Making sense of myriad cord-cutting options

“As many of you know, growth in the cable and satellite industry has slowed considerably. A host of alternatives have arisen to supplement or replace the traditional offerings of broadcast and cable-only channels. So Netflix is a significant example, expanding from basic DVD rentals, to a major provider of original — and often award-winning — streaming content,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “With judicious selection, some people are able to supplement or replace traditional cable/satellite fare snd perhaps save some money in the process. Sometimes it’s just returning to broadcast-only TV, assuming you are close enough to transmitters to get a decent signal via an old fashioned antenna.”

“In order to compete with some of the alternatives, both Dish Network (Sling TV) and DirecTV (DirecTV NOW) have debuted services that offer subsets of their standard satellite fare, which is streamed to set-top boxes from Apple, Amazon, Google and Roku,” Steinberg writes. “Right now, however, broadcast stations aren’t available in all cities, and you can’t time-shift, so you don’t have DVR capability to store shows for later viewing and commercial skipping. At best, you have on-demand. But it’s possible such features will come later. For now, DVR functions appear to be limited to Sony’s PlayStation Vue.”

“Cord-cutting is possible, but it’s easy to go overboard,” Steinberg writes. “It’s also confusing, because, with potentially hundreds or thousands of available channels, you may end up more confused than ever trying to find the shows you want.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: AppAdvice last month had a good article regarding cord-cutting:

Before we get started, here are the things you’re going to need:

1. A 4th Generation Apple TV
2. A Subscription to SlingTV, DirecTV Now or PlayStation Vue
3. An HD Antenna
4. An HDHomeRun Connect Box
5. The Channels App for Apple TV

Based on my experience, if you have all these pieces, your Apple TV can serve as the way you watch TV, period. You won’t need to jump between inputs…

Read more in the full article here.

The ultimate cable television cord cutting solution for Apple TV owners – February 17, 2017


    1. I think there is no living human being who can give you an estimate of what any of these services will cost you, let alone what cable cutting would cost.

      Even if they tell you up front what things are supposed to cost, there are ALWAYS added on costs that you will not find out about until you are in a couple of months. Then its too late.

      I speak from very expensive experience. My position with one company whom I wont name (first two letters Ce…….nk was that I agreed to start service based upon a phone call with a service rep and an agreed upon amount confirmed by the rep. You would think that constitutes a contract, but it doesnt apparently. You literally cannot see the full contract until you sign up, then log into their site, read the full contract and only then find out what the actual conditions are.

      So what you do is hope for the best and hope those conditions don’t pop up.

      Guess what: They will

    2. I looked into this recently.

      Right now I’m paying $180/month for internet cable and home phone (wife wants it for babysitters). Cord cutting would cost me $500 for materials up front. Then for internet and subscriptions it would be $80/month. Thus I’d be even in 6 months and then be saving $100/month.

      The problem for me is the increase in complexity in a rapidly changing environment. Dealing with multiple boxes, multiple companies, multiple potential price changes over time, multiple places in the system for potential glitches…. it’s been enough to hold up the transition.

      I’m still waiting for a all-in-one solution that makes life easy.

      1. “I’m still waiting for a all-in-one solution that makes life easy.”

        let me know when you find that universe and I will join you……….but not if its part of a bundle!

        1. The “all-in-one-solution” is a single, high-speed internet connection, no boxes or subscriptions to anything. Most “entertainment” is brainwashing anyway.

          Something should be done about monopolies like CommunistCast. I pay $20/month for lightning fast internet here in Eastern Europe. No phone bundle crap or anything. My service provider is my friend who owns his own company and ran the cables in my building, where he is licensed to operate, himself.

  1. I’d love to know what MDN pays for their set-up described above. I pay about $125/month from DirecTV…which is way too much. I probably watch only about a dozen or so channels…
    Hughes saw the writing on the wall though which is why they sold to ATT, you know the worlds largest virus.

    The internet will be the future for sure. You just need some bandwidth at home for a HQ signal.

  2. Hulu and You Tube are launching streaming services shortly and Google’s will have all broadcast networks, local channels and regional sports networks.

    I cut the cord in December and am still wanting a la carte, which is available for some channels. Currently I am using Sling TV and a couple of stand alone apps.

    Apple’s TV app is still not ready for prime time. It confuses content. For example, it offered for me to continue watching a movie I own- having purchased it from iTMS, but it pushed me to the store to buy or rent content I already own. The TV app also has made a mess of streaming local content from your Mac.

    Nobody is TCB at Apple and it looks like they are just mailing it in.
    As to data caps, Comcast gives 1 TB per month and handles overages at $10 for 50 extra GB. We have never even come close to 1TB.

  3. When our ATT Uverse went up to $190/mo for internet and mid-tier TV (no movie channels) that was the last straw.
    Luckily I get good TV reception with my antennas (Mohu) and bought a TiVo box to record our favorite OTA TV programs and sports.
    I switched to Spectrum Internet and have Sling TV which cut the bill nearly in half. I’ll be looking for other options for Sling TV in the future (Hulu offering cheaper service, Cloud DVR), but am happy so far.
    We use our cell phones mostly (Cricket), and NetTalk for our landline for the gate entry, and unlimited US phone calls.

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