Cutting The Cord on Cable/Satellite TV Service?

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Thanks I will look into that...

Edit: this is really intriguing, but the lack of NFL Network may be a deal breaker...
They just announced today that they're adding NBA and MLB TV to their programming. I wonder if NFL Network might be another that they're negotiating with:
https://www.droid-life.com/2018/03/07/youtube-tv-adds-nba-tv-and-mlb-network-to-channel-lineup-today/

I'm guessing the lineups may completely change by the time you move. The other good thing is most of these services are month to month, so the costs of switching are very low.
 

tims4wins

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Right. That makes sense. Thanks.

For Vue it looks like I would need a Firestick or Roku. Would I need one for Youtube TV if I have a smart TV?
 

Ale Xander

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Alright, we are moving up to Mass after 4 years in North Carolina, and are strongly considering cutting the cord. Our kids watch a ton of Netflix, and we do too. The only thing we use live TV for are 1) sports and 2) shows that we generally record e.g. Top Chef. We rarely, if ever, live watch TV. Live sports would be the only thing we truly need to watch live.

Here in NC we have DirecTV because I needed Sunday Ticket to watch the Pats. That won't be the case living up in MA.

So I come to this thread for advice: how should I go about this? I really want to cut the cord and just pay for the best quality internet (looks like I can get the Verizon Fios 900 MB where I'll be).

One factor: my parents live in MA and have Comcast. I mention this because perhaps I should get a Slingbox and use that with their cable?

All advice welcome. Thanks!
I use a friends Verizon Fios login for ESPN's and additionally have Fubo.tv (1st week free, 1st month $20, then $45 a month but you can use creativity to only pay $20). Fubo has NBC, CBS, and Fox and cable networks and a bunch of soccer and stuff like KHL. Also catch up on TV DVD seasons (and movies) from library. Never bored. You can also pay extra for 500 hours of Fubo DVR instead of 30

Mostly covered other than ABC stuff (Oscars for example)

Have NBCSN and NFLN/NHLN/NBATV on both, but whatever.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Right. That makes sense. Thanks.

For Vue it looks like I would need a Firestick or Roku. Would I need one for Youtube TV if I have a smart TV?
Depends on the Smart TV. The YoutubeTV app is actually separate from the actual YouTube app, but Google seems to be pushing to support as many devices as possible. From their current website:


Mobile devices & computers
  • You can watch YouTube TV on your mobile device, including certain smartphones and tablets.
  • YouTube TV also works in a web browser on your computer.
Streaming devices
  • Chromecast devices
  • TVs with Chromecast built-in (e.g., Android TV)
  • AirPlay for Apple TV

Smart TVs and Game Consoles:

Our TV app is available on:
  • Android TV (excluding Xiaomi Mi Box)
  • Xbox One, Xbox One S, and the upcoming Xbox One X
  • Samsung & LG smart TVs (2016 & 2017)
  • Apple TV: Apple TV (4th generation), and Apple TV 4K
  • Roku: All Roku TVs, Roku Ultra, Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Streaming Stick (3800x, 3600x), Roku Express/Express+ (3910x, 3900x, 3710x, 3700x), Roku Premiere+, Roku Premiere, Roku 4, Roku 3 (4200x, 4230x), and Roku 2 (4210x).
 

tims4wins

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Thanks again. My newest and best TV is a Samsung. The other older Panasonic Viera I'd probably need something external
 

Joe Sixpack

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You should be aware that the interface for PS Vue on Roku is generally pretty crappy compared to the one you get on an actual Playstation (ps3 or ps4).
They did revamp it a couple months ago, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. The main issue I have is when you fast forward/rewind the picture stays fully paused, so you have to guess at how far forward to go if you are skipping commercials on a DVR show.

We use the PS4 on our main TV and it is fantastic, but my basement TV is a roku and it's annoying when I'm trying to watch sports delayed and catch up or fast forward through commercials on DVR shows.
 

tims4wins

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You should be aware that the interface for PS Vue on Roku is generally pretty crappy compared to the one you get on an actual Playstation (ps3 or ps4).
They did revamp it a couple months ago, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. The main issue I have is when you fast forward/rewind the picture stays fully paused, so you have to guess at how far forward to go if you are skipping commercials on a DVR show.

