From Cable TV to Streaming

It’s time for me to give up my Fios TV (Cable TV cord-cutting) and turn to streaming services like Amazon, Sling, Direct TV Now, etc. to save some dollars back in to my pocket.

With 25Mbps Internet, Cable TV, HD Box it cost me around $149.54 per month including taxes. I can reduce this amount to $69.99 per month for Internet access and streaming service for $25 per month with no contract commitment. By the way, all companies should adapt to no commitment or no contract plan if they want more business.

Cost-cutting expenses. The Cable TV cord-cutting will cut my expenses down to $99 per month, a saving of $50 per month back into my pocket. Goal!

Though, still expensive due to the Internet fees. I’m still waiting for Google to bring the gigabit network in our neighborhood to make it cheaper or free. I don’t think it will happen soon.

What hardware to use to replace the HD Box? I don’t need to purchase additional hardware. I can use my existing Xbox One to watch streaming shows and I have Fire Stick TV, ready to go.

directvnow

Streaming Services.

I’m using Amazon Prime services, so I have access to their streaming service part of my prime membership but not offering other channels like ABC, NBC, FOX, Bloomberg, CNN, ESPN, TNT, USA, and many others.

So, for TV shows I have to try Sling TV service for $25 per month (Sling Blue package) that comes with my favorites stations e.g. Bloomberg, AMC, TNT, Syfy, History, National Geo and Wild, Food Network, CNN, BBC America, and more. You can add more channels for $5 or $10, depending on your selected plans.

And from AT&T, they are offering Direct TV Now streaming service as of Nov. 30 with the 100+ Channels for $35/month discounted from the $60 per month Go Big Package. That’s a limited time offer only, not sure when they will stop it. This includes the ABC, NBC, FOX, Bloomberg, CNN, ESPN, TNT, USA, NBA TV, BBC World News up to 100+ Channels.

For a complete comparison of Channels, CNET provided this list.

DirecTV Now vs. Sling TV vs. PlayStation Vue (top 169 channels, see notes below)

Channel DirecTV Now Sling Package Vue Package
A&E Live a Little Orange, Blue No
ABC Yes or VOD Broadcast extra Yes or VOD
AMC Live a Little Orange, Blue Access
American Heroes Go Big No Elite
Animal Planet Live a Little No Access
Audience Live a Little No No
AXS TV Live a Little Orange, Blue No
Baby TV No Kids extra No
BBC America Live a Little Orange, Blue Access
BBC World News Go Big News extra Elite
beIN Sports No Sports extra Core
BET Live a Little Blue (Orange lifestyle extra) No
Bloomberg TV Live a Little Base No
Boomerang Gotta Have It Kids extra Elite
Bravo Live a Little Blue Access
BTN Just Right No Core
Campus Insiders No Sports extra No
Cartoon Network/Adult Swim Live a Little Orange, Blue Access
CBS No No Yes or VOD
CBS Sports No No No
Centric Go Big No No
Cheddar No Orange, Blue No
Chiller Gotta Have It No Elite
Cinemax PREMIUM ($5/month) PREMIUM PREMIUM
Cloo Gotta Have It No Elite
CMT Live a Little Comedy extra No
CNBC Live a Little News extra Blue Access
CNBC World Just Right No Elite
CNN Live a Little Orange, Blue Access
Comedy Central Live a Little Orange, Blue No
Comedy.TV Just Right No No
Cooking Channel Just Right Lifestyle extra Elite
CSPAN Live a Little No No
Destination America Go Big No Access
Discovery Channel Live a Little No Access
Discovery Family Go Big No Access
Discovery Life Go Big No Elite
Disney Channel Live a Little Orange Access
Disney Junior Live a Little Kids extra Orange Access
Disney XD Live a Little Kids extra Orange Access
DIY Go Big Lifestyle extra Access
Duck TV No Kids extra No
E! Live a Little Lifestyle extra Blue Access
El Rey Network Gotta Have It Orange, Blue No
Encore Gotta Have It No No
EPIX No Hollywood extra No
EPIX Drive-in No Hollywood extra No
EPIX Hits No Hollywood extra PREMIUM, Elite
EPIX2 No Hollywood extra No
ESPN Live a Little Orange Access
ESPN 2 Live a Little Orange Access
ESPN Bases Loaded No Sports extra Orange No
ESPN Buzzer Beater No Sports extra Orange No
ESPN Deportes No Spanish TV extra Orange Elite
ESPN Goal Line No Sports extra Orange No
ESPNEWS Just Right Sports extra Orange Core
ESPNU Just Right Sports extra Orange Core
Esquire No No Access
Euro News No World News Extra No
Flama No Orange, Blue No
Food Network Live a Little Orange, Blue Access
Fox Yes or VOD Blue Yes or VOD
Fox Business Live a Little No Access
Fox College Sports Atlantic No No Elite
Fox College Sports Central No No Elite
Fox College Sports Pacific No No Elite
Fox News Live a Little No Access
Fox Sports 1 Live a Little Blue Access
Fox Sports 2 Go Big Blue Access
Fox Sports Prime Ticket Just Right No No
France 24 No World News Extra No
Freeform Live a Little Orange Access
Fuse Just Right No No
Fusion Just Right World News Extra Elite
FX Live a Little Blue Access
FXM Go Big No Elite
FXX Live a Little Blue Access
FYI Go Big Lifestyle extra No
Galavision Live a Little Orange, Blue No
Golf Channel Go Big Sports extra Blue Core
GSN Just Right Comedy extra No
Hallmark Live a Little Lifestyle extra No
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries No LIfestyle extra No
HBO PREMIUM ($5/month) PREMIUM PREMIUM, Ultra
HDNet Movies No Hollywood extra No
HGTV Live a Little Orange, Blue Access
Hi-Yah No No Elite
History Live a Little Orange, Blue No
HLN Live a Little News extra Access
HSN No No No
IFC Just Right Orange, Blue Core
Ion No No No
Impact No No Elite
Investigation Discovery Live a Little No Access
JusticeCentral.TV Just Right No No
Lifetime Live a Little Orange, Blue No
LMN Just Right Lifestyle extra No
Local Now No Orange, Blue No
LOGO Go Big Comedy extra No
Longhorn Network Just Right No Core
Machinima No No Elite
Maker No Orange, Blue No
MGM-HD No No Elite
MLB Network Just Right No No
Motors TV No Sports extra No
MSNBC Live a Little News extra Blue Access
MTV Live a Little Comedy extra No
MTV Classic Go Big No No
MTV2 Live a Little Comedy extra No
Nat Geo Wild Go Big Blue Elite
National Geographic Live a Little Blue Access
NBA TV Go Big Sports extra Core
NBC Yes or VOD Blue Yes or VOD
NBC Sports Network Just Right Blue Access
NDTV 24/7 No World News Extra No
News 18 India No World News Extra No
Newsy No Orange, Blue No
NFL Network No Blue Core
NFL Red Zone No Sports extra (Blue) PREMIUM (Core and up)
NHL Network Go Big Sports extra No
Nick Jr. Live a Little Blue No
Nickelodeon Live a Little No No
Nicktoons Live a Little Kids Extra Blue No
ONE World Sports No No Elite
Outdoor Channel No No No
Outside Television No Sports extra Elite
OWN Just Right No Access
Oxygen Just Right Lifestyle extra Blue Access
Palladia No No Elite
PBS No No No
Poker Central No No Elite
Polaris No Orange, Blue Elite
POP No No Access
QVC No No No
Revolt Go Big No No
RFD TV Live a Little No No
Russia Today No World News Extra No
Science Just Right No Access
SEC Network Just Right Sports extra Orange Core
Showtime No No PREMIUM, Elite
Spike Live a Little Comedy extra No
Sprout Go Big No Elite
Starz Gotta Have It PREMIUM No
Sundance TV Go Big Hollywood extra Core
Syfy Live a Little Blue Access
TBS Live a Little Orange, Blue Access
TCM Live a Little Hollywood extra Core
Teen Knick Live a Little Kids extra Blue Elite
Telemundo Live a Little No Access
Tennis Channel Go Big No No
The Weather Channel Live a Little No No
TLC Live a Little No Access
TNT Live a Little Orange, Blue Access
Travel Channel Just Right Orange, Blue Access
truTV Live a Little Blue (Orange comedy extra) Access
TV Land Live a Little Comedy extra No
TVG Go Big No No
Universal HD No No Elite
Univision Live a Little Blue (Orange Broadcast extra) No
Univision Deportes Gotta Have It Sports extra No
Univision Mas Just Right Blue (Orange Broadcast Extra) No
USA Network Live a Little Blue Access
Velocity HD Live a Little No Elite
VH1 Live a Little Lifestyle extra No
VH1 Classic No No Elite
Vibrant TV No Lifestyle extra No
Viceland Live a Little Orange, Blue No
WE tv Live a Little Lifestyle extra Access
WeatherNation Live a Little No No

