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Old 03-11-2015, 06:35 PM   #151
Easy Mac
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I don't have the exact transcript of the call I just got from DirecTV, but it was enough to convince me to get rid of them when my contact expires in 8 months.

She started off saying how I was such a loyal customer and if I wanted HBO, to which I said OK. She then spent a couple of minutes telling me about this great deal, then at the end said I would be paying full price and get free Cinemax. She kept talking and then said how they would start it immediately and told me to have a good day. I was able to speak as she was about to hang up and said I didn't want it. She then talked for another minute and said they would start it right away. I said no thank you again. She then said fine and hung up.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:47 PM   #152
Solecismic
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Even though I think we're best served by a bundle, I dread trying to negotiate this or talking to these companies.

I really don't like Charter. I've had them out to the house maybe 25 times in the eight years I've been in this house. There are constant signal issues. Since they switched to all-digital, nothing works right. I'm glad they finally allowed people to do a box reset online without phoning. With the foreign level-one service they went to, I had reached a point where every time the box went, I'd just tell them to send someone out here. Which they do rather quickly. Strangely, never the same person. I know it's all contracted out these days, but that seems odd.

I think UVerse is all-copper out here. Which means slower internet speeds. For now that's not a serious issue, but I think it will be in the future. They've also dropped from the top of ratings list to near the bottom.

I called XFinity and asked for new product information. I reached someone who couldn't even speak English. She just read scripts in a heavy accent and told me she couldn't understand any questions.

I just don't want to cut the cable cord to spite our sports viewing. Though it's easier to do between April and September.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:25 PM   #153
DanGarion
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We are cutting the cord when we move up to Oregon. Or at least we are going to try it out. The only thing I'll be missing that I can't get some other way is going to be MLB Network... I was thinking about getting MLB.tv but they don't have MLB Network on there and that is frustrating...
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:07 PM   #154
SteveMax58
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Originally Posted by cougarfreak View Post
I seriously debated cutting the cord. My DTV contract is up, and it's up to $102 a month for I think the third tier down, and whole home dvr. My internet through TWC was at $67 for 20mb. I called TWC, they offered my basically the same channels, 50mb internet, and home phone for a total of $130 with no contract. So I'm taking it for now. Not sure how long I'll keep it. I know the DVR won't be up to snuff, but I'd have to bump my internet up if I cut the cord, and that would have cost me about $100.

Do you mean you'd have to bump up the cost you pay for internet to $100 if you unbundle it? Or do you mean that you'd need more than 50 Mbps?

Because I only have 25 Mbps and can solidly stream 2-3 HD movies from netflix/youtube, etc. with no problems (plus basic browsing & the like). 50 should be more than enough.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:11 PM   #155
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Agreed.

Oh, so I asked one of my friends to borrow their iPad to sign up for HBO NOW when the time comes... so I have that in play .

Now to hope that its something that can played from the web on PC, and isn't some application (casting Chrome tabs actually works very smoothly for me).

If it isn't right away, it will be after the 3 months of exclusivity is up with Apple. Everybody else will off HBO Now eventually, its just that Apple has a short term window before everybody else.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:13 PM   #156
cougarfreak
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Do you mean you'd have to bump up the cost you pay for internet to $100 if you unbundle it? Or do you mean that you'd need more than 50 Mbps?

Because I only have 25 Mbps and can solidly stream 2-3 HD movies from netflix/youtube, etc. with no problems (plus basic browsing & the like). 50 should be more than enough.

No, if I cancelled Direct and went to all streaming, I'd probably need to go up from the $65 tier I'm at, which is 20mb. I'd think I'd need to go to 50 mb, which would probably be $90-100 if I didn't bundle anyway. How I long for Google Fiber......which will probably never reach me.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:20 PM   #157
SteveMax58
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No, if I cancelled Direct and went to all streaming, I'd probably need to go up from the $65 tier I'm at, which is 20mb. I'd think I'd need to go to 50 mb, which would probably be $90-100 if I didn't bundle anyway. How I long for Google Fiber......which will probably never reach me.

Hmm...20 might do it. Would it be just you & spouse? Or do you have kids who would be streaming (including youtube) as well?

