source for obtaining Movies, Music and Tv Shows without the hassles of Torrents. Looking around various Cord Cutting Forums and Sites like Redit i‘ve discovered a neat little tool called “Sickbeard” which kinda reminds me of a web-based Tivo/PVR scheduler so once I got that all set up  and punched in the tv shows i enjoyed watching there were a few that I no longer could watch since dropping all premium  channels and going with basic over the air channels.

Granted I won’t be able to watch it when it airs but I can catch up on other things around the house and then watch my shows at a better time.  So far things have been great but one thing i will miss from having Satellite TV which was NFL Network & NFL RedZone channel – being a Die Hard NFL and NY Jets Fan so I’ve been researching this for a while and discovered by pure accident the NFL Gamepass which the NFL offers for those folks in Europe, Asia and South America. Think of it as the DirectTV version of the NFL Package where you’re able to watch all your games with features such as RedZone & Quad Screen which allows you to watch 4 different Games at the same time.

But one catches  you have to live outside of the United States to take advantage of this – it’s paid for service which I have no issues paying for it but due to licensing issues with Major Broadcasters and DirectTV I can see why the NFL isn’t doing this in the US.  So how do i work around this well this Summer’s Olympics I was super ticked how NBC was handling its Coverage so I read up on technique that a co-worker a few years ago mention to me of how he was able to watch out-of- market baseball games using a Dedicated Server and VPN   so i tried this out found myself i checked out the fine folks at StrongVPN they offer a vpn service with various servers across the globe its especially useful these days especially when your in country’s like China where your internet connection is blocked it comes in handy.  I signed up for yearly VPN standard Package which offers basic pptp & openvpn options which comes in handy with any mobile device or computer.

After signing up I got my welcome email which included links to download a VPN Client for the OpenVPN option along with user+pass for the PPTP option following few of the How to’s on strongvpn site I was up and running on UK Based VPN and able to watch the BBC iplayer Olympics Coverage which by far was the best it was lived and allowed me to scroll back to events I wasn’t able to watch due to the time differences. But this solved the key thing to my NFL dilemma  if i hopped on a German Based VPN i would be able to get NFL Network, Red Zone and my Games from the confront of my home without having to run out a get Directting expensive satellite tv service for it. So i went out a bought a PrePaid credit card for the amount to cover my NFL Subscription which was $200 for the year which included Archives, Redzone, Quad Screen, Nfl Network, Condensed Games all the fun stuff the nfl offers with this subscription. So I signed up while connected via the German VPN and  a few minutes later i had a welcome email from gamepass by nfl with my username + password so i connected and launched the game player which has HD quality streaming  i was streaming NFL network and so far no glitches few buffers but so far its good so i‘m looking forward to watching the nfl this year on this platform.