Cord cutting advice for heavy DVR user

smokey982

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I’ve been with Dish for over 15 years now and I really love the hopper because I’m a really big DVR user. During prime time I’ve been known to record up to 8-10 shows in one night. But I’m really getting sick of losing channels (or at least the threat of losing) because of contract negotiations. Cord cutting is something I would really consider doing. But I’m not sure how I would like losing my DVR. Now I realize if I’m watching online there’s no reason to have a DVR. But the best part of the DVR is setting my favorite shows to automatically record new episodes which prevents me from having to keep up with what shows I watch and when new episodes are available. Just click the DVR button and there they are. Is there a favorites option or something similar that would put my shows in a folder or something? Some way to make it easy to keep track of “my shows” when you’re a cord cutter? I know Netflix has the option for favorites and it automatically plays the “next episode” of those shows. Do all cord cutting services work that way?


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glen4cindy

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For OTA, Recast works that way. It automatically records new episodes and if you are watching it will play until you stop it.


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LQQK

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Do all cord cutting services work that way?
I'm in the same Giant Ship as you. Love my H3 DVR + Multiview.

I've been reading/researching "The Streaming Wars" (Cord Cutters) for a few months so when I finally do jump Ship I have all of my Generals In A Row!

I like the Daily Newsletter Cord Cutters News - All the news cord cutters need about cord cutting! Covering, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Netflix, Hulu, & More! puts out every day, sign up, you'll like it. It's helping me understand what's available + what's in the pipeline.
 
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harshness

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I suppose it comes down to whether or not you bounce around in the content you're watching. If you don't, the streaming "DVRs" are probably okay. If you do, many of the streaming DVRs are truly dark ages (think VHS without tapes). You also have to be careful about the service(s) you choose as some won't let you skip commercials (or they vary from one network to the next).
 

ncted

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I’ve been with Dish for over 15 years now and I really love the hopper because I’m a really big DVR user. During prime time I’ve been known to record up to 8-10 shows in one night. But I’m really getting sick of losing channels (or at least the threat of losing) because of contract negotiations. Cord cutting is something I would really consider doing. But I’m not sure how I would like losing my DVR. Now I realize if I’m watching online there’s no reason to have a DVR. But the best part of the DVR is setting my favorite shows to automatically record new episodes which prevents me from having to keep up with what shows I watch and when new episodes are available. Just click the DVR button and there they are. Is there a favorites option or something similar that would put my shows in a folder or something? Some way to make it easy to keep track of “my shows” when you’re a cord cutter? I know Netflix has the option for favorites and it automatically plays the “next episode” of those shows. Do all cord cutting services work that way?


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Can you receive OTA well? If so, have you considered just adding the OTA adapter to your Hopper3 to fill in when there are disputes? I am not arguing against cutting the cord, but you seem pretty happy with what you have aside from the disputes. That might be the easiest solution to the dispute anxiety.

I am currently testing whether my wife and I can "survive" without Dish, and, so far, things are going pretty well. We used to have a Tivo Roamio OTA and Minis, and that provided a great whole-home DVR experience, but at a price. We went back to satellite as many of the shows we watched at the time were on "cable" channels, and we had to pay extra to watch them when they became available, plus Tivo's guide got really messed up after Rovi bought them. In the intervening years, more and more of what we watch is on either local channels or streaming services, and, for the remaining things, Sling does the job. As a result, it is hard to justify spending lots of money with Dish for monthly hardware fees and lots of channels we don't watch, when we are spending most of our time on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO Now, and a few locally available shows.

The solution we've gone with is an Amazon Fire Recast and four Firestick 4Ks. We get access to all our streaming apps, plus live OTA local channels, and OTA DVR recordings via a single interface. No changing inputs, etc. It isn't perfect. There is no automatic commercial skipping for instance, and trickplay is a little slower and different compared to the Hopper3, but nothing we cannot get used to. Also, the Recast is great for 2 people, as you can only watch 2 things at a time. If you have more users, you might want to look at something like the Tablo Quad. I have Sling for F1 on ESPN (and a few other things) right now, although technically, I could use my parents' DirecTV account to stream it on the ESPN app. Once F1 is over, we might pause Sling for the off-season.

At the end of the day, we have an easier-to-use experience that will save us some money, and it is more focused on the kinds of TV watching we do these days.
 
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navychop

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I dread the day those DVR restrictions hit Dish. That will probably start the countdown where we just watch the old recordings and then cut the cord. I hope that day is far off. But I’m afraid it’s inevitable.


