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Cord cutting for older parents (1 Viewer)

WDIK2

Footballguy
Maybe this has been covered in the cord cutting thread, but I wanted to ask about this specifically. My parents are 78 and 74 years old and not big fans of new technology. My mom is better than my dad who won't use a cell phone. They are currently paying $300+ for a landline phone, internet, and cable tv package. It looks like they can get YouTube TV for ~$70/month and faster internet for ~$60/month. Not having a landline would be another bridge to cross, but mom mostly users her cell phone and I was thinking I could get them on a basic "home" cell phone plan for ~$30. Would just need to teach dad how to make calls on it. :oldunsure:

Anyone have experience switching their parents over to something like YouTube TV or Hulu Live, etc?

My son uses YouTube TV and says the channel guide can be customized in whatever order you want, which sounds helpful.

I cut the cord a long time ago, but get my live tv from "other" sources.
 

ChiefD

Footballguy
What part of the country are they in and do they watch major league baseball on a regular basis?
 

Dinsy Ejotuz

Footballguy
Maybe this has been covered in the cord cutting thread, but I wanted to ask about this specifically. My parents are 78 and 74 years old and not big fans of new technology. My mom is better than my dad who won't use a cell phone. They are currently paying $300+ for a landline phone, internet, and cable tv package. It looks like they can get YouTube TV for ~$70/month and faster internet for ~$60/month. Not having a landline would be another bridge to cross, but mom mostly users her cell phone and I was thinking I could get them on a basic "home" cell phone plan for ~$30. Would just need to teach dad how to make calls on it. :oldunsure:

Anyone have experience switching their parents over to something like YouTube TV or Hulu Live, etc?

My son uses YouTube TV and says the channel guide can be customized in whatever order you want, which sounds helpful.

I cut the cord a long time ago, but get my live tv from "other" sources.
Just went through this with my wife's in-laws.

Some hurdles we had to work around.

Make sure you go all the way from the outside high-speed internet box to the remotes and check for compatibility. Verizon might not be in their area, COMCAST doesn't connect directly to Google Nests (you still need a cable modem), not all TVs are smart TVs (esp older ones), etc. Don't just assume what you read about or did for yourself is going to work. Plot the whole thing out with their equipment and convince yourself it will all work before you dive in.

And be prepared to install it for them A - Z and then train them up. Not being able to just channel surf is probably going to be an issue, and switching from service to service? Could be a bridge too far.

YMMV, but this ended up being a big hassle. They are going to save like $150/month at the end of it, but even that will probably take like 8-10 months to break even with the TV and other equipment they had to buy.
 

pollardsvision

Footballguy
No experience with my parents, but my wife has a brain injury which makes You Tube TV interesting.

Use a combination of Fire TV and sticks (was Roku until Roku go wonky with YouTube TV).

It works okay now, but it was a struggle early on.

Whatever you do, make sure there's no input button pushing involved.
 

Osaurus

Footballguy
Wish I can do this with my in-laws. They seriously have more tech in their house than I do, but I know how to use it.
 

pollardsvision

Footballguy
And it would be so awesome in situations like this if there was a way to make YouTube TV launch directly into the live channel guide.

I've spent so much time having to explain that you need to click over to the right to get to the live channel guide.
 

pollardsvision

Footballguy
Oh, and go ahead and stock up on replacement remotes. And when one gets lost you don't want to be put in a situation of having to teach them how to use the fire TV app on their phone.
 

Random

Footballguy
Just went through this with my parents. $300/mo cable, internet home phone bill. Called Spectrum to cancel everything and just get the cheapest internet (to pair with Youtube TV) and the cheapest they could get was $80 internet. Mine is $30, same company, 10 miles away (I think I'm grandfathered in to an old promo). They ended up removing the gold and silver package, keeping the phone and 1 receiver and the bill is down to $160. With no noticeable changes.
 

matttyl

Footballguy
Look into Sling. It’s got Espn, TVs and often fox local. They’ll still get plenty of stations.
 

jwb

Footballguy
Unless they really need the $$, I would think twice about this. I like streaming, but have found it to be a negligible savings apples-to-apples.

