Another one bites the dust (1 Viewer)

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jcrandall

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I called tonight to turn off my DirecTV service and will be sending my receivers back. I've had DirecTV since 2006 and really enjoy it, but even with various discounts and such (which seems to be an annual call and beg session) they have simply priced themselves out of my reach. Over the past couple years I've stopped using Sunday Ticket / Extra Innings, dropped from Xtra to Choice, and rarely would pay for premiums, usually only with B1G1 offers. Even with that, the bill is in the $120-$150 range every month for my 4 TV setup.

I've tested streaming options and debated about it, but found I really didn't care for the interface of most of the streaming options. I tried trials of PS Vue and DirecTV Now. With PS Vue the DVR option was confusing and not intuitive, and the guide was difficult. With DirecTV Now the guide worked better but the service wasn't reliable and it doesn't have DVR.

I debated about Dish, but the cheapest setup would still be nearly $100 with 4 TVs, though I would be excited about their equipment, the Hopper is an excellent system.

Then I debated about Comcast. I have Comcast internet and I was coming up on my 1 year where the price would change from $40 to $65 for 25MB internet. This meets our needs, though with their 1TB cap I would be concerned about having the entire home streaming. In my review I found they offer a 2 year internet / TV package together in my area for $90/month that included nearly the same channels I had with DirecTV and 75MB internet. This was the winner.

I wasn't impressed with Comcast's X1 setup, it wasn't bad but isn't overly impressive (though still smoother than DirecTV's rickety old setup. What really bothered me about X1 is the fees (DVR and additional outlets would be $50/month for my 4 TV home).

So I tried Tivo. Tivo was an option at $150/year for equipment with their mini box in the extra rooms. I bought a used Bolt from a user here and it worked great. In fact, the interface was so impressive and the reliability was rock solid on the main set and the mini units, that I began considering bigger Tivo options. Instead of the 4 tuner Bolt at $150/year I opted to purchase a Roamio Pro Tivo - which is 6 tuners and cable only. This has been a fantastic setup and we've really enjoyed it over the past couple weeks.

I wanted to be sure we would be happy before pulling the plug on DirecTV, and I found the Comcast setup with Tivo, using their mini's for my extra TVs, was a great solution for us.

We'll be paying $90/month for the service for 2 years, plus about $15/month in fees/taxes, and I added the Sports package for $5/month - for RedZone primarily, but it also gives us MLB Network, NHL, and NBA (which are some of the few channels we lost vs. the DirecTV Choice package). So lets say $110/month. Keep in mind that includes 75MB internet, and is price guaranteed for 2 years.

Where will I be in 2 years - well, I have no idea. My hope is Comcast will keep the service decent and be willing to play ball in 2 years on price to keep it somewhat reasonable. Tivo's seem to hold their value well if we do end up changing in a couple years, but I do find it works really well and I hope to keep it for many years.

I've been with DirecTV for 11 years, and love the service. Sadly, their pricing model is cost-prohibitive unless you are an AT&T wireless customer, and their interface is dated with no improvements in sight. I'm not a cord-cutter, I didn't like my cord-cutter test experience, I'll consider myself more "cord-counscious".
 
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osu1991

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I made the same switch last year after 17 years with Dish. Already had a TiVo Roamio with lifetime and Cox internet. Was able to keep the same 150/10 internet and add TV that was equivalent of Dish At200 all for $99. Total $109 a month with taxes. I still have a year left and the cox rep said to just come back in when it expires and they can set me up on whatever the next bundle promotion is. Thats $80-$85 a month in savings from paying for sat tv and internet separately. My dad, sister and step sister all ended up doing the same thing. Cable has that cost advantage with the bundles and TiVo makes using cable a lot more friendly than it used to be.
 

ncted

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I hope you have a good experience with Tivo. Since their sale to Rovi, there have been a lot of guide data issues, but hopefully they will get all of those cleared up. I loved my Roamio OTA when I had cut the [TV] cord. The DirecTV DVRs are mediocre in comparison. Once my contract is up in 2018, I will again reassess my options. Hopefully one of the streaming services will be worth considering by then.
 

RandallA

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Thanks for sharing. I'm in the same situation as you where Directv has become too expensive for our household and I'm looking into other options.
 

tigerfan33

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I dropped Directv in November and asked for discounts to stay. No luck so I went with Vue which I liked very much. Directv kept calling sending mail
and emails for deals to come back. Called last week and got HR54 and HR24 with Choice for $65 1st year $5 more the 2nd year. If I had that offer to begin I wouldn't had left.



