Saturday, December 31, 2022

Watching the bowl games, Day 14

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The bowl season kicked off December 16 and concludes with the national championship game on January 9. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 31, 2022

Four games are scheduled today. Three are between two ranked teams, and one game involves unranked teams.

Allstate Sugar Bowl
12:00 PM on ESPN

University of Alabama (5) (10-2)
vs
Kansas State University (9) (10-3)

TransPerfect Music City Bowl
12:00 PM on ABC

University of Iowa (7-5)
vs
University of Kentucky (7-5)

CFP Semifinal at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl
4:00 PM on ESPN

Texas Christian University (3) (12-1)
vs
University of Michigan (2) (13-0)

CFP Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
8:00 PM on ESPN

Ohio State University (4) (11-1)
vs
University of Georgia (1) (13-0)

How to watch

To stream the game, you need one of the following service.

ABC

  • Antenna, over the air, free.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Watching the bowl games, Day 13

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The bowl season kicked off December 16 and concludes with the national championship game on January 9. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 30, 2022

Five games are scheduled today. Two are between two ranked teams, and two involve one ranked team.

Duke's Mayo Bowl
12:00 PM on ESPN

University of Maryland, College Park (7-5)
vs
North Carolina State University (23) (8-4)

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl
2:00 PM on CBS

University of Pittsburgh (8-4)
vs
University of California, Los Angeles (18) (9-3)

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
3:30 PM on ESPN

University of Notre Dame du Lac (21) (8-4)
vs
University of South Carolina (19) (8-4)

Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl
4:30 PM on Bartstool Sports

Ohio University (9-4)
vs
University of Wyoming (7-5)

Capital One Orange Bowl
8:00 PM on ESPN

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (6) (10-2)
vs
Clemson University (7) (11-2)

How to watch

To stream the game, you need one of the following service.

CBS

  • Antenna (free).
  • Paramount+ $10/month.
  • YouTube TV $65/month.
  • Fubo $65/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV $70/month.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

Barstool Sports app

  • Apple TV
  • Fire TV
  • Google/Android TV
  • Roku

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Watching the bowl games, Day 12

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The bowl season kicked off December 16 and concludes with the national championship game on January 9. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 29, 2022

Three games are scheduled today. One is between two ranked teams, and another involves a ranked team.

Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl
2:00 PM on ESPN

Syracuse University (7-5)
vs
University of Minnesota (8-4)

Cheez-It Bowl
5:30 PM on ESPN

University of Oklahoma (6-6)
vs
Florida State University (13) (9-3)

Valero Alamo Bowl
9:00 PM on ESPN

University of Texas at Austin (20) (8-4)
vs
University of Washington (12) (10-2)

How to watch

To stream the game, you need one of the following service.

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Watching the bowl games, Day 11

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The bowl season kicked off December 16 and concludes with the national championship game on January 9. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 28, 2022

Four games are scheduled today.

Military Bowl Presented by Peraton
2:00 PM on ESPN

University of Central Florida (9-4)
vs
Duke University (8-4)

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
5:30 PM on ESPN

University of Kansas (6-6)
vs
University of Arkansas (6-6)

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
8:00 PM on Fox

University of Oregon (15) (9-3)
vs
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (9-4)

TaxAct Texas Bowl
10:15 PM on ESPN

Texas Tech University (7-5)
vs
University of Mississippi (8-4)

How to watch

To stream the game, you need one of the following service.

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

Fox

  • Antenna, over the air, free.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Watching the bowl games, Day 10

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The bowl season kicked off December 16 and concludes with the national championship game on January 9. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 27, 2022

Four games are scheduled today.

Camellia Bowl
12:00 PM on ESPN

Georgia Southern University (6-6)
vs
State University of New York at Buffalo (6-6)

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
3:15 PM on ESPN

University of Memphis (6-6)
vs
Utah State University (6-6)

TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl
6:45 PM on ESPN

Coastal Carolina University (9-3)
vs
East Carolina University (7-5)

Guaranteed Rate Bowl
10:15 PM on ESPN

University of Wisconsin–Madison (6-6)
vs
Oklahoma State University–Stillwater (7-5)

How to watch

To stream the game, you need one of the following service.

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Watching the bowl games, Day 9

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The bowl season kicked off December 16 and concludes with the national championship game on January 9. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 26, 2022

One games is scheduled today.

Quick Lane Bowl
2:30 PM on ESPN

New Mexico State University (6-6)
vs
Bowling Green State University (6-6)

How to watch

To stream the game, you need one of the following service.

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Christmas Day 2022

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

-- The Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, verses 1-20.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Christmas Eve 2022

As we approach Christmas, we're breaking to offer this classic, that you may remember from your childhood, or which your children or grandchildren may in future remember from theirs.

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

-- Clement Clarke Moore

And to you and yours, a happy Christmas!

Watching the bowl games, Day 8

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The bowl season kicked off December 16 and concludes with the national championship game on January 9. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 24, 2022

One games is scheduled today.

EasyPost Hawai'i Bowl
8:00 PM on ESPN

Middle Tennessee State University (7-5)
vs
San Diego State University (7-5)

How to watch

To stream the game, you need one of the following service.

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Watching the bowl games, Day 7

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The bowl season kicked off December 16 and concludes with the national championship game on January 9. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 23, 2022

Two games are scheduled today.

Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl
3:00 PM on ESPN

University of Louisiana at Lafayette (6-6)
vs
University of Houston (7-5)

Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl
6:30 PM on ESPN

Wake Forest University (7-5)
vs
University of Missouri (6-6)

How to watch

To stream the game, you need one of the following service.

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Watching the bowl games, Day 6

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The bowl season kicked off December 16 and concludes with the national championship game on January 9. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 22, 2022

One game is scheduled today.

