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Cable/streaming services


Jaxfactor904
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Ok, so this old fart has had Directv or some other cable company forever. I just moved away from the city and into a small town. I had Directv scheduled to hook me up this past Sat. While we were still moving stuff in. They said between noon and 4. Kept getting texts that technician would be here at a certain time. Finally get a text saying they couldn’t make it and they rescheduled for We’d, which I didn’t ask for because I’m at work. Around 7:30 PM everyone(we had family help) was starving so my wife and I decided to take everyone out to dinner. Just as we’re pulling out of the driveway a van pulls up. It’s the Directv tech. I told him sorry but we’re all starving and going to dinner. He said he was hungry also so I told him to forget about it and to go eat. I’ve been wanting to drop them because for what you get it’s a little pricey.

 We have a 55 inch Sony smart tv in the living room and a 40 inch Roku smart tv in the bedroom. I have a device hooked up to the bedroom tv that lets me get all the local channels except ABC for some reason.

 Was wondering what you all could recommend for streaming services to this tech-stupid old fart that would get local channels and basically most everything that was available on Directv that won’t break the bank. I was thinking of getting a Firestick but I don’t know much about it. Sorry for the ramble and thanks for your input.

PS- buying and selling a home and then moving yourself is a bitch. The only time I’m ever going to move again is when they put me in the ground.

         Jax

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This will be a discussion I'm very interested in as the rising price of my U-Verse TV (now around $140, about double the internet portion of the bill). I think the key may be making some lists, channels you must have vs those it would be nice to have, and of course everything else is junk you don't need (but will probably still get lots of in various packages). 

I haven't used any of the broader TV streaming services but have heard some good things about YouTubeTV & SlingTV.

Here's a couple of articles with some reviews, comparisons etc of some of the common options. 

https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/best-live-tv-streaming-service-for-cord-cutters/

https://clark.com/technology/tvsatellite-cable/best-streaming-tv-services/

 

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I have Hulu+Live (have now had it for 4 years I think) and it is great for us. You really just need to make a list of what channels are "must have" and what are nice to have, then compare the various services to find what best fits your need. You've got Hulu, YouTubeTV, Sling, Fubo and I'm sure there are others. And that's just the "live" ones I'm aware of.

When we finally ditched UVerse I didn't miss anything (with kids I'm rarely home all day on Sundays so I've never been a Sunday Ticket person). I get all the local channels (thus all the NBC, CBS, ABD football games), ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and a whole slew of cable channels (TBS, TNT, USA, Food Network, not sure what else, but it's more than enough)

For our family (wife and 3 kids plus an extra living with us right now), we have:

Hulu+Live Ad Free - I also upgraded to unlimited screens though I probably don't need it the majority of the time.

Then, for non-live:

Disney+ and ESPN+ (part of the Hulu Live bundle)

Netflix

Amazon Prime

Apple TV+

HBO Max

Most of those have/had free trials, all are month to month so can cancel and resubscribe at anytime with no commitment.

With current Smart TVs you may not need a separate streaming device - the TVs in our house are about 9 year olds, so limited Smart capabilities. I have a mix of Firesticks and Apple TVs on the TVs, and the kids primarily will stream through their Xboxes.

The main thing is making sure you have decent internet service to handle the bandwidth. I currently have a 400MB plan through Spectrum and have never had an issue - and this is with my wife and I both working from home, multiple devices connected (not just TVs/Firestick, but other things like Nest Thermostat, Ring/Blink cameras, etc.) and it handled having 4 kids logged in for school throughout Covid.

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If you have a smart TV, you shouldn't need a fire stick. For local channels, we use an outdoor antenna with an amplifier. We get something like 30 channels including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX & PBS, most of which we don't watch. There are a whole lot of free (with ads) streaming services such as TUBI and Crackle. You just have to download their app to your TV, sign up for an account and if you don't like their selection just delete the app. Of the major pay streaming services, we have Amazon through our Amazon Prime account, Netflix, HBO (only while Game of Thrones is running) and we also get Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN with our Verizon phone plan.

If there are particular shows you really want access to, I'd either recommend subscribing to whatever streaming service provides it (which you'll probably have to pay for) or just go with YouTube TV, Hulu live or something like that. 

Edited by rajncajn
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Hulu Live - we don't pay for the ad free but do pay for unlimited screens. Has all the local channels.  Also has the ESPN+ bundle and Disney I think - we don't use the Disney.

Amazone Prime - we already had this for shopping so I don't really count this one for TV.

