A cord cutting experiment

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

  1. Sep 17, 2019 #61 of 168
    B. Shoe

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    How is streaming confusing? I've had it for one month, and it's now as common place to me to watch TV as anything I was used to previously with my satellite provider. I'm far from defending a consumer choice, but moreso explaining my experience for those interesting in making the switch.

    We're talking about switching apps and finding content to watch on TV, it's not really rocket science.
     
  2. Sep 17, 2019 #62 of 168
    lparsons21

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    The confusion comes from multiple providers, all with their own unique UI and shows. A possible example was watching a series but hadn’t finished it. Later decided to go back to it. Which service was I using? Netflix, Amazon, Pluto and the list goes on.
    With cable/sat and a dvr, it doesn’t matter as it is there in my list of shows to watch.
    But you’re right, it isn’t rocket science, but it is a bit irritating.


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  3. Sep 17, 2019 #63 of 168
    Rich

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    You understood the benefits of streaming quickly. Most people are gonna be overwhelmed at first and if they don't take the time to figure it out...well, that causes posts like the one you replied to.

    Rich
     
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  4. Sep 17, 2019 #64 of 168
    Rich

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    Patience, Lloyd, patience.

    Rich
     
  5. Sep 17, 2019 #65 of 168
    B. Shoe

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    You're right, and it's probably a little uncouth of me to reply in that way. But the concept from some people that watching TV via streaming is like trying to decipher the clues in "National Treasure" is just a tad over the top.

    It shouldn't be viewed as a 'mess', but a different system of viewing.
     
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  6. Sep 17, 2019 #66 of 168
    lparsons21

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    Fortunately there are some steps in the right direction going on. Apple’s TV app is one as is the Roku app. The idea is to make one app to play videos from different sources transparently. We’re not quite there yet and may never get there.

    I’ve not used the Roku app, but I have used the Apple one quite a bit. There are basically 2 things going on with it.
    Scenario #1 : You subscribe to the ‘channel’, like HBO or others, through Apple and videos play as if they are native to the app.

    Scenario #2: You get something that is subscribed in a different way, but is compatible with the Apple TV app. You pick the video and the app launches the appropriate streamer to play what you selected. If you pick a video that is available on multiple platforms that are supported, it gives you the option to pick which one you want to use.

    Not perfect by a long shot, but a very good step in the right direction, IMO.


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  7. Sep 18, 2019 #67 of 168
    vfourmax

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    Actually I find that the streaming option consolidates all of my tv watching into one device. When I had satellite tv if I wanted to watch say an Amazon "prime" show I had to switch sources from the satellite box to the firestick and change remotes to use a different device to view the programming. Now I incorporate all those services to be viewed through 1 device (I have a firestick) all using the same remote. I click on just the "home" button on the firestick remote and I can switch to a different streaming service and not have to play the musical chairs with devices and sources or remotes.

    I sort of find that is much less complicated than needing to have multiple devices and remotes and switching the source that you are sending to the screen to be able to view the programming. As far as which service was you watching something on remembering that is no different than remembering which channel the show is on on the satellite service.
     
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  8. Sep 18, 2019 #68 of 168
    the2130

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    What package are those channels part of? I've had the HD Extra package since it was first offered, but I don't see it on my bill now. I would have dropped it a long time ago, but my wife watches the Hallmark Movies channel (565) all the time. Looking at the program guide, I see that all of the channels in that range (562-570) are grayed except for 565. I'm fine with not getting or paying for those channels, but why am I still getting 565 and not the others? I have the Premier package, which I've had all along. Does that include 565?
     
  9. Sep 19, 2019 #69 of 168
    Rich

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    I didn't look at that any farther than learning I'd have to upgrade my package. That stopped that idea dead in it's tracks. No more additions to our monthly bill.

    But, if you have the Premier package you should get just about everything. I had that package for years and it seemed to include most/all channels. Gave it up when I stopped watching movies on D*.

    Rich
     
  10. Sep 19, 2019 #70 of 168
    the2130

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    I used to watch HDNet Movies until they started running an animated channel bug every few minutes during movies. It was part of the HD Extra package that included a few channels and cost $5 a month. Those channels are grayed out in the program guide now, but Hallmark Movies is still available.
     
  11. Sep 20, 2019 #71 of 168
    lparsons21

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    I’ve noticed that since I started playing around with streaming that during the day, instead of watching the reruns of reruns of reruns which dominate the cable type channels, I’m watching some older shows on one or the other streaming service.

    In playing around I have to ask, which non cable/sat replacement streaming service has a UI that just doesn’t suck? It seems all of them just are non-intuitive. Suggestions that seldom suggest anything I might consider watching. Netflix’s never knowing which section it will start up with. And the list goes on.

    Some channel specific streamers are actually better than the more generic ones. Apple’s TV app is a step in the right direction though it isn’t the best layout I’ve seen, but unified search of supported streaming services is nice as long as you know the show you want.

    Here’s an issue I found this morning. NBCU’s app (and their individual channel versions too), audio is much different level depending on which box you run it on. Examples:
    1. AppleTV - very low audio level compared to other apps.
    2. Xbox One - much higher audio level in line with other apps on the Xbox
    3. FireTV Cube - similar to the Xbox One

    So why in hell is the volume level in that app so low on the AppleTV and not the others?


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  12. Sep 20, 2019 #72 of 168
    Rich

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    Some of the sites do suck when it comes to their UI. I think you should stick with one site, learn how to use that until you're comfortable with the UI. I learned by using the Netflix app exclusively. I can see why you're frustrated. Using a lot of streaming sites right off the bat doesn't work well.

