Cord cutting ramblings...

lparsons21

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With all the posts and such about IPTV being the wave of the future and even to a growing extent, a wave that is ongoing, I thought I would do a month long trial with IPTV only.
Currently I’m on cable with retail Tivo gear and am happy with it, but the bill keeps climbing and I’m not too far away from the end of my bundling ‘deal’.

First up is what to replace my cable channel supplier. I did a look at my recording schedules on my main Tivo to determine which channels I have recordings scheduled for. Surprising it was only 9 channels!

So my must have cable channels are AMC, SyFy, TBS, USA, BBC, FX, IFC and Paramount. Other cable channels are watched but not often and the bulk of the others aren’t watched at all.

I found that Sling Blue fit the bill. Cheap at $30/month with DVR service and has those 9 channels plus some others I’ll watch on rarer occasions. So I’m on a one month trial @$20.

Local channels. These were easy! I’ve got an antenna that gets some of them, but I’ve ordered an outdoor one that will get them all. And for DVR, I have a Tivo Bolt with Lifetime service that will handle that quite well.

Premiums are a big part of my current bill and the only way to reduce their impact is to subscribe to them sparingly and binge watch series. Not a big deal to do with streaming.

Sports are an issue for streaming, but I’m a very casual viewer of any sports. Sling Blue has a few sports channels, and are enough to satisfy my appetite for sports.

Add in a few ad-supported services and I’ll have more than enough to watch. I also already subscribe to basic Hulu, basic CBS All Access, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Epix. I’ve also done the 3-year Disney+ deal so that’s paid for for 3 years from launch date at a very attractive price. All of those would be subscribed to regardless of moving away from cable or not so are not part of the financials.

I’m doing the month so I can see what impact on internet bandwidth usage it will have. Currently on a 2TB bandwidth cap so I should be OK and see no increase in internet cost.

Financially it looks like this:
Current cableTV : $90 approximately with all taxes & fees.
If I change that to closer match what a streaming/OTA deal would look like, then that would drop to about $50 under the current bundling deal. After the deal drops off I think it would be about $90.

Streaming/OTA:
Sling Blue w/DVR : $30

It seems to be a no brainer to make the switch and it surely is from a financial standpoint. But there is more convenience in cable/sat IMO, and that’s worth something.

Downside to all streaming is potential rise in internet bill if bandwidth is exceeded. I’m used to turning on the TV in the early morning and leaving it on until about 10PM. I don’t actually watch it that much in the daytime, but it is noise in the house which is nice for those of us that live solo IMO. Usually the TV is tuned to one of the incessant reruns on various channels.



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lparsons21

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Perhaps you could tune to an OTA channel for that noise and it wouldn’t affect your data cap at all...
That’s one I’ve thought about. Since a lot of the time during the day I’m not actually paying any attention to the TV at all it should be OK. I mean it is just as easy to ignore court tv crap as it is to ignore incessant reruns of reruns of reruns of Law & Order! :)

For this month I’m not going to do that as I want to do a stress test of the bandwidth usage.


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Zookster

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2TB data cap is pretty hefty if you are living alone. I use 500-550 GB/mo. on average, working and living at home. I often put the TV on in the morning for an hour or so, around the noon hour, and then for 5-6 hours every evening. It's probably on 10-12 hours on Sat. and Sun. running sports in the background (sometimes on more than one TV). I used to get by with ~300 GB/mo. before my ISP bumped my cap to 1 TB. Then, I watched OTA whenever possible (even if I had the streaming version of the channel), especially for sports, and I didn't leave the TV running if I wasn't really watching (except OTA). Streaming radio/pod casts can also provide background noise at much lower data rates.
 
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theBruce

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There are four of us, all of our TV entertainment comes via the internet, at least 2 TVs are running day and night plus gaming, computers, ipads, etc and the highest we come is 1.8 TB, average is right around 1.6 TB, if it is just you alone everything should be fine.

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lparsons21

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Yeah I know I could just crank up some music, but I’m a creature of habits and TV on all the time is one of them! :)



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Radioguy41

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Have you considered Dish Flex Pack? With the exception of BBC (The Star Trek Channel) all those you mentioned are in the base Flex Pack from Dish (and a lot more) for $37.99 per month. No bandwidth to worry about and you can add and remove various add-ons at will.
 
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lparsons21

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Have you considered Dish Flex Pack? With the exception of BBC (The Star Trek Channel) all those you mentioned are in the base Flex Pack from Dish (and a lot more) for $37.99 per month. No bandwidth to worry about and you can add and remove various add-ons at will.
I did think about that as I do like Dish’s Hopper. But when you add in the equipment costs it isn’t such a bargain. If I were to go that way I would need an H3 and 2 wireless Joeys.
And as far as I can discern from their website, Flex Pack isn’t part of new/returning customer deals.


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harshness

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A detail (that I may have missed) of your setup is how many viewers.

You may be able to economize on clients if you use Fire TV players rather than Joeys.
 
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lparsons21

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A detail (that I may have missed) of your setup is how many viewers.

You may be able to economize on clients if you use Fire TV players rather than Joeys.
Usually just one viewer in either the front room or my bedroom, but a few times a year I have overnight guests and there is a tv in that room also.

Just reading a bit here and there it looks like with Dish a do Flex Pack it would cost:
Flex Pack = $38
H3 = $10 (or is it $15)

And I can’t even determine if Flex Pack is available for a new customer.

So even for that it would be $48 which is $18 higher than Sling Blue and I would be missing one of my must have channels. And it wouldn’t allow me to reduce my internet as I use a little over 1TB/month now with the streaming I do. 4K will kick the numbers up in a hurry!


