Best cord cutting options

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MEJHarrison, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. MEJHarrison macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2009
    We're getting ready to move in about a month. Currently, we have DirecTV and a giant bill to go with it. So this seems like a good time to see what other options are out there. And we're looking to maybe cut the cord. We're currently paying around $200 for pretty much everything (I miss the days when you could just go online and change your package!). We'd like to pay a lot less than that obviously. Shouldn't be too hard I'd guess.

    We don't watch sports or news. ABC/CBS/NBC, HGTV, DIY, Syfy, Discovery, etc. HBO is a nice to have, but not a deal breaker.

    We have an Apple TV 3rd Generation.

    I see people asking about DVR capabilities. Why is that necessary if you have streaming? What questions should I be asking? What features should I look for?

    I do know it would be nice to use something that integrates well with the Apple TV. And I know Monday there will be a new player in town. Beyond that, I'm not sure where to start beyond Googling "cutting the cord". Which doesn't sound like a half bad idea now that I think of it. But as an Apple TV person, I thought I'd start here.
  2. Expobill macrumors 65816


    May 30, 2018
    We cut cable 3 weeks ago and do not miss that sevice. Im watching cbs, relaxing and catching up on apple tidbits. free over the air kept my entertained were i watched fraiser, modern family and all in the family just recently today. I have a apple tv 2 which is limited but can stream movies and shows off the macmini more easier than a hdmi to the tv. I hope this helps
    --- Post Merged, Mar 22, 2019 ---
    Oh i will pay hbo for season 8 game of thrones soon tho
  3. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    If you live close to a large metropolitan area, chances are over the air TV will have 30 or more channels to watch. Granted, you won't be able to watch any of the premium movie channels or things like Sundance, Smithsonian, Science, History, Military, and so forth. But if you're not addicted to those, you won't miss them. Nowadays, good quality indoor antennas are quite capable of picking up all the channels which are available to you in your area including those that are broadcast in HD. I would love to cut the cord in my home but that will lead to a revolt from certain other family members. :rolleyes:
  4. Expobill macrumors 65816


    May 30, 2018
    I was hooked on american pickers this year until i cut cable, i dont miss the show.
    Anetena tv is good because they present shows to me vursus me looking for things to watch.
  5. JBaby macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2015
    This is an unpopular opinion, but I don’t like OTA. I’m also not a fan of skinny bundles. They’re too expensive. I like the convenience of Hulu (No Ads), CBS All Access, and Netflix. Those suit my paid streaming needs. I also have PBS Passport and AmazonPrime. I don’t count those because I have Passport because it’s a thank you for my yearly contribution to my local PBS and I have Prime for the shipping.
  6. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    We have been using YouTubeTV for almost a year now and really like it in conjunction with the AppleTV. Excellent unlimited DVR and great picture. All the channels we want for $41 a month with the tax. Only other service we have is Netflix which we use for movies.
  7. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    For me, I prefer DVR because a lot of the cable shows that can be streamed contain commercials that can’t be skipped (or even better, you can’t FF at all, even during the show), FF/REW can be clunky, and sometimes not all episodes of the current season of a show to be available for streaming.
  8. TalkAboutApple macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2008
    Radical suggestion - I resubscribed to Netflix disc rental (blu-ray, 2-discs out unlimited $14.99) and liked it so much I added a second account last summer. I crunched the numbers and it averages well under $2 per movie. They carry EVERY title without regard to latest legal squabbles, so it is a good companion to any combo of streaming services.
  9. MEJHarrison thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2009
  10. Tech198, Mar 22, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019

    Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    I always thought FetchTV was kinda good... At least its cheaper than cable packages or Foxtel prices her.

    Its a good alternative. But i guess that's only Australia..

    I just wished Netflix in Australia carried the same as U.S then I would rent DVD's/Blue rays too.

    Often DVD/Blu-ray rental services are always better because right holders are not that scared on distributing via plastic discs, and probably will always be favored over "how much content" is available..

    I doubt anyone can proof in any case where streaming will take over. and will retire plastic discs.. That's probably why they are still around, in addition.

    Just when we thought "streaming was the future", maybe we should not just 'jump ship' quite yet. (based on availability)
  11. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012

    YES - the DVD Netflix option indeed Rocks!

    We have both the streaming service and the "1 disc at a time" DVD service. After the recent price increase I believe the total is about $18 a month - and well worth it.

    The selection of movies on the streaming side is actually very limited compared to what is available on DVD. Lot more foreign films, documentaries, older films are only available on DVD. Of course all of the Netflix original content, some of which is quite good, is on the streaming side and we take advantage of this as well.

