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November 10, 2020

Cutting the Cord Update: I Disconnected My Cable Box

The cable guy just fixed the internet. I disconnected the cable box to see what cutting the cord was like.

Commenters recommended Pluto TV, which was available as an app through my PS4. It's free. It took about 60 to 90 seconds to download and install. I found it in about one minute scrolling through all the apps listed on the PS4.

You can go to Pluto.tv to view their website, and see how to connect, whether by smart tv, a streaming device like Amazon Fire stick or Roku or the PS4, or even on your phone.

There are more than a hundred channels, from a Star Trek channel, to a Sci-Fi channel (which also plays some Star Trek), to an entire channel of CSI repeats, and an entire channel of 007 movies, 24 hours a day.

Newswise, they have OANN, Newsmax, The Blaze and others. They have liberal networks too, like Bloomberg News and I think a version of CNN and MSNBC and NBC News, too.

They seem to have a deal with CBS in particular. There are a dozen or so local CBS News channels.


There's a lot of British stuff, from Father Ted to Classic Doctor Who.

There are a whole bunch of Pluto-branded versions of channels like Comedy Central and MTV and that crap. I don't know if these are the actual channels or maybe like highlights of the channels. The Comedy Central channel has repeats of Crank Yankers, so maybe this is just some of their older material?

There are also a lot of movie channels, like "90s Throwback," "80s Rewind," "70s Classics." 80s Rewind was playing Hellraiser 2, followed by Heathers.

In addition to a lot of Live TV channels, there's also a lot of On Demand stuff. For example, I can watch the 007 movies playing on the 007 channel, but I could also watch, say, Doctor No on demand.

Again: this is free.

Although you don't have channels that I know people watch a lot of, like ID and HGTV, they do have their own knockoff versions of that kind of programming.

And also: Free.

But if you have to have some of those cable channels, like ID, you can get Philo TV, which has 63 channels for $20 a month. That doesn't seem worth it to me, but then, I don't watch ID.

I'm surprised. I'd say "delighted" but that sounds like something that closet case David French would say upon seeing tonight's chosen buck.

Given that this stuff is free, it makes it pretty affordable to buy the occasional series like Always Sunny in Philadelphia or What We Do In the Shadows on Amazon Prime.


Here's a sample of their channel lineup now. You can scroll the different categories available on the left, and scroll down the actual show listings in the middle/right.

This is going to be super-easy, barely an inconvenience. I don't watch a lot of TV anyway. I just sometimes put something on when I'm bored and getting ready for bed. Obviously, Zero Dollars is a good price to pay for this level of TV.

Check it out. And thanks to everyone who suggested it.

Zero fucking dollars.

Well, I mean, I do have to pay for internet, but I was already paying for that.

I'm so happy I will never pay for ESPN, ABC, MSNBC, CNN or Fox again.

Goodbye, motherf***ers. When the ratings aren't budging, that's me not watching.

More:

219 They seem to have a deal with CBS in particular. There are a dozen or so local CBS News channels. ++++++++++++++ Correct. PlutoTV was created by ViacomCBS. There are some other partners involved, but the big dog is Viacom - so ad revenues feed back into ViacomCBS. One other note: the version of OAN on Pluto isn't live, it's replay.

Here is a brief roundup of these.
- Pluto: Free to use; owned by ViacomCBS.
- Philo: Paid, $20/month. This is essentially an intermediate cable package without news and sports. Philo is a JV owned by a number of cable networks (A&E, AMC, Discovery and CBS again (Viacom is involved in both Philo and Pluto)).
- KlowdTV: Paid, $5/month. Provides live OAN and a couple of others. For more money, you can also get Blaze, RT, and some others. Owned by Herring Networks, which also owns OANN.
- Newsmax: free. Independent and delivers only the Newsmax content to your smart TV.

For more fully-fledged cable TV replacements delivered over the internet (and all the same problems as cable - like paying people who hate you, but also things like news and sports and premium packages), there are (at various prices):
- Youtube TV (Google)
- AT&T TV NOW (AT&T)
- Sling TV (Echostar/Dish Network)
- Hulu (Disney)

I have actually used *all* of these except for Youtube TV. They all work. Of the mainline paid cable-replacement services, I found AT&T TV NOW to be the best overall user experience. I dropped it in favor of Philo, since the entertainment pieces are the only thing my family are interested in. Philo works very well and is very easy to use as well.
KlowdTV is the worst app experience, but it is so simple that it doesn't matter. It doesn't do much more than deliver OAN to you (or the other channels, which I have never actually turned on). Pluto is cool and since it is free, why not?
Posted by: Joe Mannix (Not a cop!) a

I've looked at Sling a bunch of times. But the cheapest package is like $50 per month. You start getting back up to cable prices pretty quickly.

DVRs: A commenter asked about DVRs for cord cutters. I don't know much about it, but here's a video about the subject:


digg this
posted by Ace at 02:48 PM

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