Notes

For ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC networks, “Yes or VOD” means available in certain cities; otherwise major shows available on-demand 24 hours after airing

Yes, it’s a big adjustment from Cable TV to Streaming, but saving some $$ per month is a big accomplishment. I will share my streaming experience in my next post between Sling TV and DirecTV Now. I have 30 days to check them both.

Sling TV is a simple to use service. I was able to watch using my XBOX One and Amazon Fire Stick. I ordered Roku device, and will check it too.

DirecTV Now, I tried to watch NBA TV and got this message “NBA Basketball is blacked out in your area on NBAHD. For more info, search for Error 70 in the Help Center“. The NBA TV game Washington Wizards at Miami Heat, I’m in Virginia. I’m not in the mood to do search, I just want to watch TV 🙁 I’ve got this message using Amazon Fire Stick device and what’s up with the “crackling sounds“? I uninstall the DirecTV Now app, deleted, and re-install still the same issue with crackling sounds.

I was not able to watch any shows with DirecTV Now using Amazon Fire Stick.

Score: Sling TV – 1, DirecTV Now – 0

After two to three hours of troubleshooting. I figure out on how to solve the crackling sounds using Amazon Fire Stick device. Go to Settings and turn-off Dolby Digital Plus as show below.

Settings > Display & Sounds > Audio: Dolby Digital Plus OFF

Now, I can watch using my Amazon Fire Stick with no sound issue and NBA TV.

Updated Score: Sling TV – 1 point, DirecTV Now – 1 point

Sling TV is easy to setup, while DirecTV Now comes with a few technical challenge. With my experience using these streaming services, hopefully will be a lot easier for you.

You can only have two sessions using DirecTV Now. I’m not sure about Sling TV at this time. I will update this article as soon as I find out.

directv-now-channels

Price comparison. Sling TV for $40/mo All Channels 50 (Orange + Blue) compare to DirecTV Now for $35/mo (a $25 discounted from $65/mo of it’s original price) Go Big Channels 100+. The channels/price comparison goes to DirecTV Now.

Updated Dec. 20, 2016: I decided to use DirecTV Now and take advantage of Go Big for $35/mo for 100+ channel and prepaid for three months to get free Apple TV worth $149.

 

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