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Matt Reed
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Posted: 26 April 2019 at 12:35am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Five or six years ago there was discussion here about cord cutting, meaning getting away from the bundled option offered by most cable and satellite companies in favor of choosing what content you wanted to pay for on an a la carte basis.  Much was made by those who touted it that if they only got to choose what channels and content they wanted to pay for, while simultaneously not paying for things they didn't, that the world would be a much better place.  It would be cheaper, they said, than paying for hundreds of channels they never watched. Sounded great in theory.  Just let me pay for sports or just let me pay for AMC or Hallmark.  Don't force me to pay for ESPN when I never watch their eight different channels.  

Be careful what you wish for...


Most cord cutters have some sort of live TV option, meaning they pay something to get local channels. If you're one of the few that switch from a digital antenna to how you stream content you pay for, I'm obviously not talking about you.  Then they choose, on average, at least two streaming services to make up the difference in terms of content. The large majority of the cord cutters are paying roughly the same as they did for a regular cable or satellite subscription while receiving less than they did with that subscription.  With companies segmenting themselves by keeping their rights "in-house" in order to offer them on a premium streaming service, you honestly have to have a complement of streaming subscriptions or be willing to pony up for a full season subscription on iTunes or Vudu to see everything you want to see.  

I warned people about this years ago.  So did Doug Jones.  Some here were adamant that a la carte programming would benefit the consumer by reducing their cost to only that which they wanted to see.  Knowing the industry as well as I do, I pushed back but was met with quite a bit of resistance.  Half a decade later, the a la carte method has won out but has ultimately resulted in next to zero savings and, in many cases, consumers are paying more to get the same content as if you'd subscribed to cable or satellite and just recorded what you wanted to watch and ignored the rest.


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Matt Reed
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Posted: 26 April 2019 at 1:08am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Netflix is $9/month (base price) after their increase.  HBO NOW is $14.99/month.  Hulu with ads is $5.99/month.  Without is $11.99.  Hulu with live TV is $44.99/month with ads and $50.99/month without.  CBS All Access is $5.99/month with adds or $9.99 without.  ESPN+ is $4.99/month. Disney+ will be $6.99/month or $69.99 for the first year. 

My wife and I are the "unusual" household.  We have a DirecTV subscription because of live sports (the Sunday Ticket specifically because of me) and we also have subs to Netflix, CBS, and Hulu.  I don't count Amazon as we'd have a Prime subscription for the free delivery alone regardless of their media offerings (a brilliant move by them, I might add). But let's say we didn't subscribe to DirecTV, we would end up paying the same as or more just to receive a fraction of the content.  Much of "free" streamers like FX, ABC, NBC, AMC etc never keep a full season available, but only offer a set number of recent episodes. As an experiment, I tried to view the first season of THIS IS US on the NBC app months after it premiered (this was, of course, several years ago).  NBC only offered the five latest episodes which did not include the premiere.  Shortsighted from the perspective of building a fanbase, but they did that with all of their series.  Ditto ABC.  Ditto CBS.  AMC keeps half seasons up until the other half season airs and then it's gone.  

If you're willing to be diligent in keeping up with manufactured end dates for free streaming, more power to you, but I'm not.  
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John Harrison
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Posted: 26 April 2019 at 9:09am | IP Logged | 3 post reply


It's going to get more complicated when Time Warner announces their app.  Does HBO fall into that? Their part of Hulu? The DC app? Netflix just forked over a nice sum for Friends safe bet to say Time Warner wants it exclusive same with The Office after those deals expire.  

If Time Warner pulls out of Hulu and depending on how Disney decides to use Hulu its days may be numbered.  

That NBC free app is horrible.  I missed an episode of The Blacklist used it twice.  Weird points system shows had to be unlocked only so many past episodes.  Great way to get a single episode but the overall user experience was the like of rummaging thru 5 dollar bin of DVDs at Walmart.







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Bob Simko
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Posted: 26 April 2019 at 11:59am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Our house is similar to the person that loads up the plate at a buffet and
doesn稚 eat everything. We have a pretty full package of premium/movie
& sports channels on Xfinity, Netflix, Hulu, CBS, BritBox, DC, MLB.TV,
NHL will vary from year to year, and already planning on Disney. If the
NFL breaks away from DirecTV like MLB/NHL/NBA we値l add that, too.

