TV Streaming Services


  #1  
Old 06-14-24, 08:00 PM
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TV Streaming Services

I really don't intend for this to be an advertising thread, but I've had Xfinity since the mid 90's. I've never used anything different. I think the kids have Hulu.... I think.
I'm done with paying almost $300 for TV, internet and home security... In reality, although its a package, I'm paying about $180 per month for the TV services I get with Xfinity. After 10 years of putting it off... I'm finally done. I am going to change to something else.
So, we just looked over Hulu & it seems relatively compatible with the channels we normally watch, with the services we have now.

I'm not really asking what you have, but...... Pros & cons? Especially with Hulu & other comparable streaming TV services.
Supposedly, Hulu has unlimited cloud storage & free DVR services & we can watch any of the 4 TV 's in the house for about $90 per month. At least that's what the info claims. Includes several sports channels that I can watch most if not all of my college football games.
Only thing, there are no old classic western stations like INSP or Grit, but t does have a "Movies" section which I am assuming includes a Westerns sub-section?

At the end of the day, why should I go with Hulu rather than another streaming service or........ should I consider another streaming service?
I'm just asking for your experiences with streaming TV as a whole.... not really asking for a promotion of any specific service. I'm sure y'all get what I'm asking.
 
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Old 06-15-24, 04:50 AM
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"...why should I go with Hulu rather than another streaming service..."
Because they have shows you want to watch. Plain and simple. You subscribe to streaming services because they have what you want.
 
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Old 06-15-24, 05:21 AM
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But is it as good of a service as the next? I read online info about Hulu, but I don't know if the service is what the info says is the truth. I mean if I look at another service, they are going say they are the best.

I think the main thing I am after is (yes its it a good service but), is it reliable. In general, are streaming services a good service? Is it dependable? Does it do what they say they will do?
I understand that streaming, is reliant on your internet service etc. So I get that.

For example:
Cable service are expensive.
Satellite dish services are unreliable in that weather is an issue etc.
Both offer 5000 channels (exaggerating), but they really only have 50 channels, just repeated over & over on other channels.

Again, I've never had anything but Xfinity/Comcast. Just trying to get the pro's & cons of streaming services in general & generally speaking, Hulu vs other streaming services. Is one generally as good/reliable/dependable as the other? What do I need to be aware of that they aren't telling me? Cause you know they're not going to give me the downside.

I'm just trying to make an, at least somewhat informed decision here.
 
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Old 06-15-24, 05:44 AM
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Here's an interesting article you might want to read. Pretty helpful, I think.

https://www.reviews.org/tv-service/how-to-stream-tv/
 
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  #5  
Old 06-15-24, 05:59 AM
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We "cut the cable" (eliminated TV services from our Verizon bundle) last August. I think I posted about it around that time but I cannot find the post to link to.

For general viewing we use the basic level of Sling for $40 per month (news, HGTV, Dateline, SNL, etc.) They have a higher level that I think also includes sports programs and maybe Disney+. And both levels can be bundled for a discount. Sling also provides a cloud DVR function to record shows. When you record them you can skip through the commercials. You cannot skip commercials when viewing the same shows from their on-demand library.

We had Netfix and Amazon Prime before and we kept them.

Since then we have added other streaming services as needed to see programs that we wanted to see and then dropped them when done. We have done that with Hulu, Acorn, CBS/Paramount+.

CBS and ABC allow viewing recent shows with commercials without a subscription. And I found another one (I don't remember which) that recognized Sling as a "local cable provider" when I activated it.

We like HULU for its programs like The Bear and Only Murder in the Building and will reactivate it when the new series of those programs are available.

Our saving is about $120 per month and the cost of services is $40 for Sling and ~$7 to 10 per month for extras when we want them.

Also when we dropped TV from our bundle the only Internet/Phone bundle available at a lower cost required an upgrade to 300 Mbps service and a new free router with no monthly charge. Internet is $49.95/month with $25 per month additional for phone.
 
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Old 06-15-24, 10:30 AM
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Thanks 2John. That was some good info.

