OT? TV tuners to watch Michigan sports? Sling, Hulu, etc.?

Submitted by MGlobules on September 22nd, 2017 at 8:25 PM

Would not ask this, except that I think a lot of people might be in the position that I am: I dislike the cable companies, and have been watching UM basketball and football games on various illegal streams for four or five years now. 

The problem is that they're not reliable, and I spend a lot of time hunting around, killing popups, sometimes missing the first parts of games before I land on a fuzzy picture for the durations.

The question is: what are my alternatives, outside of getting a TV?

Outside of the occasional huge sports event, which I can find a stream for, I really only watch M football and basketball (I'd watch soccer if I could). I DO NOT watch any other TV. 

I had something called "Internet Television" through Xfinity/Comcast, and it DIDN'T WORK. 

Is my best bet a) to subscribe to Sling or something like that? Or b) should I install a TV tuner and just pay the darned $30 more bucks and get cable?  

Do others share my condition? What are the best solutions? Thanks in advance for your answers.



September 22nd, 2017 at 8:29 PM ^

Sling isn't great for Big Ten games because games on FS1 are blacked out currently and they don't carry the BTN. Just switched to DirectTVNow and it works fine for me. Had to get the 2nd lowest tier vs the lowest tier but the pricing still seemed competitive to what Sling cost for the Orange + Blue package.

The Maizer

September 22nd, 2017 at 10:15 PM ^

I've had PS Vue since the start of the season. Have had zero problems with it, good picture quality, etc. Decent but not perfect user interface on the Amazon Fire TV and just as easy to cast to my Chromecast. No buffering ever so far on a 25 megabit/s connection.


September 22nd, 2017 at 9:02 PM ^

I've been using YouTubeTV this season and so far so good. The streaming devices are a bit limited but I already had a few Chromecast on hand so that wasn't an issue. I believe they are still giving away a free one too when you make your 1st payment. Also, your YouTubeTV account gives you login credentials for apps like WatchESPN. I've been using my phone to cast 2 streams at once; one from WatchESPN app and one from YouTubeTV app. Overall, I've been very happy with it so far.


September 23rd, 2017 at 10:11 AM ^

That's a good point and something to think about. They've been adding channels so maybe it's possible they will offer those by March? If not, I can just cancel for a few months (since they are all month to month) and purchase another streaming service where I can get all of the March Madness awesomeness.


September 22nd, 2017 at 9:40 PM ^

Like it so far. Had Sling before and I'd say YouTube TV is a clear upgrade. There are really no devices needed aside from a phone, tablet or computer. Chromecast is currently the only way to get YouTube TV on an actual TV. They'll send you a free Chromecast after you make your first payment.

Steve in PA

September 22nd, 2017 at 9:42 PM ^

My problem is there is no local channels here and with geography an antenna is no good.  I can use WatchESPN and FoxSports apps for ABC, ESPN, Fox games but CBS is no good.

I found USTVNow.com which is free and legal for CBS but it's non-HD unless you subscribe.  CBS is mainly Sunday College Basketball.

I'm tempted by YoutubeTV but I got the DirecTVNow package when they were running a special.  $35 for 110 channels as long as I'm a sub.  My worry is the week after I switch they will get local channels and that's the only reason I have to switch.  I don't think anyone stream Scranton/Willes-Barre locals yet.


September 22nd, 2017 at 10:58 PM ^

The mods need to start nuking this bullshit. It's like twice a week now: "I'm trying to steal shit but it's not always easy, can you guys help me?" Jesus fucking Christ, be a fucking grown up and spend money on the things you want or just shut up about it.


September 23rd, 2017 at 9:20 PM ^

been around for a minute, but let me repeat a few details. I have a small house and NO TV; it all happens through my 34 inch computer screen. So I'm asking if I should just put a tuner in my computer and--yes--pay for cable. (Dingding!)

But I already subscribe to Netflix and watch NOTHING ELSE but Michigan sports on TV. That's why--like more than one other person here--I don't want to pay for hundreds of channels. 

Luckily, there were a bunch of pleasant people--interested in the whole "pulling the plug" conversation--ready to evaluate and take my query seriously. Hats off to all of them. 