We use the PS4 on our main TV and it is fantastic, but my basement TV is a roku and it's annoying when I'm trying to watch sports delayed and catch up or fast forward through commercials on DVR shows.
Thanks, appreciate the feedback. If YouTube TV adds NFL Network it seems to make the most sense. Currently $10/month cheaper.
 

gtmtnbiker

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We use the PS4 on our main TV and it is fantastic, but my basement TV is a roku and it's annoying when I'm trying to watch sports delayed and catch up or fast forward through commercials on DVR shows.
What are you using to control the PS4? A game controller? A remote?
 

Yo La Tengo

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YouTube TV has just added the Portland, ME market to its coverage and I'm considering giving it a shot.

For folks who have used YouTube TV, is there a difference in signal quality as compared to cable/dish?

Also, do I want a roku or a chromecast via my phone or something else to watch on my TV (the tv is a few years old and cannot be linked directly).
 

NortheasternPJ

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I'm in the same boat, I think I'm going with a Roku. Unless Comcast can make a last ditch effort to save me, I'm going Internet only.

From the looks of it, I'll be at $110 a month ($70 for Internet and $40 for YouTube) down from $210 a month.

Between this and going to Xfinity mobile I'll have gone from $290 a month to $120 between this and ditching ATT
 

tims4wins

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I'm in the same boat, I think I'm going with a Roku. Unless Comcast can make a last ditch effort to save me, I'm going Internet only.

From the looks of it, I'll be at $110 a month ($70 for Internet and $40 for YouTube) down from $210 a month.

Between this and going to Xfinity mobile I'll have gone from $290 a month to $120 between this and ditching ATT
If you can get Fios they are running a special for 74.99 a month on their gigabit internet speed. I’m planning on going with that when I move in the spring. So I’ll be at $115 a month plus taxes for amazing connection speed and all the channels I need (less NFL network, which I would expect either comes on at some point or is made available as an add-on).
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Small tangent, but can someone explain why that is the case? How are cable companies allowed to have little monopolies in cities? Is it just ownership of the infrastructure? We are looking to downgrade our package, but we also are house shopping so we’re completely locked in to paying way more van we want or need to Xfinity because the only way to lower it is cancel and move the account to her name and get new user deals...but we can’t do that because we don’t know which town we are going to move to and there’s a mishmash or available providers in our search grid.
 

SumnerH

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Small tangent, but can someone explain why that is the case? How are cable companies allowed to have little monopolies in cities?
They originally negotiated monopoly contracts with cities in exchange for building the infrastructure and providing universal access (or fairly broad access depending on the region). That was outlawed in the 1990s but by then you already had the country divvied up into fiefdoms where one cable company owns the wires, and it's super expensive for competitors to build out their own competing network.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/gizmodo.com/5830956/why-the-government-wont-protect-you-from-getting-screwed-by-your-cable-company/amp discusses.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Ok, so pretty much what I assumed. It makes sense but it’s still really friggin annoying and I’m surprised it was ever allowed to begin with.
You could contact your town hall and see what could be done to increase the competition. Maybe there’s interest in municipal broadband?
 

The Gray Eagle

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I'm really thinking about switching from FIOS cable to Vue. How does the cloud DVR work with Vue?

Currently, when I watch sports with the FIOS DVR, during a live game, I can flip to a backup channel to watch for a bit, then go back to the game and rewind to see what I missed. Then when a commercial comes, I can speed through it until I get caught back up to real time again.

Can you do that or something similar with Vue? How about pausing a show for a few minutes, and then coming back and speeding through commercials in general?
 

finnVT

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For Vue, YoutubeTV, etc, if you have a channel included are you generally able to use that channel's own app? I.e., right now we can activate NBCSports, ESPN, Disney, Nick, etc individually by logging in with our cable account. Do any of them accept logins for streaming accounts, or are you pretty much limited to viewing from within the streaming service app itself? (If so, that would make the DVR option MUCH more important).
 

Jeff Frye's Face Mask

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So I live in Atlanta and my neighborhood just got access to AT&T fiber and they are offering it at a pretty solid price ($80/month) and I'm toying with getting it and then cutting the cord.

I currently have Comcast as my TV/Internet/Phone (because this set up is the cheapest) provider along with the MLB, NHL and NBA packages (via the internet and not via Comcast). Going with the AT&T fiber option and then cutting the cord will save me a substantial amount of money. Even if I were to add something like Direct TV Now or Sling TV, my savings would still be substantial.

The question I have, and have gotten mixed responses on, is viewing live sports via something like Sling TV or Direct TV Now.

