Smart TVs and Boxes/cord cutting

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Car'a'carn
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What do you got?

I have been mainly using the PS3 for Netflix and Amazon Prime. Use the Youtube app on the Smart TV. And a connected computer for Kodi and other online services (like HBO GO, etc..)

Getting closer to cutting the cord. The first step is I ordered an amplified antennae to see if I can get locals with it. I have not fiddled with an antennae for like 30 years. Should be interesting. If it works well enough, the picture on the locals will be 1080p and better than what you get with satellite or cable. The antennae is supposed to have a range of 50 miles (as the crow flies). I am in SW NH, but Boston locals are essential. According to the sites I checked, I am in range, but you never know with hills and stuff.

The second step is to try and consolidate some of the services. I ordered the Amazon Fire TV (full box). I compared a bunch of them and it came down to the Fire vs the Roku. The biggest thing they both have now which I think is essential is universal search. So you can search for a TV show or a movie and it will show you what apps it is available on (Amazon, Netflix, etc...)

The fact that I can sideload Kodi on the FireTV and Alexa is now integrated into the remote pushed me to the Fire.

If all of this works well (a big if), I will then look into a DVR/PVR for the locals. (like a Tivo).

Anyway, what you got? Do you like it?
 

Alk

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I really wish I could do this but the one thing all of these things struggle with is live network feeds. DirecTV is launching one today called DirecTV Now. They claim they will offer live network channels so I'm hoping that will be an option.
 

Mazz22

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I cut my cable down to basic but may just cut altogether before the end of the year. I have Internet from RCN and just cut my local phone which I should have done a long time ago. I have Netflix and Amazon Prime for my kids shows and movies.

My entire media bill is under $100. Just a few months ago it was $200. This has been the best thing I ever did. I kept seeing my cable bill go and up and up was fed up. Once you make the change you never look back. I don't miss it.
 
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Undertaker #59*

Undertaker #59*

Car'a'carn
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I should have mentioned I currently have DISH as my TV provider. Been a customer for almost 20 years. The service is good, just using it less and less, and it is not cheap.

Will be checking out and researching Hulu and Sling (Sling is owned by Dish). They have an interesting streaming package that gives you a good core of cable channels for $20/month. Currently, as far as I could tell, the only service that you can stream AMC shows without buying them.
 

bideau

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What do you got?

I have been mainly using the PS3 for Netflix and Amazon Prime. Use the Youtube app on the Smart TV. And a connected computer for Kodi and other online services (like HBO GO, etc..)

Getting closer to cutting the cord. The first step is I ordered an amplified antennae to see if I can get locals with it. I have not fiddled with an antennae for like 30 years. Should be interesting. If it works well enough, the picture on the locals will be 1080p and better than what you get with satellite or cable. The antennae is supposed to have a range of 50 miles (as the crow flies). I am in SW NH, but Boston locals are essential. According to the sites I checked, I am in range, but you never know with hills and stuff.

The second step is to try and consolidate some of the services. I ordered the Amazon Fire TV (full box). I compared a bunch of them and it came down to the Fire vs the Roku. The biggest thing they both have now which I think is essential is universal search. So you can search for a TV show or a movie and it will show you what apps it is available on (Amazon, Netflix, etc...)

The fact that I can sideload Kodi on the FireTV and Alexa is now integrated into the remote pushed me to the Fire.

If all of this works well (a big if), I will then look into a DVR/PVR for the locals. (like a Tivo).

Anyway, what you got? Do you like it?


We are slowly making the move. We added a Roku box and we share Netflix, HBO Go and Amazon with our kids. but there are still a lot of network and basic cable shows we watch, so I'm not ready to give up cable quite yet.

For the antenna question, we have a friend who lives in Westminster using an antenna. He ordered a roof antenna from some place, can't tell you who, and the antenna was easy to install. He gets perfect reception for all the Boston stations. He said that when he called, they used his address to determine the signal strengths at his house and provided the proper antenna for him. He said it cost a couple hundred total.
 

benhamean

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Still have DirectTV, but basically just watch games, news, and Travel Channel. Its a huge waste of dough.

