So it has been about a year since we cut the cord (or the beam in our case) and I wanted to give everyone an update.
During this year the Tablo has performed outstandng. We only lost a few shows due to an extended power outage during Hurricane Matthew. Even though we had back up power, our internet connection was down and it appears that the Tablo needs to phone home to get guide information so it didn’t record those shows. So for those shows we had to stream them off of Amazon at a cost since we dropped Hulu.
Speaking of Hulu, we did end up dropping it as it really added no value for the $11.99/mo. It seemed to only have shows on the major networks available the next day. The shows we really hoped would be available next day or even next week were on USA, TNT, HGTV, or SyFy. Now some of those networks have their own Roku apps, but quite frankly, it seemed there were MORE commercials on the streaming channel than on the cable channel itself and you can’t fast forward through them. Plus, you HAD to have a cable subscription to even stream them. WTF? If I had a cable subscription, I wouldn’t have the need to stream. These networks need smarten up: they should offer a paid subscription of $1.99/mo for commercial free streaming regardless of cable subscription. I’d do it in a heart-beat (but not $6.99 like CBS wants for their All Access).
During this time, my internet promotion, through Comcast, expired and they had a new one that if I upgraded from basic cable w/Internet to the next level, I also got HBO. Since the package was slightly more than just Internet, I went with it because I could then cancel the $15.99/mo I was paying to stream HBONow (because I’m addicted to Game Of Thrones) and I could switch to HBO Go for free (included with my cable). This also allowed me to stream CNN, and a bunch of the other channels that irritated me with more commercials.
I did wind up having to upgrade my wireless router to the latest and greatest to be able to support the streaming without buffering. I could have run direct CAT-6 cables to each Roku and the Tablo very easily and purchased an inexpensive switch, but I was lazy and needed some of the higher end VPN and security features of the wireless router.
Now to get to cost. In the year prior to cutting the beam, I paid around $2,000 for the year for DirecTV (HD DVR & two HD receivers). This past year we paid just over $400. And that included a season of a couple shows we had to pay for on Amazon because we didn’t get it. Plus a few episodes here and there that I screwed up and didn’t program the Tablo correctly or the aforementioned episodes lost during Hurricane Matthew. Also includes Netflix and several months of Hulu. I do not include my Amazon Prime cost nor the cost of internet, nor the router upgrade as I would have them regardless of having cable or not.
Overall, we are extremely pleased at the experience, with my wallet being overjoyed! I really think the cable and satellite companies need to wake up and embrace this new world of programming consumption otherwise they are going to go the way of the MaBell’s .