Seeking opinions on streaming services.

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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:45 am

PensFanInDC wrote:Bump for easy find tomorrow morning. So sue me...

Thinking of going roku and knew this thread might help...


What do you want to do?

The Roku is great for accessing streaming video stuff. It probably has access to the most things, maybe even more than Android and iOS.

So what things do you want to stream? Do you have anything else in the house, like a internet connected bluray player or game console
?
If you want a digital media player to play .mp4 and .mkv files then I would stay away. It has lousy codec and bitrate support. That means the kinds of files it will play are really limited.

Hockeynut! wrote:I'm looking at the Chromecast to access HBO Go since Comcast is the devil and won't allow it to work on a PS3.

I think I just read or heard in a tv ad that the entire HBO library is now available inside Comcast's HBO on demand library. Take a look - everything you want to watch might already been there with no investment needed.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:56 am

Digitalgypsy66 wrote:The Amazon Fire TV looks interesting. All of the Roku/Chromecast goodness, but with Android (I think?) games...and an optional game controller.

http://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-fire-tv ... ving-room/

It also has voice search through the remote, which is much nicer than hunting and pecking the on-screen keyboard with the remote.


I'm not sure it will sell better than a Roku or Apple TV. I was having a discussion on AVS recently about how Amazon Prime seems to be absent from a lot of the streamers. I have it on a 2009 or 2010 bluray player (forget which it is) but the interface is really clunky. Its not ubiquitous like Netflix and Vudu. They just jacked up the price of Prime, saying it was for increased shipping costs. That might be true, but they are also spending a lot of money on tv programming for their own shows. And stealing 24 away from Netflix right as I planned on re-watching the last half of season 8 http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillbarr ... other-day/ :evil:

Speaking of Apple and television, they recently made this annoucement that they are teaming up with Comcast to create a new over the top media solution. I assume this would be built into a television. http://online.wsj.com/news/article_emai ... 4288099442

Not to toot my own horn, but I said this several years ago viewtopic.php?f=5&t=56789&p=1956384#p1956384

pittsoccer33 the sage wrote:the problem with web based programming right now is bandwidth (among other things). even if the cable companies wanted to do that they don't have enough space in the pipes for it.

what i can see moving this forward is an Apple television. It is my opinion that for a television to work the way the company wants to that they will have to partner with individual cable providers
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby Digitalgypsy66 on Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:00 am

Yeah, the Amazon Video interface is awful on our Sony Bluray player...like so bad I'd rather go sit in front of a 24" PC monitor than our TV. Hopefully, the Fire interface is better.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby eddysnake on Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:09 am

pittsoccer33 wrote:
Digitalgypsy66 wrote:The Amazon Fire TV looks interesting. All of the Roku/Chromecast goodness, but with Android (I think?) games...and an optional game controller.

http://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-fire-tv ... ving-room/

It also has voice search through the remote, which is much nicer than hunting and pecking the on-screen keyboard with the remote.


I'm not sure it will sell better than a Roku or Apple TV. I was having a discussion on AVS recently about how Amazon Prime seems to be absent from a lot of the streamers. I have it on a 2009 or 2010 bluray player (forget which it is) but the interface is really clunky. Its not ubiquitous like Netflix and Vudu. They just jacked up the price of Prime, saying it was for increased shipping costs. That might be true, but they are also spending a lot of money on tv programming for their own shows. And stealing 24 away from Netflix right as I planned on re-watching the last half of season 8 http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillbarr ... other-day/ :evil:


based on hardware specs, I'd probably look into the amazon fire for when I replace my roku, but not until they add HBO.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:14 am

Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, Hulu Plus, Watch ESPN, Showtime, MLB, iHeartRadio and Disney.


Thats a pretty good selection so far. On one hand, you'd think that Amazon would try to keep Netflix and Hulu Plus away from this thing and their own $8.33 pre month service. On the other, it makes it a one stop shop for cord cutters. That would make HBO Go and Showtime Anytime less necessary (until they start selling direct subs).

On the performance side, the Fire TV has a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, which Amazon claims delivers 3 times the performance of competitors like Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast.


Thats purely marketing mumbo jumbo. MAYBE that could make a difference in games, but it doesn't mean anything for streaming video.

It is also missing decoders for MPEG2 and DTS. Roku doesn't have those either, but it still really limits what file types it can play.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby eddysnake on Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:36 am

what's the deal with showtime anytime not being available on roku through comcast or dish?
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby DelPen on Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:52 am

I cut the cord for a while until I basically got TV for free from Time Warner to move back with that and internet vs what I was paying at that time from another carrier.

Hulu+ is actually a very good service. I use that still as a on-demand for FOX, ABC and NBC and also get classic shows too. Hate that CBS is not a member though. There is some overlap between Netflix and Amazon but enough to have both if you use Prime for shipping too.

