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Cutting The Cord on Cable/Satellite TV Service?

Discussion in 'BYTE ME: Technology discussion' started by LoweTek, May 29, 2009.

  1. doctormoist

    doctormoist Member SoSH Member

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    7,146
    We’ve had Vue for about a month, and the monthly cost has increased by 10% with no added services. Yay.
     
  2. Omar's Wacky Neighbor

    Omar's Wacky Neighbor Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    7,001
    If you have any old streaming devices lying around, Amazon is giving a 2.99 trade in credit, plus a credit for another $35 off Fire TV Cube or $25 off Fire TV. Appears you can pretty much send in a brick without the remote and still get the credits. (IOW, save the remote)

    Recommendation is to get them in asap, and use the credit on Prime Day coming up.
     
  3. ThePlantLady

    ThePlantLady Member SoSH Member

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    860
    qvc has a special on the fire tv thing. 50$ today. I got one, I am new to this. I have FOUR cable boxes and am trying to get away from that. So keeping 3 --until I find my roku-- then going to 2 boxes. Will nesn be available on Amazon? I subscribe to mlb but of course I am blacked out for sox games so that would not be an option. I am in CT. Also what is the deal with the antenna for free local channels. Are they any good for local stuff? (not nesn)
     
  4. Ale Xander

    Ale Xander Member SoSH Member

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    17,482
    Fubo trial has been increased from $20 to $35, and they still have't added ESPNs even though they like to be referred as the sports service.
     
  5. edoug

    edoug Member SoSH Member

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    1,551
    Playstaion Vue and Fubo have NESN and have an app on Amazon Fire. About the antennas, there are so many variables that it's hard to say. You might want to say where you live in case there is a member who lives near you and has a better idea of what channels you could get.
     
  6. ThePlantLady

    ThePlantLady Member SoSH Member

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    860
    Enfield, CT, on the line with Springfield. My son in law has playstation, they have totally ditched cable, and get nesn. I did order one amazon fire, so I will give it a try.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  7. ThePlantLady

    ThePlantLady Member SoSH Member

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    860
    just found this also...

    https://cordcuttingreport.com/2018/06/15/live-stream-nesn/

    Now you can live stream NESN to your television or iPhone, and pay a lot less than what Comcast, Spectrum or any other cable company is charging. Live streaming TV has been around since 2015. And finally a few of these live streaming services carry New England Sports Network.


    I had heard rumors of MLB doing away with the blackouts? With more and more getting off cable, I think they should. (we as sports fans have such a powerful lobby that we never use)
     
  8. InsideTheParker

    InsideTheParker Member SoSH Member

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    23,001
    Go here.
    We live on a North facing hill in WMA, get 10 Vermont and NH stations (9 of them PBS) and nothing in MA. Asking a neighbor won't necessarily help. Our neighbor across the street gets Albany, but we haven't been able to. We live out in the country. City people get many more stations than we do, or so I have read.
     
  9. bohous

    bohous Member SoSH Member

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    2,500
    Our contract is up at the end of the month and I went back and read through the last few pages here and it's been super helpful.
    We currently have FiOS triple play with low tier channel package (preferred) + HBO and 100mbps internet for about $155/mo, which honestly isn't that bad. We can continue month to month for a year at this price or lock it in for 2yrs with a new 2yr agreement.

    The cord cutting option for us would mean PSVue Core package which is the only one that checks all of our channel boxes + HBO. So that's $60 + probably $45-$50 for stand alone internet which would still save about $45/mo. The stumbling block seems to be "flipping anxiety" from Mrs. B who likes to channel surf. She also wants live PBS for some reason and doesn't feel like just using the PBS app is going to do it for her (I have to admit I don't understand this one). A lot of the appeal to going with 100% streaming option is that everything would go through the Roku, but adding an antenna means still flipping inputs and cuts into the bottom line savings with the antenna purchase.
    Anyway, I guess this is more of just a rant but does anybody have any advice about fulfilling the PBS problem or opinions about adding the antenna option. I have a feeling I am going to cave in and just keep paying the extra $45 with status quo for simplicity but would really love to cut the cord.
     
