Getting off Cable - Looking for suggestions

Hello,
I'm finally cutting the cord on cable TV.  I was paying $138/mo after tax for 200 channels, HBO/Showtime, two boxes, DVR, and internet services.  Spectrum sent me a letter saying my promotion ended and I will now be paying $159/mo before tax.  Naturally, I called and said I'm out.  They came back with a basic plan of $149/mo before tax for 120 channels, two boxes, DVR, and internet.  I said no thanks.  So now I only pay for cable internet at $65/mo before tax.

I'm looking for suggestion on where to go now, if anyone can help it would be appreciated.  I will warn you - it's not just about price - I like convenience.  I don't want to have to make watching TV a chore, where I'm having to manage too many subscriptions or streaming issues.  Cable is pretty simple, which is why I stayed on it for so long (and I'm a bit old school i guess).

My interests are:
-Basic channels (ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, etc)
-Sports, particularly football (ESPN channels, NFL, Golf, etc)
-HBO series
-Certain TV series in a variety of places (i.e. AMC, FX, etc) depending on recommendations from Bald Move or others.

Any advice would be great.  Thanks!

Comments

  • Here is what we do:  HBO, Netflix, and Amazon prime (which we would have anyway for shopping).  We use a Roku stick on the tvs, and there's other stuff on the roku that's free, although the only one i've used is the pbs app.  For local channels, we just have a digital antenna.  I found the cheapest (amazon basics) antenna was not good enough to get all local channels and ended up having to get the powered ones, with a usb plug as well as coaxial connection--still pretty cheap.  I also helps if you have someones cable logins (like parents of something) so you can download specific channel's apps (on the roku or whatever).  For example, we use my wife's folks logins to access the usa app to watch mr robot, and the regional fox sports app and espn for sports.
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    edited December 2017
    Not sure if you buy digital movies, but that may play a part in the device you use (meaning, if you primarily use iTunes, an AppleTV would be a no-brainer, if you buy things with Amazon, a Fire Stick would be the route to go, Google...etc, etc). However, as for the actual subscriptions, you would need...it seems like HBONow of course, after that you'd probably be best off looking into a Live TV subscription through Hulu/Sling/Youtube/PS Vue to figure out which one best suits your needs. Compare and contrast the channels for your sports and AMC/FX wants. 

    Every person is different. For me, I use my AppleTV and am subscribed to Netflix, Hulu (ad-free pre-recorded stuff, not live tv), Sling for Live TV, and Shudder (a horror streaming service). It really meets everything I need. But that isn't going to fit everyone of course.
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited December 2017
    Apple recently caved, and even my old ass Apple TV now has Amazon Prime Video.

    Not sure if you buy digital movies, but that may play a part in the device you use (meaning, if you primarily use iTunes, an AppleTV would be a no-brainer, if you buy things with Amazon, a Fire Stick would be the route to go, Google...etc, etc)
    Elisa
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    Apple recently caved, and even my old ass Apple TV now has Amazon Prime Video.

    Not sure if you buy digital movies, but that may play a part in the device you use (meaning, if you primarily use iTunes, an AppleTV would be a no-brainer, if you buy things with Amazon, a Fire Stick would be the route to go, Google...etc, etc)
    It does! I was excited to see that addition. They also added Vudu, so if you have things purchased through Ultraviolet, that may be of some interest to you. 
  • I recently got in on the free ATV4K DirectTV Now promotion. I have to say I’m fairly impressed and haven’t turned on my cable box (with DVR) but for a few times. DirectTV Now is missing the DVR (it’s in beta testing now), but right now I haven’t found a need for it. I get HBO for free with my ATT unlimited plan so thats one less addition. I’m seriously thinking of cutting the cord and just paying extra for unlimited bandwidth. 
    What I like is that I also get access to many of the channels apps as well. 

    What you’ll need to do is make priorities as far as viewing. Most of the streaming TV services offer locals, but that is largely dependent on where you live (they all have tools to let you see what locals are available). You also have the option of using an antenna for locals (there are quite a few hardware and software solutions for DVRing those OTA channels) Sports will be tougher, but it’s still possible. What’s available is largely dependent on who owns the rights to what’s being aired. 

