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Steaming for Dollars

Posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Dave!I used to love going out to the movies. Then it got ridiculously expensive and you basically end up paying obscene amounts of money to watch people text on their mobile phones... or listen to them talk... or endure their kids acting like idiots. So you spend even more money to go to the VIP theater so the experience is at least tolerable. And that's an expense I'm just not going to make unless it's a movie I'm dying to see (like anything from Marvel Studios).

So, by not going to the movies, I'm saving $12 for a ticket plus $8 for popcorn and a drink... that's $20, which is how much it costs to just buy most movies on iTunes now-a-days. Or, if you're patient, you can always wait and rent it for $5 or see if it shows up on HBO or something.

More and more I'm getting my entertainment from my television, but that too is quickly getting crazy-expensive.

DirecTV is pricey and I'm starting to wonder if it's worth it. I pay $53.57 per month for the bare minimum they offer just to get Seattle-local networks and a bunch of stuff I never watch (the big exception being HGTV). This is better than it used to be. Since I'm an AT&T wireless subscriber, the $53.57 reflects a $25 bundle credit. I remain incensed that I can't just pick and choose the networks I want to see. I will never, ever watch Fox "News," so why the fuck am I paying for it?

The obvious option here is to go 100% streaming...

  • HBO Go. Free with my AT&T mobile plan.
  • Apple. Free with my iPhone/iPad/Mac.
  • Amazon Prime. Included with my Amazon Prime account (already pay $120/year $10/mo.).
  • Hulu ($6/mo). A&E, ABC, Adult Swim, AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, BET, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CBS, Cheddar, Comedy Central, Discovery, E!, Epix, Food, FOX, Freeform, Fuse, FX, FXx, HereTV, HGTV, History, Hulu Originals, Lifetime, MTV, National Geographic, NBC, Nickelodeon, Paramount, Science, SyFy, TBS, TLC, TNT, Travel, VH1... plus select shows from other networks like Showtime.
  • CBS All Access ($6/mo.). For all CBS shows and originals like Star Trek: Discovery and The Good Fight.
  • Disney+ (???/mo.). The upcoming must-have streaming service thanks to Disney/Marvel/Lucasfilm content.
  • Sundance Now ($7/mo.). Only when shows I want to watch are airing (like This Close)

Interesting to note that Hulu has actually lowered their ad-supported pricing...

Hulu is Cheaper

What I don't like about cutting the cord is that some networks withhold streaming their shows on Hulu for a while. As an example... Home Town has started its second season on HGTV, but only the first season is available on Hulu just now. For many programs, this wouldn't be a big deal... but for shows I really like, it's an issue.

Right now, receiving local channels from Seattle is worth the cost to me. But eventually my feelings may change. Saving $200+ a year on entertainment is no small amount of money.

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Categories: Television 2019Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. I’ve been mulling over a Hulu subscription. We pay about $140 a month for cable right now. And we’re certainly not getting our money’s worth.

    • Dave2 says:

      I don’t think that anybody can ever make it pay. You’d have to watch every waking minute of every day. A part of me just wants to stick with Hulu and CBS All Access… grab Disney+ when it arrives… and pass on everything else. It’s just too dang expensive.

  2. kapgar says:

    We’re on the verge of killing DirecTV now too. Our big DVR is going to shit. It keeps disconnecting from our WiFi network and the sound card is going which means audio cuts in and out. I know it’s not the TV because Hulu and discs sound great. And when we watch DVR’d shows or live TV upstairs, it’s fine because we’re using the mini box. I’d call and complain but they always seem to have an excuse now. Anything to not have to replace a box. Plus, if they did replace it, I’d lose all my recorded shows. So we’ve been pushing all our “recordings” to Hulu. We just can’t do that with CBS because all those shows are on CBS All Access. I don’t think new shows are on Hulu, are they? Plus I need to talk to AT&T about revising our phone plan. We have unlimited data because we have an AT&T owner video service. I hear there are plans now that still have unlimited data without the TV plans. Gotta do some research.

    • Dave2 says:

      What I loathe about the DirecTV DVR is that they revised the user interface to be all fancy… but the unit doesn’t have the power to display it properly. So it’s a stuttering mess that has huge latency issues. Incredibly stupid that they would have HAD to have tested it, but let it go out even though it obviously has problems. CBS All Access is on-demand. You don’t have to record it anywhere because the programs are available any time you want to watch them.

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