It’s been three years since we last checked in with you all about Cutting the Cord. When one of our friends recently asked us how we’ve felt after having cut cable going on 3 + years we decided it was time for an update. As we said previously, the world of streaming changes dramatically very, very quickly. With Disney+ and the Warner Media app on the horizon, we take a look at the changes we’ve made, what we’re keeping and what we’re letting go of.
Devices & Compatibility
As we stated before, we got a Roku with our purchase of Sling and though we dropped Sling we kept the Roku once PSVue became available to use on it. Of all the devices we have, including 2 smart televisions, an Amazon Fire Stick and the Google Chromecast, the one we use the most is the Roku. It’s the most user friendly of the lot, you can add apps as needed and it doesn’t mysteriously crash for no reason, an issue that we had with the Fire Stick. The only downside to the Roku is that, with the advent of 4K, it automatically defaults to 4K settings, which leads to a HDMI error that you have to reset. This happens very rarely but it’s definitely annoying when it does.
- In the three years since we cut the cord, you can now watch four of the Big Five via PSVue with The CW being the only exception for no apparent reason since CBS, The CW’s parent company, is available. Which means that for the most part we barely use the antenna for live television anymore.
- While pausing live programming is now available it’s not quite as good as it could be, especially on the Hulu app for shows like Game of Thrones.
- Again, we don’t use the antenna as much as we used to with live programming available on PSVue, however the problem of it being affected by weather hasn’t changed.
- Okay, so the hard numbers for streaming services, and keeping in mind we have the Elite package for PSVue: A monthly total of $110.
- This total includes: PSVue; Hulu+ with HBO included; Amazon Prime and Netflix.
- That number will go down after November since a lot of the channels we were paying for with the Elite package for PSVue are included in the Disney+ and WarnerMedia app grandfathered in plans so we’ll probably go down to the next cheaper plan with PSVue
Overall this really does work for us and it’s so much less money going out than it was before, even with high speed internet because we work from home. As we said in the previous article, we tried Sling for a month and PSVue for the next. What we found with Sling was, for the amount of money you’re putting out, it simply didn’t give us the amount of channels and compatibility that we got with the PSVue. Even the cheapest package with the PSVue gave us way more and we got the most expensive package for the sports channels: NHL, MLB and USSF.
My biggest fear was that streaming would become the goose that laid the golden egg, with every Tom, Dick, and Hulu starting their own service. CBS, Paramount, Disney+, HBO Max (and as of right now we still don’t know if it will include DC Universe shows or movies), Apple TV… the list keeps growing and I will reiterate my statement that if they keep going down this road they will drive more and more people to the arms of pirating and illegal streaming. Of course, I would never suggest anyone do that, but if I hear that someone has chosen that path I won’t be surprised.
That being said, what I am hearing about the HBO Max & Hulu/Disney+/ESPN+ bundles are offering more things for what is overall a better price point. What I think could happen is that more and more of these streaming services will join forces like some kind of streaming Voltron. Also, I see an uptick in purchase of TV show box sets coming – I already have Parks & Rec and The Office in my cart as I debate if signing up for HBO Max is worth it for us versus keeping HBO as part of our Hulu package – as at a certain point it is cheaper to buy that series for $50-75 instead of subscribing to a package we don’t really want for $10-20/month.
Having pretty much all the over-the-air channels on Vue has made the antenna pretty much moot, but since it doesn’t cost anything to keep it we still have it in the corner just in case we need it for some reason. For me the biggest problem is still sports. I have the Big 1G Network (with something like 5 or 6 channels being used sometimes) to go along with the MLB, NBA, NFL, & NHL Networks (and now the ACC Network) as well as a bunch of local FOX sports channels and the ESPN networks. All in all I am very satisfied with my sports options and the volume of quality content on the Big 3 streaming services (Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix) keeps me entertained.
Now if I could just get my Orioles games…