We are soon to face some changes in our household which will make some difference in the way we view television shows. I will not go into those changes exactly, but one of them is that I plan on soon making the switch away from having a DVR cable/box and just going straight to Internet streaming of video. Over the last several years, the cable industry has seen a sharp decline in the amount of subscribers, and a trend toward online video. WIth this trend, they have started to get in the game so to speak by integrating services within their packages. For example right now, our provider, Comcast (Xfinity), now allows you to log into your Netflix account through their DVR. This to me, is a sign that they are starting to move into that area some. Our DVR in fact, does not use any storage, instead it marks shows to record on thier servers, and then sends it to the DVR on demand when you want to watch what you "Recorded". I found that out by chance when we had to replace the DVR for no sound issues and lo and behold, our recorded shows were magically there!
Here is what we have at the moment in our arsenal of streaming that we will be using.
Android TV Box
Both devices allow you to stream internet video directly to your Television at the cost of your Internet connection.
Some of the Paid services which come into focus that you can use when you cut the cord.
Netflix cost is $9.99/month which gives you access to a large library of TV shows and Movies on demand. Not everything is on there, so it is a hit or miss if they have what you are looking for, with that said, you have the option of adding for a few dollars per month DVD's or BluRay's to be shipped to your home for viewing of that movie or TV show you wanted to watch then you return it when you are done.
Hulu runs anwywhere from $9.99/month to $39.99 month depending on what you want to use - With them, on the lower tier plan, you often have access to TV Shows which aired the night before and usually with minimal commercial breaks OR for a a little more, you can make it commercial free.
Sling TV - is a new player in the game and they are offering LIVE TV for a monthly subscription starting at $20. This service has grown from when I first tried it a year or so ago and from what I have seen, works quite well, and you get crystal clear video.
Amazon Prime - offers streaming movies when you join their Prime service. Prime is great for getting things at a lower cost on their site, and free expedited delivery, this is one of the perks of having their service and it is a good source for movies. With that said - not all movies are there, and not all are included with the Prime membership as a free movie rental.
These are just a few of the options out there, and there are plenty more out there.
All of the above services can be used with a Roku device and other devices on the market. Both my Roku and Android TV box can handle these services with ease.
A break down of costs and savings which are applied:
Let's start with an example Cable Bill with Internet here in Portland that is from Comcast - $150.00 for high speed internet and DVR Service. Breaking this down - most high speed internet services only pacakges run about $50-$60/month.
$60.00 for Internet
$9.99 for Netflix which allows up to 2 TV's to stream at once. We only have one TV so this is a good option.
$20.00 for Sling TV so you can have your Live TV with Cable networks such as A&E or USA TV for example.
$89.99/month for roughly the same service you can achieve with Cable TV. Vs. $150.00 month.
Another route which is even cheaper!
Let's take a look at the savings applied if you have an Android TV Box and an app called Kodi (FREE) installed on it. (Kodi allows you to play locally stored media on your TV such as backed up movies, or music. In addition, it is expandable with plugins.)
One of the Plugins (ALSO FREE) you can use, allows you to search for any movie or TV show and watch it for no cost. As of this post, it is not illegal to watch movies or TV shows on your TV through the internet using streaming services.
So, with that said - Most of the plugins available on the Android TV box can replace Amazon and Netflix alltogether at no additional cost. You just have to invest the initial cost of owning the box. On Amazon, with the industry, there are literally hundreds of Android TV boxes for under $40.00. With this - you simply pay your internet cost to watch TV. Not Live, but usually a day after it airs, you have access to the TV show. ALL COMMERCIAL FREE!
I will post more on how we do this in a different post - but I wanted to bring forth some of the savings which can be had. Your savings will vary based on where you live and what you choose to use, but in this day and age, I can see within the next few years a revolution in the way Television watching will be changed.