Southern Cal

Cutting the cord with satellite, checking out live streaming TV

I’ve been a customer with DirecTV since the 1990s. Ever since they merged with AT&T, I have not been satisfied with their service. Prices have been skyrocketing and in order to keep me as a customer they pacify me with favors, such as a few dollars off here and there, because I’m a “loyal customer”. Well as of this year my special discounts fell off, and my original bill of over $170 showed up. Holy cow is that a lot of money?! I need to trim the fat, and stumbled across live streaming TV with providers like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and newcomers DirectvNow and YouTubeTV.

After watching a lot of YouTube videos and reading online reviews, Sling TV is the cheapest, starting at $20 a month. However you do get what you pay for, or as the reviewer say, and PlayStation Vue is one of their top choices.  Last Sunday, I decided to give Sling TV a try and signed up for the 7-day Trial service. I have a very high speed Internet connection, so watching the Sling TV was nice and flawless.

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There’s three main packages you can choose from, the first one is the orange package and starts at $20, which has 30 channels, including most of the local channels and ESPN, but no CW, CBS, and ABC.

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The next package, the blue package is $5 more and it’s pretty much everything the orange package has except no ESPN, but instead you get the Fox Sports channels and a few more. The blue package seems to work best for me.

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If you can’t decide, you can choose both packages at a five dollar savings, making it $40. There’s also add on if you need the ultimate sports package, or premium channels like HBO starting at $5 and up.  I know that I would like to record my sports programs, so I would select the Cloud DVR at $5.

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On the third day of my trial, I decided to record a hockey game off NBC sports, the Minnesota Wild versus the Chicago Blackhawks. I couldn’t see a difference between watching this live streaming compared to the HD quality of my satellite TV. The color is great, the motions are fluid, and unless you told me I’m watching live streaming, I really couldn’t tell you that it wasn’t DirecTV.

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Overall I’m quite impressed with Sling TV, but before making a commitment, I will try out PlayStation Vue next week, which seems to have more channels as their basic package, and also unlimited recording. Both providers offer Fox Sports and NBC Sports, which is important since the Anaheim Ducks broadcast their away games on those channels. PS Vue starts at $40, which is a bit higher than Sling, but I am able to have multiple guests on my account, not that it makes a difference to me.

As for the newcomers YouTubeTV and DirecTvNow, I am going to pass on them.  While priced fairly at $45, YouTube has all the channels I want, but is only available in certain markets, and they’re still working out their bugs.  DirecTvNow doesn’t have a DVR, which would not work out for me.

Categories: Southern Cal