I'd think 20 should be fine for just you & 1 other person regularly unless your ISP is always bad in your area for whatever reason.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:25 PM   #158
cougarfreak
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Hmm...20 might do it. Would it be just you & spouse? Or do you have kids who would be streaming (including youtube) as well?

I'd think 20 should be fine for just you & 1 other person regularly unless your ISP is always bad in your area for whatever reason.

I've got 2 kids that stream a lot on youtube, netflix, amazon, etc. If we go with 3 of us streaming I get some pretty good blur at times. I figure for $30ish more a month, for whole home DVR and the top tier on the cable package, I'm ok for now. The big thing for me was no contract. I can cancel when I want, zero penalty.
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Old 03-11-2015, 11:11 PM   #159
ISiddiqui
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If it isn't right away, it will be after the 3 months of exclusivity is up with Apple. Everybody else will off HBO Now eventually, its just that Apple has a short term window before everybody else.

Yes, but that's after the Game of Thrones season .

Hence, why even though Apple got only 3 months exclusivity, it's a great 3 months to have it.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:17 PM   #160
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I kind of hate myself for it but I really like my DirecTV. I've thought of switching to cable from my internet provider and bundling, but after the 6-month introductory rate, it really isn't that huge a difference in price, and it can only be worse in service and quality of the product, because DirecTV has been perfect. And if I cancelled DirecTV, I'd surely get MLB.TV, hulu, some kind of DVR to use with over-the-air stuff, I'd spend more time at bars watching sports, and I'd enhance my Netflix subscription to get more DVDs out at time, and who knows what else. So I've been DirectTV + Netflix + Amazon prime and nothing else for quite a while now and I have access to everything I'd ever want.

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Old 03-12-2015, 02:44 PM   #161
Logan
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Because of sports, I know I'm never going to cut the cord (as long as I can afford not to) but I definitely like the progress being made on all these fronts. Happy it is working out for a lot of you and hoping we'll eventually get to the point where streaming/a la carte works even for sports lovers. I think eventually we'll get to the point where we're spending a little less money for a lot less content, and that's fine with me. But I want it all to be on my TV and not my laptop/phone/tablet even if it's being beamed/wired to my TV.
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:14 PM   #162
Solecismic
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I've spent far too much time on this in the last few days. Turns out xFinity is spending a fortune mailing me stuff every week for no reason at all. They can't provide service here.

So I'm stuck with Charter for Internet/Phone, unless I want to go back to ATT - a company I've really come to dislike over the years.

The question is whether streaming is OK. I'm probably too far away from the stations to get over-the-air networks without a rooftop antenna. While I could probably fight the HOA over this issue, they are forbidden and at least a couple of my near neighbors are antenna haters. I was the guy who showed them the law wasn't on their side when one of my other neighbors got a satellite dish. But that isn't worth the fight just for one partial solution.

Sling is looking promising, but I think cord-cutting is about a year off. Meanwhile, though, I wanted to look into whether dropping to the most basic service and adding other pieces was worth while. So I have to get speed up.

I found I was getting 15 Mbps, when 60 is advertised. A couple of phone calls later, I'm at 40-50. That's probably good enough, but the tech advised me that perhaps my router's firmware was an issue.

It's an old Linksys router (still highly rated). But my firmware level is several versions behind the latest. Problem is that the latest is no longer offered because the router is out of warranty. I contacted Linksys and they told me to buy a new router.

I can find the firmware update online, but is it safe to trust those sites? Is there a safe site that archives firmware updates?
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:36 PM   #163
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If your Linksys is WRT54G, you might look at putting DD-WRT or one of the other open source firmwares on it.
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:34 AM   #164
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Apple TV 'skinny' package likely to accelerate cord cutting - LA Times
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:56 AM   #165
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I must admit that my wife and I are at odds.

Currently we have Amazon Prime and Netflix plus basic cable (I mean the most basic).

She's adverse to cutting because my son loves PBS and she hates having to handle on the Roku to play the next show, and she doesn't want him binge watching one particular show (I roll my eyes because she's at home 3 days a week and can make the effort to do this).

Currently with basic cable, a dvr recorder (which I want to remove), phone and internet, I'm paying 140 bucks (down from 198). If I cut cable completely, it becomes 80 and I have to check my security system, but it appears a new upgrade would remove the need for a landline, so 80 could potentially become 70 bucks...

