Cord Cutters Catch-All

This is the thread to discuss the tech and services that are alternatives to cable tv.

Anyone try the new beta for Hulu Live TV? I'm already a Hulu subscriber and I was really excited for this service to launch. A little too excited apparently.

The app is gorgeous at first glance, but once you try to navigate it you realize how bloated it is with sub-menus under sub-menus. Also, not only does it bury the DVR but it makes it incredibly confusing to use overall. Couple that with the confusion over which shows have commercials and I cancelled the 7 day trial after only 3 days.

I haven't checked out YouTube TV yet because there is no Apple TV app. At least the Hulu experience taught me I don't want another DVR, I don't want a DVR at all. All I want is on-demand with Live TV.

Haven't tried Hulu's yet but the SlingTV and PlayStation one are both pretty good with the slight nod going to Sony as it allows more streams at once than Sling

Problem is the triple pay bundles with 2 year contracts are actually cheaper than most broadband but Over the Top live TV plans.

TheGameguru wrote:

Problem is the triple pay bundles with 2 year contracts are actually cheaper than most broadband but Over the Top live TV plans.

Yup. If only they'd offer a Roku or Apple TV app I'd stick with FIOS. Heck I'd even get their whole home DVR and ditch TiVo. I'd just like all my video content on one device and also have it be wife-friendly.

TheGameguru wrote:

Haven't tried Hulu's yet but the SlingTV and PlayStation one are both pretty good with the slight nod going to Sony as it allows more streams at once than Sling

Problem is the triple pay bundles with 2 year contracts are actually cheaper than most broadband but Over the Top live TV plans.

Are you on Orange or Blue? Me going to Sling Blue was primarily to allow 3 streams at once.

cartoonin wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

Haven't tried Hulu's yet but the SlingTV and PlayStation one are both pretty good with the slight nod going to Sony as it allows more streams at once than Sling

Problem is the triple pay bundles with 2 year contracts are actually cheaper than most broadband but Over the Top live TV plans.

Are you on Orange or Blue? Me going to Sling Blue was primarily to allow 3 streams at once.

Sony allows for 5.

I did a recent comparison of watching Sling for a week and then Vue for a week, via a Roku 3 wired to the wall with a 30Mb internet connection. Vue was better in every way except the guide interface, which is a ridiculous disaster. Vue has a better picture, loads faster, has much less drop outs and freezes, and has pause on every channel I have tried. It costs $5 more, but to me it is worth the extra.

I'm one step closer to truly cutting the cord - wife permitting. At the very least, I'll be ditching TiVo and will soon be using Apple TV as the only streaming device we use.

Channels recently released DVR functionality. The app works flawlessly running off of my media server. It has all the features of TiVo and a more elegant interface. It even has built-in commercial skipping. It costs $8/month for the DVR functionality, which is cheaper than TiVo.

I have the CableCard version of the HomeRun, so I'll be keeping FIOS for now until I can convince the wife that we don't need cable and can go OTA. Still, I'll only be paying for one CableCard from FIOS and no other cable boxes. Once Amazon Prime finally comes to the Apple TV, I'll finally be down to one streaming video device, as the Apple TV will have it all.*

* Except 4K of course, but I don't have any 4K sets yet. I'm holding off buying a third Apple TV for the bedroom as I plan on upgrading my main tv to 4K next year. Hopefully, Apple ships a 4K Apple TV by then.

Since HBO Go is broken mess on all 3 of my xbox's I'm cancelling and going to give HBO now a try. However it looks like I have to buy HBO now through an appstore (Amazon, Apple, Google). If I buy it through Amazon do I have to use my Amazon credentials to log in or does it let me create a new login?

I would assume your HBO Go login would be the same you already use on any other platform, payment for the sub will likely then go through Amazon (if its integrated, which I believe it is).

garion333 wrote:

I would assume your HBO Go login would be the same you already use on any other platform, payment for the sub will likely then go through Amazon (if its integrated, which I believe it is).

HBO go uses my Verizon account login.

Edit: Re-reading that I'm assuming you meant to type HBO Now. I would really like to have a different password for HBO Now than Amazon or Google because those accounts tie to credit cards with purchasing ability.

After a little googling I found this which indicates that Amazon uses amazon credentials so I did a free trial through the google play store and it let me create a password. Amazon's loss.

Edit: .... And this doesn't look promising for HBO now being better than HBO go on the xbox. Yes, I'm logged in with my Xbox account.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/2O4aWVF.jpg?1)

Oh oh oh. I apologize, massive reading fail on the HBO Go and HBO Now. I thought you were talking about the same thing and not the two different programs.