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
7:30 PM on ESPN

Baylor University (6-6)
vs
United States Air Force Academy (9-3)

How to watch

To stream the game, you need one of the following service.

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Watching the bowl games, Day 5

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The bowl season kicked off December 16 and concludes with the national championship game on January 9. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 21, 2022

One game is scheduled today.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
9:00 PM on ESPN

Western Kentucky University (8-5)
vs
University of South Alabama (10-2)

How to watch

To stream the game, you need one of the following service.

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Watching the bowl games, Day 4

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The bowl season kicked off December 16 and concludes with the national championship game on January 9. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 20, 2022

One game is scheduled today.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
3:30 PM on ESPN

Eastern Michigan University (8-4)
vs
San José State University (7-4)

RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl
7:30 PM on ESPN

Liberty University (8-4)
vs
University of Toledo (8-5)

How to watch

To stream the game, you need one of the following service.

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Watching the bowl games, Day 3

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The bowl season kicked off December 16 and concludes with the national championship game on January 9. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 19, 2022

One game is scheduled today.

Myrtle Beach Bowl
2:30 PM on ESPN

Marshall University (8-4)
vs
University of Connecticut (6-6)

How to watch

To stream the game, you need one of the following service.

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Xfinity Internet price hikes

About a month ago, we talked about Comcast TV price increases. We mentioned that it was expected that other services, including Xfinity Internet, would be going up in price as well.

There were details about the TV price hikes, mostly due to increased broadcast TV fees. That's the money you are charged to get local TV stations. These are stations you could get for free if you had an antenna. To be fair to Comcast, they have to pay to carry the stations, and they pass that along. They should simply include it in the base price. They quote you one price, then add on fees, in some cases of over $20, to the bottom line, making you pay more than they advertised.

While the focus of the report that we talked about was on cable TV price increases, there are also increases to Xfinity Internet.

I got my price increase notice yesterday. Mine is going up 6.1%.

Now, they didn't tell me that. Not exactly. They provided a link that I could use to find the document that had the price increase on it.

Simply put, if you look at the paper bill, or download the PDF of the bill, you'll find it on one of the latter pages. In my case, it's a $3/month increase. As my bill has been $49/month for Internet, that translates to a 6.1% increase in my Internet bill.

If you're an Xfinity Internet customer, you're Streaming Life just got a little more expensive. Mine by over 6%. I'm not happy about. But, I have to credit them for reliable service. I just don't like the idea of having to pay more for it.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

How to watch the bowl games, Day 2

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The bowl season kicked off yesterday and concludes with the national championship game on January 9. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 17, 2022

Six games are on tap today. One includes a ranked team, but all should be pretty good matchups. Four of the games are one-score spreads.

Wasabi Fenway Bowl
11:00 AM on ESPN

University of Cincinnati (9-3)
vs
University of Louisville (7-5)

SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl
2:30 PM on ESPN

University of Florida (6-6)
vs
Oregon State University (#14) (9-3)

Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl Presented by Stifel
3:30 PM on ABC

Washington State University (7-5)
vs
Fresno State University (9-4)

LendingTree Bowl
5:45 PM on ESPN

Rice University (5-7)
vs
University of Southern Mississippi (6-6)

New Mexico Bowl
7:30 PM on ABC

Southern Methodist University (7-5)
vs
Brigham Young University (7-5)

Frisco Bowl Presented by SERVPRO
9:15 PM on ESPN

University of North Texas (7-6)
vs
Boise State University (9-4)

How to watch

To stream the games, you need one of the following services, or an antenna in some cases.

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

ABC

  • Antenna, over the air, free.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Friday, December 16, 2022

How to watch the bowl games, Day 1

There are 42 college bowl games and playoff games this year. The first two are today, and the last one, the national championship game, is on January 10. In all, 82 schools will be playing games this post-season.

Streamers college football is a lot easier than it used to be -- legally that is -- and today you have many options options when it comes to watching the bowl games.

December 16, 2022

HomeTown Lenders Bahamas Bowl
11:30 AM on ESPN

Miami University (6-6)
vs
University of Alabama at Birmingham (6-6)

Duluth Trading Cure Bowl
3:00 PM on ESPN

University of Texas at San Antonio (#25) (11-2)
vs
Troy University (#24) (11-2)

How to watch

ESPN/ESPN2

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

If watching college football bowl games is something you want in your Streaming Life, you have plenty of options.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

DirecTV Stream price increases

Starting in January, DirecTV Stream will cost more.

That's not totally unexpected, but it's never a welcome thing. There have been other price increases lately in live streaming services, and DirecTV Stream is simply the latest one.

So far, in 2022, there have been price increases by Vigo, Hulu+Live TV, Fubo, and DirecTV Stream. While this latest price increase won't take effect until January 22, 2023, their last increase was January 23, 2022, so DirecTV Stream did have a price increase this year, and this announcement is for next year.

So, what's the total cost going forward? Glad you asked. The Streamable has lists of the increase for the current plans, and for those still on one of the older DirecTV Now plans (yes, those grandfathered in get to share in the higher prices):

DIRECTV STREAM Plans

  • Entertainment: $74.99 a month (+$5)
  • Choice: $99.99 a month (+$10)
  • Ultimate: $109.99 a month (+$5)
  • Premier: $154.99 a month (+$5)

DIRECTV NOW Legacy Plans

  • Live a Little: $84.99 a month (+$5)
  • Just Right: $102.99 a month (+$8)
  • Go Big: $114.99 a month (+$10)
  • Go Big Early Adopter Plan: $89.99 (+$10)

Price increases are never good news. These days, they're never unexpected. And this is simply the latest.

I don't often use a live streaming service. When I cut the cord in 2011, they didn't have any live streaming services such as these, and I quickly adapted to finding content without any such service. And, when they were finally introduced, I tried them and found I was fine without spending the money. Which is a heckuva lot more money these days.