Recently got a Roku (2) and have Netflix and AmazonPrime mainly that I watch trough that. Works great, has universal search (as mentioned above), and lets you keep a list of movies/shows that you want to see, but aren't available on those stations yet- any change and you get a notice. As an example, as soon as the last Bourne movie is available on any of the stations I have, Roku will let me know.

I am interested to hear if anyone has Sling TV (NOT a Slingbox- different thing). Sling TV supposedly has 2 or 3 options for live stuff (News, sports) for about $20/month as a streaming channel. If it works as advertised, that may be the death knell for DirectTV at my house.
 

thomas144

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Lately I have been using more Roku sticks than Amazon fire mostly because I can get "The Great Courses" on the Roku, which I absolutely love. I have cable everything with FIOS in my primary residence but use a sling box there so I can watch things like Westworld in real-time at my second home, where I've been spending most of my time lately. So in my second home I have very basic cable (just the channels I would supposedly get over the air, but I have never been able to pull them in) which only costs about $16 or something (from Comcast), but I have excellent Comcast internet. My fire sticks seemed to overheat or something so I have mostly switched to Roku (one of the things about the Roku stick is I can use it in hotel rooms, which I've done, and is great). I do like the idea of connecting my Echo to a fire stick or using a voice interface, but I haven't done it. I really like the Roku remote. I also have a Samsung UHDTV which has a lot of aps built-in, but still have a Roku attached so I can watch lectures from the Great Courses. Most of my TVs nowadays have Netflix and Amazon as built-in aps now anyway (most but not all).

---------- Post added at 10:27 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:26 AM ----------

I am interested to hear if anyone has Sling TV (NOT a Slingbox- different thing). Sling TV supposedly has 2 or 3 options for live stuff (News, sports) for about $20/month as a streaming channel. If it works as advertised, that may be the death knell for DirectTV at my house.

I used Sling TV but let my trial lapse - sorry I forget what I didn't like. Lately they have been advertising a special deal for Italian TV which my wife might like, so I may have to create a new account.
 

patsRmyboys

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I've got an Amazon FireTv and 2 other Fire Sticks. Downloaded Playstation Vue App. Make an account, try it for a week. 45 a month for 100 stations. I don't miss paying DirecTV 130 a month I can tell you that. Packages do start at 25 I think for like 50 stations. It's like Directv except no dish. You will need broadband for internet, of course.

Also added to FireTV are a few other apps that allow the viewing of virtually anything... and I mean anything quite literally. And before you even go there, no I haven't looked at porn on it although I'm sure there is a way.
 

mikiemo83

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This is an interesting option. thanks for starting it.

I know my little rabbit ears and converter box they gave away for free about 10 years ago gives me about 40 channels of local over the air TV, I can't imagine what I would get with a real antenna. It is a great picture.

I am getting a fire stick soon (gift), My son (13) doesn't watch TV but my girl (15) watches mostly net flicks while I only watch sports and local news. Cable is really a waste of money.

I hope to cut land line and my cabletv in the spring while keeping my fios internet.
 

chevss454

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You guys are talking way above my head with Roku and such. WTF are you talking about LOL? What things do you get and not get with such stuff?
 

mikiemo83

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You guys are talking way above my head with Roku and such. WTF are you talking about LOL? What things do you get and not get with such stuff?

mine too but what I was quickly explained is it is Cable TV with out the wires, but over the internet.

I hope someone can clarify.
 

benhamean

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You guys are talking way above my head with Roku and such. WTF are you talking about LOL? What things do you get and not get with such stuff?

These are gizmos that can stream video from the internet.
Join them to your internet, plug them into your TV, and you can watch stuff from the internet, instead of from satellite, or cable, or 'over the air'.

On the gizmos, you can choose a bunch of 'channels'- some are free, and some are subscription (for example, Youtube is free and Netflix is subscription).

If you have good internet, it really is a great option.
 

thomas144

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You guys are talking way above my head with Roku and such. WTF are you talking about LOL? What things do you get and not get with such stuff?

basically Roku and Firestick and Apple TV and some others are HDMI devices - they plug into an HDMI port on your TV (if you don't have a TV with an HDMI port, forget about it).

they are similar in some ways to a smart phone, with Aps you can install, some free, some cost money. usually they have Netflix and Amazon video aps installed already. If you have an Amazon Prime account (I think it costs $100/year) you can watch a ton of video on Amazon for no additional cost. My wife is addicted to Downton Abbey.

