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Cutting The Cord on Cable/Satellite TV Service?

Discussion in 'BYTE ME: Technology discussion' started by LoweTek, May 29, 2009.

  1. rguilmar

    rguilmar lurker

    Messages:
    156
    I actually added the ESPN app which I’ve really liked to supplement FuboTV since my two big loves are soccer and college football. The ESPN app gives me access to all Serie A soccer games along with ABC sports coverage (ABC isn’t on FuboTV). Plus it has all of the 30 for 30s.

    It’s almost embarrassing how many soccer games I don’t watch due to lack of time on a weekly basis because of this setup.
     
  2. Vinho Tinto

    Vinho Tinto Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    5,370
    I’ve tried nearly all of the online services. Started using YouTubeTV this weekend and it’s the one I’m going to stick with. Like the UI, DVR, and that most of the channels we watch are on it. Will be paying $60 less per month from our old cable bill.
     
  3. garlan5

    garlan5 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,436
    We've been cordless for a year. I love it, wife hates it. Constantly complaining that it's too difficult to watch stuff. We have a firestick in one room and mii box in the other room. Both work about the same and I use my parents directv login info and I can access any network app that uses directv log in. The firestick and mi box sometimes need to be restarted and unplugged but most of the time everything works well. ESPN app has gotten better in the last six months. Originally live sports on espn would hang up even with 25mps speed. TBS app was a pain in the ass during the world series with loading up. Lots of lagging and my mii box kept video was behind the sound. Anyone with these issues?

    Also, what would be my best option to get red sox games for next year? I'm seeing playstation vue and youtube tv as possible options but i dont know the pros or cons. I do have a playstation 4 but dont know if there is any bonus for having one and using vue.

    What type of setup is best for using a dvr as well? I got rid of the dvr when we left directv.

    Thanks

    edit: i should add i'm in Virginia. I've read the cord cutter guide to nesn and it seems being out of local area it might cost more for vue. Does using ipvanish change anything as far as coverage goes?
     
    #953 garlan5, Nov 12, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  4. LoweTek

    LoweTek Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,303
    You can subscribe to HBO and most of the premium channels through Amazon Prime Video. I have Showtime from them on my Roku and it's lower cost than other outlets.
     
  5. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

    Messages:
    19,556
    So I've had YouTube TV for like 6 months now. Overall it is great.

    Recently, however, I have noticed some ever so slight skipping when watching through my Sony "smart" TV. I have the app downloaded on the TV, no Roku or anything like that. I don't think the issue is my internet or router, as I don't have the same issue when watching on my phone or laptop. So my question is, is it likely the smart TV / app that is the problem? And therefore I should get a Roku or whatever? Thanks in advance.
     
  6. bigq

    bigq Member SoSH Member

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    1,749
    I tried a seven day free trial via Roku and really liked it. Primarily watched sports. I was impressed with video and audio quality and do not recall any skipping issues.
     
  7. jayhoz

    jayhoz Ronald Bartel Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    14,914
    Family acceptance was a key criteria for me cutting the cord. I've had zero pushback from my wife and kids with the following setup.

    Roku Device on all TVs
    Youtube TV
    Youtube
    Netflix
    Amazon Prime
    Media Library accessible via PLEX

    I think the key is consistency, reliability, and ease of use. Having a consistent and stable interface accross all the sets (Roku) is important. Switching between all the apps is as simple as hitting the home button on the remote and clicking the desired app. I don't think having to switch from app to app just to watch content from different networks would fly in my household either. YoutubeTV presents you with a nice lineup of channels including local outlets. Youtube TV also seems like it would solve your TBS and ESPN issues. NESN is also available on Youtube TV, but not in VA. You'd need to trick the Roku into thinking it was in MA or sign up for MLBTV which is also supported on Roku.
     
  8. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

    Messages:
    19,556
    Yeah I have a Roku for my non-smart TV and it works fine, just didn't think I needed one for my Sony since the YouTube TV app is already installed... wondering if switching to the stick will improve performance... it's not an issue with Netflix, or Prime Video... just YouTube TV... so wondering what the root of the problem is.
     
  9. Zedia

    Zedia Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,264
    I’m dealing with a similar problem with my TCL Roku tv - bad picture through the TV via wireless, but it works fine with Ethernet or through a separate Roku box. Still trying to get TCL to give me a new TV.

