I know I’ve spoken to this in the past, but couldn’t find my post. I want out of DirecTV h#ll. This month they bumped my price from $123/month to $188/month, and the only explanation was that I got a $50/month “discount” a year ago (I’m not under contract) and all they can do this time is $40/month. That $148 price is DOUBLE what Youtube TV and Hulu + Live would charge me.
EQUALLY as important, AT&T is constantly at war with local network owners - we have been without Fox since FALL 2022 - NO WORLD SERIES, NO SUPERBOWL, NO WOMEN’s WORLD CUP and still no FOX a year later…Lost ABC from May-September this year, got it back just in time to lose NBC as of last night (this one is particularly bad since it’s tower is 52 miles away in a different direction than the other locals).
I DON’T CARE IF IT IS THE NETWORK OWNERS’ OR AT&T’S FAULT - I get LESS service and a HIGHER bill from AT&T.
Here’s the advice I’m seeking:
YoutubeTV or Hulu +Live? Leaning towards Hulu because their DVR can be set to only record new episodes, where Youtube records EVERY episode, reruns or replays. Imagine recording NCIS when Family channel is running a weekend rerun festival of NCIS oldies…
Best indoor antennae for OTA local programming.
Best way to DVR record OTA local network programming WITH ability to skip commercials.
ANY other pointers or recommendations…
I haven’t solved it myself yet. The major streaming services seem determined to keep ramping up their prices faster than the accelerated inflation, and there were exactly zero ad-free Black Friday streaming deals this year.
I still have Netflix and Apple TV, and even those are on the chopping block. Netflix is the most ridiculous, with only their top tier plan offering 4k streaming. I guess high res streaming is a luxury option…
I found Hulu’s Live TV add on to be cumbersome and hard to understand–lots of “mystery meat navigation.” Of course this was a while ago now, so it might be better.
You are correct that the DVR for youtubeTV (which we use but only during football season) is weird though. There isn’t really a good way to easily record and delete…still it is nice paying like half what I was paying DirecTV. And no contract…I would try Hulu first–since that is your inclination. They have a free trial and worst case you pay for one month since there isn’t a contract. Then switch to youtubeTV if you aren’t happy with it.
Thanks @Eltos - I figured I’d be trialing them both side by side.
I really don’t like either one overly much–particularly since they keep raising the price! But still both are better than DirecTV and Dish. But I get to watch Redzone and get the college games, so I am happy.
I’m a complete noob at this (especially on the US side), but one tip could be to check with your internet/phone/cable provider to see if they offer a special package for subscription video services.
I’m currently signed up through my ISP for two streaming services, and I’d estimate the savings to be about $10-20/month on the yearly rate. (They usually provide a way to link the prepaid subscription to your existing streaming account too. )
Thanks @Marty - my problem is that I have various household members with different channel addictions (History; AMC; Food Network; DYI) so I’m almost stuck with a mainline service like Youtube TV, Hulu+Live, Sling, etc…
Not sure if this is available for you guys, but my ISP is also my cable provider and they offer “Theme” packs (same bundle with the streaming services), where you can choose from say History, Animal, Sci-fi, etc.
Worth a shot, if they offer it!
I have never paid for actual cable services. I worked for the cable company for 15 years and had it free as a benefit for working there, but when I was laid off, I just didn’t keep it. I usually jump between paying for 2 services at a time, especially because most streaming services you can watch all the older shows, or they’ll drop the entire season at once. We had Paramount + for awhile to watch a couple shows, then when we finished those shows, dropped it and got Apple TV and started watching Ted Lasso there. We’re also watching Only Murders In the Building on Hulu right now. We might pick up Netflix in the spring. Either way, depending on the shows you and your family watch, and their patience for waiting, it might be a cheaper and better option to do a pick and choose of what you want to watch this month type thing. I think we spend around $30 a month for our services this way, and it’s not all that difficult just to switch which one is active online.
One thing working in the industry, I found it somewhat shocking at the time how little they were doing to try to adjust to the market when streaming services were first starting to grow.
No experience with Live but HULU seems ok. I still use Dish Network mainly to keep my significant bother happy. I do like having News Nation, Newsmax and the Fox stuff readily available. Reasonable rates for stuff is available through Prime but that only applies if you are a prime customer. Dish has not been cheap but the service has been great overall. I use the older model combo receiver which lets me use one TV on HD and 4 others off the SD tuner with coax cables.