I have kind of switched from Amazon fire sticks (which only cost about $35) to Roku sticks (which cost about that too, maybe a little more) but they are very similar. The one feature that Roku sticks has that Fire sticks don't is that when you are in a hotel room, for example, there is an interface so you can connect to a public network. also, with Roku sticks I have been able to power them with the USB on the TV itself (this never worked with my old Firesticks).
 

benhamean

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You 'over my head' guys may have noticed that BluRay disc players often have the ability to stream stuff (they will show options for Pandora, Netflix, etc).

A FireStick or Roku is similar to this, except they don't play discs, they just interface with the internet and allow for pulling down metric shit tons of video into your bleary stinging eyes...
 

Dwight Schrute

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You guys are talking way above my head with Roku and such. WTF are you talking about LOL? What things do you get and not get with such stuff?

I am not alone.

I have 2 smart tvs, but somewhere along the line here I lost my way. Feel like Rip Van Winkle. Woke up with a 20 yr gap in TV delivery.

Bought the TVs for the insane picture quality. Have FiOS, at employee discount. But like everyone I'd love to save or cut altogether that monthly exorbitant fee.

Just keep Internet and stream it all via NetFlix/Amazon for their lower monthly rates?
 

chevss454

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basically Roku and Firestick and Apple TV and some others are HDMI devices - they plug into an HDMI port on your TV (if you don't have a TV with an HDMI port, forget about it).

they are similar in some ways to a smart phone, with Aps you can install, some free, some cost money. usually they have Netflix and Amazon video aps installed already. If you have an Amazon Prime account (I think it costs $100/year) you can watch a ton of video on Amazon for no additional cost. My wife is addicted to Downton Abbey.

I have kind of switched from Amazon fire sticks (which only cost about $35) to Roku sticks (which cost about that too, maybe a little more) but they are very similar. The one feature that Roku sticks has that Fire sticks don't is that when you are in a hotel room, for example, there is an interface so you can connect to a public network. also, with Roku sticks I have been able to power them with the USB on the TV itself (this never worked with my old Firesticks).

Sounds great but besides Patriots I watch a lot of history channel, military channel, National Geographic, food network, etc. Can I get those by streaming?
 

mikiemo83

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I am not alone.

I have 2 smart tvs, but somewhere along the line here I lost my way. Feel like Rip Van Winkle. Woke up with a 20 yr gap in TV delivery.

Bought the TVs for the insane picture quality. Have FiOS, at employee discount. But like everyone I'd love to save or cut altogether that monthly exorbitant fee.

Just keep Internet and stream it all via NetFlix/Amazon for their lower monthly rates?
I get it enough to be able to work the stuff. I am not totally lost but when asked to connect an amazon stick to a tv the other day my boy walked over and took care of it. I could see the smirk in his face that he knew what to do.
 

dchester

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I am not alone.

I have 2 smart tvs, but somewhere along the line here I lost my way. Feel like Rip Van Winkle. Woke up with a 20 yr gap in TV delivery.

Bought the TVs for the insane picture quality. Have FiOS, at employee discount. But like everyone I'd love to save or cut altogether that monthly exorbitant fee.

Just keep Internet and stream it all via NetFlix/Amazon for their lower monthly rates?
Look into either a Roku: https://www.roku.com/index

or one of the numerous blu-ray players that have that stuff built into them.
https://www.cnet.com/topics/blu-ray-players/best-blu-ray-players/
 
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Undertaker #59*

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Just keep Internet and stream it all via NetFlix/Amazon for their lower monthly rates?

Well, that is the thing. It depends on what you watch. Netflix and Amazon don't have everything, though they are the 2 most popular.

So these boxes (or sticks) let you run a whole bunch of these apps (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) from one interface.

You need to do research first though, figure out what shows/programs are important to you, and who has them available to stream. Secondary to that is how much of that show is available to stream? And how long is it available?

Another concern is sometimes the streams are not as good quality as you would get through a provider (SD vs HD, 720p vs 1080, or 2.0 sound when it should be 5.1 - I'm looking at you Hulu), so that may require research as well, depending on how important these things are to you.
 
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