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How do you watch TV?
Old 02-13-2013, 08:26 AM   #1
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How do you watch TV?

I posted then deleted this from from the Netflix thread, because I think the future of TV watching is changing. So...

Am curious about how y'all watch netflix. TV? using what streaming device?... or on the computer?...
or do you swap DVD's on US mail?...

Can't imagine sitting in a work chair in front of a computer to watch a full movie.... Even worse, to watch on a phone or tablet.

We use two media players... one a Roku, and the second a Sony... On the Sony, can use a remote keyboard (to a limited extent) to search, but most of the time, go through the computer to set up queue for the movies I've selected. There has to be a better way.

Judging from the radar clutter on the internet, it looks as if the country is looking to move from satellite and cable TV, to streaming. Between the Boxee, and Google TV it appears to be coming closer.

Watched the CEO of NBC/Comcast on this morning's news. He didn't address the shift from Pay TV, but undoubtedly that was behind the merger.

We're in a blackout area (75 miles from any TV station) so the only way to get no-pay channels is with a huge antenna which is a no-no in our community. Our local Walmart sells the Boxee (which is streaming, but relies on free tv for the major channels). Am guessing that they get many returns.

Since I'm still learning about this, would like to know if anyone has a handle on the free or subscription Channels that are available on the different streaming media players. The Roku has most of the major free channels, but does not link to UTube. The Sony has links to dozens of streaming channels, including UTube. So far, there doesn't seem to be any way to customize the channels or to add them to the player, unless the player offers streaming updates.

For those who are not yet familiar with the streaming TV, there are literally hundred of channels available... separate channels for things like Kung FU, or Yoga, or Tai Chi... channels for biking, for learning languages, dance lessons, specialty medicine, high school sports, specialty professional sports, travel, food, DIY, and many, many other disciplines or learning channels. There are also many music (specialty) channels.

Some channels require subscription, others are free... I cannot figure out the "free" channel business models, except for paid ads. With so many trying to get in on the ground floor, streaming may be one of the most interesting phenomenons to watch over the next two or three years.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:45 AM   #2
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We recently dropped our cable. We now use a combination of NetFlix, hulu plus, Amazon prime, and the internet. We get NetFlix and hulu plus on a smart tv upstairs and on the PS3 in the basement. On the main TV upstairs, we have a PC connected via a HTML cable to the TV. We keep a wireless keyboard and mouse in the coffee table and use that to watch shows off the internet and to play games. We watch shows from network web sites and using iTunes or Amazon prime that way.

Current shows are often available on hulu plus. Good movies are available on netflix. Both hulu plus and netflix cost less than $10/month each. Hulu plus does have ads which is annoying. We had Amazon prime for purchases anyway, so that was a bonus. Many internet shows also have ads. The only holes in our coverage is my HGTV shows. Although they have a few items on their web site, most of their shows are not available. I would think there would also be challenges if you watch a lot of sports.

If we did not have game consoles or a smart tv, we would get a Roku or a blu ray player with the capability to use netlix and hulu plus. Many of those devices also support amazon prime.

When we are camping, I use my iPhone to watch netflix over campground wireless with an html cable to a small tv. It works surprisingly well.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:59 AM   #3
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It appears Intel agrees with you as well as it announces a new box for delivery later this year:

Intel working on TV set-top box to replace cable - Business - CBC News
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:06 AM   #4
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I watch TV on a nice, comfy seat.

Oh yeah, signal broadcasted to my OTA DVR.

For any streaming, I use Amazon Prime to my computer.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:27 AM   #5
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swap DVD's using US mail?...
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighRoller View Post
swap DVD's using US mail?...
Yeah. I actually still have the cheapest Netflix subscription that allows 1 DVD at a time. There are still a significant number of movies you can only get with DVD's on Netflix. Otherwise I have a Comcast cable account and a Tivo DVR. I can stream Netflix movies but I can't also stream On-Demand Comcast using the Tivo DVR. I don't particularly care to watch movies on my computer at my desk but I've done it to watch some missed TV shows that I can't get any other way.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:15 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by RetiringAt55 View Post
We recently dropped our cable. We now use a combination of NetFlix, hulu plus, Amazon prime, and the internet. We get NetFlix and hulu plus on a smart tv upstairs and on the PS3 in the basement. On the main TV upstairs, we have a PC connected via a HTML cable to the TV. We keep a wireless keyboard and mouse in the coffee table and use that to watch shows off the internet and to play games. We watch shows from network web sites and using iTunes or Amazon prime that way.