September 22nd, 2017 at 9:20 PM ^

Get an HD digital antenna. If you're in a good area you'll get abc cbs fox and nbc for free in HD. Then just steal a cable login from a friend or your parents. You'll have all your bases covered without paying for cable. Only have to pay for internet to stream through a firestick or chrome cast


September 22nd, 2017 at 9:31 PM ^

Even when a game is on a channel that sling has, its super choppy. In case anyone thinks it's my internet connection, when I stream over a Reddit link I have no issues.


September 22nd, 2017 at 9:59 PM ^

It's the best. $40 per month. Buy a fire stick or fire tv. 60 stations plus btn. I got it a month ago and it works great. You also get the regular hulu.

Mack Tandonio

September 23rd, 2017 at 8:09 AM ^

After getting rid of cable TV, my GF and I went with Hulu via Chromecast for football season (and twin peaks). So far so good. It does weird glitchy stuff periodically on certain live channels, but the football broadcasts have been flawless so far. The interface is annoying... needs a proper guide like uverse/comcast.


September 22nd, 2017 at 10:32 PM ^

I didn't like sling because I thought it was glitchy. I have YouTube TV and it's great. The UI is wayyyyy better than sling and I get all the ESPN channels, regular broadcast, fox sports, BTN, etc. The only thing i noticed I don't have is NFL Network.


September 22nd, 2017 at 11:12 PM ^

directv now has a 1month free trial right now. ony my second one of those and really like it. not sure if i'll pay. but biding my time till youtuve tv comes to west michigan


September 23rd, 2017 at 2:17 AM ^

Sling didin't offer BTN or Fox. I switched to Vue, but still didn't have BTN. Now that they are raising the price of their basic package from $30 to $40, it's not worth its shortcomings. I am switching to HULU next week. Same price as the new Vue price and Offers BTN, Fox, and all the ESPNs including ESPNU (Vue doesn't have the U, so a lot of streaming games aren't available).

This is only important if you want to watch a few of the lesser watched teams. But this past week it I tried to watch a bunch of close games of the little guys because most of the prime-time match up were blow-outs - no joy, didn't have the U, so I couldn't.

It should be noted that I live in an area with no cable. Our options are streaming services or satellite. With the price of by internet ($50) and the price of programming ($40), I am rapidly approaching what a decent cable bundle would cost. Still, at least the streaming service doesn't require a contract. If I want to trade HULU for Sling Orange ($20) after the season, I can without any hassle.

One last note. I would consider YouTube, but it isn't offered at our location, yet.




Mack Tandonio

September 23rd, 2017 at 8:53 AM ^

$95 affords a decent cable bundle where you live? go with that then! Although, I partly 'cut the cord' because I couldn't take the 3 hour phone sessions when they changed my service, broke my service, claimed I never had internet, changed my username without me knowing, etc.

This is Michigan

September 23rd, 2017 at 9:07 AM ^

Game is on Fox today. I suggest an HD antenna. Check out the Mohu Leaf. Really good quality and no delay.

For subscription channels, I recommend PSVue. I haven’t had any major issues. Occasionally the stream is delayed (I.e. not real-time) but hardly ever any lag where the picture cuts out.


September 23rd, 2017 at 7:01 PM ^

We've had it about 2 months, now have cut (literally) the cord from Comcast (TV and Internet) and entirely on cellular. Streams 720p or 1080p to Chromecast, but only 480p on a computer attached to the TV (we rarely use it). On a laptop screen it runs 720p or 1080p.  The Chromecast device was free with subscription. Sport channels include: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN News, FS1, FS2,  Fox Detroit, Fox Detroit Plus, NBC SN, CBS SN, Golf, Tennis, BTN, SEC, plus regular TV channels.

You get 6 accounts, 3 concurrent streams, and unlimited DVR recording for 9 mo. It works on Chrome (including Chromebooks), Android and IOS.

There is some occasional pixelisation/ resolution downgrade if internet speeds drop or youtube servers are overloaded, which we sometimes see at busy times.

Tmobile just increased their de-prioritization threshold to 50GB per month per phone so it has made it possible to use exclusively cellular data for TV viewing, especially with multiple phones.