Live Streaming.......is it really better than cable?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Ryand123, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. Ryand123 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    #1
    I currently still have cable through Cox. I also just subscribed to Youtube TV with my new Apple TV.

    Quality wise........it's pretty close. Live streaming has improved in leaps and bounds.

    But it's $40 pre month. If you can work out a good Internet and TV deal with your cable company, that's really not a big savings. The only way cord cutting really helps the wallet is if you're willing to give up live TV altogether and just go with Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, etc.

    And you get fewer channels with these "skinny bundles".

    And...............this might be the biggest one............live TV is about commercials. Commercials are about channel surfing. (Does anyone actually sit through commercials?). I'm beginning to appreciate the wisdom of assigning numbers to channels. Navigating through channels without them just isn't as fast or as fun as hitting a memorized channel number and there it is.

    Live streaming............95% there: but it forgets that channel surfing is and always has been live TV's most important quality. And it loses in that category.

    I still might not get cable TV when I move to my new place, but it's going to depend on what kind of deal the evil Comcast will offer me.
     
  2. ThunderSkunk macrumors 68030

    ThunderSkunk

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Milwaukee Area
    #2
    Cable TV is an industry that needs to die. These companies need to lose their subscriber base for boards to replace their management, or their old senile business leadership will never improve and they’ll continue to try to be the gatekeepers of everything Americans see and hear. They are utter crap, and if their service was $1 a month, it would be a dollar better lit aflame and set upon the wind.

    Outdated business model built on outdated technology for an outdated market full of outdated people. Screw em.
     
  3. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #3
    Cable may be outdated, but at least you never get buffering. Instead you have their own problems of cable cuts or drop-outs to compensate.

    Streaming is the "future" anyway. and much more convenient (when it works).

    With cable its more straight forward,, you only really have your cable provider to blame..
    With streaming, it could be anything along the line..
     
  4. Phil in ocala Suspended

    Phil in ocala

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    #4
    Wifi dropouts are common and there is no one to call.....I have Direct TV Sat...it is reliable....streaming is NOT reliable....not yet...
     
  5. Joe h macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2017
    #5
    Time delay is a major factor, especially with live sports. 30 seconds and it is no longer acceptable, and most of these services are in the minute and a half to two minutes range.
     
  6. nburwell macrumors 601

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    DE
    #6
    The one perk with live TV streaming is you’re not signing a long term contract, so you can switch providers at any time. Or simply cancel live streaming altogether and stick with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.
     
  7. DevNull0 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    #7
    To each their own, I guess. I still have cable and I'll start a live baseball game one hour late on a delay so I can fast forward commercials throughout the game. I just have to make sure to avoid seeing the live scores from another source.
     
  8. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    Or even better, not have commercials at all. With one exception being MLB.tv, I refuse to pay for ad-supported content. HBO, Netflix, Hulu Ad-Free, Amazon Prime, etc. All of those are fine. Free OTA antenna tv is awesome too. YouTubeTV, Sling, Vue, or regular cable. F that nonsense.
     
  9. Superrjamz54 macrumors 6502

    Superrjamz54

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2015
    #9
    Had DirectTv it worked well when the weather is fine, but not when the weather is bad or after a snowfall.
     
  10. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #10
    I don’t know if every cable company does this, but Comcast Xfinity compresses the quality so much that there’s a noticeable increase in picture quality when I watch any channel from Apple TV streaming apps (using 4K ATV) vs. poorer quality cable with the latest Comcast Xfinity 4K UHD/HDR box (model XG1v4). This is true of every channel.

    Google “Xfinity Compression” or “Xfinity Quality” and you’ll see hundreds of posts complaining the quality is poor, which is especially noticeable with larger 4K TVs.
     
  11. ginhb macrumors member

    ginhb

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2018
    #11
    What currently IS the best source for 4K content? I'm still on cable, but I'm a sports fan. All the college football channels, NFL Network, NFL Red zone etc. I wish those channels were available 'a la carte' somewhere. Instead the cable company makes me pay for certain packages to get those.

    The newest 4K TVs in the store almost make me drool they look so good, but where is the content?
     
  12. thisismyusername, Oct 29, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018

    thisismyusername macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    #12
    Which is what most people do. It's a different way of watching TV. We usually don'"surf". We usually know what we want to watch ahead of time. I, like many people here, haven't had cable in many years. I think the last time I subscribed to cable was about 8 years ago. I have Netflix/Hulu/Prime, plus a I have an antenna for live TV and Plex setup as a DVR. What would you honestly be missing if you couldn't "channel surf" traditional cable? Garbage reality shows on cable channels nobody cares about?

    As for cost, you don't necessarily save that much these days. You'll probably wind up getting your internet through your cable company, which means a higher price if you don't bundle it with TV (unless you can get them to always give you introductory rates and whatnot). Add in Netflix, Hulu, and whatever else and you're probably close to or over what you'd pay for a basic TV + internet bundle. However, I still won't subscribe to cable. It's an outdated way of watching TV and I'll never go back to that even if it meant saving money.
     
  13. Coffee50 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2015
    #13
    I like live streaming tv. Ultimately, it's about options. The great thing is there's no contracts, so you can sign up, switch, leave, etc. whenever you want.