If they are paying $300, they probably have a top-tier TV package (will you have to add HBO Max and Showtime?) Their cable package probably has 200 channels or so. YouTube is like 60-70 I think. Once you add HBO and Showtime to YouTube, you're at many cable package prices. I do really like YouTube's DVR.

Someone else mentioned equipment, so all the TV's will have to be able to get all the apps, or use a Roku or whatnot. Also, the one thing streaming hasn't figured out is channel surfing, and if they like doing that, they will hate streaming.
 

Sunshine6854

Footballguy
Unless they really need the $$, I would think twice about this. I like streaming, but have found it to be a negligible savings apples-to-apples.

If they are paying $300, they probably have a top-tier TV package (will you have to add HBO Max and Showtime?) Their cable package probably has 200 channels or so. YouTube is like 60-70 I think. Once you add HBO and Showtime to YouTube, you're at many cable package prices. I do really like YouTube's DVR.

Someone else mentioned equipment, so all the TV's will have to be able to get all the apps, or use a Roku or whatnot. Also, the one thing streaming hasn't figured out is channel surfing, and if they like doing that, they will hate streaming.
Agree with this. And the older parents get the less competent they are to work all that needs to be worked. Hell, it's to the point now that my 80 year old parents need me to come over and hook the cable back up when they had everything moved to get carpet installed. Two wires needed to be hooked up on from the wall into the cable box, and one from the cable box into the tv.

If I were you I'd look to downsize their package. $300 likely means they have every option cable has to offer and the fastest internet.
 

offdee

Footballguy
I would leave it alone. If they are not tech savvy chances are they will not learn how to use YouTube TV and will not be happy. You will be getting phone calls all the time asking hot to use it.
Exactly. Just get rid of the phone land line and force them to start using a cell phone for calls. Literally go to there house and unplug/remove all the landline phones from their house...take them with you and throw them out in your garbage (if they see them in their own garbage it would be like you throwing out crappy artwork from your 4 yr old daughter and she sees it in there. Devastated). There's not a huge learning curve with that at least.

Then sit down with them and understand how they like to watch TV and write down the channels that they always go to. Likely with old people it's only 4 channels or so. Then strip their cable down to remove all excess packages/channels and reduce the Internet package to a slower speed since they likely never use it anyways and certainly aren't watching movies on a tablet or whatever else they'd need high speed for.

Basically just let them keep what they are used to, but get it as low priced as possible.
 
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Pipes

Footballguy
What part of the country are they in and do they watch major league baseball on a regular basis?
Midwest. Dad watches a lot of baseball.
If he watches a major league team on Bally Sports he will not be able to do so on YouTube TV.
I don't know what this is. :lmao: If that's a channel they don't have it. He watches on the ESPNs, TBS, Fox, etc.
Most Twins games are broadcast on Bally's North, Brewers on Baily's Wisconsin, etc... A coworkers cut the cord this past winter and bitches that he can't watch Brewers games.
 

E Street Brat

Footballguy
What part of the country are they in and do they watch major league baseball on a regular basis?
Midwest. Dad watches a lot of baseball.
If he watches a major league team on Bally Sports he will not be able to do so on YouTube TV.
I don't know what this is. :lmao: If that's a channel they don't have it. He watches on the ESPNs, TBS, Fox, etc.
Most Twins games are broadcast on Bally's North, Brewers on Baily's Wisconsin, etc... A coworkers cut the cord this past winter and bitches that he can't watch Brewers games.

Is there a good streaming source that has Bally?
 

ChiefD

Footballguy
What part of the country are they in and do they watch major league baseball on a regular basis?
Midwest. Dad watches a lot of baseball.
If he watches a major league team on Bally Sports he will not be able to do so on YouTube TV.
I don't know what this is. :lmao: If that's a channel they don't have it. He watches on the ESPNs, TBS, Fox, etc.
Most Twins games are broadcast on Bally's North, Brewers on Baily's Wisconsin, etc... A coworkers cut the cord this past winter and bitches that he can't watch Brewers games.
Yeah, the Royals are this way also. I cut the cord two years ago when Hulu Live carried the Fox Sports Midwest. As soon as Sinclair bought them all out and rebranded it to Bally it went away from all the streaming services.

