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Retying the Cord…Part 2

Last week, I talked about reconnecting our cable service (click here to read). This week, I’m evaluating the other services we’ve acquired over the past 5 years to determine what stays and what goes:

The players

To keep:
Chromecast
I love Chromecast, it’s the cheapest streaming device we have and it allows us to play HBO Go (Game of Thrones!) anywhere. Chromecast is integrated right into the player, the only limitation is you need a device to play off of (ipad, iPhone) – it makes streaming a little more complicated but the easy set up and interaction make it worth the effort. We brought the Chromecast with us on vacation and were *almost* able to watch Game of Thrones live (if only all the avid watchers hadn’t crashed the HBO Go app!). The major limitation with Chromecast is no access to Amazon streaming.

Cord3

Roku
Easy to use and set up apps; I like that I can go to one place and choose my go-to services: Netflix, Hulu or Amazon. Roku has an app that I installed on my phone and iPad, I can control the device easily without having to hunt for the remote. It is so easy that my 3 year old son can pick a show to watch. We own it, we’ll keep it so we can watch Netflix. Will we buy another, probably not. I’ve got my eye on Amazon’s new player…

To Cut:

Wii
Too complicated and always looking for updates, we hardly ever use the Wii to stream content. The remote is always drained of batteries on the few times we do decide to use it. Our little Wii player gathers dust and is the least used device. In fairness, this wasn’t what Wii was intended for when we purchased it but Wii has a way to go to become the centerpiece of my home entertainment center.

 

The services

To keep:
Netflix
I love Netflix. They may not have all the latest movies but I have discovered my love of binge watching shows, perfectly summed up in this meme:
watchYou will also enjoy “the 7 stages of a Netflix Binge” by Joanna Borns (http://www.buzzfeed.com/joannaborns/netflix-binge-stages). There is something so satisfying about getting lost in a show and having something to look forward to. It is almost (almost) better than the ease of turning on the TV and flipping through shows to find something to watch. Plus, I don’t want to miss the next seasons of Orange is the New Black or House of Cards!

Amazon
Amazon is on demand, I am a prime member but mainly for the delivery service. Amazon has been the best way to watch a movie on a Saturday night when we want to stay in. We’ll keep but probably not use as much, since we have HBO Go – that’s been our go-to “current” movie provider and AT&T is giving us a bunch of movie channels…happy surfing.

To cut:
Hulu
Hulu helped keep me current with shows I didn’t want to miss: Parenthood, New Girl, Nashville but I have two reasons for canceling my monthly service:

1) The commercials, it seems like they are only increasing. I could never binge watch on Hulu because after one 30 minute show, I get so enraged about the commercials. On principle, I resent paying for a service and still having to watch commercials. I would rather pay more for a service (ahem, ATT with DVR, ten times more expensive but gives me what a want – programing, ease of use, flexibility) than enduring the same commercial over and over. If you haven’t watched a show on Hulu, imagine the same 30 second commercial interrupting your show every 10-15 minutes. On paper it may not seem like a lot but when you are experiencing it, you want to throw the remote at something – hard.

2) Hulu’s interface is confusing, it’s always a challenge to find my queue of shows and once I get there, I always end up playing the wrong episode (there’s nothing to indicate episode numbers until after it’s selected).

I wonder how all these streaming providers are going to evolve over the next 5 years to meet consumer demand as they continue to vie to be the first choice.