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Cutting the cord?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Lounge' started by John F, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Heard on NPR yesterday that Disney is looking at going to a streaming model. Hopefully that means ESPN will be standalone soon, too. If I had to pay more than $35/mo for my DirectvNOW, I'd drop it and pick up standalone ESPN and HBO in a heartbeat.
     
  2. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    We would still benefit from something resembling a basic package because someone in my house watches Disney/Jr./XD, Nick/Teen/Jr., HGTV, TLC, ESPN, BTN, etc. By the time you go a la carte on all of those, you might as well just do a bundle. What is nice about DirecTV now is I can get a 40-60 channel package instead of 180 channels. When you only want 20 and have to pay for 60, that's bad. When you only want 20 and pay for 180, that's how you end up with a $200 cable bill.
     
  3. Oh, I absolutely watch Fargo and American Horror Story from FX, Orphan Black from BBC America, and my kid watches some crap from Disney, but quite frankly, neither of us care enough about that stuff to consider it worth $100/month. There are things I enjoy watching, and things I will watch regardless. Live sports, I'm going to find a way to watch it. The other stuff? If it's cheap enough I'll put out a few bucks to watch it, but I'm not going to overpay for it, because I don't care enough about it. It's not THAT good that I would miss it if it went away.

    When I initially cut the cord, I took the $140/month I was spending for DirecTV and bought season tickets for ISU Football & Basketball. Away games I had money left over to go to BWW or a bar somewhere and watch the games. And I had a TON of free time to do other stuff than just watch something because I was paying for it.
     
    CJ likes this.
  4. GHilinski

    GHilinski Active Member War Zone Member

    Hmmmm? I thought that one of the synergies of the AT&T - Directv deal was converting satellite subscribers to cable, not bringing on more satellite subscribers. The satellites were just too expensive to maintain and limited their customer base, especially when one blew up on the launch pad. I could be wrong.
     
  5. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Nah, they are converting uverse TV customers to DTV.

    I got faster internet, more channels, more movies, more on demand and more receivers for less dough.
     
  6. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Just thought I'd provide an update. I'll be dropping Directv Now tomorrow after about 6 weeks. The service shows some promise but ultimately is too buggy for me. I'm getting old and I don't have the time or patience to futz with crappy products to save a few bucks. And the other aspect is, its missing a ton of features compared to my old cable bundle. So its cheaper, but not necessarily a good value. I spent 3 hours tonight trying to watch Mr. Mercedes on Audience while on chat with Directv Now live chatting the bugs. They basically encouraged me to drop their service. Apparently I expect too much, like for the service to work.

    The buggy issues for me comes primarily (but not solely) when watching programs using what they call 72 hour rewind. There is no ability to record so if you can't sit down and watch a show live, you either wait a couple days and watch it on demand if available (that is up to the network so its very hit and miss) or you can go to the channel and press a button and bring up shows that aired in the last 72 hours. That is both up to the network and show by show so that is even more hit and miss. The issue is when using this feature, shows have sometimes (not frequently but not rarely) frozen and then restarted from the very beginning. Now the extra kick in the nuts here is on AppleTV there is no ability to fast forward. So if you're 40 minutes into a 60 minute show, you have to watch the whole damn thing again. This is a limitation in their app. FF is not an issue with any other streaming app on AppleTV. In fact, they have enabled FF and RW very elegantly in other apps IMO because its more like scrubbing in an editing app.

    As far as the value vs. cable. Its cheaper but:
    1. It could burn all your data. In a house with kids it could definitely result in a higher ISP bill if you have hard caps.
    2. There is currently no ability to record anything. They're supposedly launching a "cloud DVR" function this fall but it will cost extra, further closing the gap in pricing with cable.
    3. They are not a supported partner for logging into many apps. AMC, HGTV, TLC, Adult Swim, and several others don't accept Directv Now credentials for their on demand apps.
    4. The Apple TV app interface is clunky in general. They do offer the ability to rewind but it is terrible. When you click rewind it goes back a few seconds very slowly and then just freezes. God forbid you try to change rewind speed, you're likely to freeze the stream and lose your place entirely.
     
  7. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Active Member Top Poster

    We cut completely in spring and now just use Netflix, Plex and apps to watch TV. I have a HDHomeRun set to record OTA TV and Plex will remove the commercials so that's my solution for now. It's not an issue in summer as we rarely watch prime time TV type shows but the true test will be once the family requests it to record Greys Anatomy etc
     
  8. Drew

    Drew Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    I'm going to check out Sling Orange in a week or so with football starting soon. $20 a month gets you ESPN and ESPN2. Works on XBONE, so we'll see how that work. They have cloud DVR for an extra $5, but doesn't work for ANY Gizzney/ESPN channels. According to their site you CAN log into Watch ESPN with your Sling credentials.
     
  9. Steve Wright

    Steve Wright Active Member War Zone Member

    Interesting points but either I am not having your issues or don't agree completely.

    1. I have no caps (for now) so that is not really an issue for me. I cancelled my phone bill with cable company and went with OOMA cutting another $30 a month off my bill.
    2. Yes, for now. I get that its frustrating but at 100+ channels a month for $35 even a $5 increase is not a big deal..Still haven't read anywhere it would cost more..but it probably will.
    3. DTVN probably has more sign ins than any other OTT provider. They do have AMC and just added the A&E channels. More will be coming. DTVN has been added to Apple Single Sign on for Apple TV with newest beta. Again, the service is improving day by day.
    4. Yes the software is clunky ,but again the new app which is expected to be the same as new Directv Sat app is in beta.

