Cord Cutters Catch-All

LeapingGnome wrote:

Not to be insensitive, but if his vision is that bad how does he watch TV? Just listen?

Depends. If he's sitting in his recliner about 3 feet from his TV, he can see somewhat. At least enough to get the gist of what's going on. If he's sitting in bed, he's listening to news or sports. The light and noise are also distractions from chronic neuropathic pain.

TV, listening to music/audiobooks, using his computer/phone, spending time with us, and sitting out in the sun are pretty much what he can do now with the pandemic. I work like hell to make it all as friendly as possible. We wouldn't have any TV plan if it weren't for him.

I’ve been involuntarily cord-cutting for the last two weeks or so. My cable box stopped working and I can’t be bothered to get a new one because we’re selling the house and moving at the end of October, probably going with a different cable company.

My experience hasn’t been great because a lot of the apps seem to be... terrible?

Watching a basketball game on the ESPN or TNT apps, they disconnect 6-7 times a game which harms the experience. Other times the device malfunctioning causes issues - my (kind of old) Fire Stick wouldn’t connect to any of my networks so I had to factory reset it, meaning I had to log back into a bunch of stuff, reset some passwords, etc.

Haven’t been enjoying it but I don’t really want cable in the new place. The wife is okay with losing cable because she can get everything she wants on Hulu now.

Is cord cutting a modest hassle for most folks or am I doing it wrong?

Yeah the apps can suck. Surprisingly the Fox Sports one is the best. It turns every game into an instant DVR as it happens. You can restart the game, FF, Rew, pause, whatever. It's awesome.

ESPN and TNT are crap in comparison.

Yeah I'm in the cord cutters but use my dad's cable login for sports club still.

I will say the web site experience is usually better than the apps. If I watch on my computer while my wife is using the TV for something else that works better 99% of the time. I also have an HDMI cord from my PC to TV, and sometimes route games that way when the apps are too finicky.

Doing it wrong or unlucky I would say. Get a reliable device, like a Roku, and use a real streaming TV service if you still want to watch live TV (Hulu, sling, youtubetv). The individual channel apps are pretty universally not as good, I am not surprised you are having problems with them.

For what it’s worth I have been watching the NBA playoffs via Sling on a Roku ultra (I think!) this year and the last few as well and it has been fine.

I have a less than 1 year old Roku TV (TCL), plugged in over ethernet instead of wifi, and the apps are sh*t sometimes.

Even tonight, the ACCN Louisville game failed multiple times. Restarted the app twice, tried streaming a different ESPN channel and then finally back to the game and it worked.

Thurs night watching TNT NBA app, I had to give up on watching postgame. It just kept showing an error. Tried east and west feed, restarted app 5 or 6 times, it never would play.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Doing it wrong or unlucky I would say. Get a reliable device, like a Roku, and use a real streaming TV service if you still want to watch live TV (Hulu, sling, youtubetv). The individual channel apps are pretty universally not as good, I am not surprised you are having problems with them.

For what it’s worth I have been watching the NBA playoffs via Sling on a Roku ultra (I think!) this year and the last few as well and it has been fine.

Taking notes here... what subs do you have?

Right, I agree the specific apps like ESPN, TNT, Disney, etc are crappy. The general 'tv streaming' apps like Hulu, Sling, YoutubeTV are pretty good and much more reliable.

Yeah my in laws have Hulu live as their main TV and it seems solid when we visit, just like a cable box, but through the internet, and cheaper.

I did some Sling when it was free recently during the lockdown and it seemed good.

Blind - I've tried all of the TV streaming services. If you just want to get cable sports for cheap then Sling is your best option. The downside to Sling is you don't get locals so if a game is on ABC or you care about NFL it is not great unless you supplement it with an over-the-air antenna if you are in range (I did this with a Mohu Leaf antenna for a while).

If you want some more luxury options like DVR / pause and record and local channels then Youtube TV is the best, but also more expensive. ($65 per month vs Sling at $30)

For us, I really just dip in and out during sports seasons, I'll subscribe for a couple of months to watch the NBA playoffs and then cancel, or sub for a month here or there if they have a deal going and it is like playoff time in one of the other sports or something. That is one of the nice things about the streaming services vs cable, it is really frictionless to sign up, watch what you want, and then cancel it. No boxes to return, no phone calls, no sitting through 'retention reps' that try to sell you garbage. A couple of clicks and done, easy to dip in and out throughout the year to save money some months.

Really the only thing we watch live TV for is sports. Other than that our regular TV viewing is Netflix / Prime / Disney+ and occasionally we'll sub Hulu for a month to watch a show. My wife / daughter don't care about live TV at all. With a four year old in the house we also have Noggin and the PBS Kids app has a lot of on demand shows.

If I add up our subscriptions it is $24 a month (Netflix $14, Disney+ $4, Noggin $6, PBS Kids free, Prime kind of free since we subscribe anyway). Add Sling at $33 a month for maybe 3 months of the year and it is way cheaper than cable, or Youtube TV for a month or two if we have extra cash.

I recommend Rokus for devices, I have used them for years and had many models and they have always been good for us. The UI and remote are simple and easy, high family-acceptance factor. Reliable and just plain work. I have never tried the 'stick' versions since I wanted the beefier faster models. I just checked and the one on our main TV is a Roku Premiere+ model, I think we got it on sale at Costco at one point.

Cool stuff thanks!

How do you get Disney+ for $4? Not that it matters to me, wife did the $17 package for Hulu and ESPN+, but I’m curious.

I did the pre-release deal Disney had last year where you could pay for three years up front for $140. I figured with a three year old in the house at the time that it was a good investment.

I looked at the ESPN / Hulu package but the annoying thing is it is Hulu-with-commercials, which I hate watching. There was no way to pay the extra to get the commercial-free version like you can with a regular Hulu subscription. I gladly pay the few more bucks to get commercial free in the occasional month that we subscribe to Hulu.

Agree 100%. That's why we have avoided the bundle. I watched one episode of TV on Hulu with commercials and immediately upgraded and will never go back.

I feel like my wife said she got the commercial free version...

Yeah just confirmed it’s $18.99 a month. So she could watch Golden Girls -_-

You have to go through Hulu apparently: https://www.hulu.com/disney-bundle-h...

Cool, I am glad they offer that now. Back when I was looking last year they didn't and I was disappointed.