|Out with the old|
I have chosen YouTube TV streaming to replace U-verse TV. I picked Spectrum internet to replace the internet part of U-verse. My new combination will be less than ½ the cost. This is not an apples to apples comparison, some things better, some things worse. It may take a while to figure out if this was a good decision or not. I can always switch back or find another alternative.
|In with the new|
YouTube TV is one of many new streaming services. It is delivered over the internet, not a dedicated cable, satellite or DSL connection. There is no special receiver and remote. While I don't get nearly as many channels, I get most of what I want. There are no infomercial or shopping channels, no dozens of fringe channels I never watched. No 75 music channels, that's what Pandora and Spotify are for. I do get my local stations, the major cable news networks, the major sports providers including Fox Sports Southwest for the Rangers games, and a few general entertainment and movie channels like TBS & TCM.
There are a few sacrifices. None of the streaming services offer PBS, although limited PBS shows are available online. I will no longer get AXS which had great music shows/concerts. I won't be able to watch the oldies stations like TVLand, MyTV, H&I. No more Gunsmoke or 77 Sunset Strip or Mannix, or Wagon Train... That's OK, I have probably seen every episode of those shows and 100 other old series. Also, I can probably find some of this stuff on the internet, it will just be a little more difficult than switching to channel 1136.
Some of these like PBS and MyTV are available over the air. Unfortunately, I live on the first floor of a brick three-story apartment building which is right next to another three-story building. I have yet to find an indoor digital antenna that works consistently for most of the local over the air channels.
On the internet side, I have increased my speed by a factor of over 10 and for less money. I am also hoping that the reliability of broadband and wi-fi improves. Hopefully, the equipment is also a little more robust. I have replaced my AT&T modem/router at least three times. I have also replaced the TV receiver/DVR. Of course, each time was a battle to finally convince AT&T that the equipment was faulty.
I guess this can be considered "cord cutting" but of course that is not completely accurate. Yes, I am ditching a traditional cable TV package for an internet streaming service. Still, we can not completely cut the cord. We need a physical connection to the internet. Maybe someday wireless internet like the coming 5G networks (or Trump's 6G) will be able to replace a physical phone line, coax, or fiber to your residence but not yet.
YouTube TV has unlimited DVR storage in their cloud and the shows are kept for nine months. Unlimited, that means you won't fill up the physical DVR sitting by your TV. The one downside, to me, is that once you pick a show to record, it records every episode including reruns. That makes the recorded library a little unwieldy but I'll fight through it. The problem of too much rather than too little.
There are other minor changes that mostly will just take getting used to There are no more channel numbers, just names on a scrollable list. No immediately jumping from CBS to ESPN to TCM by number on a numeric pad on the remote. Sometimes the channels take a few seconds to start, there is the ubiquitous spinning buffering icon. I'm not usually in a rush.
I still get to stream my TV channels on my phone, tablets, and PCs. Important for when I'm away from home or when I am at home and want to watch two or more sporting events at the same time.
It's a new day with new technology and new providers. For the first time in forever, I will not be writing a monthly check or two to AT&T. Like many companies, they have taken me for granted for years. Never offering the best or even a better deal to established customers. Rarely offering good customer service. When I called to cancel my AT&T U-verse service they, of course, tried to talk me out of it. He said I had two offers on my account that I hadn't taken advantage of. They totaled about $70/month. I didn't ask what the length or terms went with these offers. The reason I hadn't taken advantage of these offers is that I had never been told about them. Typical AT&T taking established customers for granted. The only offers I ever saw were for phone upgrades and I have never bought a phone from them.
I'll let you know if this was a mistake. For right now, everything is fine.