Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

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Triple digit golfer
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Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Triple digit golfer » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:39 pm

I have a dumb TV and the traditional Comcast cable and internet.

I am tired of paying $140 a month and sick of fighting with Comcast all the time just to get that "discounted" rate.

That, along with the fact that most of what we watch are Law & Order SVU re-runs, I decided that I am tired of paying for cable. We have 400+ channels and we watch maybe five regularly. I am entertaining the idea of getting a smart TV along with a service like Netflix, Hulu, or one of the many others, but I am totally ignorant to all of it.

The way I understand it, if I have an internet connection, wifi, and a smart TV, along with any one of the streaming services like Netflix, I'm good to go. Just turn on my TV, sign in, and watch whatever interests me. Is this the general gist of it?

I would think that I need a pretty fast internet connection. In my area AT&T offers a 45 mbps service for $40, which goes up to $50 after 12 months. Add taxes and fees and it's probably $60. Plus Netflix at $12 takes me down to $72 per month instead of $140. If I buy a $500 Smart TV, that means that I make up my investment in just over 7 months.

I'm interested in being able to watch TV shows, re-runs and new. For this I think Hulu may be the best bet. Any recommendations?

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby jebmke » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:44 pm

We use a ROKU-3 with a "dumb" LED TV. Our internet is 8mbs on a good day and we haven't had any problem streaming. Mainly Amazon Prime and a few of the freebies that are available via ROKU. Tried Netflix once and didn't find anything worth my time. But I'm not a good judge - I watch little TV period.
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby inbox788 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:45 pm

Watch OTA for one time fee of less than $10 (or pay a little more for a better antenna). Then it's free for life!

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https://www.amazon.com/RCA-ANT111Z-Dura ... B000HKGK8Y

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DSInvestor
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby DSInvestor » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:46 pm

You don't need a smart TV. I have a dumb TV and use streaming boxes like Roku and Apple TV to access services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video. Note that Apple TV does not support Amazon Video. I started with Apple TV and then bought a Roku 3 to get Amazon Video.

The streaming boxes connect to your TV via HDMI. The streaming boxes can connect to internet via WiFi or ethernet cable to your router.

Apple TV is $149 (32GB), 199 (64GB).
Roku Premiere is $79
Roku Premiere+ is $99
Roku Ultra is $129

Hulu+ is great for TV shows on NBC, ABC, Fox. CBS not so much.
There is lots of great content on Amazon Video and Netflix. Amazon has lots of older HBO content like Sopranos, The Wire etc.
If you're a fan of HBO's newer shows, you can take a look at HBO Now which is $15/month does not require a cable TV subscription. HBO now will work on all major streaming devices, tablets and smartphones.
Last edited by DSInvestor on Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby mhc » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:47 pm

You don't have to have a smart TV, but a smart TV works.

I have Amazon Prime and Netflix. I use an Amazon Firestick to access the Prime content and Netflix. I prefer having an external device provide the smarts. It is much cheaper to add an external device like a firestick, roku, chromecast, ... to a TV rather than buying a new TV.

Yes you will need internet service. I can stream to my firestick over the wifi with no problem. I would assume internet service with 20 Mb/s or better should be fine. I think HD video only requires 3-4 Mb/s. If you have lots of kids in the house, you may need more bandwidth.

Triple digit golfer
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Triple digit golfer » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:50 pm

I am enlightened. So a Roku is a device to essentially make a dumb TV smart?

From that point, I can use Hulu, Netflix etc. without having to buy a smart TV.

I am just so tired of cable - cannot get rid of it soon enough.

Any thoughts on ideas to still get cable channels without a cable subscription? I know that SlingTV is one of them. The only thing I'd care about is the occasional cable sporting event like TNT basketball or ESPN football. But I could certainly do without.

I do have an antenna that we use on the upstairs TV. Great reception to the network channels.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Ged » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:53 pm

You don't need a smart TV. What you need is an external device that supplies the service you want. Such devices options are: Roku (what I use), Blu-Ray player, Playstation, Apple TV, Amazon Firestick, Google Chromecast and I'm sure others that I don't know about.

Just pick the service you want and then a device that supports it and provides the connection your TV needs. Really going out an buying a smart TV is the least cost-effective way of doing this.

Also you probably won't be able to entirely get rid of cable - you will still need an internet connection to receive these services. You won't get TNT or ESPN off your antenna.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Triple digit golfer » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:55 pm

Thanks to all. I am only 32 but I feel like I'm a dinosaur when it comes to some of the newer technology.

So I could essentially cut my $140 a month cable bill and instead spend $60 for internet only, plus $10 or $20 for a streaming service or two, plus spend around $100 or less for a Roku or other device to make my dumb TV smart.

Seems like a no brainer.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby mhc » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:01 pm

Where I live, it is usually better to bundle the most basic cable tv package with internet to get the best pricing from Comcast.

