Cord cutting is rampant in 2020. Hundreds of thousands of customers are cutting-the-cord in favor of streaming options and Internet-only access in the home.

I can see why.

After a recent difficult time (putting it mildly) upgrading to the new Comcast / Xfinity 4k set-top box I gave up. Hey, Comcast….this is 2020 and installing a new set top box should be fucking easy. You made it impossible…..which is unforgivable. THEN you raised our monthly cost from $154 to $160. That went over my line of $155.

I am thinking now that, at some point in the very near future, we will also be cutting-the-cord and either using Comcast Internet-only at $55 to $70 per month or changing our AT&T data service to unlimited or using a 5G (when available) hotspot for Internet. Either works for me.

But I needed a refresh on Youtube TV, sooooo……

I spent $50.00 for a month to thoroughly test Youtube TV. This blog entry details what I found.

Really Quickly (scroll down for more detail)

  1. It’s just like regular TV that we are used to.
  2. It has a DVR option, with unlimited recording of shows, movies, sports
  3. The quality is good. Not one visible glitch during testing is commendable! (Oops…around 7:30 am pacific, Feb 19, 2020, it is glitching like crazy. Unwatchable at the moment)
  4. There is a REALLY COOL geek stats function!
  5. It’s a bit clunky to use, but, you get used to it.
  6. The price point is at hand for me. Lori….not yet…because….
  7. No Hallmark Channel!!!! WTF??

For the information below, I downloaded the app to our new Sony, 65 inch, 4k, UHD OLED TV and to my Pixel 3 XL android phone.

Home Screen

After turning on the app, Youtube TV presents a home screen that gives you some options to choose from at the time you turn on your TV. In the morning, I get the Sacramento Fox 40 News suggestion that I can just click into and watch for a few minutes. See figure 1 below. Very nice.

Figure 1: Home Screen

The home screen on my phone is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Android Home Screen

Helpful and very easy to use.

Library

Of more interest to me, and more useful, is the library.

It is here that you can see the content you have chosen to be recorded when new episodes arrive. See figure 3.

Figure 3: My Library

The library on the Pixel 3 XL is shown in figure 4.

Figure 4: Android Library

In the library you can quickly access saved movies, sports, and events. The Kansas basketball game the other day was recorded even as I watched it. Very nice. I am waiting to see if the Giants spring training game on Feb 22 (or 23) will be recorded as well. I will give you an update here….

Live Channel Selector

I went to tv.youtube.com to rearrange the live tv selections to make it easier for me to scroll to my most watched stations. Worked great! Kinda wish I could have done it on the TV, but, the computer was just fine. See figure 5.

Figure 5: Live Channels

Figure 6 shows the same live tv selections on android.

Figure 6: Live TV Selections Android

Recordings

One feature we love from Comcast is the ability to record shows on the DVR then watch the show fast-forwarding thru the annoying commercials. I see that YoutubeTV now has that capability and that is a BIG plus in my mind.

I signed back up to do this testing on Feb 10, 2020, so only shows recorded after that date show the “Choose a Recording” option. See figure 7.

Figure 7: Choose a recording to watch

Clicking on the choose a recording option the options pop up on the right hand side. Since VOD forces us to watch commercials (I will double verify that soon and update this) we choose the DVR option. I did that with this Modern Family episode and I could skip the commercials 15 seconds at a time until the show came back. Nice! See figure 8.

Figure 8: Selecting DVR

The DVR recording is said to be unlimited.

Nearly Perfect

Why nearly perfect?

Well…because nothing is perfect. Here are a few things that bug me, only one is MAJOR.

–> NO Hallmark Channels (sorely needed in these dark times)

–> Info on the shows needs a date not just season and episode.

–> Prefer to see only the NEW recordings on the original channel.

–> The interface a little hard to navigate, but, after time you get used to it….sooooo, it’s ok

Cost Analysis

Since Comcast has been increasing costs to us as cord cutters have been leaving in droves, the price point that makes cutting the cord feasible for us is now at hand. If Hallmark were available, I’d cut the cord today, but, alas…..

At Comcast the other day I asked for some Internet only pricing:

$55 to $70 for Internet for 100 Mbps down and 200+Mbps down respectively.

100 Mbps is fine for 4k UHD, so I may go for that even though the techy in me wants the highest possible bit rate at all times. 😉

I also found out that we will start paying $160 per month on March 1 which is now over my limit of $155 max, but, Lori is still happy, and still NO HALLMARK on Youtube TV.

Adding the cost to cut the cord:

$55 + $50 = $105 which is now worth it……but no Hallmark.

As of March 1, 2020 that gives us a savings of $55 per month. Dinner and a movie! 🙂

Conclusion

The cost analysis coupled the fact that we get everything we need on Youtube TV (except Hallmark) makes me want to cut the cord today, and I would if Hallmark were there. As it is, Lori will be the deciding factor, but, I’m sure as prices increase beyond her pain threshold we will sign up for Youtube TV for good.

Geek On!

Oh, yeah….that reminds me. Check out this geek friendly stats menu item. Heaven. 🙂

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