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Cable TV and other general televised viewing options

I didn't see any recent threads about this, so please direct me there if I missed it.

I know that the general best practice to keeping prices low is to make yourself a Free Agent to the various companies and look to swap every ~2 years to whomever is offering the best prices for the service you want.

We have started gravitating more toward streaming shows lately (Amazon Prime and Netflix), and have made healthy use of our Rokus and Chromecasts -- to the point I don't watch anything on FiOS if we don't have family staying over.

So for my area (North Delaware; which equates to the Philadelphia viewing area), I have the following options:
FiOS (current)
Comcast/Xfinity
"Satellite" services such as Dish Network

What is intriguing me is the new service announced by AT&T with DirecTV. https://directvnow.com/appletv
Essentially, they are rolling out a streaming app for DirecTV; and any AT&T mobile customer gets to stream unlimited content without it affecting their monthly data. In addition, DirecTV is rolling their app out to AppleTV and Amazon FireStick; with Roku being added in the beginning of 2017.
They are currently offering $35/mo for their "#2 top" channel package -- check the link above. And depending on if you want a FireStick or AppleTV; you only have to commit for one month (FireStick) or 3 months (AppleTV). In addition, DTV has DVR functionality planned for later 2017; though Video-On-Demand comes available out of the box.


I am probably going to give this a shot in the New Year, with the FireStick version. This can potentially save us $60/month since we'll still need web service.

Longer term; I am also on the fence about buying a Verizon Quantum Gateway and whichever cable modem/Surfboard is on sale; then I need to worry less about equipment rental fees and I'm more open to swapping services.

Have any of you done this or are you considering it? Do any of you swap providers regularly?

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Posts

  • SeñorAmorSeñorAmor !!! Registered User regular
    Is there any reason why you can't do Hulu/Netflix/Sling/Whatever + an OTA antenna? Probably difficult if you are in a building you don't own, but you already have the Rokus and Chromecasts, so you're already halfway there.

    I cut the cord a year ago and haven't looked back. It was quite a shock to learn just how little I was actually tied to having subscription television. I thought I'd eventually cave and go back, but here I am, not missing a thing.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    I used to do the swapping providers trick when I first came to the United States--and I might still in the future. I only use non-contract providers (in my case, Charter Communications--which certainly has its own sordid reputation in the past anyway). No TV service.

    I've thought often about "cutting the cord" again, due to geography and technology, it actually comes out a lot more expensive. Obviously, that requires a demanding connection--the only non-terrible option where I live (and a lot of places in Georgia, USA) is through a cable provider, which regularly matches the more prolific DSL prices, but provides 8 to 10 times the download speeds. So in effect you will be a cable customer, or you will never use Netflix at higher than 480p, by itself, with no other services running, because it's the only one anyone can afford--more on that in a bit.

    So that's more than half my bill with Charter (cable internet)--close to two-thirds after dreaded "bundling". After looking at the cost of the services I'd want in the place of TV--HBO Now (versus HBO Go), Netflix, Hulu, etc.,--I was barely breaking even, before considering that my roommate and I couldn't realistically settle for the current bandwidth package.

    Basically, I've been spoiled by television service, rather than being at the mercy of less reliable internet. If Google Fiber came to where I live tomorrow, it'd be an entirely different story, but that's not going to happen any time soon. And the high-end fiber optic packages run into the hundreds a month--the "cheap" options are literally 2 or 3 times the cost of Charter's bundles.

    That's a fascinating offer from AT&T/DirecTV--I wouldn't recommend it in Georgia because not having it count towards total data cap is literally the only way it could function (with a basic DSL package, you could hit your monthly cap in a day or two easily, assuming they actually offer HD streaming). It's hard to consider because of how terrible AT&T DSL is in (north) Georgia/Metro Atlanta currently, but somewhere else I could see it working. I'd certainly take Charter up on a similar offer, assuming it was competitive with their bundle packages (I've long since passed my initial sub-$100 bundle, but negotiating for other bundles is pretty easy for the time being), but I don't see that happening any time soon.

    tl;dr--cutting the cord would arguably cost more for a lot less content thanks to bundling shenanigans where I live, and a cable company is the only sane ISP locally.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
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    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    The big thing for me in not being able to cut the cord, especially in Canada, is sports. The majority of our sports coverage here is on cable channels and not OTA networks. If you're a fan of multiple sports/teams, the only economical/realistic way to watch everything, especially local content, is with a cable subscription.

