Tag Archives: streaming media

Drilling a little deeper down


Exploring the cord-cutting experience a little more:
The Sling Channel…a caveat. Your seven-day trial starts the moment you open it. Explore online first. I got a surprise 39.98 charge today. I mulled calling to bitch about that, but I’m gonna let it ride and check it out for a month. I’ve already changed the lineup some so I get more of the stuff I actually watch for five bucks less…if I’m not pleased I’ll explore DirecTv Now next month (it has my precious MLB Network and none of those wonderful two-year contracts that DTV is so notorious for).
All of the horror channels have the same movies, give or take one or two. But there’s no penalty for keeping them in the event that they have something that Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Shudder (or ScreamBox — I’m trying that, maybe, next month. I wouldn’t mind keeping both if they have enough unique content, at 3.00/month each) don’t have. Same for the other ‘category’ channels. They all have the same four commercials repeated endlessly…

Cordcutting?


I’ve joined the Roku generation, as of last Tuesday. A week of discovering and winnowing down, much like the first week of being on the net back in the mid-to-late 90s. Streaming media absolutely brings that to mind — it’s clearly in its infancy as a service, and will likely mushroom as more and more sponsors jump on board.
No doubt the Firestick and other streaming utilities are similar. There are probably small degrees of difference but it’s the same stuff, conceptually. I have a Roku Ultra, which cost me 75 bucks on boxing day.
Definitely going to thin the cord a strand or two, maybe unbraid it, but not cut it completely. I need to talk to my cable guy about price, as I want to keep the Contour boxes if within reason cost-wise, as local stations are not well-represented on this system and through Cox cable. May add a sports package, for reasons discussed below.
 
Pros:
 
The Midnight Pulp channel, for one. It’s my favorite so far. It has a LOT of commercials (there’s an ad-free paid version, which I might spring for if they rotate content often) but there’s everything from ANTS to ZARDOZ on that channel. 
Has lots of the stuff I like and plenty of it and it’s mostly free. The number of sci-fi, noir, and horror channels in general is fantastic. Grindhouse (my actual favorite genre) is especially well-represented. Each channel has at least some unique content. There are westerns and romance and war channels, and paranormal/ufo/conspiracy channels, and lots of indie offerings and stuff like belly-dancing and yoga and fashion channels…and metric tonnes of international streaming. Many educational channels, though some of them are paid services. Still, they’re available. A host of (ssssh) private channels, with everything from Bill O’Reilly to softcore porn. Yeah, there’s pr0n too.
The streaming service itself is great. Crystal-clear HD everydamnthing and it streams content from my various hard drives wonderfully. Links seamlessly within my chain.
 
Cons:
Little dinky remote.
Redundancy. Lots of channels are owned by the same people and it takes a while to winnow them down. The BEST content is still on Netflix/Amazon/Hulu or other paid services.
Local channel access is spotty. Sling is too expensive for what it is. It depends on the cost of basic cable being even more expensive for its existence. Lots of channels depend on your having a cable host.
When there are commercials, they’re the same ones, over and over and over and over, and then.
There’s very little sports coverage or coverage of the coverage. There is a watchESPN app, but ESPN sucks. I need me some MLB Network. I do write for a baseball blog