I know I can many ESPN broadcasts on many devices like Xbox and Firestick. ESPN is also available online.

I would recommend getting your external device and give it a try before cutting the cord.

DSInvestor
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby DSInvestor » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:04 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote:Thanks to all. I am only 32 but I feel like I'm a dinosaur when it comes to some of the newer technology.

So I could essentially cut my $140 a month cable bill and instead spend $60 for internet only, plus $10 or $20 for a streaming service or two, plus spend around $100 or less for a Roku or other device to make my dumb TV smart.

Seems like a no brainer.

Yep. I showed my brother an antenna, Hulu/Netflix on Apple TV and he cut his cable the next day.

If you have multiple TVs, you can get multiple streaming boxes all accessing the same netflix, hulu, amazon account. Netflix has different plans that 1, 2, or 4 simultaneous streams.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Triple digit golfer » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:08 pm

DSInvestor wrote:
Triple digit golfer wrote:Thanks to all. I am only 32 but I feel like I'm a dinosaur when it comes to some of the newer technology.

So I could essentially cut my $140 a month cable bill and instead spend $60 for internet only, plus $10 or $20 for a streaming service or two, plus spend around $100 or less for a Roku or other device to make my dumb TV smart.

Seems like a no brainer.

Yep. I showed my brother an antenna, Hulu/Netflix on Apple TV and he cut his cable the next day.

If you have multiple TVs, you can get multiple streaming boxes all accessing the same netflix, hulu, amazon account. Netflix has different plans that 1, 2, or 4 simultaneous streams.


So all I'd have to do is get a Roku or similar device for each TV and I'm good to go?

I think we'd start with Hulu because most of what we watch is cable TV shows. We aren't big movie people so that's not the most important.

On Hulu, let's say I want to watch Family Guy. Are all episodes on there or only certain seasons?

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby health teacher » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:23 pm

If you have a 4k TV you need a Roku 4. If you just have a standard HD TV, you can buy a Roku 3. If you have other TVs you use minimally, a Roku Stick will suffice (just slower to load/launch content, but fine once the show starts.

Every show varies on Hulu. I want to say they have all of the Family Guy seasons because of a partnership with Hulu, but don't quote me on that. Sometimes, with current seasons, Hulu only keeps the last 5 episodes, but again, I think Family Guy is on there. Splurge the $4 extra to get the commercial free plan (well really limited commercial) it is well worth it.

You can search any show on canistreamit to see if it is available.

Also, I have a leaf antenna that picks up all of the network channels expecept ABC. I think it was $35 on Amazon.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Midpack » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:27 pm

Several related threads, and some misinfo above, but I'd summarize as follows:

If you want to completely replace cable or satellite, and you want live TV including local major channels you have two choices:
  • PlayStation Vue ($40/mo and up) if you're in or close to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco and Miami, or in a few months YouTube TV ($35/mo and up) - both include cloud DVR and multiple device streaming
  • an OTA antenna plus Sling TV ($20-40/mo), DirecTV Now ($35/mo and up), or PlayStation Vue ($30/mo and up)
  • if you can't get local majors via OTA where you are, you can't completely cut the cord (yet)
You'll need an internet provider ($50/mo and up) at least 10 Mbps for HD 1080p (much more for 4K), and you'll need to know your data caps, and a streaming device like:
  • Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV ($50-150) - all come with remotes and onscreen UI's, OR
  • Chromecast ($35) but you'll need a tablet or smartphone to act as remote and UI
All the above include some on demand TV content in addition to live broadcasts. If you want more, especially movies:
  • If you want HBO, Showtime or othe premium channels, it'll cost you another $5-15/mo - but they're available.
  • Netflix and Amazon (about $10/mo each) also have original content, but they're mostly on demand TV (equivalent to reruns on demand) about a season behind and movies in demand, long after release (they'll be at RedBox, iTunes, etc. long before Netflix or Amazon.
  • Hulu ($8-11/mo) is TV reruns on demand too, though only a day or week after live broadcast much sooner Netflix or Amazon. The on demand library is spotty though, complete for some series but limited for other more popular shows. The Hulu movie library is weak.

You can get some networks/channels a la carte, notably CBS - but that gets expensive fast if you buy more than a very few a la carte.

Best of luck all, it's a brave new world, but better values are coming. Cable and satellite are rapidly losing the grip they've had on us...
You only live once...

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby simplesimon » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:57 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote:On Hulu, let's say I want to watch Family Guy. Are all episodes on there or only certain seasons?


I don't have Hulu, but from my experience with Netflix it may depend on the contract Hulu has with whoever owns the rights to the show. For instance, for the longest time SVU seasons 1-12 were available on Netflix. Now only seasons 13-15 or 16 are available and 1-12 are gone.

Lots of ESPN 30 for 30's that were on Netflix are now gone.

