Roku Update

Yesterday I wrote about having no choice but to cancel our cable so we could use a internet based cable service, and now today I have some new information.

I didn’t really look into how much everything was when I bought the Roku Stick+ for the living room. Like, how much is our cable bill, internet bill and home phone? Would I really be saving money by getting rid of our cable? The answer is apparently no.

Our cable is $72.49 minus a promotional discount of $32.50, so I’m actually only paying $39.99 for cable, which if you think about it, that is cheaper than any of the streaming services. What is making our bill higher is actually the cost of the equipment rental. I am paying $8 for each of our 2 cable receiver boxes, plus another $10 for the DVR service on one box, plus an additional $12 for Tier 1 which is additional channels we never even watch.

Our internet is $75 minus $10 for the bundle and $10 for promotional discount making our internet $55. Our phone is also $30 minus $10 for the bundle. So if we got rid of our cable, my internet would go up and so would our phone.

My life partner tried the Roku with our cable providers app (or channel as Roku likes to call them) and he hates it, so he doesn’t want to get rid of his receiver, but he will keep his Roku for those times when his services starts to cut out and become impossible to watch. He can just switch to the Roku and use the Spectrum app.

I, on the other hand am perfectly happy getting rid of the DVR service and my cable box. The DVR is in my room, so I’m the only one benefiting from that, and that is $18 that I would be saving every month, plus $12 from the Tier 1, that makes a saving of $30 a month. Plus, I will be quitting my gym membership which is another $20 a month, so right there I will be saving $50 a month.

I already bought another Roku for my bedroom for watching our cable service. Since I typically have 2 shows on at the same time some nights, I can watch those 2nd shows on the apps on the Roku. Like, one night I might have something on the Travel Channel and The CW, so I can just watch one on cable, and the other one on one of the apps the next day. I do that with Hulu anyway where I watch all my Fox and NBC shows, so I can just do the same thing with the CW or Travel channel.

Our promotion will be ending soon, I think in December, and they currently have a promotion for $99 for 1 year for cable, internet and phone, so we will save even more money then. The money I will be saving from not having DVR + my cable receiver + Tier 1 + my gym membership will pay for the Roku sticks over 2 months. I’m excited for this change and because in January I will have more money for groceries and other stuff.

Let’s Try That Roku Thing Again

In January 2011, my life partner and I decided after talking with one of his family members that we would quit cable and get 2 Roku’s because I had complained about the price of cable. This guy said “Well, you watch your shows on the DVR anyway, right?” No, actually, we watch live tv. In fact, at the time we didn’t have a DVR. I knew they existed, but we didn’t have one. I have one now, but we still watch live tv.

In 2011 I received our Roku’s and returned them simply for the fact that the one in the living room didn’t connect to our WiFi which is in the bedroom. I didn’t think the signal was strong enough, but the issue was deeper than that as I explained in this post. https://xanapus.com/2011/01/04/our-roku-boxes-arrived-today-theyre-going-back-tomorrow/

Well, that was 2011, this is 2019 and we have once again decided to quit cable, but there are a couple reasons for this decision.

1.) The price is way too high. Nearly 2 years ago we went to our cable service provider and said we need to change our service because I was paying $170 a month for our cable/internet/phone bundle. They told us there is a special that for 2 years we would get their $30/$30/$30 deal which came out to $90 a month, plus extra for a package my partner wanted, the DVR for one room, the cable box for another room, the WiFi box and the digital phone box. Our total bundle came to about $120 or so. I was fine with that, but then they told us at the end of the first year that our bill was going up because that 30/30/30 thing was only for 1 year, then it would go up to $170 and that is STILL a discounted price, which means when our special is over, my bill goes up even more.

2.) Our channels are constantly getting pixelated and it’s maddening, especially when the channel goes out and it doesn’t even record my show. When I’m not home and then I come home to find out it didn’t even record my show(s), I wonder why the hell am I paying $170 a month for this? We thought it might be our cable boxes, but I’m pretty sure the issue is our cable wire. That’s the only thing that makes sense to me because the app never has that issue.

I discovered there are so many different cable streaming services you can pay for that are cheaper than cable. They are mostly all around $50 or so.

Hulu + Hulu TV is $45 a month and you can stream on 2 devices at a time and they give you a DVR that is only 50 hours worth, and for another $5 you get ad free.

YouTube TV allows you to have 6 users while allowing 3 streams at once, plus an unlimited DVR for all accounts for just $50 a month.

Sling is cheaper at $25 a month, but you don’t get a lot of channels. They have 3 options, each option has specific channels, or both options for almost double the price. It also comes with 50 hour DVR.

For right now we have a Roku Stick + in the living room that works and I didn’t have to call anyone for help, and our cable service’s app is installed, as well as YouTube TV, Sling and Hulu to get us prepared for the switch. We have to decide which one is better, I like YouTube TV better.

