My Cord Cutting Experience

In my part of Cincinnati, we have our choice of either Spectrum or Cincinnati Bell for high speed internet. Both offer speeds acceptable for the video conferencing that I do and are both roughly the same price. About a month ago I decided to finally switch away from Cincinnati Bell's TV service and after research, I opted for PlayStation Vue. Here is how that all went down.

We don't watch live television much to begin with. When we had a DVR we watched some first run shows but eventually we migrated to Netflix and deal with watching shows well after they are first run. It's actually better as we binge watch shows without having to wait a week or longer between episodes. But still at the end of the day, we don't watch a whole lot of live tv except football on occasion.

The interest in finally cutting the cord came to a head with Cincinnati Bell's massive increase in rate once I passed the one year promotion offer. My bill went up about $50 a month and after research I found that I could use a streaming service and "just internet" cheaper than a package from either company listed above.

Who to choose?
My options were YouTube Live, Playstation Vue, Hulu, Sling or DirecTv's service. I had Hulu's paid service a year or so ago and was not impressed. It seemed that nearly every show I liked ended up having commercials for "reasons". Plus the overall quality of service was not there so they were out. YouTube Live had regional issues and no Roku support (yet) so they were out. DirecTv was out based on reviews. So it was down to Sling and Playstation Vue with Vue winning out based on recommendations from friends.

So how did it go?
Sign up went ok I guess. Vue's website is a bit clunky and I'm often forced into re-entering my username/password. Setup on my three Roku devices went fine, pairing them with a code generated on the Roku's Playstation app typed into my computer where I logged into my account.

I gave the Vue it's first big test during the NFL playoffs. When first opening up the app on one of the Roku's it failed. I tried the app on my iPad. Failed. Hmm. Tried again on the Roku - success! Seems that Vue has issues with heavily watched channels. Next test was during the Super Bowl. Here is where it failed 100%.

In the hour before the game started, I watched some of the pregame. The video was way off and there was an insane amount of blurring on fast action (players warming up by jogging, etc). It was unwatchable. I turned to another station and it was just fine so I knew it wasn't my equipment. Stupidly, right before the National Anthem, I turned off the app to see if rebooting the Roku and relaunching the app would help - NOPE. Errors. I couldn't even get connected to Vue so in a rush, I downloaded the NBC Sports app on the Roku and watched the game through that.

I haven't fired them (yet), but it seems like under the load of watchers, the service fails. It's not isolated either as I've since found other people complaining about the service outage.

To wrap up, my setup is this:

Cincinnati Bell 100x20 internet @ $55/mo
Netflix @ $12.99/mo with new price increase
Playstation Vue @ $40/mo plus taxes

If you read all of this, congratulations!

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