Movies and shows have expirations. If you search on Google, there are bloggers out there who track what shows are on what service, when they expire, what new shows may be coming onto the service, etc.

FWIW, I think all episodes of Family Guy are on Netflix.

Triple digit golfer wrote:So I could essentially cut my $140 a month cable bill and instead spend $60 for internet only, plus $10 or $20 for a streaming service or two, plus spend around $100 or less for a Roku or other device to make my dumb TV smart.


Yep. How dumb is your TV? If it's not a flat screen then it may be time to upgrade anyways. I use a Roku 3 on an old flat screen and it's fine. I still pay Comcast for basic channel access because my apartment has a hard time with OTA and I will be very happy to subscribe to the new YouTube TV if it launches smoothly (and be happy to have that conversation with Comcast).

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby oldcomputerguy » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:06 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote:I have a dumb TV and the traditional Comcast cable and internet.

I am tired of paying $140 a month and sick of fighting with Comcast all the time just to get that "discounted" rate.

That, along with the fact that most of what we watch are Law & Order SVU re-runs, I decided that I am tired of paying for cable. We have 400+ channels and we watch maybe five regularly. I am entertaining the idea of getting a smart TV along with a service like Netflix, Hulu, or one of the many others, but I am totally ignorant to all of it.

The way I understand it, if I have an internet connection, wifi, and a smart TV, along with any one of the streaming services like Netflix, I'm good to go. Just turn on my TV, sign in, and watch whatever interests me. Is this the general gist of it?


That's pretty much it. If you don't want to buy a new TV (and your old one had HDMI inputs), you could buy a streaming box (such as Roku) that would have the same functionality and hand you programming over an HDMI connection.

I would think that I need a pretty fast internet connection.


We use an AT&T 6-megabit service with our Roku, never have a problem.

I'm interested in being able to watch TV shows, re-runs and new. For this I think Hulu may be the best bet. Any recommendations?


Research this carefully. Services such as Netflix won't have the latest episodes from broadcast TV, although the Big 4 Networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox) all have their own streaming services to which you can subscribe and get past and current episodes. But by the time you sign up for all of them, you're almost better off cost-wise staying with cable TV. For example, DW and I just happened across CBS's streaming app on Roku, and noted that the monthly charge for getting current and past CBS shows on their channel was $40/month.

That being said, we subscribe to Netflix ($11/month) and Acorn (British TV, $45/year), and don't miss broadcast TV at all.
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby DSInvestor » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:10 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote:
DSInvestor wrote:
Triple digit golfer wrote:Thanks to all. I am only 32 but I feel like I'm a dinosaur when it comes to some of the newer technology.

So I could essentially cut my $140 a month cable bill and instead spend $60 for internet only, plus $10 or $20 for a streaming service or two, plus spend around $100 or less for a Roku or other device to make my dumb TV smart.

Seems like a no brainer.

Yep. I showed my brother an antenna, Hulu/Netflix on Apple TV and he cut his cable the next day.

If you have multiple TVs, you can get multiple streaming boxes all accessing the same netflix, hulu, amazon account. Netflix has different plans that 1, 2, or 4 simultaneous streams.


So all I'd have to do is get a Roku or similar device for each TV and I'm good to go?

I think we'd start with Hulu because most of what we watch is cable TV shows. We aren't big movie people so that's not the most important.

On Hulu, let's say I want to watch Family Guy. Are all episodes on there or only certain seasons?


Roku is a good choice and all major streaming services work with it - Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Vudu etc.

Hulu has seasons 1-15 of family guy. New episodes show up the day after it airs on broadcast TV. Note that Hulu has ads in TV shows unless you pay a little extra to get commercial free plan. The standard plan is 7.99 with commercials, 11.99 commercial free.

TV Shows on Netflix and Amazon are commercial free. Netflix has prior season TV shows but there are some netflix shows that are excellent - House of Cards, Narcos.

If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can access lots of stuff on Amazon video for free. Lots of older HBO content (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sopranos, The Wire, Band of Brothers and many more) as well as some excellent amazon series like Sneaky Pete, Goliath.
Last edited by DSInvestor on Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby smitty1515 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:11 pm

Here is an article I've written about cutting the cord. I hope you find it helpful to save you some $http://www.getinthegreen.com/blog/budget-series-2016-cable-internet
Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. -Warren Buffett

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby jebmke » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:14 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote: and Acorn (British TV, $45/year)

How do you like Acorn? Been thinking about trying it.
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Toons » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:20 pm

I Have 3 flat screen TVs
Vizo ,2 Samsungs.

