Author Topic: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond  (Read 4053 times)

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Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #250: March 03, 2020, 10:11:14 AM »
She's moved on for now, it's all about Daniel Tiger, Arthur, and Blue's Clues.

I loved Arthur, that was a good stage- actually watchable for adults.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #251: March 03, 2020, 10:18:10 AM »
easy to hand off between my phone desktop and the tvs (only matters if you're in the apple eco system), I like the UI much better and apps seem to be update more frequently and to be more stable (this might have changed, I haven't had a roku for years), but for me the big one was that when I went to add a second roku, they wanted a credit card to activate it (I think my old one predated that requirement) - I like as few companies as possible having my credit card number stored and I never was going to spend any money with Roku itself

Funny, I'd guess things have changed since you had one, but I was happy to use Roku's payment system to manage subscriptions.  We've only got one steady sub for the TV package we use, but you can add and remove stuff at will and Roku handles it all for you, it's quite slick.  Keeps me from having to sign up for multiple different services and - as you say - give my number to multiple providers.  Came in quite handy during the playoffs when I was using a different free trial for each round :lol:

I was mostly asking about the hardware though - that may not apply here - does Apple have a "cheap" entry level device?

Online GburgNatsFan

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #252: March 03, 2020, 10:23:55 AM »
I like the Roku interface a lot.

I just wish there was a way to integrate OTA channels into it. That would make it about perfect.

Funny, I'd guess things have changed since you had one, but I was happy to use Roku's payment system to manage subscriptions.  We've only got one steady sub for the TV package we use, but you can add and remove stuff at will and Roku handles it all for you, it's quite slick.  Keeps me from having to sign up for multiple different services and - as you say - give my number to multiple providers.  Came in quite handy during the playoffs when I was using a different free trial for each round :lol:

I was mostly asking about the hardware though - that may not apply here - does Apple have a "cheap" entry level device?

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #253: March 03, 2020, 10:26:45 AM »
Apple is still sell their non-4K, but it way overpriced at 149. For me at least, the hardware is pretty secondary to the software.

Offline DCFan

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #254: March 03, 2020, 10:45:28 AM »
I was mostly asking about the hardware though - that may not apply here - does Apple have a "cheap" entry level device?

I'm not up on the whole Apple universe of choices I only know that Costco has 2 devices they sell - $169.99 and $189.99.  (32 gb and 64 gb)

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #255: March 03, 2020, 10:52:17 AM »
I'm not up on the whole Apple universe of choices I only know that Costco has 2 devices they sell - $169.99 and $189.99.  (32 gb and 64 gb)

If you don’t care - look at amazon fire sticks or roku sticks, both are much cheaper and if you don’t care about ecosystem, they may be just as good for you

Offline The Chief

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #256: March 03, 2020, 11:00:24 AM »
If you don’t care - look at amazon fire sticks or roku sticks, both are much cheaper and if you don’t care about ecosystem, they may be just as good for you

What ecosystem though?  Apple TV is available on Roku.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #257: March 03, 2020, 11:02:20 AM »
I like the Roku interface a lot.

I just wish there was a way to integrate OTA channels into it. That would make it about perfect.


Someone (in this thread possibly?) was saying that the Roku TVs will integrate OTA into the interface.  Standalone device owners are out of luck though.  I agree it would be a nice plus but it doesn't bother me tremendously.  Gotta be able to shake the giant universal remote at the kids and say "when I was your age..." :mg:

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #258: March 03, 2020, 11:07:21 AM »
What ecosystem though?  Apple TV is available on Roku.

I can seamlessly transfer from video on my phone and audio on my airpdods to video on the tv while keeping the audio on my airpods. My music and podcasts automatically and instantly update across my phone, computer and tv. I'm sure they all have remote control apps now, but the simple swipe down quick access is easy enough that my kids can use it. There are also some apps that I use that just aren't available on roku (zwift being the big one).

Offline DCFan

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #259: March 03, 2020, 11:07:46 AM »
If you don’t care - look at amazon fire sticks or roku sticks, both are much cheaper and if you don’t care about ecosystem, they may be just as good for you

I want that Limbaugh app which is only available on Apple. ;)

Offline The Chief

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #260: March 03, 2020, 11:19:53 AM »
I can seamlessly transfer from video on my phone and audio on my airpdods to video on the tv while keeping the audio on my airpods. My music and podcasts automatically and instantly update across my phone, computer and tv. I'm sure they all have remote control apps now, but the simple swipe down quick access is easy enough that my kids can use it. There are also some apps that I use that just aren't available on roku (zwift being the big one).

