Trying to get into "cutting the cord" but....

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by donawalt, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. donawalt macrumors regular


    Sep 10, 2015
    Hi everyone, I am an Apple TV 4K owner. I have subscribed to a few different subscriptions like CBS, ESPN+, etc. etc., building my collection of things I like to watch. I can see doing more of this and cutting the cord as many have. But my problem is this - there is no way to get an aggregated look at what is available!

    I currently have to bring up each app of a subscription I have, and look to see what is live. This is especially challenging with sports, as often there can be 5-10 games available, sometimes depending on their interface live and on demand games are all together. I also have other apps that I might subscribe to if I like enough of their content. But I have to go into every one of these apps to see what is available now, when I am sitting in front of the TV. I know Siri can do things like "Show me John Wayne movies...", but that's not how I work most of the time - I want to see what's available!

    Are there any aggregation solutions in this world, or do you think they are coming? Does this issue slow you down from really getting into apps and subscriptions to content behind paywalls? Sooner or later I go back to my cable that has a nice program guide and I can scroll through very quickly and see what's live.

    Thanks for your thoughts?
  2. JBaby, Jan 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019

    JBaby macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2015
    Sounds like you’re trying to replicate cable and that’s not how cord cutting works. If you want live tv then get PS Vue/Directv Now/Hulu Live/YouTube TV etc. They all have their pro/cons. For me those skinny packages are too expensive. I don’t like live tv or sportsball so cord cutting works for me. My services are No Commercial Hulu, No Commercial CBS All Access (paid yearly), Netflix (2 streams), and YouTube Premium (I hate ads). I also have AmazonPrime and PBS. I don’t count the latter two as part of my cord cutting because I have Prime for the shipping and I already donated to my local PBS so Passport was my thank you gift. Once a year I subscribe to STARZ to watch the past season of Outlander and any new shows they may have added.

    As for aggregation, I can’t recommend WatchAid enough. It’s what the TV app should’ve been. It’s only for tv shows though. But it works with over 100 services even some that don’t even have tvOS apps, like Cinemax. Plus, it’s a powered app. is a must for a cord cutter. You can’t rely of the streaming services to remember your place in a series. The reason I love WatchAid so much is that it allows me to watch without having to interact with the individual apps. In fact I have all the apps in a folder. I never have to mess with Hulu’s clunky/inefficient UI. The only app I interact with is WatchAid. Well not quite I, unfortunately, have to interact with YouTube. However, WatchAid can/does handle YouTube Premium’s TV shows. It just doesn’t handle random videos from individual people. I hope this helps!
  3. JBaby macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2015
    I forgot to mention has a “New Show” calender that has all the new show premieres. That’s how I find out about new shows since I don’t see commercials anymore. The calendar can be customized to show only the networks you care about. Otherwise, the calendar is global. I highly recommend going VIP if you like Trakt. It’s worth it!
  4. Jwhite1 macrumors member


    May 12, 2015
    Akron, Ohio
    Have you tried YouTube Tv (or any of the other streaming services)? I pay $40/month and it has a nice guide, recommended shows and on demand content. Also has unlimited cloud dvr and multiple acccounts (like Netflix) and concurrent streams (for families etc). I’m also a huge sports fan and it covers all the bases outside of nfl network (has mlb tv, nba tv, regional sports channels, golf channel, espn, fs1 etc). I’ve tried all the streaming services and kept YouTube tv. I’ve had it for about a year and it seems it would cover most of what you’re looking for. I do, however, have a few other subscriptions as a cord-cutter like Netflix. I was able to consolidate ost of what I watch just combining those two. I’ve also been fine living without the few channels that the service is missing (History Channel, etc) and don’t even notice it at this point. All in all, this covers my needs the best..hope this helps.

    P.S.. for the oddball channels I’m missing..if there’s something I really want to watch and don’t have it in my lineup, I usually ask a family member for their cable credentials just to sign into the app on Apple TV (Thursday night football games on watch nfl app in my case). I pay the monthly Netflix cost so it’s not a big deal to them haha ;)
  5. JBaby, Jan 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019

    JBaby macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2015
    I do the same. My sister’s apartment complex forces its residents to have cable so she lets me use her credentials. That’s how I watch HBO and Showtime. But if I can no longer do that then I’ll subscribe once a year just like I do STARZ.
  6. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    A combo of YouTubeTV and Netflix meets all my needs/wants for a total of $57 a month. No complaints with either.
  7. Shanghaichica macrumors G3


    Apr 8, 2013
    The only reason why we haven’t cut the chord is because doing so would only save us £4 a month. Our cable provider also supplies our internet and telephone line. Removing the cable subscription doesn’t really save any money, however we don’t watch cable. All our viewing is done exclusively through our Apple TVs.
  8. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    I created a thread a while back with advice for people trying to reduce their cable/isp bills, which includes a lot of cord cutting options. It needs to be updated, but it is still relevant if you want to check it out.

    It sounds like you are trying to get into the wrong type of cord-cutting. If you enjoy the traditional channel surfing or grid/guide surfing, you should subscribe to one of the alternative TV subscriptions like DirecTV Now.

    They look very similar to traditional cable, but comes from the internet instead of a cable.

    If you are used to the cable companies' STB UI, then many of their alternate TV services will be familiar. My tech-challenged Babyboomer parents are not using DirecTV Now on the ATV4k, which was a little bit of a learning curve for them, but they can use it now without a problem for the most part.

    Occasionally, my father somehow deletes the app by accident, so I have to try to help them via the phone to troubleshoot. But, overall, they caught on quick.

    I am not sure if this would help you, but if you are subscribed to Netflix, you can ask for a genre, theme, actor, etc. and just add "on Netflix". Example: "Show me John Wayne movies on Netflix".

    The only thing I can think of other than the alternative TV services like DirecTV Now is maybe the TVApp. I don't use it, and find it annoying that it doesn't have profiles for different users, but I think you can see what is available to watch on some* apps. There are some apps that do not participate in the TVApp.

    I am not sure what you mean by this question.

    I will say that more and more people are watching their content from multiple apps, and not an app with an aggregate of content. This is especially true for younger people, since most view the traditional cable tv guild and channel surfing as a outdated way of getting content.
  9. JBaby macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2015
    Just another reason why the TV app is terrible. WatchAid has profiles.
  10. mallbritton macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2006
    In addition to the excellent Watchaid, the TV app has a live sports aggregation section that might suit your needs. You can also specify your favorite teams and when they play you'll get an alert through the TV app, and it will show up in the Watch Now section of the main TV app screen.
  11. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

    Nov 30, 2016
    I cut the cord.
    I use a streaming service and there are some decent prices for a few of the services out there.
    My streaming svc has LIVE TV which is good for catching your favorite shows when they air or even sports games.

    However 98% of my TV is done through streaming. All this can be done well under $100 a month.
    About 30 for iNet and another 40 for live streaming. Not bad in my eyes and yea you can go a bit cheaper.
  12. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    Like others have said WatchAid is the best app to aggregate all the standalone apps

    I use it for:

    Hulu with no commercials
    Hulu Originals
    Netflix Originals
    Amazon Prime Originals
    HBO Go
    CBS All Access with no commercials
    PLEX - this is great for TV Shows

    Others but not lately.
  13. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

    Nov 30, 2016
    Never heard of Watch Aid, I will have to check it out to see how it works.
  14. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    like a TV guide.?? Blame other companies for not using TV app.. That's what's it there for. The isue, is not every company/app, deices to support it.

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