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  #1  
Old 11-29-2015, 04:45 PM
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What channels do I really use?

Hey all, long story short, I got a letter from my cable company saying rates are going up, and along with some looking at my bill and what I think I watch, I've been thinking of dropping cable.

But I've been trying to look and see what I really watch and what channels that's on, and wondering if anybody's come up with something slick to look at your SageTV watched history and generate a report by channel?

I've got the "Stats" plugin installed but that seems to report more based on "recorded" than "watched". I don't really care about stuff I might record but only watch if I'm bored, vs the stuff I really make a point of watching.

I also found I can search for EPG Airings, In the Past, limit to Watched, and Group by Channel, but that get's my entire 9 year history, where as I'm only interested in the last 6-12 months and I haven't found a way to limit to the last xxx on the webserver search.

Last edited by stanger89; 11-29-2015 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:05 PM
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What a great idea!
I can see a fairly simple parser to cough out the info you are looking for. Perhaps a little formatting and layout work it can be a nifty web page output.

One idea extending is to more of an analytics interest. One example, based on your current favorites what value does each channel have to YOU and that can be compared to what you are paying for the service (for channel/package/etc). I think you guys see where I am going here ;P

Great idea stanger89!!
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  #3  
Old 12-01-2015, 12:36 AM
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I did this about 2 years ago and listed all ~70+ favorites in a spreadsheet. Then, I broke it down by channel, status (still airing, etc), and TV package. It may have taken a bit of time, but once this was listed out, I almost immediately cancelled my DTV subscription and went to just locals via OTA. It's scary just how much we're paying for versus how much we actually watch.
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:57 AM
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Yeah, I've been working my way through it in a spreadsheet. I've listed all (well I thought so, seems I've missed some that are just starting up again) my current favorites that I've watched in the last few months.

Then I started listing out alternative sources, and how much those cost and it gets sort of tricky to compare. Some are easy, if they're on Hulu or Sling it's easy, it's monthly cost to monthly cost, but some aren't and if you want to stay current the only choice is buying the season on Amazon.

I found you really have to compare on an annual cost basis, otherwise there's just no way to compare the cost including shows that you buy once per year/season (I suppose you could average their cost over a year).

On the one hand I suppose my decision is clear, with the shows I've got listed it would be about half as expensive. The flip side is that's not as much less as I was expecting, and to get there, I'd need to subscribe to Hulu, Sling, buy a few shows off Amazon, and potentially another service or two. And that just sounds like a bear to manage, and on top of that, that doesn't even cover one of my primary Favorites, F1 (which I can't find streamed anywhere).

So it becomes a question of how much is the convenience of having all my shows in one place, and well having all of them, worth?

Oh, and to throw out there, the problem I have with the "Stats" plugin is that it includes everything you've recorded. Well for me, I have IR enabled, but more importantly, I turn on the local news in the morning and evening, I don't watch them through to get a watched status, but since that's 2 recordings every day, that hugely skews my recording stats in favor of one local network. That's actually what sort of started all this, I was looking at that graph and though the vast majority of what I watch is on locals, but when you throw out the news, and limit it to favorites with "Watched" status, it's more like 50/50.
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  #5  
Old 12-01-2015, 07:27 AM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is offline
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I don't use IR, but if I did, I would think that when I found a show that I liked, my next step would be to set that show up as a favorite.

So that being said, a wish-list item of mine for quite some time now has been for SageTV to track the last recording date of each favorite. That date would then be displayed next to the show name on the favorites screen. As the networks cancel shows, remembering to delete the associated favorite sometimes doesn't happen, and the favorites list starts growing with a bunch of obsolete shows. If the last recording date was displayed alongside the favorite, you'd be able to see that the show hasn't been recorded in 18 months (or whatever), and take the appropriate action.

Then, knowing that I had a cleaned-up favorites list, I would use that list to determine which channels to get rid of.
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2015, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAbbott View Post
I don't use IR, but if I did, I would think that when I found a show that I liked, my next step would be to set that show up as a favorite.
That's what I do, but the fact that I have it on "contaminates" the results from the Stats plugin, since it appears to show anything that's been recorded, not just things with the "Watched" status.
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  #7  
Old 12-01-2015, 09:11 AM
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If you know how to do a little work in Studio, you could change the malore Viewing History menu to use a different time limit & set it to use things from the past X months, then in the UI set it to show only Watched items and group by show, channel, or date, etc.

