Cable v Streaming service quagmire - Advice

Here is the scenario. We are a household of 6 adults with 7 TVs. I have AppleTvs at most of them.

We have an apartment in the lower level for my wife’s parents. They have certain requirements for TV content and my main family has other requirments.

We currently subscribe to Xfinity Cable and internet. We also have the following other services:
Disney +
Prime Video
Hulu (included with Disney +)

I have looked at and tried most of the Live Tv services, and they all have pros and cons. Our biggest issue if switching to streaming TV is the number of streams available due to the large family. The only company that offers more than 3 streams is Hulu Live with unlimited DVR/Streams. With those options Hulu gets up to like $85.

My father in law needs RedZone in the football season and my mother in law main requirement is Hallmark channels.

Has anyone come up with a combo of services that they like? Will it be better to bite the bullet with Xfinity to meets the needs? I just HATE paying for their boxes. For our house that is $40/mth additional just for boxes.

I would love to just give the lower apartment cable, but at that point its in the house already, we may as well use it. My other thought is give the apartment cable and pay for just one box. Then the main house uses a streaming tv service with the $30-40 saved in box costs.


That is what I would do. FWIW.

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Sling Orange + Blue offers four streams for $45/mo but sounds like you’ll need some add-ons. May still be < $85.

With 4 services in addition to Cable (or perhaps YouTubeTV for an all internet solution), what’s the chances that the peak demand for one of the services exceeds the limit? No personal experience with this (a two adult household so nothing gets stressed) but at work we used floating licenses for expensive software and never needed anywhere near the number of seats equal to the number of employees.

We were in a similar situation, and ended up biting the bullet and going with Comcast’s service. We ended up just getting one box for live TV/sports, and using streaming boxes on the other TVs, using our comcast account to login to the network and cable apps. So that sounds similar to the second option you’re thinking of. It’s kept the prices down - I hate paying to rent substandard equipment as well - and worked pretty well for us.

When you say streaming boxes for the other TV’s, do you mean something like a Roku and use the Xfinity Stream app?

Concurrent streams does become an issue for us. A couple of our household record multiple shows at once to avoid commercials. So, we still run into having enough Xfinity tuners. So, my assumption it would still occur using a streaming service.

We just use the individual channel apps, usually they have a login for your cable provider. Not all channels do though, so might not be a universal solution.

Ah. Ok, makes sense. I have tried the Roku using the Stream app. It’s an ok experience. The iOS Stream app is really pretty good.

We have the stream app on our Roku TV, but I’m wary about the fact that the stream app is “free during beta”. So I haven’t really tried to depend on it too much since that’s not much different than just renting a box.

The “DVR” feature of streaming+live TV services do the recording centrally (actually they record everything and then just keep track of what your account requested). So there is no network traffic to record, just play later. We use YouTubeTV and haven’t run into any restrictions on the number of shows recording simultaneously, so it works much better than cable + real DVR used to.

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Been thinking about you using the “other” apps along with cable to eliminate boxes. I am starting to like this option more and more. I went thru last night and connected a bunch of network apps.

I didn’t realize how many of them offer a live option and multiple stations for that matter. Like NBC for example has like 7 live channels thru their app.

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Thank you all for your continued suggestions.

I should have mentioned in my original post, I also have a HDHomeRun with Channels app setup that has been flaky. But, now I seem to have it working well.

I can now watch and record network shows, as well as many Xfinity stations using TVEverywhere and the Xfinity credentials.

My wife is just not a fan of the occasional pixelation on the HDHomeRun due to network buffer. But, I may look into raising our internet speeds.