70 bucks, even if you factor in Prime being 100 a year and Netflix at 7.99. It's just so much better.

I don't miss sports, I don't miss the aimless channel surfing...it's actually been nice.
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:14 AM   #166
ISiddiqui
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The not wanting to handle checking in on the PBS Channel on Roku is kind of a lame excuse - I wonder if its something else (like, she really likes watching trashy daytime stuff ).

To be honest, if you just want PBS, is it possible to pull it in with an antenna? I'm blessed to live in the Atlanta metro, so I have an indoor antenna that can pull in like 10 HD channels (ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, 2 different PBSs, CW, Peachtree TV, Univision, Unimas) and 50 SD channels.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:02 AM   #167
Qwikshot
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The not wanting to handle checking in on the PBS Channel on Roku is kind of a lame excuse - I wonder if its something else (like, she really likes watching trashy daytime stuff ).

To be honest, if you just want PBS, is it possible to pull it in with an antenna? I'm blessed to live in the Atlanta metro, so I have an indoor antenna that can pull in like 10 HD channels (ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, 2 different PBSs, CW, Peachtree TV, Univision, Unimas) and 50 SD channels.

I'm leaning towards antenna and I agree, not buying it on the Roku thing, get off your butt.

I interviewed for a position within my company that allows me to work remote, holy hell is going to occur if I'm at home because I am disciplined enough to get shit done round the house while juggling work and kids.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:12 AM   #168
ISiddiqui
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Of course, I'd also argue there are worse things in life than your child binge watching Sesame Street .

Anyways, I find that even with cutting the cord, I still have tons of TV to watch - I have a TiVo, so I have shows DVRed and most of my fav shows are on Broadcast. I mean I miss the AMC and FX stuff, but Sling TV gave me back AMC. And I'm paying much less than with Comcast (well I guess I could spend like half hour on the phone like every 6 months and get them to negotiate me to a great deal, but I hate playing that game for a decent price).
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:38 AM   #169
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PBS Kids also has an excellent app for tablets and phones (that allows the kid to easily switch between shows) and there's even the website for laptop/desktop use.

It's so funny how their approach to content availability is so different from mine. They have no concept whatsoever of content not being available on demand.
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Old 03-19-2015, 09:48 AM   #170
INDalltheway
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Used Sling TV for the first time last night on Xbox One. It was a great experience in terms of streaming quality and options. At the same time it seems a bit expensive and kind of goes back to what I was wanting to get away from. If they were to add more channels to the basic $19.99 package I would probably bite. In its current state I will probably just enjoy the 30 day trial and give it up.
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:06 PM   #171
SteveMax58
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Good article summarizing options for OTT services.

The new TV world: can you really save money?
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:20 PM   #172
gstelmack
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Sony launches $50 Vue cord-cutting service - Mar. 19, 2015

I don't think Sony understands why people want to cut the cord. Hint: paying $50 / month is one of the key reasons...
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:30 PM   #173
ISiddiqui
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$50 a month is fairly cheap as far as cable bills go, however.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:54 PM   #174
Pyser
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Canada seems ahead of the curve.

Canada Embraces Cable A La Carte Pricing | Deadline

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Cable a la carte pricing, whereby consumers pay for only the channels they want, has finally broken through in Canada. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said in a sweeping ruling today that cable and satellite providers must offer consumers an affordable basic lineup and allow them to choose additional channels.

The CRTC ruled that the pay TV providers will have to offer basic-local channel service at no more than $20 a month by March 2016. Subscribers also must be able to choose individual channels or small bundles of channels by then, with both options available by December 2016..
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:05 PM   #175
Fidatelo
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In Canada our regulators just required that every tv provider offer a $25 basic service and then total a la carte (or extremely small packages) on top of that. Which is cool, but the instant reaction is that the providers will just charge more for internet services to recover any losses from TV revenues. It sucks that these companies own the entire vertical.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:05 PM   #176
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Dola

Looks like Pyser beat me to the real news, but my opinion still stands.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:27 PM   #177
ISiddiqui
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Also who knows what they'll charge for each individual channel. The people complaining about HBO NOW costing $15/mo (and there actually are loads of them) will be in for a rude awakening, I think.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:27 PM   #178
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$50 for a bare bones TV package without ESPN isn't very appealing.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:33 PM   #179
ISiddiqui
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I bet the price is jacked up to $50 due to multiple streams at once (3) and substantial VOD / DVR-like service. I guess it shows how much more it'll cost Sling TV if it were to offer these things.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:34 PM   #180
stevew
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Sony Vue is going to bury Sling in the monthly sales figures.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:36 PM   #181
ISiddiqui
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You think that many people with Playstations are going to pay $50/mo?

