With PlayStation Vue, I can finally cut the cable cord, or at least I’m prepared to cut the cable cord. I first have to find out more information about penalties and such for canceling my services. Cable companies give you a discount if you order all three services, internet, phone and cable. If you remove one, you lose the preferred rate. However, if you reduce the services to the bare minimum, there’s a chance the penalty will be a wash (hopefully). First things first.
Why Cord Cutting?
A couple of months ago I had a conversation with my cable provider. My monthly bill had been climbing and I decided either I was going to their competitor (which I didn’t want to do), or I had to cut out a lot of the channels we don’t watch. At the end of the conversation, my monthly cable bill was “reduced” to $157 per month. This amount includes my phone and internet service too (although phone and internet pricing always seem to remain constant).
When the bill came in the following month, I was ready to pay the agreed-upon $157. Imagine my surprise when the bill came in at $209! Are you kidding me? How did my bill go from $157 to $209? So, I got back on the phone with the company, dropped more channels and got the bill down to $189. Cable TV is responsible for $95.95 of the bill. The remainder pays for internet and phone. It’s still too much to be paying to the cable company.
Streaming Services – An Eye Opener
Right about this time is when I started discovering services like Kodi, Terrarium TV, Mobdro (can’t believe I didn’t write about Mobdro…not to worry, I’ll do so in a separate post) and the like. The streaming services made me realize I had more choices than just the two competing cable companies in my area. In addition to the above streaming services, I’m an Amazon Prime customer so I also have the option of viewing a select group of movies/programs there.
As I thought about it, there are very few (and I mean very few) television programs I actually watch. Let’s see there’s Game of Thrones, I can watch on Mobdro. There’s the Young and Restless (I’m embarrassed to admit this one, but I’ve been watching this since I was in high school). I can catch that on CBS All Access. And then there’s Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays. Full episodes are available on Oprah.com. And of course, there’s Sherlock. Wait a minute, my cable company doesn’t offer BBC One. I watch Sherlock on Terrarium TV.
Why was I holding onto the cable company lineup when there were so few programs I enjoyed? Oh, wait… I remember; it’s the sports! My husband likes his basketball, baseball and football. Dropping cable meant we’d have to purchase the various packages from the NBA, MLB and NFL, or so we thought. Enter PlayStation Vue…
Why I Chose PlayStation Vue
Well, there are several reasons why I chose PlayStation Vue. The biggest reason was my nephew. He cut his cable cord, switched to PlayStation Vue and he’s loving it. He’s rather tech savvy so I trust his judgment. Having said that I still had to do my due diligence, so I went ‘net surfing to find more information. I found several articles comparing the various cord-cutting streaming services. The two articles listed below clinched the deal for me:
- CNET’s article compares Hulu, YouTube, Sling TV, DirectTV and PlayStation Vue*
*Some of the channels the July 2017 article indicated as not available on PlayStation Vue are now available.
5-Day PlayStation Vue Trial
My nephew’s endorsement coupled with my internet research was all I needed to give PlayStation Vue a shot. I went to their website and signed up for the free 5-day trial. What did I have to lose?
FYI: You do not need to own a PlayStation console to view streaming media with PlayStation Vue
As of this writing, January 2018, PlayStation Vue offers 4 plans:
- Access: $39.99/mo
- Core: $44.99/mo
- Elite: $54.99/mo
- Ultra: $74.99/mo
All four plans are less expensive than the plans offered by my cable company. Additionally, several of the plans offered more channels than I was getting. The decision to switch to PlayStation Vue was becoming a no-brainer. I just had to figure out which of the plans worked best for us.
Combined with streaming services such as Terrarium TV and Mobdro, the Elite plan was a perfect fit. I’m getting more bang for my buck. And, since PlayStation Vue is a month-to-month, no-contract plan, I can always change plans or add additional services. PlayStation Vue offers stand-alone options to add HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Sports Pack, Espanol Pack, Epix or Fox Soccer Plus. Check out their site for details.
Sports and PlayStation Vue
Having an avid sports fan in the house, one of my concerns was being blacked out from certain games. I do not understand how the whole blacked out games work, but apparently, there’s a workaround. From what I’m told, if your local game is blacked out, you can view the game on the opposing team’s local channel. Honestly, I think the way the whole sports thing is configured is a racket and confusing, but I’m not a sports fan.
Multiple Devices and DVR
Aside from the PlayStation Vue benefits I’ve already mentioned. you can stream programs on up to 5 devices simultaneously. Not only that, you don’t need a cable box (those cable boxes are dust collectors). Between the 5-device streaming capability and the built-in DVR capacity, how could I resist? PlayStation Vue is the reason I called my cable company to remove the TV portion of my triple play.
Cutting the Cable Cord
Wow! Canceling cable services isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. At first, I decided to reduce the TV portion of my service to basic cable. Believing the cost of basic cable would be offset by the triple play discount, I was surprised when the customer service rep wouldn’t tell me how much basic service was going to cost me. Instead, he kept offering me higher plans.
I finally got frustrated and told him I didn’t want cable TV service at all! Drop it from my account and leave the internet and phone services intact. Well, he wasn’t authorized to do that. He transferred me over to the “Account Retention Department.” Grrrr!
Over at the Account Retention Department, I gave the lady my story. I told her to drop the TV portion of my service. My monthly bills are too high and I don’t watch that much TV. She patiently listened and then said, “How about I double your internet speed from 100Mbps to 200Mbps, keep all your current channels intact and lower your bill to $89.99. This rate will remain in effect for two years” What? You mean all this time I’ve been paying $189 per month for half the internet speed and in one phone conversation you take $100 off my bill and double my internet speed? What a racket!!
I caved! She hit my weak spots…internet speed and cost savings. With the new combo, my husband keeps all of his sports channels. We also pick up additional channels with PlayStation Vue. I’ve got faster internet speed and our monthly bill with PlayStation Vue plus the cable company is still lower than my cable bill was before. And I haven’t even begun to enumerate the benefits we’ve enjoyed with PlayStation Vue. I’ll talk about these in a separate post (although I did manage to stumble upon a minor frustration with PSV).