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Author Topic: Who is streaming what... and how.  (Read 21287 times)

HA Dave

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Who is streaming what... and how.
« on: January 26, 2015, 10:51:11 AM »

I am an old geezer. But I am not too awfully backwards or behind the times. I have been using Pandora for some time... streamed for the iPhone (or ipad) to a Bluetooth speaker. I have a somewhat recent "N" series Linksys router that seems plenty fast/robust enough for my wife and I.

I just recently acquired a Roku device which I connected to the upstairs TV and purchased a new Sony [brand] Blue Ray player for the Home Theater. The steaming options with the BR player... are extensive. So far.... I played around and watched some streaming movies on "Crackle" and all seems OK. I've been reading about and researching the different "content providers" and the different pricing options.

I am considering Hulu as a content provider. I like that they seem to have all the old Star Trek TV series available. I am not sure what movies they have to watch for free (with the $7.99 a month subscription).

Is any/every one else streaming content? who/what content providers seem best? Has anyone abandoned "classic" cable TV as a result? Is there a way to shave a few pennies off the user fee (like a senior discount)? Any input/info would be appreciated. 
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beelocks

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 07:48:55 PM »

Who - me
What - Hulu, Crackle, Netfix, Amazon, YouTube
How - Roku (first HD one out from a couple of years ago), Panasonic Internet connected DVD player (also a couple of years old), PC, Tablet (PC and tablet stream through a Google Chromecast to the big TV).

The Roku and the DVD player don't see much action since the Chromecast arrived.

The Chromecast plugs into an HDMI input on the TV (and is USB powered) and can be use your PC, tablet, android phone or iPhone as a controller. I think it's possibly even better than sliced bread. I think Apple, Amazon and Walmart have similar offerings.
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HA Dave

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2015, 01:31:28 AM »

Who - me
What - Hulu, Crackle, Netfix, Amazon, YouTube
How - Roku ..., Panasonic Internet connected DVD player..., PC, Tablet (PC and tablet stream through a Google Chromecast to the big TV).
The Roku and the DVD player don't see much action since the Chromecast arrived.

I think I am progressing along at about normal speed then........

I watch 99.5% of my TV on the upstairs 46" TV. Which is cable box connected and has an early BlueRay player a wii console and now the Roku device.
I've found that I kinda like Crackle. I always seem to be able to find a free movie that I wouldn't mind seeing (and haven't seen before). The price (FREE) is right and I can stop and or pause it like a DVD.

I had considered (and still am) a Hulu subscription so I could watch old Star Trek shows. But this afternoon I realized I can access Youtube and watch all the Star Trek series shows on YouTube... totally free of charge.

I could just buy/rent movies through Amazon (no subscription required).... or buy a amazon "prime" membership ($70-80 a year) and receive some content freebies, reduced pricing and shipping discounts for regular Amazon purchases.

Now I am considering a Netflix account. More a movie based provider (as I understand it) and I could even run it on my phone or a tablet if away from home. I had heard at one time an annual subscription could be purchased at a discount. I might get a month (free) trial and check that it out.... while it's still cold outside.

My iPhone AND even my old D-pad tablet both run the free remote control app for the Roku device. Besides a handy remote.... I can now wirelessly display my iPhone pictures and movies on the TV (pretty cool). Or... I could even place pics/videos on the tablets memory card for display too. I think I should be able to use the app to also access my cloud storage and see any picture(s) I have.

The Roku device also has options for both HDMI and composite video connections to a TV. Old-tech video can be great for older, TV's!

Most of what I've learned with the upstairs TV and the Roku device should transfer well to the theater and it's WiFi connected Sony Blue Ray player. However... The Sony App (remote control and mirroring app) didn't seem to work as well on my IPhone and I could not find a DL for the old tablet.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 01:39:27 AM by HA Dave »
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dhouston

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2015, 07:32:36 AM »

I could just buy/rent movies through Amazon (no subscription required).... or buy a amazon "prime" membership ($70-80 a year) and receive some content freebies, reduced pricing and shipping discounts for regular Amazon purchases.
Amazon Prime is $99/yr and there's no refund if you want to cancel. You get free two-day shipping (including Sunday deliveries) on items sold by or shipped by Amazon. For someone like me who is disabled, unable to shop in person and with a lot of time to kill, it's convenient and I make fairly heavy use of the included streaming of movies and TV series (usually with a season's delay). Prices are not always the lowest available and their customer service approach is one size fits all. They allow returns with no questions asked and will replace any defective items so all-in-all it's a good choice for shopping/shipping/streaming. Prime also includes free music streaming, cloud photo storage, Kindle library and more. I haven't tried the music - I've listened to WNKU for ~25 years (http://wnku.org/).
Now I am considering a Netflix account. More a movie based provider (as I understand it) and I could even run it on my phone or a tablet if away from home.
I'm unaware of any annual discount. Currently, it costs $9 month but you can cancel at any time. It also has movies and TV series. If you try the free month, you'll probably stick around.