    You're gonna see different levels of volume on different sites, using different streaming devices, seems to be normal.

    Patience, take your time.

    Rich
     
  13. Sep 20, 2019 #73 of 168
    lparsons21

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    Uh you know this isn’t my first rodeo, right? :)

    I’ve been using Netflix pretty much when they started. I can navigate pretty much any UI just fine, but I can also note the irritation of the poor designs.


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  14. Sep 21, 2019 #74 of 168
    the2130

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    The interface I hate the most is Netflix, especially the Roku app. You can't browse for titles without videos playing.in windows. You try to discuss what to watch with your spouse with the sound from videos blaring out from the TV. And when you decide on a movie or show to watch, it starts playing before you press the play button. Then when the credits roll, it shrinks to a window so small you can't read it unless you fiddle with the remote. And if you try to back it up, it shrinks to a window again. Very annoying.
     
  15. Sep 21, 2019 #75 of 168
    Rich

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    Seemed like you were getting frustrated by the UIs.

    Rich
     
  16. Sep 21, 2019 #76 of 168
    Rich

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    Oh yeah, you are right about the auto-play thing on NF. You are not alone, it annoys a lot of us. Why they don't put a stop to it is beyond me. This is relatively new and I have seen it mentioned in several articles. Hopefully they will get rid of it. Don't see what purpose it serves.

    Rich
     
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  17. Sep 21, 2019 #77 of 168
    the2130

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    You can turn off the auto-play in your account settings so it doesn't start another episode of a show, but those other "features" can't be disabled. They must get a ton of complaints about that stuff, but so far they refuse to do anything about it or even acknowledge the complaints.

    Amazon has a much cleaner and more pleasant interface. You can browse in silence, it won't start playing a video until you tell it to, and the credits run full-screen with only a small graphic in the lower corner to give you the option to skip the credits and start the next episode of a show.
     
  18. Sep 22, 2019 #78 of 168
    grover517

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    But isn't that more of a negative for D* than anything else since D* has no way to integrate OTT apps and services in the same UI as it's own programming? There are solutions out there than can and do integrate OTA, OTT and on demand services into one single UI. FireTV is one of them.

    There are millions that are, and will continue to be comfortable with what they know and have trouble finding any value in doing things a bit differently than they always have. I myself used to think that way and had AT&T not came along, I would most likely still be with D*, paying more than I had to and putting up with all the strings that came along with D*, simply because I was comfortable and felt no need to change things up. Now that I have actually experienced the "dark side" LOL, it's not nearly as bad as many seem to think it is.

    For me, I have PS Vue Core tier, Philo and PlutoTV. My FireTV UI integrates all three of them along with my 40+ locals I get from my antenna and my Recast 4 tuner OTA DVR into not only a single UI but a consolidated "LIVE" 2 week channel guide as well. I can even setup a favorites list that can include channels from all of those services and with a single click, tune to anyone of them. So no jumping around between apps or trying to remember which channel is in which app/service. So in this sense, I really am not missing anything D* offered me previously. It's still all right there in one place, UI and 2 week channel guide.

    The only major difference I have now from my D* service is in regards to how I record things. Of course, any OTA programming I wish to record can be done directly within the FireTV Recast UI or channel guide. As for the cloud DVR's, I do have to go in to each one to either setup or playback a recording but it's really not that big of a deal and once you have your regular shows setup to record, I rarely go into them any more other than to just playback recordings. But even then, with the way the cloud DVR's work, even if I don't setup a recording, they keep every single show, episode, etc. for up to 28 days so I can easily go in and just grab it. I may not be able to skip commercials all the time for "on demand" content (but neither can you with D*) but that isn't high on our "must have list" either and for the vast majority of the time, it's never an issue on recorded content either in the cloud DVR or in the Recast.

    When I was with D*, I hated having to jump between not only between the D* and TV remotes, but various apps like Amazon Prime Video, Vudu and Netflix apps. With the FireTV UI recently watched list and/or and Alexa, it's really easy now to go right back to what I was watching. I also can now stream EVERYTHING I have regardless of it's source, including my OTA locals, from anywhere else in the US without the need for a VPN to get around local channel restrictions or sports blackouts. We have 4 TV's with FireTV 4K sticks and with the PS Vue 5 stream limit, Philo's 3 stream limit, Pluto has no limits and our Recast DVR has a 2 stream limit. None of this is an issue for us either.

    At then end of the day, if it's not a good fit for you then great, stick with what you have. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. I am the first to admit that streaming everything may not be a good fit for everyone. But by simply allowing myself just a bit of leeway in regards to trying something new and doing a bit of up front research on my own vs. listening to all the naysayers out there, I was pleasantly surprised on what was actually available and how well it could actually work for us.
     
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  19. Sep 22, 2019 #79 of 168
    Rich

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    I've read many complaints about auto-play on NF. Somebody in power must really like it. Maybe they have a dopey CEO too...

    We do have Fire TV devices but we use the AP app on our ATVs. Kinda like the NF app on the ATVs. I like both apps. Struggle with Hulu and the ATVs, that bothers me.

    Rich
     
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  20. Sep 23, 2019 #80 of 168
    lparsons21

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    Well to add an irritant to cable, Tivo is changing how recorded shows play. They are adding a pre-roll ad to the start of any recorded show. It is skippable, but it is very slow to do so according to reports. And Tivo has told a few people that have this latest update that they can turn it off on a case-by-case basis if you call in and complain.
    The crappiest part of this is that Tivo recently introduced auto-skipping for ads, but it doesn’t work on these pre-roll ads.
    Assuming the worst, that I can’t get rid of those, then it may mean I’ll switch to streaming/OTA sooner than later.


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