What happened to my TV service?

geek1997

Active member
Over the past couple of years, I've entertained the idea of dropping cable and using a streaming service. We already have Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime, just picked up Hulu, and we get HBOMax for "free" based on our internet package. Oh and we picked up AppleTV+ earlier this year so we could watch Wolfwalkers. The only things that have been keeping us from dropping cable altogether is that it just 'feels' easier to turn on the TV, check the usual channels, and settle in to our re-run routine for the night (we are laaaazy TV watchers for multiple reasons). Plus the local baseball team games are blacked out unless you have the 'special' sports channel that is only available through one of the major cable services.

Welp. I was working through my budget last night and realized our cable charge went up almost $100 last month. A little digging showed the bundle deal I had set up two years ago expired. Even further digging showed that our current cable service is no longer available to bundle anymore and they offer satellite (no thank you) or a streaming TV service. It seems like the streaming TV service works basically the same as regular cable (start an app, peruse the channel guide) but I'm not sure.

What's everyone doing for TV service these days? Assuming the baseball game issue is not a priority anymore (though it seems like they may now be available on fuboTV as well), it is just a matter of finding the cheapest streaming TV option that offers the channels we think we want? Or does everyone just pay for channel specific apps now?

Also, how big is the rock I've been living under that I didn't know this was happening? It's apparently been in the works for at least the last year.
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
The cable companies are famous for lowering your bill when you threaten to leave. If you're happy enough with the previous price, and commit to another year or something, particularly if you're threatening to move to YouTube TV or something, they'll likely give it to you. So you could start there.

I have a stupid number of streaming services - Hulu, Netflix, MLB TV, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max, along with some "junk" like PlutoTV and Crackle and lord knows what else.

My guess is the cable company will budge if you say no that isn't good enough enough times.

You could also look at streaming alternatives like Sling and see if they have a lineup that fits your needs.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
YouTubeTV has our local channels including NY Mets baseball on SNY, plus all of the "cable" channels we actually watched. $65/month which includes unlimited DVR storage (stores saved content for 9 months I think), streams on almost any device, 4-6 simultaneous I believe.

We also have Disney+ (3 year deal), Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBOMax (1 year promo price) and AppleTV+ (free when we bought our computers). We'll subscribe to Hulu soon for a couple of months for Handmaid's Tale and Nomadland.
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
Servant on AppleTV is nuts (kind of in a good way) if you haven't caught that one.
 

cboyer

Well-known member
We still have cable, but that is only because it is cheaper with our cable company to "bundle" internet and cable together. But we have the most basic cable package bundled with our internet, its like 10 channels. That takes care of our local channels. Otherwise we just stream. But I will say this works for us, because we don't watch sports. I know sports people would have a problem with our set up.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
Servant on AppleTV is nuts (kind of in a good way) if you haven't caught that one.
We've really liked quite a few AppleTV+ shows:
- Servant was great
- Wolfwalkers was AMAZING
- For All Mankindis really good (alternate history space race where the Soviets are first on the moon)
- Mythic Quest is very funny (worth a watch if only for F. Murray Abraham's performance)
- Defending Jacob was really good
- Earth at Night is remarkable

Really looking forward to the Beatles documentary that's coming out soon. Foundation looks like it might be pretty good if you're into sci-fi.
 

bnoble

he's right
I have fubo, and like it. However, they do not currently have a license for the Fox RSNs, so that might knock out baseball depending on your market. I don't really mind because I'm one of those people who thinks baseball is best either in person or on the radio, and TV just mixes the worst of both. You can't see the whole field, so you don't really know what's going on, and the TV "talent" is almost always horrible vs. the radio broadcast folks.

Fubo easily has the most comprehensive soccer coverage, though with this new Super League nonsense the rose might be off the vine on that.
 

Art Vandelay

that's a shame
Fubo easily has the most comprehensive soccer coverage, though with this new Super League nonsense the rose might be off the vine on that.

Grrrrrr.

I like ESPN+ for soccer. Netherlands (Eredivisie), Italy, English Championship League, NCAA (don't get me started on the overall lack of quality in college soccer...). I have Sling International sports for La Liga. No Peacock because I'm maxed out on my tolerance for taking games off of live TV and putting them on a streaming service.

We have Netflix (since the early mailed DVD days), Disney+, Hulu and DirecTV. With DirecTV (noticeable drop in customer service since AT&T bought them) each time they raise the price, I look for something to cut.
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
Spectrum is now offering a digital skinny bundle. You get all of the local networks and you then pick any 10 channels you want for $25. We just use the Spectrum app on the AppleTV to "channel surf".

We signed up for the Discovery+ streaming service, so it was a challenge to come up with 10 channels.
 