Also guilty of season purchases of a number of tv series.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 26 April 2019 at 12:55pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I tend to just subscribe for a month a show drops, then unsubscribe after I知 done. With the Marvel shows gone from Netflix, there are only a few series that I need to see on Netflix right when it comes out. I値l probably subscribe to Disney+ for the entire year though.

I have a year subscription to DC Universe, and I値l probably keep that as well, because it also includes a Marvel Unlimited-like access to all of DC痴 digital comics that are six months or older. 
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Joseph Greathouse
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Posted: 26 April 2019 at 2:32pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Does anyone need a subscription to all services in the same month? For instance, I will get one month of CBS All Access each year to watch Star Trek Discovery, eventually.  We have HBO for the moment, but don't have a need for Stars.  After Game of Thrones, we can drop HBO and pick up something else. 
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 26 April 2019 at 3:00pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

We have cable with all the premium channels (HBO, Showtime, Encore/Starz, The Movie Channel) except EPIX, plus Netflix streaming. Used to have Hulu a few years ago, but didn't watch it enough to justify the subscription.

Cannot afford to add more subscriptions. I'd love to have CBS All-Access and Disney+, but won't be getting them any time soon.

With all the shows we DVR as it is, we don't have time to watch everything we'd like, anyway. 


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Brian Miller
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Posted: 27 April 2019 at 2:42pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

We have Netflix, Hulu (no commercials), CBS All Access (no commercials) and just wound up with Prime this week. We don稚 pay for the prime (long story) and even with adding Disney+ later, we値l still be about $100 cheaper than when we cut the cord four years ago. I also use the HBO, AMC and NBC pay apps, but I piggyback on my inlaws cable subscription for those. 
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 28 April 2019 at 5:19pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I forgot to add that we also have Amazon Prime. But the only thing I really watch on it is THE GRAND TOUR.


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John Popa
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Posted: 28 April 2019 at 7:04pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I use Sling and Hulu for TV stuff - I get networks from a satellite and recently dropped Netflix because there really isn't much left there that interests me.  I'll pick up Disney + but would have regardless of my cable package.  I do have Prime but don't watch any shows on it.  It's really just a byproduct of having Prime for shipping.  I could probably drop Hulu without missing a beat - I mostly use it to watch reruns, even of things I have on DVD that I'm too lazy to put in the DVD player (like Buffy.) 

I cut the cord a few years ago and am saving about $50 a month still.  and I changed cable providers which saved me some cash too.  

Really, though, I don't watch a lot of TV so even if I'm getting fewer channels, I probably didn't watch them anyway.   I never used a DVR either.  There's no 'must see' TV for me.  If I miss it, I move on.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 29 April 2019 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I use a digital antenna for the local channels and then Sling for everything else TV-wise.  I think though that in this discussion, throwing in Netflix and Hulu (unless you're losing the latter to watch regular TV channels) as well as Amazon Prime and All Access is not quite on point.  If we're talking about a la carte, we're talking about getting television channels of your choice at a cost lower than what you would pay a cable company for those same channels.  So even when I had cable, I was paying for Netflix because its a different thing.  Netflix, for me, replaced renting movies, not a cable channel.  I also still had Amazon Prime because I get Prime for the other benefits.  The streaming that comes with it is just a bonus.

If Netflix, Hulu, All Access, etc. are going to come into the conversation because of their unique content, they should be compared to premium networks like HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc.  Those networks have been $15 a pop from cable for some time, and most of the streaming services have a lower price point than that, even in UHD.

So, in reality, I'm saving a huge amount of money by using my antenna and Sling over what I paid a cable company for the same content, and a big part of why is that Sling has their channels in modules so I can just pick, and pay for, the ones that I actually watch.

Edited to add: Another way Sling saved me money is that it gives me full access to NBC and Fox on demand at no additional charge, so I got rid of Hulu after switching, as that was how I primarily used it after they removed the CW shows.


Edited by Steve De Young on 29 April 2019 at 8:48am
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Bryan Eacret
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Posted: 29 April 2019 at 9:52am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I dropped DirecTV satelite service and am using SonyVue. 

Just as with DTV there are a ton of channels I don't ever watch, but I get the local sports channels now and pay about $45 less a month. I have Netflix and Prime, but would have those anyway. 

For my situation, I didn't gripe about the amount of channels I didn't watch, but the actual cost of what was being provided versus what I had to pay even more for if I wanted them (local sports). Streaming is a better deal. 


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