If I end up purchasing some sort of package via Direct TV Now, would I be able to watch the Bruins when they are on NBC as the game of the week on Sunday? Would I be able to watch them during the upcoming playoffs if they are on a national feed on CNBC (NBC splits out their playoff coverage across a bunch of networks)? If the Pats are the national 4pm game on a Sunday on CBS, would I be able to watch them via my local CBS channel that I have as part of my Direct TV Now package?

I feel like if I'm able to view regular season games via my MLB/NHL/NBA packages and still get national games via something like Direct TV Now, cutting the cord and going with the AT&T fiber option makes a lot of sense.
 

The Needler

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The question I have, and have gotten mixed responses on, is viewing live sports via something like Sling TV or Direct TV Now.

If I end up purchasing some sort of package via Direct TV Now, would I be able to watch the Bruins when they are on NBC as the game of the week on Sunday? Would I be able to watch them during the upcoming playoffs if they are on a national feed on CNBC (NBC splits out their playoff coverage across a bunch of networks)? If the Pats are the national 4pm game on a Sunday on CBS, would I be able to watch them via my local CBS channel that I have as part of my Direct TV Now package?
Yes.
 
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So I live in Atlanta and my neighborhood just got access to AT&T fiber and they are offering it at a pretty solid price ($80/month) and I'm toying with getting it and then cutting the cord.

I currently have Comcast as my TV/Internet/Phone (because this set up is the cheapest) provider along with the MLB, NHL and NBA packages (via the internet and not via Comcast). Going with the AT&T fiber option and then cutting the cord will save me a substantial amount of money. Even if I were to add something like Direct TV Now or Sling TV, my savings would still be substantial.

The question I have, and have gotten mixed responses on, is viewing live sports via something like Sling TV or Direct TV Now.

If I end up purchasing some sort of package via Direct TV Now, would I be able to watch the Bruins when they are on NBC as the game of the week on Sunday? Would I be able to watch them during the upcoming playoffs if they are on a national feed on CNBC (NBC splits out their playoff coverage across a bunch of networks)? If the Pats are the national 4pm game on a Sunday on CBS, would I be able to watch them via my local CBS channel that I have as part of my Direct TV Now package?

I feel like if I'm able to view regular season games via my MLB/NHL/NBA packages and still get national games via something like Direct TV Now, cutting the cord and going with the AT&T fiber option makes a lot of sense.
If you're subscribing to all of those packages just to watch Bruins, Celts, and the Sox and you don't have any interest in watching other out of market teams, then you might consider using Vue as your content provider and enter a Boston area zip code when you sign up. You can watch all of the local to Boston games live via your cloud DVR.
 

gtmtnbiker

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I don’t know if people are aware but you can find people selling MLB.tv subs for $5 and less over at slickdeals. https://slickdeals.net/f/11395371-t-mobile-customers-baseball-theme-free-mlb-tv-all-expenses-trip-to-mlb-all-star-more-via-t-mobile-tuesdays-app-03-27-18?v=1&page=25

Been doing this for three years. It’s T-Mobile customers selling their free subs that they got on T-Mobile Tuesdays. The only caveat is that you want to use it on your computer, streaming device. If you use it on your phone, make sure you are on WiFi. They’ll cancel your sub if your phone is on a non T-Mobile signal when the app is running.

To get around geofencing limitations, use a vpn or geoblocking service like unlocator.
 

The Allented Mr Ripley

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Finally pulling the trigger on this, I just ordered a couple of Roku sticks and will likely go with Vue, as it has the largest cross-section of channels I'm looking for from a provider that has NESN and NBC Sports Boston. YouTubeTV has MLB Network but not NFL, FuboTV is the opposite (while having none of the ESPNs), Vue has MLB/NFL/ESPN plus the HGTV/Travel Channel/Food Network suite my wife likes (which FuboTV has, but YouTubeTV doesn't).
 

tims4wins

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Yeah I'm pulling the trigger when we move in June, hoping that YouTube TV adds the NFL Network at some point in the next few months...
 

doctormoist

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Ready to cut the cord at a second home in Portsmouth RI. COX cable is the worst, but we have no better option for internet provider. So, we're going to dump cable but keep internet. I was thinking of going with PlayStation Vue for streaming because they have the best channel selection, but now I see that they only offer NBC, ABC, and FOX On Demand, with no CBS option at all. Live sports are not available On Demand. They do carry NESN, though.

