To Stream or Not To Stream?

REBerg

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That is my question as the streaming universe grows increasingly chaotic.
The virtually infinite entertainment universe opened by streaming services was a wonderful development for an old baby boomer like me. Back in my childhood, our trusty rabbit ears antenna pulled in three network stations and (reception conditions permitting) one independent station.
We could watch only one show at a time on our single TV set. If we missed an episode due to absence or a programming conflict, our only hope was to catch it as a summer rerun.
Now, the rising costs and content search efforts associated with streaming entertainment are making me wonder if it's all worthwhile.
Opinions?
 
There are too many platforms chasing too few subscribers.
Already you are seeing Disney and Paramount buying small services to gather their content and subscribers.
Don't know about Netflix, but Prime will probably be okay, as it is a side hustle from Amazon's main business and people who buy Apple will buy anything Apple...
I like linear programmed TV, when its done right.
Give me an evening with a couple of dramas, mix in a comedy or two and maybe a documentary [or even a talent show] and I can sit back and enjoy.
 
It was a different world, 50 or 60 years ago. We (well, many of us) were young, television was relatively young and interesting. What other or better way was there - except in the weekends - to watch television?
But 50 years later we have seen so much shows and series that we - OK, I - have become jaded. TV has digressed into endless talk-shows, reality-shows and Look-me-and-my talent-shows. I watch the News, a quiz now and then, and that is basically it.
For the better series you have to turn to a streaming service. But even there 80% of the series is mediocre at best and/or in a genre I am not interested in. The 20% interesting stuff is divided over several streaming services. Is it still worth it? I watch less and less. A show really has to be brilliant will I go sit and watch it. There are so many other interesting things to do. Watching because I am bored has yet to occur this year.
In a way I see the same process with my reading habits. Less fiction, more non-fiction. Though the fiction that I do read remain for 90% in the same genre; SFF.
I had tried to spoil myself with a wide access to streams, but:
Recently Apple TV and Amazon raised their subscription fee with nearly 40%. I cancelled my subscription.
Netflix may follow (by far the most expensive, but also bringing the most (varied) content.)
HBO/Max with 50% discount is now the cheapest (except for the one below) but the least watched by me. Undecided yet.
I'll keep CuriosityStream (who also raised their fee with 40% recently, but $40 p/year is still a reasonable fee).

The 'Not-to-Stream' option is increasingly becoming a option to seriously consider. If not for the less than captivating content, than for the costs.
 
The consolidations I've noticed -- Hulu/Disney, Paramount/Showtime -- make me think that streaming services may eventually evolve into a cost-prohibitive monster bearing a striking resemblance to cable and satellite packages.
 
All I can say for me is that when I finally had both time and money after finishing university to while away some hours with media (was rarely so fortunate before that), I found streaming such a chaotic mess that it got me to finally invest in a library card.

I haven't looked back since, except by watching Blu-Rays of shows long since completed. So I suppose you could say that for me, it wasn't worth it.
 
I like having hard copies of my films/shows. For one thing I know that they aren't going to get pulled or, even worse, sneakily edited without notice.
I am often surprised when a film or show I want to watch or rewatch has not only disappeared from a subscribed streaming service but cannot be found for digital rent or purchase anywhere. I have an extensive disc collection of favorites, but my video library space limits have been reached.
 
I subscribe to three streaming services and I have long list of shows & films (across all streaming) I'm working through. I'll cancel two of the services when I've finished the shows on them and subscribe to two others to complete the list. No doubt I'll have to rinse and repeat as my list grows, but as I've been doing this for a while a couple of shows have appeared on free to air channels.

I reckon by doing this I must have saved about $1.37 over the last year.
 
I am often surprised when a film or show I want to watch or rewatch has not only disappeared from a subscribed streaming service but cannot be found for digital rent or purchase anywhere. I have an extensive disc collection of favorites, but my video library space limits have been reached.

My solution to DVD space storage problems:

files.jpg


Cut down lever arch binders. I can get 30 or so discs in the space of 5 standard 15mm disc boxes.

discs.jpg
 
Everything starts out good and then the price goes up to match what it cheaply replaced. My cost has more than doubled over what I started at several years ago. Amazon was a good streaming deal when it started at $79 per year, now at $139 and probably going higher, not so good. Acorn was an excellent cheap add on at 4.99 per month, now 6.99. Brit Box is raising prices as well. At first there is too much to watch, making it a good deal. Eventually it gets to where you are looking for the new stuff either acquired old programs or new, or produced in house, making it more costly in terms of what you are getting. Its almost like the old days when you had no choice but to wait for the next week to see new programs. Its called spoiled rotten.

Amazon has a neat trick, actually two, maybe three. They just start throwing random stuff into the search results after awhile, making it he worst search ever, it can take so long to find something, which is sometimes worth searching for, but won't be seen at this time as you got something better, or maybe more important to do. They also like to show the first season free and then expect you to pay to see the rest of the seasons. Do you really need to start paying out extra money to see more seasons, I think not, as there is always something else to watch.