Andy
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2015, 01:04 PM
drewg drewg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
If you want to stay current the only choice is buying the season on Amazon.
Or Google Play..

Staying current can be expensive. If you can stand to be a season behind, then you can just wait for last year's season to show up on Netflix or Amazon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
one of my primary Favorites, F1 (which I can't find streamed anywhere)..
One of the really nice things about living in the SF Bay area was that F1 was shown on one of the local Spanish language channels (Telemundo, I think). The downside was that the commentary was in Spanish, but at least I could see the race. I haven't actually used them, but I hear there are .underground, non-official plugins for Kodi that find these sports streams..

I'd love a legal way to stream F1. "Take my money, please"

Drew

PS: This reminds me I need to update my profile to reflect I'm no longer in CA
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:28 PM
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You may also find that buying the entire season is a hell of a lot cheaper than the ongoing annual subscription cost. When we had all the channels from DTV, our bill was over $200 month, totaling over $2400/year. That kind of cash buys an awful lot of Blu-rays. Now, sports is a whole other story since sports fans have only certain avenues for watching and buying sports on disc is not an option.

I also know a few people who add HBO to their package just when GoT is airing and that seems to work fine for them.
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2015, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewg View Post
Or Google Play..
Yeah, I was too lazy to type "or similar".

Quote:
Staying current can be expensive. If you can stand to be a season behind, then you can just wait for last year's season to show up on Netflix or Amazon.
Yeah, there is that option.

Quote:
One of the really nice things about living in the SF Bay area was that F1 was shown on one of the local Spanish language channels (Telemundo, I think). The downside was that the commentary was in Spanish, but at least I could see the race. I haven't actually used them, but I hear there are .underground, non-official plugins for Kodi that find these sports streams..
Yeah, you can options elsewhere too. But I'm trying to hold on to that not being an option.
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  #11  
Old 12-01-2015, 04:04 PM
drewg drewg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skirge01 View Post
sports is a whole other story since sports fans have only certain avenues for watching and buying sports on disc is not an option.
.
Sports has gotten quite a bit better over the last few years, with at least MLB, NHL and the NFL offering live or same-day streaming of games.

I follow an out-of-market NFL team, and I really don't want DirectTV. So for the last 2-3 years, I've used NFL GamePass (formerly NFL Rewind), first via via a web browser, then Plex, and now via the Kodi gamepass plugin. I have to live in a bubble until roughly 7:30 or 8pm (when they release the day's games), but that's almost an advantage, as I don't stay glued to the TV for 4 hours during the day and make progress on the honey-do list

Drew
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  #12  
Old 12-09-2015, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
I've got the "Stats" plugin installed but that seems to report more based on "recorded" than "watched". I don't really care about stuff I might record but only watch if I'm bored, vs the stuff I really make a point of watching.
The stats that's showing you are based on the GetRecentlyWatched API. So, though the titles of the charts say "Recordings", it is only showing you recordings that you've watched over the time period. Which sounds like it should be what you want. The topic of this thread is exactly the question that lead me to create that plugin in the first place.

One caveat is that it will count things that are watched for any duration, meaning that just checking out the first minute is enough to have it counted for the stats.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:39 AM
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One caveat is that it will count things that are watched for any duration, meaning that just checking out the first minute is enough to have it counted for the stats.
Cool, but yeah, that caveat is the issue I have. It counts the news I watch twice a day for about 15 minutes, along with whatever I might tune to just before the news starts, etc, which hugely skews my numbers in favor of one local channel. Though I suppose I could just ignore that.
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:04 AM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Vudu is my go to choice for must have shows. If I need sports slingtv can fill in the months I do. To me it was a no Brainer.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:46 AM
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Wow, SlingTV sucks.

I happened to miss a recording over the weekend due to a virtIO network driver SNAFU (anyone on unRAID I suggest you use the 102 drivers in any VMs you run), and I was looking at the shows I watch and what channels they're on, and thought it was a good excuse to try out SlingTV.

