The Move from Satellite to Streaming

Discussion in 'Movies / Music / TV / Streaming' started by mechman, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. mechman

    mechman Senior Admin
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    After 25+ years of Satellite TV, the first 5 or so with Dish and the last 20 or so with DirecTV, I have bid satellite TV adieu. Why? Three simple answers. Cost! Cost! Cost! I had played along with the system for years getting freebies and discounts and have found that even with those deals, it's still not cost effective. Plus my ISP recently bumped up the speed of our connection, from 50Mbit to 300Mbit, at no additional cost making the streaming alternatives a no brainer. My monthly bill for TV went from over $220 to about $131 currently. And I expect that to drop again soon once I decide upon a service.

    So what did I switch to? Currently I'm running three subscription services, two of which are mostly on a trial basis to see which I prefer. Those two are YouTube TV (YTV) and PlayStation Vue. Vue currently costs me $75 which includes a subscription to both HBO and Showtime. YouTube TV costs me $40. The third service I pay for is called Philo. Philo includes 43 channels for a monthly fee of only $16. Philo is a much needed service for me as it is the only service that I found that could get me my History channel.

    All 3 services offer varying DVR services - Vue keeps your DVR shows for 28 days, I believe YTV keeps them for about 9 months and I have yet to look into these things with Philo. Both of the major providers offer unlimited cloud DVR space as well. They also both carry older episodes in their massive On Demand libraries.

    Picture quality on these services is fairly good in my opinion. Granted, there is some video that streaming has issues with but it's not that bothersome, again, in my opinion. The one excellent trade-off is that everything is upconverted and shown in Dolby Vision on my Apple TV and LG OLED! I have another Apple TV in my theater room and then I have Roku's on the rest of my displays. All 3 of the services work with these platforms just fine.

    I'll be adding to this thread over time as I get time to talk more about it.
     
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  2. tripplej

    tripplej AV Enthusiast

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    Congrats. I cut cable and satellite long time ago. I go with OTA antenna and do streaming with Amazon prime/netflix/hulu. I am good. :)
     
  3. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Interesting, Steve. I'd be lying if I hadn't explored doing something similar. Two things are currently stopping me. One, streaming doesn't allow access to the local market baseball regional TV channel (MASN). And I can't stream my local team because of blackout restrictions on streaming local teams. That for me is a big deal.

    Second, based on my really great experience with Netflix streaming quality, I decided to give YouTube TV a trial run. But the jutter on channels that didn't have 60fps drove me crazy. Perhaps they've fixed that to some degree. Not sure.

    We, right now, have Comcast/Xfinity as our internet and TV provider. As little as I use it, I do like the Xfinity interface and its integration with Netflix. What I don't like is the yearly call I have to make to re-negotiate our contract. It drives me CRAZY!!!! :gah:

    I hope that streaming will broaden and improve in the coming years, because cable/satellite is tired delivery mechanism at this point. No reason we all shouldn't have a la carte access to the channels we watch.
     
  4. Mark C Flick

    Mark C Flick Moderator
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    Reasonably priced à la carte... wouldn't that be great? Sitting here trying to count the stations I watch and I can do it on one hand but I have hundreds of channels I don't watch.
     
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  5. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    ^^ Isn't that the truth. I believe I probably watch - maybe - 8 channels. Tops
     
  6. mechman

    mechman Senior Admin
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    You can't get your regional sports network? Is that something to do with that particular company? Cause I get my regional Fox Sports network which has all of the Twins, Wild and Timberwolves games.
     
  7. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    No, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network is only available via cable/sat at the moment.
     
  8. mechman

    mechman Senior Admin
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    Still going strong with streaming! I'll be dumping YTV this week. They just don't offer the channels that Vue does even though I like the interface on Apple TV more than Vue's.
     
  9. mechman

    mechman Senior Admin
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    The above line should have been "I like the interface on YouTube TV more than Vue's." Doesn't matter though, I've gotten rid of YT TV. I'll go back if they add more channels, particularly the ones that I get with Vue and not with them.
     
  10. mechman

    mechman Senior Admin
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    Update to this thread. I am currently switching back to YTV from Vue. The video quality on Vue has seem to have taken a hit in recent weeks. While I'm not a fan of YTV with the Siri Remote, I have two Harmony remotes that I'll program to use with YTV. The only other thing I'll ahve to do is to get a HBO Now subscription.
     
  11. thrillcat

    thrillcat Moderator
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    I've been using DirecTV Now plus my antenna since it launched. Being an AT&T mobile customer, I'm getting 100+ channels (including all the ESPN, Fox Sports, etc.) plus HBO for about $38/mo.

    I've been really happy with it. Mostly because I don't use their interface/app at all. With DirecTV Now, you get access to all the provider apps on the AppleTV, so I'm signed into those and I use the AppleTV's TV app. That app is, in my opinion, the perfect DVR, and it also gives me alerts when Iowa State has a live game coming up - it will pop up a little notification on my Apple Watch and iPhone. Open up the TV app, and there's an instant link to the game. I also get alerts (and I can turn them off if I want) when there's a new episode of a show I've been watching available, if there are close games in sports that I've indicated interest, etc.