Hah, no problem. It is mind boggling that they need two apps to do the same thing in the first place. The only difference is, as far as I can tell, is the method of authentication.

EvilDead wrote:

Since HBO Go is broken mess on all 3 of my xbox's I'm cancelling and going to give HBO now a try. However it looks like I have to buy HBO now through an appstore (Amazon, Apple, Google). If I buy it through Amazon do I have to use my Amazon credentials to log in or does it let me create a new login?

It depends on whether you use the standalone HBO Now app on those platforms or add it as a "channel" to Amazon Video. In the latter case, Amazon handles the billing and credentials and you just use the Prime Video app. I assume it's the same if you add it on to Hulu, respectively.

EvilDead wrote:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/2O4aWVF.jpg?1)

You can only Get/Purchase an App from a platform that it's available on.

Kurrelgyre wrote:
EvilDead wrote:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/2O4aWVF.jpg?1)

You can only Get/Purchase an App from a platform that it's available on.

Yes, I had already signed up and it is available the Xbox One which is why I posted that. I buy/get all my xBox one games on the xbox.com/microsoft.com website and it auto downloads and installs them on my Xbox one. Except for HBO because that it doesn't work that way for some reason..

Rant: Sorry If I come off at as a little annoyed. I have had problems with HBO go specifically on the XBox one and no other devices on in the same household and I explained it step by step with all details to HBO support. All they did was send me replies with generic troubleshooting steps that didn't take into account that, I had mentioned I already did those things, works fine on other devices, and was occurring with more than one xbox. (check your internet connection speeds, reset router, ect..). In the meantime their app is riddled with reviews stating the same issues and they are closing in on 1/5 stars for both of their apps.

I thought I'd give YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV a try to see how they compare to my cable watching habits.

I made a list of channels I watch regularly, and YouTube TV was only missing two: Comedy Central and OWN.

For Hulu Live TV, it was missing four: AMC, BBC, Comedy Central, and OWN.

With how I watch (storing things up and then binging) and sharing with my roommate so the need for multiple streams, the two packages I'd be comparing are:

YouTube TV: $40
Hulu Live TV: $63.97

Right now YouTube is just much better at discovery. recording, and organization. You can't even sort your Hulu shows alphabetically, it surfaces the most recent ones at the top. Which, fine, but having the option to sort is nice. And the interface for Hulu varies widely between apps or the website, which I find confusing. YouTube TV is much more consistent. The new Hulu design is slicker, but also less useful. Getting to where you want to be just take way more clicks than it used to.

And YouTube TV actually has an Android TV app, which if you're a Shield TV user is a big deal. Hulu has come out and said there just aren't enough Android TV Hulu watchers to make an updated app for Android TV worth it.

If you're using a Roku, then you can use either.

YouTube TV has "unlimited DVR" (it replaces some shows with stored shows, which is smart but still not genuinely a DVR), and with the Hulu upgrade you have 200 hours. For comparison, my Tivo Bolt 1TB is guestimated at 150 hours, so it's quite a lot for me to fill up and I'm not worried about that 200 hour cap. One reason the distinction between the two is important is that when YouTube TV swaps out your recorded shows for saved "on-demand" versions, you lose the ability to fast forward through commercials.

If everything you're watching is current, then YouTube TV is really slick. You can just add everything to your library and leave that run indefinitely to rack up all the TV you want to watch.

However, I tend to let entire seasons pass before I catch up on a show, sometimes more than one. And YouTube TV just doesn't have a very good back catalog. I made a list of all the shows I like to watch, rewatch, or plan to watch, and YouTube only had a complete set of seasons for 10 of them. By comparison, Hulu Live TV had a complete set of 45(!) shows. Which once you rule out HBO type stuff, means most of what I want to watch is on Hulu and I don't have to worry about whether or not the episode I left off on is going to be missing.

Now, with the pricing, Hulu Live TV is $39.99, but if you already have regular Hulu with "no" commercials, it's $43.99 for the "skinny" bundle, and another $20 for the 200 hour DVR and unlimited screens, for a total of $63.97. Which means I'd be paying $51.98 more than I would normally. For what it's worth, YouTube TV allows 3 simultaneous streams, period. So as long as you don't have more than 3 people sharing your account, that should be fine.

Still, even if I kept Hulu with no commercials for $11.99, combined with YouTube TV that would be a total of $51.99.

