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Old 06-27-2017, 01:46 PM   #41
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I may be misreading your point, but PS Vue includes cloud DVR (for 28 days) and Sling TV is rolling out their cloud DVR (not sure, but I think it's 50 hours of stored programming as long as you want). Other streaming services are rolling out cloud DVR services too.

Skipping commercials is harder than Dish, but still possible, and likely to improve.

And with more and more on-demand content available every day, a DVR is becoming redundant anyway. YMMV
I wouldn't count on streaming services making it easy to skip commercials.

If they haven't started with it, they're likely to insert their own commercials.

One thing to be aware of about the streaming services. Video quality could be variable depending on your bandwidth and audio is almost always stereo only, not 5.1.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:55 PM   #42
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We use an Amazon Fire Stick , and the delay in response time is beyond anything I've ever experienced.....
I had the same bad experience with an AmazonFire box on DirecTV Now. Switched it out with an Apple TV and it's even better than the cable box was. Never buffers, audio is always in synch, channel changes are quick, boot-up is fast. I also run Plex on it so access to my Plex server and NAS is just a couple of swipes away.

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I also was an early adopter of this service. Initially, it was terrible. Lagging, time outs, it was a terrible service. However, they seem to have worked out the bugs and now have several channels that have 72 hour "rewind", so it's even better value for the $$$.
Same here. The service literally sucked the first couple of months. I signed up in early December and almost let my three month prepay expire and call it even since they gave us an Apple TV.

But I stuck with it and now several months later the service has been impeccable. No buffering, the resolution is much better than other streaming services, and they are continually adding same log-in ability for other apps. Supposedly more local channels will soon be added as well.

Gotta say I'm very happy with the service.
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:01 PM   #43
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I wouldn't count on streaming services making it easy to skip commercials.

If they haven't started with it, they're likely to insert their own commercials.

One thing to be aware of about the streaming services. Video quality could be variable depending on your bandwidth and audio is almost always stereo only, not 5.1.
I subscribe to 3 streaming services:, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Curiosity Stream. None of them have commercials. And most of the programming is 1080p and 5.1 audio.

I run Kodi on a Fire TV box which enables free EPG (electronic program guide) and DVR functionality for broadcast TV, which of course allows me to fast-forward through commercials on recorded content. And again full 1080p and 5.1 audio.

The only case where I'm forced to watch commercials is on a few of the "cable apps" on Fire TV, such as Science Go. Even when streaming, they insert commercials with about the same frequency as if you were watching it live, with no ability to fast-forward through them.
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:06 PM   #44
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I subscribe to 3 streaming services:, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Curiosity Stream. None of them have commercials. And most of the programming is 1080p and 5.1 audio.

I run Kodi on a Fire TV box which enables free EPG (electronic program guide) and DVR functionality for broadcast TV, which of course allows me to fast-forward through commercials on recorded content. And again full 1080p and 5.1 audio.

The only case where I'm forced to watch commercials is on a few of the "cable apps" on Fire TV, such as Science Go. Even when streaming, they insert commercials with about the same frequency as if you were watching it live, with no ability to fast-forward through them.
There's a difference between streaming services like Netflix which streams older content from other sources and mostly their original content and services like Playstation Vue or DirecTV Now, which are replicating cable TV channels, which include all kinds of commercials.
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:14 PM   #45
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We've been streaming PS Vue for a week. So far, no issue with the programming but the interface is disappointing. We use an Amazon Fire Stick , and the delay in response time is beyond anything I've ever experienced. I takes around 4 minutes to turn on the tv and get to a specific channel, not including any browsing of the guide. I have no way to determine if this is the Fire Stick, the wi-fi, or the PS-V interface, and am not willing to buy a new Roku unit to find out. The Roku unit we have for our other second TV won't download the PS-V app, it apparently is too old. We've paid for the month so we have a few weeks to decide what to do, but so far the PS-Vue is not the robust option I expected.
Had same issue with Fire Stick when relocated TV to different room. TV worked fine but Fire Stick slowed way down upon start up as you describe. Found that I plugged fire stick power to TV using USB, vs orig setup where fire stick AC adapter was plugged to outlet. When I changed back to AC adapter Fire Stick resumed its quick start up.
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:19 PM   #46
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There's a difference between streaming services like Netflix which streams older content from other sources and mostly their original content and services like Playstation Vue or DirecTV Now, which are replicating cable TV channels, which include all kinds of commercials.
OK gotcha. I usually think of such live TV services as just an alternative delivery of standard cable offerings, not "streaming" in the classic sense. With classic streaming there's no need for a DVR and no commercials (except Hulu).
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:25 PM   #47
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We just signed on to Google Fiber! The lower speed is much faster than AOL/Time/Spectrum ever was. We did opt for the Television package as the package is much more robust than AOL/Time/Spectrum enhanced basic. Anyway, we went up a few dollars on this go around - but no more than what AOL/Time/Spectrum would have increased us to - had we remained.