However, most newer streaming simply look to replicate cable when they transition to a Streaming Life. These services act like a streaming cable service, complete with price increases and everything.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

IMDB top streaming movies of 2022

Yesterday, we talked about the top streaming TV of 2022, according to IMDB. But the report by IMDB contained two lists. Not only did they cover the top streamed TV shows, they also covered streaming movies.

During the year, the largest streaming year yet, there were several films that were watched. IMDB reported the top ten streaming movies. Spoilers: I've seen none of them.

IMDb Top 10 Movies of 2022*

  1. The Batman
  2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  3. Thor: Love and Thunder
  4. Top Gun: Maverick
  5. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  6. The Northman
  7. The Gray Man
  8. Everything Everywhere All at Once
  9. Death on the Nile
  10. X

*Among the movies released in the U.S. in 2022, these 10 were consistently most popular with IMDb users, as determined by the actual page views of the more than 200 million monthly visitors to IMDb worldwide. This exclusive and definitive data is derived from IMDbPro movie rankings, which are updated weekly throughout the year. IMDb users can add these and other titles to their IMDb Watchlist at https://www.imdb.com/watchlist. IMDb users can also rate movies they’ve seen from each film’s IMDb title page to help other users discover and decide what to watch.

Some of these are Marvel movies, but I've never been a comic book fan. And, yeah, I know they don't like the term "comic book" but that's exactly what it is. Those Marvel films are huge. But I'm not in the audience on those. I've seen some, and don't care when another one is released. They just don't appeal to me. None of them. Marvel, DC, none of them.

I'll look into a couple of these and perhaps I'll find a gem that I've missed. And if you've not seen them, even the Marvel ones, you may want to check them out. Just because it's not my cup of tea doesn't mean it shouldn't be on your menu. Only you can make that choice. After all, I have my Streaming Life, and you have yours.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

IMDB top streaming TV of 2022

This time of year, there are all kinds of "top this of the year" and "top that of the year." Well, with streaming, and the popularity it has gained, there are now lists about streaming.

I saw an article on The Streaming Advisor about an IMDB list of the top streaming TV shows of the year. I found it interesting.

The actual list included several shows I've never seen, but a couple I did watch.

IMDb Top 10 TV and Streaming Series of 2022*

  1. Stranger Things
  2. House of the Dragon
  3. Better Call Saul
  4. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
  5. Euphoria
  6. The Boys
  7. Moon Knight
  8. The Sandman
  9. Ozark
  10. Inventing Anna

*The 10 TV and streaming series that released new episodes in 2022 and consistently ranked highest on the proprietary weekly TV rankings on IMDbPro throughout the year. IMDbPro rankings are based on the actual page views of the more than 200 million monthly visitors to IMDb worldwide. IMDb users can add these and other titles to their IMDb Watchlist at https://www.imdb.com/watchlist. IMDb users can also rate series they’ve seen from each show’s IMDb title page to help other users discover and decide what to watch.

I've seen two of these. Better Call Saul was a favorite of mine, and I've like Stranger Things overall. But I've watched none of the other TV shows. A friend has recommended Ozark, so I may give it a shot soon. I may check out some of the other shows, since many seem to think they're worthwhile.

If you haven't seen these shows, they may be worth checking out. As I said, I was a huge fan of Better Call Saul, and recommend it. They may be worth considering adding to your Streaming Life.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Paramount+ Essential Plan

Back in September, Walmart added a benefit to their Walmart+ subscribers. Included with that subscription is the Paramount+ Essential plan. That's the cheaper one that does not include local CBS, downloading content to mobile devices, and has ads. The Premium plan is ad-free (mostly), allows downloads, and includes local CBS stream.

I didn't try the service, mostly because I never got around to it. Okay, entirely because I never got around to it. But recently, I did. And I like it.

I don't normally use the local CBS feed, because I rarely watch live TV. Plus, an antenna means if I do watch local TV live, I don't need a streaming subscription that includes that.

Additionally, I don't download content to mobile devices, and I don't care if there are ads. All that adds up to me not needing the Premium service, and using the Essential service instead.

If you've followed this blog, you know that I only subscribe to one service at a time. Paramount+ was one of the services that I would include in that. Now, I don't need to. I have it year-round now. Well, as long as I decide to remain with Walmart+.

The service is fine. Paramount+ is a good service, and the commercials are not intrusive.

If I wasn't a Walmart+ subscriber, I would continue to have Paramount+ in my rotation of services. But, as I am a Walmart+ subscriber, I get the Essential plan, and enjoy it. I'm glad to have it in my Streaming Life.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Why streaming?

In 2011, I dropped cable. The reason, or so I told myself, was that it was cheaper to stream TV.

My son had first shown the about streaming TV a couple of years before. I had already heard about streaming TV, which was practically unheard of, back then. While I had heard and read about it, I never saw it in practice until I visited my son one day. He showed me some content that he accessed via his Xbox.

I think from that day forward, I was hooked. In retrospect, I think I decided right then and there that I would start doing TV that way.

I did not immediately jump right in to streaming. But I did begin my research. First of all, I didn't have an Xbox and didn't want an Xbox. I was never really a gamer, and didn't want to put a bunch of money into an Xbox just to stream TV.

That's when I found out about Roku devices. They were new, with the first devices coming onto the market in 2008, and the next batch of devices launching in late 2009.

I had a TiVo device, but at the time, it wasn't really a proper streaming device. I had to download movies then watch them, which isn't the same thing. But TiVo did have one thing: a list of TV shows I recorded and watched later. That meant I knew what I watched, and wondered how I would watch the same content without cable.