Current shows are often available on hulu plus. Good movies are available on netflix. Both hulu plus and netflix cost less than $10/month each. Hulu plus does have ads which is annoying. We had Amazon prime for purchases anyway, so that was a bonus. Many internet shows also have ads. The only holes in our coverage is my HGTV shows. Although they have a few items on their web site, most of their shows are not available. I would think there would also be challenges if you watch a lot of sports.

If we did not have game consoles or a smart tv, we would get a Roku or a blu ray player with the capability to use netlix and hulu plus. Many of those devices also support amazon prime.

When we are camping, I use my iPhone to watch netflix over campground wireless with an html cable to a small tv. It works surprisingly well.
Sounds like you have things under control... it's a bit of a mental exercise to put the different systems together. (and to teach DW how to switch back and forth.)

I like using the computer connected to the TV, but only have an svideo connector... the resolution on My 40 inch TV isn't very good so use dual monitor to select the movie.
...................
An interesting aside on Netflix... before I signed on to my own account, my son gave me his password to try it out... Am not sure how many simultaneous users can access the account legally. Perhaps just two.

My Sony media player allows a USB connection ( my Roku doesn't). I can play saved movies directly from a hard drive or a thumb drive.

Can't help but wonder what will happen to the sales of media in those huge display areas for DVD's in the retail stores. Am age challenged, so never understood why people would buy them in the first place.
Of course lived through the transition from '78's to '45's to LP's, to wire recorders (which no one remembers) to 8 tracks, to cassettes, to CD's, to DVD's to hard drives, to memory chips... and now streaming...
Nothing surprises any more...

The one thing that we need now, is resizable power cords, and some way to plug all of our electronics into a single wall socket.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:16 AM   #8
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I'm always late to the game but I dropped cable in January and have been completely satisfied with Netflix and the 10 free channels I pick up locally using an indoor antenna. Half of those channels are in HD. If I want some financial news I log on to Bloomberg TV. I watch my Netflix programming primarily on a 19" HD TV I use as a monitor for my laptop(actually a comfy way to watch). It's located right next to my recliner so all is good. Sometimes I hook it up to my big screen if there is something special I want to watch, but since my internet dsl speed is on the low end, the quality of the picture is better on the smaller tv. I might install a roku box in the future so I can easily watch programming on the larger tv.

The only thing I may miss are the sports channels. The Golf Channel in particular. But most of the tournaments are covered on the major networks on weekends, so not completely cut off. And I can watch some ESPN events on ESPN3 on the net. Plenty of football games on my free channels too.

Someday I plan to upgrade my internet speed. Currently using ATT dsl lite as that is all they offer in my area. It was giving me some problems for a few days but has been running fine lately. May look into Comcast internet only, although they charge a premium price for it if you do not have cable too. Seems like the cable companies are going to have a tough time if more and more people bail as many here have done.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:25 AM   #9
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We have a Sony blueray DVD which was purchased just to do streaming. Still most of the viewing is either (1) Netflix DVD's that are not generally available with streaming, (2) PBS using Comcast cable.

If we pulled the plug on cable while still using cable for the internet, I'd miss the PBS stuff like the News Hour, BBC World News, Masterpiece Classic, Nature, Nova, etc. We have to have cable internet right now because DSL is too slow in our location.

BTW, I just installed a more recent Comcast DVR box and it's a real improvement over the older unit -- more disc space for storage. So if you have an older unit, tell them you want a newer one.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
...(snip)...
Watched the CEO of NBC/Comcast on this morning's news. He didn't address the shift from Pay TV, but undoubtedly that was behind the merger.
...
Interesting observation.

Recently Netflix (streaming only apparently) has come out with their very own produced series.

Should be fun watching how this all converges.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:35 AM   #11
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We have a Sony blueray DVD which was purchased just to do streaming. Still most of the viewing is either (1) Netflix DVD's that are not generally available with streaming, (2) PBS using Comcast cable.

If we pulled the plug on cable while still using cable for the internet, I'd miss the PBS stuff like the News Hour, BBC World News, Masterpiece Classic, Nature, Nova, etc. We have to have cable internet right now because DSL is too slow in our location.

BTW, I just installed a more recent Comcast DVR box and it's a real improvement over the older unit -- more disc space for storage. So if you have an older unit, tell them you want a newer one.
You don't receive PBS on a free channel in your area? I get that along with Create(travel, food and home) which is a 2nd free PBS channel here. I would miss those too if I were not able to pick them up.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:54 AM   #12
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If we pulled the plug on cable while still using cable for the internet, I'd miss the PBS stuff like the News Hour, BBC World News, Masterpiece Classic, Nature, Nova, etc. We have to have cable internet right now because DSL is too slow in our location.
We watch shows like Downton Abbey a day later on the PBS website. Some older Masterpiece Classics are available on either NetFlix or Hulu Plus. I can get some BBC channels free on my smart tv.