    Plus there's no equipment or taxes / fees. And obviously, many people share log ins & passwords, so for many cord cutters, it's about finding creative ways of getting the content they want without the traditional cable route.

    If it doesn't work out, you're not stuck in a contract.
     
  14. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #14
    What does "live TV" mean? I understand sports are live, some special events are live, and other stuff like the news is sometimes live. But most tv is scripted and prerecorded. So it's not really "live" just because you're watching it during an arbitrary predetermined airing time.

    For example, with HBO Now, you can stream an episode using the app as soon as that episode begins to air. So when Game of Thrones starts airing at 9:00pm, you can stream that same episode at 9:01pm. Isn't that pretty much the same thing as watching it "live" on the HBO cable channel?

    Also, watching stuff "live" is being a slave to some arbitrary schedule. Everyone loves DVR because it frees you from that. Streaming is even better because you don't have to schedule anything, and most of the time doesn't have commercials.
     
  15. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816

    AllergyDoc

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Location:
    Utah, USA
    #15
    I’ve definitely noticed this. We have a 4K Bravia and summer me channels look like crap.
     
  16. Ryand123 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    #16
    Okay, so you might have made my decision for me. I currently have Cox but I'm moving to an area with Comcast. I'd say Cox picture and audio quality might be SLIGHTLY better than Youtube TV with the Apple TV 4K. But I read Comcast now downgrades all channels to 720p even if they are natively 1080i and compression the F out of them. That's just not caring about quality. Youtube TV does not show channels in 1080 that broadcast in 1080. And while I noticed some buffering with the Roku Ultra, I've had no buffering whatsoever with the Apple TV. Quality wise, it does seem streaming is finally ready for prime time.

    So I think I'm just going to try for a good Internet only deal.
     
  17. BuffaloTF macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #17
    DirecTV has 3 or 4 4K HDR channels. 1 PPV, 1 live events, 1 showcase and maybe 1 other.
     
  18. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #18
    For what it's worth, this is only true of the X1 hardware via coax-delivered cable TV. When I use my Apple TV to stream from A&E, CNN, ESPN, Fox News Channel, HBO GO, NBC News, Showtime Anytime, TNT, or any other tvOS app where I login to my Comcast Xfinity account it looks absolutely fantastic.
     
  19. shakopeemn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2014
    #19
    Agreed. All of their channels in Minnesota (exception of broadcast and Comcast NBCSports) are sent in 720p and in addition quite a few of the channels have such harsh compression, it's hard to watch. My gut is that's Comcast's long term strategy - deliver cable via streaming only, and stop wasting bandwidth for unwatched channels.

    I think the streaming quality is there today, the interfaces, not so much.
     
  20. jzuena macrumors 6502a

    jzuena

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, MA, USA
    #20
    At first it seems like you aren't saving much with over the top TV (Sling, Vue, etc) when you look at the TV portion of your bill, but then you realize you no longer have to rent the set top boxes. If you have a couple of TVs or more (especially if you get the more expensive DVR set top boxes), that adds up. Then there is the surcharge for sports channels, which is just a way to hide a price increase on the TV portion of the bill. What pushed us over was when they started with a surcharge for over the air channels. Paying extra for channels that we get just fine with an antenna. We bought a Tablo OTA DVR and subscribe to Sling blue. $25/month for more TV channels than we even need. We tried Philo for $16/month but their channel guide is horrible, so we went back to Sling and they gave us a Roku Express for prepaying 2 months.
     
  21. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #21
    To all who are complaining about WiFi reliability, definitely try connecting your Apple TV via Ethernet. I have very reliable WiFi on the 5G setting at home but even that failed last Thursday evening for 5 minutes or so AND it was the last 5 minutes of the film!!!!!!!!
    For watching film etc Ethernet really is the way to go.
     
  22. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #22
    Sat, has it's own problems too by interference from bad weather. Cable, less so. I guess the solution which seem better, are made for, by other problems.
     
  23. LCC0256 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Location:
    Martinez, GA. USA
    #23
    Ryland being an old man with no social life I have a lot of time to read. As such I offer you these ideas.

    I have found that going in person to the local internet provider and negotiating a deal for internet only was the best route for me. WOW moved into my area and they have been fantastic. I get 100 Mbs sec down for 40 dollars a month. (they actually have a better deal than that going on now for new customers - am about to go back and negotiate for that).

    2nd I use my Apple TV 4k to access my Netflix & and Hulu subscriptions (without commercials) - both of those plus the internet cost me 65 dollars a month. During September through January when football season is on I opt for the Hulu live option which gets more channels and AN EXCELLENT selection of college football.. (another 30 bucks a month for those months)

    Lastly IF POSSIBLE wire your home with ethernet cable. I was fortunate enough to be able to access my crawl space and run the cabling myself. I have not had ONE SINGLE problem with my internet since doing so several years ago. I have an Arris modem and AirPort Extreme router. My wired devices all test over 100 every single time I check. Wireless devices at or very near 100 every single time - and I test them regularly.

    I have 4 OTA TV Stations in my area and I invested in a very good antenna and ran the cabling under my home along with my Cat 6 cabling Whenever football is on broadcast TV I watch it due to superior picture. I have not watched a network show in years. Tired of the ******** political propaganda the writers try to cram down the throats of the unsuspecting public....Hope you find this helpful.
     

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22 October 27, 2018