What are you supposed to do with these limited options? Do you have to use the antenna option for local broadcasts?
 

finnVT

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If you're subscribing to all of those packages just to watch Bruins, Celts, and the Sox and you don't have any interest in watching other out of market teams, then you might consider using Vue as your content provider and enter a Boston area zip code when you sign up. You can watch all of the local to Boston games live via your cloud DVR.
Wait, can you do this and just enter any zip code? Or do you need to sign up under the name of someone who lives there?
 

Joe Sixpack

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They do a location check whenever the service is started up and if your IP address doesn't match what you put as your home zip code, it will restrict your channel options.
 

finnVT

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They do a location check whenever the service is started up and if your IP address doesn't match what you put as your home zip code, it will restrict your channel options.
Ah, that makes much more sense. Looking around, seems like Youtube has a decent support for something like this... you can change home zip whenever, but if you don't log in from that zip in 30 days, you lose the ability to use it.
 

The Gray Eagle

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We dumped FIOS for an introductory offer from Xfinity for internet for $30 a month for a year with no contract (plus $11 a month for renting their modem, which I will probably replace with one of my own soon, plus $60 installation fee.)

For TV we went with YouTube TV, which I like a lot so far. The unlimited DVR is pretty great. You basically record every show or game or movie you could possibly be interested in and have it available for 9 months.

I wish you had more and better options for organizing the shows in your library, like organizing them by date. But that's not a big deal. And it'd be great if they gave you like a dozen hours of permanent DVR space for stuff you want to keep longer than 9 months. That seems like it would be a good little incentive to keep people from frequently picking up the service and then dropping it. Again, no biggie.

It's pretty great to be able to watch any show in my unlimited library at any time on any device, from the phone on the back deck to my computer at work.

I miss Comedy Central and AXS TV but nothing else yet, and we're saving over $50 per month over Verizon's best offer, which included a 2-year contract. And we'll probably drop HBO Now in a month or two, making it almost $70 a month in savings.
 

jayhoz

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About to drop cable for a combination of YoutubeTV, AmazonPrime, Netflix, and Plex (personal media library) via Roku.
 

LoweTek

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What are you supposed to do with these limited options? Do you have to use the antenna option for local broadcasts?
I use an antenna with a Tivo Bolt DVR. The antenna is a small outdoor model. I use the existing cable TV co-ax infrastructure to run the signal to the TVs and Tivo. I also have an antenna line running directly to the 4k TV which has the Tivo connection. Other than the 4k Blu-Ray player, it is by far the best signal of any source, both audio and video.
 

luckiestman

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About to drop cable for a combination of YoutubeTV, AmazonPrime, Netflix, and Plex (personal media library) via Roku.

That’s about my exact set up. It’s more TV than I could ever need in my life.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I think that's what I'm going to. Vue I hated the interface on Roku. DirecTVNOW seems nice, but no NESN. I can sacrifice NFL network and I view limited DVR life as a feature not a bug - with the exception of a super bowl win or whatever, if something is on my dvr for longer than 9 months, I probably don't want to be taping it anymore anyway.
 

The Allented Mr Ripley

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I cut the cord a week ago and am very happy with the decision. Was paying $210/mo for Verzion FiOS, middle tier package, no premium movie channels, which seemed nuts to me. Went with PS Vue because it had the best selection of channels for our household's viewing habits, we're using Roku sticks. Canceled our TV and landline service, kept internet, at our current 75/75 it's $65 a month. Add the $45/mo for Vue and I'm saving $100/mo, plus I get the MLB network, which wasn't part of my FiOS package.

The three biggest cons are the clunky interface, the primitive DVR, and (most prominently) the sound output, which is only stereo. But for $100/mo in savings I'll gladly put up with it and hope the technology catches up and improves those things.
 
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finnVT

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The zip code stuff got me thinking. I'm in PA, but would any of the big services work if I were to share an account with family in VT? In particular, would I be able to get local new england channels while in PA (especially NESN for sox/bruins, cbs/fox for pats)? And do they allow concurrent logins from different locations? The VT people probably wouldn't use it often, but often enough to keep the zip active on the account, but do they all still verify location when watching and block channels based on that? Sounds like Vue maybe has a workaround through the DVR, but other than that?
 

The Allented Mr Ripley

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The three biggest cons are the clunky interface, the primitive DVR, and (most prominently) the sound output, which is only stereo. But for $100/mo in savings I'll gladly put up with it and hope the technology catches up and improves those things.
The sound output is no longer an issue, my receiver can decode it into Dolby Surround, it just doesn't automatically do so, which I assumed it would. Once I changed the setting I was all set.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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I'm not cutting the cord, but I am looking for anyone who has an opinion on Apple 4k TV vs Roku Ultra 4k.

