Cord-cutting, Netflix, Hulu, etc.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Wingsley, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Wingsley macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2014
    My family is into cord-cutting in a big way. I have never thoroughly investigated this, so I'm in the dark about it. They already shut off cable TV, tried DirecTV (satellite) and shut that off, too. Their previous-generation AppleTV has interesting free content, but you have to navigate and experiment to find it. (pre-voice control). They also have a BluRay player with streaming service ability.

    I was thinking about streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu. I do not know any of the others.

    I know they would like to see a variety of movies, some very old, some new. Everything from old Westerns to documentaries. I would also like to see a lot of TV shows, from today clear back to 50 years ago. I'd like to review Carl Sagan's Cosmos series from 1980, as well as Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos (never saw the later). There are other shows that I'm wondering about, to see if they are available on any of these services:

    Jaques Cousteau used to do deep-sea nature documentaries
    60 Minutes and Frontline (can you watch any episode of these, from the last 40 years?)
    Austin City Limits reruns
    Midnight Special (late-nite TV variety show, lots of concerts, from the 1970s)
    All Star Wars movies & spin-offs
    All Carol Burnett Shows
    All Emergency! shows & movies
    All of the Battlestar Galactica shows
    All Star Trek shows & movies
    All the Stargate shows + Movie
    Auto Racing reruns (especially Word of Outlaws and NASCAR)
    Personality / Historical Documentaries and Biographies
    VH-1 Behind the Music / MTV Rockumentaries

    Also: what kind of pricing plans should my family expect? What is the best way to become an "educated

  2. Starfia macrumors 6502a


    Apr 11, 2011
    I've seen both Cosmos series on Netflix and elsewhere (possibly Hulu? Though those are two of the few series I've had to own so I haven't paid overt attention to that).

    The Star Trek series are pretty ubiquitous – Netflix, Hulu and Amazon at least have had most of them a lot of the time – and sometimes some of the movies. NASA TV has an Apple TV app (at least for the current generation Apple TV) – I don't think they're on any commercial streaming services. The main Star Wars movies are found almost nowhere; they seem to be doing well on sales alone for the greater part (but Rogue One showed up and stayed without much of a delay).

    Beyond those: if "some new and some old TV shows" is good enough for you, each service has at least quite a lot to offer and it's almost an arbitrary choice of pros and cons – all content holders get to pick their deals and they all choose different ones; the really super-popular new shows are sometimes in demand for exclusive deals. If you have any other must-haves, some sites exist just to catalogue the content of each service.
  3. bdj33ranch macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2005
    My first suggestion is to see what channels are available to you via antenna. This site, and your zip code, will give you a good idea. Results will vary by location.

    I use an inexpensive ($30) outdoor antenna strapped to my old satellite antenna pole and get 40+ free channels. Includes all the national networks, PBS, The CW, Ion, etc. Several are “oldies” including movies, westerns and sci-fi. What really ties all this together is an Over the Air (OTA) DVR that has an internet connection. There are several manufactures.

    I have a TiVo Roamio OTA and it works just like a cable or satellite box and displays a current schedule. It also allows me to record, setup recording schedules for favorites and skip thru commercials. It can also search the internet and record shows. But that might require subscriptions at extra cost.

    Other than the antenna, and one time cost of my TiVo, I haven't paid for TV for about 2 years now. Cut the cord!
  4. Wingsley thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2014
    Terrestrial TV reception is not the best here; we're 65 miles from the nearest stations and in the hills, and when we had a roof-mounted arial in the mid-70s it didn't work very well. Part of what precipitated this discussion was that (1: I saw on the internet that some people are just discovering streaming services, like us; and (2: the family bought a pack of those indoor wall-mounted terrestrial antennas via mail order. I remain deeply skeptical about them.

    I will be checking these other sites out.

    Thanks for the feedback thus far.
  5. tobefirst macrumors 68040


    Jan 24, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    The indoor, paper-thin antennas – even the good ones – didn't work for me, and I'm about 30 miles (as the crow flies) from the broadcast towers. I had to mount an antenna in my attic in order to get the channels the internet was telling me I was supposed to get.
  6. bdj33ranch macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2005
    65 miles in hilly country might be a bit a challenging. But one thing about the new TV digital transmissions is you “usually” either have a usable signal - or you don’t.

    The paper thin wall mounted antennas would likely be poor choice at that distance. I tried a couple of different ones. One amplified version worked reasonably well. But My outdoor antenna definitely made a positive difference - even without amplification. Higher the better.

    I’m about 25mi from the transmission tower mountain in my location. I don’t have a completely unobstructed shot to them.
  7. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I'm trying to get off of cable and really want to pick and choose. One problem I've found is that while I'm fine with binge watching one series at a time, often all seasons are not available or are found with different seasons on different services, with some streaming and some for sale. It's a mess. I use (or iPhone app) to find where shows are available, streaming, rental, or sale, and where.

    Since I already have Amazon Prime, those are "free", and we purchase add-on services a month at a time (and binge watch them). Also have Netflix. Haven't yet looked elsewhere (like Hulu), and won't watch anything subjected to commercials. For that reason our "local channels" cable service plus DVR rental is a crazy $45/month and I really should abandon it.
  8. canuckRus macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2014
    Kodi for endless free TV & movies, no advert. YouTube for setup OR purchase a Droidbox.
  9. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Kodi is good too, but beware of them halting services anytime due to copyright infringements to alleged provider(s)

    But its probably the best/only way for everything.. SInce all other streaming services are limited in some way..

    You won't find all TV episodes from Episode 1 to the latest.

    Looks like kodi is the best option, but even these have hiccups as well,picture quality/audio issues etc..

    I would just install popcorn time and use that.

    There is no one 'steaming' service that would do everything you want..
  10. CrystalQuest76 Suspended

    Dec 14, 2015
    West Cost A Lot
    Since both Neflix and Hulu are pay month-to-month services just pick one and try it out for a month. Then pick the other service the following month. After you and the family have tried each, then make your own informed opinion. Different individuals (and families) have different viewing preferences. Only you can make the decision for yourself.
  11. TalkAboutApple macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2008
  12. Mac'nCheese Suspended


    Feb 9, 2010
    For everyone who cut the cord, just wondering who you went with for internet service.
  13. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    My local city has its own cable service. I use that for high speed internet. Cut the cord over 10 years ago. Have not missed the commercials one bit, although I seem to be out of the occasional office banter about a new funny commercial.

    I could not imagine having to watch a show at a certain time of the day, who has time for that?

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12 February 12, 2018