SETTING UP THE STREAM

One of the really nice things about streaming services is that none of them require a contract. If they get too expensive or no longer seem worth the price – or there’s nothing left you want to watch, you can close down at the end of your month.

We are currently on FubarTV, but when the baseball season is over, we might switch to another service. You can stop and start services. There’s no charges involved. If you have a service you only use for a few shows, when they are not on (being produced for the next year), you can drop the service and pick it up when (if) your show(s) come back.

We used to have Acorn, which is the doppelganger for BritBox. We almost ate it whole. We watched pretty much every show on the channel and anything left, we had tried and didn’t like. I had paid for a year up front on it, something I don’t usually do but it was only $40 for the whole year. I did pay up front for Paramount Plus, but I don’t think I’ll run out of stuff on it. It has a lot of stuff.

HBOMAX is expensive and I didn’t want to subscribe, but they have so much really excellent quality original material — movies and docuseries and more — I gave in. It’s not just HBO anymore, either. It includes TCM (Turner Classic Movies — Garry cannot live without it), DC (as in Superman), Loony Toons, Cartoon Network, CrunchyRoll (anime) and thousands of movies from silent to now, as well as mini-series, documentaries, and more.

Disney+ is another package. Of course there is Disney as well as Pixar, National Geographics, Marvel, and Star Wars — including movies and series and documentaries. Series from long ago — Fess Parker as Davy Crockett, song and all.

Paramount Plus — which Colbert is always makin fun of — is not just CBS. It’s CBS All Access, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, and the Smithsonian Channel. It’s got a separate genre for Star Trek and if you are a fan of any of its long-running shows, you can watch (for example) all 18-seasons of NCIS, something I’m sure Garry will do at some point.

Hulu still has everything you missed on every channel, all it’s newly produced material, tons of series from first to final shows. Cheap with a few ads, slightly more free of ads and if you want, you can add live TV and get all the networks. Very good on news and pretty much every channel, but weak on sports.

FuboTV started out as a sports network, so it is great for sports and actually has the only way we can watch NESN which is the regional sports channel that carries the Red Sox. Otherwise, you have to buy a huge cable package. It’s missing CNN as well as TNT, TBS, and TNN. Most of the shows on those Turner networks are available somewhere else, like Hulu or Amazon Prime. Of course, Amazon Prime has tons of material. You just have to watch and make sure it’s free and you aren’t paying for it.

YouTubeTV is a genuine cable replacement package and has absolutely everything, including MLB and every other sports network, but not NESN or any of the regional sports networks. The problem? It’s run by Google who are sticking their noses into your private business and designing special advertising — just for you. I hate it and won’t deal with it.

We spent at least half the day just poking around on each service to see what they have. Netflix is still the most weird because you never find what you are looking for, but you’ll always find something interesting. They also have a fair number of movies that they have produced themselves, a bunch of which won Oscars. Also true on HBOMAX.

STARZ is all movies, new and old and westerns.

Nothing is just one thing anymore. Companies are buying each other and rolling them into packages, so when you get one thing, you are usually getting more. This is a good thing. So far, anyway.

If you don’t care about the news and just go with streaming packages, you’ll be entertained through the end of time. If you get a cable replacement service, you could probably spend 24 hours a day watching and never run out of stuff. Of course, we all have individual tastes, so we will never watch everything. We will drop one thing or another when we’ve run out of new things we want to see, come back to them when the shows we like renew or are replaced by something we enjoy.

At our age, it can be hard to remember what channel the show you want to watch is on. We need a chart. A big one.

I also think we are going to run out of Picard way too fast. Then we’ll have to watch another one and by then, they’ll have made another year of something else.

Tom’s Guide has a good explanation of the content of most of the streaming services (cable alternatives). Take a look (click here).

We don’t take vacations. We don’t have any entertainment in our lives except books, TV, and of course, the Internet. I think we deserve some fun somewhere. A lot of people — too many people — seem to think when you’ve passed 70 you should spend all of your time trying to pay for your medications, wondering if they will ever raise the amount of social security you get, and worrying about the future.

A couple of years ago, Garry and I stopped worrying about the future because we don’t really have one. Our future is now. The future rainy day has arrived. Pop up that umbrella and have a good time.

I wouldn’t mind a raise, but while we are waiting for someone to fix what’s obviously broken, we need to think about life in space and if we will get consumed by The Borg.