    If you do get a separate Roku to work with your smart TV, make sure it has the same capabilities. My old Roku box works good as a temp fix for my Roku TV, but it doesn’t do HDR.

    Also, YouTube TV has a “stats for nerds” button (on the drop down menu where you access the live guide/CC, etc.). It will show your connection speed, dropped frames, and other stuff.
     
  10. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

    Messages:
    19,556
    Thanks. Yeah, I will have to get the Plus I think or whatever it is called to match the 4K TV.
     
  11. Fratboy

    Fratboy Mr. MENsa Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    14,147
    What's your cost savings versus your cable provider?

    Now that I've got my Pixel 3, I'm cutting off the landline, and I'd like to do the same with cable over the winter. My two necessities are VH1 and NESN.
     
  12. finnVT

    finnVT Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,757
    I can't speak for jayhoz, but since I was in a similar situation...

    Had FIOS and bill had crept up to ~$200/mo, plus netflix and amazon prime. Dropped FIOS for a comcast internet-only plan at $50 (will switch back to fios internet only at some point when this goes up) + youtube tv $40 + hulu $10(ish?), for about $100/mo savings. Which looks really good, but is potentially offset if:
    - If we hadn't already had netflix/amazon prime (which would have cut another ~$30 into that savings had we been signing up anew)
    - If we had really worked at streamlining our FIOS bill, either by cutting back on cable boxes (which were a ridiculous $40/mo), or by canceling and signing up under another name for the new customer discount
    - If we hadn't already had 3 rokus

    So there are potentially other ways we could have saved some portion of that $100/mo, or other expenses that would have cut into it if we didn't already have them. But for the situation we were in, it's a pretty dramatic savings, and, IMO, a MUCH better product/user experience than cable.
     
  13. jayhoz

    jayhoz Ronald Bartel Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    14,914
    I have not pulled the trigger on canceling my fios cable yet. I wanted to make sure that the cord cutting exercise would stick with the family. I'm ready to pull the trigger I just need to give them a call and pick the right Internet only plan.
     
  14. bean8282

    bean8282 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    486
    My brother currently has a Verizon FiOS triple play bundle and wants to cut the cord. He wants to use his own Archer router instead of the Verizon provided router. The ONT is in the garage. What's the best way to set up the network using his own router? Will he need a MOCA bridge? Is it possible to continue to have internet signal at the coax cable ports in the various rooms as he currently does? Thanks for any guidance.
     
  15. cgori

    cgori Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,276
    Probably need multiple MOCA adapters (one per room that you want to hook things up to, plus one in the garage).

    In the garage:
    Verizon ONT <-- ethernet cable --> Archer router <--- ethernet cable ---> MOCA <--- coax cable --> Jack/splitter setup for coax in house

    In each room that needs networking:
    coax jack <-- coax cable --> MOCA box <--- ethernet ---> whatever device(s)

    This guy had a similar setup to what your brother is trying to do, my (crappy) diagrams basically show what he landed on in the end:
    https://forums.verizon.com/t5/Fios-Internet/FIOS-ONT-Ethernet-and-MOCA-Network/td-p/866017
    (note the important point is to not hook up the MOCA in the garage to the ONT coax port - you use an ethernet port off the router to connect the MOCA bridge)

    The Archer router will provide wifi too - maybe that's obvious. Depending on the floorplan of the house he might need a wifi extender or whole-house wifi system.

    Temps in the garage for the router (or MOCA bridge) could be an issue, depending on where he lives.

    I think you want the standard Actiontec MOCA bridges (https://www.actiontec.com/products/home-networking/ecb6200/ or similar)
     
    #965 cgori, Dec 16, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  16. bean8282

    bean8282 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    486
    That's great info cgori. Thanks for taking the time to respond with such helpful advice.
     
  17. Dernells Casket n Flagon

    Dernells Casket n Flagon Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,146
    A few additional notes: He'll likely need to call Verizon and make them enable the ONT ethernet when he gets the cord as by default it is not enabled.

    How new is his house? Any chance that it's already wired with ethernet? (Mine was built in 2009 and had phone jacks in most rooms, but all the phone jacks were actually CAT 5e using only two wires) Ethernet would be a superior and cheaper than a MOCA set up.