I cut the cord about 2 years ago.
For the first year I was using the antennae in the link below for OTA channels for each TV along with a Chromecast in each tv to Stream.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DI ... UTF8&psc=1

It seems this past year I am watching very little commercial television.
I always seem to find something enjoyable on Youtube,Netflix or Amazon Prime Video..with no annoying ads.
Stream from the android phone through the chromecast .
Read yesterday where Youtube will soon over take TV as the main source of media content delivery.
Cable TV is long forgotten for me. :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

Triple digit golfer
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Triple digit golfer » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:29 pm

Wow! What a wealth of information. THANK YOU to ALL!

We have some research to do and decisions to make, but this thread gave me more information than the Googling I was doing earlier.

simplesimon: My TV is dumb, but it's a flat screen. It's about four years old. Plasma, HD, 1080p. I'm sure the Roku 3 would be great. But why not the Roku streaming stick?

smitty1515: Your article is outstanding and extremely helpful. Thank you!

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby jebmke » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:35 pm

I would keep the TV.

My understanding [totally hearsay] is that the ROKU box has more processing power and memory which could affect the buffering ability and speed of some functions. But it is worth checking out. If there is better buffering that may be worth something if your internet isn't top speed or is variable.

Edit: Here is there brochure comparing their products.

https://image.roku.com/ww/docs/compare- ... -en-us.pdf

We have the Premier+ (used to be called Roku 3). It has a headphone jack on the remote which is handy sometimes.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby health teacher » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:51 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote: But why not the Roku streaming stick?


The real disadvantage of the streaming stick is the speed it takes to load/launch content vs the Roku 3. We are talking like a 2-3 second difference tops. The Roku 3 is almost instant and seamless (and the remote doubles as a game controller but I don't use it) Like I mentioned earlier, once the show/movie is streaming, it's no different. My strategy is to use a Roku 3 on the TV we use most and a stick on the others. I think I paid $35 for the stick and it's been fine for what I need.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby oldcomputerguy » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:25 pm

jebmke wrote:
oldcomputerguy wrote: and Acorn (British TV, $45/year)

How do you like Acorn? Been thinking about trying it.


DW watches it a lot more than I do, and says she really likes it. According to her, it's a mix of mostly British TV shows, along with some Canadian and Australian. Lots of murder mysteries, comedies, dramas, etc. Not a huge selection at any particular time but sufficient rotation that there's usually something new to watch. Recommended, especially at the price (around $45-$50/year).
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby smitty1515 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:05 pm

Triple digit golfer wrote:Wow! What a wealth of information. THANK YOU to ALL!

We have some research to do and decisions to make, but this thread gave me more information than the Googling I was doing earlier.

simplesimon: My TV is dumb, but it's a flat screen. It's about four years old. Plasma, HD, 1080p. I'm sure the Roku 3 would be great. But why not the Roku streaming stick?

smitty1515: Your article is outstanding and extremely helpful. Thank you!


My pleasure. Youtube just came out with a new service yesterday (at least they released the product to the public) that I will need to add to my post.

We use Sling TV (24.99/mo) and Charter 60 mbps internet (49.99/mo). We also have an over the air antenna which picks up 20-30 local digital channels.
Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. -Warren Buffett

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby bottlecap » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:16 pm

HD antenna is cheap.

Smart TVs stink. After three years, they discontinue the apps. Buy for the TV features, but not the smart tv features.

Hulu, Apple TV, Netflix and amazon fire stick are all additional alternatives.

Good luck,

JT

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby smitty1515 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:33 pm

bottlecap wrote:HD antenna is cheap.

Smart TVs stink. After three years, they discontinue the apps. Buy for the TV features, but not the smart tv features.

Hulu, Apple TV, Netflix and amazon fire stick are all additional alternatives.

Good luck,

JT


Agreed. Firestick is less than $50 and works fine.
Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. -Warren Buffett

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby S&L1940 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:27 pm

still doing Comcast - just negotiated another year of discounts and found that they are offering Showtime and Cinemax each a buck a month for 2 years.
commercial free movies are my target along with ESPN and Tennis Channel. when the rep asked what I am willing to drop told them 450 out of their 500 channel offering are worthless to me. when I finally tire of this dance, like satellite radio, I will drop them and do one of the work arounds that everyone here mentions.
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby simplesimon » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:03 pm

I got the Roku 3 around when it first came out so the streaming stick was not available. Before the Roku I had the original Chromecast which is the HDMI stick format but I eventually ran into a wifi connection problem. When I rented a small carriage house in someone's backyard, I had no wifi interference. When I moved into an apartment complex I got all sorts of streaming issues. I then upgraded my router to a dual-band router but the Chromecast did not support the 5ghz connection, so I got the Roku 3. This was over two and a half years ago and it's still going strong. The Roku 3 remote has a headphone jack which is nice for watching things without disturbing someone in the next room. Moving from app to app is seamless and quick. On a rare occasion it will bug out and a reset will fix the problem.

