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Cutting the wires used to be a way to abandon cable TV and save money. Then big companies jumped in and screwed it up.

In 2017, YouTube launched a sweet offer-most of your favorite cable channels, no equipment rental or contract, only $35 per month. The duration is not long. In 2020, the platform will increase its rate to $65 per month.

So this week, when T-Mobile announced that it will debut on Sunday at a price of $10 per month, we will be eye-opening.

Advantages: If you like channels such as AMC, Hallmark, MTV and Nickelodeon, you will like T-Mobile’s “Vibe” product because it all costs-an Alexander Hamilton. However, if you need a DVR, you need to spend an extra $5 per month. And, if you can’t live without sports, news and some local channels (NBC, ABC and Fox), you will have to pay $40 a month. Oh, you need to be a subscriber of T-Mobile or Sprint. Verizon and AT&T customers are not eligible.

Update: T-Mobile hopes to help more pay TV customers get rid of the shackles through its new streaming service TVision

More: On Apple iPhone 12, this is the battle of 5G bands between AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile

The point is that T-Mobile has approached the great dream of a la carte TV, which is a dream that customers have been dreaming of for many years. Why do I need to subscribe to all those channels I don’t want and a swollen cable package?

Cincinnati-based writer Jared Newman wrote that T-Mobile’s move “created some small cracks in the traditional pay-TV bundling. So far, its competitors have been unwilling or unable to compete Rival”.

How does it compare to competitors?

Let’s take a closer look at low-priced products:

Philo: Streaming services that focus on entertainment, sports, and news are the lowest in cable TV prices, charging $20 a month. It offers twice the number of channels as Vibe, and channels such as Discovery, A&E and Animal Planet are not visible to T-Mobile. There is no charge for DVR.

Sling: Rates start at $30 per month, but registration can be confusing. Some channels are available in the “blue” package (including CNN and E!), while others are available in “orange” (ESPN), 30 per month USD, plus USD 5 for DVR service.

From there, you can buy AT&T Now and Hulu’s Live TV for $55 a month, or YouTube TV and Fubo (specializing in sports) for $65 a month.

Philo TV CEO Andrew McCollum pointed out that “I’m very pleased” that T-Mobile is “trying to bring greater flexibility to the market and provide people with new options at lower prices.”

But he added that the additional cost of DVR, the channel is less than Philo, and more importantly, the number one streaming TV platform Roku is not available, which makes its deal less sweet. Also, please note that only T-Mobile subscribers can get it.

At the same time, the more expensive T-VisionThe $40 package from T-Mobile does include NBC, ABC and Fox local channels. This is one more network than Sling is available-Sling only has local NBC and Fox channels, not nationwide channels. Unlike Sling, T-Vision packs all sports and news in one package.

Newman said: “You can’t underestimate how many people just want sports, news and local TV stations.” “This is a breakthrough.”

Of course, the people at Sling tell you that if you really want all the local channels, you should buy an antenna and then receive the channels this way. The old bunny ears of yesteryear have been replaced by newer and more powerful antennas that plug into a power outlet and usually come with a portable tuner for stronger signal reception.

Many smart TVs are aimed at cutting into the crowd, such as Insignia and Toshiba’s Amazon Fire TV Edition brand TVs, and even display the local programs currently playing on the menu screen through the antenna.

Of course, if you really want to save money by saving money, just buy a $50 antenna, skip cable alternatives altogether, and stick to Netflix and Amazon Prime.

But, heck, have you heard that Netflix also plans to raise interest rates?

The most popular plan allows subscribers to watch HD videos on two screens at the same time. The price for new subscribers has increased from $12.99 per month to $13.99 per month, and the premium plan ($15.99) can The price that allows you to watch a four-screen ultra-high-definition screen is $17.99.

Is it time to cut this thread?

Tech headlines of the week

Apple sells more Macs in the summer and fall than ever before. On Thursday’s quarterly earnings conference call, Apple said that due to the epidemic and demand for work and educational tools, Apple sold $9 billion worth of Macs, up from $6.9 billion in the same period last year. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a conference call with investors: “The number is huge.” Speaking of Apple, last Friday it launched the Apple One subscription bundle, which offers more Discounts on services. For just $14.95, you can get Apple Music, TV and Arcade game services (usually $19.99), as well as News+, Fitness+ and 2 TB of iCloud storage for $29.99.

The chief executives of Twitter, Google and Facebook testified to Congress that it was difficult for many senators to announce the name of Google’s parent company Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. These include Roger Wicker, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Pichai is called “pitch” in baseball and “chai” (or “pih-chai”) in latte, but legislators have proposed endless variations, calling him “Pick Eye” “Mr.”, “Mr. Pish Eye” and so on. .

Came in by bike and had dinner. The Hollywood lunch attracts pandemic technicians who turn to cycling, walking, and talking meetings, both exercising and staying away from socializing. At least in Los Angeles.

TV echo speakers. We tested it and connected Amazon’s fourth-generation new Echo and Dot speakers to the TV, thus ditching the soundbar in a cheaper wireless way. Conclusion: Sounds great, but you need to understand a few things first.

This week’s Talking Tech podcast

The audience responded to last week’s column, and they use it every year! @#$ ​​****Buy a new phone.

Amazon Echo speakers can double the TV sound. More information about setting them.

How to take awesome photos while surfing. Photographer Jan Schrieber completed all the work and invited guests from Talking Tech to participate.

Apple may use Google in search. What we said was great. come on.

Have you checked the peacock? This is not Kibi.

Follow Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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