So we have cut the cord at my house. I have been talking about it for over year and finally got the green light from the wife. Since she is home every day I didn’t want to throw her into technology hell (as she puts it). This is what we did it and my experience with the different services.
The final straw was when AT&T stopped giving us a discount on our cable bill that was currently $81 and the next bill would be $120+. They told us that they can no longer give us a discount on our basic package as they had been giving us a discount for the last 7 years. I think they wanted me to feel bad for getting some money taken off the bill for so long, I wasn’t.
Side note: call your cable company and ask for a discount. You have to be serious for them to do this, they will simply say no otherwise. Be willing to give a disconnect date.
When selecting a streaming service my wife had one requirement; BRAVO. This was one of the main channels she watched and some days the only channel she watched. So for this to work that was the one requirement that had to be met, or the world would cease to exist in my house. Another requirement was that I could receive some sports channels for when family visited and SEC Network so we could watch our Aggies. Something I will add is that most sources say that for every streaming device you have you should at least have 15 Mbps for internet service, this was not a problem for us as I worked from the house often and had upgraded the internet to 1Gbps before and we were going to reduce it. So internet speed was not a factor for us but for others, this may be something you need to consider in your hopes and dreams of cutting the cord.
BRAVO+Sports+Specifically SEC Network+Already fast internet
I also had a few 4th Generations Apple TV’s, so this was going to be my hardware. I love the Apple ecosystem but that is a different story.
BRAVO+Sports+Specifically SEC Network+Already fast internet+compatible with 4th Generation Apple TV = Winner!
The first streaming service that I signed up for was Sling TV. We signed up for their two packages which totaled $53; one contained BRAVO and the other contained sports (including SEC Network). The service was great at first and then the newness wore off and we would start to look at each other every time the show we were watching would buffer for a few seconds to 30 seconds. No other major complaints besides reliability and the DVR service was still in Beta but not where we lived. We did this for about 2 months till I saw the ads for DirecTV Now.
DirecTV Now was made by AT&T and offered a few more channels at a slightly lower price, $43. I was instantly in love with the guide in this service. The service also had HBO for $5(included in the $43) which I took full advantage to catch up on some high-quality shows, all other services offered HBO at the standard $15. But what plagued this service was reliability service, it wouldn’t be offset by the additional channels and the guide. Still no DVR. So back to Sling TV we went for 3 more months.
Then after too many times of sitting through buffering, we landed on PlayStation Vue, I thought this service was only available if you had a Playstation but this was not the case (must have been during the early days of the service). This streaming service cost us $37 per month and offers more channels than any other service and includes a cloud DVR service. This is the streaming service we currently have and we are very happy. There has been only one day and one show of reliability issues. The guide is also the best guide I believe across all three services that I have tested. The cloud DVR is a little different than a traditional DVR, you select favorite shows and then new episodes of those shows will be saved in the cloud DVR for 28 days. Even if you miss an episode before you made the show a favorite most shows will have On-Demand episodes available for viewing.
Side note: CBS isn’t offered on some of the streaming services as they offer their own stand alone streaming service for their content. So I bought a $10 antenna that hooks to my coax hook up for the entire house. I have used this antenna once.
In summary, figure out what your watching requirements are for your family and what current hardware you have or need to purchase. My recommendation would be for you to sign up for PlayStation Vue, I hope your watching requirements will be met by this wonderful streaming service.