In the end, that means going with Hulu Live TV would really cost me $11.98 more than YouTube TV. Except once you factor in that Hulu has more of the seasons I want to watch, has fewer commercials (they tend to be shorter, and some shows won't have them at all with the plan, whereas YouTube TV shows always have some), if I were to cut the cord Hulu Live TV would just be the better choice.

The only game in town for me, internet-wise, is Cox. The internet package I have is $69.99, so obviously that's an expense I would have no matter whether I cancelled cable or not.

My cable package (with all the channels I want, and a ton I don't care about) is $109.47. When bundled with the internet, they knock $35.00 off, making the comparative cost $74.47. And since I'd have Hulu regardless, like I said, that means I'm paying $86.46 for TV.

In summary, for me that means:

YouTube TV+Hulu: $51.99
Hulu Live TV+Extras=$63.97
Cox cable+Hulu=$86.46

Making the difference between what I pay for cable versus what I would pay with just Hulu Live TV... $22.49. And the difference for cable versus YouTube TV... $34.47.

Which isn't anything to sneeze at, but at the moment just isn't compelling enough for me to actually cut the cord, given the drawbacks it would entail. Such as not being able to watch anything at all if the internet is out (I did say I had Cox internet, right?) My Tivo Bolt has a lifetime sub, so I can record about 200 hours on that (I have an external HDD for it), it has "skip mode" for a lot of shows, can play my shows offline, and means I don't have to screw around trying to stream Comedy Central every night before I go to bed.

Now, if I lived by myself and didn't share TV, or if Cox keeps raising their prices (I can't ever keep track of which "deal" or "package" I'm on and sometimes end up with big jumps in my bill), it may actually be worth it in the future.

That said, if your watching habits and mine differ a lot, you could potentially be cutting your bill by more than half if YouTube TV has everything you need.

Another compelling reason not to cut the cord for me is that I travel several times a year, and using Plex and a service like Playon.tv, I can record shows and movies and put them on my Plex server so that I can watch them anytime, anywhere, with minimum hassle. If both YouTube and Hulu weren't such a huge pain in the ass about VPNs (I live in the USA! Your ad dollars aren't wasted! WTF!), that wouldn't be a big deal, but sometimes after a long day I just wanna watch a movie and go to bed, without trying out a dozen VPN servers trying to find one that isn't blocked.

Buying a vacation home so making plans to do an Internet service. With a family of 4 Vue seems to be the winning way for me to go.

Personally I liked YoutubeTV better than Vue, but it has been at least a year since I tried Vue. Have you tried both and what makes Vue better for you?

I have had Youtube TV since they launched the Roku App and just before the price went up, so Feb? I have been really impressed with the quality and ease of use. I stream on a computer, Roku app, and iphone app as well. The one thing I wish it had was food network. It has plenty of sport channels (MLB network, FS1/2, ESPN) and NBC sports which is my local sports giving me SF Giants baseball which would have been a deal breaker if not.

I have been pretty amazed by the streaming quality and stability on the iphone app over cellular. All the streaming options have been rock solid. I came from Dish and they used sling and that was not very good. It has been well worth the $80 or so savings.

Explain the use and purpose of homerun hd? Is this a must for cord cutters?

Baron Of Hell wrote:

Explain the use and purpose of homerun hd? Is this a must for cord cutters?

It's a tuner that can pipe video around your home network. There are OTA ones if you have an antenna, or CableCard ones for digital cable subscriptions.

You then need apps that support the tuner. HDHomeRun makes their own apps, but they're not that great last time I checked. The better ones are Plex and Channels for AppleTV.

Channels is absolutely the best app to pair with an HDHomeRun if you have an AppleTV. It's UI is near perfect. It even has DVR functionality if you want to roll your own and it now has automatic commercial skip that is just magical. Can't recommend this app enough.

I have the CableCard 3-tuner version that I use with FIOS. I quit TiVo about two years ago and never regretted it. It's allowed me to finally have just one box to rule them all for my home video - no more switching inputs.

To answer your question: no, it's not a MUST for cord cutters as you can still get an OTA antenna directly to your tv for local channels, but if you want that video piped through your network for apps or dvr then it is a necessity.

Does Channels support anything but AppleTV? I’m looking to ditch my TiVo for a HomeRunHD

TheGameguru wrote:

Does Channels support anything but AppleTV? I’m looking to ditch my TiVo for a HomeRunHD

It also supports Fire TV and Android. https://getchannels.com/apps/

I've tested on a wired Fire TV cube and it works well. A wireless Fire Stick, not so much though. I'm intrigued by Android though. This probably runs quite well on a Shield TV box.

ahh well.. was hoping they would have made an Xbox One app.. I'll poke around and see if they have interest in one.