Cutting the cord?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Lounge' started by John F, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    I just signed up for a trial for DirecTV now. I'm on the $50 2nd tier bundle right now to get a few extra sports channels. So far so good and I seriously think I'm going to cut the cord next week. Only bummer is I'll probably lose some of the initial savings outfitting a few more 4th Gen AppleTVs but it will be over $100 less than my current cable bill. I'll lose DVR functionality but so much is available on the apps now or I'll wait for a show to arrive on Netflix instead. I feel like I'm already gravitating towards Netflix and HBO for shows any way.

    Regarding audio, yes, its 2.0 channel from what I can see. A little bit of a bummer but it won't make a difference on the living room TV and for the home theater, I'll use "pro-logic" for the time being until maybe it will eventually support true 5.1.
  2. First off, you waited too long ;). I signed up right away and they gave me a free AppleTV plus $35/month for 100 channels for as long as I keep the account active.

    Regarding DVR/5.1, use your DTVNOW login for all the provider apps on the AppleTV, and then start using the TV app, and Watch Now. It works just like a DVR, and most of the provider apps will give you 5.1.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  3. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Yeah, my security system installer was chatting me up about it and he said he got the 2nd tier for the price of the current 1st tier. I'm sure prices will go up and ISPs are going to figure out a way to stem the bandwidth usage or charge for it. Getting in early ensures you get the cheap service for the longest possible time, but don't kid yourself, we'll all be paying $150 for streaming TV in 5 years, same as we were for cable. When they add more channels, they'll up the package price. When they add "cloud DVR" they'll up the package price (or charge separate for that which will be the same effect). You don't have a contract with them so you'll get that price "as long as they feel like it".

    I do have several of the apps installed but to say it works just like a DVR is a bit misleading. This was actually one of the things that made me wait so long to switch. Historically, I'd rather pay a premium to have things work exactly how I want them to. But as cable prices continue to rise and my viewing habits change, they're finally converging.

    One example of my gripe is the AMC app. I watch Better Call Saul. AMC doesn't put episodes on their app*. If you go look they have S3 E1,2,3 and that's it. No other episodes posted. So I'll have to wait a whole year to watch the season on Netflix. In my mind that makes the AMC app useless. I don't have any desire to watch "special features" from season 1. I think USA works the same. I was trying to watch Mr. Robot on the USA app and I don't think its on there. So I've lost the ability to record those shows and they're not on the apps either. So I am losing something over my expensive cable bundle.

    *It appears more episodes are available on the iPhone app than on the AppleTV app. Is that possible? Am I missing something?

    I'd also like to see Apple expand single sign on because as these apps proliferate, its a pain in the ass to log into 10+ on multiple devices. Apple supports DirecTV SSO but not DirecTV NOW.
  4. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    So good so far with DTV. I got the Premier package with 4K, 2 wired receivers and 2 wireless. Bundled with Uverse voice and 50 Mb/s internet price is $175/mo for 2 years.

    Gonna make me get a 4K TV and a new receiver - :)
  5. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    That's not a terrible deal. We're paying closer to $240. Its just getting to be too much though.

    $240 for cable and internet
    $170 for 4 smart phone lines
    $100 for iPhone payments (soon to be $130)
    $20 for Netflix
    $10 for Amazon Prime
    $15 for apple music

    That's over $550 a month for entertainment and connectivity. And we have plenty of other reoccurring "non-utility" bills like ADT. That's just "internet/entertainment"! We finally dropped our $15 land line last month. When we cut cable, which we probably will, that will take our bill down to around $80 (but add $50 for DirecTV NOW).
  6. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    I recently added 4k to my Netflix account. Amazon Prime members already have this option built-in to their accounts. They just need a TV that can handle 4K content.

    Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
  7. Phil A

    Phil A Active Member Top Poster

    Thanks - I didn't know that Amazon Prime did that. I do have a 4k TV but have not paid much attention. Have 5 UHD discs as of now and while I have Netflix (I think the $9.99 plan), I use it but not tons (maybe 25-30 times a year) and I have not bothered with the 4k plan as there probably isn't enough that I'd watch more than one or two things per year at most.
  8. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    Yes, Amazon does have a separate catagory for Ultra HD TV shows and Movies. Their own content is in UHD, some may be in HDR10, not sure about Dolby Vision.

    Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
  9. Drew

    Drew Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Our cable bill is $167 which covers Mid-Tier level of channels (its a package that includes things like Bravo, TCM and I think one lower end premium - like starz or something, but no others - like HBO, Showtime, etc). We have a single "whole house DVR) with an extra "receiver" in the bedroom, and the HD bundle "upgrade" of channels instead of just SD. I have my own cable modem and router, so no rental fee on those.

    I'll likely pick up a higher end roku device so I don't have to have multiple devices for Amazon Prime and Netflix (the Netflix UI through Comcast is shit and slow because the box is shit and slow).

    I'll probably drop down to the next bundle for cable to keep sports, but drop the science channel stuff and Bravo, they aren't watched. If I could cut cable and keep college football I would.