    Also, depending on proximity to the house the Archer router in the garage might be a waste of an expensive router. He could connect a cheaper wired only router (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod...networks_er_x_edgerouter_x_5_port_single.html) or cheaper wifi router and set up the Archer centrally in the house

    Additionally, based on the set up that cgori recommended there's no requirement for it to be MOCA. You could also use powerline networking (assuming compatibility; i.e. ground line), which would make any electrical outlet a Wifi Hotspot or ethernet bridge: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-powerline-networking-kit/ Powerline tend to also be cheaper than MOCA as well.

    Slight modification of cgori's diagram:

    In the garage:
    Verizon ONT <-- ethernet cable --> Wired Ethernet/Cheap Router <-- ethernet cable --> MOCA/Power line Adapter <--- coax cable/power line --> Power Outlet/Jack/splitter setup for coax in house

    Some Centrally located room:
    coax jack/power outlet <-- coax cable/power line --> MOCA/Power line Adapter <--- ethernet ---> Archer Router <---- ethernet ----> whatever device(s)

    In each room that needs networking:
    coax jack/power outlet <-- coax cable/power line --> MOCA/Power line Adapter <--- ethernet ---> whatever device(s)
     
  18. bean8282

    bean8282 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    486
    Also very useful info Dernell. Thanks!
     
  19. cgori

    cgori Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,276
    Just saw the update, was traveling for holidays. Dernell’s point about Verizon activating the ONT Ethernet is a good one, plus the router placement idea too.

    If coax splitters have to be used in any room (don’t think that is the case here), I think you need them to be 1650MHz, but I am not completely sure about that, a little bit of uncharted waters for me. Try to avoid if you can.

    Also, if he centrally mounts the archer router, make sure that whatever goes in the garage is actually a router (i.e. has NAT firewalling) or else the MOCA devices would be sitting “naked” on the Verizon side which is not good.

    Last point - there’s something to be said for using a higher-throughput router in the garage because all of the traffic for the whole house is transiting that one device (in aggregate) so if you have a performance bottleneck it will likely be there. Some cheap routers can’t actually pass full speed traffic on a gig Ethernet port when they are routing / NAT’ing. (Cheaper routers can only switch the local traffic at full line rate, but not pass through to the uplink/downlink at full gigabit rates.) I believe people recommend the Ubiquiti Edge Router (Lite or X) for exactly this use but I have never used one.

    Here’s an article talking about some of the challenges with WAN-to-LAN speeds (If you turn on QoS or parental controls the performance of most things, including the ubiquity it turns out, goes in the crapper): https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lan...-to-find-the-best-router-for-gigabit-internet
     
    #969 cgori, Dec 22, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
  20. Rancho Relaxo

    Rancho Relaxo Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    211
    Not sure if this is the right place, but I’d love some help. Our Samsung TV (forget the model) intermittently picks up only a portion of the channels it normally did. What typically happens is we get one of multiple sub channels. For example, I may get the the main NBC feed for all four channels. Then, randomly (at the evening?) things sometimes pop back to normal. If I rescan the channels, we pretty much lose all of them. We’ve run two separate antennas. The only variable I can see is the time of year or that maybe something in the TV went wonky. Or maybe some piece of electronics is interfering. I’d love to figure this out soon — my stepmom is coming to town and her one wish is to watch the Rose Bowl Parade.

    I suppose that if there are good online options for that, I’d love to hear that, too. We have a Roku and Apple TV.

    Thanks a ton.
     
  21. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

    Messages:
    17,112
    I’d just plan a trial week of one of the streaming services - YouTubeTV, DirecTVNow, Sling, Vue, etc - for that week. All of them offer a free two week test run.
     
  22. LoweTek

    LoweTek Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,303
    Sounds like a a loose cable connection somewhere or possibly a misbehaving signal amp. I've never heard of a tuner flaking like you describe.
     
  23. redsoxedmunds24

    redsoxedmunds24 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    815
    Trying to decide on my options now for service. Not sure about some of the streaming services as of yet but not satisfied with the prices I’m being quoted with Comcast. I understand calling retentions to cancel service gets the best deals to keep you as they have more power to make offers but which department is best when signing up a new account? Should I still get myself pushed through to retentions and see if they can give me any add ons or better deals?
     
  24. Green (Tongued) Monster

    Green (Tongued) Monster lurker

    Messages:
    525
    I am guessing this was covered earlier in the thread, but I was hoping for some updated feedback of youtube tv vs direct tv now. I am an existing Comcast subscriber paying over 200 per month and am super overdue for cutting the cord. I have young children so I am hoping to find a nice balance of kids tv and sports packages. Any pros/cons with youtube tv vs direct tv now?

