Online Streaming TV: It’s Time to Switch
I am ecstatic this week because we are making the switch from cable [with DIRECTV] to online streaming tv with YouTubeTV. I was recently looking at our cable bill trends over the last few years, and, well, I’m astonished by how much money we have spent. Yikes!
Now, let me clear something up before I dive into this. We watch many and most of our channels, and I negotiate every few months. I mark on my calendar to call them directly and I work my way into different deals and promotions. People ask me when I have time for this. I do it in the car while I’m driving home from work, or on a break when I’m caught up. Sometimes my bills are under $90 and we have just about every channel you can imagine. However, we also order premium channels and for the past few years, we have begun to order the UFC fights on occasion. These run anywhere from $50-$70 per night. So, with cable, internet, and additional purchases some months, sometimes we were paying over $200. Agh!
I am just sick about this! So… I’ve been doing quite a bit of research over the last few weeks and have narrowed down pros and cons to different packages. I had to decide, what can we live without? What’s nice to have and what do we need to have? Sounds like first world problems, I know!
Comparing Online Streaming TV Providers
If you’ve been following the blog at all you know that my husband is an outdoorsman. He not only spends weekends and many days outdoors on the water, he also watches these shows in his off time. This was one of the things he was adamant about–being able to watch his fishing and outdoors shows. Without cable, this is tricky. There are channels that are part of those packages, so how do we make sure we get those? I had to compare different providers.
For instance, Hulu Live & YouTube TV Live both have the MN sports channels, Fox Networks, and many other sports options, where a lot of those fishing channels reside. However, Sling TV is the one package that offers NFL Network so you can get Red Zone. Turns out, with our Roku (or Firestick, Chromecast, or Playstation will do the same thing) we should be able to use the NFL Network App and just purchase Red Zone directly through there. Ross really wants to figure this out, so we will cross this bridge next month after preseason starts! Of course if you have a Smart TV a lot of these come standard with the apps. Our Samsung Smart TV is about 5 years old and a little behind the times, so we’ll use our Chromecast downstairs on that TV and the Roku upstairs.
Steps to Become an Online Streamer
- Analyze your current bill trends with your cable provider. Unhappy with money flying out the door? It’s probably time to call it quits.
- Purchase an online streaming device like Roku, Firestick, Chromecast, Playstation, or a current smart tv like this: Samsung Smart TV
- Go through your DVR and look at the channels you mostly record and write down shows you watch on a regular basis. You may have to ask yourself what you can live without and what you can’t!
- Use an online grid to compare pricing, options, add ons, and then visit their list of channels to see if any of them match up with your ideal package. You might also try out their week free trials to see if you like it.
- Cut your cords (not literally!) and call your cable company. Get ready to save some money!
- Find yourself a techy friend–if you’re not–and have them come over and help show you how to navigate operating an online streaming device and programming.
YouTubeTV Is Where It’s At [in my book]
I did consult this list to have a visual to consider as we made our decision. I sat down for a few hours, and I went through our DVR list to see the channels we had saved, and I decided YouTube TV is going to be our best bet. It’s $49.99/month, you can cancel at anytime, and you can have up to 6 accounts with 3 streams at one time. Sold. We are giving up a few channels that we decided we can live without: History, Nickelodeon, Lifetime, (for now, this isn’t an issue because our kids mainly watch the Disney Channel) and MTV. However, I’m learning that with our Roku, we should be able to find the apps for these networks and access shows through there. We do also have a digital antennae for channels like PBS. I mean, who can live without Daniel Tiger in the neighborhood?
Making the Call
I can’t wait to call DirecTv and tell them about all the money I’m excited to save with online streaming tv. I’m actually anticipating they will throw some really great deals at me–we’ve been with them for about 6 years and they are losing a great customer. How can people afford to pay this much when they know there are such great options elsewhere? I do have one confession though… As I noted above, YouTubeTV does not provide MTV… I am giving up a secret life of mine. No more Teen Mom/Teen Mom 2/Teen Mom OG/Are You The One/Hills New Beginnings… I am a mom of two and a wife, and I have to just confess and get it off my chest that I still watch these shows regularly. Ugh. I’m going to miss it! But I will love the extra money in my pocket! I am sure I will figure out a way to get the app and get my shows, however…
I highly suggest consulting that list above, checking your bill trends, and saving yourself some money this year. If you have any suggestions for making this transition easier, feel free to share! And if you have any questions, I am happy to help as well. Happy saving, Mamas!
This post contains advertisements and by clicking the link, I may receive a commission but at no cost to you. See my full disclosure form HERE