Hulu offers 4 options. The highest option at $90 per month, is no ads & has unlimited cloud storage for DVR. It also has a Disney package & sports I think. I know there was a 2nd package included. Also that option includes unlimited TVs connected. We have 4 TVs but only watch one or 2 at a time unless we have company, then we could potentially need 3 TVs at any given time.

We'll be keeping our Xfinity internet.
 
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Old 06-15-24, 11:51 AM
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Similar thread.... Best way to remove cable services ?

You still need a fast internet which will run you $50+ .... so keep that in mind.
Cable companies still have basic packages that include local channels.
You can build on that.

Hulu is now one of the majors. So is Google.

Free streaming services w/ads. These are considered "add-on" services.
Pluto - in my opinion the best of the freebies. Very sensible ad breaks.
Tubi - awesome for decent free movies. Very sensible ad breaks.
Freebie - Primes (Amazon) movie channel. Not bad.

I still have FiOS (Verizon) service. $210 a month. (a leftover from the $99.95 triple play)
Three boxes, second tier package, telephone and internet (50up/50down)

Wireline services like Verizon have major taxes.
Non-wirelines services... like cable have much lower taxes.
 
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Old 06-15-24, 12:15 PM
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As far as which streamers are "best". Netflix would be my choice. Until recently we had expensive, limited data and slowish satellite internet. Netflix was the most reliable service. Disney, Hulu, Prime and Paramount would not load or kicked back connection errors and frequently had lower resolution videos. Netflix would work when the others couldn't and produced the best picture (highest resolution).

As far as content that you really have to look at what each service offers. One trick is if there is only a show or two on a streamer that you want to watch. Sign up and watch the shows you like. Then cancel that service and sign up for another. That way over time you can access the shows on most/all the streamers but only pay for the one or two you have activated each month. I wanted to watch The Mandalorian (Star Wars) and there wasn't anything else on Disney I wanted to see so I signed up and watched the whole Mandalorian series in a couple months, then canceled Disney.
 
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Old 06-15-24, 12:41 PM
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just use prime myself and subscribe and unsubscribe to additional channels like max or paramount + when they have something on I want to see so having this option is likely needed on whatever you choose to lower your bill it should be easy to add or remove and not a hassle of having to call.
I have also used pluto and over the air local channels which often does have old westerns but since its not streaming your really relying on whatever there broadcasting at the time, suppose a dvr would allow you to watch it at a time of your choosing though.
 
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Old 06-15-24, 12:42 PM
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Netflix has better servers and higher speeds but they are movies only.
Most will need a primary service.
 
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Old 06-15-24, 01:56 PM
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Ok, yall can continue to discuss this for future reference if you want to but I think I have gotten enough feedback for my needs.

The link that Shadeladie provided has provided a multitude of information. I'm actually considering Fubo now, but haven't ruled out Hulu, because of its ad free option/package.

Additionally, in our research, it led us back to Amazon Prime which of course includes Video (which we have had for probably 5 or 6 years & never used... yeah, I know, I know ) & we have spent all afternoon getting that on 3 TVs. She has a Prime account too so we may put the 4th TV on her account.

Everyone has given good info & I appreciate it. We'll figure something out in a day or so. By the way, we've had Netflix for the last 2 or 3 months & its just not a good fit for us, so we canceled it last night.

Next step... new phone service. Consumer Cellular, Mint or something. Currently paying $187 a month for 2 phones.
That's for another day though....
Thanks everybody.
 
  #12  
Old 06-15-24, 01:59 PM
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If you can get Over-The-Air (OTA) TV reception where you live, you can get a Tablo device (DVR) and watch local OTA TV and also record and playback the broadcasts whenever you want through the Tablo. No monthly fees. Just a one-time cost for the Tablo device. It was worth it to me, but I guess it all depends on what the OTA broadcasts are in your area.

I also have Comcast (since 2002) and like you I'm ready to pull the plug. Great reliable service but I only watch about 3 cable channels - I hate to think about the cost-per-channel in my case, wow- lol.

But maybe you could throw OTA TV into your mix of considerations. Just a thought.

