I'm about to switch to YouTubeTV. Any compelling reasons not to?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by PHL, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. makaiguy

    makaiguy Icon

    Sep 24, 2007
    Aiken, SC
    This is much too broad a statement.

    Cable systems vary tremendously from service to service. Some are rock solid, some are absolutely horrible. Even the same company in adjacent areas can be as different as day and night. Before making any changes, check with neighbors with the service you are considering, if you can find any, to see what their experience is.
    KyL416 likes this.
  2. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    My mother in Savannah, GA had comcast and she had as good of a picture as I do on DirecTV.
    My daughter has comcast in La Marque, TX, new modem, router, high speed service and her TV is always blurry and no adjustments can get them out ( 2 TVs ). The picture looks like an SD picture.
  3. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    Comcast has been upgrading markets to support gigabit speeds, and when they do they make changes to the video that decreases its quality greatly. Your mother's service will eventually be equally bad as your daughter's, when they get around to "upgrading" her market.
    dtv757 likes this.
  4. PHL

    PHL Legend

    Jul 15, 2004
    Just wondering, why would service get worse after the upgrades?
    I would imagine that the upgrades entail some combination of additional DOCSIS channels and improvements to the backbones. Neither of those would seem to be detrimental.
  5. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 10, 2005
    Tobyhanna, PA
    Comcast is switching their systems to a unified distribution system that's all MPEG4, and for whatever reason it also involves them converting all 1080i channels to 720p.

    That's only Comcast though, cable is NOT "crap" across the board with constant modem reboots. i.e. here my modem has been up for 50 days with zero reboots/resyncs, the only reason why it's just 50 days is because at that time they upgraded the profile for the downstream DOCSIS 3.1 channel. The only reboots prior to that was when they provisioned my modem's MAC address to connect at DOCSIS 3.1 a few hours after the initial install, and another reboot overnight when they upgraded the modem's firmware. So it's best to ask your neighbors how their experience is with cable internet since they are the ones who will be connected to the same local node/last mile you will be connected to, and ignore any automatic reboots that occur the first day or so after the initial install while they provision and upgrade your modem.

    Yes fiber is more likely to offer symmetric speeds, but in most cases the upstream speeds cable offers is more than enough to do upstream bandwidth heavy things like live Twitch streaming of games, or upload tons of pictures and video to social media in seconds. (Very few sites even let individual users upload at 1 gbps speeds anyway) Not to mention, like cable, even the services fiber providers offer widely system to system. Not all fiber providers are offering gigabit speeds everywhere, and many areas will never see fiber from a telco provider for various reasons, especially in Verizon's remaining copper only territory.

    Also YouTube isn't actually offering you channels in 1080p. They use the same 480i/720p/1080i sources cable, satellite and telco providers use. It's just that since they're internet based with dynamic bitrate streaming that many users watch on web browsers and mobile devices, they have to deinterlace any channels that originate in 480i SD or 1080i HD before they get to you.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  6. espaeth

    espaeth AllStar

    Oct 13, 2003
    All of the live TV streaming services cap out at 720P for almost all channels. (Exceptions being things like the Olympic channel which streams in 1080P, or some of the 4K FOX / NBC / BeIn feeds)

    Add "possible stability issues" to your cons list, particularly as it concerns live programming.

    These services are built on Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), which means they use a giant collection of servers scattered across the US and you connect to the server that is closest to you network-wise. Your experience is going to be largely dictated by the capacity and connectivity of your local CDN pool. It's sort of how you can say something like "My local Costco" -- I think of a place where I can stop on my drive home from work, park really close to the front door, have a super easy shopping experience with short checkout lines, and almost no wait to get gas on my way out. By contrast, you might have a busier store, or go there at different times, and "my local Costco" might conjure up visions of circling the parking lot looking for an open space and a Mad Max-style shopping cart derby in the store. The name on the front of the store we're going to is the same, but our experiences are completely different. Streaming services are a lot like that today -- just because it works great for someone else doesn't necessarily mean it will work great for you.

    I'd recommend putting your DirecTV service on vacation hold before you cancel; it saves you the monthly expense of DirecTV while you try out streaming options to make sure they'll work for you. If it does, great -- you can still cancel. If things go south, you have a short path to end the frustration (just call and end the vacation hold early).