    Also, is there any way of getting NESN in PA without tricking roku to thinking you have a MA zip code? If not, I will need to add mlb tv. Any other suggestions or tips are welcome. Thanks in advance.
     
  25. garlan5

    garlan5 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,436
    In regards to NESN (only care about Sox games)- I have IP Vanish. Can i set the zip to MA on my ipvanish and trick the server to show there? That would be a godsend. I've had nesn on directv before but they always blacked out sox games. Am in the same boat here?

    I'm going to pull the trigger on the youtube tv I think unless someone can tell me why the playstation vue is better option
     
  26. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

    Messages:
    17,112
    All of the streaming offer a couple weeks of free trial. Test drive each and see what each has to offer to your preference. Channel options, packages, interface, premium channels.

    I much preferred the interface and functionality on directvnow to the others when combined with hbo is only $5 but that might not be the same way you feel. They also have tiers so - for instance - I can bump up during golf season to get Golf Channel and then drop back down if I want. Downside they’re still working out the kinks and though they figured out dvr, pausing still is clunky and often doesn’t work.

    I seem like Vue is best overall packaged but I hated the interface on roku and I’d have had to add hbo go for $15 separately. I’ve heard it’s better on other devices but it drove me nuts.

    Honestly we’d probably it all together if not for sports. We do prime, Netflix, Hulu and most stuff we have time to watch is on those. But the streaming subscription lets into a lot more access on a lot of stand alone apps for networks.

    I wouldn’t waste too much time with retention at Comcast. I was in same boat and spent multiple calls, online chats and visits to local office and was basically told to pound sand. They suck. When I had traditional directv it was easy as pie. Xfinty? No they’re dicks.
     
  27. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

    Messages:
    17,112
    As noted just try them out. It’s definitely a change to adjust but just see what works best for you and look at packages. All matters on what channels you want and what features. Any of them give you a two week trial and even behind that you cancel anytime, there’s no contract.
     
  28. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,785
    I'm pretty sure the VPN thing would work provided you do it from a desktop - but definitely try it on the free trial first to see.

    The way YouTube tv works, you go into settings and you set the location that it has as your "home area" based on where you are connecting from. If you then leave the home area you can still get nesn and other local sports networks but you won't get the cbs/fox/etc until you return to the home area.
     
  29. garlan5

    garlan5 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,436
    looks like my only inhouse device that supports youtube tv is in my den with a mi box (android). which is fine because ipvanish works on that and i can get an ip address anywhere i set it. firestick in main living room wont mesh with yttv. Thought the tv is a smartv but not certain yet if it will download the app- online says it must be 2016 or newer.

    back to what you were saying, there is an option to change my location zipcode within the youtube tv app? I was worried i would have to set it once and not allowed to change. cant wait to get home to test it.
     
  30. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

    Messages:
    17,112
    I’m not supporting piracy but anything like a fire or chrome is easy enough to add kodi on and then a vpn.
     
  31. garlan5

    garlan5 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,436
    had it on fire and mi box- live streams on sports never worked right. movies and tv galore. wife never figured it out and i got tired of constantly updating etc. I'd rather have a provider like the yttv, dtv, or vue.. i realize using vpn around to get sox games is questionable but damn, i'm paying for the service. i'm giving up the shitty redskins or nationals service i would get in my area for some sox games
     
  32. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,785
    Yes, you can change the home location it's set to but only a certain number of times (I think twice per year).

    You don't actually need ip vanish on the MI box or whatever you're using to hook up to your TV because you can view nesn just fine from outside the home location.

    You do need to do the initial step of setting the home location from a desktop/laptop or something not Android because in the case of Android it uses location services, not the IP, to read the location.
     
  33. garlan5

    garlan5 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,436
    I'm on the free trial. Nesn isn't in my lineup. I am assuming I'll have to go to laptop and change location zip there
     
  34. garlan5

    garlan5 Member SoSH Member

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    2,436
    Ok I got it. I had to add a chrome extension for a geolocation blocker and set it to a fixed location in Mass. It doesn't use the ip address. Well it might not not but itself. I tried using ipvanish set to Boston address and it wouldn't work. Once I set geolocation it worked. I didn't try it without ipvanish sk I'm not certain if it looks at both.