 
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Old 06-15-24, 02:20 PM
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Amazon prime video is.............. ok... but no big thrill now that you pay extra for it.

New phone service
Are you dumping Xfiniti completely ?
What are you doing for internet ?
You need internet to stream.

Most providers still have internet and phone packages.
I'm familiar with T-mobile internet service. It's meh. Not as reliable as I'd like.
Mint is directly owned by T-mobile now.
 
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Old 06-15-24, 04:30 PM
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zoesdad , I have a TV in my big truck & I watch it sometimes when loading or unloading & when I have to stay out over night occasionally. Just about all trucks now with a sleeper come with a factory antenna built in & prewired. Just mount & connect the power cord & coax. We have about 10 or so OTA stations here, so, yes, that is always an option if I ever need to do that.

PJmax , I have AT&T for my phone service. I never got the Xfinity phone service. I will be keeping my Xfinity internet. It's about $70 or so here for good high speed residential internet. But that's all I am keeping from Xfinity. That Xfinity internet and streaming TV for about $90 etc will be about $160 total for both... compared to the $285 with Xfinity now. That's just crazy. They have really put themselves in a bad way with their pricing & limited, forced plans. They have only about 2 or 3 packages now &..... "this package comes with this, this & this.. is not optional... and here's the price. Take it or leave it & go somewhere else!"

The problem here at my house is, it's either Xfinity or satellite. AT&T cable services doesn't come down my road for example. I just don't have any cable choices. Again, I have been with Comcast since around 1993.... 31 years. Never left them because... as bad as I hate to admit it, they do have good service. Believe me, I don't mind paying for quality service but the cost has got to be at least reasonable. Now known as Xfinity, is waaay past reasonable.

As for phone service, I can go with a different company like Consumer Cellular & still stay with AT&T cell service cause its about the only thing that will get me a signal here at the house. I used to have Verizon which I like about 3 to 1 over AT&T but I cant get a signal here at the house with Verizon.
I currently pay about $175 for AT&T & I can get Consumer Cellular or another secondary carrier for about 1/3 of that with the same AT&T service.
 
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Old 06-17-24, 07:47 AM
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Forgive my late entry here, but we bought (one time purchase price) a Roku streaming device for our streaming services access. The Roku channel, free with the Roku devices, has so many Westerns from the 50's to 70's that I had forgotten many of them. Death Valley Days, Wagon Train, Zane Gray Theater, Wells Fargo, Bat Masterson, and many others.
We bought YouTube TV, $77./month, to watch Phillies and Investigation Discovery Channel mostly. Another free channel that was suggested is Pluto. Lots of movies including Westerns and classic horror/monster films with Karloff, Cheney, etc.
 
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Old 06-17-24, 03:42 PM
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Roku service is now free to any platform.
I use a Firestick 4k for my streaming and I have Roku, Pluto, Freebie, Tubi. All free with ads.
I have Amazon prime video too but it doesn't have the same bang it used to have.

I have MAX too. It's another free service or you can pay for "no ad" service.
MAX is operated HBO. It now has all the good movies on it that HBO was known for.
Since my package contains HBO..... I get MAX for free.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 06-17-24 at 07:52 PM. Reason: correction
  #17  
Old 06-17-24, 04:22 PM
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I did not know there is an extra charge for Amazon Prime Video. I thought it comes with Amazon Prime. I do know that there are some movies etc that you have to pay for outside of Freebe or whatever it is. I just was going to use it for live TV but, it lacks a lot including, most importantly, there is no way to search for & go directly to a specific channel.... like INSP for example. So' I'm not impressed with Prime Video.
 
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Old 06-17-24, 07:58 PM
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They were talking about an additional charge per month for Prime video.
Ahhhhhh.... I see it now...
Starting January 29, you're going to have to cough up an additional $2.99 each month to watch Prime Video movies and TV shows without ads.
 
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Old 07-04-24, 03:21 PM
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Well, we just spent 2 hours trying to get Fubo on two of our TV's. Neither has the apps already on them. They are older then Fubo. We tried to get the apps downloaded from internet. No such luck.
A third TV is even older than these two. A 4th TV is new enough that it probably has the app on it but we aren't going to get the service until we can figure out how to make this work on all 4 TVs.