    Its going to take some leg work to get everything set up and for you to get used to it. Once you do however you’ll be able to get a fairly close representation of cable via streaming. 
  • I have a combination of Sling, Hulu, Netflix, HBONow, Amazon and a digital antenna.  Satisfies about 90% of my TV watching desires for roughly $60 / mo less than cable.
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited December 2017
    I apologize, but I'm working and it's pretty busy and I'm just on a brief sanity break and saw this but couldn't really get into the other responses at the moment so I do apologize if this is covered elsewhere.

    Does anyone else you know who has cable willing to let you sort of "jack their feed?" So my parents have the full cable package with all of the bells and whistles and we are cord cutters. Since they have no need for the internet portion of their cable, and they don't mind sharing their cable company account login information with us, we have put the aps for AMC, HBO, BBC, Showtime, ESPN, NBC, ABC, etc., etc. on our Roku and Fire Stick and now get those channels and their on demand services using their cable subscription. So many channels have these sorts of services now-a-days (I can't speak to the Golf channel, but I believe all of the other ones you listed) that you can totally get them. You'll still have commercials to deal with, but you can get them for free that way if you know someone who will let you use their info. Plus, no fuss, no bills, no nothing. Just aps to select.

    We also use Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon and have been really happy. I will say that Hulu changed their interface recently and it is completely awful, but once you have navigated through their BS it does have a lot of great stuff. We also will buy episodes of things that aren't covered, or things that we don't want to watch commercials for on Amazon from time to time. To keep to our budget we kind of allow ourselves one running show a week that we will treat ourselves to.

    Sling sucks! It is an infuriating ap. It was constantly kicking us out and making us reboot and it was just a constant battle and we finally gave up a month or so ago.

    For what it's worth, I would definitely go with a Roku over a Firestick. Our Firestick is fine, but they cost about the same and the Roku interface is much better because the Firestick leans towards Amazon (makes sense being an Amazon product) and it's just not as user friendly. I could be wrong but the Firestick feels more limited to me. Also, we had our first Roku for at least 6 years or so before it started to get buggy on us and we finally replaced it this Black Friday. We've always had the box ones and not the ones that look like flash drives so I can't speak to any difference, but I love our new "box." Works beautifully and I think it only cost around 50 or 60 bucks (it was on sale though, not really sure what they normally cost, but I believe they're pretty affordable for what you get).
  • I don't think there is anything as convenient as cable. Just not right now, maybe in 5 years. I haven't paid for cable TV in a long time, maybe 15 years now. I built a computer for my TV a long time ago and threw in a TV tuner card and used that as my DVR, but it's not worth the effort really. The first few years I thought I'd die without ESPN, but you get over it. Its probably better for you in the long run to stop watching junk TV. 

    I get by with a combination on the MLB TV package, an over the air antenna, Netflix and Amazon prime (mainly for the shipping). I subscribe to HBO now for a couple months whenever there is a show I really want to watch like GoT. Youtube TV looks like a promising option if it's available in your area. I tried Sling and thought it was pretty buggy and worthless. I decided I wouldn't give more money to monopoly entertainment companies anymore. I despise Comcast and once we got Fiber internet in our area I get away from giving them anything. I went from a 70 dollar 50mbit plan to a 70 dollar gigabit plan. 

    If you really want to cord cut you'll have to make some sacrifices in both convenience and some of the channels you can get. If you don't want that hassle then just pony up the money and wait a few more years until some internet provider can put together a full package that can blow away the cable giants. We just aren't there yet, but we've come a long way in the last 10 years imo, and some of the packages are getting closer. 
  • I know a few people that have started using YouTube TV and really like it. It's like $35 a month with a pretty good list of channels, you get unlimited DVR, and I think you don't have to watch ads on Youtube anymore. 
  • edited January 20
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • DreamRycherDreamRycher Newark, DE
    KingKobra said:
    I recently got in on the free ATV4K DirectTV Now promotion. I have to say I’m fairly impressed and haven’t turned on my cable box (with DVR) but for a few times. DirectTV Now is missing the DVR (it’s in beta testing now), but right now I haven’t found a need for it. I get HBO for free with my ATT unlimited plan so thats one less addition. I’m seriously thinking of cutting the cord and just paying extra for unlimited bandwidth. 
    What I like is that I also get access to many of the channels apps as well. 

    What you’ll need to do is make priorities as far as viewing. Most of the streaming TV services offer locals, but that is largely dependent on where you live (they all have tools to let you see what locals are available). You also have the option of using an antenna for locals (there are quite a few hardware and software solutions for DVRing those OTA channels) Sports will be tougher, but it’s still possible. What’s available is largely dependent on who owns the rights to what’s being aired. 