Using my TiVo list, I researched how to purchase the same TV shows over the course of a year. At the end of that year (2009) I found out that it didn't cost a whole lot more to have streamed TV than to have paid for cable. But, it did cost more. So, I decided to wait. I wanted to see how this went.

I spent the next year updating my spreadsheet of TV shows -- old ones canceled were removed, new series we liked were added -- and looked up all the different ways to watch TV. That, at the time, included purchasing from Amazon or iTunes, from Hulu Plus (there were two versions back then; Hulu Plus replaced regular Hulu and is now called just plain Hulu), and from an antenna.

At the end of 2010, I had discovered it was cheaper. I bought my wife an Apple TV device -- but not for streaming; she wanted to play back her iTunes music through the big sound system attached to the TV -- and I later bought a Roku device for streaming.

At the time, Apple TV was a very limited streaming device, but it did have a kind of "best of streaming" list of applications. Roku was like it is today in that it had a huge store of apps (they called, and still call, them "channels").

After the bowl games in 2011, I canceled cable. The wife wasn't happy with that at first. She quickly adapted, and still likes it. We're not together any longer, but she still streams and doesn't have cable, so at least I did that right.

In all the years, I've always said I dropped cable and went streaming because it was cheaper. And it was cheaper, and has remained so. But is that the only reason I stream TV today? No. The reason I stream today is that I simply like it.

I like it because, well yes, it's cheaper. I like it because of the cool tech. I like it because it lets me set the schedule -- I don't have to choose between staying out on a date and getting home to watch a particular show.

My Streaming Life began as a way to save money -- or so I said. I think it really began because it was cool and would give me more control over when I did things. The saving money only controlled when I made the switch to streaming.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Trying Disney+ with ads

This week, Disney launched Disney+ with ads. I knew I wanted to try that, because a few things were interesting.

First, I've always used the basic Hulu service, which has ads. To be clear, I'm not talking about Hulu+Live TV. Yes, I've tried that from time to time, but I normally just use standard Hulu, which has always had ads. There is a "no ads" version, and I tried it, but it's not worth it to me. I can deal with ads.

Next, I've tried Netflix with ads. I don't subscribe to Netflix often, but I did recently give it a month with the ad-supported service. It was fine, and saved $3/month over a regular subscription. Yes there were ads -- most of the time; some content still didn't have ads -- but they did a good job with it. It was kind of like watching Hulu, but with even fewer ads.

Finally, I've tried HBO Max ads. It's $10/month rather than the $15/month price of the traditional plan. As with Netflix ad-supported and standard Hulu, it was fine. Not a lot of ads, but some, and they were placed properly and not intrusive.

So, with this week's launch of Disney+ with ads, I decided to try it. So, I subscribed.

I was actually going to wait, but didn't. The reason for waiting was that I'm still in my month of HBO Max. If you've followed here for some time, you're aware that I'll subscribe to a single service for a month, watch all I can, then cancel it, and subscribe to a different service the next month. I continue that over the year. I do get to watch everything on-demand that I want, and I pay a lot less over the year.

I don't normally double up on services, and I'm in the midst of HBO Max, so that means I would wait, right? Well, normally, yes. But there are several shows on Hulu that have been collecting, awaiting on my to subscribe again. And I took advantage of the HBO Max special of 3 months for $6. So, I can afford to double up and no go too far outside budget.

With Hulu and Disney+ together for only $10/month -- ad-supported pricing -- I decided to do this.

So, how is it? Well, I don't know. I just did this. I mean, literally, I subscribed then opened the laptop to type this. I haven't watched anything yet. But I'm about to. Well, after breakfast.

I'm very curious to see how this works into my Streaming Life. I think it will go well. But let's find out.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Illegal IPTV streaming

I started to write about something I haven't in a while, but something that needs to be kept in mind for cord cutters and streamers: illegal IPTV streaming services.

I've written about it before, and I didn't want to just repost what I had posted before. I wanted it to be something a little different, but still give the same information, as it all still applies.

Well, Tyler the Antenna Man came to the rescue. He doesn't know, of course. He just so happened to have posted a video recently about this very topic. So, I'm going to simply let you watch his video, as he does a proper job on explaining things.

[Direct YouTube link]

Of course, Tyler runs an antenna service, and his video channel is for promoting that as much as sharing information. But he's not high pressure, and offers good information that you can use without purchasing one of his antennae or using his recommendation service. I will add that his recommendation service is very good, and something I would recommend if you aren't certain about your antenna purchase plan.

And, of course, his information about illegal IPTV services is spot on. Stay away from those services. Sellers have gone to jail. Subscribers have been hit with fines. Plus, it's just plain wrong to use them. Don't incorporate something like that into your Streaming Life.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

More cord cutters

So you're a cord cutter. Guess what? So are more and more people. That means you were in or cord cutting before others.

Well, unless of course you aren't a cord cutter, in which case ... why not?

But let's say you are. New data indicates more and more people are joining your ranks -- our ranks -- and dropping traditional pay TV.

Data released recently from Moffett Nathasson indicates that pay TV subscribers dropped by large numbers in the third quarter of this year by over 6%:

The drop in pay TV subs was slightly worse than the 6.2% slide seen in Q2 and the 5.2% decline seen a year ago in Q3 2022. 

MoffettNathan's definition of pay TV includes both traditional cable and satellite operators as well as newer vMVPDs like Fubo TV and YouTube TV. 

To put this in perspective, MoffettNathanson reported that the "Q3 loss of 655K subscribers is the largest third quarter loss ever; last year’s loss was…617K and the year before just 91K" in Q3 2020.

So, is this good news? Not for TV subscribers. That means higher fees for carrying local stations.

According to the report, that means smaller income from broadcast retransmission fees, which could translate into even higher fees for the remaining subscribers.

Recently, Comcast announced increases, and the vast majority was due to the broadcast fees. And this report indicates more could be coming to other pay TV services.