It looks like its going to involve a stick of some sort. Some site say the Fire stick has the Fubo app on it. My wife found another site that says some other stick has the app on it, but it's $50 for a stick. I need at least three sticks. I'm not sure (& I don't think so) if I can buy one stick & down load the app on 3 Tv's from the stick, then use the app. My understanding is that I need a stick to remain plugged into the TV, for every TV.

Now, I am not sure how to proceed with this. All the internet searches are focused on... "the app is already on the TV" so, nothing is being a lot of help. After two hours of this, I'm wore out... lol.
 
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Old 07-04-24, 07:10 PM
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If you have a smart tv with internet access you should be able to download the app from a website or App Store. If you do not have a smart tv you will need a streaming device like Amazon Fire, Roku, Apple TV, etc. for each tv. Roku has basic devices for about $30. I get mine from Best Buy and they usually come with a couple of introductory free subscriptions to various services. Roku also has a search function to find apps and download them. The others may also but I am not familiar with them.
You do not have to find a device (stick) that already has an app. The app can be downloaded to any device.
 
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Old 07-05-24, 02:22 PM
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I run Firesticks. You can download any app you want.
If they don't list it you can use it's web browser to download apps.
 
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Old 07-05-24, 02:42 PM
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We already had one TV setup with our internet.
We setup a 2nd TV with our internet.

It was frustrating to say the least using the keypad on the remotes to set this up.
Then keystroke by keystroke, we navigated to several websites from the search engine. We even clicked hyperlinks "to download the app". After two hours of clicking one letter, then scrolling around the on-screen keyboard on that blasted remote keypad.... I had enough.
In short we went to 6 or 8 websites that said we could download the app, only to get there and no icon/link.

I may go back and try it again. The thought of having to go through this with 4 TVs...
$50 each for sticks..
I just gotta get over the frustration before tackling this again. Just trying to get an idea of all my options.
 
  #23  
Old 07-09-24, 11:03 AM
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Roku has an app for phone or tablet that provides a keyboard screen that you can use to avoid having to use the remote to type in information. The app also works an a remote control. The only requirement is that the Roku and the phone/tablet are on the same WiFi network.
 
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Old 07-15-24, 07:09 PM
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Well, somewhat of an update. We're getting closer to our goals.

My phone stopped charging last Wednesday. I made it home Wed afternoon with 19% left on the phone battery. I had to do something quick, so we followed through with our plans to switch to Consumer Cellular. Went to WM and bought 2 Samsung A15 Android phones for CC @ $200 each.
Saved us about $100 per month. Went from about $180 to about $75 per month.
The 1st 5 months, WM is giving us a $10 discount per phone.. so = $20 per month discount for 5 months. That makes my bill about $55 per month for 2 phones, unlimited talk & text, 50 GB of hotspot wifi, roadside service for both phones (in case we need gandpa Tow Guy), with AT&T service... through December 2024.
What they don't tell you in those hyper commercials is...... customer support is from 5 am PT - 6 pm PT. It's not 24/7/365... and I dont think its available on Sundays.
Otherwise, I think it's going to be a good deal.

Secondly, we decided to drop by Best Buy and get those Fire Sticks for our TVs. Decided to buy just one for $50 and see if we like it first. We bought the one the guy suggested for our situation... Fire TV Stick 4K.
Got home, looked on Amazon, they're on sale for 50% off... $25. So I went ahead & bought 3 more. Now I have one for each TV. We'll be tackling that project this weekend if nothing dont throw a stick in the wheel.
 
  #25  
Old 07-16-24, 06:29 AM
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Consumer Cellular is a great choice for mobile phones. I have been with them for more than 15 years. I still use a flip phone, but my wife has an iPhone. Normally the lowest data plan is enough but CC will automatically upgrade to a higher plan if data use is high. They notify by email when that happens. Then I usually remember to move back to the lower data plan at the beginning of each new billing cycle. No charge to do that and saves a few $.
 
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