    Its going to take some leg work to get everything set up and for you to get used to it. Once you do however you’ll be able to get a fairly close representation of cable via streaming. 
    I cut the cord with cable back in October (just getting internet from them now) and tried out HuluTV for a month (didn't like it, interface was too confusing and had major buffering issues during live NFL games that drove me nuts) before moving to DirectTV Now after that.  If you are an existing AT&T customer you can get some pretty good deals with DirectTV Now, but I don't.  But even so, their lowest channel package contained all the cable networks that I usually watch and they do have my local broadcast networks in my area.  The big seller for me was that you can add HBO for only $5 a month more, which was a must for me.  I've been using it since November and it's worked pretty well for me.  I usually only watch sports live, and the rest of the shows I either stream on demand from the DirectTV Now app or the specific cable network app signing in with my DirectTV Now credentials.  Like KingKobra said, there is a DVR feature that is in beta now, but I've found that I haven't really missed my DVR that I used to have when I was on cable.  I'm saving just about $100/month now from what I used to pay for cable with all the bells and whistles.
    ElisaKingKobra
  • It's annoying as of now there isn't an app on Android TV (which my new Sony TV has) for DirectTV Now. Overall I like TV's interface and not having to hook up another Roku to it, so hopefully it gets supported soon, as I wanted to try out DTV Now, especially since you save $10 on HBO.

    Thinking of trying Youtube TV instead, as I'm also about to cut the cord (if Xfinity won't lower my bill back to a reasonable level).
  • KingKobra said:
    I recently got in on the free ATV4K DirectTV Now promotion. I have to say I’m fairly impressed and haven’t turned on my cable box (with DVR) but for a few times. DirectTV Now is missing the DVR (it’s in beta testing now), but right now I haven’t found a need for it. I get HBO for free with my ATT unlimited plan so thats one less addition. I’m seriously thinking of cutting the cord and just paying extra for unlimited bandwidth. 
    What I like is that I also get access to many of the channels apps as well. 

    What you’ll need to do is make priorities as far as viewing. Most of the streaming TV services offer locals, but that is largely dependent on where you live (they all have tools to let you see what locals are available). You also have the option of using an antenna for locals (there are quite a few hardware and software solutions for DVRing those OTA channels) Sports will be tougher, but it’s still possible. What’s available is largely dependent on who owns the rights to what’s being aired. 

    Its going to take some leg work to get everything set up and for you to get used to it. Once you do however you’ll be able to get a fairly close representation of cable via streaming. 
    I cut the cord with cable back in October (just getting internet from them now) and tried out HuluTV for a month (didn't like it, interface was too confusing and had major buffering issues during live NFL games that drove me nuts) before moving to DirectTV Now after that.  If you are an existing AT&T customer you can get some pretty good deals with DirectTV Now, but I don't.  But even so, their lowest channel package contained all the cable networks that I usually watch and they do have my local broadcast networks in my area.  The big seller for me was that you can add HBO for only $5 a month more, which was a must for me.  I've been using it since November and it's worked pretty well for me.  I usually only watch sports live, and the rest of the shows I either stream on demand from the DirectTV Now app or the specific cable network app signing in with my DirectTV Now credentials.  Like KingKobra said, there is a DVR feature that is in beta now, but I've found that I haven't really missed my DVR that I used to have when I was on cable.  I'm saving just about $100/month now from what I used to pay for cable with all the bells and whistles.
    Since that post, I dropped cable. I really haven’t missed it (a couple of occasions, but nothing dire). 
  • I did it, and have only thought about looking back when DirectTv tries to offer me gift cards to take them back. 

    I picked Playstation Vue, primarily bc it supports multiple profiles (wife and kids), has an unlimited 30 day DVR built in, and the UI is close to cable, but better. SlingTV was just too gimmicky with the orange and blue shit, and very cumbersome to find stuff. Hulu didn't have a DVR, and I need to be able to pause stuff. They have sports and every local channel that I care about, except ABC (they had it, but recently had some beef with Sinclair). I have a HD antenna to get ABC. 