I will say this for cable TV...aside from the cost I have had no complaints (although cost has been a very big complaint!) As happy as people are with OTA local channels and streaming live TV with Sling or Roku or whatever, there will be hiccups (for OTA it will be weather related, for streaming it will be bandwidth related). Cable internet is notorious for having slow periods because of traffic and certain apps like HBO had real issues with their servers streaming Game of Thrones when the episodes first aired Sunday nights. Cable TV has delivered a perfect picture every time for me.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby aqan » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:25 pm

I'd recommend you to buy a regular tv (don't pay extra for smartness) and buy a device like Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku etc to add smartness to your TV.
most smart tv's have really crappy smart features and they are very restrictive e.g. you won't find apps for your internet TV provider. My super smart samsung tv doesn't have Directv NOW App so its pretty much useless as far as smartness goes.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby catdude » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:01 am

S&L1940 wrote:for a start, finally going to buy my own modem, dropping $10 a month with something like a 12-14 month ROI


Do it! That's what I just did. I replaced the cable company's "data gateway" (a combination modem/router) with a new modem and new router, which together cost about $80. The new equipment saves me the rental fee of $8 a month, so I'll recoup my investment in 10 months.
catdude (formerly "johnny") | | "As much as cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens." (Abraham Lincoln)

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Triple digit golfer » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:35 am

This weekend we are going to pick up a Roku Premiere at Walmart for $79.

My wife's friend has Netflix so we are going to log in to her account and give it a test drive.

Assuming everything is operational and we're happy with it, bye-bye Comcast, hello AT&T $40/month internet and $12 Netflix.

Happy to save $800 per year!

The gravy is AT&T's monthly fee includes the wireless gateway so I won't even have to buy a modem and router.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby cutterinnj » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:50 am

I always ask, "what do you feel you NEED" before making drastic changes.
Do you NEED local sports? Beyond that, there's very little that can't be replaced after cord cutting.

My family transitioned to Netflix + Hulu + Amazon Prime (wife uses it for the shipping). We also have HBO Go, as we are on "basic basic cable" from Comcast (we never use it, but it was cheaper to have basic cable + HBO + internet than JUST internet alone.)

Honestly, I could sit down and browse titles on Netflix for hours, promising myself "I'll get to that" and adding some to my queue, in between trying to get through shows like Orange is the New Black and "Arrow".

Hulu fills in some of the gaps I like- Comedy Central shows and now Golden Girls; but it's not necessary.

Before doing anything drastic, you can try this for free!

Both Netflix and Hulu offer free trials. You can go to the website and watch on your computer for a week or so, and see if you would be happy with those services as a replacement for Cable.
If you think you can survive on netflix +/- hulu +/- youtube, get a Roku 3; I see it is available for around $50 now- that's all you should need to watch anything you would want.

My family decided we don't need cable (although my wife laments that she misses HGTV from time to time.)

Whenever we go to a hotel, my kids get cranky that they have to wait for a commercial, and can't figure out how to fast forward it, or choose a show they'd rather watch.

Honestly, I feel that as the current generation gets into their formative years, the traditional "channels" will have much more serious problems than they have now.
Last edited by cutterinnj on Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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simplesimon
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby simplesimon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:07 am

cutterinnj wrote:Whenever we go to a hotel, my kids get cranky that they have to wait for a commercial, and can't figure out how to fast forward it, or choose a show they'd rather watch.


Tivo got the ball rolling with digital recording. Now almost everything is on-demand. Networks must produce quality TV shows like never before to get people willing to watch the ads when they want them to. Live sports are the only thing left that's a "sure thing", but my gut feeling tells me that networks are overpaying for rights especially when viewership of every major sport is trending downward.

Super Bowl ads are wildly expensive for advertisers and companies are absolutely willing to pay because when else are you going to get 100 million people (and declining) to watch something at the same time?

N1CKV
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby N1CKV » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:29 am

beware of the following:
1. The cheapest internet rates are not usually available without a "bundle".
2. Most internet services are NOT unlimited unless you have a bundled TV service. Streaming video uses a decent amount of data.
I have met a lot of people that claim to love money, but they also seem to be the same people that are in the biggest hurry to get rid of it.

cutterinnj
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby cutterinnj » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:30 am

Triple digit golfer wrote:This weekend we are going to pick up a Roku Premiere at Walmart for $79.

My wife's friend has Netflix so we are going to log in to her account and give it a test drive.

Assuming everything is operational and we're happy with it, bye-bye Comcast, hello AT&T $40/month internet and $12 Netflix.

Happy to save $800 per year!

The gravy is AT&T's monthly fee includes the wireless gateway so I won't even have to buy a modem and router.


Unless you need 4K and 4 streams at the same time, go with the $10 plan for Netflix.

You can also test it now, as you get 2 weeks free; just try it on you computer, phone, tablet, etc... to make sure you like it.