    I think in 2017 I'll be paring it down to just the basics + the couple sports channels I need, but I'll still need the cable sub.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    I own my home and, honestly, I would have already cut if it was just me. Instead, I need to show proper show/network access to make the move. If we can save money, I'm willing to spend a bit for sports access. The major sports leagues have varying package options for streaming that seem to only get better

    That being said, this is the most economic option thus far.

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  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I own my home and, honestly, I would have already cut if it was just me. Instead, I need to show proper show/network access to make the move. If we can save money, I'm willing to spend a bit for sports access. The major sports leagues have varying package options for streaming that seem to only get better

    That being said, this is the most economic option thus far.

    The sports streaming options all black out local teams. A good option if you're a fan of a team somewhere else, but if you actually watch the local teams it's a tough sell.

  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    And generally, sports streaming packages also generally black out nationally televised games, so it doesn't even have to be local teams.

    The only exception I know to this is the NHL streaming service in Canada. Nationally televised games on CBC or SN are available to watch streaming, even if they involve the local team.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
    a5ehren
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    Update: I picked up the FireStick bundle yesterday, so we'll give this a test drive. We tried using the DTV Now app and it still leaves something to be desired:

    1) A lot of lag streaming to Chromecast. (note: this *may* be because I have an old version of the Chromecast, but I don't have a new one to test. I'm planning to upgrade my two Chromecasts later this year when I can target a good sale)

    2) Limited DVR functionality. I know that they said this is coming, but it's a bit frustrating that you can pause a show so you won't miss it; but the app won't let you scrub forward/back or skip (for commercials).

    3) Haven't tried just viewing on the phone, but that will come. Picture/lag via the web browser interface seems fine and relatively non-laggy. I'll try watching a couple of the NFL games this coming weekend and see how that goes.


    At this point, I think the app needs some more maturity. I'm not sure if I'll keep the subscription past the mandatory month. I'd also *love* to see the DTVNow app come to Roku sooner than later. It would help with consolidating devices.

    If DirecTV doesn't work out, I may give Sling a trial run and see how it goes.

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  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    Update: so apparently the second-highest tier of service on DTV does not include ABC or CBS regular networks. Which is fine and we can finally hook up the HD antenna that's been floating around the house for two years. If I can find it.

    However, that may be a deal breaker in the short term. There is a lot that's lacking still with the app and fidelity of service; and I know they have changes coming.

    I will likely cancel service after February unless there are some major changes to the service, and I'll keep monitoring it.



    This is also making me take a hard look at our current (FiOS) service and see where we can scale back. I'd like to return at least one of the DVR boxes we have because we don't use it, but I get mixed messages from customer service whether: a) we can keep DVR service if we're only renting one box instead of two (I know we can from a hardware standpoint, but if I return the second box I don't know if that means they shut off our multi-room DVR and don't remember to keep regular DVR); b) and if it saves us money to do so because fuck their service packaging.

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  • BigityBigity Lubbock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited January 18
    SeñorAmor wrote: »
    Is there any reason why you can't do Hulu/Netflix/Sling/Whatever + an OTA antenna? Probably difficult if you are in a building you don't own, but you already have the Rokus and Chromecasts, so you're already halfway there.

    I cut the cord a year ago and haven't looked back. It was quite a shock to learn just how little I was actually tied to having subscription television. I thought I'd eventually cave and go back, but here I am, not missing a thing.

    I do Sling TV (orange - sports), Netflix, Amazon, and have a OTA and a TV that will record live TV with a USB drive plugged in (Roku TV). I have two Roku devices (free with SlingTV sign ups).

    Every now and then I end up having to buy something on Amazon, but pretty much get everything I want to see in some form or fashion. Even most big shows can be streamed the day after if nothing else.

    I do cheat a little and have a DishTV login I can use for various apps, but rarely use it.

    Bigity on
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