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Zookster

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I suppose it comes down to whether or not you bounce around in the content you're watching. If you don't, the streaming "DVRs" are probably okay. If you do, many of the streaming DVRs are truly dark ages (think VHS without tapes). You also have to be careful about the service(s) you choose as some won't let you skip commercials (or they vary from one network to the next).
I bounce around quite a bit with YouTube TV's DVR without any problem. I can find any scene in any episode of any show in a matter of seconds. It's never been easier. I would be curious to hear what streaming service you have personal experience with that functions like a VCR without a VHS tape (whatever that means). Yes, the only draw back is restrictions skipping commercials on a handful of channels while a VoD version of the show is available, 24 hours after the show airs and then for the next 4-5 weeks.
 
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Yespage

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I dread the day those DVR restrictions hit Dish. That will probably start the countdown where we just watch the old recordings and then cut the cord. I hope that day is far off. But I’m afraid it’s inevitable.


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Sat and Cable are more expensive because of the unlimited DVR.
 

theBruce

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I bounce around quite a bit with YouTube TV's DVR without any problem. I can find any scene in any episode of any show in a matter of seconds. It's never been easier. I would be curious to hear what streaming service you have personal experience with that functions like a VCR without a VHS tape (whatever that means). Yes, the only draw back is restrictions skipping commercials on a handful of channels while a VoD version of the show is available, 24 hours after the show airs and then for the next 4-5 weeks.
Based on his past posting he has not had 'personal experience with' any streaming live TV service.

I don't know what his deal is, everytime I respond to a post about Cord Cutting ( usually to correct a mistruth) in either Dish or DirecTV Forums they go ape****, yet they come over here to attack any Cord Cutting service, seems to be mostly Dish folks.
 
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theBruce

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Sat and Cable are more expensive because of the unlimited DVR.
I can see that coming to a end, sooner or later during contract renewal time a channel ( say AMC) will go if you limit Fast Forwarding on recordings the increase will only be .08 cents instead of .10 cents per sub, then AMC will go to the advertisers and say subscribers can no longer fast forward thru commercials to get more money from the advertiser.
 
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Zookster

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I’ve been with Dish for over 15 years now and I really love the hopper because I’m a really big DVR user. During prime time I’ve been known to record up to 8-10 shows in one night. But I’m really getting sick of losing channels (or at least the threat of losing) because of contract negotiations. Cord cutting is something I would really consider doing. But I’m not sure how I would like losing my DVR. Now I realize if I’m watching online there’s no reason to have a DVR. But the best part of the DVR is setting my favorite shows to automatically record new episodes which prevents me from having to keep up with what shows I watch and when new episodes are available. Just click the DVR button and there they are. Is there a favorites option or something similar that would put my shows in a folder or something? Some way to make it easy to keep track of “my shows” when you’re a cord cutter? I know Netflix has the option for favorites and it automatically plays the “next episode” of those shows. Do all cord cutting services work that way?


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Almost all the live TV OTT services let you set up some kind of season pass for TV show recordings. At least I know with PS Vue and YouTube TV, when you "Add a Show" to your library, or whatever terminology is used, it records every instance of that show (new and rerun), and you can't add/delete individual episodes. That's of course not an issue when you have unlimited space and unlimited recording timers (with those two services specifically). Then you go to your library, find the show (like in your Netflix queue) where newest episodes are highlighted in some way.

I've had YouTube TV for the past 18+ months, which is widely regarded as having the best DVR feature set and functionality, all included in the base price, among the OTT live TV services. The only restriction is for CBS, CW, and Pop shows, you can only access the on-demand version of a new episode (for 4-5 weeks generally) and are often unable to fast-forward through commercials during that time. You can, however, access the recording the night an episode airs, for chasing playback to FF commercials. YouTube TV gives you nine months before a recording "expires," though that date is extended with any re-airing.

Your best bet is to do a free trial of any services that interest you based on the channel selection and go from there. If you have questions, there's usually someone around here who has direct experience of the given service.

Living in San Diego, the 8th largest city in America, Dish is a total nonstarter for me, never carrying my local CW and recently dropping all RSNs, and from time to time dropping other channels and networks temporarily. I know, because it puts me in a position to figure out options for my elderly father who's had Dish for 20 years. It will be difficult to transition him to a service when the time eventually comes.
 

msmith198025

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I suppose it comes down to whether or not you bounce around in the content you're watching. If you don't, the streaming "DVRs" are probably okay. If you do, many of the streaming DVRs are truly dark ages (think VHS without tapes). You also have to be careful about the service(s) you choose as some won't let you skip commercials (or they vary from one network to the next).
I’m not sure you’ve ever used a streaming DVR based on this post. You can skip through the program in much the same manner as you can with sat or cable on every service I’ve used. Depending on the device used to access the service the button pushes may be different, but it’s basically the same skip function any dvr user has become accustomed to.