While broadcasters may view this as a trend reaffirming the value of their over-the-air broadcasts, it also promises to create some serious financial problems for stations, which in recent years have relied heavily on retransmission consent payments from pay TV providers.

BIA has predicted that subscriber fees from retransmission consent agreements will increase from $14.55 billion in 2022 to $17.37 billion in 2030, growth that will be difficult to maintain if the pay TV ecosystem continues to collapse.

But you're a cord cutter, right? These things don't impact you.

You are a cord cutter, right? Right?

If not, you may want to look into it. I cut the cord in early 2011, and have never once regretted it. My Streaming Life is good. You should try it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Christmas movies for free

With December well underway, many are looking to add Christmas movies to their regular TV watching schedule. So, how do you go about doing that?

One way would be to watch content from Hallmark. We recently talked about that.

While watching Hallmark content is a great way, it's not the cheapest way. Well, not always.

If you recall, some services do offer free streams of Hallmark content, although not current Hallmark movies.

  • Plex
  • Roku Channel
  • Pluto TV
  • Xumo
  • Sling TV (free tier)

But is that all? Are there other ways to watch Christmas movies for free? No.

Pluto TV

The granddaddy of FAST apps has a Season's Greetings section. It has nine linear (live streaming) channels. If you look around the live channel guide, you'll see Christmas channels in other sections, but they are duplicates of what's in the Season's Greetings section. Of course, some other channels will occasionally have Christmas or other holiday content. These nine are all Christmas content, including movies, fireplace, music videos, and one Spanish language channel.

Xumo

The Comcast backed FAST service has a Holiday Hub that has 18 live streaming channels. This includes five music channels and a music video channel, but no fireplace channels.

Crackle

This long-time favorite now has a more family friendly approach since it was acquired by Chicken Soup for the Soul. Crackle doesn't have a live-streaming hub of holiday content, but does have a Holiday section of 160 on-demand movies. They are mostly Christmas themed, but there are other holidays represented, including Thanksgiving.

Tubi

The Fox-owned Tubi has a Holiday Hits category with 200 on-demand selections. There is no linear content, but that is a fair number of on-demand movies and TV. Tubi has some fireplace and Christmas music based selections that run about an hour each.

Plex

This service has both live streaming and on-demand sections. However, it's doesn't contain the focus of other services. There is no Holiday or similar category in the Movies & Shows section. However, there are over 250 on-demand holiday themed movies. But beware: there are all sorts of sub-genre and mixed genre holiday movies, including horror films. Not everything is suitable for family viewing.

Unfortunately, in the Live TV section, there is no category for holiday content.

Roku Channel

In the live streaming section, there is no section for Christmas movies, but there are some Christmas channels. My suggestion would be to mark them as Favorites.

Roku Channel does have a Seasons Streamings section for on-demand content, however. And a pretty good selection.

Pub-D-Hub

This offering is a little unusual, but the free Pub-D-Hub service does have a Christmas section. It's all really old content -- Pub-D-Hub is public domain content after all -- but some is really good. This may become a favorite of older viewers.

There are other apps and services that offer Christmas content, of course, but these are the highlights of the most popular. And all of these are free.

There are ways to get Christmas content into your Streaming Life. These are but a few of the free ways, but some of the best.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

How to watch Hallmark Channel

Hallmark has meant quality television for years. More recently, it has become known for its Christmas movies. As we're nearly a week into December, you might be wondering where you can watch Hallmark Channel, or Hallmark's related channels, as a streamer. The answer is: a lot of places. Which particular place is right for you depends on exactly what you want. Answers are never simple, are they?

Let's start simple. Where can you watch Hallmark Channel? By that, I mean the same channel that you get with a cable or satellite subscription. If you've cut the cord, or are looking to, you may want to ensure that you are able to watch Hallmark Channel.

We'll cover that, as well as Hallmark's other channels -- Hallmark Drama and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries -- as well as it's on demand services -- Hallmark Movies Now and Hallmark Movies & More -- and the differences. Plus, some free Hallmark content.

You may right now be saying why would you want to know where you can subscribe to it when you can watch it free. Well, the free streaming channels don't have the current movies. They have Hallmark movies, to be sure, but not the same ones you can see on the standard Hallmark Channel.

If the mere fact of Hallmark content -- albeit older Hallmark content -- is enough, then you can watch it for free at a few places.

Here are the places that carry various Hallmark content

Plex

  • Live Hallmark Movies & More
  • On demand Hallmark Movies & More

Roku Channel

  • Live Hallmark Movies & More
  • Subscription Hallmark Movies Now

Pluto TV

  • Live Hallmark Movies & More
  • On demand movies

Peacock

  • Live Hallmark Channel
  • Live Hallmark Movies & More

Xumo Channel

  • Live Hallmark Movies & More
  • On demand Hallmark Movies & More

Sling TV free tier

  • On demand Hallmark Movies Now (limited)

Those are a lot of options, and they may be enough to get you what you want. However, if you want to current Hallmark Channel and its sister channels, you'll need to subscribe to a live streaming service. You have plenty of options there as well.

Hallmark's channels

  • Frndly TV ($7/month)
  • Philo ($25/month)
  • Sling TV Orange + Lifestyle Extra ($46/month)
  • Sling TV Blue + Lifestyle Extra ($46/month)
  • Sling TV Orange+Blue + Lifestyle Extra ($61/month)
  • Vidgo Plus ($60/month)
  • YouTube TV ($65/month)
  • Fubo TV ($70/month)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($70/month)
  • DirecTV Stream ($70/month) Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries included; Hallmark Drama available in an add-on package.

Like I said, the answer isn't simple. But if you know what you want, you have some options.

One thing to consider is if you want the current Hallmark Channel, look at the various packages and see what other channels are avaialble. You may find the $7/month Frndly TV is suffiicient. Or you may find one of the others more suited.