I'm getting pulled away from my original question here, but that stuff sounds nice, albeit of no interest to me.  I can watch something on Philo (the TV app I use on Roku), then switch to another device and hit "continue watching" - that's seamless enough for me (and I barely ever watch on anything other than the actual TV anyway).  Not poo-pooing your choices, just adding some perspective :)  Those features are specific to the app though, the Roku device itself is basically a thin client, which is - in my opinion - how it should be.  I vote with my choice of apps, and by extension, my wallet.  It's PC vs Mac all over again :P

I think what I was asking originally is platform-specific, but I guess it doesn't surprise me that Apple doesn't really have "entry level" hardware, at least nothing like Roku or Amazon's 30-50$ options.  What I was asking specific was - for example -  what is the meaningful difference between FireStick and FireTV cube.  I don't consider 4k here since in most cases it's probably an artificial restriction and is a fairly binary choice - you either need 4k or you don't.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #261: March 03, 2020, 11:26:41 AM »
I'm getting pulled away from my original question here, but that stuff sounds nice, albeit of no interest to me.  I can watch something on Philo (the TV app I use on Roku), then switch to another device and hit "continue watching" - that's seamless enough for me (and I barely ever watch on anything other than the actual TV anyway).  Not poo-pooing your choices, just adding some perspective :)  Those features are specific to the app though, the Roku device itself is basically a thin client, which is - in my opinion - how it should be.  I vote with my choice of apps, and by extension, my wallet.  It's PC vs Mac all over again :P

I think it's all down to personal preference. I think I left roku at a down time for their devices (when I switched, prices were much closer); if I had stayed, I'd probably still have roku sticks. I'm sure Roku is better than apple in some areas, and vice versa
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I think what I was asking originally is platform-specific, but I guess it doesn't surprise me that Apple doesn't really have "entry level" hardware, at least nothing like Roku or Amazon's 30-50$ options.  What I was asking specific was - for example -  what is the meaningful difference between FireStick and FireTV cube.  I don't consider 4k here since in most cases it's probably an artificial restriction and is a fairly binary choice - you either need 4k or you don't.

gaming was supposed to be the distinction, I don't think that ever really happened with amazon or apple.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #262: March 03, 2020, 11:35:30 AM »
I think it's all down to personal preference. I think I left roku at a down time for their devices (when I switched, prices were much closer); if I had stayed, I'd probably still have roku sticks. I'm sure Roku is better than apple in some areas, and vice versa

No doubt.  Again, it's all the same to me, I just happened to choose Roku when I was making the initial jump (mostly based on downstream factors like the cost of the plans that carried the channels I wanted and their availability on various devices).  I'm at the point in life where if it ain't broke, I'm not interested in trying to fix it.  Traditional able costs were to the breaking point for us, so a nice antenna and a cheap Roku seemed like a good move.  We've been extremely happy so far so it's unlikely I'll even look into anything else unless that changes. 

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gaming was supposed to be the distinction, I don't think that ever really happened with amazon or apple.

Game streaming is definitely gaining traction, but there's no goliath in that space (yet).  Steam actually lets you stream your games for free, though you still have to be hosting them from somewhere.  I've found it quite good for playing demanding games on the road.  Nvidia has a newly launched streaming service that is completely cloud-based and has received mixed-to-positive reviews, but isn't free.  Haven't tried it myself.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #263: March 03, 2020, 11:42:35 AM »
No doubt.  Again, it's all the same to me, I just happened to choose Roku when I was making the initial jump (mostly based on downstream factors like the cost of the plans that carried the channels I wanted and their availability on various devices).  I'm at the point in life where if it ain't broke, I'm not interested in trying to fix it.  Traditional able costs were to the breaking point for us, so a nice antenna and a cheap Roku seemed like a good move.  We've been extremely happy so far so it's unlikely I'll even look into anything else unless that changes. 
I think I made my jump when roku was still making their money off of devices- we had one of the early Roku's that was pre- hd and it was fine. Eventually we upgraded to a roku 2 and it was just buggy after a couple of years. When we went to replace it, Apple TVs were on sale and the next gen rokus were expensive so we switched. I think if we held out another year with the 2, we probably would have the sticks now.
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Game streaming is definitely gaining traction, but there's no goliath in that space (yet).  Steam actually lets you stream your games for free, though you still have to be hosting them from somewhere.  I've found it quite good for playing demanding games on the road.  Nvidia has a newly launched streaming service that is completely cloud-based and has received mixed-to-positive reviews, but isn't free.  Haven't tried it myself.
I'm sure that's the future, I think apple and amazon may have jumped the gun with over specced boxes

Offline 1995hoo

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #264: March 03, 2020, 12:47:47 PM »
....

I think what I was asking originally is platform-specific, but I guess it doesn't surprise me that Apple doesn't really have "entry level" hardware, at least nothing like Roku or Amazon's 30-50$ options.  What I was asking specific was - for example -  what is the meaningful difference between FireStick and FireTV cube.  I don't consider 4k here since in most cases it's probably an artificial restriction and is a fairly binary choice - you either need 4k or you don't.

