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Old 09-07-2019, 10:55 PM
Do Not Taunt is offline
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Cord Cutting - opinions


I've been a long customer of Sling TV paired with picking up broadcast channels OTA. Sling's been pretty good, but OTA is hit-and-miss. So I have signed up for YouTube TV's free trial. It has two major benefits: it has all the major broadcast channels, and comes with a cloud DVR (unlimited storage, but recordings stay in your account for nine months. If you want to keep something longer, you're SOL.)

The downside of YouTube TV, and this is definitely a YMMV thing, is that I find the UI to be a little janky. Almost nothing works the way I'd expect it to.

How do you feel about your streaming service? Should I be trying something else, or just try to get acclimated to its idiosyncrasies?
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:24 PM
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This thread might help.

We're still using Roku with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, plus our rabbit ears antenna. We subscribe to some channels when they have something we really want to watch, like HBO, AMC, and BBC. We sometimes use the apps for what used to be network TV--ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. God, I hate NBC's app.
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:46 PM
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Thanks, GreysonCarlisle. I scanned that thread, didn't see anyone commenting about cloud dvr. That's a requirement for me. I hate hate hate commercials. I've been using a Tivo for the OTA channels, and the Tivo interface is fantastic, but the quality of my reception just isn't reliable enough for me. There's actually a pretty good table in this CNET article that summarizes the options. Looks like Playstation Vue is the other option with a good cloud DVR option. Anyone used it?
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:50 PM
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Depends on what you want to watch. We cut the cord a while back and started with Sling and Hulu. We like football. Sling would give you NFL channel on one plan and ESPN on the other, and no OTA channels. Hulu promised the ability to first run shows with a day delay, but only certain first run shows. Went to DIRECTV Now. Ok for a while but when ATT took over, they seemed to lose interest and it started to go downhill to include randomly shutting off stations without telling anyone. Now we have playstation Vue (you don't need a playstation). We're very happy. its a bit pricey st about $50, but still less than half what we were paying for satellite TV and it has OTA channels, a good interface and all our football stations.
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:54 PM
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I've got an AppleTV with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu (plus HBO in some sort of weird bundle with my internet). I technically still have cable TV, because of one of the moronic Internet $$ > Internet + Cable $$ deals, but it isn't actually hooked up.

I buy seasons of stuff from iTunes or Amazon once in a while, but those three seem to cover me pretty well. The only think I can't find these days is Youku (basically Chinese Netflix) -- I've got a couple HDMI ports left on the TV, so maybe I should see if the google/fire sticks have it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by turner View Post
Depends on what you want to watch. We cut the cord a while back and started with Sling and Hulu. We like football. Sling would give you NFL channel on one plan and ESPN on the other, and no OTA channels. Hulu promised the ability to first run shows with a day delay, but only certain first run shows. Went to DIRECTV Now. Ok for a while but when ATT took over, they seemed to lose interest and it started to go downhill to include randomly shutting off stations without telling anyone. Now we have playstation Vue (you don't need a playstation). We're very happy. its a bit pricey st about $50, but still less than half what we were paying for satellite TV and it has OTA channels, a good interface and all our football stations.
We also use PSVUE and have enjoyed it quite a bit. It also has a cloud based "unlimited" DVR, but I use quotes because the recordings are a bit wonky. One show will keep a whole season, wheras another one seems to only hold about 5 episodes at a time. Thankfully we don't use it that particularly often.

That said, like turner PSVUE gives us all the sports we need including ESPN, NFL Net, FS1, etc.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:02 AM
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I did try YouTube TV and I liked it, but there were one or two channels on Sling that were NOT on YouTube TV that tipped me back to Sling.

My channels:
Sling
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
Acorn
Calm Radio

I also use PlayOn to record all the stuff NOT on Sling.

ETA: I'm so far out in the sticks that OTA is not an option for me. I wish it was.

Last edited by Mind's Eye, Watering; 09-09-2019 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:33 AM
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Depends on what you want to watch.
Mostly NFL. In the past year, I think I've also recorded the Democratic primary debate that was on broadcast, but it ended up being unwatchable because of reception issues.