There are a few channels on some services that do have restrictions, but those have been covered in previous responses to this post I think, as well as in past threads.

Like others, I’m curious which of these services you’ve actually subscribed to to base your statements on. Perhaps I’ve not tried the service that has the vhs like dvr. I thought I had tried most of them, but I may be mistaken.
 

mwdxer1

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I’ve been with Dish for over 15 years now and I really love the hopper because I’m a really big DVR user. During prime time I’ve been known to record up to 8-10 shows in one night. But I’m really getting sick of losing channels (or at least the threat of losing) because of contract negotiations. Cord cutting is something I would really consider doing. But I’m not sure how I would like losing my DVR. Now I realize if I’m watching online there’s no reason to have a DVR. But the best part of the DVR is setting my favorite shows to automatically record new episodes which prevents me from having to keep up with what shows I watch and when new episodes are available. Just click the DVR button and there they are. Is there a favorites option or something similar that would put my shows in a folder or something? Some way to make it easy to keep track of “my shows” when you’re a cord cutter? I know Netflix has the option for favorites and it automatically plays the “next episode” of those shows. Do all cord cutting services work that way?

With cord cutting, it really depends on what you want. There are many streaming services to chose from. Some have DVR capabilities and some don't. You can go as basic as you want, like Philo offering 58 cable channels (Little news, no sports) for $20 a month and included is a free DVR. I am currently subscribing to them as they have several channels Dish doesn't. With me, I am a real fan of many old rare TV shows. Philo has Aspire, an American American small network. They run a lot of old TV series including Julia, Room 222, and The Mod Squad. They also have BBC World.
I like streaming services as an add on, as there are no contracts, equipment to buy. You just find the service you want, subscribe to it until you get tired of it, and then switch over to something else. Also most services give you a few days to a week to try it out free. You can then decide if you want the service or not. I had Netflix for a while, dropped that, picked up Hulu for a time. Dropped that, picked up Philo. I still like Dish, but having streaming as an add on is really a lot of fun and many services aren't available elsewhere.


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harshness

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You can skip through the program in much the same manner as you can with sat or cable on every service I’ve used. Depending on the device used to access the service the button pushes may be different, but it’s basically the same skip function any dvr user has become accustomed to.
I've found that Amazon Prime and Netflix don't offer a particularly good sense of visual progress when advancing at even the slowest speed. Fast forwarding through Amazon's relatively new pre-roll promos is typically a matter of pressing forward once and waiting until a frame of video shows up -- that should be the start of the program. Skipping forward is not an option on the devices that I've used (unless you call fast forwarding at greater than the first speed increment skipping because it skips showing you any video).

With a real DVR, many more frames are flashed through (even at up o 300x) and if you want a fixed interval jump forward or back, there's a button on the remote for that. Some devices (i.e. Roku) have a jump back feature but the interval isn't entirely predictable.
 
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theBruce

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I've found that Amazon Prime and Netflix don't offer a particularly good sense of visual progress when advancing at even the slowest speed. Fast forwarding through Amazon's relatively new pre-roll promos is typically a matter of pressing forward once and waiting until a frame of video shows up -- that should be the start of the program. Skipping forward is not an option on the devices that I've used (unless you call fast forwarding at greater than the first speed increment skipping because it skips showing you any video).
So translation is you never tried a OTT live TV service’s DVR yet you choose to criticize it.

Amazon/ Netflix are not DVRs, they are a on-demand type service.




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msmith198025

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I've found that Amazon Prime and Netflix don't offer a particularly good sense of visual progress when advancing at even the slowest speed. Fast forwarding through Amazon's relatively new pre-roll promos is typically a matter of pressing forward once and waiting until a frame of video shows up -- that should be the start of the program. Skipping forward is not an option on the devices that I've used (unless you call fast forwarding at greater than the first speed increment skipping because it skips showing you any video).

With a real DVR, many more frames are flashed through (even at up o 300x) and if you want a fixed interval jump forward or back, there's a button on the remote for that. Some devices (i.e. Roku) have a jump back feature but the interval isn't entirely predictable.
So I was right and you have no experience with a streaming dvr, and are basing your post off of usage of online on demand services, which is a different animal entirely.
 

lparsons21

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So I was right and you have no experience with a streaming dvr, and are basing your post off of usage of online on demand services, which is a different animal entirely.
But I have experience with them. At one time or another I’ve probably tested all of them. DVR functionality varies all over the place with streaming DVRs. Some allow trick play, some don’t, some by channel, some across the board. No consistency at all. And exactly NONE of them comes even close to working as well as the poorest cable/sat DVR out there.


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