This is quickly becoming a nightmare, with holes in each of the services and a LOT of couch potato whining and gnashing of teeth. Bottom line is it is like each of the streaming services is sure they get something no on else gets. Then you run into mind-boggling mistakes.
Youtube TV DVR CANNOT save only new episodes. If you love NCIS, and record Tuesday’s new episode on CBS, and wait until the weekend to watch it, the DVR will also record the Thursday marathons on AMC and the TBS marathon on Friday, so when you go to watch your new episode it is buried among 12-18 other recordings of NCIS.
Hulu’s live guide cannot be rearranged - if you are watching ABC and want to go to NBC you have to scroll through all the rest. You can make submenus, but then you have to switch submenus if you want to go from a “Networks” to “Sports” then scroll through those - AND it is a headache to set up a series recording because when you back out of the recording menu it throws you back to the first “A” channel in guide.
I think trouble is really around the corner:
Just saw this week’s MacBreak Weakly, and they were discussing the unbundling nightmare, subscriptions skyrocketing, and constant losses of local programming by cable, streaming, and satellite services. If you want all of the same services bundled together by your local cable/DirecTV/Dish, it will cost you MORE than the them.
There’s also a new war brewing between the big providers who want to be allowed to carry the network feed directly (crush local conglomerates like Nexstar who own local stations in numerous markets and have the biggest source of the blackouts) and these same conglomerates + independent local owners seeking new licensing rights and protections which would in effect end “free” over the air delivery and force homeowners with antennas to pay them broadcast fees.
Either direction, only one group gets screwed, and that is the CONSUMERS!
If you can live without specialty sports programming (ESPN, NFL Network, NBA and MLB carrier stations - TBS, etc.) you can live really cheaply with a combination of OTA ($0), Philo ($25/month), and a host of free services from Roku/Samsung/Pluto and others.
If you do go OTA, check out Tablo (a one stop solution with two OTA tuners and your own HD storage) or the Channels App and a tuner you need to provide.
More evidence the big streaming shakeout is coming:
Investor’s Business Daily
When I called to cancel (threatened again?) DirecTV came back with the same discount as last year, so we’re staying there for now. The bottom line was we have to have either YouTube TV/Hulu+Live AND Philo which is $104, and I get all that in single interface with for $26 more…
I just can’t satisfy all my family members, but I am moving forward on cord cutting since I’m not under contract. OTA (trying another antenna from BB - ClearStream 4MAX - a neighbor says theirs works great in the attic). If that works, then on to a Tablo tuner/HD device. If I get this nailed down, I still think OTA+Philo+Pluto may be my jumping off point. Not sure what my ESPN fix will be, but not giving up yet.
I also recommend the airtv from sling. Connect your antenna and then it streams to all your devices on the same network. Hook up a hard drive for your own tivo
Shouldn’t it be
Cord cutters UNTIE?
Brilliant! Unfortunately, untying is a LOT HARDER than it seems, especially when you have one person who lives for Bravo/Hallmark and another AMC/History - all the various services take pleasure in having an exclusive on one or the other, leaving you piecing together multiple subscriptions or independent smaller streaming deals…
AND worse yet, there is no way to tie them together in a single guide - you are constantly switching “apps” much less juggling OTA to get your network channels (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS)…
Another one bites the dust, or rather, your wallet. Today is the day Amazon Prime Video starts showing ads, unless you pay up an additional $3/mo in addition to the $139/yr Prime membership fee.
Isn’t it amazing how the media and streaming companies have come together so quickly to squash the savings out of cord cutting? In fact, we cord cutters have a LARGE responsibility for the fact that the media companies have stripped programming out of the regular outlets (eg Peacock paying $110M to exclusively air the Chiefs-Bills playoff game; CBS back catalog only on Paramount, etc.) making the situation even MORE expensive.
I’m becoming increasingly ok with just not watching any sort of TV. We watch a movie once a week for family movie night, but other than that, we’ve cut way down on regular shows.
Wish I could join you there pal, but I’m addicted to NCIS/FBI multiple series (as is the whole family); wife can’t live without Food Network/HGTV; son lives for History Channel…and there are other crossovers of interest…