    Also, have HBO NOW via Vue, Amazon Prime VIdeo (from shipping), Netflix, a free Hulu trial for Handmaid's Tale, and NFL Sunday Ticket.TV. Shit adds up, but I already had those things + DirectTv.
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    I was hoping this thread was about Deadpool 2. 
    letrbuck2006rustywright4Travis
  • ShumShum Utah
    I had Playstation Vue for a while and we just barely switched to Youtube TV.  I loved being able to watch TV on my playstation, but Vue has a lot of weird quirks that eventually became too much for me.  For example:
    1. You have to wait for a show to finish before you can watch it, and there is no "watch from the beginning" option.  
    2. Sometimes if there are multiple showings it will tell you that episode is "coming soon" even if it already aired.
    3. The stream will randomly freeze, and the only way to fix it is shut Vue down and restart it.

    On the other hand, I haven't had any issues with Youtube TV so far and would highly recommend.
  • I've heard good things about Direct TV now. I'm in the planning stages of cutting the cord myself. I found this site from another forum. You can select the channels you must have and it will give you a breakdown of options with prices.

    https://www.suppose.tv/tv

  • I've heard good things about Direct TV now. I'm in the planning stages of cutting the cord myself. I found this site from another forum. You can select the channels you must have and it will give you a breakdown of options with prices.

    https://www.suppose.tv/tv

    That’s what I have had since late last year. I always suggest doing free trials if you can to see what works best for you and your household. As with any service what works great for one person, can be horrible for another due to the many factors involved. 
    rustywright4
  • Shum said:
    I had Playstation Vue for a while and we just barely switched to Youtube TV.  I loved being able to watch TV on my playstation, but Vue has a lot of weird quirks that eventually became too much for me.  For example:
    1. You have to wait for a show to finish before you can watch it, and there is no "watch from the beginning" option.  
    2. Sometimes if there are multiple showings it will tell you that episode is "coming soon" even if it already aired.
    3. The stream will randomly freeze, and the only way to fix it is shut Vue down and restart it.

    On the other hand, I haven't had any issues with Youtube TV so far and would highly recommend.
    1. I found that the workaround to this (on Apple TV) is to turn to a different live channel, and then to go back to the DVR version of the show (or the channel). It will ask you if you want to watch live or go back from the beginning. On my Sony TV, it did it automatically (I think). 
    2. Yep. 
    3. I have had this problem on the previous generation AppleTV, but never on the Smart TV or the 4K Apple TV.

    I will look into Youtube TV. Didn't know they had DVR.
  • MattyWeavesMattyWeaves Mid-State New York
    I'm in the exact same boat with Spectrum. All my shows are over for the season minus HBO so I want to take the plunge and finally cancel cable.

    I'm leaning towards Sling, but the more I read, the more I see people complaining about constant buffering. 

    Direct TV Now seems decent too but doesn't end up saving me as much money. Same with YouTube TV.

    I went through all the channels I actually watch now, and it's not very much. I also tried an antenna and it's OK, only got three channels, CBS, CW, and some random local station.
  • ShumShum Utah
    @rkcrawf. I was mostly watching on PS3, but my roommate had similar issues on chromecast.  Too late to to try out those fixes now, but that second issue is what really drove me over the edge anyway.  I was very excited to watch the next episode of Barry, and it kept saying "coming soon."   A couple days later on Tuesday it still said "coming soon" because there was another showing Thursday night. If you're happy with it that's great, but that was a deal breaker for me.
    rkcrawf
  • I'm in the exact same boat with Spectrum. All my shows are over for the season minus HBO so I want to take the plunge and finally cancel cable.

    I'm leaning towards Sling, but the more I read, the more I see people complaining about constant buffering. 

    Direct TV Now seems decent too but doesn't end up saving me as much money. Same with YouTube TV.

    I went through all the channels I actually watch now, and it's not very much. I also tried an antenna and it's OK, only got three channels, CBS, CW, and some random local station.
    Remember happy customers tend to be quiet customers. Buffering can be caused by many things which may not be the case for you. Get the free trials available and see which service works best for you. What I did was turn my cable box off and use the service I was testing exclusively. I didn’t really have a yearning to go back which was the main signal I’d be on switching to DTVN. My cable internet bill went from over 200 (close to 3) to just about $90. I pay around $28 for DTVN including Showtime and HBO since I’m an ATT Unlimited customer. 
    MattyWeaves
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    name of this thread sounds like a thread title Deadpool would start if he was on these forums :D
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    I was hoping this thread was about Deadpool 2. 
    Chinaski said:
    name of this thread sounds like a thread title Deadpool would start if he was on these forums :D

    Chinaski
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    I was hoping this thread was about Deadpool 2. 
    Chinaski said:
    name of this thread sounds like a thread title Deadpool would start if he was on these forums :D

    <3
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