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Midpack
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Midpack » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:37 am

I am all for cord cutting. However. Most here know, but to be sure - Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu are not programming replacements for cable or satellite TV, they are libraries of past TV shows and past movies with ZERO live content. If you're happy with nothing but TV & movie reruns, you can indeed save a lot over cable or satellite. Most people I know wouldn't be satisfied with no live TV.

Where available, OTA can replace some/many local live channels including major networks for free.

If you want to keep some or all live content, and still save a lot, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue (and soon YouTube TV) are the only streaming equivalents to cable or satellite TV.
Last edited by Midpack on Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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cutterinnj
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby cutterinnj » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:54 am

Midpack wrote:I am all for cord cutting. However. Most here know, but to be sure - Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu are not programming replacements for cable or satellite TV, they are libraries of past TV shows and past movies with ZERO live content. If you're happy with nothing but TV & movie reruns, you can indeed save a lot over cable or satellite. Most people I know wouldn't be satisfied with no live TV.

Where available, OTA can replace some/many local live channels including major networks for free.

If you want to keep some or all live content, and still save a lot, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue (and soon YouTube TV) are the only streaming equivalents to cable or satellite TV.


Mostly true (excluding things like the Chelsea Handler show/other things they are working on.)

I would argue, however, that it represents a paradigm shift in TV programming;
What VALUE does live TV have beyond news (which millennials get online anyhow) or sports (admittedly still a weak spot of Netflix-type services.)

In 10 years, the kids growing up on the Netflix lifestyle just aren't going to care about live content outside a few specific events (something that movie theaters are starting to capitalize on now to make up for dwindling ticket sales.)


I think that most people (especially younger folks) if when pressed regarding what they MUST see live, they would have few answers other than sports. That will only accelerate.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby DSInvestor » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:41 am

Midpack wrote:I am all for cord cutting. However. Most here know, but to be sure - Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu are not programming replacements for cable or satellite TV, they are libraries of past TV shows and past movies with ZERO live content. If you're happy with nothing but TV & movie reruns, you can indeed save a lot over cable or satellite. Most people I know wouldn't be satisfied with no live TV.


Hulu has current season TV shows available one day after broadcast. IMO, this is a good replacement for cable/satellite TV and is like watching via DVR without having to record the show.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby MI_bogle » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:44 am

cutterinnj wrote:I would argue, however, that it represents a paradigm shift in TV programming;
What VALUE does live TV have beyond news (which millennials get online anyhow) or sports (admittedly still a weak spot of Netflix-type services.)

In 10 years, the kids growing up on the Netflix lifestyle just aren't going to care about live content outside a few specific events (something that movie theaters are starting to capitalize on now to make up for dwindling ticket sales.)


I think that most people (especially younger folks) if when pressed regarding what they MUST see live, they would have few answers other than sports. That will only accelerate.


Bingo.

I watch netflix. For sports I go to a buddy's house, a bar, or stream online. For news... well I get that online. If I'm so inclined, I can watch yesterday's NBC Nightly News online. But most of the time I already saw those stories on google news, WSJ, Atlantic, NY Times, etc

There's so much amazing content on Netflix that I could live 3 lifetimes and never watch all the good shows, movies, and documentaries

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Midpack » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:51 am

What I was trying to illustrate is there are (at least) four levels of service & cost:
1) Conventional cable or satellite - the most channels, all live or DVR'd - highest cost ($80-$250/mo)
2) Full service streaming with DVR and on demand libraries, including local major networks like PS Vue in some areas, YouTube TV in a few months - much lower cost, 50% less or more than cable/satellite ($35-$70/mo plus ISP)
3) OTA majors with live cable channels using Sling, DirecTV Now, PS Vue in other areas - still lower ($20-$30/mo plus ISP)
4) Streaming libraries like Netflix, Amazon with no live programming and Hulu with next day TV episodes - lowest cost other ($10/mo each plus ISP) than just free OTA.

Right or wrong, I assume most of us would have an ISP with or without TV, so no added expense.

cutterinnj wrote:
Midpack wrote:I am all for cord cutting. However. Most here know, but to be sure - Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu are not programming replacements for cable or satellite TV, they are libraries of past TV shows and past movies with ZERO live content. If you're happy with nothing but TV & movie reruns, you can indeed save a lot over cable or satellite. Most people I know wouldn't be satisfied with no live TV.

Where available, OTA can replace some/many local live channels including major networks for free.

If you want to keep some or all live content, and still save a lot, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue (and soon YouTube TV) are the only streaming equivalents to cable or satellite TV.


Mostly true (excluding things like the Chelsea Handler show/other things they are working on.)

I would argue, however, that it represents a paradigm shift in TV programming;
What VALUE does live TV have beyond news (which millennials get online anyhow) or sports (admittedly still a weak spot of Netflix-type services.)

In 10 years, the kids growing up on the Netflix lifestyle just aren't going to care about live content outside a few specific events (something that movie theaters are starting to capitalize on now to make up for dwindling ticket sales.)