Pulling the plug saves us $70 a month.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:11 AM   #13
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Mostly watch Netflix and OTA local channels. I bought my last laptop with a blue-ray drive and an HDMI port so I can use it to stream movies to the TV or watch blue-ray disks. We have the steaming package and 1 DVD a month. With Netflix we have had the kids watching a movie on the laptop, my wife watching something on the kindle and me watching on the iPhone with no issues. Never has cable because we never could "afford" it.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:29 AM   #14
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You don't receive PBS on a free channel in your area? I get that along with Create(travel, food and home) which is a 2nd free PBS channel here. I would miss those too if I were not able to pick them up.
Hmmm ... maybe I am not up on what is free out there for PBS?

I looked at PBS.org/video and there are series like the latest Downton Abbey available. I haven't tried to view it on an HD screen. Does this work in full HD?

I also found the PBS News Hour but haven't verified if I can watch it on the same day timing.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:30 AM   #15
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We tried Hulu+, but the ads were too annoying.

We get OTA reception & I use an opensource solution called MythTV as a DVR. It allows me to skip past the ads. Netflix streaming gives us more to watch & I like that they have no ads. The lack of the latest movies hasn't annoyed us too much - yet.

We watch the daily show from the daily show website (on our "dvr"). I just ordered a very tiny wireless keyboard that will make it easier to watch other content that's only available in a browser.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:34 AM   #16
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We have DirecTV with a programming package that includes a lot of cable channels but no premium movie channels or extra sports channels. We recently got a free equipment upgrade to "Whole Home DVR" service which turns out to be the best $3 a month I've ever spent.

Personally, I like to watch TV from a comfy chair, not from my computer. We also have a TV in the kitchen and I have that on when I'm cooking or if I'm eating alone.

I've become impatient with commercials so I change channels when live shows go to commercials. I have shows that I record to one of the DVRs and then when I watch it I fast forward through the commercials. I've gotten very good at watching 2 shows, on 2 different tuners on the DVR, switching back and forth and skipping all commercials in both shows.

I'm not too interested in movies but both of our sons have Netflix accounts and love the streaming service. I may try it in the future, but our TVs don't have the capability to use Netflix without a new device.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:35 AM   #17
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I am solidly lodged in the Dark Ages.

I don't use Netflix. I have Amazon Prime but have never streamed anything through it. I pay the cable company for digital cable TV but no DVR.

When there is nothing on TV that I want to watch, I do something else.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:46 AM   #18
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We haven't cut the cable cord yet but I have an AppleTV that streams Netflix. I don't use iTunes rentals / purchases much - just seems too expensive (and I agree with the notion that there's usually little reason to own a move once I've seen it). I've been meaning to do some sort of cost analysis vs. cable tv, but since the internet and cable is bundle, the cost savings for cutting only the TV feed wouldn't be as much as I'd hope.

We had to watch Downton the other night using the iPad PBS app airplayed to the AppleTV because apparently the connection between the local PBS station and the cable provider was lost. Worked great and made me wonder why I'm paying so much for 200 channels that either don't work or are carp.

Then there's DVDs for free from the local library. They tend to have recent releases but only on DVD, not Blu-Ray (yet). They still have a large selection of VHS tapes, but nothing very recent.

I got Amazon Prime recently for the shipping but no way to stream to the TV unless I hook my laptop up directly. There's an Amazon streaming iPad app but it doesn't support airplay. Apple needs to get more airplay-enabled apps on board or they'll lose to the competition, imho.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:50 AM   #19
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Another thought about streaming. The best thing is that it is often free or not very costly. The bad thing for us is that even with a high speed cable modem connection and a new high performance router plus a new Sony DVD -- the navigation and setting up can be tedious.

It's just not like turning on a TV with DVR (that you've programmed to capture your favorites) and watching it instantly. Maybe others have better technical solutions or do not mind the hassle factor?

I'm quite willing to learn this stuff if its a robust solution and fairly simple to set up.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:51 AM   #20
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We have cable + Netflix + Hulu + Amazon streaming + a solid collection of iTunes videos. Of the bunch, cable offers the worst value. If it was just me, cable would have been dropped long ago.

If I am at home, I stream to the TV set via the AppleTV or Wii. If I am traveling, I might stream to the iPad. I never watch movies on my computer.
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