The TV in the bedroom is a smart TV that already has Hulu and YouTube TV installed, but our cable service’s app isn’t available, and neither is Sling. I have to keep using my cable box, which is ok for now, even though I will still have trouble with pixelation. I can watch my shows On Demand if I have to. If we do go with Sling, then I will probably have to buy another Roku Stick +.

This is a huge change. No one likes change, especially when they have to remember how to get to their favorite channels, but once you get used to the change, you can pretty much adapt to anything if you are willing. I am willing, but I can’t say that about my life partner who hates change more than I do. We will see. All 3 services have a trial, so we can decide which one we like before we get rid of cable.

Tell me in the comments if you have cut the cord and went with a Roku or similar device and which internet service you are using. I’m curious to know which of these 3 services are better.

Update: Yeah, things have changed. Please read the new post.

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation-Vue

I am very interested in a new feature that PlayStation has to offer called PlayStation Vue. It’s a new live streaming service on your PlayStation device that allows you to watch TV at a cheaper rate than cable.

This is what we have at our house. We have a bundle with Bright House with TV, Internet and Phone. I know that our cable internet is around $15 a month and our phone isn’t too much more expensive than that. Including the cable box in the living room which is $8 a month and the DVR cable box in my bedroom which is also $8 a month, our cable comes to $130 a month.  That’s a bit much for cable, but that’s how it is. They charge more for HDTV and we had to have certain packages because we have HDTV’s in both rooms.

With PlayStation Vue, I would have to use my PlayStation 4 to watch TV, which isn’t a bad thing because I use my PS4 all day long anyway with game play and watching Netflix and Hulu Plus, so to have another service keeping my PS4 running is convenient considering I have to grab the TV remote control to change from HDMI 1 for the PS4 to HDMI 2 for the cable. I wouldn’t have to go through that if I had PlayStation Vue.

They have a DVR function so that you can record ALL of your shows with NO conflicts, and you don’t have to worry about it recording on your PlayStation, it stays in the cloud for up to 28 days. As it is right now, if I want to record something, fine, I get to watch it when I want to, but my partner doesn’t have that option since he has a regular cable box. If he wants to record something, he has to watch it in my room.

My concern with switching from cable to PlayStation Vue is that we have 2 TV’s, and only 1 PS4. PlayStation has another device called PlayStation TV which allows you to play PlayStation Vita games with a PS3 controller, but PlayStation Vue is not available for that. If my partner wants to watch TV, he would have to use his iPad since there is an iPad app, but he wouldn’t be able to watch it on his TV. He has a Google Chromecast, but I’m not sure if that works with his iPad since we haven’t hooked it up yet. And even if it does work, will it work with PlayStation Vue? Also, would he be able to use his iPad while PlayStation Vue is streaming on his TV? Questions! Concerns!

If we were to switch from cable to PlayStation Vue, we would be saving $60 a month, that is if I chose the Elite package, which I would considering Logo isn’t available on the other 2 packages. They mention at E3 that you would be able to choose which channels you want, so if that is true then I would consider their less expensive Access or Core packages. Money is always tight, and I hate spending so much money on cable that I very rarely even watch. I don’t NOT watch TV, in fact, I have a huge list of shows that I watch, but I don’t watch TV all day long. It also concerns me that they don’t have every channel that is available, like for example where is ABC? And how will I watch Salem without WGN? What about The CW? Most of my shows are on The CW.

This new service is only available in certain zip codes anyway, and we are not in any of those zip codes since we are in Bakersfield, CA, but I’m sure the day will come when we will be able to use this service. I’m sure by then those channels MAY become available, but who knows for sure.

I told my partner about this new service and he just looked at me, like don’t even think about it lol. We were going to go cable free several years ago when we bought 2 Roku boxes, but realized there was no live TV, so if he wanted to watch his live news shows, he would be out of luck. They also didn’t have every episode of his news channel, they only had clips. He doesn’t want clips, he wants to watch entire episodes, and preferably live. Well, with PlayStation Vue he can see live TV, but he just doesn’t want to take the leap because it is too complicated, and he prefers things that are easy. And again, he doesn’t have a PlayStation, nor does he want to have to stream live TV from his iPad to the Google Chromecast, if that would even work. If it doesn’t work, then he doesn’t want to have to watch TV from his iPad and not be able to do anything else with it. It’s just too much of a hassle for him, and I understand. But perhaps if they made it available on PlayStation TV, and gave him a remote control instead of a PS3 controller, then he may consider it, but until then, he just wants to keep things simple.

So, I’m excited about it, but him not so much. But I think this is something that would be easier for someone who lives alone with 1 TV anyway. Unless every TV in the house has a PlayStation, this isn’t going to work for couples or a family unless they can make this service available on the PlayStation TV, which if you think about it is probably the best device for PlayStation Vue. I don’t know, tell me what you think in the comments.