I use my buddies log-in in exchange for my Red Zone log in during football season.

The part that is comical is Bally introduced a stand-alone app for streamers this summer and it's something like $24.99 a month. :lol: Hell no. That app is dog-crap.
 

PlayaHata

Footballguy
If they have multiple TVs, even if they're smart TVs, I highly recommend using something standard like Roku or Firestick or Chromecast on every TV so the remotes are (1) simple and (2) every TV is controlled exactly the same. My Mom lives 2 hours away and I can't tell you how many times she's accidentally clicked something on her Samsung Smart TV remote that's got like 50 tiny buttons, where she's accidentally turned on weird accessibility options or closed captioning or who knows what. I'm trying to convince her to switch to YTTV on Roku right now.
 

worrierking

Footballguy
And it would be so awesome in situations like this if there was a way to make YouTube TV launch directly into the live channel guide.

I've spent so much time having to explain that you need to click over to the right to get to the live channel guide.

Struggling with this. My MIL is moving in with my SIL. MIL is in early stages of dementia and has trouble learning anything new or confusing. I was able to get her tv at home to boot straight to cable, but apparently there is no way to do this with youtube tv at SIL's place. She does not have cable or even cable hardware run through the walls, so she just uses Youtube tv. If anyone can help find a way for MIL to turn on the tv and have it go straight to the last channel watched on youtube tv, I'd be thrilled. All the tvs now seem to want to start with a home screen that shows all the apps and they are unwilling to allow any other option.
 

Van Dyman

Footballguy
Direct TV Stream really looks and acts almost exactly like traditional cable. Good transitional option for older cord-cutters, imo. @worrierking it does go straight to the last channel watched. If you use DTV's streaming box it interfaces very nicely...turning the TV on/off, automatically "telling" the TV to switch inputs to DTV, etc.

As for landline, Magic Jack plugs straight into the home's phone line so there's no functional difference between that and the phone company's service. $100 for 5 years phone service and IIRC can port in an existing phone number. Good option for older folks who want their "home" phones to work the same without paying the phone company's ridiculous monthly rates. Obvious downside...it won't work during a power outage or internet outage.

ETA: in older homes you may find TVs in areas that have a coax connection but poor/no wifi and no ethernet. MoCA adapters are great for this and much simpler than introducing wifi extenders or mesh routers. They basically give the smart TVs a wired LAN connection across the home's existing coax cables. Neat, extremely reliable, blazing fast, and greatly reduces wifi traffic.
 
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dino259

Footballguy
Unless they really need the $$, I would think twice about this. I like streaming, but have found it to be a negligible savings apples-to-apples.

If they are paying $300, they probably have a top-tier TV package (will you have to add HBO Max and Showtime?) Their cable package probably has 200 channels or so. YouTube is like 60-70 I think. Once you add HBO and Showtime to YouTube, you're at many cable package prices. I do really like YouTube's DVR.

Someone else mentioned equipment, so all the TV's will have to be able to get all the apps, or use a Roku or whatnot. Also, the one thing streaming hasn't figured out is channel surfing, and if they like doing that, they will hate streaming.

I don't understand this. I am a huge channel surfer and this drives me nuts when trying to try all the streaming in an effort to see if I want to switch.
 

bro1ncos

IBL Representative
Tried goingbthrough this with my parents. Finally gave up..

Mom didn't care but is/was going to go with whatever dad decided just to not cause waves. The argument that could never be overcome was the home phone. Could never convince that losing a home phone number that they have had for decades was not the end of the world. But the argument that they had friends who only knew that number was one I got tired of having.

Change was never a strong suit for either one.
 

Van Dyman

Footballguy
Tried goingbthrough this with my parents. Finally gave up..

Mom didn't care but is/was going to go with whatever dad decided just to not cause waves. The argument that could never be overcome was the home phone. Could never convince that losing a home phone number that they have had for decades was not the end of the world. But the argument that they had friends who only knew that number was one I got tired of having.

