I went all in on the cord cutting several years ago, and could not be happier. Cable and satellite just seem to be getting more and more expensive every year. There’s always a new fee or charge, latest DVR upgrade, promotion that wears off in a couple months or other gimmick that keeps the cost moving up and up.
HEY (insert radios call in host name) IM A FIRST TIME CALLER, CAN YA TELL ME WHAT CHANNEL THE GAME IS ON!??
The answer is simple, one of the many ESPN channels depending on selections made a few weeks out, and CBS or rarely ABC. Every game in 2016 was on ESPN, SEC Network or CBS, no point in having all those extra channels.
If you want to move away from the traditional Cox Cable, Direct TV, or Dish Network and still watch every Razorback game, along with hours and hours of College Football here are a few solutions.
First step is to try some of these services out.
Sling: Offers 7 day trial. Sling Has two different services (Orange and Blue) Sling Orange is $20 per month and will set you up with ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN 3. Sling Blue doesn't carry the ESPN's but it's $25 and has Fox Sports Net, FS1, FS2 (if you are in to BIG12 games). If you want Orange and Blue, it's only $40 per month.
Add the sports extra package for $5 a month more (in Orange) and you get the SECN channels, ESPN U, PAC 12 channel (who wants that?)
HULU Live TV: Offers 7 Day Trial. $39.99 per month Includes BIG10, CBS Sports, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN News, ESPN U, SECN, Fox Sports SW.
PS Vue: Offers 5 day trial. $44.99 per month for Core Package. In this plan you will get the same channels as the above HULU and Sling packages. Big10, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, ESPN U, Fox SPorts SW, SECN.
Youtube TV: This new service may actually become the best option but is not available in Arkansas yet.
Over the Air Antenna: $40+ range. Lots of options out there. Unless you live way out in the sticks a huge roof mounted antenna is not necessary to pick up CBS, ABC. and Fox This is all you will need to watch each Razorback game, and many of the big prime time games. OTA feeds are as high quality, as anything you will get from Uverse, Cable or Satellite. Heres a great link to choosing the right antenna.
ESPN 3/Watch ESPN: If you can secure a log in without having Cox, ATT Uverse TV or another TV service this may be an option.
You can check out a good table with comparisons here.
So how do you actually watch the game?
- Laptop plugged into TV with HDMI cable: The least desirable option but fairly easy to set up and can be moved from room to room.
- ROKU (four devices ranging from $29.99-$130), Chromecast ($35-$59), Amazon Fire TV/Firestick ($24.99, and $89.99) Apple TV ($149.99), PS4, XBOX One, Android TV (MI Box $69.00, NVIDIA SHield TV $199).
These are the best option for convenience, user interface and reliability. If running with a ROKU or Fire TV/Stick you will still have a physical remote if you want. Or in most cases, the remote is no where to be found but each streaming player has a mobile app that can be substituted as a remote.
3. Playstation 4, XBOX One: Sling is only available on XBOX. PS Vue only on Playstation 4 obviously. HULU Live is only on XBOX. So this option is trickier to find which service will work on PS4 or XBOX one.
The last few seasons Sling has become more reliable in streaming games, and as long as you have a decent Internet speed of at least 15-20 MBPS you should not see many problems unless there is heavy traffic on your connection. The best way to guarantee the fastest connection is by plugging directly with an ethernet cable instead of through WiFi.
Hulu TV, and Youtube TV will be new this season and the jury is out on how reliable streaming on gameday will be with those services.
The average household spends $1000 dollars or more a year on pay tv service. The above combinations along with an internet connection can give you a better way to still catch all the Razorback games and major College Football. Several of the streaming services also can be cancelled anytime so if you are just looking at football season the cost per year will decrease. I would like to hear any feedback on your experience with these options while watching Razorback games.