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.
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    We have a Fire Stick, a Chromecast, a Blu-Ray player that does some streaming services, and a PS3 which hasn't been plugged in for a couple years because my husband thought he lost it when we moved, and I just recently found buried in a box of hats, but we did use it before for streaming. 

    Honestly I mainly watch streaming on my laptop. But when I do use it on the TV, I use the Fire Stick more than the Chromecast because with the Chromecast you have to stream from another device. Usually I use my phone, so it's just one more thing going on on my phone, which I usually am using for something else while watching TV (games, apps, whatever) whereas with the Fire Stick it has its own remote and everything. There is a phone app you can use on the Fire Stick too, which I did use for about a year when my husband lost the Fire Stick remote, which we then later found buried in the sofa. I do like the Chromecast for when I am watching YouTube videos because using YouTube on the Fire Stick is way clunky, and if I am already logging in and watching things I subscribe to, I might as well use my phone. There have been some other random web services over the past couple years that we found Chromecast easier for, because they were too obscure to have an app on the Fire Stick, like WNBA League Pass or even just random internet videos on random sites.

    As for services, I do admit I still have cable because we can never manage to get rid of it, but even with cable, the top things I watch are Netflix, HBO and YouTube. Every time I talk about getting rid of it though, hubby comes up with some objections haha.
  • 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. 
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    edited January 20
    EMAW42 said:
    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. 
    I've been playing around with it today. I need to trim some fat from my budget and cable TV is an obvious option. So far the only thing I've found that we watch that I can't watch on it is Project Runway. It's also much easier to use than Comcast's streaming interface, IMO.

    I would also have to subscribe to HBO streaming for Game of Thrones but we don't really get around to watching everything else we would like to watch on HBO nowadays. I don't really have other options for fast internet in my area, so I have to stay with Comcast for that. So I might call Comcast and see if I can negotiate based on the price of YouTube TV.
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