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camo

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I would give Sling a trial run before canceling if you haven't. Sling is one of my least favorite streaming services but I'm a sports and PQ fan so went with YTTV which is heavily loaded with sports channels @ 60fps.
 
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ncted

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Usually just one viewer in either the front room or my bedroom, but a few times a year I have overnight guests and there is a tv in that room also.

Just reading a bit here and there it looks like with Dish a do Flex Pack it would cost:
Flex Pack = $38
H3 = $10 (or is it $15)

And I can’t even determine if Flex Pack is available for a new customer.

So even for that it would be $48 which is $18 higher than Sling Blue and I would be missing one of my must have channels. And it wouldn’t allow me to reduce my internet as I use a little over 1TB/month now with the streaming I do. 4K will kick the numbers up in a hurry!


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Typically, people sign up for the AT120 and then switch to the Flex pack. Not sure if you can order flex as a new customer at all any more.
 

lparsons21

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I would give Sling a trial run before canceling if you haven't. Sling is one of my least favorite streaming services but I'm a sports and PQ fan so went with YTTV which is heavily loaded with sports channels @ 60fps.
I’m currently on a one month trial with Sling Blue. It has what I want from cable channels. Downside is audio as it is almost all just stereo. But the shows on my 9 channels aren’t the kind that need 5.1 all that much so not a big deal.
Looked at YTTV, it is fine but if I were to go that way I might just as well stick with cable as the costs are nearly the same, or at least would be for awhile.


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harshness

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Certainly can’t from the website.
You can't order it on the website, but it is listed.

Pay As You Go Satellite TV Packages | DISH

Flex doesn't necessarily make sense for the first three months as you get a free installation, Showtime, Starz, DISH Movie Pack and a buttload of additional channels for the relatively small difference between Flex and AT120.

Of course it is up to you to remember to cancel the movie channels and the DISH protection plan before they start costing you money. You'll also need to replace the leased Hopper Duo with an owned Hopper of some sort.
 
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lparsons21

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Since Flex doesn’t offer all 9 of my must have channels, it is a non-starter. And it sure doesn’t fare well on cost comparison either.

Sling Blue has all the must channels @$25/month+$5/month for DVR and has 3 concurrent streams. So 3 whatever streaming boxes which I already own can be watched at the same time at no additional cost.

Cable has more channels including my must haves and works fine with my paid for Tivos. Cost about $50/month for at least a year.

Flex doesn’t have all of them and cost $38/month+whatever outlet fee for a single Hopper of some sort, and additional cost to add clients. As to buying a different Hopper since the Duo is a dud IMO, well that just adds to the overall cost of doing it.

l suspect that at the end of the month trial/stress test, cable will stay until it becomes too expensive and then be replaced by streaming/OTA. Satellite just isn’t competitive where there are other solutions available IMO.


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harshness

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I submit that there may be fewer limitations on the conventional services than there are with the streaming services. You may or may not end up appreciating 5.1 sound and you may be good with reduced picture quality (I find my local cable to be the bottom of the barrel here) and that's good for you. If you find it bothersome, that's worth something. Having a local DVR is a different experience from a cloud DVR. Channel changing on OTT and satellite may be unacceptable for some.

I advocate that the options be carefully compared and the compromises determined and if they don't interfere, go for it. I like that my TV experience depends only on having some sort of AC power and I can take it places that I don't have Internet access.
 
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lparsons21

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I would agree. Cable with Tivo is very convenient and easy to use. Satellite with Hopper3 is wonderful and ATT’s equipment isn’t horrible.
If I had to choose which to do today I would probably opt to stay with cable as it is close to all streaming and it is much easier to manage.


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ncted

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Here is what cord cutting would (will?) look like for my two person household:

OTA Reception:
Amazon Recast DVR 1TB/4 Tuner/2 Simultaneous streams, 4 Firestick 4Ks.

OTT Live Streaming:
Sling Orange + DVR (during F1 Season for sure, maybe year round, depending on how much it gets used otherwise): $30.90 (after BJs prepaid discount and taxes)

On Demand Streaming:
Year Round:
HBO Prime Channel: $15.30
Netflix: $13.96
Hulu Commercial Free: $12.32
Total: $41.58

Part Time:
CBS All Access: $10.20
Starz: $10.20

These are all things we already pay for as existing Dish subscribers.

As more and more of what we watch is streaming-only, paying $60-$120/month to get content from Dish/Cable/etc. just makes less and less sense. We rarely have to watch commercials while streaming, so the DVR functionality matters little. For locals, the OTA DVR has decent trick play, and a chance of automatic commercial skipping in the future. I kind of hate to say it, but the paradigm has shifted for us away from the traditional linear model.
 

lparsons21

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That’s not far off from what I’m considering if I do cut the cord.

OTA : Tivo Bolt. Currently that isn’t ‘whole home’ but there is an app coming that will make it so.

OTT : Live streaming + DVR = $30

On demand streaming year round:
Netflix = $15.99
Hulu commercial free = $11.99
Amazon Prime = $0 since I would have it without video
CBS All Access w/ads = $6
Disney+ = $4
Total = $37.98

Part time:
Epix = $5.99
HBO = $14.99
Max = $9.99
Showtime = $10.99

Note that the year round demand streaming is what I have regardless of cable/sat/internet.

If I stay with cable the cost is $50 approximately, so a savings of $20/month with streaming, but lots fewer channels, little if any 5.1 audio, no commercial skip for the most part, not much in the way of trick play. Video quality is better on some things, the same on some and worse on others, depending which service I’m using.




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