    I highly recommend giving it a try. Every now and then they have offered up a free AppleTV (the 4K version now) if you commit to 3 months. So basically, try it for 3 months and keep the AppleTV even if you don't like the service. You're still getting a killer deal on another AppleTV.
     
  12. mechman

    mechman Senior Admin
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    I've slowly been switching everything over to the TV app. I kind of forgot about it while I was testing providers.

    I won't ever go back to DirecTV. Plus I'd probably fill up that 20 hours in no time. I prefer the unlimited storage.
     
  13. thrillcat

    thrillcat Moderator
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    With the TV app, you don't need the storage. 95% of everything you'd DVR is available on the provider apps, and the TV app is your guide to what's ready to watch.

    CBS is the only net that doesn't give you a login, so Survivor is the only thing I use the DVR functionality for, and that's only if I'm not watching it live OTA.
     
  14. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Direct TV Now is streaming only, correct?

    Do get regional sports networks with it?
     
  15. thrillcat

    thrillcat Moderator
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    Correct, and you get your regional Fox Sports network, and I think your regional CBS Sports, but that's about it. Plus all the ESPN offerings. That's in the tier that I'm in, which is the mid-level, not the highest.
     
  16. mechman

    mechman Senior Admin
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    I set up everything with the TV app yesterday and I can tell you initially that I'm not a fan. Why? Commercials! I don't like to have to sit thru commercials and the NBC app, as well as others, give you no way around them. On the flip side, if I watch the DVR'd episode I skip past the commercials. I had figured out how to get around commercials for the On Demand shows that Vue had - basically anything recorded on Fox could only be viewed On Demand while most other channels gave you the option. With Vue I could pause-play-pause and then slide past the commercials on demand. You can't do that with the TV app. The nice thing is that you don't have to suffer through as many commercials as you would if you watched the full DVR'd recording without skipping. Is there a way around this Travis?

    The other thing my neighbor and I noticed last night is that streaming may eventually kill discs, but it's nowhere near ready! I was giving him a preview of how the new seats are going to be laid out and we were checking out some content - hockey and movies. The movie I chose was The Great Wall and rather than go get the disc I selected to view it streamed. The video artifacts were pretty abundant especially bit depth issues. This made me get off my butt and put the UHD disc in and check some of the same scenes. There were no video artifacts with the hard copy. And my neighbor even commented that the audio was a bit better. I hope that the industry doesn't bail on hard copies anytime soon because streaming is not there yet in my opinion.
     
  17. thrillcat

    thrillcat Moderator
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    I haven't found a way around the commercials in the apps, no. I treat them like I did when I was a kid - time for a bathroom break or snack. :)

    As for the quality of streaming, I've found the quality of UHD streaming to have gained significant ground over the quality of 1080p, meaning UHD streaming is closer to UHD disc than 1080p streaming is to 1080p disc. I feel they've eliminated a lot of the banding issues prevalent in streaming. The audio, however, as mentioned by your friend, is the night and day difference for me. I stream a lot, but I stick with discs for reference material, and will continue to do so until they figure out how to stream lossless, or until I can afford a Kaliedescape.
     
  18. mechman

    mechman Senior Admin
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    Agreed! Makes me regret purchasing the digital copy of Mary Poppins Returns.
     
  19. thrillcat

    thrillcat Moderator
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    I actually enjoy making my 12yo sit through commercials. Kids these days have had things too easy. :)
     
  20. mechman

    mechman Senior Admin
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    Ain't that the truth!
     
  21. thrillcat

    thrillcat Moderator
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    Ironically, I just received an email from DirecTV NOW last night that notified me of a price increase. And they are realigning their lineups a bit. It did include a handy link for you to choose a package, enter your zip code and find out what local channels and regional sports networks are available to you, so I thought I'd post that.
     
  22. mechman

    mechman Senior Admin
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    Oh they'll give it a little bump every year. :T At least they did while I was a satellite customer of theirs.
     
  23. mechman

    mechman Senior Admin
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  24. thrillcat

    thrillcat Moderator
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    I'm sure they will, and I'll be happy to drop it when they push it too far, just like I did with their satellite. I went about 7.5 years with nothing but my antenna and a couple iTunes Season Passes each year. I'm not afraid to do it again.
     
  25. thrillcat

    thrillcat Moderator
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    I did find it very interesting this morning as I reviewed the info at that link I posted earlier. The package that I'm currently subscribed to is no longer available. The two available packages have nowhere near the amount of channels available.

    I would be fine downgrading, though. They cut a lot of crap I never watch. I just have to see if I maintain my AT&T discount if I am on their lowest tier.

    Price going up = bad, but cutting the fat = good.

    Content providers have strongarmed cable & satellite companies for years by requiring they carry the crap channels if they want to carry the good ones. I feel like this is a good move in the long run, fighting that practice.
     

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