    One unannounced upgrade to the DVD service happened a year or so ago. It used to be that Netflix needed to physically receive your returned DVD before shipping out the new one. The two-way transit through the postal system meant that it took at least 4 days between rentals. Now Netflix has an agreement with the USPS whereby when a returned disk is scanned at my local post office it counts as having been returned and the next one in the queue is immediately shipped. This, in conjunction with many more regional Netflix warehouses means that the turnaround is significantly faster. Even with our "1 disc at a time" plan we now typically get 2 or 3 new DVDs each week. Quite the bargain, considering the richness of their catalog.

    So while streaming is new and terrific, combining it with old technology has worked out very well for us.
  12. HDFan, Mar 24, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019

    HDFan macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    I am in the process of dropping DirecTV, but am taking a different direction. I have loved it over the years. Best DVR, best customer support. Since AT&T took over support is terrible, they reduced services (such as remote DVR viewing), and now the screen saver shows full screen pay per view ads which pushed me over the edge.

    As it turns out Comcast in my area offers gigabit service, even though it is not listed as an option on their website. It seems to require a quad play - internet, phone, tv, and home security. I went over the numbers and it turns out that I will pay less than I do now for these services, but will be upgraded to
    gigabit ethernet, all of the premium channels, and have full remote security monitoring which is an extra fee with Simply Safe.

    And there was another entirely unexpected bonus. I had just upgraded to a Linksys mesh wifi router, which doubled my wifi speeds to ~200 mbps. The Comcast router included with their internet modem doubled this, giving me 400-500 Mbps even in an upstairs bedroom some 40 feet away.
  13. max2 macrumors 68030

    May 31, 2015
    Hulu Live TV, I think it is called, seems to be cheaper than Directv Now but only by $5 or $6 if you don't include Hulu streaming service with it.

    It has all the same channels mostly.

    Not sure if I like the interface though.
  14. MEJHarrison thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2009
    That all sounds cool. It seems like a great thing for you. But I'm not looking to get more for my money, I'm looking to spend less money for what I'm getting. The backstory is we just bought a house and I'm switching to penny-pinching mode. Since the bill has bothered me for a while now, and we'll be moving soon, it seemed like a good time to explore other options.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 24, 2019 ---
    I've been looking hard at Hulu. They seem to have a deal right now where you get Netflix included and CBS All Access with it. Since I'm a Netflix subscriber, that brings their price down some.

    As for the interface, maybe I'm missing something. I currently have DirecTV. I rarely use their box. I just use my login on the Apple TV and am quite content to use the TV app or the individual apps (looking at you Netflix). If I'm on the computer, I can just go to their website and login there. If you mean the Hulu app itself, I stay out of there when possible. I just find what I want, get it going and let the TV app manage it from there. I've had Hulu in the past and rarely found myself inside the actual Hulu app. Their strong TV app integration is one of the things I really like about Hulu.
  15. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    I created this thread with tips on saving money on your ISP/cable bills and cord cutting in general.

    The best way to figure out what you should get is to figure out what you can do without. If you are happy with basic streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc., then I would go with a cheap internet with your new ISP (100Mbps would be more than adequate for streaming on multiple devices), and stick with the basic streaming apps. You will save a lot of money like that.

    If you have access to multiple ISPs, don't do contracts, and switch every time your current ISP's introductory rates go up. I do this, and have switched over a dozen times since 2011.

    Remember that it is easy to sign up and cancel streaming services. If you like a few TV shows on HBO, but your favorite show ever is Game of Thrones, only sign up for HBO when the new season of GoT is on, while you are at it catch up on all the other shows you watch and cancel after a few months. Then do it again next season. You can do this will all the other streaming services too.

    If you can live without Live TV, then do it. Right now, that is the most expensive service, so much so, that it is getting to the same price as a cheap Cable TV package.

    This is important mostly for people that like Live TV.

    This will limit your access to the newer Live TV services, but if you like stuff like Netflix, HBO, Prime Video, etc., then the ATV3 would be okay to use.

    While the ATV3 is pretty old now, I actually prefer the ATV3 version of apps over the tvOS version of apps. The tvOS version of apps look modern, and aesthetically pleasing, the functionality and intuitiveness sucks compared to the ATV3's version of the apps.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 24, 2019 ---
    If you want to do Live TV, which I would recommend not to if you can, here are a list of the popular ones out there with some features:

    DirecTV Now
    @ $50 a month, allows multiple device streaming (2), includes HBO. DirecTV Now use to be the best one imo, but with a 43% increase over 8 months, and losing a bunch of channels on the lowest tier, it is overpriced.

    Hulu + Live TV
    @ $45 a month, includes all of Hulu's content, allows multiple device streaming (2), multiple profiles.

    YouTube Live TV
    @ $40 a month, allows multiple device streaming (3), multiple profiles, unlimited DVR, YouTube originals.

    Sling TV
    @ $25-$40 a month, decent channels, good for sports fans, allows multiple device streaming (1-3 depending on package), and a special right now with 40% off for 3 months.