To take your question literally, the main difference between the Fire Stick and the Fire TV Cube is that the Cube has Alexa built-in with a microphone so you can talk to it without using the remote. That is, the Fire Stick has an Alexa-enabled remote where you hold down the microphone button and then tell it what you want it to do. With the Cube, you don't need to use the remote to do that—so, in theory, you could say, "Alexa, open Acorn TV" and it will launch that service. You can also ask the Cube most of the usual things you might ask an Alexa-enabled device—"Alexa, what was the score of yesterday's Nationals game?" or "Alexa, turn on the bedroom lights."  The Fire Stick can't do those things.

The voice control is unreliable, though (and this is true for the Stick as well as the Cube). It doesn't work with all services (I can't make it work with YouTube TV on either the Amazon devices or the Apple TV), and it sometimes confuses channel names due to similarity (NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Network, and NBC all seem to confuse it as to which I want). The other thing is, the Cube can be a problem because by its nature it's placed near your TV, which means if you have the built-in microphone turned on, Amazon commercials, and for that matter any other word on TV that sounds like "Alexa," can wake it up. When that happens, it mutes the TV as it acknowledges your request and then tries to do what you want. Thus, at a minimum you want to make sure to adjust the security so the Cube cannot order anything from Amazon without you providing a PIN. I simply turned off voice-ordering. Ultimately, I wound up just muting the Cube's microphone because I didn't like it muting the TV at random, so I just use the microphone on the remote when I want to control it by voice. (I got the Cube at 50% off when it was on sale. I think if I were paying full price I'd likely go for another Apple TV instead.)

I have not yet confirmed whether or how well the Fire devices do with a VPN or DNS service like Unlocator. I'm told location-spoofing may be more difficult with those than it is with an Apple TV, but I just haven't tried it yet.

Regarding Apple TV, you may find used devices available at a discount, but be wary of those. The older devices didn't support downloading TV apps the way the current generation does, so that impairs their usefulness.

Offline DCFan

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #265: March 03, 2020, 12:54:28 PM »
I just went to the roku.com website and was reading the reviews for their top of the line box (ultra?) and I was surprised to see roku list so many reviews that trashed their box. I was shocked enough to bypass a roku purchase.

Online GburgNatsFan

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #266: March 03, 2020, 01:26:47 PM »
I just went to the roku.com website and was reading the reviews for their top of the line box (ultra?) and I was surprised to see roku list so many reviews that trashed their box. I was shocked enough to bypass a roku purchase.

4.4 out of five stars.

Offline DCFan

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #267: March 03, 2020, 01:37:47 PM »
4.4 out of five stars.

The ones listed on the first page all basically trashed the product.

Online GburgNatsFan

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #268: March 03, 2020, 01:58:14 PM »
The ones listed on the first page all basically trashed the product.

Shrug. Outrage that there wasn't an HDMI cord included. Outrage that the batteries in the remote didn't last long.  Outrage about a button placement. And, possibly, a couple of faulty units.

My Roku has performed flawlessly for five years. Most people like them a lot.


Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #269: March 03, 2020, 01:59:31 PM »
if you get mad about button placement, wait until you experience Apple TV

Offline The Chief

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #270: March 03, 2020, 02:09:58 PM »
Shrug. Outrage that there wasn't an HDMI cord included. Outrage that the batteries in the remote didn't last long.  Outrage about a button placement. And, possibly, a couple of faulty units.

My Roku has performed flawlessly for five years. Most people like them a lot.



Pretty much.  People are spoiled now.  I was big into the media PC scene in the early 2000s when you needed hundreds of dollars worth of hardware to do anything remotely comparable to what we do now.  The first few generations of standalone devices in the mid-late 2000s performed like garbage, barely supported anything, and still mostly relied on you supplying the media.  I was floored by how well the cheap Roku stick runs and the remote has a quality feel as well.  It can stream old school media files from my networked computers too, so it's everything I want now plus everything I wanted 15 years ago.  Can't say enough good things about it really.  I'll probably buy a second stick for the bedroom next time they go on sale (which seems to be fairly often).

Offline imref

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #271: March 03, 2020, 03:50:18 PM »
my cheapo roku stick works just fine.  The only reason I can think of to get an AppleTV is to easily stream photos from iCloud.

Offline GataNats

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #272: March 03, 2020, 11:45:38 PM »
Roku is trash.   Extremely buggy.   

Offline The Chief

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #273: March 04, 2020, 09:45:29 AM »
We found the 1-star reviewer! :P

Offline DCFan

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Re: Cord cutting 2018–19 and beyond
« Reply #274: March 04, 2020, 11:21:50 AM »
We found the 1-star reviewer! :P

You roku guys are so touchy and protective about your choice. :crackup: