Cutting the Cable Guide

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Huntn, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. Huntn, Oct 27, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #1
    Cutting the Cable Guide,
    but preserving content.
    A work in progress.​
    Updates:
    *1Sept 2016- Info originally posted in this thread, but it's buried in that thread. I've organize the info included in that thread and made updates such as info about the Sling TV Blue vs Orange package and how to stream ABC on demand.
    *27Oct- Added info on AppleTV vs Roku and information on how to stream ABC Network content. Updated info to reflect that the SlingTV Blue option does not include all of the Orange Option. The Orange option has football content not found on the Blue option. Added Sections: Apple TV vs Roku, about TVs in Your Bedrooms, a section for Football coverage, an What's the Downside?
    *Jan 2017- cancelled my Sling TV subscription, and reverted back to cable due to a lower cable price being offered and some issues getting U.S. Football. Also some network apps require that you have a cable company subscription before they will let you watch their content. $%*&@!!

    The Question: What is the Downside?
    * Recording Shows-
    You may be used to DVR/Tivo recording. I've not yet found a way to do this. My impression with this option you may be held hostage to how much On Demand content each network makes available.
    *On Demand- Seems to be reduced as compared to what can be found through your Cable provider. A good example is ABC shows. However this is offset by either the On Demand which can be found on individual streaming sources (FX on SlingTV includes On Demand for current season) or by using a network streaming app found on Apple TV. See Apple TV vs Roku an the info provided on how to stream ABC shows.
    Update- On demand, depending where you get it (without a cable company) can be just as limited either way. Sometimes you can find show that all ready been broadcast/seasons on the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other like Hulu.
    * You might have to watch commercials again- that is if you are used to recording your shows and the some network shows won't let you fast forward through their streaming content.
    * TVs in your bedrooms- maybe yes maybe no. Smart TVs have the ability to connect to your internet via wireless. Many now have Netflix, but they don't have Roku or Apple TV. One of those may have to be purchased for each bedroom TV and it's been reported that you can only use one such device at a time. There is a Roku Stick, but I'm not sure if that works completely independently of a regular Roku box or works in conjunction it.

    Apple TV or Roku or Both?

    You might need both.
    Apple TV has App support. TV streaming apps like ABC.com can be used to watch current season episodes, where on Roku you may see a cable provider required message, meaning if you don't have a cable account, the content won't be available for viewing on Roku.
    Roku has Amazon Video where Apple TV offers their own videos, no Anazon.

    Sites:
    * Cutcabletoday:
    http://www.cutcabletoday.com/
    * Feeln- https://www.feeln.com/supported-devices.
    * Netflix- All ready have.
    * Sling TV: https://www.sling.com 40+ for $25 per month. AMC, CNN, Hist, NBC, FX, SyFy, NatGeo, MSNBC. Roku and Apple TV. Note: Sling TV requires a 4th gen Apple TV.
    - Sling TV Options
    - Orange Package- $20
    - Blue Package- $25 (includes all of Orange)
    - MSNBC: World News Package: $5.
    - Turner Classic Movies: Hollywood Package: $5.

    Specific Channels:
    AMC
    - http://www.cutcabletoday.com/amc-live-stream/
    How to Watch AMC Online without Cable
    1. See which streaming services offer an AMC live stream — Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.
    2. Compare their offerings to see which streaming service is a better fit for you.
    3. Sign up for a free trial to test out the streaming service.
    4. Download the app on your streaming device (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox, iOS or Android phone/tablet, computer, etc.)
    5. Open the streaming app and watch AMC online.

    ABC- get the latest version of Apple TV (4th generation) with App support to find current season episodes for streaming. A case where AppleTV > Roku. ABC on Roku has zero On Demand, just live streaming. There appears to be a limit on ATV in that you can't view an episode until it is a week old.
    NBC- on Roku appears to have episodes for streaming, but have not yet tested then for availability.
    Hallmark- https://www.feeln.com/supported-devices.Apple TV, Roku.
    MSNBC- Sling TV: http://www.cutcabletoday.com/msnbc-live-stream/
    PBS- http://www.cutcabletoday.com/watch-pbs-online/ found on Roku.
    * Added 11Aug17- Grantchester Seasons 1&2 are available on Amazon Prime. Season 2&3, maybe 1 are available on Apple TV , the PBS App. I'm not sure if local cable service is required to access PBS content on this app.
    *12Aug17- I'm irritated at PBS because the third season of Grantchester ended in May, but the Local Station did not carry it. Now maybe I could have watched it for free back then on the PBS app, but now on Apple TV there is a message that I must subscribe to PBS passport, a one year subscriotion for $60. I give PBS money during their fund raising drives, but don't subscribe, and have them listed as my charity in Amazon Smile. So for now, I'm watching Season 2 on Amazon prime and will think about Season 3 later. Maybe eventually it will end up on Prine.
    TCM: http://www.tcm.com/watchtcm/. This site says it’s available on Sling TV? http://www.rokuguide.com/articles/sling-tv-adds-turner-classic-movies-ae-history-and-more

    What about TVs in Your Bedrooms?

    One of drawbacks of cutting the cable are those TVs in your and guest bedrooms. Our bedroom tv has wireless built-in Netflix but no Roku or Apple TV. I'm wondering if a Roku Streaming Stick would solve the issue?
    Anyone using multiple Roku devices in one house with a single Roku account? I'd like to hear about it. :)

    MC6800 (Sept 2016)- I've had no problem using the Netflix app on more than one device, except that it will only let you view on one device at a time. That's for a normal account-- don't know about others.

    American Football On SlingTV:
    The SlingTV Blue package includes Fox Sports. NBC (Blue Package) which should cover Sunday Night football, but is in the process of being released in major markets for streaming, and Houston does not yet have it (Dallas Ft Worth, L.A. and some other cities have it.) The NFL Network (Blue Package) is supposed to carry Thursday Night Football. But unfortunately for Monday Night Football, ESPN is required, and that requires another $15 for the combined Blue+Orange package. As the Super Bowl in 2017 is being covered by Fox, I'll cancel the Orange package in Jan after the playoffs.

    Sling TV Support
    Sept 2016- After using SlingTV for a week, I'll report it works great, but it's customer service leaves much to be desired, not that they don't help, but the inefficient means they offer customer support about your questions. After you locate the place to send them a help request, you'll discover there is no troubleshooting web portal customer service ticket system and there is no way to talk to them on the phone. Guess that saves money. :rolleyes:

    When you submit a question, you'll see a message that says "watch your in basket", no not any basket in their website, but your email in-basket. About 6-12 hrs later you'll get a response. The first one of these I got I was irritated because while they told me they were working diligently to answer my question, they did not bother to answer the question I had sent them, such as how to edit your MyTV list? The answer btw is to scroll the list to the far far far right and you'll see an edit button.

    PS, if you plan on paying up front 3 months for either a Roku or an Apple TV (discounted price), do that before you sign up for the one week trial. However, even during or after the trial, you can still take advantage of the offer, by emailing them and offering to pay for 3 months in advance, and they will make it happen.

    z06GAL (Oct2016)- Hi Huntn. I wanted to offer my experience with Sling support. If you have a Twitter account and follow @slinganswers, you can tweet them via direct message and they have been absolutely great for me. The first time I asked them to follow me back and direct message me which they did in about 15 minutes. I had an account question that they fixed for me. I have the Blue package plus TCM and my experience has been great. The UI could be better but I have had virtually no real streaming problems on the Atv4. I started with Sling when it was in beta and it was definitely raw but it has come a really long way since.

    How I did it Sept 2016:
    Update Sept 2016: Canceled Feel'n. The Hallmark shows my wife watches (like Frazier reruns) can be found on Netflix. Added the SlingTV Orange Option for the football season, will cancel that in February.

    Turned off cable, upped my internet to the top speed (no data limits $75), and subscribed to SlingTV. I already had a Roku and and an older AppleTV, but I had to upgrade the Apple TV to 4th generation, with App support (which I got through a discount via my Sling subscription $85).

    My June 2016 Suddenlink bill was $196.87.
    - That bill included- TV, Tivo, Internet, Home security.
    * Upped my internet from 50Mbps (250GB data per month) to 200Mbps, (unlimited data).
    * Kept monitored security system.

    New Price: $95.27
    That's a saving of approx $100 that will be offset by Sling TV 40+ channels per month for $25.00 an Feel'n (Hallmark Network) $36 for a year.

    I've also got TCM on SlingTV (I think), and PBS is free on Roku. As far as I can tell all the tv shows are available on demand. Just checked The Strain in FX (SlingTV) and the episode that aired last Sunday is there for viewing.

    Total projected savings per month: $67+ plus I'm really liking how SlingTV presents shows for watching, a SLEW of movies, which I had to dig for on Suddenlink, and my internet just got a big kick in the pants. :D

    Misc Info- My bedroom has a Roku- Internet Wifi capable Blue Ray player hooked to the TV. I'm set I think.
     
  2. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #2
    I miss recording my shows, specifically FF through commercials. :p Is there an option?
     
  3. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #3
    Yes for over-the-air recording, but your particular solution seems to avoid OTA.

    In fact I had a plugin that opened the recordings, ran through the file to detect where commercials were, and either marked them with chapter stops (so you could skip the commercials exactly with one skip button press) or simply edited them out into a new commercial-less file. Good stuff!
     
  4. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #4
    On your computer I assume?
     
  5. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #5
    yep
     
  6. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
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    The Misty Mountains
    #6
    Flash!

    After a +3 month streaming experiment, we have reverted back to cable, and apparently our cable provider (Suddenlink) is adapting to the competition- they now offer 200 channels for $30* which includes everything we want.

    *Actually more than $30 with the monthly Tivo/DVR charge.

    What motivated me to change back besides that?

    Well my spouse, who is heavily dependent on American football and despite having all of the Sling TV channels that were supposed to offer Football, Fox, ESPN, NBC Sports, frequently when trying to toon in we were faced with "no football today" messages. For why? I have no idea although it might have something to do with sell out vs no sellout.

    We also got DVR back.

    I've also noted on the streaming channels that the on-demand content is very limited as compared to what it was on cable. For example I have SyFy Network streaming on SlingTV, decided after reading the book, I wanted to go back and see the entire season of The Expanse on SyFy, however it's not available on the streaming channel. All of Season 1 is up for viewing on Cable.

    So there it is for now. I still want ala-carte pricing. But at $30 for 200 channels, (plus $15 for the DVR) it is getting pretty competitive.
     
  7. Huntn, Dec 23, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016

    Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #7
    Update: SyFy has quite a few shows available for viewing on demand, but not The Expanse Season 1. Just a list for leftover insider talk about the episodes. :(

    SYFY Now-App Apple TV, the place to catch up on episodes... except for The Expanse... no.

    Eureka, it's available on Amazon. It appears free to watch, not sure if this is part of Amazon Prime, but there are buy options, I'm guessing to own permanently.
     
  8. BeeGood, Dec 28, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016

    BeeGood macrumors 65816

    BeeGood

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    Lot 23E. Somewhere in Georgia.
    #8
    I'm sorry you guys decided to go back to cable. But that deal is way too good to pass up! It's great to see how competition is pushing prices down. :)

    I tried Slings $20 package in October after cancelling Uverse TV. The only reason I did that was for college football. The Sling app is terrible on all devices IMO, so I signed up for DirecTV Now this month. It's been great, and you get a free Apple TV if you prepay for 3 months. My current setup is:

    Charter Cable 60Mbps down: $39.99/mo
    Netflix streaming: $9.99/mo
    DirecTV Now 100 channels: $35/mo

    So, for $84.98/mo we're getting everything we cared about that we were getting from a cable/internet bundle that costs anywhere between $150 and $200. Never going back!
     
  9. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

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    Location:
    near Boston, MA
    #9
    I unplugged the cable but didn't cut the chord as it would cost me more if I did:
    1. Netflix ($10/month)
    2. Amazon Prime ($99/year)
    3. CW App and others (no need to record) on ATV (Free with purchase of ATV)
    4. HBO app (free with cable package $66/month)
    5. Other means
     
  10. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
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    #10
    Intermittent football was the deal breaker on SlingTV, everything else seemed to work well.

    Another issue I've not focused on is that in the Houston area, internet via Suddenlink is the worst internet we've had to rely on of the places we've lived. It's not going out every day, but it goes out on a semi-regular basis, and when you rely on internet for everything it's all or nothing. At least with cable, when the net goes out, you still have cable, usually. ;)
    --- Post Merged, Dec 28, 2016 ---
    There is not a separate fee for HBO or are you referencing a promo?
     
  11. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

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    #11
    Comcast just throws in HBO even though my plan is basic TV and performance speed internet.
     
  12. BeeGood macrumors 65816

    BeeGood

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    Lot 23E. Somewhere in Georgia.
    #12
    Was the problem with local NFL games? I'm guessing those were TV blackouts, but I would have though that would affect cable and streaming services the same.

    I watch mainly college football, which usually does get blacked out.
     
  13. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #13
    Not local (as I recall) and in those cases, no explanation was given as to why the game was not available for viewing.
     
  14. D.T., Feb 22, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017

    D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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    #14
    I was having a conversation with someone (on FB) just recently and talking about how we CTC over two years ago, chatted about different services, etc., and as part of that my setup for OTA came up. He was good with the idea of an antenna but not so hip on dealing with multiple cable runs and TVs.

    I recalled you had this thread, so figured I'd drop this in :)

    I'm using a HomeRunHD box to distribute OTA signals through my home network. This is a simple little box (the prices spiked for a few weeks, but you should be able to find one for ~$100), that has 2-tuners, a coax in (from the antenna), power, and an ethernet port.

    Once you've got everything connected, there are several apps for accessing the signal in the network, available on iOS devices, Windows/MacOS, and AppleTVs (plus several others). It's usually "auto discover", so very little configuration is needed. There are free guides in some of the apps, Plex plugins, DVR apps/services, it just works pretty fantastic, and costs 1x HomerunHD Connect, 1x an antenna(using an attic mounted, powered setup, was under $35 for the antenna and mounting bracket) - then the apps, that are from free to about $20.
     
  15. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #15
    Are you talking accessing local channels with this setup? One of the problems I have is that I'm so far from downtown and tv transmissions, I might need an attenna above the roof line which I'm not keen on.
     
  16. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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    #16
    Oh yeah, if it wasn't clear, that's for Over-the-Air (OTA, ABC, NBC, Fox, etc.) local broadcast via an antenna, so yes, you have to be able to receive the signals, and that could range from a simple Moho/Amazon "leaf" to a full tilt, roof mounted antenna from the 70s :D

    Honestly, we don't watch much network TV, but when the occasion does come up, this is a neat solution.
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #17
    I'm seriously thinking about cutting the cable. I'm paying about 150 dollars for DirectTV (1 DVR + 2 other TVs) and while the DVR is a great feature and the loss of that might be a show stopper, I'm still looking to see what's out there.

    One of my goals is to embrace a simple solution, because if I set up something that some shows are only seen on an Apple TV, and others on Chromecast, and yet still others on a playstation, its going to fail. While The AppleTV offers a nice mixture of services, I'm liking the liking the combination of netflix and Sony's PS Vue on the playstation. Since I already have netflix and I'm paying for that, I'll not count that in the equation of saving money (this may sound twisted but its how I think). 99% of the channels we watch are on the most basic tier of PS Vue and so that will only cost me 30 dollars (plus taxes), where as I'm paying 150 dollars and only watch a handful of channels.
    Capto_Capture 2017-05-30_06-17-13_AM.png

    Sony Vue can stream to up to 5 devices, it offers a "DVR in the Cloud" which to me is just marketing mumbo jumbo and its just a plain old streaming service. there are other tiers but I like the channel mixture of the Access Slim

    Alternatives:
    AppleTv - I'm currently investigating this and seeing what's available.
    DirectTV streaming - seems kind of odd to cancel DirectTV just to watch it, but this may make sense, but I need the ability to stream it to a TV, not sure if there's a PS4/PS3 app, or I'll need an AppleTV
    SlingTV - I seen commercials for this and this seems mostly an ala carte set up.
    Finally I may spend some money and get a hi-def antenna to receive the network stages (ABC/CBS/NBC) - not sure how that will work, but living in the Boston area this may work if I find my football games are not being broadcast on the streaming service of my choice.

    I just started kicking around this idea but I've been slowly coming to a realization that my family only watches about 5 to 10 channels on DirectTV. I know I can change to a lower tier and that might save me 10 to 20 bucks but still the fact remains I'm paying for a service that I barely use, where as other services appear to fit our viewing needs better for a lot less.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #18
    I've been doing some digging and I was wrong, the cloud DVR is just that a DVR that you record your shows too. Hulu and PS Vue offer this, DirectTV does not, though rumors are that it may come next year.

    I've been going over the channel line ups and comparing them, so far, it seems that DirectTVNow offers the most in its various packages with the JustRight package looking to be in the sweetspot.

    This link here has a comparison of DirectTVNow channels that I found useful.

    I'm still fairly impressed with the PS Vue even if it offers less channels then DirectTVNow. I think I lose out on about 3 channels, I'm not sure of those missing channels are show stoppers - Spike and the Nick channels. I'm not sure if my kids watch a lot of nick tv anymore. While Vue has some missing channels, it has the cloud DVR DirectTV does not, it allows 5 simultaneous devices to watch, where as DirectTV limits you to 2.

    I crossed off Hulu from my list, while it has a cloud based DVR the channels being offered don't align with our watching habits.

    SlingTV is the next one on my list to research
     
  19. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #19
    Vue was fantastic, but we left when they lost the Viacom channels (Comedy Central, Spike, Nickelodeon, etc.). I'd go back if they ever manage to make another deal with Viacom.

    Now we have DirecTV Now, which is pretty good in spite of its earlier growing pains. It's $35/mo at the grandfathered rate + free HBO for a year. Add $9/mo Showtime via Amazon Prime, and it's a great alternative to traditional cable.
     
  20. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    Austin, TX
    #20
    Finally cancelled cable. Went with PSVue, HBONow, and Hulu. Cut my bill by like 40%.
     
  21. maflynn, May 31, 2017
    Last edited: May 31, 2017

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #21
    I'm leaning heavily towards PS Vue, though the lack of Nickelodeon may be a big stumbling block. I'm thinking of picking up a Apple TV because the wireless will be faster on that then my PS4 and besides it will give me a chance to try out other streaming services.

    What PS Vue has going for it, is not only the channel selection at a nice price but the cloud based DVR - Something that DirectTVNow does not have. Basically the 35 dollar package from PS Vue offers me the same if not more then DirecTVNow's 50 dollar package (With the exception of a Nickelodeon)

    I just saw there's a Nick app, so that's the final piece of the puzzle, at least for my pre-work.

    Next steps, is to get an AppleTV, test it out, ensure everything is what I expect it to be and then cancel DirectTV before my next billing cycle.
     
  22. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #22
    I think you'll like Vue. Not sure how much free content the Nickelodeon app has without being signed into a cable/satellite provider, but if you can find a workaround for Viacom channels, Vue is far and away the best choice right now.

    The great thing about all these streaming services is now it's so easy to switch back and forth at will. No more contract nonsense.
     
  23. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #23
    I think I said a while back that I had reverted to cable due to issues with U.S. Football coverage which was hit and miss regardless of what Sling TV says. :rolleyes: Of note, this was my wife's issue not mine. I'm no longer following football like I did in my youth.

    Anyway, the reason I'm posting, one thing I've found really irritating is that some of the network apps, like ABC, NBC, they either make you wait for a couple of weeks before you can watch a show or worse, they want you to sign in with your cable company log-in before they will let you watch it at all! :(
     
  24. maflynn, Jun 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #24
    I'm going to be starting my free trial of PS VUE this weekend, and I'll see how the local stations work. I also have in my Amazon shopping cart a hi-def antenna so I can possibly get those channels over the air. Tbh, I'm not sure if this will work to well, but its my fall back plan. I'm more into collage football, and I think that gives me some opportunities since I'm not married to the network stations.

    Edit: CBS and NBC are streaming live, but ABC and FOX are on demand.
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #25
    I've been on PS Vue now for a few days and I've been running it through my PS 4. I connect via wireless but the PS 4 does not use the latest wireless tech but even so connection speed has been good. I'll be looking to pick up an Apple TV soon, hopefully today.

    A couple of bumps in the road but nothing unexpected, first while I get the Science channel, mythbusters is not streaming, it seems that its getting blocked. Googling it, my issue is not a technical one but for some reason, the owners of Mythbusters is preventing it. With the apple tv, it may work via their app we'll see. Given that the show is in reruns, is odd to see it blocked, but on the flip side since it is in reruns, I'm not missing anything,

    Other issue, the DVR is less robust as the one I have with DirectTV. Not a show stopper but something I need to adjust too.

    Adjusting to a guide/channel lineup that doesn't use channel numbers is an adjustment in of is own

    Overall, I'm ready to pull the plug on DirectTV, though I know they'll offer to take 20 bucks off my bill AND give me the NFL package for free. That's what they did the lat time I threatened to cancel, but this time we're talking about 35 dollars a month vs. 150. Even if I opt for a second streaming service to fill out the channel lineup, the savings is too significant to pass up.
     

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