    We stream most of our content, as we have subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube Premium (lots of 4k viewing there), Starz, and Hulu Live TV. We watch most of our series content through Hulu because it allows us to watch on multiple devices, we don't have to mess with timers or worry about weather break-up, and it marries the on-demand and DVR catalog together pretty well.

    We're also huge hockey fans, so we also have DirecTV Entertainment pack + NHL Center Ice. When you turn on a game with DirecTV, the expectation is that it's just going to work. We have no problems streaming multiple feeds of Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu DVR / catalog content -- even in 4k. When it comes to live TV, however, it's pretty inconsistent. We use NHL.tv streaming on an AppleTV 4k to get a handful of feeds that aren't available on satellite (Flyers, some Canadian team broadcasts), and the experience there ranges from better-than-satellite to abysmal frustration in video breakup hell. With Hulu Live TV it includes NBCSN, so we've looked at just watching the national games via streaming and downgrading to Select from Entertainment --- our experiment with that only lasted 2 weeks before we finally decided the $15/mo in savings wasn't worth the frustration of streaming cutouts. Every other game we tried to watch live on NBCSN (via Hulu) was a glitchy streaming mess. There's always the NBCSN app, but streaming via the official app is only 30fps which makes watching anything with lots of panning look abysmal. Good thing NBCSN doesn't have any programming with lots of panning like hockey, soccer, horse racing, car racing... oh wait.
  7. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    Do you watch live sports? If so, are you texting friends who are also watching or at the games or otherwise exposed to real time social media feeds regarding them? If so, you may find the lag between live (or the nearly live on cable/satellite) and the streaming "live" to be a problem - i.e. your friends text you about something you might not see for another minute.

    You probably want to test this out side by side with your cable/satellite programming on a TV and Youtube TV on a second screen to see if you find the difference acceptable.
  8. PHL

    PHL Legend

    Jul 15, 2004
    Thanks, you make some great points and your Costco analogy is spot-on.

    I did, in fact, put my D* service on vacation hold. It's only been 3 days and I haven't gotten any significant complaints from the family yet. YTTV's DVR is a little bit slower than the D* Genie that we were using, and it's a bit more confusing, but I think it's adequate. The unlimited "storage" and VOD backfilling of episodes are nice features. The inability to FF through some shows is annoying, but probably tolerable given the amount of money we're saving. The VOD appears to have significantly fewer ads than D* VOD, but it's hard to say. We used VOD so rarely on D* because of the ads.

    So far, the Live TV has been working pretty well, even with live sports (NFL, NBA mostly). There obviously is some lag when changing "channels", but we haven't experienced any significant buffering issues. Seems like we're connected to a pretty good CDN, at least for the time being. It probably also helps having a Fios fiber connection. We'll see how things work when I switch to Spectrum Internet this coming weekend. Hopefully the cable backbone is as good as Fios. I'm technically upgrading from 100/100 to 400/10, but I know that my latencies will probably go up by a bit. I suspect that the Fios network will degrade over time, since Frontier is doing so poorly financially.
  9. PHL

    PHL Legend

    Jul 15, 2004

    I did some back-and-forth testing with YTTV and D*. I think YTTV lagged by around 10 seconds or so. This is consistent with the 10-15 seconds of buffering that is indicated on the "Stats for nerds" display. We rarely correspond with anyone in real time while watching sports, so I don't think this is a big deal for us. Hmmm, maybe I could even make some money off the delay (thinking of the movie "The Sting"), lol
  10. PHL

    PHL Legend

    Jul 15, 2004
    Some comments on picture quality. It's hard to do a good comparison without having two TV sets side-by-side, but my general impression is the YTTV is at least as good as D* and probably a little bit better. The rationale for this is that the YTTV seems to be less compressed than D*. I noticed yesterday that when I watched the local weather person on live TV, there seemed to be significantly less artifacting around the eyes and mouth compared to D*. I'm not certain if this is a good test, but it's the easiest way for me to gauge picture quality since the weather person is generally standing still and the rest of the frames is mostly stationary as well. I don't think I could notice a significant difference in fast-moving shows like live sports or other types of programming.

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