Cutting wires used to be a way to eliminate cable TV and save money. Then the big companies jumped in and overturned it.

In 2017, YouTube made a sweet offer – most of your favorite cable channels, no equipment rentals or contracts needed, for just $ 35 monthly. That didn’t last. In 2020, the platform raised interest rates to $ 65 monthly.

So this week, when T-Mobile said it had a bundle of cutting-edge equipment to launch Sunday for $ 10 a month, we all listened.

Plus: If you like channels like AMC, Hallmark, MTV and Nickelodeon, you’ll love T-Mobile’s “Vibe” service, as that’s all that is worth it – an Alexander Hamilton. But if you want a DVR, you’ll have to pay an extra $ 5 monthly. And if you can’t live without sports, news and some local channels (NBC, ABC and Fox) it’s $ 40 monthly. Oh, and you need to be a T-Mobile or Sprint subscriber. Verizon and AT&T customers are not eligible.

Update: T-Mobile wants to help more customers watch pay TV with its new TVision streaming service

Than: On the Apple iPhone 12, it’s a battle of 5G bands between AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile

The bottom line is that T-Mobile has come closer to the à la carte television dream customers have been dreaming of for years. Why do I need to subscribe to bulky cable TV package with all the channels I don’t want?

Jared Newman, a Cincinnati-based writer who wrote popular news on Cord Cutter Weekly, said T-Mobile’s move is “causing another small crack in the traditional pay-TV bundle, something that its rivals so far have not wanted or cannot match. ”

How does it really compare to its competitors?

Let’s take a closer look at lower priced services:

Philo: A streaming service specializing in entertainment, sports, and news, each with the lowest price of cable TV alternatives, at $ 20 monthly. It offers twice as many channels as Vibe, with channels like Discovery, A&E and Animal Planet that you won’t see with T-Mobile. And it’s free for DVR.

Climb up: Rates start at $ 30 monthly, but subscriptions can be confusing, with some channels offered in a “blue” plan (including CNN and E!) And others in “color” orange “(ESPN) for $ 30 monthly, plus $ 5 for DVR service.

From there, you get AT&T Now and Hulu with Live TV for $ 55 monthly or YouTube TV and Fubo (specializing in sports) for $ 65 monthly.

Andrew McCollum, CEO of Philo TV noted “it’s great” that T-Mobile is “trying to bring more flexibility to the market and offer new options to everyone at lower prices.

But charging the DVR, which has fewer channels than Philo and, more importantly, isn’t available on the # 1 online TV platform, Roku, makes it not a sweet deal, he added. Additionally, only T-Mobile subscribers can receive it.

Meanwhile T-Vision is more expensivefrom T-Mobile $ 40 package that includes local channels NBC, ABC and Fox. That’s one more network available with Sling – only local NBC and Fox channels, not nationally. And unlike Sling, the T-Vision packs all the sports and news in one package.

“You can’t underestimate how many people just want local sports, news and radio,” Newman said. “It was a breakthrough.”

Of course, the folks at the Sling tell you that if you really want all the local channels, you should buy an antenna and receive channels that way. The yore’s old rabbit ears have been replaced with newer, more powerful antennas that plug into an outlet and often come with a portable receiver for stronger signal reception.

Many smart TVs aim to cut down on crowds, like Insignia and Toshiba’s Amazon Fire TV Edition brand of TVs, even display on the menu screen content playing locally, via an antenna.

Of course, if you really want to save money by cutting wires, just buy the $ 50 antenna, skip the cable TV alternatives entirely, and just stick with Netflix and Amazon Prime.

But, ahem, have you heard that Netflix is ​​also planning to increase its rates?

The most popular plan, which allows subscribers to watch in high resolution on two screens at once, has increased by $ 1 to $ 13.99, up from $ 12.99 monthly for subscribers. The new, while the premium plan ($ 15.99), which allows you to monitor up to four displays with Ultra HD, will now cost $ 17.99.

Time to cut this cord too?

This week’s tech title

Apple sold more Macs in the summer and fall than ever before. During its quarterly earnings press conference on Thursday, Apple said it sold $ 9 billion worth of Macs, up from $ 6.9 billion in the previous quarter, fueled by pandemic and demand for companies. work tools and education. “These are huge numbers,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the call with investors. Speaking of Apple, on Friday it rolled out an Apple One subscription that offers discounts on many services. For $ 14.95, you get Apple Music, TV and Arcade game service (usually $ 19.99) along with News +, Fitness + and 2 TB of storage with iCloud for $ 29.99.

Executives of Twitter, Google and Facebook testified before Congress, and many senators had trouble naming Alphabet CEO, Google’s parent company, Sundar Pichai. That includes Sen. Roger Wicker, chairman of the Senate Committee for Commerce, Science and Transport. Pichai is pronounced “pitch” as in baseball and “bottle” as latte – or “pih-chai” – but lawmakers came up with countless variations, calling him “Mr. Pick Eye”, ” Mr. Pish Eye “and more.

Cycling is in, eating out. Hollywood lunches ran into trouble with pandemic technicians, who have turned to cycling, walking and talking to each other as a way to both exercise health and stay out of society. At least in Los Angeles.

Speaker echo for TV. We tested connecting Amazon’s new 4th generation Echo and Dot speakers to the TV to eliminate the soundbar with a less expensive and wireless approach. Verdict: sounds great, but there are a few things you need to know beforehand.

This week’s Talking Tech podcast

Listeners answered last week’s column about buying new phones every year with! @ # $ ****.

Amazon Echo speakers can double for TV sound. Much more on the journey of setting them up.

How to take great photos while surfing the web. Photographer Jan Schrieber does all the work and is a guest on Talking Tech for the skinny.

Apple can surpass Google in search. And we say it’s awesome. Bring it in.

Have you seen Peacock? Not Quibi.

Follow Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Read or Share this story: 6087395002 /