  10. luckiestman

    luckiestman Son of the Harpy SoSH Member

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    9,406

    Can you not get pbs OTA with a cheap antenna? You can buy the pbs passport on the app for $5 a month. I’m thinking of doing this.
     
  11. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    3,710
    Honestly the savings isn't huge. PS Vue Core is going up to $50/month, or $65 if you have HBO.

    In my area standalone 100mbps with FIOS is $70/month.

    I am switching to YouTube TV for $40 but still will be paying a combined $110/month without HBO.

    Seems like the market is starting to equalize where it's not a huge cost difference either way with some of these packages.
     
  12. bohous

    bohous Member SoSH Member

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    2,500
    We could go with the antenna but was hoping to avoid it. I was also looking at the PBS Passport option but I don't think it supports live streaming. The issue is she prefers to have the option to watch live. It's something they are working on but this article explains some of the stumbling blocks.
     
  13. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    16,431
    Savings depends on what package you take from which provider. I was paying about $235/mth from xfinity - it was a promotional deal an employee I knew got me, basically every channel, highest speed internet and phone. Well, we don’t have a house phone (I honestly have never even known what the number is), we don’t need business class internet to watch Netflix and we don’t watch live outside of sports, everything else is streamed or can be found on an app via roku. I tried multiple times to lower my bill by dropping stuff, down to my last attempt which I literally said ‘get rid of phone, drop down to basic digital with hbo and drop down to lowest internet’ and their response was ‘sure, that will save you $18 a month’. Their excuse was that since I was grandfathered into my deal under employee pricing, they’d have to kick me out and couldn’t offer new customer.

    So we test drove all four of the big ones and landed on direct now, for various reasons (including the free 4K Apple TV if you prepaid three months . If I didn’t need the golf channel, we could be in a perfectly cromulent package, including hbo for $5, for $40 plus internet. As it is, we pay $65 for 100+ channels and $70 for internet. So I’m saving over $100 a month and the picture quality is far better. Comcast throttles the resolution; I directly compared them before making the switch and a friend a couple towns over moved and was shocked by that companies feed; he literally had been talking about buying a new tv and now doesn’t need to. I also like the ability to adjust my package instantly - like I said, we could probably be fine on the $40 plan including hbo, but this time of year, I want golf channel and it bumps me up. If I paid enough attention, I could even opt in for particular tournaments. I’m sure it will price correct a bit of internet standalone plans will go up, but for now it’s tangible savings depending on your current setup.
     
  14. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    3,710
    Yeah, for bohous paying $155/month there won't be a huge savings. There is certainly a very wide range in pricing out there.

    My in laws were paying over $200/month (I think this is typical for a lot of people), I helped them switch over to Directv Now for $30 plus whatever the internet only is on Comcast and they couldn't be happier. I was talking to someone else at work and they are getting a full traditional internet+TV package for something like $140/month.

    My guess is it probably depends on the area and whether there is competition (cable company and Verizon in the same market) or not.
     
  15. canderson

    canderson Fomenting voting confusion and angst since 2016 Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    21,722
    I’m thinking of dumping DirecTV for DirecTV Now or YoutubeTV but two hangups:

    1) I have a lot on my DVR I haven’t watched but want to (Ken Burns’ Vietnam, etc)
    2) I have Comcast and fear it going out and losing access to watching the Red Sox or some program my wife wants to watch. Having a non-Internet tv is my binkie, I guess.

    Are these rationale issues?
     
  16. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,710
    Vietnam you can stream on PBS Passport ($5/month)

    The TV now uses a data signal on the same wire as the internet so if the internet goes you'd lose both anyway.
     
  17. canderson

    canderson Fomenting voting confusion and angst since 2016 Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    21,722
    My tv provider is DirecTV, so no internet outage impacts me there.
     
  18. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    3,710
    Yeah I missed the "dumping DirecTV" part and just saw the "I have Comcast" part. So that would definitely be an issue, I guess it depends on how reliable your internet service is.

    With the streaming services you can watch on your phone so worst case you could stream over LTE - use a ton of data but you wouldn't be totally out of service if there was a World Series game with the Red Sox or whatever and you lost your internet.
     