My wife and I agreed to get us much out of the service as possible over the next year - and then revisit the decision. I wanted to fully cut the chord but wife talked me into at least trying another provider.

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Old 06-27-2017, 02:45 PM   #48
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OK gotcha. I usually think of such live TV services as just an alternative delivery of standard cable offerings, not "streaming" in the classic sense. With classic streaming there's no need for a DVR and no commercials (except Hulu).
PS Vue, Sling TV, DirectTV Now, YouTube TV and Hulu Live all have varying levels of on-demand programming, and they're adding more all the time. Many cord-cutters don't realize there may be little if any need for a DVR sooner or later. In time the rerun only services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime will be redundant if they're not already. It depends on what's available where you are, what your wants/needs are and what you're willing to pay. It's the beginning of the end for traditional cable and satellite, good riddance IMO.
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:55 PM   #49
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I run Kodi on a Fire TV box which enables free EPG (electronic program guide) and DVR functionality for broadcast TV
I have kodi on a fire stick. Does the stick also have the DVR functionality for broadcast tv?

I also saw someone say Apple TV has Directv NOW as well?

I have Directv Sat now at $118/month. I am seriously considering changing to Directv NOW. Just have to convince DW it will work correctly and won't be a nightmare for her to learn how to navigate.
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:22 PM   #50
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I have kodi on a fire stick. Does the stick also have the DVR functionality for broadcast tv?
If you can run Kodi on the stick, the answer is yes. But it does require some one-time, upfront configuration. I described my set up in an earlier thread here.
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:33 PM   #51
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So do you cordcutters recommend getting the hardware and setting it up to be sure it works and one is comfortable with it, a few months or whatever before cancelling the cable services or switching to internet only?
I tried my $5 homemade OTA antenna before calling to cancel my cable TV. I meant to give it a month, but it only took me a couple of days before I was ready to cancel.

I went down to the cable company office to turn in my box and cancel, and there was a line of about 30 people there. Everyone in that line was carrying their box, and all that I overheard were cancelling their TV service and going to OTA just like I was. It was amazing!
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:34 PM   #52
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PS Vue, Sling TV, DirectTV Now, YouTube TV and Hulu Live all have varying levels of on-demand programming, and they're adding more all the time. Many cord-cutters don't realize there may be little if any need for a DVR sooner or later. In time the rerun only services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime will be redundant if they're not already. It depends on what's available where you are, what your wants/needs are and what you're willing to pay. It's the beginning of the end for traditional cable and satellite, good riddance IMO.
They won't always keep older seasons online. They will sell off the rights to season 3 of show x and only offer season 4 on demand.

It will eventually be like Blockbuster where the most popular content will be kept around but the content which weren't big hits will not be.

That's where having your own DVR will matter, if you want to check something out later. For instance I was over a year behind on House Hunters and had almost 200 episodes on my Tivo, including International.

If you go to the HGTV site, you can view some episodes but I bet they don't keep dozens or hundreds. Instead you can buy old eps on iTunes or maybe they sell DVDs.

Also, my guess is those cloud DVRs won't let you skip commercials as easily.
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:42 PM   #53
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OK, so who else cut the cord and used it as an excuse to jack up their internet speed?

I had Comcast cable, and already subscribed to both Netflix and Amazon Prime (via Rokus). So I added PS Vue for live streams and cut the cord a couple of weeks ago.

My internet was 25 Mbps down, and I went ahead and changed to "Blast" which is 150 Mbps down (and am actually getting ~200).

Bottom line is I'm saving "only" $33/mo from my old basic non-digital cable, but getting faster internet, better resolution on the streams than I had on cable, and some good on-demand stuff that I didn't have before.

Oh, and i got two different offers to "come back" to Comcast cable in the mail yesterday - not interested. When I dropped cable, the tech in the store told me he got a lot of people coming back, but I won't be.
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:58 PM   #54
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PS Vue, Sling TV, DirectTV Now, YouTube TV and Hulu Live all have varying levels of on-demand programming, and they're adding more all the time. Many cord-cutters don't realize there may be little if any need for a DVR sooner or later. In time the rerun only services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime will be redundant if they're not already. It depends on what's available where you are, what your wants/needs are and what you're willing to pay. It's the beginning of the end for traditional cable and satellite, good riddance IMO.
I would not characterize Netflix and Amazon Prime as "rerun only services." Tons of high-quality original content, plus loads of new movies, old movies, documentaries, and other programs that you'll never find on a "lite" rebundling of cable channels, even with on-demand access to their content.