What all this means is that you have plenty of options -- maybe more than you want to deal with -- to include Hallmark content in your Streaming Life. If you don't know what to do, watch the free content until you decide. I mean, it's free, right?

Monday, December 5, 2022

College Football Playoffs: A better idea (2022 Edition)

For years, some of my online friends have suggested ways to improve the college football playoffs. To be clear, we're talking about Division 1-A/FBS, since Division 1-AA/FCS has had a championship since they split Division 1 football in 1979.

Our idea has been to have a 16 team playoff. Every conference champion would automatically qualify. Let's be clear, all conference champions, not just the self-proclaimed Power 5. The field of 16 would be filled in with the best teams that didn't win a conference championship.

We've been calling for this since the BCS days, and if they had done this, a lot of the conference realignment would not have happened. The college football landscape would be very different.

In a couple of years, the field of four will expand to 12. It's a good step, but I think it should include all conference championships. Winning a conference championship is a big deal. Winning the SEC is a big deal. Winning the MAC is a big deal. Not as big a deal, but still, it's a major college football conference championship. In my mind, they've earned something special, and a spot in the playoffs would be the proper reward.

Once you have more than eight teams involved -- such as the upcoming change to 12 -- you have four rounds. The season won't last any longer having 16 teams than 12 teams. The only thing 12 does is give 4 teams a bye, and leave out four conference champs.

Having said all that, the College Football Playoff Committee announced the four team field yesterday afternoon:

  1. Georgia
  2. Michigan
  3. Texas Christian
  4. Ohio State

Two of those are conference champions, one is a conference runner up, and one didn't make the conference championship game. So, eight conference champions were left out. Our plan of a field of 16 would solved that as well.

So, what would the playoffs look like if our plan was in place? First, let's see what the 12-team version that starts in a couple of years looks like.

  1. Georgia (SEC)
  2. Michigan (Big Ten)
  3. Clemson (ACC)
  4. Utah (Pac 12)
  5. Texas Christian
  6. Ohio State
  7. Alabama
  8. Tennessee
  9. Kansas State (Big XII)
  10. Southern California
  11. Penn State
  12. Tulane (American)

In the upcoming plan, the first four teams would receive a bye, and the other eight would play each other, with 5 vs 12, 6 vs 11, 7 vs 10, and 8 vs 9.

This is actually a good start. But, if you want it done right, here is our playoff field:

  1. Georgia (SEC)
  2. Michigan (Big Ten)
  3. Clemson (ACC)
  4. Utah (Pac 12)
  5. Kansas State (Big XII)
  6. Tulane (American)
  7. Troy (Sun Belt)
  8. Texas-San Antonio (Conference USA)
  9. Fresno State (Mountain West)
  10. Toledo (MAC)
  11. Texas Christian
  12. Ohio State
  13. Alabama
  14. Tennessee
  15. Southern California
  16. Penn State

That seeds the conference champions first, followed by the non-conference champions. This is in line with how the NFL does it, and how the byes in the CFP 12-team works.

Some critics of our plan over the years don't like the MAC or Mountain West teams ranked higher than, say, Ohio State. I don't agree. I think winning a conference should give you an advantage. But, if you prefer to have non-champions above some conference champions, here is that seeding:

  1. Georgia (SEC)
  2. Michigan (Big Ten)
  3. Texas Christian
  4. Ohio State
  5. Alabama
  6. Tennessee
  7. Clemson (ACC)
  8. Utah (Pac 12)
  9. Kansas State (Big XII)
  10. Southern California
  11. Penn State
  12. Tulane (American)
  13. Troy (Sun Belt)
  14. Texas-San Antonio (Conference USA)
  15. Fresno State (Mountain West)
  16. Toledo (MAC)

I prefer the former, but if you want to do it that way, I'm okay with it. I just want all the conference champs involved. They did something great, and should be rewarded with a chance to win it all.

What does all this have to do with streaming? Well, other than that's how I watch all my games, nothing specific to streaming. But as a streamer, I appreciate the fact that I can watch any post-season game I want. My Streaming Life is good.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

New Linux project

Somehow along the way, I have transitioned to a Linux user. I've owned Windows devices since the 1980s, Mac devices since 2007, and ChromeOS devices since 2013 or so. It's not like I didn't have, and use, other options.

Well, if you've been following along, I did a project where I built my own streaming device, and that involved a Raspberry Pi, which uses a form of Linux. I've used Linux before, but I didn't mention that because I haven't had a device running Linux continuously since that time back in the early 2000s. I had installed Linux on a device, but stopped using it, and I don't even know what eventually happened to it.

Anyway, that streaming project reignited my desire to have a working Linux device, and now I have a couple. My daily laptop -- the one on which I'm writing this -- is running Linux. And a desktop computer is running Linux as well.

But, not everything I do, do I do using Linux. For example, I have a large digital movie library with nearly 1800 movies. When I get a DVD, or more commonly, a digital movie purchase, I like to have a local copy for playing digitally on my local network. I can't do that with Linux.

That's not to say it can't be done, but rather that I have that capability on Windows and Mac -- both of which I also still have running -- and haven't bothered to find a Linux way of doing it. That's something I need to recitify.

So, here's my next project: find good quality Linux software that will allow me to rip out DVDs and digital movie purchases.

DVDs should not be a major problem. That's been done for years, and I expect the technology required is readily available in Linux.

Digital movie purchases may be another matter. Some movie purchases, most in fact, have some copy protecting software that stops piracy.

I understand the reasons for that, and I am opposed to piracy. People have a right to earn from their work, and piracy is simply stealing from them. I'm think piracy is wrong.

On the other hand, I only work with movies I have purchased, and do not distribute them. They are for my own personal use.