  19. Bigpupp

    Bigpupp Member SoSH Member

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    1,610
    I've had Directv Now for a few months, and while it meets the needs of me and my family, I can't recommend it to anyone yet. Pausing live TV doesn't work, the DVR feels more like an alpha than a beta, and there is a ton of stuttering and/or complete stopping during many sporting events.

    I really think one day it will be a good product, but it's got a long way to go.
     
  20. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    16,431
    I’ll attest and agree when it first came out there were outage issues; I havent had one in probably over a month. Dvr I haven’t really played around with much since they released the update a couple weeks ago, but I’ve found once you dive into this world there’s other options for watching content - aside from live sports you can pretty much find anything you want on an individual channels app. The phasing life tv thing, yes, I have noticed that but assume it’ll be remedied in short time.

    I’m not trying to say it’s the end all be all and frankly if youtubetv had a bigger channel selection I probably would have gone with that. At current moment I find it to be best combination of channel selection and choice, price, picture and user interface. But, like anything, these are all subject to one’s devices and preferences. I found Vue’s interface to be terrible on Roku but have been told it’s better on a PS4.
     
  21. The Allented Mr Ripley

    The Allented Mr Ripley holden Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    11,296
    Pretty sure Ken Burns' Vietnam is on Netflix.
     
  22. Dernells Casket n Flagon

    Dernells Casket n Flagon Member SoSH Member

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    3,030
    Some of the issues mentioned recently are why I'm still spending $200/month and haven't cut the cord. My buddy has YouTube TV and looked into account on my Roku TV in my workout room, where I didn't have cable and the only thing I wanted but couldn't get via streaming was the Sox.

    Was trying to go back and forth between a Celtics playoff game and red Sox and it was painful. No back button with immediate last channel, but three button pushes and then a 5-10 second buffer.

    Quality once it loads is great, but live two sport experience is lacking. Also, I often DVR sports and watch an hour in to skip all commercials. Not sure I can live without the 30 second skip button at this point.
     
  23. Buffalo Head

    Buffalo Head Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    6,739
    It is. Started watching it there yesterday.
     
  24. LoweTek

    LoweTek Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    In my main room I use Roku Premier Plus (4k and HDR support) for subs to Sling, Hulu, MLB.TV (free subscription from T-Mobile) and Showtime via Amazon. I also have an over the air (OTA) antenna into a Tivo Bolt. Sling is pretty stable although their guide interface could use some work.The way they present the Orange and Blue packages can be confusing. MLB TV performance has been fine for me.

    I'm fortunate to have gigabit internet so I almost never have buffering issues. Can't really remember the last time I saw one.

    Best picture quality is anything in 4k, usually streamed from Amazon, followed by the antenna. If you have OTA channels in your area, I can't recommend it enough.

    I make a run at $100/month mostly because I am paying a $40 premium to Sling for the summer sports season. I could probably lose Hulu too as I rarely use it.
     
  25. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

    Messages:
    16,431
    We use a Roku Premiere in living room and also just added Hulu (she wanted to watch Handmaid’s Tale) and holy shiznits that interface sucks. I almost think I’m doing something wrong, it seems like it takes six clicks to get to an episodes listing.
     
  26. finnVT

    finnVT Member SoSH Member

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    1,745
    This is a question I really should know the answer to, but oh well...

    We have google wifi.. with the ONT ehternet options discussed above where verizon (and comcast?), can you just run ethernet directly from the box to the google wifi? is this a bad idea (i got it for the mesh, but no idea about it's capabilities as a firewall, dealing with dns, etc). or do you still need some kind of access point in between?
     
  27. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

    Messages:
    16,431
    If you can hard wire, I have no idea why not, but others more technical can ring in. I like to hardware what I can anyway for streaming to reduce buffering.
     
  28. TallerThanPedroia

    TallerThanPedroia Civilly Disobedient SoSH Member

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    11,770
    Hulu premiered that a few months back (and it's not just on Roku). It is one of the most horrible redesigns I have ever seen. And they seem proud of it. The old version wasn't great but it was navigable.
     
  29. Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

    Scott Cooper's Grand Slam Member SoSH Member

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    1,708
    Word. "I almost think I'm doing something wrong" is well put. I felt the same way.