I think these services are an improvement for sure, especially if there's a skinny bundle that meets your needs in the $20-30/mo price range. But they are still just an alternative delivery of traditional cable services and content with ads... not what I would call the new world of streaming. But you are right, it depends on what's available in your area, wants, needs, and willingness to pay. Sports and live cable news is still an issue for cord-cutters and these lite bundles may be the solution for some.
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:31 PM   #55
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...

My internet was 25 Mbps down, and I went ahead and changed to "Blast" which is 150 Mbps down (and am actually getting ~200).
...
We have around 120 Mbps download speed right now on Comcast. I'm not sure that the experience is that much better though.

I'm wondering if you noticed more "pop" in your on-line experience? There is the issue of latency (time to start up the stream) and how fast all the other parts of the network are including the site's server you access. Just curious.
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:41 PM   #56
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I also was an early adopter of this service. Initially, it was terrible. Lagging, time outs, it was a terrible service. However, they seem to have worked out the bugs and now have several channels that have 72 hour "rewind", so it's even better value for the $$$.
Edit: We also used Sling for a bit, but once DirecTV Now started to behave, we got rid of it. We were never a big fan of the user interface/guide.
Yes, the early days of DirecTV Now were bad. They gave us the Apple TV box for free with the deal, and we weren't fond of that either. But I stayed with it, since I figured they would get it worked out and at 35 bucks a month, it was cheap. Now, with Roku supported, much better service, and the additional rewind functions, it's been great. I have heard they will be offering a DVR type service at some point in the future.
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:23 PM   #57
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We have around 120 Mbps download speed right now on Comcast. I'm not sure that the experience is that much better though.

I'm wondering if you noticed more "pop" in your on-line experience? There is the issue of latency (time to start up the stream) and how fast all the other parts of the network are including the site's server you access. Just curious.
I don't think the prompt response time and "pop" (i.e. ping) is noticeably better, so I would not say that general web browsing is improved. As you note, server-side response can always be an issue. But download times are definitely improved.

We have a number of gamers in the house, including good old me. So downloading from Steam is lightening fast, and I'm able to throttle it and leave bandwidth for DW to stream Netflix. We have 3 desktops, 3 laptops, 4 phones, 3 Rokus, 4 tablets/ereaders, and a a few more internet-connected devices in the house so the extra bandwidth is welcome.

It is kind of like the comfort factor of using a 3.5% SWR instead of 4%! And going from 25 Mbps to 150 Mbps was only about $18/mo. Maybe this is an "I bought this because I could" item.
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:56 PM   #58
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OP here. It is amazing the way us old ER folks are using technology to fight the cable company's ever increasing bills combined with poor service. You have given me some good ideas to track down.

Some are hesitant due to being overwhelmed by the complexity of the devices. I enjoy the challenge. Much like some on here will say that they don't pay for repairs to their car because it is no big deal to rebuild the engine. Who can do that?
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:03 PM   #59
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I don't think the prompt response time and "pop" (i.e. ping) is noticeably better, so I would not say that general web browsing is improved. As you note, server-side response can always be an issue. But download times are definitely improved.

We have a number of gamers in the house, including good old me. So downloading from Steam is lightening fast, and I'm able to throttle it and leave bandwidth for DW to stream Netflix. We have 3 desktops, 3 laptops, 4 phones, 3 Rokus, 4 tablets/ereaders, and a a few more internet-connected devices in the house so the extra bandwidth is welcome.

It is kind of like the comfort factor of using a 3.5% SWR instead of 4%! And going from 25 Mbps to 150 Mbps was only about $18/mo. Maybe this is an "I bought this because I could" item.
I don't game so can't answer to that. But I recently went from 25 mbps to 10 and couldn't tell the difference one bit. Streaming is great with no buffering and surfing the net is the same as before. But all households are not the same. If you have multiple streaming going on, then more speed could be needed. Video streaming and internet surfing is the most I might have going on at one time.
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:28 PM   #60
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OP here. It is amazing the way us old ER folks are using technology to fight the cable company's ever increasing bills combined with poor service. You have given me some good ideas to track down.

Some are hesitant due to being overwhelmed by the complexity of the devices. I enjoy the challenge. Much like some on here will say that they don't pay for repairs to their car because it is no big deal to rebuild the engine. Who can do that?


Z3, Im hesitant because I dont like change. I am the perfect stereotype of why businesses dont want to hire older people....Resistant to change. I do play the "threaten to drop you" game, but that is it. I am currently on a 2 year $30 a month reduction. That is as far as I am willing to go to save a buck.
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