The problem is that most of the software that will accomplish this is easily available on Mac and Windows, but I haven't found any Linux software to do this. And that's my target.

I'm looking into free open source software (FOSS) that will allow me to convert both my DVDs and digital purchases into a format I can use for my own personal library.

While I can continue to uses Mac or Windows to convert my DVDs and digital purchases, my project is to accomplish this with Linux. That's the last major thing to overcome in order to complete a transition to Linux. Once that's done, I'll be able to do everything in Linux that I want to do.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Pausing the live streaming

Today is the day of the conference championships -- well, the rest of them, since Utah won the Pac-12 and Texas-San Antionio won the MAC last night -- and that means a pause to college football. Okay, the Army-Navy game is next week, but that won't figure into my plans. Not that I'm not going to watch -- Go Army! -- but that it's not applicable for today's topic.

While some games are on ABC, CBS, Fox, or NBC -- all of which I can pick up via an antenna -- most games are on ESPN or another cable service that I can't get via an antenna. And that's why I will subscribe to a streaming service -- Sling TV, YouTube TV, Vidgo, Fubo TV, Hulu+Live TV, or DirecTV Stream -- that carries those sports programming channels.

During the rest of the year, I don't have any use for a service such as that. And, I stop my subscription during most of the year. Generally, I'll subscribe to a service -- most often Sling TV, since it's the cheapest -- for 30 days, and let it expire. Then, when the next weekend rolls around, I'll subscribe again for 30 days and let it expire. Then again.

Why letting it expire and not just let the service continue? Well, I don't use the services during that time. For example, if I subscribe for Week 1, and let it run for 30 days, that covers through Week 5. Look at a calendar and see what I mean. If Saturday is Day 1, then Day 30 is five weeks later, covering 5 Saturdays.

Since I'm usually not interested in things until the following weekend, I can let the service expire and not use it for Monday through Friday of the next week. So the new Day 1 is on Week 6, and the new Day 30 is on Week 10. Then I do it again, and that brings me through Week 15.

Oh, and since there is actually a Week 0 that I usually want to watch, everything shifts one week, meaning that subscription schedule takes me through Week 14 (this weekend). So 15 weekends of football for three 30-day subscriptions, with pauses between each subscription.

Next weekend's game is on CBS, meaning I can watch it via an antenna, so I'm good to go.

The bowls will start up in a couple of weeks or so, but another 30-day subscription from the first bowl I want to watch will take me through the national championship game. So, in a year, four subscriptions of a live streaming service let me watch all my college football games. And that's the only thing I need a live streaming service for.

Of course, if I were to want to watch other cable channels throughout the year, I can do something similar. And, I can probably do it cheaper. While Sling TV is the cheapest service with sports programming, it is not the cheapest service overall. Philo is $25/month. And Frndly TV is only $7/month. While they don't have sports programming, for the cable channels I may want to watch on occasion, one of those will do the job. So I can subscribe for 30 days to one of those, if I feel I need to. But usually I don't.

Look at your viewing habits. Do you really watch those channels that much all year long? Have you looked into the content on free ad-supported television (FAST) services? Might those work for most of the year?

If you do give it a look, you may find you can spend a little time balancing your subscriptions and save a lot of money in the process. It's what I do, and makes my Streaming Life more affordable.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Watching college football games this weekend: the final games

College football season in now in at the end of the season.There are two regular season games left -- a makeup of a postponement, and Army-Navy -- and a shipload of conference championship games. This weekend will set the college football playoffs.

The three remaining unbeaten teams can secure playoff spots with wins, but if chaos reigns, then the playoff committee will have some decisions to make on Sunday, and there will be plenty that won't like their team being left out.

If you want to watch all of the games this weekend, you need access to several networks, which can get expensive. Of course, you might not want to be able to watch all the games. All the conference championship games are available streaming on major networks. One game -- Valparaiso at New Mexico State -- is on FloSports streaming service.

Here are the networks carrying games:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN
  • ESPN+
  • Fox
  • FloSports

Here is how to watch these networks listed. Note the prices reflect the announced price increases for Sling TV:

ABC

  • Antenna, over the air, free.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

CBS

  • Antenna, over the air, free.
  • Paramount+ Premium, $10/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

CBS Sports Network

  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Ultimate, $105/month.

ESPN

  • Sling Orange, $40/month.
  • Sling Orange+Blue, $55/month.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

ESPN+

ESPN+ is a standalone sports programming service. It is not the same thing as regular ESPN that you get with cable or one of the live streaming services. Some content from ESPN, ESPN2, or other ESPN networks may be available on ESPN+, but often, it's content that is only available on ESPN+.

  • ESPN+, $7/month.
  • Disney Bundle, $14/month.

Fox

  • Antenna, over the air, free.
  • Vidgo Plus, $60/month.
  • YouTube TV, $65/month.
  • Fubo TV, $70/month.
  • Hulu+Live TV, $70.
  • DirecTV Stream Entertainment, $70/month.

FloSports

  • FloSports app, $13/month.

That list of networks covers all the games airing this weekend, and next weekend (Army-Navy).

To watch all these games, having an antenna won't really matter, as in order to get all the networks carrying games, the services also carry the OTA stations. So, how much to watch them all?

The services necessary will cost $85. That's $65 for YouTube TV, along with $7 for ESPN+, and $13 for FloSports.

If you want college football in your Streaming Life, you have options, though it can get expensive depending just how many games you want to watch.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Roku Channel adds more channels

Last month, Roku announced that their free ad-supported television (FAST) service, Roku Channel, had added a number of new channels. I missed the announcement when it happened, but did get around to checking it out.

For the longest time, I wasn't impressed with Roku Channel. The idea of it at first was okay, but the implementation was lacking. It paled in comparison to Pluto TV.