I mean, maybe if it was Apple (they are used to overpaying ).
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:20 AM   #182
Desnudo
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Originally Posted by gstelmack View Post
Sony launches $50 Vue cord-cutting service - Mar. 19, 2015

I don't think Sony understands why people want to cut the cord. Hint: paying $50 / month is one of the key reasons...

I pay 129 for triple play from FIOS. I don't see $50 for less tv being a good deal.
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Old 03-21-2015, 02:02 PM   #183
jaygr
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Regarding Vue, $50 is just the lowest level too. I think the highest level is $70 which would have some channels I want (like Sprout for the kids). So if I pay $75 for cable internet plus $70 for Vie then that is $145 which puts it right along with the high cable bills I am trying to avoid...
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Old 04-01-2015, 03:02 PM   #184
ISiddiqui
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So, Sling TV has scored a coup (and I don't think its an April Fools joke as its all over the web):

Sling TV To Offer HBO For $15 A Month: A Cord Cutter’s Delight? | Deadline

Quote:
This is the second shoe to drop from today’s announcement about Dish Network’s carriage agreements with Turner and HBO. The satellite company says that its $20-a-month Sling TV streaming service will offer HBO for an additional $15 beginning before April 12, when the new season of Game Of Thrones premieres.

Quote:
Last month HBO said that Apple TV would have exclusive streaming rights to HBO Now for the first three months at $14.99 a month. It’s not clear how the Sling offering will differ: Although Sling doesn’t call the offering HBO Now, it will include “one live channel and the same extensive VOD library HBO provides on its other platforms.”
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:44 PM   #185
SteveMax58
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So this seems to be the place to post things like this....

http://www.fool.com/investing/genera...rte-cable.aspx

Will be interesting to see how this plays out. Disney is already publicly stating that putting ESPN & ESPN2 into a "sports tier" isn't allowed under their contract with Verizon (same as everybody's contract really).

But just when you want to start rooting for the telco...this
Quote:
One of the most notable things about the Verizon offer is the Custom TV base package does not include ESPN. That's great news in theory for non-sports fan as the various ESPN channels cost pay TV providers more than any other channels and not having to buy them should result in a lower bill (though at $55 for the cheapest plan it's hard to see how Verizon is passing on that savings).

I guess it is what it is. Pay a little less for a LOT less.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:18 AM   #186
claphamsa
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just cancelled FIOS yesterday.... or switched to just internet (i have over the air cable since it was 30$ a month cheaper to have that than just internet). Only need live tv for sports, and i can stream the avs on my blueray, and the nats should be over the air.

well see how it goes....
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:07 AM   #187
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Is ESPN A Giant Bubble About to Burst? | FOX Sports

Some good stuff in there about the economics that make cable bundling so good for sports fans.

Last edited by Logan : 07-14-2015 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:21 AM   #188
ISiddiqui
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Is ESPN A Giant Bubble About to Burst? | FOX Sports

Some good stuff in there about the economics that make cable bundling so good for sports fans.

Good article. The other interesting thing is if there is a bundling bubble, as the article describes, it isn't just ESPN that is in trouble... its the sports leagues themselves. Who is going to buy the rights and for how much? A lot of the bidding wars for rights are because of cable carriage fees - networks like Fox are willing to overspend, so they can put sports on FS1 and then demand that cable companies put that on the basic tier so it can get all that cash.

I'd imagine that if the shakeout results in much less cable subscribers, that those rights deals would plummet in the next go around.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:21 AM   #189
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We cut the cord back in April. We had thought about it for a while, but my wife was against it because she loves watching the NFL. So, when Sling TV came along with ESPN, the decision was easy.

We went from paying $280 a month for cable, internet and home phone to about $100 for just internet & various subscriptions to streaming services, ie Sling TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime & an HD antennae.