    I was switching from Hulu with Live TV to YoutubeTV for NESN regardless, but the interface was one reason I was glad to leave it behind. It's perplexing. The interface is gorgeous, really. Big, beautiful type. Bold, snappy hero images. Some visual designers worked hard and had a great time on this.

    But almost no attention was paid to information architecture. IIRC, there are *at least* three menus named Search.

    Now I'm on Hulu for 3 reasons:

    • Handmaid's Tale
    • The cheap price on HBO they gave me as a retention bonus to keep Hulu (without live TV) and not cancel outright
    • Reruns of Futurama and South Park

    Thankfully I can find Hadmaids and the two other shows on Keep Watching (the default screen). I use HBO through the separate HBO Now app. I caught I, Tonya on Hulu the other day because I dared to venture into Movies. I was pleasantly surprised to find it, but it was kind of a struggle.

    I know that "the menu on my streaming service sucks" is a total "my tiara is too tight" problem, but man. I'll take the ugly, barely-functional but at least logical PlayStation Vue Roku UI over the hot mess of the Hulu UI.
     
  30. cgori

    cgori Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    2,217
    Google Wifi is an IP router & stateful firewall. I don't have one, but I just looked quickly at the Android app options for Google Wifi - it does port forwarding, DHCP reservation, DNS servers can be configured as you like (probably defaults to google's 8.8.8.8 group). Presumably it is also a NAT, since it has WAN/LAN ports, though it appears the address space is locked to a specific class C (usually not a concern for most people).

    So, you can just use an ethernet cable from the ONT modem to the WAN port of Google Wifi - cat6 cable would be advisable.
     
  31. finnVT

    finnVT Member SoSH Member

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    1,745
    Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for.
     
  32. glennhoffmania

    glennhoffmania but still failing Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Sorry if this has been discussed before but can you get NFL redzone channel with a fire stick? I refuse to upgrade to the next tier on Spectrum anymore and I recently got a fire stick, but I haven't seen anything about getting redzone through Amazon.
     
  33. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    16,431
    I know if you have fubo you can
     
  34. edoug

    edoug Member SoSH Member

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    Yeah Fubo, Sling, and PS Vue could be options.
    Sling is the cheapest way at about 35/mo. with no contracts. All work on Amazon Fire and Firestick. All 3 let you try their service for free. Since have a Firestick are you planning on cutting the cord? There are pretty decent options if decide to. I'm very happy with Playstaion Vue.
    I don't have Red Zone though.
     
  35. Rod Becks Mullet

    Rod Becks Mullet Member SoSH Member

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    I am hitting the fall season for the first time as a YouTube TV user. How does it do recording when over runs are needed? I know I plug in what I want recorded but it doesn't look like I can extend a record. Will it pick up if football or something runs long and into the scheduled recording?
     
  36. luckiestman

    luckiestman Son of the Harpy SoSH Member

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    9,406

    It has handled overruns for me so far
     
  37. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

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    19,080
    Ditto here. Pats games have been fine
     
  38. bohous

    bohous Member SoSH Member

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    Welp, Verizon ended up bumping my rate by $20/mo so I'm back to exploring my options. Just a straight switch to Xfinity would save some money and not that much more expensive than Internet only + PSVue until I started factoring in taxes and fees from Comcast. Are there any hidden costs with PSVue or are the package prices all in?
     
  39. finnVT

    finnVT Member SoSH Member

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    1,745
    On the off chance anyone is in the same boat as me, as a displaced New Englander wanting to get Boston sports...

    I signed up for Youtube TV this summer while visiting family in VT. Since I was there when I set it up, the home zip got set to VT. Since returning, it's stayed as VT on computer and Roku, so I've continued getting VT channels, including NESN, Comcast Sports New England, etc. FWIW, accessing on my phone auto-recognized I was in a different zip code, so accessing it from there gets my local Pittsburgh channels (which is actually handy, since if I do want those, I can just chromecast them to the TV from my phone). I've avoided running the zip code finder when logging in via the web, and it hasn't asked/noticed on the Rokus. I also logged in to NesnGo while in VT with my youtubeTV account, and that's also continued to work, even on my phone, which is a nice backup to have since I'm not sure how long this will continue to work.
     
