I Tried to Make a Streaming TV Value Guide but Failed and Wrote This Instead

You guys ever visit ReviewGeek.Com? It has some awesome reviews, and although most of the things they write about are techie stuff, once in a while you can run across this kind of writerly gem.


by Michael Crider

[A couple of months] ago, I wrote a guide for those who wanted to find the best value for a streaming service with live TV channels. A few days after it published, my selection for the best value upped its price by ten bucks, blowing my comparison apart like a cherry bomb in a Thanksgiving turkey.

I went to update the article, elevating my second-best pick…only to find that it had risen by fifteen dollars a month, basically tanking the entire premise. Oh dear.

While my example is annoying, it’s not unique by any means. Cord-cutting services increasing their prices—often without any measurable improvement in actual selection or value—is a common complaint. NetflixYouTube TVHulu, and AT&T Now have all seen price increases, with predictably sour responses from customers. The end result is that, if you’re shopping for value, it’s hard to know what the best deal is at any given time. That’s true both because the prices keep changing, and because “value” is also pretty subjective when it comes to these services…

For example, whether you prefer Hulu + Live TV, AT&T Now, or YouTube TV (all of which offer “cord-cutting,” cable-like service including live access to premium channels, news, and sports) depends on a lot of factors. There’s the difference in price in favor of YouTube, and it has a much, much better interface, but Hulu’s library of on-demand shows and original series like The Handmaid’s Tale is much more robust. AT&T Now comes with HBO and its much-loved original programming, which is a paid upgrade on its competitors. The “best service” depends on a lot of variables, not all of them as easily quantifiable as the price.

But if price is your primary concern, know that those annoying, incremental price increases aren’t likely to end soon….

Read it all at reviewgeek.com