Man is it terrible. They advertise "10,000 hours" of On Demand content, well there's really no good way to find that, and their idea of a "guide" is just ridiculous.

Perhaps the most surprising thing is they don't even have all the shows on some networks.

Suffice to say I only had an account for a couple hours, and most of that was the time between when I signed up and when I actually tried it.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:02 AM
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Interesting, I see that PS Vue is now available everywhere:
https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/#5

Seems the basic $30/mo package would cover everything I actually care about* that I'm currently paying $90/mo for.
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:04 PM
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So I signed up for Vue, and it's intriguing, I've got 6 more days on the trial so I'm going to run with it until next week and see how it works out.

Backing up a bit, as I said I started looking at my bills and alternatives again. It started with looking at my bill, ~$90/mo for cable. So I go look in Sage at what I actually record, and it comes down to only a few channels. I had found alternatives (Hulu, etc) for most of the big things I watch, but there was one that really flummoxed me, F1. There's just no way to watch that legally in the US without cable (well the races that aren't broadcast on NBC, which is most).

Luckily I stumbled across a story that PS Vue was launching country wide, and low and behold, it offers NBCSN, and even in the base package. And what do you know it has the second biggest stumbling block SyFy. Actually the base package checks all the boxes for channels I actually watch, other than Velocity, and it's $30/mo.

So I've only played with it for about half an hour maybe, but I will say it's not all roses. Coming from Sage, we've got a pretty high bar to compare it against, and I'm not sure anything could live up to it.

First thing, it takes some getting used to the remote, the FireTV remote is quite limited. I'm also not a fan of having video/liveTV automatically start playing all the time. The DVR features are basic to say the least.

The up side though is shows that are available "On Demand" show up right with DVR'd and future airings, so as I was going through and adding shows to be recorded, shows that had already aired, but were available on demand were shown as well. This is an enormous improvement over SlingTV which couldn't DVR anything and didn't have a number of things available On Demand that I found in Vue.

All else equal, I'd definitely take Sage+Cable over Vue any day. However things aren't equal, we're talking about ~$60/mo difference between the two, so at this point, I'll live with it, use it for the trial period. I expect early next week I'll be calling my cable company and see if they can do something, otherwise I expect I'll drop my cable and go with OTA and Vue.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:35 PM
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... I had found alternatives (Hulu, etc) for most of the big things I watch, but there was one that really flummoxed me, F1. There's just no way to watch that legally in the US without cable (well the races that aren't broadcast on NBC, which is most). ...
Well I have to say this is the most interesting post I have seen in a while. Thanks for posting it. I maintain my cable gold package for a few reasons, FS1 and NBCSN is among the top reasons. Both HBO and ShowTime offer streaming without a provider as well. Now you have got me really thinking!
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:38 PM
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I'm actually going to stick with my "cable" provider for TV. Basically, I decided Vue would work, so I called them today to see what they could do for me, and they could drop me ~$40/mo if I signed up for another 2 year contract.

Frankly that's not a big deal, I really like my provider, and while Vue would have been $60/mo less than my cable charge, I'd have lost my ~$15/mo bundle discount, so net I'll pay $5/mo more than with Vue, but I'll keep my TV through Sage and all the benefits that brings with, like comskip and other customizations.

I will say, overall I was pretty impressed with Vue, considering it's a mass-market service. They appear to pad DVR "recordings" by a minute before/after. I never got a chance to test what happens if a race runs over the scheduled time. It's pretty slick that they combine on demand and DVR'd content in one list.

Though I never saw a way to remove a given episode from view, for example if you watched it, and I did run into one on-demand show that disabled fast forward. Overall I think it's quite a viable alternative if it saves you significant money. Fortunately for me, it doesn't, and I'll gladly pay $5/mo extra to stick with the provider I like and all the power SageTV gives me.
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Old 03-22-2016, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
... It's pretty slick that they combine on demand and DVR'd content in one list. ...
Tivo does that as well, they include hulu/netflix and amazon as well. But there UI basically sucks. There is nothing like Sage out there, period.

Glad you got a deal with big brother, that's hard to do.
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