The free out door tv antenna just keeps getting more and more channels, though they can never all come in at the same time, as the signal is 1,000 percent weather dependent. There are even channels that can't come in on a clear weather day. Channels come and go, most of the new stuff is junk, its more like a TV time wayback machine. PBS has been a big disappointment, though perhaps my antennas need to be more mobile. Its gone from a good 6 channels with lots of great shows down to 1 channel, the others are special interests, and of course completely weather dependent.

The not so good news for free TV is the new converter box to get the latest outdoor tv technology and programing, at 200 bucks, I'll not be getting that any time soon.
 
Though my 'regular' TV service has over 200 channels, most of my viewing is 2 stations--Makeful for all my British reality shows (Repair Shop, Landscape and Portrait Artist of the Year, Pottery Throwdown, etc.) and CityTv for morning show/news. Everything else I watch is streamed on Netflix, Prime, Britbox, Acorn, and PBS, and the majority being on the last three. I love my Brit shows--police procedurals, cosy mysteries, gardening series, anything to do with antiques, historical dramas and documentaries.
If I had access to UK programming, I wouldn't have to stream anything. :)
 
I like having hard copies of my films/shows. For one thing I know that they aren't going to get pulled or, even worse, sneakily edited without notice.
I’m the same. If there’s something significant I’d like to see, I prefer to wait and buy on disc when it’s available. Because so many folk are giving up on hard copies, the ones I buy now are often second hand and cheaper than a subscription to movie streaming.

P.S. great idea for storage. I might have to steal your patent:)
 
I've kind of lost interest in TV this year and have seen perhaps 30 hours of TV this year. I love streaming as i was able to clear out all of my DVD's when i got onto Netflix. There is a lot i want to watch, but i refuse to buy more subscriptions and have limited myself to Netflix and and Prime.

Seeing how political the BBC has gotten recently, i d begrudge paying for my TV licence and would love to stop.
 
The free out door tv antenna just keeps getting more and more channels, though they can never all come in at the same time, as the signal is 1,000 percent weather dependent. There are even channels that can't come in on a clear weather day. Channels come and go, most of the new stuff is junk, its more like a TV time wayback machine. PBS has been a big disappointment, though perhaps my antennas need to be more mobile. Its gone from a good 6 channels with lots of great shows down to 1 channel, the others are special interests, and of course completely weather dependent.
I assembled an over-the-air backup system this summer.
I replaced a defunct rooftop satellite dish with a digital antenna, then ran the existing coax cable feed to an amplifier and a Sling box that distributes the signal to my wifi-enabled devices.
An amazing number of standard-definition subchannels are being broadcast by the primary HD stations in my area. They are, as you noted, mostly "wayback machine" offerings. In a pinch, they could provide alternate entertainment, should YouTube TV, our primary content provider, experience technical problems or become embroiled in another network licensing dispute.
I would like to replace YouTube TV with the paid version of Sling, which is half the cost. Sling, however, is missing a few channels that currently make it a no-go.
I'm keeping an eye on it.
 
In Canada both internet connection and cable tv are very expensive. I keep considering pulling the plug on cable but there is just enough stuff to either turn on randomly to watch briefly or record that would not be on sites like Netflix. The casual series (home, cooking, haunted, entertainment news , news )or music are just not on the big streamers. Also some sports on cable though there are sports streaming services. With some things you have more the feeling of watching live or current with cable. But if you don’t record advertising is dreadful.
If streaming keeps going up in price I would have to drop one though, and it is easier to see that drop being cable.
 
In Canada both internet connection and cable tv are very expensive. I keep considering pulling the plug on cable but there is just enough stuff to either turn on randomly to watch briefly or record that would not be on sites like Netflix. The casual series (home, cooking, haunted, entertainment news , news )or music are just not on the big streamers. Also some sports on cable though there are sports streaming services. With some things you have more the feeling of watching live or current with cable. But if you don’t record advertising is dreadful.
If streaming keeps going up in price I would have to drop one though, and it is easier to see that drop being cable.
Totally agree, not just expensive, but very little choice of providers . My husband is a sports fanatic- hockey, baseball, American football, golf, etc. and I need that one channel that I can't get anywhere else (Makeful) so that cable was a must. Recently, one of our cable boxes 'died', forcing us to switch to Rogers Ignite. Now everything comes from 'The Cloud', so I suppose even all those 200 channels are technically streamed.
 
In Canada both internet connection and cable tv are very expensive. I keep considering pulling the plug on cable but there is just enough stuff to either turn on randomly to watch briefly or record that would not be on sites like Netflix. The casual series (home, cooking, haunted, entertainment news , news )or music are just not on the big streamers. Also some sports on cable though there are sports streaming services. With some things you have more the feeling of watching live or current with cable. But if you don’t record advertising is dreadful.
If streaming keeps going up in price I would have to drop one though, and it is easier to see that drop being cable.
I'm always looking for ways to cut my entertainment expenses.
Internet service is also high, recently raised to $85 per month, in my city. That's offset by getting cell phone service for $14 per line per month from the same company.
I am monitoring possible local competitors, including developing 5G and fiber optics options.
 

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