Thursday, September 12, 2019

FYI: "Cutting the cord" ~ 8 months later

"The Bloom Is Off The Rose."

My disenchantment does not come from "cutting the cord" and coming off cable TV. That was a good idea ~ and it is still a good idea.

My disappointment is with the app that Spectrum offers as a replacement.

In February 2019 I turned in my cable TV equipment, changed Internet plans, and bought Roku devices to connect to my TVs throughout the house.

Good then, and still a good decision!

Spectrum App: The Good

  • The Spectrum app includes BayNews9, the local news channel produced only a few miles from where I live. I often just leave that on during the day as background noise.
  • The Spectrum app includes the 4-5 local channels that are broadcast over the air. This means I do not need an external antenna, or have to switch input from something other than my Roku devices. I use this to watch CBS News on Sunday mornings plus the occasional football game.
  • The Spectrum app is a cable provider, and as such their app provides me access to the individual apps from many channels.
    • For example, the History channel is available live through Spectrum. But I am able to connect to the History channel app, which provides more content and the History Channel archives and library.
    • Last month I wrote an article about how the cable industry still controls the smaller content providers: Rix Distillery Summer Report.

Spectrum App: The Bad

  • I now only watch BayNews9 for their weather reports that run every 10 minutes. 
    • BayNews9 shows a lot of commercials, mostly about Spectrum. I suspect that's because they haven't sold enough advertising and Spectrum doesn't have enough content to fill up the time.
    • BayNews9 is trying to redefine itself. They now offer half-hour shows about politics and sports... neither of which interest me.
    • My Spectrum plan still does not offer Fox News. For me to receive that one station, I need to give up most of the channels I currently have, plus pay $5/month more.
  • I have pretty much watched all the old content I can stand... (I found S1E1 of the Beverly Hillbillies!)

Spectrum App: My Solution

My present "customer retention" Internet deal runs until January, 2020. At that time my cost will go up 50% ($50 to $75/month). At that time I will price shop for another Internet provider.

If I have to change Internet providers, I will have to give up my Spectrum app because it is available only to Spectrum Internet customers. From that perspective, my only loss will be BayNews9 weather reports.

I will need to shop for another cable TV provider.

As of today, SlingTV runs $25/month and includes FOX news. Clark Howard is one of the resources I will check. My brother has signed up for YouTube TV because it allows multiple simultaneous connects.

Rix Summary

  • I am still happy at cutting the cord and disconnecting from cable TV
  • I am still pleased with service from my Roku devices
  • I am a bit disgruntled at Spectrum as the content provider I have selected
  • I continue to learn about the entire Internet streaming industry ~ there is an amazing amount of content that's available for Roku
  • My TV viewing habits and tastes continue to change - I watch less TV! 

I consider that last bullet (habits/tastes/less) the most relevant of all!! There is much to be said about less TV.

My previous "Cutting the Cord" articles:
  • Feb 15 - I Cut the Cord! - I was proud of myself for this step, and this article explains what steps I took.
  • Mar 16 - Update - I have learned how I can unlock archives from individual apps where I can revisit old episodes. Some with commercials; some with commercials. Life is good.
  • April 30 - Why Roku - Life is still good! In this article I reviewed my Roku device
  • Jun 20 - Oops! - The first hint that cutting the cord is not all I expected it to be. I discussed streaming apps available from Spectrum.
  • July 17 - Cutting the Cord - Summer Report - A dirty little secret that cable companies are not yet ready to concede their dominance.

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