Art Vandelay

that's a shame
Yeah. My son and I have followed Spurs, but we are picking a new team if this actually happens. He's thinking Wolves, but this has me thinking maybe West Ham. https://www.nbcsports.com/video/james-corden-joins-men-blazers-tonight

DD and I are massive Barca fans. Given the history of Catalonia and their fight for independence, the club's move the new league disgusts me. I'll start watching a Basque club. Most likely Bilbao, since they pride themselves on developing and playing Basque players for the first team.

I love Guardiola, so I watch Man City. But if they go I'm done with them, too.
 

bnoble

he's right
Pep might not stay with them. Saw a quote from him today: “It is not a sport if success is already guaranteed. It is not a sport if it doesn’t matter if you lose.”
 

Art Vandelay

that's a shame
Pep might not stay with them. Saw a quote from him today: “It is not a sport if success is already guaranteed. It is not a sport if it doesn’t matter if you lose.”

It's reported that Chelsea, Man City and Atletico Madrid are looking to back out, and Barca could be next to withdraw.
 

pixarprincess

Well-known member
We ditched cable a few years ago, and don't really miss it at all. There are a few things we don't get but it isn't the end of the world. We have Disney, netflix, amazon, paramount, hbo and sling. Even with upgraded super fast fiber internet we still pay less than we did with cable.
 

bnoble

he's right
Apparently, some Chelsea supporters blocked the team bus from entering Stamford Bridge before tonight's match, they were so angry. The club announced their withdrawal shortly after that. I think the Men in Blazers said something about how much the clubs underestimated their own fans' displeasure---they thought they'd only need to weather the storm from uninvited clubs.
 

George

wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
What to do if you don’t care a whit about sports of any kind (excel figure skating)? We’ve had DirecTV for 21 years since we built the house, and I’m sick of paying almost $80/month for just about basic service. I need my local channels and DVR capabilities. Or at least I think I do.
 

smwisc

Active member
Over the past couple of years, I've entertained the idea of dropping cable and using a streaming service. We already have Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime, just picked up Hulu, and we get HBOMax for "free" based on our internet package. Oh and we picked up AppleTV+ earlier this year so we could watch Wolfwalkers. The only things that have been keeping us from dropping cable altogether is that it just 'feels' easier to turn on the TV, check the usual channels, and settle in to our re-run routine for the night (we are laaaazy TV watchers for multiple reasons). Plus the local baseball team games are blacked out unless you have the 'special' sports channel that is only available through one of the major cable services.

Welp. I was working through my budget last night and realized our cable charge went up almost $100 last month. A little digging showed the bundle deal I had set up two years ago expired. Even further digging showed that our current cable service is no longer available to bundle anymore and they offer satellite (no thank you) or a streaming TV service. It seems like the streaming TV service works basically the same as regular cable (start an app, peruse the channel guide) but I'm not sure.

What's everyone doing for TV service these days? Assuming the baseball game issue is not a priority anymore (though it seems like they may now be available on fuboTV as well), it is just a matter of finding the cheapest streaming TV option that offers the channels we think we want? Or does everyone just pay for channel specific apps now?

Also, how big is the rock I've been living under that I didn't know this was happening? It's apparently been in the works for at least the last year.
We have an antenna for over-the-air (it's digital now, so good quality and a decent number of channels), plus a handful of streaming services.
 

geek1997

Active member
The cable companies are famous for lowering your bill when you threaten to leave. If you're happy enough with the previous price, and commit to another year or something, particularly if you're threatening to move to YouTube TV or something, they'll likely give it to you. So you could start there.
That's how we ended up with the previous bundle deal. We have Uverse and AT&T won't offer bundles anymore because they are trying to push everyone to AT&T TV. And like @cboyer mentions above, it was cheaper to stay with cable with the bundle so we never really looked into it.

My brother recently set up my dad and his wife on a Roku box and they watch the local stations on YouTubeTV so I know that's an option.

Thanks for the ideas, everyone! Time to go make a spreadsheet...
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
What to do if you don’t care a whit about sports of any kind (excel figure skating)? We’ve had DirecTV for 21 years since we built the house, and I’m sick of paying almost $80/month for just about basic service. I need my local channels and DVR capabilities. Or at least I think I do.
If you don't care about sports and have good internet, then you actually have a lot of options.

I haven't used it and haven't talked to anyone that has but you might be best served using a combination. Philo offers very cheap access to cable channels. It doesn't offer locals though. For that a TiVo with a good OTA antenna would give you DVR for the local networks. Definitely would be far cheaper per month (Philo is something like $20 a month) and you'd have the "luxury" of still being able to watch the local news if internet goes down in inclement weather.

I do know that you can use Philo as a TV provider, so if you downloaded the apps to the cable channels you watch, then you could probably use the TiVo as your primary box. Again, I have never tried this combination and it would require an initial outlay for the cost of the TiVo box and the antenna, but it should work. The Philo and TiVo monthly subscriptions would certainly be less than the DirecTV bill.
 
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