    PS Vue
    @ $45 a month, allows multiple device streaming (5), multiple profiles (10), unlimited DVR, great for a large family.

    Philo Live TV
    @ $16 a month, the cheapest plan, and some decent channels, allows multiple device streaming (3), unlimited DVR.
  16. MEJHarrison thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2009
    Thanks for the link!

    I misspoke. I have a 4th gen, just not the 4k.
  17. imaccooper macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2014
    North Carolina
    Based on what you referenced as things you like to watch, I would recommend you look at Philo. Cheapest of the live TV services and will have the channels you mentioned.

    Of course, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime will all give a great selection of on demand shows and you might find you will be happy with just one or more of those.

    You should be fine using your current Apple TV 4 with any of these services.
  18. MEJHarrison thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 2, 2009
    I guess I have the Apple TV HD now. :D
  19. MrRabuf macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2019
    I cut the cord almost 10 years ago, have subscribed to Netflix/Hulu for years and still like to have a DVR going (I use Plex and an HDHomeRun) for 3 reasons:
    1) I sometimes want to record shows that are only available for streaming on services I don't pay for, like CBS.
    2) We sometimes like to watch shows live and this allows us to pause it.
    3) We sometimes want to watch a show after it's aired and before it's available on Hulu/etc.

    That said, yes, streaming does largely eliminate the need for a DVR.
  20. archer75 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2005
    Cut the cord many years ago and we have everything we need. Plex, sonarr, TV antenna and tablo(tuner + DVR), and I have a comcast login from a family member. And I have netflix and amazon accounts. So I can watch anything I want.
  21. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    I have had Nvidia shield .2 Apple TV 4k .2 firetv box 2nd gen . 2 firetv 4k. 1 apple TV 4th gen .

    I got DirecTV satellite . I only pay $70 include taxes and 3 boxes and dvr .because I bundle .they only charge $50 for att fiber fastest 1000mpbs .

    I probably can drop 2 directv boxes and save myself another $14 since I barely use the other DirecTV boxes .

    I'm testing out the Amazon fire TV recast dvr. Allows u to stream all over the air TV channels in home and out of home as well .it has DVR capability . It's a game changer since there are no added fee. I get a whopping 70 over the air channels .

    the Amazon fire TV recast plus my fire TV. Fire TV recast requires fire TV device to stream on tv inside the hlmey but can use iOS or Android devices inside or outside the home .

    Fire TV recast plus philo $16 will probably be the our option soon .I have Netflix hbo showtime Starz hulu also . Overkill since I don't even use it. But my wife uses it .
  22. quatermass macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2009
    There is another option... completely free, watch what you want, when you want, no sign up, no fee, no contract, no ads... just depends on how 'piratical' you want to go! :)
  23. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I cut the cable a while back using this method. I used to have an Xfinity cable/internet package that, by the time you'd paid for the DVR service, HD, the gateway and two set-top boxes - without any premium channels - was $180/month. I took all that kit back to Xfinity and set myself up with a month-to-month internet only service from them (70mbps), subscribed to Direct TV Now and pay - all in - $80/month. I already had my own modem and an ATV4, so I had only to buy a second ATV4 (got a refurb), which paid for itself in about 5 weeks.

    I have issues with Direct TV Now, which are the same as others in here which are well documented, but it fits best for us so we tolerate the DVR limitations and the insulting error messages that blame your internet for its own failings. $100/month is a $100/month, after all!
  24. mtnbikerva1, Apr 21, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019

    mtnbikerva1 macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2007
    It is over the air tuners. Mine has 4
    If you plug in a hard drive it is a DVR.
    For full usage you need to rent or buy a TV guide subscription service from Tablo.
    In MY opinion and experience.... So over the air I think serves a lot of different types of people and at a reasonable cost.
    Not trying to start a fight, If you are a liberal, there is tons of primarily present day programming for you.
    If you believe in the U.S. CONSTITUTION, family friendly there is a lot of, of course usually older tv shows and movies to watch and record.
    So the cost is the one time purchase price of the hardware and if you decide to pay monthly or up to lifetime for the tv guide and DVR capability.
    Please all have a good day, and get out and bicycle, hike swim, lift weights, fish, hunt, race or something vs being a media addict.
    Almost forgot you may need to make or buy a antenna depending on where you live.
  25. RLT macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2018
    I've had YouTubeTV for almost a year now and love it (even though they just increased the price from $40 to $50 because of 8 new channels that I will never watch). Love the unlimited cloud dvr. Also have Netflix and CBS All Access (got it because CBS does not allow you to skip commercials on dvr'd shows, but it also has a lot of great shows like Perry Mason). Have Amazon Prime Video, too, but never watch it. Highly recommend YTTV! My only concern is that the way the streaming services keep adding channels and increasing the prices, they will end up with hundreds of channels and same prices as cable and satellite.

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38 March 22, 2019