TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

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Mike Gebert

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TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 10:02 am

I pay an ungodly amount for cable internet phone whatever. The cable is full of things I never watch, the internet gets slower and slower, the landline exists only so I can not answer calls from Unknown Name and J.B. Pritzker's campaign for Illinois governor. And meanwhile we keep adding other things like Netflix and Amazon Prime and HBO Go.

In short, I am the very definition of someone who should be cutting the cable to cable. But... I have to have TCM.

There are various ways I can knock my cable bill down by switching to my only other highspeed internet choice (RCN Chicago) and getting rid of as much cable and the landline. The price will go down and the speed will go up, in theory. But I seem stuck at a base price of $75 a month:

• RCN Signature Internet/Cable Package that includes TCM, $75

• RCN High Speed Internet, $35, plus Sling or Direct TV Now or some other thing that has TCM on it, around $70-75

Either way I have to pay for a boatload of other channels. The other choice, it seems to me, is to go pure internet, and subscribe to Filmstruck and get all that Criterion and TCM sweetness. But I know that Filmstruck's TCM does not duplicate the channel, it offers selections from the channel. Am I going to be satisfied with that, or will I be bitterly regretting not being able to see really obscure weird stuff they squeeze in? Any Filmstruck users have any insight into this dreadful dilemma I face?
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R Michael Pyle

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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 11:16 am

I'm in the same predicament, Mike, and I'll wager that at least three-quarters of those who are on this site have the same problem(s) exactly!
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Bob Furem

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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 11:29 am

R Michael Pyle wrote:I'm in the same predicament, Mike, and I'll wager that at least three-quarters of those who are on this site have the same problem(s) exactly!



yup
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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 12:03 pm

Same here. Without TCM, I'd have no problem dumping cable.
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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 12:21 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:Same here. Without TCM, I'd have no problem dumping cable.


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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 12:47 pm

I kept Directv for a long time to keep TCM and the ability to DVR. I would watch something else every now and then but in the end it was $125 a month for a channel. I had the internet anyway for the computer and some streaming so that was already a sunk cost.

I cut the cord. I have not had Directv for over a year and have not missed it one bit. I went with SlingTV for the $25 base plus $5 extra to get TCM and DVR capability. I pay $32 a month for everything including tax. I do not have a home phone and just use my cell phone and I also don’t miss the home phone. So, in the end I still get TCM and now save about $100 a month. Fast forward the year since I cut the cord and I have saved over $1,000. As an aside I just did resubscribe to Filmstruck because it added a great deal more classic TCM type films than it had previously. Even with that I am still way ahead money wise.

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missdupont

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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 1:08 pm

AS many have posted here, many libraries provide access to Kanopy with a library card, like the City of Los Angeles. It has access to the Criterion Collection. Perhaps Chicago does too.
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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 1:22 pm

TCM was pretty much the only channel DH and I had to consider when we cut cable back in 2008.

I think because of my penchant to collect DVD's of favorite movies/actors, plus watching films online, it wasn't too much of a problem.

And the money we saved!

Nothing like rechanneling entertainment expenses.
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Mike Gebert

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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 1:27 pm

mwalls wrote:I went with SlingTV for the $25 base plus $5 extra to get TCM and DVR capability. I pay $32 a month for everything including tax.


But what do you pay for internet? That's basically what I'm looking at-- any package is about $30-35 for TCM and stuff but on top of about $35 for internet. The only way to get it down from $70-ish a month is internet and Filmstruck, but then I'm not really getting TCM.

The other dealbreaker for my wife might be our local PBS affiliate, or at least some PBS station... in theory I should be able to get that over the air but honestly, that seems like a lot of tech support showing her how to get it every time Call the Midwife or Midsomer Murders has a new season. How do people get a local station, typically?
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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 1:54 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:
mwalls wrote:I went with SlingTV for the $25 base plus $5 extra to get TCM and DVR capability. I pay $32 a month for everything including tax.