Both Amazon and Netflix are also producing their own content.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 09:36:19 AM by dhouston »
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HA Dave

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2015, 11:07:12 AM »

Amazon Prime is $99/yr and there's no refund if you want to cancel. You get free two-day shipping (including Sunday deliveries) on items sold by or shipped by Amazon.......... Prime also includes free music streaming, cloud photo storage, Kindle library and more. ......

....Both Amazon and Netflix are also producing their own content.

I am also a big Amazon fanboy. However I generally am able to "save-up" my hobby items for purchase if individually they are under the $35 free shipping restriction. I've considered a prime membership before now as well.

I've seen where content providers are now become content producers as well. Interesting... and expected I'd guess... as even Yahoo produces on-line video content too. The ABC, NBC, CBS big 3 national broadcasters pyridine is only a childhood memory. Which makes me wonder.... I could hang an amplified antenna (I do live in a city) and get lots of free HD content.

Maybe... with free antenna content and free on-line content (using the same old ad based revenue generation). And maybe an Amazon Prime membership (the cost I might recoup in shipping saving?) and some other content membership or "as used fee's".... there still might be a buck to be saved. After all cable TV ain't cheap now-of-days.

Ether way... whatever direction I take... the volume of content available is staggering! It really makes that old Quest commercial relevant.

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dhouston

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2015, 11:33:02 AM »

I could hang an amplified antenna (I do live in a city) and get lots of free HD content.
I should have mentioned that. I dumped cable about 5 years ago. I have an indoor HDTV antenna and get all the local stations (~25) that way. You should consider an outdoor, rotating antenna - it would probably bring you 100+ channels (with a lot of duplicates). http://www.homeantenna.org/outdoor-hdtv-antenna.html

I also used Amazon w/o Prime with delayed free shipping in the same manner as you do until I bought the Vizio Smart TV.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 11:41:37 AM by dhouston »
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HA Dave

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2015, 11:45:06 AM »

I should have mentioned that. I dumped cable about 5 years ago. I have an indoor HDTV antenna and get all the local stations (~25) that way. You should consider an outdoor, rotating antenna

I just tried/tested using a small amplified antenna on the upstairs TV as a precursor to "cutting the cord". Reception was OK. I got the standard ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX networks.... and several government funded [public] channels and a religious channel or two. Then I checked other service provider fees and decided to make the change. I was impressed with the AT&T "wireless" broadband/phone/TV service. However... the cable provider made a counter offer that the wife was impressed with. So I retained cable but at a real savings.

I decided to spend a small portion of the saving for broadband content (I like the idea of the Amazon content). The great thing is I'll be able view content just about everywhere. The content could be viewed on the Big screen of the theater, living room TV, or maybe even download content to the ipad and/or phone (for the wife to watch when we travel in the car).

I may try weaning myself from cable content anyway (for even MORE possible savings). I think your right that a nice mast mounted outdoor antenna would be best. Better reception... and I could/can use the cable distribution system already in place [for cable].

So far I am VERY happy with the on-line/broadband provided content. I very happily watched old StarTrek shows last night using Youtube provided free content through my Roku device. The Sony Blue Ray player seems to do equally as well. My download speed is 17Mbps and I use a recent higher-dollar wireless router.

There is a psychological difference between deciding whether to watch this channel or that channel. And instead deciding what I'd like to watch and then finding/selecting a source/provider. I think I might even find that at times (like now) I think I'd prefer to just turn the content (TV) off.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 11:46:46 AM by HA Dave »
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dhouston

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2015, 06:40:28 AM »

I received my invitation to join Sling TV over the weekend. I've been investigating their offerings and doubt I'll stick  around beyond the 7 day free trial - I just don't see $20/mo value when compared to Netflix and Amazon Prime.
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HA Dave

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2015, 12:02:03 PM »

I have also been exploring the options.

There are without a doubt, far too many options for casual users to actually be able to sample, test, and compare. On screen entertainment is in a golden age. And... much of this seems to integrate with HA as well. I can use various apps on ether a tablet or phone to control most functions. In many ways however.... I am hampered with an apple phone and a dumb (as in not WiFi integrated or "Smart") TV.