Of course, the Pluto TV interface was buggy in the beginning. Specifically, the "Favorites" functionality didn't work. Once they fixed that, though, it became one of my favorite apps/services.

Roku Channel came along later, and took a bit to build up its content, but now it's a pretty darn good service. And it keeps getting better. A blog announcement from mid-November told about the 35 new channels they added:

We're bringing you endless content from your favorite food & lifestyle icons Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse with two all-new Roku owned channels, with library content as well as their Roku Original series.

We’re also bringing you a stacked lineup of all your favorite content from The Great British Baking Show universe. Gear up for our upcoming Roku Original special The Great American Baking Show Celebrity Holiday Special by streaming The Great British Baking Show, Celebrity Baking Show, Baking Show: An Extra Slice, and more on this all- new channel.

Plus, get a head start on your holiday shopping and learn about the latest steals and deals from fan-favorites QVC and HSN.

By my county, this brings the total of channels available on Roku Channel up to 383. Last time I counted Pluto TV, it was not that many. And, it's now kinda hard to count the number on Pluto TV, because the same channel will appear multiple times, each time with a different channel number.

I could be wrong, but I think Roku Channel has now passed Pluto TV in number of offerings. And if I am wrong, I'd be right in saying that the gap has been closed insofar as offering quality content. Both are excellent options for a FAST service. The only edge Pluto TV has is that it's available on more platforms. Roku Channel is available on Roku (of course) and Amazon Fire TV. I'm hoping it will become available on Apple TV and Google TV soon.

In the meantime, if you use Roku or Fire TV, you can use the free Roku Channel app and service to watch a lot of quality content. It's a worthwhile addition to your Streaming Life.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Turning the antenna

Some of us that are older will occasionally tell of the days of "turning the antenna." If you are older, you probably know what I'm talking about.

Back in the days before cable but after the dinosaurs, the only way to watch something on TV was with an antenna. And, depending on how far you lived from the various TV towers, you could find yourself in a situation where turning the antenna was required.

We lived in an area where we could pick up TV signals from both Savannah, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida. And, if you look at a map, you'll see there's nowhere that exists that can point an antenna at both places and pick up the stations. They're too far apart to allow that.

That meant that a decision had to be made where to point the antenna. Since Savannah was closer, the antenna was pointed to Savannah.

Every now and then, we'd turn the antenna to Jacksonville. Sometimes Savannah would have local programming that pre-empted the network programming. Or the opposite, where Jacksonville had some local programming that we did want to see. Either way, that meant turning the antenna.

But there was another time we had to turn the antenna. After a large storm, the high winds would sometimes have caused the antenna to be pointing in a bad direction. Sometimes the wind would be so strong from a certain direction that enough tension was placed on the antenna where it would either cause the pole to turn, or bend the elements of the antenna. And if one of those were to happen, the preferred thing was for the pole to turn. As troublesome as it was, that is much preferred to a damaged antenna.

The thing is, if as part of your Streaming Life, you have a large outdoor antenna, you'll want to keep in mind that a strong wind can turn the pole, causing the antenna to point away from the TV towers slightly. Depending on how far you are from the towers, that can cause one to lose signal.

So, this bit of advice if you have a large outdoor antenna: if one of the stations suddenly is no longer being received, check the direction of your antenna. You may need to turn it. Just like us old folks had to do during the late Cretaceous.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Comcast price hikes

Comcast TV customers will be hit with an increase in costs soon, according to reports. The TV giant is raising the overall cost of cable TV by nearly 4% nationwide. From the reports, it appears the increase won't be uniform, with some places getting hit harder than others.

Additionally, the price increases will impact other lines of business, including Xfinity Internet, although the increase for that isn't clear.

Cable TV appears to be the hardest hit, with the Broadcast Fees going up by various amounts, including over $7 in one market:

In a letter sent last week to the city of Taunton, Massachusetts, Comcast said the Broadcast TV fee would rise from $18.65 a month to $26 a month, effective December 20, 2022. (Comcast says the Broadcast TV fee is based on the cost of providing local stations in your market.)

In addition, Taunton subscribers will see anywhere from $2 a month to $5 a month increase in various video plans, including Choice TV Select and the Digital Preferred Tier plan. Set-top rental prices are also increasing there by $1.50 a month from $8.50 a month to $10 a month. Most Internet plans are also rising from $2 a month to $7 a month.

Despite the increase for Xfinity Internet customers, the price increases will be hardest on cable TV subscribers.

If you are a cable subscriber, this may be a time to look at cutting cable, or at least cutting back. In particular, it may be time to invest in a TV antenna. Don't rush into something like that, however, as in many places, not just any antenna will do. You'll want to do some research first. I'm just asking you to be prepared to look into that.

This isn't the only price increase for TV and Internet, for cable, satellite, or streaming, in the past two years. Comcast says their price increase, on average, isn't as bad as other price increases.

Comcast this evening confirmed to The TV Answer Man that the price increase is nationwide. Here is the statement from a Comcast spokesperson who said the average increase in all markets combined will be 3.8 percent.

"TV networks and other video programmers continue to raise their prices, with broadcast television and sports being the biggest drivers of increases in customers’ bills. We’re continuing to work hard to manage these costs for our customers while investing in our broadband network to provide the best, most reliable Internet service in the country and to give our customers more low-cost choices in video and connectivity so they can find a package that fits their lifestyle and budget. Our national average increase of 3.8% is about half of the most recent rate of inflation."

What he's saying is true, so these increases shouldn't really be a surprise. Although I'm not a cable TV subscriber, the price increase will impact me, as I'm an Xfinity Internet customer.

Once again, trying to watch TV, even as part of your Streaming Life, but especially as part of a traditional cable TV setup, will cost you more. Just like almost every aspect of your life for the past two years.

Popular