A cord cutting experiment

Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by lparsons21, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    On the 1st of September I decided to give cord cutting a try. I used that date as that was when my data cap counter reset for the month.
    I currently have Mediacom cable with owned Tivos. The bill for the TV portion with no premiums would be about $45 as I’m on a bundle deal for at least another year. The goal of the test was to determine if cord cutting was good enough for me and see if it would save me money.

    I subscribed to Sling Blue for $20 including their DVR service. That would rise to $30 after the first month. Sling worked fine and their UI wasn’t bad for live watching and not completely horrible for scheduling recordings. But ad skipping for the most part is just not there and I’ve gotten spoiled with TiVo’s auto ad-skipping. Blue had my ‘must have’ channels, but I figured out that if I stayed with cord cutting I would change to Orange+Blue w/DVR @$45/month. So the cable/OTT financials was a wash.

    While cord cutting would work for me, it wouldn’t be as convenient and easy as using TiVo’s with cable by a big margin. Auto ad-skipping, better channel guide, much better DVR and being able to use one UI all added up to a better experience IMO.

    I did notice that my internet data use was much higher. I knew it would be higher but didn’t think it would rise so quick. 12 days in I’ve used about 700Gb of a 2TB cap which means I would probably exceed the data cap at extra cost, or need to step up to the next level at a higher cost.

    When my cable bill goes up in a year I’ll revisit, but for now, I’ll stick with cable/tivo.


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  2. B. Shoe

    B. Shoe Mentor

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    I think this is a pretty fair argument for staying with cable. The data cap issue would be a constant worry on my end, especially during football and basketball seasons.
     
  3. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah, data caps are an issue. At my current home my choices are Mediacom, Wisper (WiFi), and Frontier DSL. Frontier is a non-starter as the best they can do here is 3Mb. Mediacom offers speeds up to 1Gb with data caps that are tied to the speed you subscribe to.

    Wisper offers up to 25Mb with no data caps for $100/month. Wisper would be doable in my home if the service was a little better. Talking to my neighbor that has them, it is a bit flakey. Usually works OK, but not so good for streaming as the speeds vary quite a bit over time. If their quality of service was better I would consider them if I cut the cord.


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  4. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    We have Optimum by Altice. No data caps that I know of. Yes, a 25 Mbps feed will not maintain 25 at times. My 300 Mbps feed rarely shows the full 300 down. On weekends it dips quite a bit at times.

    Rich
     
  5. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Mediacom has been rock solid and seldom slows down below the 200Mb I subscribe to. The data caps are troublesome though. I don’t need 200 at all, but if I drop to 100 the data cap drops too.

    One thing I didn’t mention is that in fiddling with various streamers I found some of the ad supported to be pretty darned good. Amazon’s imdb has a great picture and good audio with fewer ads than Hulu’s paid for ad subscription. Heck, it is even better audio and video than Hulu IMO. Pluto is good as are other ad supported ones.


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  6. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Don't see any reason to use any service that has commercials that you can't skip thru. But, I'm gonna take a look at IMDb. Perhaps there is a reason and I try not to be a blockhead...let me see what it looks like...yup, good picture, lots of content and commercials I can't skip thru. They don't have a way to pay to get rid of the commercials?

    Rich
     
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  7. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    You have to consider where you live and where I live. I think there's a lot more people online at any time in my area. I've always seen some dip in speed (not that it matters, really) during prime time for gamers and streamers.

    Rich
     
  8. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    No, it is strictly an ad supported streamer offered as a freebie from Amazon. And yes there are those ads, but they are fewer and further apart than some.

    The crappy part of streaming is that in all too many instances there isn’t any ad skipping except for SOME dvr’d stuff. I found that very irritating! Especially on paid streamers.


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  9. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Yep. I have 200/20 internet speed which is serious overkill for my needs. Even if it dipped it wouldn’t matter. If not for data cap levels tied to speed levels I would be good to go with less than 1/2 that!


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  10. crkeehn

    crkeehn Godfather

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    When ATT extended U-Verse into my neighborhood, I was able to add their gigapower service to my account for a sweetheart deal. It includes unlimited data. I found that with a son into gaming and streaming and a dad who is streaming only now, the extra bandwidth is appreciated. Currently, I subscribe to Youtube TV, which gets me the sports and local channels and Philo for my Hallmark Movies. :) There is some overlap between the two services but enough independent programming that justifies both in my opinion. it doesn't hurt that I signed up for Philo when the base service was $14 so I am currently continuing to pay that amount.

    Philo and YTTV is still considerably cheaper than I was paying for SD service with DirecTV and also provides me with HD service. It is also portable so I am able to take my programming with me when I travel. For me, cord cutting makes sense and is still affordable. Your mileage may vary.
     
