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So, something like Roku?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by ken2v, May 14, 2014.

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  1. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Thought I'd pull this out and not confuse the cable-gripe thread.

    I don't have problems with content providers per se, and in the past I had no beefs with DirecTV.

    I want to flush Comcast in the worst possible way. Even if I repackage and don't save money, Comcast is toast. I might even pay more just to tell them to fuck off. I now have another internet option or two. Don't need phone. My thought was to hook up with DirecTV again.

    My question on Roku and the like, how much content comes through? For instance, do they repackage and broadcasts/streams specific cable or network serieses or games, or do they send out, say, all NBC or all NFL Network content? And what about specialty channels? Most of what we watch is "cable" -- Golf Channel, HGTV, Pac-12 Network, other sports or lifestyle channels.
     
  2. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    Roku doesn't decide to broadcast anything, its just a device that runs various streaming apps like Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, etc. Some of those require paid subscriptions to those companies, some are free. Everything offered by those apps is on demand, so you can't use it to watch any live programming or anything while its being broadcast.

    Each specific company decides what it wants to make available for streaming. So for instance there is no NBC app, but some NBC shows will be available on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. But not every show, not even most shows. If there is a Golf Channel app you won't be able to use it to watch a live game or maybe not even yesterday's game. Golf Channel may just put up highlight clips or classic games or something like that. For sports and news in general you still need live broadcast TV or cable.

    By the way, you may already have the streaming feature on your DVD player or TV and don't need a Roku. I think most modern DVD players, gaming systems, etc. already support the main streaming services.
     
  3. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Gooder stated than me done. lol

    Thanks.

    Portal is the word, I guess, conduit. Between the tube and the BluRay, we have various routes of connectivity.

    So it is as I thought, most "solutions" are simply modern spins on the old Blockbuster model, where the content is essentially canned and discrete, however it gets to you.
     
  4. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Had a two year old Blu Ray and decided to try Netflix wifi streaming. Worked fairly well, but we couldn't get captioning to work. Turns out two years old was too old on this model. Bought a newer Blu Ray and now we can get captioning just fine.

    Hell to start losing your hearing, but I also blame part of it on the various movie audio themselves.

    Just an aside. Bought the first Panasonic Blu Ray and the built-in wifi couldn't find our home wifi. Returned it and the 2nd one found the network immediately. All was good streaming, until we tried to play a Blu Ray/DVD. No optical audio out. After hours on the phone with Panasonic tech help, returned it to try a 3rd unit. Same problem, no optical audio.

    Bought a Samsung and right out of the box, everything worked.:thumbsup:
     
    Christmas
    My wife's birthday
  5. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    At least you have the option for DirecTV... where I am, it's literally Time Warner or nothing, because you can't get satellite and there aren't any other providers that have run lines out.

    Anyway, Kickin is exactly right on the limitations. The other thing is that most premium services available on them (things like HBO GO, ESPN 360, etc.) require an underlying cable subscription, which limits their utility. I use my PS3 for my streaming (mostly Netflix), but live sports content is still pretty much only available on cable or satellite unless you're satisfied with a bootleg P2P video stream, and I certainly wouldn't be.

    Also, if you already have a DVD or Blu-Ray player that happens to not have streaming apps, I might think about the Chromecast -- only $35, and though it's somewhat limited at the moment in terms of content, that's going to changing as more providers adopt it, and it also lets you stream from your browser to the TV.
     
  6. undathesea

    undathesea Grandissimo

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    That sounds like a real P-I-T-A!
     
  7. progrocker2112

    progrocker2112 Low-Roller

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    If you watch a lot of sports you're going to want to stick with cable/dish over streaming. I too have gone internet only this year and it's the biggest thing I've missed, there are really no streaming options to get around it other than the limited things on ESPN3. Some prime time stuff gets streamed directly on TNTDrama.com (NBA, including playoffs but not a true broadcast cam, just alternate views), NBC.com (Sunday night football), etc. but I don't know if Roku/AppleTV handles those.

    It turns out that a large portion of the 'content' cost in your cable/dish bill is from the sports channels. Don't forget a lot of the best stuff (NFL) is completely free with a good antenna.
     
  8. undathesea

    undathesea Grandissimo

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    The best stuff is free at the local sports bar. To get the free content you just have to sit there and spend an arm and a leg. Still cheaper to buy cable.
     
  9. progrocker2112

    progrocker2112 Low-Roller

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    Ha, that's how I justified getting mlb.tv and the VPN necessary to watch blackout local games (Rangers), at 125 +50 it's still only 5-10 bartabs.
     
  10. Dweller

    Dweller Low-Roller

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    Maybe it is different in different cities. I get all the Sunday NFL games for my local market and more in HD for free over the antenna plus SNF and MNF are both on network channels. I know people who are big fans and want every game for every team so they get the directTV with NFL Sunday ticket but that is not available on cable.
     