 

I also go in and out of apps all the time depending on what sports I want to watch.  For my TV's, I have a mix of smart TV's and dumb TV's. I bought the Google Chromecast devices for all of them. As the TV's age it seems the app engines just get slower and slower. So for me I've found the Chromecasts work great. 

My remotes are my phone and my ipad. If I want to run three TV's in the garage (which I'll do during NFL season) I just grab my wife's phone and use it.  

My internet is 500mbs, but I will say I was able to run everything on less than 100. That includes three kids with their faces in their phones 24/7.

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1 hour ago, Chief Dick said:

Hulu Live - we don't pay for the ad free but do pay for unlimited screens. Has all the local channels.  Also has the ESPN+ bundle and Disney I think - we don't use the Disney.

If you or the kids like anything Marvel, Star Wars or even Pixar/Disney related, etc., you are really missing out.

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43 minutes ago, Big Country said:

If you or the kids like anything Marvel, Star Wars or even Pixar/Disney related, etc., you are really missing out.

Yeah, we are probably the only household in America that doesn't take advantage of this.   :lol:

The kids are older now: the boys are 17 and 15 and my daughter is 12.  They liked watching Star Wars and Pixar movies when they were little but we really don't watch much TV anymore. Mostly just sports. My wife also loves sports and rarely watches any kind of shows or movies.

And we never really go to the movies anymore.  We have so much going on that about the only show we will all watch together is Amazing Race, but it usually takes us about 8 months to finish a season due to all the other stuff we have going on. 

Two kids in hockey and the older boy in football and soccer keeps us busy.  

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I seriously think that I have every streaming service known to man and probably only watch a few of them. Don't ask what my bills are.

FUBO TV is probably the one that's on the most in my house. The ultimate package has a nice sports/movie package. I think it's a good all around choice, it seems to have something for everyone. 

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2 hours ago, League_Champion said:

I seriously think that I have every streaming service known to man and probably only watch a few of them. Don't ask what my bills are.

FUBO TV is probably the one that's on the most in my house. The ultimate package has a nice sports/movie package. I think it's a good all around choice, it seems to have something for everyone. 

Gee I hope somebody in your household is watching all those streaming services you're paying for. Its part of the business model for all these things, including features like auto renewal, free trials that require a credit card (then you forget to cancel and get charged). 

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4 hours ago, stevegrab said:

Gee I hope somebody in your household is watching all those streaming services you're paying for. Its part of the business model for all these things, including features like auto renewal, free trials that require a credit card (then you forget to cancel and get charged). 

It's embarrassing. I have no idea what we even have. 

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Thanks for all the input! I had my internet hooked up through AT&T. Don’t know what 400MBS means. All I know is it’s 25. something and it worked just fine for the most part at our old house.  Netflix would sometimes have trouble loading on one tv but would come in fine on the other. Never understood this. Already paying more for the internet now that I dropped the Directv that it was bundled with. I’m thinking I may have to upgrade my internet speed.

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I cut the cable, saves about $150 a month. $1800/yr. Pays for house maintenance, new appliances, or a portion of a trip every year.

I just use the lowest internet plan from the cable company ~$45/mo

I have 0 Netflix or channel plans.

Nearly everything I seek is free via antenna, the internet live, or available the next day or two.

 

Antenna?

May not work for everyone, it's all about distance, direction, and obstructions:

Put in your address here : https://www.channelmaster.com/

That can show you the channels you get for free, where the TV stations towers are, and the channel guide link.

 

I use an external antenna that is a little bigger than the size of the light fixture lighting your driveway. Higher you can put it, the better the signal and amount of channels. Point it at the TV station towers. I have mine on a corner of the garage, can hardly tell it's there (color of house and trim helps).

Do not be fooled or pay up for 'HD antenna' - no such thing since it is a receiver of signals. It's HD if the TV station sends it that way, has nothing to do with the receiver.

 

If your house has ever had cable TV, you can use the box on the side of your house. Drop the incoming cable and attach the antenna cable. The box may or may not already have an amplifier. Many do. If so, connect to that input. If not, buy one - they are cheap (but need power). All the output cables already go to your rooms where you currently watch cable TV via wall coax cables. Don't have to run cabling.

I get up to 45 free channels throughout the house.

 

Most newer smart TVs have TVPlus which gives 180 more channels with a LAN cable connected.

Data use usually doesn't matter unless you have a monthly data limit plan. That 180 channel connection can chew up data if you have a household that just runs TVs for background noise 20 hours a day.

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