This is NOT a sponsored post. It’s just me being me 🙂
Any of you folks out there thinking of cutting cable out of your life? We’ve done that very thing here at the PingBug household. It took a while to make it happen, but now that we don’t rely on cable, the universe is making sense again. For us, cable packages were too darn expensive. They start out like a sweet bargain and slowly but surely the cost creeps skyward. Even after you’ve satisfied your contract period and you no longer have the “teaser” rate, they still raise the fees on you over and over again.
Despite a variety of streaming services being launched over the past couple years, I clung to my cable subscription. You know why? Of course you do. Because it’s so darn hard to cancel or make a change. I dreaded calling the cable company more than a trip to the DMV or even the dentist. This past summer I finally made the call. I was on the phone with a variety of customer service people, sales people, “closers” and others. It took well over an hour, but finally at the end of it all I was free from my cable TV package. Hooray! But now what do I do?
How do you decide which streaming service to choose?
In the past you needed cable to access live sports programming. I love to watch college football which is available from early September until early January. Basically it’s 4 1/2 months of sports entertainment, but you pay for 12 months of cable to access it. Does that seem right to you? All of that changed when companies like Sling, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, Directv Now, and Youtube TV started offering streaming packages that included ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox Sports, and all the other great sports channels. They also give you access to your local network channels like ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC.
So how does a super cheap, smart money, frugal minded PingBugin’ guy like myself choose? Well, I looked at all of them over a period of months. I did the research in terms of pricing, channel offerings and side by side comparisons. When it comes down to it, the decision has a lot to do with what you want to watch and how much you want to save. I think the most valuable insights I found came from reading the opinions of dozens and dozens of cord-cutters on the forum of my favorite college sports team. Let’s just say I gobbled up what I was reading. Can you guess who my team is?
In the end I chose to give YouTube TV a try and here’s why. For $40 per month I can get every single sports channel I wanted and/or had with cable. I also get all the network channels plus goodies like TNT, USA, AMC, Oxygen, FX, FXX, Tru, and all the 24 hour news programming channels I could ever want. With YouTube TV you also get access to YouTube Originals which has tons of unique series and shows.
The Two Big Reasons I Chose YouTube TV
Here’s what sealed it for me…
1) With a YouTube TV account I can invite up to six (6) members of my family to have their own separate login. We are a family of five, so this is great.
2) The feature that I love the most is that everyone in our family gets their own UNLIMITED cloud DVR to record and playback their favorite shows. I have to say, that’s a pretty awesome feature. DVR service from the cable company is ridiculous and I don’t mean the good kind of “ridiculous”. It’s expensive and uber limiting at best.
How do we access YouTube TV on our TVs?
For me it’s all about the Roku streaming player. Think of it like a better, less expensive, more friendly version of the cable boxes that you have for every TV in your house. I personally purchased four Roku Express players. They only cost $29 a piece and no this is not a paid endorsement for Roku. So instead of renting four DVR players from the cable company at $10 per month ($480 per year), I made a one time purchase of $116. Not too shabby.
Above is a pic of the Express with remote on one of our TVs. The device accesses our home’s wireless network and it’s very simple to set up. Roku has an app for YouTube TV on it that we use to get all of our channels. The Roku device is kind of like your phone where you can download a variety of apps to accomplish all your viewing needs. Basically you click on the apps you want and Roku will add them to your TV homepage. Once you’ve logged into the apps you’ve chosen, you’re done. The next time you click on that app, you go straight to all the streaming choices available for that specific service. In addition to YouTube TV we also have the Netflix app and the Amazon Prime Video app.
Now if you didn’t want to pay for live streaming or services like Netflix, you can always just use the “Roku Channel app” totally FREE. All you need is your Internet access and the Roku device. It has things like ABC News Live, The Cheddar business channel and tons of free movies and TV shows.
Another consumer friendly feature of all the new streaming services is that you can start, stop, and modify your programming with the click of a mouse. No more spending hours on the phone begging to be treated fairly. In most cases you also get to try them out for free.
For example, I was interested in a series I saw advertised called McMafia. It looked like it might be in the “Breaking Bad” type of genre and so I wanted to check it out. I found that a service called Sundance Now had the first season of the series. I was able to try Sundance Now out for free for 7 days using my Roku device. So I signed up, binge-watched season one in about four days and was able to cancel with one click through my Roku app. I wasn’t charged a dime. Sundance Now had some cool looking movies and shows and I may give them another go in the future. Imagine being able to quickly and easily sample “a la carte” programming with your cable company for free. Not a chance Bub!
So there you have it. I’m now a cord cutting streamer and love it. It feels like freedom. When college football season is over I don’t have to keep my $40 per month programming. I can turn it off with the click of a button or mouse and turn it back on when I’m ready. I love that. I’m also much more likely to try out and experiment with other streaming services because my Roku device makes it super easy.
Comment below if you have any questions. I’m happy to help if you’re thinking of getting all streamy yourself.