I have Rokus and an Apple TV. both have plusses and negatives. Overall the Roku is better by itself. Going to try Chromecast too, $35 is worth a shot to see how it works.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby PensFanInDC on Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:43 am

So here is our situation.

We pay $220 a month for cable (HBO and Showtime) and internet. This includes 3 HD DVR boxes. That is way too much for us. We are thinking of getting a roku. Has anyone done this? I understand that if I wanted HBO or Showtime that I would have to subscribe to them separately. It also seems that AMC is not available on Roku. We don't watch too much TV and most of what we do watch can easily be found online. Has anyone had experience with this?
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby DelPen on Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:49 am

PensFanInDC wrote:So here is our situation.

We pay $220 a month for cable (HBO and Showtime) and internet. This includes 3 HD DVR boxes. That is way too much for us. We are thinking of getting a roku. Has anyone done this? I understand that if I wanted HBO or Showtime that I would have to subscribe to them separately. It also seems that AMC is not available on Roku. We don't watch too much TV and most of what we do watch can easily be found online. Has anyone had experience with this?


See how much internet alone costs. Then factor in $15 for Netflix and Hulu+. Then add up all the shows you must have and get a season pass on Amazon Prime or iTunes. Apple TV does not have Amazon, Roku does but not iTunes. Apple TV though will let you airplay a lot of Apps and also streaming video from a Mac. Not sure how Chromecast handles that, might work the same.

Now you could cheat and get a logon for Comcast, Fios or Directv from a friend or family member and log on to some services that way. Gamecenter and other sports packages except for the NFL are available for both. There is a service called unblock-us that will remove blackouts from NHL netwpork and also allow netflix region switching, I noticed netflix Canada has almost all the movies HBO does.

Feel free to PM me for more specifics if you want.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:08 pm

PensFanInDC wrote:So here is our situation.

We pay $220 a month for cable (HBO and Showtime) and internet. This includes 3 HD DVR boxes. That is way too much for us. We are thinking of getting a roku. Has anyone done this? I understand that if I wanted HBO or Showtime that I would have to subscribe to them separately. It also seems that AMC is not available on Roku. We don't watch too much TV and most of what we do watch can easily be found online. Has anyone had experience with this?


1) That bill is insane.

2) You have to subscribe to cable tv first to then subscribe to HBO. You can't call them up and order it directly. I think Showtime is the same way.

3) Most of the TV channels that have some sort of app for Android or what have you use whats called conditional access. For example I have an app to watch TBS live, but I need to use my Comcast username and logon to access it.

4) Depending on exactly where you live an antenna could be a huge asset. That gives you NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, FOX, and the CW all in better quality than your cable company. Potentially more given that DC is a larger media market.

I just called and re-negotiated my cable bill with Comcast. I have three televisions in my home. $90 a month (plus tax) for 20mbps internet, Digital Preferred tv in HD (TBS, ESPN, NHL-N, NBC Sports, Encore, Retroplex, Smithsonian, Military, etc), and HBO.

I formerly had 20mbps internet and Digital Starter. It was something like $70 a month, and after my promo ended it jumped to around $110. I called and asked if there were any "double play" bundle deals available that would make sense for me, and if not it looked like I'd have to cancel my tv subscritption.

His first counter was to take $10 off the bill. No thanks. Second was to offer me Economy tv service (some channels like USA but not Root or NBC Sports) and 50mbps internet for $60some. Then I said thats too much for not getting the few cable channels I like. After that he came at with $90 and HBO free for a year.

Right off the bat I save money by using my own cable boxes. For starters, I don't pay rental fees. Secondly, I don't pay their stupid HD Technology fee which is another tacked on fee for using their equipment to access HD programming.

Do you NEED DVR access? For some very sad reason, this box doesnt have that. But it has streaming access to most of the same services Samsung smart televisions do and will allow you to get all of your cable subscription channels without renting a box http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-GX-SM530C ... B00EYO241Q

I use a regular old PC running Windows as one cable box, an Xbox 360 as a second one, and a discontined Roku-esque box from Linksys as the third. Running Windows gives you whole home DVR access too.

I also save $8 a month by buying my own modem. Thats almost $100 a year saved by buying a $65 box.

Image
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby Hockeynut! on Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:02 pm

Does anyone know if I use my iphone to "cast" HBO Go to the chromecast on my TV, will that use my iphone's data?
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby skullman80 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:41 pm

Hockeynut! wrote:Does anyone know if I use my iphone to "cast" HBO Go to the chromecast on my TV, will that use my iphone's data?


If you iphone is connected to Wi-Fi then no. If not then yes.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby knives of ice on Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:53 pm

skullman80 wrote:
Hockeynut! wrote:Does anyone know if I use my iphone to "cast" HBO Go to the chromecast on my TV, will that use my iphone's data?