Change was never a strong suit for either one.
I said this above, but...Magic Jack. Port their old phone number in. $100 every 5 years. Plugs straight into the home phone line so all the old phones work like before.
 

DA RAIDERS

willy t flyers
I gave mine a firestick and showed them how to use it. They're even on some of my accounts. it took a minute to get them used to navigating it. the tiny remote was a problem initially. but they love it now.
 

WDIK2

Footballguy
Thanks for all the input. Just to clarify because a few of you have mentioned the $300 and downsizing their TV package. The $300 is for a TV, internet and landline phone bundle. For TV they have one step up from the absolute basic package. No premium channels like HBO or Showtime, etc. or upper tier cable channels. They have 3 TVs with 3 cable boxes so I'm sure they are getting dinged for each of those.

Their ISP would stay the same, so no different equipment needed there. Standalone cable internet is $60/month and would be faster than what they have with their bundle.

This is rural Nebraska so 1 cable TV provider otherwise it would need to be dish based. 2 "decent" ISPs.

I may buy them a Roku or Firestick and do a trial run with YouTube TV before switching or cancelling anything else. I'm sure laminated instruction cards with lots of pictures will be involved. :lmao: I'm already their tech support for everything. :)
 

WDIK2

Footballguy
Tried goingbthrough this with my parents. Finally gave up..

Mom didn't care but is/was going to go with whatever dad decided just to not cause waves. The argument that could never be overcome was the home phone. Could never convince that losing a home phone number that they have had for decades was not the end of the world. But the argument that they had friends who only knew that number was one I got tired of having.

Change was never a strong suit for either one.
I said this above, but...Magic Jack. Port their old phone number in. $100 every 5 years. Plugs straight into the home phone line so all the old phones work like before.
This might be ideal. I will look into it. Thanks. :thumbup:
 

belljr

Footballguy
Thanks for all the input. Just to clarify because a few of you have mentioned the $300 and downsizing their TV package. The $300 is for a TV, internet and landline phone bundle. For TV they have one step up from the absolute basic package. No premium channels like HBO or Showtime, etc. or upper tier cable channels. They have 3 TVs with 3 cable boxes so I'm sure they are getting dinged for each of those.

Their ISP would stay the same, so no different equipment needed there. Standalone cable internet is $60/month and would be faster than what they have with their bundle.

This is rural Nebraska so 1 cable TV provider otherwise it would need to be dish based. 2 "decent" ISPs.

I may buy them a Roku or Firestick and do a trial run with YouTube TV before switching or cancelling anything else. I'm sure laminated instruction cards with lots of pictures will be involved. :lmao: I'm already their tech support for everything. :)
wow that seems crazy. I pay $280 for 1gig internet, land line , premium cable with hbo, showtime, epix, sports package and netflix included (5 tvs with DVR)........ I thought that was high
 

WDIK2

Footballguy
Thanks for all the input. Just to clarify because a few of you have mentioned the $300 and downsizing their TV package. The $300 is for a TV, internet and landline phone bundle. For TV they have one step up from the absolute basic package. No premium channels like HBO or Showtime, etc. or upper tier cable channels. They have 3 TVs with 3 cable boxes so I'm sure they are getting dinged for each of those.

Their ISP would stay the same, so no different equipment needed there. Standalone cable internet is $60/month and would be faster than what they have with their bundle.

This is rural Nebraska so 1 cable TV provider otherwise it would need to be dish based. 2 "decent" ISPs.

I may buy them a Roku or Firestick and do a trial run with YouTube TV before switching or cancelling anything else. I'm sure laminated instruction cards with lots of pictures will be involved. :lmao: I'm already their tech support for everything. :)
wow that seems crazy. I pay $280 for 1gig internet, land line , premium cable with hbo, showtime, epix, sports package and netflix included (5 tvs with DVR)........ I thought that was high
Agree. My sister and a lot of other people in town are in the same boat and looking to switch.
 

Chris B.

Footballguy
Tried goingbthrough this with my parents. Finally gave up..

Mom didn't care but is/was going to go with whatever dad decided just to not cause waves. The argument that could never be overcome was the home phone. Could never convince that losing a home phone number that they have had for decades was not the end of the world. But the argument that they had friends who only knew that number was one I got tired of having.

