Eight days ago I announced on my private Facebook page – the one most of you don’t have access to – that we were going to attempt to cut the cord with cable. We started that day, Saturday, and tested it for a week.
We are currently connected through Bright House/Spectrum. Choices were limited. Between the two of us, however, we’ve tried all of the major companies, and have complaints with each. Thus the reason we were willing to try to kill cable.
When we moved into the new apartment we accepted a package that included cable, Internet, and phone. We don’t use a home phone line, but the deal was too decent to pass up. So already we were paying for something we were not using.
Part of that package were Internet speeds of 200mb something or other. When we looked into it, by killing the phone we could actually bump our speed up to 300, and it cost about the same. Score, right? Killing cable, and phone drops bill, we get faster speeds for our streaming services.
Saturday, Sunday were great! Admittedly there was a weird audio thing at one point during the Super Bowl so we switched back to the cable box for the day, and then switched back to streaming.
We attempted to use the PlayStation Vue system. We could access it through the PlayStation, or through our Apple TV. It was going to run $60 a month, and we’d have to pay for some apps, like HBOGo, but the math checked out, and we would have been saving money. We would lose live television, but could use Hulu and other apps to keep up to date. Except for NBC Nightly News. Losing that one bothered us.
On to the issues we discovered.
- The guide for PlayStation Vue is whack. Apparently it has no idea what time it is. Every time I hit the Guide button, it was 12:30 am and I had to scroll like a mofo. Did I want to go back to the top of the guide to Search or something? Happy scrolling with my wee Apple Remote. That got old quickly.
- When I want to have random sounds in the background I generally play Comedy Central. It’s happy noise instead of depressing CNN noise. Comedy Central is not included in Vue, though most other stations are, and the Comedy Central app works well enough, but it was a pain to swap between them. Easier access would have been appreciated.
- Rewinding live TV is … an adventure. Did you miss 10 seconds in the middle of your show? Don’t hit rewind, you’ll end up back at the very beginning, unable to fast forward or skip commercials.
- Watching live sporting events is … an adventure. There was a time delay, enough of one where the censors could have blocked out the swearing when the players were carrying the Lombardi trophy and we never would have known. My Companion was playing fantasy and we knew there was a score or large play before we saw it as his points on the screen would change. The frustration level was large.
- The money savings were there, but they weren’t, not when one factors in inconvenience and aggravation.
Ultimately we will be cutting the cord with cable eventually. My Companion is a tech guy, we’ve talked about this before, and he’d been keeping an eye on the technology, and will continue to do so. We figure in another year it will make more sense for us.
This isn’t to say that cutting the cord isn’t for you. If the transition had been just a tad smoother, I would have been writing a completely different article. The experience left me wondering if our expectations were too high. So many people have cut the cord, and they’re happy, but perhaps their viewing preferences are far different than ours? One can only guess.
Have you cut the cord? Are you considering it? I’d love to hear your experiences! Please share them in comments.