Installing a 4k projector with 120" screen and need a good streaming device.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Does anyone have any info on dvr with DirecTv Now? All the articles I’ve been able to find say it’s still in beta, but I can’t even find the beta channel for my roku to test it out. Having played with DTN and PTV for a few days now, I think I prefer DTN, but I’d like some sort of dvr. I’m resolved to losing nesn, I don’t watch the Sox more than once or twice a week and I can go to a bar or figure out mlb tv if I really miss it. I’d rather have the bigger channel package and HBO cost only $5; I also like the interface on directv better, but it’s negligible.
 

ElUno20

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If purchase HBO on slingtv, would you be able to watch the live fights? I'm assuming yes but not sure if they block anything

Update: it's on their slingtv live schedule. Interesting. Might be cutting the cord soon
 
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Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

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For whatever its worth, I'm now on YoutubeTV. (I had been using Hulu with Live TV and streaming the Sox in ways prohibited without the express written consent of Major League Baseball). The Hulu interface is a mess, and performance was not great on my middling broadband connection.

Out of all that I've tried, I'd rank them like this:

Price (including local channels and HBO):

1. DirecTV Now
2 (tie): Hulu with Live TV, YouTubeTV
3. PlayStation Vue (highest price and the fewest local channels)

Apps/Interface

1. YoutubeTV

Youtube nailed it here. The typeface is great. The menus are readable. It's easy to find live TV and favorite shows. The channel surfing experience is the most like actual cable, and it's easy to switch back and forth between shows you were previously watching. In a nice touch, if you switch between shows (say, PTI and the news), it'll pause the first show automatically and resume where you left off when you switch back.

2. DirecTV Now
3. PlayStation Vue (it's actually quite good on iOS and PlayStation. The Roku app is functional, but clunky)
4. Hulu with Live TV (it's very polished, but actually finding content is a chore. There's layers upon layers of redundantly named menus that do different things. Also, there's no discernible pattern regarding which shows allow rewinding and starting from the beginning).

DVR
1. Hulu with Live TV (it's an actual DVR. You get 60 hours and you can record things indefinitely)
2. YoutubeTV
3. PlayStation Vue (Youtube and Vue are identical. You get unlimited recordings but they expire after a set period of time. Youtube's recordings last longer)

Performance
1. It's too early to tell, but I've been watching for a couple hours and have had no hiccups and HD picture with YoutubeTV.
2. PlayStation Vue. Totally reliable.
3. Hulu with Live TV (it was watchable, but the video would hiccup regularly. Sound would drop and the picture would jutter).
4. DirecTV Now. Utterly unwatchable.

NESN

Youtube TV and PlayStation Vue are it for viewers in New England.

So far I'm a happy customer with Youtube TV. Seems to strike the right balance between price, performance, and UI. The $40 base package gets me several channels, including local ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox and NESN. I'll add a HBO Now subscription while John Oliver and Westworld are in season.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I ended up doubling up. I wanted YouTube for NESN, but their channel selection is the weakest, imo. Directv Now had the cheap hbo add on, but no nesn and DVR is still yet to come. But....if you prepay three months of their lowest based package, you can get an Apple TV 4K, which works out to be $105 for a $180 media player.

So I did both to start. I actually prefer the interface on Directv Now, but there has been times where it’s had issues buffering or crapped out. I’m looking at it like the discounted Apple TV and then cable is free for three months. I’m hoping they make strides.
 

Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

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Yeah. I did DirecTV Now for two months and got a free Roku. The AppleTV 4K deal wasn't available or I might've gone that route. If you're looking for a streaming device, it's hard to beat DirecTV's price even if the service was the worst for me.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I actually don’t even *need* a streaming device. I got a Roku Premiere during a flash sales of their summer Black Friday style day (I forget which) which is in living room and replaced a stick; an older Applt TV (2nd gen I think); and a Kodi Box. Bedroom has a Roku earlier model that suits our needs just fine, we don’t watch a ton in there.

I’m not even sure if I’m going to use the Apple TV 4K or just throw it on EBay to make a quick $50. But that’s a steal for it and when we move I eventually will upgrade to 4K and add a third tv to the house - either something small for the kitchen or for a man cave or office; so I have options. If directv hasn’t improved by the time three months is up, I’ll reassess and choose. (I’ve also heard the PlayStation interface is much better in Apple TV so that may bring that back into play, at which point I’ll cancel everything and use a new email to test drive them all on that).