A cord cutting experiment

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

  1. Mar 7, 2020 #141 of 168
    lparsons21

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    To bring things up to date. After trying YouTube TV, my Sling/Hulu/CBS:AA combo and reviewing quite a few other ways to skin the streaming cat, I’ve settled in with the Sling combo.

    Advantages :
    Both Hulu and CBS shows can be managed via the AppleTV app on the AppleTV. That isn’t so if you use the combo on any other box.
    Sling shows, and any other live streaming service, cannot be managed or even shown in the AppleTV app.

    Disadvantages:
    Managing it is a little hinky as you have to use multiple apps to see all I want. Not horrible, but still not as slick as just using one app to do the same thing.
    HDPQ varies between the services a bit. Sling for me is fine, but others have noted that it is a bit soft.
    No RSNs at all. Not a big deal for me as I don’t watch them anyway, but this wouldn’t be the way for a sports fan.

    Overall with streaming, it really is difficult to get everything in one package. The only one to truly do that is ATTTV if you are willing to pay the huge premium for that service. So regardless of which service you pick, you probably will fiddle around trying to get that one or two channels that you want.

    An example is Paramount, AMC and BBCA. Paramount is missing from quite a few services. AMC & BBCA are available in many more. YTTV has AMC & BBCA but not Hallmark & Lifetime. Hulu+ has Hallmark & Lifetime but not AMC & BBCA.
     
  2. Mar 7, 2020 #142 of 168
    Rich

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    I'd like to see you try ATTTV with the box and remote. Appreciate what you've done so far, like to see more.

    Rich
     
  3. Mar 7, 2020 #143 of 168
    lparsons21

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    It isn’t out of the realm of possibility. I’ll wait to see what kind of hassle it is to cancel and the return of the box before I seriously consider it though.

    Just doing the channels I want comparison, Entertainment would fit the bill quite well, only missing IFC which isn’t any kind of deal killer IMO.

    To be honest, YouTubeTV would fit the bill with only missing Paramount and that only because of one show. I’m just not convinced that the convenience of using a single app that can manually skip ads in recorded events is $15 handier than having a combo of services that let me have no ads for lots of it, and manual ad skipping where that isn’t available. Speaking of Hulu & CBS:AA for no ads, while needing to manually skip in Sling.

    BTW, VOD offerings are nice and all, but usually come with no skip ads. Is that true for DirecTV these days, and if so, would indicate that is probably also true for ATTTV.
     
  4. Mar 7, 2020 #144 of 168
    espaeth

    espaeth AllStar

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    I've adopted some of this approach as well. The best part about the Hulu / CBS:AA combo is they come in commercial free variants. Not having to think about fast forwarding through commercials is crazy awesome, especially for times that I'm watching shows on the treadmill.

    I will say that one of the negatives of commercial free services is you realize just how obnoxiously standard TV programming is edited to account for commercials.

    I'm sure you've already looked at this, but for that subset of channels Philo carries AMC, BBCA, Lifetime, Hallmark (all 3 variants), and Paramount. Not bad for a $20/mo service that includes "unlimited" DVR with 30 days of retention.

    Have you considered just buying a season pass to a show through iTunes? We had Philo for a few months to cover the networks that YTTV is missing, because we had watched them occasionally when we had DTV satellite. For as much as I like the value prospect of Philo, I found I was really only motivated to keep up with 2 shows on the History channel. Instead of paying $240/year on Philo, I just bought those seasons at $25ea though iTunes, and I can watch them the day after they air, just like most of the Hulu catalog content. The bonus is that the iTunes versions also have no commercials.

    One of the biggest surprises for us with the AppleTV as our starting point when turning on the TV, we're finding a lot more stuff to watch on Netflix, HBO Go (incl w/ wireless plan), regular ol' Youtube, Prime Video, and Hulu. Funny how it works when we don't have to change remotes or change inputs, there's just less of a mental barrier to keep us from clicking over to those services now.
     
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  5. Mar 7, 2020 #145 of 168
    lparsons21

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    I considered Philo, but the value proposition just isn’t there as they really don’t have much more that a couple channels that I would be interested in. And it would make the difference between what I’m doing and a YTTV+Philo be a $35 difference instead of a $15 difference.

    Note that the cost of Hulu, CBS:AA, Netflix and so on are not included in my math as I would have them regardless of what else I might do. Had them when I had cable and satellite.

    If I had kept YTTV I would have bought Yellowstone season pass as it makes good sense. And YTTV isn’t out of the question even now. I might wake up tomorrow and decide to make a change. I’m flighty that way! :)
     
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  6. Mar 7, 2020 #146 of 168
    Rich

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    I have no idea what On Demand is like on D* these days. Never used it much and haven't used it for years.

    The Paramount show you are concerned about, is that the one with Kevin Costner?

    The sentence I highlighted: Your concern is valid, you, me and everyone else would be better off with the combo of services, I think. That's where I am aside from sports. Just my opinion.

    Rich
     
  7. Mar 7, 2020 #147 of 168
    lparsons21

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    Thanks, hopefully someone will come around with VOD on DirecTV these days. I know on YTTV and Sling that the VOD pretty much all has non-skippable ads.

    As to which way is best? Very subjective. I would think that younger folks that are used to bouncing from app to app with their phones and tablets all day would find that to work for them best.

    For older folks, especially those not tech types, a single point of entry would be a better choice. Possibly as the first step to being more flexible with how they stream.

