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Old 05-13-2020, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Seattle
8,589 posts, read 2,182,187 times
Reputation: 7203

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I'm getting close to cutting the cord. There's just nothing on, and I'm way overpaying for what I get. We ought to be getting a rebate for this trash.
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Old 05-13-2020, 10:29 AM
 
41,823 posts, read 44,740,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDoPhysicsPhD View Post
I still have two phone lines on the original Ooma plan of $0/month.

You still get a bill for the taxes don't you? That is what I was paying before upgrading from the "free" service.
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Old 05-13-2020, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Colorado
15,029 posts, read 9,328,686 times
Reputation: 27818
I just did a meticulous research project comparing all possible devices and services because I was tired of my Comcast cable. I was paying them $198.14-214.04 (depending on if I had HBO, which I turned on and off with the seasons of a couple of shows we really like.) I have the 300 Mbps upload / 10 Mbps upload, and I had the 140+ channels "Starter" (above Basic or Economy) cable package. Renting all equipment from Comcast.

What I had last week:
Comcast cable TV, HBO & Internet: $214.04
Netflix: $12.99
Total: $227.03

Amazon Prime: I pay this annually, so not including in monthly cost comparisons.

I compared possibilities with the various cable box replacements... Amazon Fire comes with Alexa, on 100% of their devices and you cannot disable it. I don't want that. Google Chromecast, I did not like the interface where everything has to go through your phone. If I were more interested in gaming, I might consider one of the consoles or an Nvidia Shield, if I were more the type to have a huge digital media collection, I might consider something more like a media server, a Windows or Linux setup. Ultimately, I settled on Roku. Later I also got an Xfinity Flex but I'll get into that in a second.

We are getting used to the Roku, it's pretty neat. I was seriously indecisive about which model to buy, so I got an Express ($24.99) for the least used TV, a Premiere ($39.99) and an Ultra ($85.78.) The Express has not yet arrived, but the others have.

After that, it's a business of comparing options for your subscription content. You need to know which channels you really care about, and look at the channel lineups for various services out there, and decide what price you want to pay for what you want to get. The ones I compared were:

(All pricing is monthly)
Hulu+Live TV: Expanded Hulu service with common cable channels. They have 2 price tiers with/without ads. I found the cost to be too high. $54.99-60.99.
YouTube TV: Separate from YouTube Premium, but if you subscribe to Premium separately you're getting less ads. I considered this, but Sling had slightly better channel lineup for my preferences and lower cost. $49.99
fuboTV: Mostly sports-oriented, and too expensive. $55
Philo: Cheap, at $20/month, but didn't include anywhere near enough channels that I wanted.
AT&T TV Now: Two tiered channel package, priced $55 or $80. Too expensive, lacked channels I wanted.
SlingTV: This one was the winner for us. You can get Blue or Orange or both. One of the two is $30, both is $45. Blue has more channels, but Orange has ESPN and Disney. Those don't matter to us, so we're going with Blue. Then there are some little add-ons, the only one of which seemed worth it to me was the Cloud DVR, for $5/month. Had all of the channels we care most about.

And then there are the standalone channel subscriptions. Some of the ones I got, I found promotions on...I may keep them, I may not. It felt very liberating to cancel my Comcast cable and return my TV boxes to them. And now they have a thing called Flex, if you have high speed internet with them, but no TV, they'll send you this ABSOLUTELY FREE and it will connect to the net via wifi or ethernet, and give you the ability, if you don't have it already, to stream a number of popular things like Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Youtube, etc. Does NOT have Disney+ or Sling. Also, you can't stream standalone premium channel subscriptions (HBO, STARZ etc) to it, only if you subscribe and are billed via Comcast for those.

All in all, the Flex is inferior to the Roku. Except for one thing I like. You can get Jackbox Party Games on it, and I like those. And it's free.

What I have now:
Comcast (internet only): $96 (and change, can't recall what the phone rep quoted me)
(I keep the higher speed, as I have teenagers who sometimes run multiple devices at once, streaming, gaming, etc.)
SlingTV Blue w/DVR: $25 first month, $35 after.
Netflix: 12.99
Promotional bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN: $12.99/month for a year
STARZ: Promo $5 for 3 months (will cancel before promo ends)
HBO: Promo $11.99/month for 1 year
Showtime: Promo free for 30 days (will likely cancel after)
Britbox: $6.99
Total monthly costs for internet & TV stuff: $180.96
227.03 - 180.96 = Savings monthly of $46.07

And I have my Amazon annual membership that did not change, and also signed up for an annual subscription to Curiosity Stream (documentaries) for $11.99 for a whole year.

Now bear in mind that even going nuts at the moment with premium channels and things, I'm STILL saving $46.07 compared to my Comcast/Xfinity cable service. We will enjoy exploring the content on those for a while, but odds are we'll wind up canceling some of them within the next few months, and then our costs will be even less.
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Old 05-13-2020, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Colorado
15,029 posts, read 9,328,686 times
Reputation: 27818
Additionally, the hardest part of all this, was comparing Roku devices. I'll throw down my notes on that, in case they help anyone, and a couple other tech specs I discovered...

