Just throwing out ideas, but maybe the infrastructure is so shitty it can't maintain a steady connection long enough to watch a full program streamed.
"Time shifting" ability might refer to download now/watch later really. In which case the content is already cached in its entirety and even with no service at all you can watch the program.
I'll take a look at this.
I built up a system I'm happy with for "cutting the cord".
I have an AmazonFireTV by each TV, and I pay $35/mo for Playstation VUE, which streams all the "cable channels" I like, and it has a DVR capability in it, that holds your shows for about 28 days....
I paired this with a TIVO Roamio OTA dvr setup that came with lifetime guide service...that with TiVO minis by the office and bedroom tvs, allow me to watch live or DVR content from my Over the AIR HD antenna set up.
I can, of course, also stream Netflix and amazon Prime.
I dropped my bill from $113/mo with Uverse U200 package to $35/mo. This nice thing is, the VUE component, there is no contract, cancel at any time. So, if I find that the ATT DirectTV Now streaming option for $35 is better than VUE and becomes available on my FireTV I can easily switch to it.
I looked at SlingTV, but it didn't have DVR capability, and fewer channels offered for the money.
With VUE, I get TCM, the cooking and food channels, all the ESPN's and the SEC channel, FX, FXX, all the cable news channels (MSNBC, Fox News, CNN..etc)...about the only thing I actually miss from Uverse is AXS and the Velocity channel. I can live without them so far.....
But this is basically what TV is coming to.
I figure I'll recoup my hardware expenditure in about 8 months or so with the savings from cutting the cord.