    Edit. I had to do that work on the lap top and set my home based on tricking it to think I was in mass. Successfully have nesn on mi box in living room.
     
  35. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    3,785
    Glad it worked! I think you'll have to re-sign in from the home area once every 3 months now according to YouTube.
     
  36. garlan5

    garlan5 Member SoSH Member

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    2,436
    well i have boston as set as my home currently as i verified it as home geolocation with the chrome extension. My wife wont be happy since the local stations are now boston. I prob should have left it alone until april but oh well
     
  37. garlan5

    garlan5 Member SoSH Member

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    2,436
    Will say the one downfall so far with youtube tv is the ads when watching from your library aka DVR. Watching shark tank and every time I skip past the bs stuff I have to endure 6min ads. I watched 6min worth then it was done a wanted to skip a few secs of fluff it made me watch another 6min add
     
  38. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,785
    It does that with some networks, most of them you can choose if you want to watch the on demand (with forced commercials) or DVR (you can fast forward) version, but you have to drill down into the episode list for the show to see the different versions.
     
  39. garlan5

    garlan5 Member SoSH Member

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    2,436
    Maybe I was watching a new episode. Over all very impressed
     
  40. finnVT

    finnVT Member SoSH Member

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    1,757
    My impression is close to Joe Sixpack's, but not that it's network dependent, rather that the long ads were when you were watching something "on demand", i.e., a show you hadn't previously added to your library, but that if you had added it to your library before it aired, then you're watching the dvr'd version and get the ads it aired with (which you can fast forward through). Admittedly they make it hard to tell whether you're watching an on demand version or a dvr'd version.
     
  41. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,785
    I've noticed for NBC shows, even if added to the DVR library, they only allow you to view the On Demand version for about a week after it airs. Not sure if that's done with any other networks, I've only noticed it on NBC so far.
     
  42. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

    Messages:
    19,556
    Not true. I watched a Good Place episode last night from early December and it was the DVR version, not On Demand.
     
  43. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,785
    Read my post again - it's within a week or so after it airs.

    I don't usually watch scripted TV right away so I tend to notice it whenever I want to watch SNL, since it's one of the few network shows I watch the next day or pretty close to airing.
     
  44. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

    Messages:
    19,556
    Oh gotcha sorry I reversed it in my mind - read it as only the On Demand version was available after a week.
     
  45. finnVT

    finnVT Member SoSH Member

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    1,757
    I watched last night's new episode of the good place a few hours after it aired and was able to fast forward through ads.
     
  46. glennhoffmania

    glennhoffmania but still failing Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    8,395,978
    I'm starting to seriously look into cutting the cord. My biggest concerns are that we watch many channels so the lineup is key, we use DVR all the time, and we use on demand a lot for my kid. It seems that Directv Now has pretty much everything we need now that they have a DVR, although it has a 30 day limit. I've read that they've improved the performance as well.

    But what does it mean when it says a channel is only VOD? ABC and NBC seem to be VOD only- does that mean we could wait months to see something that's on those networks?

    Besides that if our goal is to get a service that's closest to regular cable in terms of number of channels, DVR, and on demand are they the current best bet?
     
  47. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,785
    VOD you can watch stuff right away but with forced commercials you can't skip so not actually the "recorded" version.

    I like YouTube tv, there is no time limit or space limit on the DVR (that I can tell) - I have stuff from last year's Celtics still on there. I haven't tried DTV Now so I couldn't tell you how it compares, but I've found it to be better than both PS Vue and Sling.
     
  48. glennhoffmania

    glennhoffmania but still failing Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,395,978
    I've read good things about YouTube but the channel lineup seems limited. There are at least 3 or 4 that my wife and daughter love that aren't offered. I think the only way I can sell this plan to them is if I can convince them that they won't lose anything.

    Can I assume that with any of these services I still couldn't get NESN since I live in NY?
     
  49. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,785
    You could if you follow post #982 above, but you would have to either 1) always use VPN to put your location in Massachusetts any time you watch stuff, or 2) not have local broadcast networks when you use the service out of your "home" (in this case MA) network location. That's for YouTube tv anyway.
     
  50. glennhoffmania

    glennhoffmania but still failing Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,395,978
    Ah thanks. That could be problematic. I'd probably still get mlb.tv so this is a secondary issue. All I know is I'm sick of Spectrum's shitty service and constantly rising prices and I want to dump them.
     

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