Cut the cord - 2 approaches I’m testing

Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by lparsons21, Feb 11, 2020 at 3:59 PM.

  1. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I’ve been strongly considering going to streaming. So I’m doing some more testing to determine what would work best for me to accomplish what I want to and balance the costs vs convenience question.

    First up - YouTubeTV
    This has all the channels I would want and more at a single $50 price tag. The guide is fairly similar to cable/sat guide but doesn’t show episodic descriptions. The DVR functionality is fine as search is excellent and no limits on space and retains them for 90 days when they automatically drop off.
    But the DVR is a mix of recordings and VOD. In recordings you can skip, in VOD you mostly can’t. The VOD stuff seems to be the same number of episodes as the particular channel’s app provides. Typically 5 episodes but sometimes more.

    Next up - The Sling combo
    Sling - I have SlingTV Blue which provides me with the cable type channels I want. DVR is quite similar to cable/sat and does not include VOD. Simple to deal with.
    Hulu - This picks up next day of many channels including NBC which is flakey with an antenna for me, as well as Fox and ABC locally. But there is no DVR at all and it isn’t needed. But you have to manage shows more since the selection is huge. Generally put stuff in ‘My Stuff’ section and for tracking new shows, start the previous episode and play it to the end and let it auto start the next episode. That way it shows as ‘Watch next episode’ in Hulu. It is all very manual.
    CBS - doesn’t do much at all in the way of tracking.
    OTA - via my Tivo.

    I use an AppleTV so shows watched in many apps track in the ‘up next’ track of the AppleTV app. Shows from Sling and Tivo don’t show up there at all. Shows from CBS, Hulu, Netflix and many others do.

    Cost differential is $15 or more with YTTV being higher. The ‘or more’ comes from what I would do about CBS if I keep YTTV. Overall minimum savings of $40 now and $60 in June when my cable deal bumps.


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  2. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    Just an FYI the YTTV DVR keeps your recordings for 9 months. Not 90 days.
     
  3. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah, keyboard fart! :)

    Thanks for correcting me.


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  4. mjwagner

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    2 things about YTTV that I have noticed. First, the only time I have gotten VOD and not DVR is when I had first added a show and then it would list a bunch of VODS for episodes that aired before I added the show. After I “caught up” everything was DVR although sometimes they will list both VOD and DVR. Also, if you look directly below an episode tile in your library you can quickly tell whether you have VOD, DVR or both for any episode. If you see the word “Recorded” under the tile you have DVR (could also include VOD but DVR will also be there). If you see the word “Released” it will only be VOD.
     
  5. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah, took me a day or two to see the differences. IMO, while having the VOD stuff show up is oft times a plus, it does make for a bit of a mess. But I’m sure you get used to it.


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  6. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    With the sling/OTA/Hulu/CBS combo I found that when starting a show from the ‘up next’ in AppleTV app, how it works depends a bit on what app it calls to play the video.

    If the show is on Hulu, after I set up the series, then it would play the video and then automatically go to the next in line in Hulu.

    With the CBS app that doesn’t happen, you have to manually go to the next show.


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  7. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    CBS All Access almost always goes to trying to get you to watch Love Island. I can't count the number of times I've had to manually remove that from 'Up Next' on the Apple TV. :mad:
     
  8. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I was off on my math for cord cutting. I have 3 Tivos, one with Lifetime service, the other two with service charges. One of them is $149/year, the other is $99/year because of a special deal. Because of the testing I’ve been doing, I found that the one @$149 is in a room that never gets used. The $99 one is a 6-tuner that I use for cable. If I kept cable, then that has to stay in the mix.

    So some cost breakdowns -
    Keep cable as is - $58 for TV portion + $8 for Tivo = $66/month, going up to $86 in June.

    YouTubeTV = $50/month, savings of $16/month now, $36/month in June.

    Sling Blue = $35/month, saving $31/month, going up to $51/month in June.

    Note that to use Sling Blue effectively I have to keep Hulu & CBS All Access, but the cost isn’t shown because I keep them all the time anyway.

    Operationally YouTubeTV puts all current TV in one app that is similar in operation to cable/sat boxes.

    The Sling/Hulu/CBS/OTA requires more diddling with since each has some of what I would watch, but not all.


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  9. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    You would think the use of YTTV, being so close to operating the same as cable/sat boxes would be the simplest to operate. And it could be, but it isn’t.

    The DVR workings are a mess. Yes you can record a show, yes the recorded shows let you ad-skip, but there are issues with it overall.

    1. DVR recordings and VOD are intermixed. You can tell the difference after a short bit, but is still makes it a bit of a mess.
    2. You cannot record a single episode of show. It always records all of it, or shows the VOD for past shows. The number of past shows shown is determined by what that particular channel’s app would give you.

    The grid guide is OK, but is very narrow showing only an hour or two. In grid guide mode you can scroll a bit forward in time, but no very far. For that you have to pick the channel and not the show and it isn’t in grid guide format.

    Episode info is a PITA to get to. It isn’t in the grid guide and doesn’t even show up when you are playing the show without some twiddling around.

    The good is the similarities and the service itself operates fine from my limited experience. The bads could be fixed and might be.

    The combo of SlingTV/Hulu/CBS All Access would seem on the surface to be harder to deal with, but it isn’t IMO. The Sling app works fine on everything I tested except for the AppleTV. On the ATV it fairly often will lock up when switching to ads in both live and recorded shows. That’s very irritating because otherwise it looks and sounds better on the ATV than it does on other hardware. Oddly none of those issues are present on an iPad or iPhone.

    The Hulu/CBS All Access app useage is typical streaming stuff. But when you use the AppleTV app, then you have the up next for those apps at your fingertips.

    So Monday I will cancel the TV portion of my service from Mediacom and go all streaming and OTA via antenna for local news or some rare other times.

    Which way I’ll stream is a bit up in the air. I’m convinced that streaming just makes more sense, I just haven’t figured out which way I want to do it yet though I’m leaning towards the Sling combo. I’ll probably keep both another month and twiddle. :)


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