Archive for March, 2015

I just posted a great Cord Cutting calculator published by theverge.com that shows you what channels you can get from each provider and the cost for each. One thing they did not include is the non-tangible factors that play a BIG part on who you select.

There are really only three considerations you need to take into account when deciding to cut cable. They are:

  • Do I want live streaming TV?
  • Do I want DVR (ON Demand)?
  • How easy is it to surf channels (which we all do frequently)?
  • Buffering (it happens to everybody – Why?)?

The DVR capability in the IPTV world translates to ON-DEMAND when you look for it on the web. Almost all video on web pages (live cnn.com is the exception) is on demand. Julu, HuluPlus, Snagfilms and all movie web sites are also on demand. That is great if you never have the time to chill out on the couch for an afternoon to bum out and watch TV. But if you do want to surf the channels with no particular type of content in mind; you are out of luck unless you get an HD over the air antenna and grab free Live HD programming from your local stations. Just like your parents and grandparents did years ago.

I have put together a simple chart to get you started on how you want to migrate from cable TV below.

Source Live TV View Later (DVR) Channel Surfing Comment
Cable TV Yes DVR Easy
Over the Air Antenna (OTA) Yes Tablo.tv device Easy
Roku Box No Yes Hard On demand only viewing
Web sites (Casting from device) Maybe1 Yes Hard On demand only viewing

Almost all web sites do NOT have live streaming but a limited number of sites broadcast live such as CNN.com. When you watch a show like “Scandal“, notice the web page address. Each episode has a different web page address so you cannot just lock that web page into a ”favorite” using apps such as Plexit, PlayLater, etc. You have to go to the web page with the latest episode and mark it each time. Not really user friendly.

Homemediaguy

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Theverge.com has a Cord cutting calculator they published this week (http://www.theverge.com/a/online-tv-stream-price-guide) that lets you see what channels you get and how much their respective services cost. It’s real handy to determine which provider CBS all access, HBO Now, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, Sling TV and PlayStation Vue) gives you what you really want to watch. I have included screen shots below.

Blog Amazon Services w Price 031915 Blog CBS Services w Price 031915 Blog HBO Now Services w Price 031915 Blog Hulu Plus Services w Price 031915 Blog Netflix Services w Price 031915 Blog Playstation Vue Services w Price 031915

Homemediaguy

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The excitement about the potential death of cable TV and the rush of new internet based content over the Internet has ignored one very important cultural factor that many of us old timers enjoy when we have a free afternoon. That is channel surfing. The ability to casually browse through the channels looking for something new or old that you can watch right now. You are not sure what you want to watch, just something comfortable. It could be a murder mystery, or an action film. You will know it when you see it on the program guide.

Aahh yes. The program guide. Unless you have recently purchased a Tablo.tv recording device and have an over the air antenna, THERE IS PROGRAM GUIDE for IPTV. The whole premise of IPTV is that you pick your content provider (Roku channel or website) and pick your content (NCIS, Glee (HuluPlus) or another show or specific movie) and watch it.

You say well I get the little graphic icons I can browse through and pick something that looks interesting. That is true, but have you ever noticed how long it takes to scroll through all those graphics? I have over 100 Roku channels and another dozen Plex channels to browse. Going through a few of them can easily kill 20-30 minutes. A lot longer than the 5-10 minutes you would normally spend with the program guide you currently use.

Not a big deal? It is if you are married and have kids all looking for something different to watch and the remote is in your hands. Try it sometime. It can be challenging to say the least.

The point is the cultural and behavioral changes you will have to make to completely dump cable and not use the Tablo.tv/over the air option could be dramatic.

How do you fix this problem? As far as I know you can’t. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.