Although... I am impressed how easy it is to work with the different platforms, brands, flavors, whatever for Internet streaming. It might be even easier to pick one brand and run with it through-out my home. But there doesn't seem to be any natural limits as to how many, or what variety for streaming entertainment is used.

I can easily use both the SEN (Sony Entertainment Network) built-into the [Sony] Blue Ray player alongside a Roku device on the same TV (my TV has 3 HDMI inputs). But the "pairing" with my Apple iPhone... functions better with the Roku. However... as-I-understand it the Apple TV device would work best with the iPhone.

All this does make me understand why so many people are purposively "cutting the cable". Or at least... only using the cable company as an Internet Service Provider. All I really need is a broadband connection. And... on a belated thought... my phone can/will provide a "hot spot". And one alternative broadband ISP/phone provider I looked at is "wireless".
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dhouston

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2015, 08:05:38 AM »

The technology correspondent for the Washington Post must have been eavesdropping...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2015/02/10/should-you-ditch-cable-depends-on-what-you-want-to-watch/

Also, I wasn't able to get the Sling TV sign-up site to work, getting through 3-4 screens until the last screen seemed to hang.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 06:38:24 AM by dhouston »
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HA Dave

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2015, 12:49:15 AM »

The technology correspondent for the Washington Post must have been eavesdropping...

Actually I think the NSA monitors our posts and leaked the information to the post......  rofl

I called and got alternate broadband costs then called the cable company... with every intention to reduce service to broadband service. But they made a counter offer of a greatly reduced price. So... next year I will decide if "cutting the cable" is for me. Meanwhile... I am saving a few hundred dollars checking out some new nice services.

Believe it or not... the "service(?)" I enjoy most is watching the StarTrek series shows on YouTube... on the TV. It's silly I know But I like watching an old StarTrek when I have a few minutes to kill.
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dhouston

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2015, 06:43:06 AM »

I called and got alternate broadband costs then called the cable company... with every intention to reduce service to broadband service. But they made a counter offer of a greatly reduced price.

I've seen where others have had the same greatly reduced price experience. It seems the cable companies are feeling the competition. When I dropped cable a few years ago, they asked why but made no counter offer.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 06:44:37 AM by dhouston »
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HA Dave

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2015, 11:35:38 PM »

....  It seems the cable companies are feeling the competition. ....

Yep... my brother has been with the local phone company most of his career. He has seen many changes with home owners installing two or more lines for a primary phone.... and phones for the kids. Then yet an additional line for Internet dial-up And sometimes for a fax machine.

Now people [don't care for the phone company's in-state long distance billing.... so they] opt for mobile phone service only. But everyone wants a cable or DSL broadband Internet service. The only constant has always been change.

After more than half a century of thinking of TV as being "programing" (programs aired or available for viewing at specific times) it is a change to think of entertainment as "content" (entertainment media selected for use as desired). But.... I like the new content model. Instead of just letting the programing run on I am finding times when I think... "what entertainment would I most enjoy most now". Interestingly.... often times my answer to myself is: "It might be more enjoyable to turn the damn TV off and do some task I've been wanting to get done". So far... this has worked well for me.

I will continue to prepare to totally cut the cable next year. This summer I plan to install a nice antenna so I can receive local broadcasts. I want to try an attic mount first. But I may need to erect a mast outside to get the reception I desire at my location. And I am considering when I update my/our phones to have my long-time home phone number moved to mobile phone.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2015, 11:30:51 AM »

I don't stream any thing other then video feeds from my off grid place to my city residents Cable charges are nuts here for unlimited.
I did hook up my Android mini PC and test streaming with it but wasn't impressed I then tested My HP thin client which was impressive.
Since my plan was to move this to my off grid place for HA I was interested to see if it would handle streaming as well.

I now have the Thin Client up and running off grid and it streams very well using a DSL connection.( actually better then my cable connection in the city).
Since I have a limited free satellite connection (good for 5 channels) streaming won't be used much here for getting news though there is that option now as several TV stations now offer this.
There is the occasion when the satellite just won't bring in any thing so I now have a back up.
I've only tested with Crackle but may give Netflix a test run at some point.
I have streamed TV content to my lap top but viewing on it was less then perfect even hooking it to the TV which was a pain.
 >!
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dhouston

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Re: Who is streaming what... and how.
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2015, 12:16:03 PM »

I now have the Thin Client up and running off grid and it streams very well using a DSL connection.( actually better then my cable connection in the city).
My streaming via DSL, WiFi & the Lenovo Q190 to my Vizio Smart TV is nearly perfect with Netflix & Amazon Prime. My download speed is usually between 8 & 9 Mbps per http://testinternetspeed.org/.
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