But what do you pay for internet? That's basically what I'm looking at-- any package is about $30-35 for TCM and stuff but on top of about $35 for internet. The only way to get it down from $70-ish a month is internet and Filmstruck, but then I'm not really getting TCM.


I pay $50 per month for the internet with Spectrum (Time Warner). That is for a lot of speed because my son does gaming plus I have a bunch of devices in the house pulling on the data. In my case I pay for internet either way so for me the internet cost is a non-factor.

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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 3:44 pm

I actually still only use over the air after a brief stint with cable and TCM (sigh...) in the '90s, mostly for our comically inept local news. I do pay for top o' the line internet speed, but honest to dog, I don't miss cable at all (although further heavy sighs ensue after hearing you lot mention what you're watching on TCM...). It's amazing what is available on line, particularly from PBS.org, and most of my watching now is done via USB downloads or YT through my BD player with occasional Netflixing.

I have been contemplating Filmstruck as well and am following this discussion closely. I'm a cheap bastid though and it will take some convincing.
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Mike Gebert

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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 4:03 pm

In my case I pay for internet either way so for me the internet cost is a non-factor.


Yeah, me too, I'm just trying to look at it as a total cost package. So far internet plus RCN's TV package that has TCM, and internet with a different TV package that has TCM, are basically the same. The only thing that's significantly less is getting TCM-ish via Filmstruck. I'd probably get that anyway ($10-ish for Criterion and TCM stuff) but if I really want TCM, looks like I have to double up on it-- a TV package that includes it, plus Filmstruck.

Does anyone get Filmstruck alone, no regular version of TCM? How do you feel about it?
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir
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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 4:12 pm

I'm in the same camp as some of the first posters. There may be cheaper ways to get movies, but as a Directv subscriber I hold out for the rare and offbeat. Outside of some History channel stuff, and possibly one or two other similar channels occasionally, TCM is really the only TV channel I watch. Even then, some shows from these other channels are syndicated on local subchannels, so a friend tell me. TCM is indeed the pillar that keeps me paying for the junkyard that is Pay TV. :lol:
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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 6:10 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:The other dealbreaker for my wife might be our local PBS affiliate, or at least some PBS station... in theory I should be able to get that over the air but honestly, that seems like a lot of tech support showing her how to get it every time Call the Midwife or Midsomer Murders has a new season. How do people get a local station, typically?


PBS has a streaming service - I get it via my Apple TV box, but it's on Roku as well - there's no extra charge but you have to catch new things within the free period. After a couple weeks things go into their "Passport" service and are accessible only if you're a member of a local station and perhaps have to pay an additional fee on top of that - I can't find a definitive statement about the latter. Right now I'm paying close attention to catching the new season of Endeavour before it slips out of freebie land.

I haven't had any regular TV service, cable or dish, for over ten years, so I can't address the no-TCM situation directly. But I fell into the Filmstruck/Criterion package when Warner Archive Instant folded and I got my paid-up period credited to them.

I have to say I've been astonished by how much Criterion Collection material is available, usually with supplements and audio commentary. I've finally gotten around to watching so much Essential Cinema that you'd think I should have seen decades ago that I'm embarrassed to admit it, much less disclose the titles. I will say I went on a Guitry binge.

As for what usually shows up on TCM, all I can say it that major additions are made every week, and often things recently or still on the current TCM rotation, as a friend who gets TCM has pointed out. There's a lot that's there, and of course it's play on demand rather than scheduled.

Bottom line is that in the couple of months I've had Filmstruck/CC I've been watching A WHOLE LOT MORE movies than has been the case in a long, long time.
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Re: TCM via cable vs. Filmstruck

PostThu Jun 14, 2018 1:32 am

How happy we British are.....we have NONE of these choices and TCM Europe really SUCKS....so we save an absolute fortune!!! :lol:
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