Roku Express: $24.99
Comes with simplest remote
Can do up to 1080p HD, no 4K support
Lower grade processor can cause slower navigation

Roku Express+: $39.99
Upgrades the above with a remote that has voice search and TV power/volume control

Roku Premiere: $39.99
Has 4K HDR support
simple remote
better processor than the Express (I think)

Roku Streaming Stick+: $39.99
Was on backorder at the time.
Stick form factor, rather than a box.
Has 4K HDR support
Voice remote w/TV controls
Better processor than Express
Long range, better tech wifi receiver
Requires its own special remote, cannot use universal remotes.

Roku Streaming Stick+ HE: $59.99
All of the above, but it has a headphone jack on the remote for private listening and comes with headphones

Roku Ultra LT: $79.99
4K HDR support
Voice remote w/TV controls and headphone jack, comes with headphones
Very good processor, best long range wifi receiver
Has microSD card slot, which is marketed as a way to expand storage for apps.
Has an Ethernet port for wired internet connection.

Roku Ultra: $99.99
All of the above, with the best premium JBL earbuds, and an additional USB port to share media (music/video/photo) files.

Reasons why a lot of this doesn't matter, actually:
1. Every Roku can be controlled with an app on your smartphone in place of the remote. I found this incredibly handy when putting in login/password info for all of the streaming services. Much easier to input on a phone virtual keyboard, than on the arrow-around remote navigation on the TV screen. You can do the voice stuff with your phone. You can plug in headphones for private listening with your phone. You can get earbuds anywhere. You can even broadcast to bluetooth headphones with your phone. The only thing you can't likely do, is control the power and volume on your TV with it.
So some of the "you get a better remote!" price jumps seem unjustified to me. Also, for all models but the Stick, you can use a universal remote that will control all of your stuff, there are many on the market in a wide range of prices.

2. The microSD and USB ports seem pretty useless. Our TV and our bluray players have USB ports, and we don't tend to use them. I'm told that it's nearly impossible to clog up the Roku with so many apps that you need more storage for them. And if you want to access media files you own (like, stored on your computer) with the Roku, there's actually an app to stream from a media server on the same wifi home network.

It's not bad to have a decent processor, I admit. The Ultra that I have, runs slightly smoother than the Premiere that I have, but it isn't a very big deal at all. Will it send you over the edge if sometimes it hesitates for a fraction of a second? That's up to you. The choice between a basic wifi connection (works fine on my Premiere, one floor up from the router, no pausing or buffering) or a premium tech long range one, or a wired ethernet connection, is likewise a matter of personal needs.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:08 PM
 
13,393 posts, read 6,594,163 times
Reputation: 12887
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
You still get a bill for the taxes don't you? That is what I was paying before upgrading from the "free" service.
There’s also a 911 fee I believe of a dollar or so.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:14 PM
 
1,929 posts, read 895,077 times
Reputation: 1488
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
You still get a bill for the taxes don't you? That is what I was paying before upgrading from the "free" service.
No. There's no taxes on Ooma Core service (Ooma pays it on your behalf). You only get charged for premium feature... of which I have none.

There's no monthly bill of any sort, but you have to purchase the Ooma hardware (which was $149 when I purchased it in 2009)... but the service is free.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:15 PM
 
1,929 posts, read 895,077 times
Reputation: 1488
Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
There’s also a 911 fee I believe of a dollar or so.
It doesn't get charged to the end user.
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:33 AM
 
1,593 posts, read 406,523 times
Reputation: 2422
My monthly for internet, tv, and cellphone is $52.95:

Comcast internet only 30/5, I own modem: $52.95
TV OTA: $0.00
VOIP:Google Voice & text: $0.00
Truphone cellphone service (voice and sms only):
-Someone calls me: $0.00
-I call someone: .09/minute

I rarely call someone on cellphone so I reload $15 maybe once a year.

Comcast 30mb download is fast enough to watch youtube in HD. I could go down to the 12mb plan and would probably still be ok. Can watch all the news shows on youtube although they are delayed 1 day. When I want to watch a movie I usually rent at a redbox.

I will never again pay for a tv plan!
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:19 AM
 
9,115 posts, read 4,456,688 times
Reputation: 23265
Currently:
COMCAST
internet - 89.99
basic channels: 24.00(local news cbs, nbs, abc, pbs, ion , laugh,me tv) )
Local broadcast fee: 18.25 ( thats there little fee to us users for the privilege to have the service and pass it on to line the pockets of our county commissioners ) Comcast is always voted on each year as the internet provider for the township I reside in. So I basically pay off the commissioners to keep verizon out of our area. Rather ridiculous to have to pay this fee.

After researching:the broadcast fee is not a mandated fee by our state or even the feds for television use.

I can't stream anything without the cable (wifi) so unsure how some say they cut the cable if they have no access point to feed the information.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:59 PM
 
13,393 posts, read 6,594,163 times
Reputation: 12887
Quote:
Originally Posted by IDoPhysicsPhD View Post
It doesn't get charged to the end user.
You must be grandfathered in as their free rate structure shows taxes and fees.

https://support.ooma.com/home/taxes-and-fees/
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