Cord Cutting 101

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by dstrauss, Dec 19, 2019.

  1. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    OK boys and girls - since this is my favorite website of all, I was hoping I could rope this tribe into a discussion of cord cutting for those of us just dipping our toes in the water. Yes, this is a follow up to my cellular reorganization with AT&T EXCEPT my current satellite provider Direct (aka AT&T) is NOT in the running because even with "loyalty discounts" I can't get below TWICE the cost of the two cord cutting choices I am focusing on.

    We currently have Direct Ultimate at $175/mo (that includes equipment charges for setups in four rooms). I'm going to upload a PDF of an ongoing spreadsheet I am using for my comparisons (please note, my highlighting was for my benefit to see how many of the holes between Direct and YouTube were filled by Philo, and for my viewing crowd it was almost all). The bottom line is I can get every channel we watch (even infrequently) by streaming YouTube TV and Philo, for less than half of the price. Compromises abound:
    • No common viewer guide between the two services
    • Switching channels is a little "clunkier" and a bit different between the two
    • They both have UNLIMITED cloud DVR, but YouTube deletes after 9 months, Philo after 30 days
    • Neither YouTube nor Philo can be set to record "new episodes only" so they record every upcoming episodes, which snags reruns as well - so far I don't think it is picking up cross-channel reruns - e.g. if you ask it to record NCIS on CBS you don't get all those old episodes on TBS or whatever
    • Skipping commercials on recorded content is hit or miss (some programs will, some won't) but so far network TV shows on YouTube TV do skip
    • Family has to get used to fact that there ARE two different services with different channels
    I have yet to convert my crew to the Roku life because a single guide for all their TV is so much easier - BUT - my stealth hope is that our three big streaming content services - Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, show up in the same HOME menu with YouTube TV and Philo.

    PS - Direct did offer to move me to the Choice subscription, which deletes some of the channels I would even get in the YouTube/Philo hookup, for a"generous" $149 - $26 break but still double the cost of YT/P combo.

    So far, even despite the Philo 30 day storage limit, the BIG problem is lack of a common guide incorporating the two services. For me, I would even drop Philo and go without some of my favorites there, but I have big fans of Hallmark, Lifetime, and DYI in my crew.
     

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  2. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Doing something similar with DirectTV Now (which I think just changed their name to AT&TTV) and Netflix.

    Don't use the DVR function much but I do download content from Netflix to my iPad prior to a trip.

    Apple has a slight headstart here in the in the Apple TV app (which of course leaves out Windows and Android) it will show some content available even though in some but not all cases it will prompt you to launch the relevant app instead of just playing the content.

    Discovery is also a bit hit or miss. Fine if you know precisely what you want to watch, but you might miss a lot in just casual browsing

    Additionally our new Vizio TV supports airplay and thus, pretty much any streaming option, if they have any app at all it will be on IOS.

    Came from Xfinity/comcast and already am cutting the monthly bill by about 45% with more options and a bit more content.
     
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  3. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Holy sh*iza! :eek:

    I thought your $35/month/phone was bad...all that, and that's still not including your ISP fees.

    I did not realize that Americans had become fully indentured serfs over the past few years.

    I salute you once more! You guys are all troopers.
     
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  4. Chris_Kez

    Chris_Kez Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Don’t underestimate people’s ability to adapt to change. They’ll get used to two guides or else fewer channels. New habits and routines will be established. It feels scary and overwhelming at first but honestly after a month or two it will be fine. Think of something fun you can do with all the money you save. Go on a trip, or use it to buy other content.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Chris_Kez

    Chris_Kez Scribbler - Standard Member

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    When we had cable I would watch Sportscenter and a bunch of ESPN shows every day, and the kids would watch the Disney channel; that cable authentication also unlocked a bunch of extra content on the Nick Jr. app and a few other apps. Well, it turned out that Sling Blue covered 80% of our needs for a lot less money but didn’t include ESPN or Disney, and only single episodes on the Nick Jr app. Guess what? I listen to more podcasts and the kids found a bunch of stuff on Netflix. All the money we saved meant I had no hesitation adding Disney Plus when that came out. I also used some of the savings to buy a few shows I really missed— so I got to watch them day and date but without commercials. I’m never going back to the cable company for TV or their dumb overpriced boxes.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  6. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

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    When we cut the cord 6 years ago we made a list of shows that were required and figured out if they were available on a streaming service - for context 6 years ago we were paying $250/mo USD for 120Mbps Internet and Digital TV.

    Our solution (we already had an Xbox in the living room and son's room, HTPC in the living room as well) -

    • HULU+ (w/o Commercials) - $12 USD/mo
    • Netflix (5 concurrent users) - $14 USD/mo
    • Amazon Prime - $8 USD/mo
    • CBS All Access - $6 USD/mo (added 3 years ago)
    • Disney+ - $6 USD/mo (added this year)
    • NFL Gamepass International - $14 USD/mo
    • 120 Mbps Internet (Comcast :( ) - $80 USD/mo (we do hit our 1TB limit every month :) )

    I also use Unlocator for DNS at $50 USD/yr which allows us to watch BBC iPlayer, RTE and other International TV.

    New total is $140 USD/mo - which saves us $110 USD/mo
     
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  7. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    I always grieve for Comcast customers (my daughter included) - Grande Communications, a regional ISP, sells us 600 Mbps (which is generally 400+/- Mbps per speedtest.net) with no data cap for $50.99 - we are pretty lucky in that regard. I furnish my own modem and router.
     
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  8. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    I was just going to recommend Roku but seems you have already considered that.
     
  9. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Getting as much resistance to this as converting from iPhone to Android among my tribe just too hard and inconvenient
     
  10. Cuhulin

    Cuhulin Scribbler - Standard Member

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    The change is not that inconvenient once people get a little used to it. Besides, with the new streaming services coming along, the old channel system is breaking down anyway.

    We cut the cord 6 years ago, or so and have tried a lot of the alternatives - Sling, PSVue, HDHomerun, among others - and now use Apple TV's with YouTube TV and, for one housemate's watching Dr Who, Philo TV.

    YouTube provides an extensive channel list, a good directory and decent DVR. It also handles up to 3 streams on one account, which is something that Sling, for example, does badly unless you buy a lot of add-ons.
     

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