Change was never a strong suit for either one.
My wife and sister in law are trying to decide what to do with their childhood home since their mother passed 1.5 years ago. Neither want to cancel their landline "just in case someone wants to call mom" :wall:
I have excused myself from giving any further advice on how to handle the estate.
 

CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
I would leave it alone. If they are not tech savvy chances are they will not learn how to use YouTube TV and will not be happy. You will be getting phone calls all the time asking hot to use it.

This was our experience. Got my wife's parents all set up and after about 6 months we just dismantled everything and restored them to cable. I think they watch PBS shows about 90% which would be free for them using our subscription, but it was too much to get them to navigate a fire stick + app.
 

CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
Regarding phones - not only will my in-laws never give up their land line, but we maintain an old-school cordless phone at our house solely to accept calls from them. For whatever reason, they have never been able to dial our mobile phones since we got them about 20 years ago. Perhaps it goes without saying that I never answer that phone - haven't touched it in years.
 

Mrs. Rannous

Footballguy
Regarding phones - not only will my in-laws never give up their land line, but we maintain an old-school cordless phone at our house solely to accept calls from them. For whatever reason, they have never been able to dial our mobile phones since we got them about 20 years ago. Perhaps it goes without saying that I never answer that phone - haven't touched it in years.
How does the type of phone affect dialing ten numbers? I don't understand.
 

Eephus

Footballguy
I've been designated tech support for my in-laws for decades. They're 87 and 90 now. I love that my mother-in-law isn't intimidated by new technology and has taken to computers, cellphones and basic smart home stuff. It's made their life easier although she prints way too much IMO.

But the TV is one thing I won't mess with. Most other technologies are a clear improvement over what preceded them but streaming TV is a clear exception. The number of different services, UI inconsistencies and re authentication requirements are a PITA for me, much less someone who watches a handful of channels. Cable bundling is a bad value for them but the much simpler experience is worth the extra cost.
 

fruity pebbles

Footballguy
First move I’d make is to see if I could get their current bill down. Maybe ditch one of the tvs and the landline. Go with the stand alone internet and see what you can bargain the tv bill down to.
 

offdee

Footballguy
Regarding phones - not only will my in-laws never give up their land line, but we maintain an old-school cordless phone at our house solely to accept calls from them. For whatever reason, they have never been able to dial our mobile phones since we got them about 20 years ago. Perhaps it goes without saying that I never answer that phone - haven't touched it in years.
WTF? You have to be kidding? So you pay for your own landline just so 2 people can call you on it? I'm sure there has to be a way you can get call forwarding from a phone number onto your cell phone. And if you can't that's still ridiculous. Just go to their house and put a sticker on the phone with your cell phone # on it and tell them the other number will no longer work. Eventually they'll get it when they dial your old landline number 10 times and nobody answers.
 

offdee

Footballguy
Tried goingbthrough this with my parents. Finally gave up..

Mom didn't care but is/was going to go with whatever dad decided just to not cause waves. The argument that could never be overcome was the home phone. Could never convince that losing a home phone number that they have had for decades was not the end of the world. But the argument that they had friends who only knew that number was one I got tired of having.

Change was never a strong suit for either one.
My wife and sister in law are trying to decide what to do with their childhood home since their mother passed 1.5 years ago. Neither want to cancel their landline "just in case someone wants to call mom" :wall:
I have excused myself from giving any further advice on how to handle the estate.

Women are beyond crazy.
 

offdee

Footballguy
A land line costs like 20 a month now a days :lol:
Even then it's still just burning a $20 bill monthly. It's completely pointless. I had to convince my mom about 2 yrs ago to get rid of the landline too, and every time she called in to try and cancel it the sales guy told her that her bill would actually GO UP by removing that line because of some bundle garbage. After hearing that about 3 times I called myself and got it taken care of. Remove a service and price goes up. Get outta here.
 

CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
Regarding phones - not only will my in-laws never give up their land line, but we maintain an old-school cordless phone at our house solely to accept calls from them. For whatever reason, they have never been able to dial our mobile phones since we got them about 20 years ago. Perhaps it goes without saying that I never answer that phone - haven't touched it in years.
How does the type of phone affect dialing ten numbers? I don't understand.