I might try out Playstation Vue if they have a free trial. Thanks, all!
  #9  
Old 09-09-2019, 11:50 AM
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I have a digital antenna, subscriptions to Netflix and Amazon Prime and the regular old YouTube app on my TV, and I really don't lack for things to watch. I don't care about network shows or 99.99% of all sports broadcast live and anything I do care about I can generally find available on YouTube as a clip (Trevor Noah, Colbert, John Oliver, etc.) within hours of them airing. My total cost per month is about $27, I think, and $16 of that is for Netflix.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:55 AM
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I have two Rokus - a stick and an SE. Both of them take interminably long to load, to go from item to item on their menus, etc. Also, the first few seconds to minute or so of video can be blurred and "watery." The stick has an annoying habit of losing programming entirely and going back to a dancing Roku screen for several minutes while I do little rituals I think will magically make it reboot to the last thing I was watching. According to the Rokus themselves, as well as every other device I own, the wi-fi signal is strong and steady.

The problem is so persistent and annoying that my wife refuses to discuss dropping cable regardless of cost and other programming options available. And why should I spend money to buy an Apple TV or Amazon Firestick or whatever and risk having them screw up in the same ways?
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Do Not Taunt View Post
Mostly NFL. In the past year, I think I've also recorded the Democratic primary debate that was on broadcast, but it ended up being unwatchable because of reception issues.

I might try out Playstation Vue if they have a free trial. Thanks, all!
They definitely have a free trial, you should check it out.

I don't even have the best package (nor the sports package) and I still get NFL net and all the local channels for games. All I'm really missing out on is Red Zone, and that's just 10 bucks a month so it's not even all that crazy
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:56 AM
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Any way to cut the cord and still have those news channels?
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Clark View Post
I have two Rokus - a stick and an SE. Both of them take interminably long to load, to go from item to item on their menus, etc. Also, the first few seconds to minute or so of video can be blurred and "watery." The stick has an annoying habit of losing programming entirely and going back to a dancing Roku screen for several minutes while I do little rituals I think will magically make it reboot to the last thing I was watching. According to the Rokus themselves, as well as every other device I own, the wi-fi signal is strong and steady.

The problem is so persistent and annoying that my wife refuses to discuss dropping cable regardless of cost and other programming options available. And why should I spend money to buy an Apple TV or Amazon Firestick or whatever and risk having them screw up in the same ways?
That hasn't been my experience at all. Mine have been rock solid.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:56 PM
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That hasn't been my experience at all. Mine have been rock solid.
My rokus have been rock solid, as well.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:43 PM
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Also, the first few seconds to minute or so of video can be blurred and "watery."
I only get that watching CW on Roku, and it can last for a minute or two.
  #16  
Old 09-09-2019, 04:08 PM
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I can't recommend suppose.tv enough if you are looking to cut the cord or are looking at streaming options. That site allows you to put in what channels are must haves and will give you the steaming options and pricing. For what my family absolutely required we needed one service and gave up both cable and Tivo. There are a few nice to have channels that we don't get anymore but I couldn't justify the cost.

Youtube TV is great for us, although they occasionally seem to roll out software changes without testing. The weird part of all these services is that you get a slightly different interface depending on how you access it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Clark View Post
I have two Rokus - a stick and an SE. Both of them take interminably long to load, to go from item to item on their menus, etc. Also, the first few seconds to minute or so of video can be blurred and "watery." The stick has an annoying habit of losing programming entirely and going back to a dancing Roku screen for several minutes while I do little rituals I think will magically make it reboot to the last thing I was watching. According to the Rokus themselves, as well as every other device I own, the wi-fi signal is strong and steady.
The blurry video at the beginning happens when video providers use some type of adaptive streaming. There are several technologies that do this, but the idea is the same -- you can switch between different bandwidth streams on the fly without stopping the video, to take advantage of changes in network speed. Most of them choose to start playing with a low bandwidth stream so that the video can start faster, as opposed to showing a buffering screen before starting with a high bandwidth stream. This is completely normal.

Suddenly being back on the screen with the dancing Roku letters indicates that the system software has crashed. If this happens more than once in a blue moon, it may indicate a hardware problem. I know the stats on how often Rokus crash on average but can't repeat them here, but I can say that a unit that crashes often enough for you to complain about it is behaving well outside the norm.



BTW, completely off topic, few people seem to understand what the "dancing Roku" screen is supposed to represent. Look at what the letters are doing -- the R is looking around in a bored fashion, the O is yawning, the K is impatiently tapping its foot, and the U keeps nodding off and shaking itself awake. This was supposed to be an ironically self-mocking indication that the system boot is taking a while. It originally (pre-release) had some really annoying elevator music that added to the effect but I think that was deemed a bit too much, so it was changed to somewhat less annoying music but also less obviously intended to be elevator music.
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