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  11. B. Shoe

    B. Shoe Mentor

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    A few additional thoughts, as I'm now reaching a month of all-streaming service, and enjoying the discussions that take place in this section of the forum. Right now, cord cutting is the ultimate YMMV situation. The product isn't a success or failure if you're are/aren't satisfied with it, it's simply is or is not the right fit for you:
    • Are you willing to lose "must haves"? I made a few concessions switching to YTTV. And unless you're willing to subscribe to more than one service, you're likely losing something. I lost NFL Network, and other Viacom channels. (Albeit, I rarely watch MTV and Nickelodeon.) Anything else I lost switching to streaming wasn't considered a personal loss of content (See the constant discussions regarding the Hallmark suite in other posts/threads.) Would I like to have NFL Network? Yes. But I'll find a way around to access the few Thursday night and Saturday night games that are NFLN exclusive. I lost ESPN3 content just recently on YTTV. Do I miss having it? A little, but I'm surviving and doing fine. What can you live with/without, and what it is worth to you, to have that content. For my own mileage, I haven't really missed what I lost that much.
    • Are you open to learning a new system/means of viewing? Watching via streaming requires a little bit of non-conventional viewing habits from the past 15-20 years. You don't need a wholly elaborate DVR system, because accessing apps will have the on-demand content you need. But that requires swapping into a different app. Some people are okay with this shift, some aren't, or aren't willing to take the time to learn it. Again, not better or worse, just different tastes.
    • Does the cost justify the shift? As mentioned here, the package may be less, data caps could be a killer, depending on how many streams you're accessing at once and how often you're watching TV via streaming. Or are you simply a little better off and can financially pay for a higher priced product with no worries? Maybe it's not worth the hassle of setting everything up, relearning systems, etc.
    • Are you still getting locals? Blame it on my former day job, but man is it important to be able to have access to local channels. Whether that's via antenna, maybe the stations stream local newscasts...you've gotta have a means to get that local information. For my market, YTTV was the only streamer that provided all four broadcast networks. That was one of the last hurdles for me to make the jump.
     
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  12. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    For me locals were fairly easy. I can get them all except for CBS. But I sub to CBS All Access to that isn’t an issue. Local news I get either from ABC which is located in the next town over, or online.

    The TV in my home is on if I’m awake, often just as noise in the house. This is probably the biggest reason I see bumping over the data cap limit on my current subscription. I could change what I do but don’t want to, or at least not yet.

    The biggest single irritant to all streaming is the blasted ads and lack of being able to skip them. Since cable TV is so close to the cost of streaming right now, it isn’t worth the hassle of changing IMO.


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  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I think if we made the differences between cable replacement services and streaming video services a bit clearer it would make this easier to understand. I don't remember seeing any video streaming service that had/has commercials, but we happily pay for the upgraded services such as Hulu without commercials. I would consider IMDb a streaming video service and with no way to opt out of commercials I wouldn't bother with it. I did find it interesting but...

    Rich
     
  14. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I understand that. I do run a speed test from time to time and I can see the dip from 300 down to a bit less than that at prime time for gamers and streamers but that has absolutely no adverse effect on us.

    Rich
     
  15. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Everybody's mileage varies when it comes to streaming. So many ways to do it.

    Rich
     
  16. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I haven't watched a local channel for anything but sports in years. I don't think I'm missing anything. I get your point tho. I had a job where I had to watch the weather in the winter closely. I had The Weather Channel in my office. I depended on it. Now I get better forecasts on my phone. Same thing with news.

    Rich
     
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  17. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah the cable replacement services generally are going to have ads and unfortunately, rather poor ad skipping if any at all.

    In the other streamers it has always been a mixed bag. Netflix and Amazon Prime don’t have ads, virtually all the rest do. The only 2 services with ads on their lowest tier with no or restricted ads on higher tiers is Hulu and CBS All Access. There may be others but I don’t know of any.


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  18. Rich

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    Both Hulu and CBS AA are top tier video streamers here. I'll do anything to avoid commercials.

    Rich
     
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  19. espaeth

    espaeth AllStar

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    One other benefit I don't see discussed much: in addition to avoiding commercials on Hulu or CBS AA, you also get to skip overlay graphics on your local channels for things like weather alerts or school closings. (useful info if you're watching live, not so much when you're watching days after the fact)
     
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  20. mjwagner

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    Huh? I’ve been using PSVue for the last 2+ years, don’t watch commercials and never had an issue FFing thru the commercials on any programs we watch...maybe I’m just special...:cool:
     
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