5G Home Internet Is Here. And, So Are Streaming Services with “Cable Like” 100 channel line-ups, Including Local Networks. That’s great, Because I’ve had it with cable!
Not everything about Streaming is better than Satellite or Cable. And not everyone can replace cable internet access with 5G, but I and millions of others are doing just that. Here’s how that’s been working out for me, and might, for you.
This whole article is long enough, you may wish to jump around:
First challenge is finding an alternative to cable/satellite and their 100+ channels! YouTube TV and Hulu+ Live are two good examples, and there are more alternatives, including DirecTV STREAM, that will provide the “100 channels” typical of cable, which you can supplement with premium streams such as Disney+, Netflix, Apple TV, etc., just like I have been paying for in addition to cable.
The 2nd issue is having an alternate internet source, which I’ll discuss in more detail shortly, in the form of 5G Home Internet. You are probably seeing ads for T-Mobile and other carriers as they roll out their 5G based home internet.
5G based Internet is just being rolled out in different markets. I assume that now, (February 2023) that most folks don’t even have the option yet. One critical requirement is you must be within reasonable proximity of a supporting cell tower. I expect, though, that within a few years, most folks will have the option. We shall see.
For perspective, my wife and I spend a lot of time in front of our OLED TVs or my home theater projector. (I reviewed home theater projectors at my old site – projectorreviews.com, for more than 15 years, before selling it.)
More often than not my wife and I are watching different content on different sets. For that reason, we subscribe to a healthy number of Streaming Apps including Prime Video, Netflix, Apple TV, Disney+ HBO Max (oops just canceled that one), NFL+, Red Zone, and a couple of others.
That’s a huge amount of great programming, but I still must have my sports. And networks, and channels like HGTV, so how to gather everything?
YouTube TV, Hulu+ Live Channel, DirecTV Stream, Plus Premium Channels
I am mostly aware of the first two visible and viable choices, but there are a number of other, less well known, that can be considered. I’m more interested in focusing on using one of these, vs cable.
I was strongly considering Hulu+’s options but my daughter and son-in-law have been using YouTube TV in NYC, and loving it. The owner of the SEO company we use, also swears by YouTube TV and has been a user for almost 3 years he tells me. Recommendations were the tie breaker, so for now, for us, YouTube TV it is. I’m not recommending YouTube TV over Hulu+… Hulu may well be the better option, depending on what stations you want… Ultimately my choice was based on the recommendations of folks I know. That doesn‘t mean I won’t switch to Hulu+, DirecTV Stream, or some other alternative… at some future point. And I might need to, just to do comparison reviews.
For more about YouTube TV and related things of interest, check out Nikki’s feature article on YouTubeTV.
One difference between YouTube TV and Hulu+… is that YouTube TV offers a 4K option. But, for $19.99 a month extra, and currently extremely limited 4K content – to just some sports channels (NBC Sports, ESPN, and NBA TV), and some documentaries, etc. (aka not much) I couldn’t even find a single 4K movie on the system. The 4K option doesn’t seem like a great value at this time.
No problem, though, because, I love premium streaming channels.
Obliviously, YouTube TV (YTBTV) and other “cable like” Streaming services, are no substitute for the “Premium channels” like Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ etc. for movies. Since all of my premium channels are 4K UHD capable, when it came down to spending an extra $20/month for YouTube TV’s 4K, or not, I decided immediately to pass on 4K, and “pocket” the $20/mo.
Note: Superbowl just happened, and I’m only hardcore football when it comes to watching sports. I don’t care about 4K sports again until the fall, or the next Olympics… I suspect I’ll add in 4K come September with NFL – with Sunday Ticket — and college football starting up again or find a premium streaming sports package elsewhere.
I digress, so, let’s get back to these streaming alternatives to normal cable. Now that I’ve decided to replace cable with YouTube TV, I’ll still get my ESPN channels, and networks and HGTV, and 100 other channels, very similar my recent Xfinity cable package, or for that matter, or my old DirecTV satellite package I had before moving to a condo, (where no dishes are allowed). It’s quite possible, that if I did have DirecTV available, I might have further delayed making any changes, but since it hasn’t been an option…
Please understand – for you cable users – these two “cable-like” bundles don’t include the usual pay for streaming services, such as Disney+ and Prime and Apple TV… so I’m still going to stream those and a few others, but YouTube TV plus those gives us just about everything we need. Last night my wife was watching HGTV while I had ESPN HD on, both on YouTube TV. Note, you can access those channels through YouTube TV, but you can just as easily use the apps on your Smart TV, as I do.
I paid for all of those on top of the cable bill, and will still pay the same amount for each, now that I’ve switched to streaming most channels.
Huge Plus for YouTube TV: Sunday Ticket NFL Football! For Years – only on DirecTV, now YouTube TV, not DirecTV.
BTW, great for me – now that Google/YouTube has won the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket Package (formerly held by DirecTV), I’ll have my “every game, every Sunday”, back. Outstanding! That’s a big win for Youtube TV over cable right there, as far as I’m concerned.
And, as a guy with my two primary screens being a 77” OLED TV from LG, and a 106” projection system built around an Epson home theater projector, I can’t wait to again view 8 games at once on the projector, where each game is the size of about a 25” LCD TV. Yes, you can read the numbers on shirts, and the scores, etc. on each individual game… and easily follow the plays, on a 106” screen.