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directv newb

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I dropped Directv in November and asked for discounts to stay. No luck so I went with Vue which I liked very much. Directv kept calling sending mail
and emails for deals to come back. Called last week and got HR54 and HR24 with Choice for $65 1st year $5 more the 2nd year. If I had that offer to begin I wouldn't had left.



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Not trying to be a dick just curious, if you liked Vue so much why did you leave them to come back to DIRECTV??
 

SpaethCo

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It's interesting to see where everyone who embarks on the cost saving journey ends up - glad you were able to find a Comcast package that works for you!

Tivo is definitely great -- especially with the features they've added like commercial skip. I picked up the Roamio OTA refurb deal back in November when we were thinking about dropping DirecTV and still have no regrets. We still use the Tivo exclusively for watching locals (live and DVR) even though we can technically watch through DirecTV -- it's just so much easier.

We did the tour of Sling, DTVN, and Vue -- and I think Vue is the best of all of them when you compare feature set coming off other cable/sat systems. Where I think the dividing line is going to be for streaming is people who watch events vs people who watch shows. If you only watch shows, streaming gives you tons of options to watch that content. You can plan to watch on your live streaming TV provider, if that fails you can watch via the channel app on your steaming TV box, if you don't want commercials you can buy episodes from Apple/Amazon/Google, or you can wait for shows to show up on Netflix. Events, on the other hand, is where frustration can creep in. Particularly for live events with immediate spoilers like sports. If there's a streaming problem, you can't exactly come back and watch later and still have the same experience.

I'm not enamored with the pricing of DirecTV, because all we really want is the channels in the Family Pack + FOX Sports North + NBCSN + NHL Center Ice. Since the only way to get FSN + NBCSN is Choice, we end up paying $49/mo more than we'd like. Still, nobody else carries all the NHL games in HD to the same degree that DirecTV does. Dish is probably the closest, but they didn't (maybe still don't?) have the MSG-HD feeds, and they didn't carry any of the RSN/TSN HD feeds out of Canada. The NHL.tv streaming package gets all the games in HD, but it's the same price as NHL:CI on DirecTV and can be madly frustrating on nights when the game you want to watch keeps crapping out.

DirecTV has definitely reached a price level where people are going to be looking around, and that should be concerning to them. My desires for a TV provider locks me in to their service, unfortunately, but I'm willing to bet I'm in the minority here.
 

tigerfan33

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Not trying to be a dick just curious, if you liked Vue so much why did you leave them to come back to DIRECTV??

No OTA locals for me and Vue didn't have my locals.
Vue is solid service with pq barely below Directv and way ahead Dish and Charter.


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jcrandall

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I setup PS Vue on an Apple TV for my father this weekend to go along with his antenna. Both he and I were impressed with the picture quality. The interface is just plain uneasy to use, especially on the Apple touch remote.
I ended up programming one of my Directv remotes to operate his Apple TV so he has actual buttons for arrows. It helped, but it is still a difficult interface compared to most remote driven options.
 

jcrandall

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I hope you have a good experience with Tivo. Since their sale to Rovi, there have been a lot of guide data issues, but hopefully they will get all of those cleared up. I loved my Roamio OTA when I had cut the [TV] cord. The DirecTV DVRs are mediocre in comparison. Once my contract is up in 2018, I will again reassess my options. Hopefully one of the streaming services will be worth considering by then.

From what I've read Tivo and Rovi have improved from when the guide conversion first happened. I also read that Dish uses Rovi for their guide data, and I haven't heard many complaints about Dish's data.
I've been testing it for about 3 weeks now and haven't run into any concerns. That said, I just created one-passes for the shows and it does it's thing - I don't spend much time in the guide. It also has been perfect so far on wish-passes I've setup for basketball, baseball, and hockey, both college and pro.

I've been very pleased so far. The Tivo is not a cheap option, as I have $500 into a Roamio Pro and $75 into Tivo Mini's in 4 rooms, but my hope is they are a one time cost versus monthly equipment fees, and if we do end up changing service or providers they do hold their resale value pretty well.

Lastly, the Skip mode is a really nice feature, and very well done. Reminds me of my ReplayTV 5040 back in the SD days, that skipped commercials automatically (back then even without a button press). The content providers sure did a good job neutralizing that feature over the years with legal threats.
 

osu1991

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The guide data has been getting better. It still has flaws and isn't as good as it was with gracenote. There are some areas around the country still having problems. I've spent the last month trying to get one channel on Cox fixed and it took Executive Resolutions to finally get it done. The Cox Oklahoma channel just has generic local programming now instead of the local high school and college events. That is my next beef to get them to actually provide that data again.
 

tigerfan33

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I setup PS Vue on an Apple TV for my father this weekend to go along with his antenna. Both he and I were impressed with the picture quality. The interface is just plain uneasy to use, especially on the Apple touch remote.
I ended up programming one of my Directv remotes to operate his Apple TV so he has actual buttons for arrows. It helped, but it is still a difficult interface compared to most remote driven options.