I think that most people (especially younger folks) if when pressed regarding what they MUST see live, they would have few answers other than sports. That will only accelerate.

I agree, local news & weather and live sports are the big kickers. I remember Bill Gates predicting in his 1995 book that we'd all be watching 'asynchronous TV' one day.

DSInvestor wrote:Hulu has current season TV shows available one day after broadcast. IMO, this is a good replacement for cable/satellite TV and is like watching via DVR without having to record the show.

Agreed. If I was going to get a rerun library, it would be Hulu, and we did their free trial. Netflix & Amazon are awful IMO as TV episodes don't appear until the next season. But Netflix & Amazon are better for movies, where Hulu is weak. They all provide value for money.

But we still want live local news & weather plus sports, and DW likes to watch her prime time shows live to review next day with her friends :oops: - I'm still working on her. PS Vue gives us everything we had with satellite live and on demand at 1/2 to 2/3 less $, so Hulu is redundant for us.
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby oxothuk » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:56 pm

Midpack wrote:Netflix & Amazon are awful IMO as TV episodes don't appear until the next season.

I guess I've lived long enough that I don't see any qualitative difference between this year's TV episodes and last years. If some great new series comes along I will eventually hear about it and add it to my list (which already is greatly in excess of my available time).

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby bloom2708 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:07 pm

oxothuk wrote:
Midpack wrote:Netflix & Amazon are awful IMO as TV episodes don't appear until the next season.

I guess I've lived long enough that I don't see any qualitative difference between this year's TV episodes and last years. If some great new series comes along I will eventually hear about it and add it to my list (which already is greatly in excess of my available time).


Netflix, Amazon and Hulu are doing a better and better job of creating their own "new" content. The seasons are available immediately upon release many times.

An Amazon movie just won an Oscar. I'm not saying they beat shows on the networks or AMC, but they are catching up. I watch series on Netflix (Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black, etc) and I DVR my favorite shows on Playstion Vue (Walking Dead, Superstore, Timeline).

I also like have Playstation Vue because it allows you to authenticate on all the "Go" apps for sports and the latest episodes. What works for one, won't work for another. Mix and match, try different "trial subscriptions". Or just watch less. I am up and down on watching less but it is a loooong winter.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Casper » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:23 pm

Whenever these threads come up, I ask myself if I should "cut the cord," and the answer for me is always no. I checked last night, and I pay $117 month for internet (50/25) and cable (I believe it's Verizon Ultra HD package), with DVR. I don't watch 489 out of the 500 channels, but I do watch several channels that are not available on these cord cutting packages.

$117 really doesn't seem like a bad deal to me. The internet service makes up half the price, and if I dropped cable the internet would go up, and then I would still pay $40 a month for a streaming service that comes nowhere near my cable package. Unfortunately I like to watch sports too much. We have a firestick on our secondary TV in the basement and it would probably be all we need, if not for local sports, MLB network, etc. If Amazon ever gets a deal with local sports networks and maybe MLB and NFL networks, I'm all in.

Last time my contract was up, I just saved one of the Comcast Xfinity brochures that come in the mail 3x a week, and asked Verizon to match the price, which they did. It wasn't too hard.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby bloom2708 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:30 pm

At $117 you are on the lower end of what people with "full cable" might be paying. So you are fine staying put. Some are paying $150, $175 for their internet/phone/tv bundles.

Our internet is $42.95, Playstation Vue is $34.99 and Netflix is $11.99. $89.93 total. I agree it isn't worth switch for ~$30/month. Especially if you are now missing channels you watch. (For some, $30/month might be enough savings to justify).

Playstation Vue has (regional) Fox Sports North, FS1, FS2, Golf, NFL Network, All the ESPNS, Big Ten Network, NBC Sports. MLB tv is a premium on Vue. Lots of sports.

One thing I do like about our current setup with Fire TV/Fire Sticks is the simplicity. I ripped out all the cable boxes, coax cable runs, HDMI cords from cable/dvr boxes, extra audio cables, etc. Each TV has a Fire TV or a Fire stick. Watch what you want. Or leave it off. We are luckly that our internet bandwidth is "unlimited". If that ends, then I can easily see moving back to a cable package. Although going back would be hard.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Casper » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:35 pm

bloom2708 wrote:At $117 you are on the lower end of what people with "full cable" might be paying. So you are fine staying put. Some are paying $150, $175 for their internet/phone/tv bundles.

Our internet is $42.95, Playstation Vue is $34.99 and Netflix is $11.99. $89.93 total. I agree it isn't worth switch for ~$30/month. Especially if you are now missing channels you watch. (For some, $30/month might be enough savings to justify).

One thing I do like about our current setup with Fire TV/Fire Sticks is the simplicity. I ripped out all the cable boxes, coax cable runs, HDMI cords from cable/dvr boxes, extra audio cables, etc. Each TV has a Fire TV or a Fire stick. Watch what you want. Or leave it off. We are luckly that our internet bandwidth is "unlimited". If that ends, then I can easily see moving back to a cable package. Although going back would be hard.