I bought 1 $50 HD antennae, 2 Roku players and after a month they paid for themselves.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:23 AM   #190
Logan
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Originally Posted by ISiddiqui View Post
Good article. The other interesting thing is if there is a bundling bubble, as the article describes, it isn't just ESPN that is in trouble... its the sports leagues themselves. Who is going to buy the rights and for how much? A lot of the bidding wars for rights are because of cable carriage fees - networks like Fox are willing to overspend, so they can put sports on FS1 and then demand that cable companies put that on the basic tier so it can get all that cash.

I'd imagine that if the shakeout results in much less cable subscribers, that those rights deals would plummet in the next go around.

Yeah I posted the article before I finished and hadn't thought of that component either. Like they said, cutting Bill Simmons and his multi-million dollar salary loose is one thing...getting out of twenty year, multi-billion rights deals is a whole other.

Another bubble that could burst...college football coaching salaries.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:04 PM   #191
ISiddiqui
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Makes me wonder if the future is each sport selling directly to the consumer - in that way would sport consumers have only a limited option of live sports unless they pay for a season long package (unless you are an NFL fan)? Even watching the local team may be difficult - in Atlanta, watching the Braves station requires cable.

If the cable juggernaut as we know it falls, even slightly, things may be fairly expensive for watching live sports.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:07 PM   #192
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If the cable juggernaut as we know it falls, even slightly, things may be fairly expensive for watching live sports.

It would bring local stations back into play. Also, I think you would see salaries plummet.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:14 PM   #193
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If baseball is any guide, some of the local stations are on cable currently . Of course the stations would still bid... they'd just bid much lower. The money flowing to those sports would drop quite a bit. And yeah, salaries would definitely start plummeting. I wonder if that sort of pressure would result in some dramatic labor issues.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:31 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by ISiddiqui View Post
If baseball is any guide, some of the local stations are on cable currently . Of course the stations would still bid... they'd just bid much lower. The money flowing to those sports would drop quite a bit. And yeah, salaries would definitely start plummeting. I wonder if that sort of pressure would result in some dramatic labor issues.

It ESPN runs into real issues, I wouldn't be surprised to see leagues contract.
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:19 AM   #195
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Is ESPN A Giant Bubble About to Burst? | FOX Sports

Some good stuff in there about the economics that make cable bundling so good for sports fans.


You must forgive me if I don't take a FOX Sports article critical of ESPN 100% seriously.
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:15 AM   #196
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You must forgive me if I don't take a FOX Sports article critical of ESPN 100% seriously.

I thought that too at first but there's nothing in there that isn't within a solid realm of possibility. Fox will be affected by this too. Give it a read and tell me what you think is being overcritical of ESPN and we can discuss it.

Last edited by Logan : 07-16-2015 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:26 AM   #197
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Counteracting all that is that sports rights fees are HUGE right now because its perceived that sports is much more DVR-proof than anything else on TV (whether that be traditional TV, or a streaming internet version). And you can more shamelessly advertise within the product than you can with other TV shows. ESPN and sports are better positioned to successfully transition in a changing media landscape than just about anything else on TV.

I don't think ESPN or team sports are in trouble. They'll both survive cord-cutting, people just love their sports too much. And businesses will always find a way to get their name out there, and sports will always be a huge part of that.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:23 AM   #198
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its perceived that sports is much more DVR-proof than anything else on TV

[EDIT: I completely read that wrong (the opposite really), so ignore the following]

Say what? I'd argue it's just the opposite. With all the social media out there, if you don't start watching a sports game on DVR within, oh 15 minutes of its starting, you are screwed in terms of getting spoiled. And getting spoiled in sports is, for whatever reason, far worse than getting spoiled in, say, Game of Thrones.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:31 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by ISiddiqui View Post
Say what? I'd argue it's just the opposite. With all the social media out there, if you don't start watching a sports game on DVR within, oh 15 minutes of its starting, you are screwed in terms of getting spoiled. And getting spoiled in sports is, for whatever reason, far worse than getting spoiled in, say, Game of Thrones.
That's the definition of DVR-proof, which is what molson was saying.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:34 AM   #200
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Found a great site/app called CanIStream.it. If you are trying to find a specific movie/documentary/etc. it will tell you if it is available on any of the streaming services or if you have to go to itunes/amazon to rent it. Alternately you can search the premium cable channels for your title.
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