Interface for Vue is best on a PlayStation or Amazon Fire TV.
Apple TV and Roku are horrendous.
Sony should never given the green light for those two applications.

Jason. You'll probably get bombarded with emails and mail from Directv. Look for the one that offers $200 Visa.
I used that one toward the 2nd year along with auto pay to keep things reasonable.


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jcrandall

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Interface for Vue is best on a PlayStation or Amazon Fire TV.
Apple TV and Roku are horrendous.
Sony should never given the green light for those two applications.

Jason. You'll probably get bombarded with emails and mail from Directv. Look for the one that offers $200 Visa.
I used that one toward the 2nd year along with auto pay to keep things reasonable.
With my hour or so using it I would agree the Apple TV app needs work for PS Vue. I'll have to look into a fire TV if that would be a better solution for him.
Of course, I have to imagine that they would be working on improving that app, the Apple TV has a huge user base.

The problem with DirecTV for me is internet. Comcast gave me $95/month for 75MB internet and nearly the same programming I had with DirecTV. Yes I paid a lot for equipment to avoid fees, but I've already done it.
In my area even 25MB internet service is $65/month by itself. Comcast has setup their pricing that standalone service just doesn't make sense, which makes DirecTV a premium product, so to speak.

I don't know that DirecTV can say they are a premium product at that level anymore. Perhaps 4K will get them there someday. Today, however, every station my family watches is on HD on both DirecTV and Comcast.
DirecTV does have more HD, but it is very close. Cable of course has the benefit of doing a better job with locals such as subchannels, which is nice as well.
 

ncted

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From what I've read Tivo and Rovi have improved from when the guide conversion first happened. I also read that Dish uses Rovi for their guide data, and I haven't heard many complaints about Dish's data.
I've been testing it for about 3 weeks now and haven't run into any concerns. That said, I just created one-passes for the shows and it does it's thing - I don't spend much time in the guide. It also has been perfect so far on wish-passes I've setup for basketball, baseball, and hockey, both college and pro.

I've been very pleased so far. The Tivo is not a cheap option, as I have $500 into a Roamio Pro and $75 into Tivo Mini's in 4 rooms, but my hope is they are a one time cost versus monthly equipment fees, and if we do end up changing service or providers they do hold their resale value pretty well.

Lastly, the Skip mode is a really nice feature, and very well done. Reminds me of my ReplayTV 5040 back in the SD days, that skipped commercials automatically (back then even without a button press). The content providers sure did a good job neutralizing that feature over the years with legal threats.

Well, I am glad it hasn't been a problem for you. There are some folks over in the Dish forums complaining. It is hard to know exactly how bad it is without experiencing it yourself.

Skip mode is great. My wife really misses it. Best of luck!
 

comp9

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I have Tivo recently with my CC and i had no guide issues.. Seems to either be a constant issue or a non issue.. I love Tivo but my CC leaves alot to be desired. a lack of HD channels and the channel order is all over the damn place
 

ncted

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I have Tivo recently with my CC and i had no guide issues.. Seems to either be a constant issue or a non issue.. I love Tivo but my CC leaves alot to be desired. a lack of HD channels and the channel order is all over the damn place

Do you have to use a Tuning Adapter? If not, be glad.
 

osu1991

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Tuning adapters vary. I have the newer Motorola tuning adapter with Cox Oklahoma that's about the size of a cell phone and it hasn't been a problem in the year, this month, that I've been using it. The one in Las Vegas at our condo on the other hand is an older model that's as big as the TiVo and occasionally would need to reboot every 6-8 weeks. I put it on a timer to reboot it every night and no problems since.
 

jcrandall

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I have Tivo recently with my CC and i had no guide issues.. Seems to either be a constant issue or a non issue.. I love Tivo but my CC leaves alot to be desired. a lack of HD channels and the channel order is all over the damn place

Is "CC" Comcast?

We do have Comcast, I agree the guide is in need of some optimization, but their second set in the 1000's is a little easier, I just setup my favorites in that range. I do with they would add mirrors in the 1000's categories for the SD only channels to avoid having those few channels in the 200's, etc.

In our area most everything is HD except a few cable channels that I wasn't expecting (like TCM), and sub channels, religion, local access, etc. I'd say anything in the "top 100" cable networks is most likely in HD.
 
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