How My TV Watching Habits Have Changed

As I was flipping through channels last week at my parents’ house I was thinking about how much my TV watching habits have changed over the last few years.

TV Service

Almost two years ago I ditched traditional cable TV service and switched to streaming. First I used Playstation Vue plus a Tablo. Then I tried DIRECTV NOW for a few months. Finally, in June, I switched to YouTube TV, which I’m really happy with.

One of the great things about these streaming services is you can switch easily and often. If you have an Apple TV and a router, you don’t need to swap out any special hardware or have technicians come out to turn service on/off.

Channel Surfing

When I’m at my own house I never turn on the TV and flip through channels. If I’m watching something on a TV channel it’s a live sporting event, a TV special, a recorded show, or On Demand.

Thinking back, I used to watch SportsCenter pretty much every morning and/or night. At night I’d flip through channels and watch random shows. I’d watch sports teams I don’t care about. It’s extremely rare I do any of that anymore.


I still spend a fair amount of time with the TV on though. Content delivery has shifted from TV channels to primarily Netflix and YouTube (not referring to YouTube TV here). I watch a bunch of original series on Netflix and the occasional movie. On YouTube, I subscribe to a lot of different channels, many where people make things. I have an upcoming post that’ll share all of my YouTube subscriptions.

How about you? Do you sit in front of the TV much? Have you tried any of the streaming services? Have you noticed your habits changing?


Well, DIRECTV NOW didn’t last very long. I wasn’t impressed with the service or the interface (Playstation Vue was 100x better), but it was useable. Last month they released a new app, finally with Cloud DVR support. The app removed ABC, CBS, and NBC from the channel lineup though. See ya!

I’m going to give YouTube TV a try. They don’t have the Discovery channel but I’ll have the Golf Channel again, so that’s a win. I’ll post an update in a month or two.


Streaming TV Update

A year after I cancelled cable TV, I’ve made more changes. My friend Casey had been using DIRECTV NOW and told me about an offer where they were giving a free Apple TV 4K if you prepaid for the first 4 months. I looked into it and noticed the service provided ABC, CBS, and NBC, which is something Playstation Vue was lacking. PV had On Demand, but not live TV, which is kind of important for watching sports.

So switching was no-brainer, especially since Playstation Vue raised their rates. I was also able to get rid of the Tablo DVR and antenna I was using to pick up the 3 main channels. The Tablo app for Apple TV was disappointing and I was never able to get the antenna placed right, so some of the channels didn’t work very well when I did try to watch something. I’m going to use the 5 TB hard drive for video storage because I’m always filling up the drive on my MacBook when editing in iMovie.


So far DIRECTV NOW is fine for the TV I watch and I hear a beta version of their app is pretty solid. The Apple TV app for Playstation Vue was definitely better though.

The Defiant Ones

Adam Savage raved about The Defiant Ones on his podcast. I was subscribed to HBO for Game of Thrones, so I checked it out this weekend before cancelling.

“The Defiant Ones” examines the partnership between Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre – one the son of a Brooklyn longshoreman, the other straight out of Compton – and their leading roles in a chain of transformative events in contemporary culture.

The series is 4 parts and it was so good I couldn’t stop watching, so I watched all 4 hours in one sitting. I grew up listening to a lot of this music in the ’90s, but never knew most of the stories behind it all. I can’t even imagine the stories that will never be told.

Update on Living Without Cable TV

It’s been a few more months since I cancelled Charter’s TV service and everything has worked out great. I’m still loving Playstation Vue and it was even excellent for watching March Madness. I still haven’t adjusted my HD antenna either, which should tell you how much I watch live TV on the local channels. With Vue having On Demand for ABC, CBS, and NBC, I didn’t even need to use the Tablo to record any of my shows on those channels, so adjusting the antenna hasn’t bumped up my priority list. I added everything to the My Shows list in my Playstation Vue account and it’s easy to watch everything there. With so much great content on Netflix as well, it’s hard to start watching any new shows on traditional TV. I won’t be going back to cable TV anytime soon.

Bloodline’s Final Season

When I checked out Bloodline in season 1, I wasn’t expecting much. Season 1 and 2 were great though. Season 3 is right around the corner…

I wonder how many people missed where it says “The Final Season” at the end. I wish more TV shows would call it quits after a few seasons. Far too many drag on and on.

Knowing this will be the end has me even more excited to see what happens. Unfortunately it might be awhile before I get to watch it because I need to watch season 2 of Sense8 and House of Cards is released at the end of the month as well. I’ll only be home for about 2 days over the next 2 weeks, so there won’t be much time in front of the TV.

Not Gonna Binge It

Last night I watched the first episode of Netflix’s series, “The OA.”

Seven years after vanishing from her home, a young woman returns with mysterious new abilities and recruits five strangers for a secret mission.

I didn’t get that feeling where I want to binge watch the show. I don’t know if I’ve even been intrigued by a single episode quite like I am. It’s hard to explain, but I feel like I want to appreciate each hour for what it is. After watching, I went to YouTube and loaded up the trailer. Within a few seconds I hit stop and exited; I didn’t want to catch a glimpse of what might be coming.

Planet Earth II

Ten years after the original, the BBC produced a sequel to their nature series Planet Earth. While the first series was 11 episodes, this second iteration only has 6, but it’s still phenomenal. We live on an amazing planet. In the United States you can watch Planet Earth II on the Discovery Channel.

Some of the moments that left me in awe:

  • Penguins being able to find their family and distinguish the call of their mate in a group of over 1 million others.
  • Ibex effortlessly moving up and down steep mountain terrain.
  • Big cats like the snow leopard and jaguar.
  • The plague of locusts.
  • Stallions fighting.
  • A fox diving in the snow.
  • Langur monkeys running and jumping across rooftops.
  • Feeding the hyenas.
  • Singapore.

Throughout the series I kept wondering how much work went into catching some of the scenes. Thankfully they produced a bonus “Making Of”episode as well, which shows off some of the camera equipment and the challenges faced by the camera crews.