    I can't think of any reason I would want to drop this service. For me the only shortcoming right now is that it needs to add 2 or more simultaneous streams. With $5 a month HBO, CBS/Showtime coming in a week or so, and NFL Network and Redzone rumored I'm good as far as channels go. PQ is on par if not better than Sat in most cases.
     
    Travis Ballstadt likes this.
  10. I agree with you 100%, but I will add that I don't believe CJ got in on the early bird $35/month deal. At $60/month that I think he's paying, it's not quite the bargain that I'm getting.
     
  11. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Yep, I was paying $60. I will say I have one coworker who has the service and likes it but when I told him about the bugginess of the 72hr replay feature he just said he never uses that. So I guess if you have no ISP data cap, 1-2 people household, don't use several of the features, and got grandfathered pricing it might be worth it. It made me want to tear my hair out multiple times in its short tenure in my house. To me its just plain not ready for prime time and you have to be a bit tolerant. I'm not. I have more money than free time and spending 3 hours trying to watch a 60 minute show (I still haven't seen the ending of that episode) made me about ready to put a fucking brick through my TV.

    For me when I sign into AMC, I can't watch full episodes. Its just "special features". I haven't seen all of season 3 of Better Call Saul but they have like 12 little 3 minute vignettes out there. What the hell value is that.
     
  12. At $35/mo, it's perfect for my viewing habits and setup.

    I use the provider app logins in conjunction with the AppleTV's TV app. I only open the DirecTV Now app when there's a game that I want to watch live. I have a TiVo Bolt & Mini setup for recording OTA programming.

    I have a cap, but I've never used more than 75% of it.
     
  13. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    That was another issue. We lost local channels and didn't want to do antennas and we still had no way to record.

    The bottom line is we're basically power users and I tried to get away with the lite version and failed.
     
  14. RJ

    RJ Member

    I haven't had any issues with DTV Now in quite some time. In the beginning, it was horrid, but I stuck with it to keep the 35$ price point.

    Now it works flawlessly for me. The ROKU app works great. And I haven't had any freezes, blips or other types issues in a long while now.

    For locals, I was going to go the antenna route, but realized that locals come through my coax already with my FIOS service so that worked out well for me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  15. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    Looks like my CM-7777 preamp decided to pack its bags this morning. Lost all of my channels. I had to go into the attic to see what was the problem. I bypassed the preamp and used an extender to connect my antenna straight into my Tuner, and got my channels, but the signals are weak by not having the preamp installed. It lasted roughly 7 years so I got my money's worth out of it.

    Now the problem is finding the exact model to replace it. The CM-7778 is more readily available, but I like to fact that I can separate the vhf and uhf signals and use two different antennas.

    Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
     
  16. Drew

    Drew Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Initial thoughts on Sling.

    So Sling TV has two packages, they are NOT tiers. Sling Orange $20 gets you one set of channels (ESPN, ESPN is really what I care about). Sling Blue $25 contains another channel lineup (this one contains both Fox Sports, CBS Sports, and a few others BUT not ESPN 1 and 2). If you want all of these sports channels you have to get Orange + Blue, which is $40.

    There are some add-ons you can get for $5. Sports which contains a few other sports but has ESPN U and SEC network. There are a few others: comedy, news, kids, lifestyle, and hollywood.

    I'm this on XBONE which have been ok. The menu is ok, not great. It has some quirks to it, but really its quick and usable. You can set some favorite channels, and you have some OnDemand options. I noticed the first day some of the channels looked very poor, same with audio. Transformers was on TNT, and was just awful. I wanted some sports the next day and everything looked and sounded great. Since I can log into things like the disney app and watchespn i'll probably mostly do that. The quality on watchespn is excellent as was when I had comcast cable.

    Tom's Hardware has a good table listing the channels with the packages.

    Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue: What’s the Difference?

    So far I like it, and for $25 it gets me what I want. With Orange you get one stream, three with Blue and Orange + Blue gets you four. I don't see this being a huge issue right now since you can use your Sling credentials to log in on multiple mobile apps, and since most things for the kids will be steamed that way I can use the sling app on the xbox or the watchespn app on xbox and it won't matter either way. Sounds like I'm having a better experience than CJ did with DirectTV. I guess Rob Lowe was full of shit.
     
  17. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    New CM-7777 Preamp came in the next day after I ordered it. I wasn't expecting that. Installed, rescanned for channels, and the signal is much stronger than with the old unit. This new unit does not have the separate VHF/UHF inputs for separate antennas, but I was able to use my Channel Master CM-4228 to receive channels from both frequencies.
     
  18. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    This explains why I've been stuggling to zero-in on the Augusta Market since the spring. The signals were strong and now I lost most of the Channels. The replacement of the Preamp was a separate incident.

    Spectrum Auction Over: 175 TV Stations Take Money to Vacate Their Channels ·

    I've been receiving what I call "false positives" from the Charleston, South Carolina Market due to storms, but I'm going to attempt to aim my antenna East to North East to see if I can get any solid signals from this area.
     

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