Categories: Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Humor, Marketing, Media, Sports, Television

Tags: , , , , , ,

12 replies

  1. I’ll stick with Prime “Video” (owned by Amazon). A huge amount of stuff to watch, movies and TV series, from old to semi-recent. Plus you can rent new releases and so forth if you want (and can afford it). I’m stuck in the British Series mode right now, I keep finding new series I haven’t seen and which I come to really enjoy. Currently “Brokenwood Mysteries” is my choice (although I suspect the new season has concluded now). Seven seasons so far. Fandango gave them a look, liked the show, but said whatever he was using tried to charge him for each season he tried to access. Britbox (or Acorn) via Prime gave me all of them for free. It sounds like you have a great selection and choice at your fingertips and should stay entertained well enough. Now if they’d only give us a paycheck for watching all their channels or subscribing. Wouldn’t that be something!

    Like

    • We went all British — and Australian and New Zealand — on Acorn. Then, one day, we ran out of stuff to watch. I don’t think you’ll have that problem with Amazon. They don’t have “live” TV, but not everyone needs it or even wants it.

      I’d like a paycheck for any reason anyone can dream up!

      Like

  2. We have DISH that offers a mixed bag, , including BBC. NCIS is a show we watch all the time.It also shows old movies like :The Godfather” series. We also rent Netflix movies. One day I’m probably going to see the “I Love Lucy” series. Even though I worked at Desilu for six years, I never watched the show, outside of seeing it filmed on the set a few times. I used to see “December Bride” every week only because I was doing the publicity for it for Desilu and had to be there to talk to the cast. As you know, Spring Byington was the star of that show, and she and I became friends almost instantly. We both lo loved science fiction and planned on going to a convention together, but it fizzled out. Spring was really delightful even though the cast secretly called her “The Iron Butterfly.” Yes,she had her moments. If she made a suggestion about the script that was ignored, she simply retreated into her dressing room and sat there until they saw things her way. She knew.
    what was right for her. Afer I left Desilu, she and I still corresponded for years.

    Like

    • I really admire Lucy as a trailblazer, but I was never a fan. Too much of the show was based on humiliating moments that made me very uncomfortable and which I didn’t find funny. But I don’t find that kind of humor funny on any show. But. As a woman in a man’s world, she was amazing and opened a lot of locked doors.

      Like

  3. Love what you say about “the future”. It rings so true to me at 71.

    Like

    • I know we spend more than we should on TV options, especially because we don’t have the TV on that many hours (unless someone is sick). But it makes us feel a little less constrained by being older and slower and poorer than we imagined possible. Living in New England makes it even more important because when the winter shows up, there are months when we almost never go out. For me, it’s because the footing is so bad and for both of us, it’s that the cold gets into the arthritis. New England has never been an easy place to live, so having at least movies to watch really helps!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I use Hulu (not huge into sports…) I had the full live TV thing, but the jacked the price more than $5 every year, so after a few years… The basic service is great and I can use other free streaming services for what I miss.

    Like

    • If Garry weren’t such a sports nut, that’s what I’d do too, but he needs baseball and even though he’s not as excited about football and basketball, yes, he watches them, too. ALWAYS has. It’s why I learned to like baseball. I was either going to learn to like it or not have a husband half the year. I forgot about football and basketball, but at least they don’t play every day. We spend too much on streaming services but Garry hit 79 this year and he just isn’t getting around as well as he did even a year ago. We get out, but we aren’t out for a whole days, An hour or two at a time, unless we are visiting friends.

      Having all those choices of what to watch — even if we don’t watch that many hours of TV a day — I watch even less than Garry, so maybe a couple of hours and usually late at night — I like choices. We might drop Fubar when baseball is over, but all the cable replacement services are getting very expensive. When we started with YouTubeTV, it was $45/month. Now it’s $65 and going up again I suspect.

      Worse, he is ALSO for obvious reasons a news junkie. Sigh.

      Like

      • I am also a big news junkie, but since I have no ties to TV news, I get 99% of mine from online sources – mostly bbc, cnn, rueters, ap and npr, though we often have the free 24×7 cbs news streaming on our TV a big chunk of the day when nobody is watching a specific show.

        Like

        • Garry still likes “live” news. While most of his colleagues (but not all of them) have retired, he still knows a lot of people and he likes watching how the young ones shape up on set. He also has a lot to say about what they are wearing “Where did he buy that SUIT?” and “Why is everything cut so tight and narrow?” He also has a lot to say about sports announcers: “What are they babbling about? Don’t they know there’s a game being played?” And finally, during storms: “I’m SO glad I don’t have to do that anymore!”

          Liked by 1 person

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