    Frankly YouTubeTV has a lot going for it. Single point of entry, a guide that vaguely resembles the one we’ve all used for years, a wide range of channels for varying interests, a very decent DVR function though it does take getting used to, and all at a very fair price IMO.

    Sling and Philo took a different path. Skinny bundle of channels though in Sling’s case they have a few levels to subscribe, decent DVR functionality and at a lower price.

    Note that I’m not commenting on Hulu+Live. I did try it a long time ago before they fixed a few things and didn’t like it and since it is missing BBCA and AMC I wouldn’t be interested anyway.
     
  8. Mar 7, 2020 #148 of 168
    lparsons21

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    Yeah, when I first started doing this I had planned on Tivo for OTA since I can get all my locals that way, then the Sling combo for everything else. Ended up using the Tivo to watch the nightly local news and not much else. Just turn on AppleTV and use the apps. Hulu covers 3 of the broadcast and some other channels, CBS:AA does CBS. Netflix and Amazon are used for originals mostly and some ad-supported services for some stuff not covered elsewhere.

    One thing that people new to streaming, or considering it, is how the cloud DVR works. ALL of them have expiration times that vary from 1-9 months depending on service. So doing archives of shows/movies we did on local hardware based DVRs just doesn’t work.
     
  9. Mar 8, 2020 #149 of 168
    Rich

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    We've been bouncing from one app to another for years. We've become used to doing it that way. I don't like the single point of entry thing. I've tried it and it just annoys me.

    I asked Sadie if anyone talks about TV programs at school and she said nobody watches TV anymore and nobody talks about it. Of course that's in her circle of 11-12 year old kids. They're all on YT...learning. Gonna be a smart generation.

    Rich
     
  10. Mar 8, 2020 #150 of 168
    Rich

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    I have to admit I envy that. You had a plan. I just stumbled upon streaming. I had no idea what I was doing.

    Rich
     
  11. Mar 8, 2020 #151 of 168
    lparsons21

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    Well as it turns out, it wasn’t much of a plan! :). I’ve started and stopped Sling and YouTubeTV so many times I’ve lost count. Even now both services are live with me.

    Here’s the deal. The costs are close enough between the two that it is almost not worth thinking about. Essentially $15/month in Slings favor. But YTTV and cancel CBS:AA is nearly the same. One of these days I’ll settle down.
     
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  12. Mar 8, 2020 #152 of 168
    Andrew Sullivan

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    So much dismissal of sports programming.
     
  13. Mar 8, 2020 #153 of 168
    lparsons21

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    While I’m not a big sports fan, I do watch some. And while there are holes in sports with streaming, it isn’t horrible. YTTV, Hulu+ and others have sports programming, including at least some RSNs.

    IMO, right now for a big sports fan, streaming isn’t there yet. I fully expect it to be at some point.
     
  14. Mar 8, 2020 #154 of 168
    Andrew Sullivan

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    I just cancelled Sling because the PQ on ESPN was so terrible. I have tried YTTV and in general it offers the best programming if you want several sports options included in a package. Especially since they reached an agreement to allow most of the RSNs. They include your locals and most of the most watched cable channels. Some of the cable companies are trying to be more competitive by bundling a decent TV package with a decent internet package for around $80 plus taxes. That's a good proactive move on their part but they for the most part still require a 2 year contract and then throw in equipment rental costs.
     
  15. Mar 8, 2020 #155 of 168
    Rich

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    Not on my part, but I get tired of saying all D* has that interests me is sports. I'm sure everyone else is tired of it, too. But I get your point, would be nice to know how each service deals with sports of all sorts.

    Rich
     
  16. Mar 8, 2020 #156 of 168
    Rich

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    Yeah, I'm sure MLB and the NFL are aware of what's going on. They'll make adjustments, just have to be patient.

    Rich
     
  17. Mar 8, 2020 #157 of 168
    lparsons21

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    The RSNs are the real issue for sports. National sports channels are on quite a few streamers, so finding them isn’t a real issue.

    Today it seems that ATTTV, YouTubeTV and Hulu+Live have RSNs, and in YTTV’s case, not all of them.
     
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  18. Mar 8, 2020 #158 of 168
    espaeth

    espaeth AllStar

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    It's funny how things change. I also started off with the Tivo for OTA (with the great 1 button commercial skip feature!), then we got sick of changing remotes for that so I setup a HDHomerun 4-tuner box and the Channels DVR running on my NAS server. After getting that all setup, Youtube lifted their forced VOD swaps and we ended up signing up for Hulu (no ads) and CBS:AA... now we haven't launched Channels in months.

    For efficiency it really feels like I should be taking advantage of getting content OTA, but YTTV's DVR does a better job of adjusting for game overruns that cause the news to run late, and all the shows we watch on Hulu and CBS:AA are free from the commericals and scrollers for school closings, weather, etc that plague our regular broadcasts.
     
  19. Mar 9, 2020 #159 of 168
    lparsons21

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    Yeah, YTTV is a very good cable/sat replacement service. Wide range of channels to cover most interests, a DVR service that’s a little messy but works well, all at a decent price. Hulu+Live is similar in some respects but is a little pricey if you do no ads and get their enhanced DVR. Neither approaches the outrageous pricing ATT has on their latest offering.
     
  20. Mar 9, 2020 #160 of 168
    Andrew Sullivan

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    Sometimes we take the status quo for granted. Kids in high school today aren't familiar with life before Sling and YTTV. Our parents weren't familiar with life before Satelite TV. I remember when cable offered one HBO channel and there was no Showtime etc. Today we are discussing the best streaming service. What will tomorrow bring? Stay tuned.
     
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