    Cell phone is around $190 for two lines (two ~$32 payment are included in that) and have 12gb monthly with rollover.
  10. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    You should try DirecTV Now Drew. I'm like the anti-cord-cutter and even I'm pretty sure I'm done with cable. The question will be what happens to internet rates. Maybe for a single millennial it won't be a big deal but I have 5 people streaming content and doing cloud backups and iTunes movie downloads etc.
  11. Drew

    Drew Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    I'll look. I really just want ala carte. Give me ESPN/2/3/U, Fox Sports, etc, maybe a few others and that is it. I need like 5-10 channels and I'm not embellishing. DTV Now would be $50 for what I want. I'd have to compare that to what I get from Comcast that is apples to apples.

    Comcast right now is "capped" at 1tb monthly. Most I've hit recently is like 300gb maybe. Which would go up with streaming more content of course.
  12. Mike B

    Mike B Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    One thing I really like about DTV as compared to Uverse is no SD channels. Uverse had everything 1 to 999 in "shrink vision", bars top and bottom, all the HD stuff was channel 1000 up. Somewhat annoying.
  13. John F

    John F Active Member War Zone Member

    I'll be curious to see to what extent the price raising is true. There will be a lot more competition, so I'm hoping that prices will stay low for those who do not want the premium services.

    I now have at least five choices for "TV": Sling, DirecTV, DirectV Now, Playstation Vue, and cable. With the three streaming services, I could see myself changes services every couple of years to get a better price. Sorry, make that 6, there is also Hulu.

    Also, I'm hoping that some content providers will want to keep rates low to keep eyes on their channels. I used to have access to all the networks, now I only have access to 2 (CBS and NBC), and I only watch CBS.

    Since I left DirecTV, I get an offer at least every 2 weeks in the mail asking me to come back (with a "great" deal (that takes an attorney to figure out)). You should have offered it while I was a customer; screw you DirecTV. :)
  14. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    Leave it to my wife and I to do the opposite, we dumped Direct Tv and had the ATT bundle installed. Costs for satellite and internet were going out of sight so we went for the 3 for $100 plan. This includes internet, cable tv channels and landline. All in taxes and stuff $120.00. Saved hundreds from earlier.
    First, NO pic quality is not up to snuff with the hd cable channels but we dont care really, sound is ok. Voip Phone is great as is my internet up and down speeds. We do have 3 recording boxes and again they are fine. If I want quality its Appletv or one of the streamers. Of course I still receive Netflix BR discs so I can see the big boys and girls in all their HD glory.
  15. Phil A

    Phil A Active Member Top Poster

    I added all the freebies to my watch list. Some are just several minutes long. Should be interesting as the only UHD I've seen on my set is the few UHD discs I own.
  16. Seeing everyone's monthly totals made me curious.

    Internet: $70/mo (50/5, though I generally get closer to 100/5 in reality, 500GB cap-never touched it)
    DirecTVNOW: $40/mo ($35 for 100 channels, plus $5 for HBO - not being billed for HBO until after the first year)
    Netflix: $10/mo
    Hulu: $8/mo
    Mobile: $115/mo (two iPhones, 15GB shared data)
    Apple Music: $15/mo (family plan)
    TiVo Bolt: $12/mo (OTA DVR, also feeds a no-fee Mini in the theater)

    I think I'm doing pretty good here. I have Amazon Prime, but I didn't include it because I'd keep it even without the video streaming. I rarely use it for the content, I have it for the shipping. I've never gone over a data limit, never had any issues with the speed of my connection. Never had a lack of things to watch.
  17. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

    Because of my location, my biggest bill is the internet, which is part of my plan for Cord-Cutting, but it's way overpriced compared to larger areas.

    $73 for 23MBps connection.
    $12 for Netflix with 4K
    $100* annual subscription to Amazon Prime
    $35 for PlayStation Vue
    Free DVR service with Nvidia Shield using OTA reception.
    I do subscribe to YouTube Red which removes all of the ads from your video viewing experience and it is $9.99 a month. For me it's worth it because YouTube is part of my daily viewing habit.

    Back in 2009 before I cut the cord I was paying $95 for Direct TV and $71 for an 8Meg internet connection. Add about $8 for Netflix, and I believe $75 for Amazon Prime.

    Minus the annual subscription to Amazon Prime, I'm saving $50 with my current set up in a span of almost 10 years. Not a lot of progress when you view it in a span of a decade. If I removed PlayStation Vue and YouTube Red, then it will be close to $100.

    Sent from my LG-H830 using Tapatalk
  18. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    I just dropped cable. The guy was jumping through every conceivable hoop to get me to stay but ultimately could only get my bill "down" to $200 and that would require a one year contract, at which point it would go back up. I told him I understood he didn't set the business model at COX but it was just too expensive. I'm paying $40 a month just in box rentals because you can't just hook a TV up to the wall any more. And it's $10 for DVR recording fee. That's right, I have to pay to use the DVR on the DVR I'm already renting. This isn't some kind of cloud storage thing. What this fee is, I've never understood.

    Our internet went up $7 due to losing the bundle discount but I'm OK with that. Maybe after the dust settles I might drop down a tier on that too if I think it won't cause an issue. So now instead of $249, I'm paying $87 + $50 to DirecTV NOW for a total of $137. Saving $112 a month.

    Also, I guess you have to pay 1st month up front and we're at the end of a cycle so we'll get a prorated credit of $134. So our July bill will be $0 and our August bill will be $47.
    Jay Brown likes this.
  19. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

  20. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    I predict that OTT pricing will eventually approach legacy cable pricing. Maybe not quite as high because people will be able to get smaller packages. It also likely means some cable networks will finally go under.

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