  40. edoug

    edoug Member SoSH Member

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    1,551
    I have the elite package. The cost of that package is $59.99. My monthly bill is $59.99. So no hidden fees or taxes for me. I live in Maine so it could be different for you.
     
  41. The Allented Mr Ripley

    The Allented Mr Ripley holden Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    11,296
    A nice bonus to cord-cutting? I was able to bring my basement TV upstairs last night and set it up next to the living room TV in order to watch both the Sox and Pats games simultaneously, no worrying about splitters or any other technical obstacles. It was as simple as unplug, move TV, plug.
     
    #941 The Allented Mr Ripley, Oct 15, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  42. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    16,431
    Yeah I had this planned too with the bedroom tv but got vetoed; so just pulled up the app on iPad and toggled volumes when needed. Butt it definitely is not a daunting task compared to trying to do it with cable boxes.
     
  43. Omar's Wacky Neighbor

    Omar's Wacky Neighbor Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,001
    I was going thru a box of stuff last night, and I found a few 4' lengths of coax. I was about to save them when it hit me: with HDMI, is there any reason to save coax, even if it's a high end cable? (assuming there are no older devices without HDMI in the house)
     
  44. LoweTek

    LoweTek Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    1,250
    Over the air antenna is still connected via coax. Excellent picture and sound if you haven't tried it.
     
  45. Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

    Scott Cooper's Grand Slam Member SoSH Member

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    1,708
    My first complaint with the Youtube.TV DVR:

    I fell asleep in the 14th last night. I was DVR'ing the game. Woke up this morning and tried to resume "from last watch." As of right now, I have no recording of the game. I select "World Series Game 3" and it takes me to a recording of Big Bang Theory (which is not a show that I watch).

    18 innings might have choked the DVR.

    Edit: nevermind. I checked again after posting and all 8 hours of the game are there. I've lost "from last watch," but it's better than nothing.
     
  46. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

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    19,080
    Yeah youtube TV does amazing with DVR. If Pats games run over it always records the whole thing. Awesome stuff to not have to worry about it
     
  47. luckiestman

    luckiestman Son of the Harpy SoSH Member

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    9,406
    Can’t watch the Knicks on YouTubeTV. O assume this means you can’t watch the rangers either. Otherwise I am still a big fan.
     
  48. FlexFlexerson

    FlexFlexerson lurker

    Messages:
    56
    I've been subscribing to FuboTV, which I've liked. It has a little better international sports package, which I enjoy for casual channel flipping, and I think was the only package with all of the league channels. The package's glaring omission of ESPN has really not proved an issue. I watched the Pats MNF game at a friend's house and the broadcast was so awful (announcers and color saturation) that I lost any regret I may have had about not having in-home access to the Worldwide Leader.
     
  49. OurF'ingCity

    OurF'ingCity Member SoSH Member

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    2,477
    I cut the cable and went with YouTube TV a few weeks back - only minor quibbles with not being able to watch certain channels or certain games. For example the BC-VaTech game was on the ESPN app but blacked out in the NYC area because, on cable, ACC Network games are broadcast on YES - but YES on YouTube TV was just showing the regular content, not the ACC Network feed. And I've also had a few discrete instances where the quality of the stream has gotten pretty pixelated but obviously that is more of an internet issue than a service issue.

    In any event those types of things, while annoying, don't bother me particularly because I have little doubt that as the subscriber base increases services like YouTube TV, Vue, etc. will increasingly acquire rights to additional channels/content (of course, that will likely come with price increases as well but honestly simply not having to deal with cable customer service/random "fees"/contracts is already worth well beyond the $40/mo that YouTube TV currently charges).
     
  50. Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

    Scott Cooper's Grand Slam Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,708
    I'm cancelling Hulu next week. I was on a promotional rate ($7.99 for Hulu + $4.99 for HBO), but the HBO rate has expired. I want to keep HBO. Hulu said they can't extend the promo, but it might be back in a few months. In the meantime, I'm going to keep subscribing to HBO for $14.99/mo for as long as John Oliver is in season.

    I'm not doing HBO Now, though, because HBO Now requires Flash to play in the browser. I'll be trying Amazon Channels, because they have an HTML5 player.
     

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