If you iphone is connected to Wi-Fi then no. If not then yes.



nope. it isn't using the iphone's data either way. your chromecast has to be connected to wifi, its all done by the chromecast. when you send a cast its just telling the chromecast what data to get or an address on the internet. you can shut your iphone off all together and the chromecast will still be playing.

now casting a tab in chrome is a different story.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby Hockeynut! on Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:23 pm

Thanks for the info!
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby skullman80 on Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:46 pm

knives of ice wrote:
skullman80 wrote:
Hockeynut! wrote:Does anyone know if I use my iphone to "cast" HBO Go to the chromecast on my TV, will that use my iphone's data?


If you iphone is connected to Wi-Fi then no. If not then yes.



nope. it isn't using the iphone's data either way. your chromecast has to be connected to wifi, its all done by the chromecast. when you send a cast its just telling the chromecast what data to get or an address on the internet. you can shut your iphone off all together and the chromecast will still be playing.

now casting a tab in chrome is a different story.


Yeah.. I stand corrected on this.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby pittsoccer33 on Tue May 13, 2014 12:03 pm

Netflix, HBO Go, Watch ESPN, etc can now be used on an Xbox 360 or Xbox One without paying for a Live Gold membership.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby Letang Is The Truth on Tue May 13, 2014 12:30 pm

Also Netflix increasing one dollar per month
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby dodint on Tue May 13, 2014 12:47 pm

I thought the Netflix bump was $2/mo for new subscribers only.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby skullman80 on Tue May 13, 2014 1:22 pm

I think it is. I got an email saying my price was staying the same.... for now.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby knives of ice on Tue May 13, 2014 2:42 pm

gotta say i've had many setups to playback local media files and other streaming services - there is nothing better that i've ever used than XBMC on an intel nuc running OpenElec combined with the new Roku hdmi stick.

really, if you just want to stream everything from websites regardless of legality all you need is XBMC and the fusion add on anything you can think of you can stream.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby pittsoccer33 on Tue May 13, 2014 3:07 pm

What led you to OpenELEC? Are you running it off a thumb drive or do you have an actual hard drive in the NUC?

I'm interested in one of the J1900 Bay Trail boards or the Bay Trail NUC.

Here's my current HTPC front end, along with a few awesome looks with XBMC, Media Portal, Medios, Plex, and Medios http://www.avsforum.com/t/1505076/htpc- ... t_24064663

this is my bedroom setup that im interested in a NUC or similar to replace http://www.avsforum.com/t/1505076/htpc- ... t_24067983
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby knives of ice on Tue May 13, 2014 6:07 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:What led you to OpenELEC? Are you running it off a thumb drive or do you have an actual hard drive in the NUC?

I'm interested in one of the J1900 Bay Trail boards or the Bay Trail NUC.

Here's my current HTPC front end, along with a few awesome looks with XBMC, Media Portal, Medios, Plex, and Medios http://www.avsforum.com/t/1505076/htpc- ... t_24064663

this is my bedroom setup that im interested in a NUC or similar to replace http://www.avsforum.com/t/1505076/htpc- ... t_24067983


Well, i have a dedicated home theater with projector/139" screen and an upstairs living room setup. i need something that is easy enough that my wife can still use it - which is alot harder than it seems. i had used two boxee boxes in the past, but samsung bought boxee and support is non existent. i was happy with boxee for years and it was an awesome box for playing back local media and watching netflix, etc. Recently, xbmc got hacked onto the boxee and after using it for awhile i realized how amazing it was and fell in love with it. xbmc was never going to be perfect on the boxee so i started looking in the best solution to run xbmc on its on. i only care about xbmc and openelec is the best solution for running it exclusively. being that i could buy a small internal ssd harddrive from amazon for around $30 i am just running it off the internal install but i've seen the youtube videos showing that a usb drive is more than adequate. i added a Flirc usb ir controller as well to easily use my harmony remote too. another nice thing about the nuc is there are 2 hdmi outs so i can use it both upstairs and down easily with my current setup.

a rasberry pi running openelec in this newest update is pretty awesome as well, not quite as fast but that could be an option for you if you wanted a standalone box. also, they hacked openelec onto the asus chromebox as well and recently got a self running one click script going to install openelec onto it. had it been that easy when i was buying i probaby would have just gotten the chromebox since it was cheaper and with great specs.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby PensFanInDC on Wed May 14, 2014 12:55 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:Netflix, HBO Go, Watch ESPN, etc can now be used on an Xbox 360 or Xbox One without paying for a Live Gold membership.


really!? This is huge for me as I cut the cable cord today to reduce my bill.
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby pittsoccer33 on Wed May 14, 2014 12:59 pm

im not sure exactly when its going into effect, but it was announced yesterday
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Re: Seeking opinions on streaming services.

Postby PensFanInDC on Wed May 14, 2014 1:02 pm

pittsoccer33 wrote:im not sure exactly when its going into effect, but it was announced yesterday


Will it work for amazon prime as well?
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