  11. NeonAndBeach

    NeonAndBeach Tourist

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    Roku

    I own 4 Roku's and would cut the cable if it was not for live sports. Besides the obvious ones like Netflix and Amazon, Roku must have up to 100 channels you can choose to add to your menu (maybe more by now). Including a number of free movie channels with a pretty decent selection.

    BTW, our local Channel 8 has a Roku channel where they put the recent newscasts.

    The free PlexApp for Roku will let you watch or listen to any audio or video content on your computer. And, will let you watch anything in your YouTube "Watch Later" queue on your TV. I adore this feature. No more being stuck watching YouTube at my computer or on a tablet. PlexApp streams it right to my Roku and shows on my HD TV in full HD.

    I tune in radio around the world through Roku using the TuneIn channel. Vegas Video Network also has a channel with tons of amazing archived content.

    Pac-12 (Go Ducks) streams all their games live and if you get your cable through a participating provider, you get ESPN3 online. Between that and an HD antenna, you have most of your sports covered as long as you hook up a computer to your HD TV.

    If all that is a bit much, buy the lowest level of cable you can tolerate and add the package that gives you ESPN and the sports pack add-on during the seasons you watch sports.
     
  12. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Thanks for all the input.

    You know, for us, there comes a time when the nth step just becomes one too many. I'm not inclined to just cavalierly flush $20s down the toilet, but I also don't spend 90 minutes of vacation time on some convoluted public transit Gordian knot to save a few bucks getting across town.

    Guess I'll just have to short the kids at the orphanage a few more shekels each month. lol

    But seriously, please keep sending along various solutions y'all have found.
     
  13. gguerra

    gguerra Low-Roller

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    You could also set up a HTPC. It's more expensive than a Roku but way more powerful. It's basically your PC hooked up to your big screen TV and your surround sound system. Operate it with a wireless mouse and mini keyboard from your couch. It's a bit much for most folks but I thought I would throw it out there anyway.
     
  14. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Huge +1 on the HTPC running Plex feeding the Roku 3.

    You wouldn't have to have a dedicated computer to run Plex though.

    Plex doesn't handle DVD iso files or vob files - but those are converted easily enough with HandBrake.

    With what I've got, the only thing keeping me from cutting the cord completely is live sports and some network TV. There are internet based options for network TV though that I could make work for a few $$.

    Plex also works with other devices like phones and tablets, Chromecast, etc.

    I use Plex to sync content onto my mobile devices so I can watch episodes of Mayday! while flying. :evillaugh
     
  15. lithium78

    lithium78 High-Roller

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    Another option is to just connect your laptop to your TV with an HDMI cable ($5 at my local discount store) and a USB-linked wireless keyboard/mouse combo ($25 at Target). Then, just watch stuff on network websites on your TV, and/or run Netflix off their website, and/or watch Hulu off their website. I watch local sports by subscribing to the league's streaming package and getting a VPN account for $7/mo. I have saved about $1000 this year by doing this, which gets put toward my next trip to Vegas.

    Is it a little cheap? Sure. However, I like keeping my money where it belongs -- in my pocket.
     
  16. dfalk

    dfalk VIP Whale

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    This is what I do as well. I have both my living room TV and bedroom TV networked and can control them from my bed/couch. I subscribe to a usernet server for $11 a month and I can download pretty much every single TV show and movie that's known to man at super fast speeds and no commercials. All TV shows are available about an hour after they first aired and movies come out a day or 2 before they're released on DVD.

    I also subcribe to basic cable, get like 65 channels for $40/month, and got 1 years account to hulu plus and netflix for $4

    With internet/cable/usernet I pay $100 a month and I can watch damn near anything I want whenever I want.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  17. RC

    RC Low-Roller

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    Are you getting the VPN so that you aren't blacked out on some of the sports?
     
  18. progrocker2112

    progrocker2112 Low-Roller

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    Not him, but correct. The VPN service will allow your computer to talk to the mlb, nba, nhl, etc sites from somewhere else, getting around your local blackouts. There are cheap/free VPNs out there but you'll need one with speedy enough service to get streaming video, hence paying a bit (mine is 50/yr if you pay up front and hella fast).
     
  19. RC

    RC Low-Roller

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    I stream my sports and other stations from all over the world via the internet for free without using a VPN. I don't know if I'm allowed to post the site names here that I use to do this? I'm still not clear why you folks are using a VPN to pay to watch streaming sports when you don't need to ...
     
  20. progrocker2112

    progrocker2112 Low-Roller

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    Oh, I know of those sites and use them for other stuff such as UFC and boxing. I don't mind paying the premium for much higher quality for MLB.tv since I watch it like 30 hours a week during the season. Plus you get the condensed games, choice of which commentators to listen to, the mobile app, etc. I don't mind paying for baseball.
     
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