That makes two of us. I think they are concerned that our mobiles have an area code from when we lived in Chicago and they are from a depression era lifestyle in which it was a huge deal to ever dial a phone number that might incur long-distance charges. Of course this is a concept most people under 40 have never encountered. The last time I checked his root cellar, I found a bottle of ice tea that was 14 years old. Last month he gave me a bottle of homemade wine that is dated in the 1980s, expecting me to drink it. Most times we leave their house, our first stop is at a gas station dumpster to unload whatever stuff they gave us that day. We had them hooked up with a firestick with all the kids passwords so they could watch just about anything anyone could want, but they never used it - probably not one single time except when we were there. Some battles are not worth fighting and I'm letting this one go for the $14 per month we pay for that line.
 

Mrs. Rannous

Footballguy
I think they are concerned that our mobiles have an area code from when we lived in Chicago and they are from a depression era lifestyle in which it was a huge deal to ever dial a phone number that might incur long-distance charges.
You mean you don't have ten digit dialing? Houston went to that decades ago, regardless of the long distance thing.
 

rustycolts

Footballguy
I'm not sure if yttv is still allowing this but I share with my 89 year old dad. It took him a little while but he loves it now. If they have a smart TV maybe you can share your account with them see if they like it. I think yttv allows 3 devices.
 

rustycolts

Footballguy
A land line costs like 20 a month now a days :lol:
Where at ? For internet and my landline I'm paying $130 bucks. I've thought about getting rid of my landline but really don't want to. I'm going to look into that magic jack thing. Does it just go right into the phone jack and it works?
 

Van Dyman

Footballguy
A land line costs like 20 a month now a days :lol:
Where at ? For internet and my landline I'm paying $130 bucks. I've thought about getting rid of my landline but really don't want to. I'm going to look into that magic jack thing. Does it just go right into the phone jack and it works?
Yes, basically. It needs internet and you have to set up a MJ account to activate the device. New activation probably includes N months of phone service. It used to anyway. After that pay to add years. IIRC it's around $100 every 5 years. Works fine for voice calls. I've heard it might have issues sending/receiving fax data, but the only time I ever tried faxing it worked.

Depending on your town's 911 setup there might be a separate fee for 911 service. I've never had to pay that but they have info about it.
 

offdee

Footballguy
A land line costs like 20 a month now a days :lol:
Where at ? For internet and my landline I'm paying $130 bucks. I've thought about getting rid of my landline but really don't want to. I'm going to look into that magic jack thing. Does it just go right into the phone jack and it works?
Yes, basically. It needs internet and you have to set up a MJ account to activate the device. New activation probably includes N months of phone service. It used to anyway. After that pay to add years. IIRC it's around $100 every 5 years. Works fine for voice calls. I've heard it might have issues sending/receiving fax data, but the only time I ever tried faxing it worked.

Depending on your town's 911 setup there might be a separate fee for 911 service. I've never had to pay that but they have info about it.

Faxing, lol. Might be a dealbreaker not being able to Fax. Does it work with pagers?
 

Mrs. Rannous

Footballguy
A land line costs like 20 a month now a days :lol:
Where at ? For internet and my landline I'm paying $130 bucks. I've thought about getting rid of my landline but really don't want to. I'm going to look into that magic jack thing. Does it just go right into the phone jack and it works?
Yes, basically. It needs internet and you have to set up a MJ account to activate the device. New activation probably includes N months of phone service. It used to anyway. After that pay to add years. IIRC it's around $100 every 5 years. Works fine for voice calls. I've heard it might have issues sending/receiving fax data, but the only time I ever tried faxing it worked.

Depending on your town's 911 setup there might be a separate fee for 911 service. I've never had to pay that but they have info about it.

Faxing, lol. Might be a dealbreaker not being able to Fax. Does it work with pagers?
Mabe it works with an Aldis Lamp.
 

FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
I use YoutubeTV. The switch was totally painless. Easier, actually, since we're down to 1 remote now since the TV has an app for it.
 

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