I must be in an area (Philly metro) where competition is keeping prices a little lower.

Firestick is awesome, and you're right about the simplicity. We had a 10-year-old TV in the basement we didn't know what to do with, so we got a firestick, plugged it in, and off you go.

Amazon must be trying their hardest to sign up some sports networks, because if they did then it would be a no-brainer for a lot of people, including me.

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Midpack » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:42 pm

It is area dependent. We pay $50/mo for internet and $40/mo for PS Vue (luckily we're in a metro area that includes all the local major networks live plus cable networks), where we were paying $82/mo for Dish satellite. Doesn't sound like much, but we save $509/year and we're not bound by a contract - we can find other uses for $500+. PS Vue gives us more than Dish did, and if anything the PS Vue picture is sharper than satellite which is compressed.

Hulu, Netflix and Amazon shouldn't be included for cord cutters IMO. That's programming you would not have with cable or satellite either. They're over and above in all circumstances.

We'd have Internet service even if we didn't watch any TV, so it's not an added expense for us. Do you folks with cable or satellite not already have internet too?

Again, there are at least four levels of TV service, that aren't comparable - some of us want apples, others want oranges...
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cutterinnj
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby cutterinnj » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:28 pm

Midpack wrote:It is area dependent. We pay $50/mo for internet and $40/mo for PS Vue (luckily we're in a metro area that includes all the local major networks live plus cable networks), where we were paying $82/mo for Dish satellite. Doesn't sound like much, but we save $509/year and we're not bound by a contract - we can find other uses for $500+. PS Vue gives us more than Dish did, and if anything the PS Vue picture is sharper than satellite which is compressed.

Hulu, Netflix and Amazon shouldn't be included for cord cutters IMO. That's programming you would not have with cable or satellite either. They're over and above in all circumstances.

We'd have Internet service even if we didn't watch any TV, so it's not an added expense for us. Do you folks with cable or satellite not already have internet too?

Again, there are at least four levels of TV service, that aren't comparable - some of us want apples, others want oranges...


I think it depends on how you define "cord cutter".

The definition I follow is removing your cable and replacing it with some form of video entertainment. In this case, Netflix/Hulu is 100% "cord cutting", as it is a replacement.
If you definition is "removing cable, replace with a live TV alternative", then, yes, netflix/hulu does not meet this definition.
For millennials and beyond, I believe they follow the former, as they don't care if they're watching live programming (except sports maybe.)

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby TSR » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:43 pm

I have not read all of the responses here, but I wanted to mention that I currently have a lousy DSL-style internet connection at 6 mbps. It does great on streaming shows on Netflix and Amazon. It does less well when you have something else up, like a laptop doing anything on the internet, or a smartphone running a particularly hungry app. I do have an antenna for network TV, which produces a beautiful HD picture on my 60-inch LCD. Join us in cord cutting!

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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Midpack » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:43 pm

cutterinnj wrote:
Midpack wrote:It is area dependent. We pay $50/mo for internet and $40/mo for PS Vue (luckily we're in a metro area that includes all the local major networks live plus cable networks), where we were paying $82/mo for Dish satellite. Doesn't sound like much, but we save $509/year and we're not bound by a contract - we can find other uses for $500+. PS Vue gives us more than Dish did, and if anything the PS Vue picture is sharper than satellite which is compressed.

Hulu, Netflix and Amazon shouldn't be included for cord cutters IMO. That's programming you would not have with cable or satellite either. They're over and above in all circumstances.

We'd have Internet service even if we didn't watch any TV, so it's not an added expense for us. Do you folks with cable or satellite not already have internet too?

Again, there are at least four levels of TV service, that aren't comparable - some of us want apples, others want oranges...


I think it depends on how you define "cord cutter".

The definition I follow is removing your cable and replacing it with some form of video entertainment. In this case, Netflix/Hulu is 100% "cord cutting", as it is a replacement.
If you definition is "removing cable, replace with a live TV alternative", then, yes, netflix/hulu does not meet this definition.
For millennials and beyond, I believe they follow the former, as they don't care if they're watching live programming (except sports maybe.)
I don't disagree with your broader point.

However I was referencing the post above mine where bloom2708 included the price of Netflix in his/her cord cutting package in calculating savings vs conventional TV. They wouldn't have had Netflix or an equivalent with cable or satellite either, so it shouldn't be included when comparing cost of cable/satellite vs cord cutting.
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Re: Tell me about Smart TVs and cutting cable

Postby Triple digit golfer » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:28 am

Hi again all, OP here.

Would 10 mbps internet be adequate? Our house is just my wife and me, with a baby on the way, so at any one time the most devices we'd have streaming is two.


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