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PBS Live Streaming
Old 03-22-2017, 08:45 AM   #1
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PBS Live Streaming

So we're cutting the cable, and the only "channel" we can't seem to find live streaming is PBS. PBS is one of our favorites, but we're not going to pay cable/satellite rates any more for PBS alone - everything else we care about is available live stream.

We're willing to pay for a PBS live stream, but all I can find is on-demand libraries for $5/month. Are we missing it, or do we need to get over our access to live programming paradigm, like many Millennials have - with on demand only like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, etc.? Brave new world for us curmudgeons.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:43 AM   #2
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Hope I'm not hijacking you're thread, but I have a question: Since we're also about ready to cut the cable, can you fill me in on how you are getting live streaming for the other channels post-cable? Will you have to pay for them? We get live streaming of most of our cable channels for free, while we still have cable, but the streaming sites require a cable subscription to access the content.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:46 AM   #3
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We watch PBS online, or with our Roku, but I'm not aware of any way to tap into the livestream from the local broadcast, except via a regular television antenna or cable package.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:47 AM   #4
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I'd love to know the answer to this too. As far as I know, you can stream individual shows (including news shows), but I'm not aware that life streams are available. It's too bad because I can't get PBS (or any other local channels for that matter!) over the air where I live.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:00 AM   #5
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I've not been able to figure out how to stream PBS live. I'd like that far more than another tote bag as thanks for my membership-drive contributions.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:01 AM   #6
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Midpack, since you are planning to move to another community anyway, try a cheap homemade indoor antenna once you get there, just for fun.

I am thinking that if you end up anywhere near a big metro area, chances are pretty good that you will be able to pick up PBS and dozens of other stations just fine and for free.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:27 AM   #7
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I'm not sure what the need for live streaming really is. I could maybe see it if you want to watch something that is actually timely like a sports broadcast or the 6pm news but most of what you would "live" stream is pre-recorded.

Most of the advancement in home viewing has been the struggle to go non-live streaming for TV. I got a TiVO in the early 2000's and it radically changed the way I watched TV. I no longer had to be fixed to the TV schedule. I cut the cord about that time as well and used the TiVO with an antenna and Netflix DVD service and later their streaming service. I don't understand the desire to go back and be tied to the scheduling of the TV stations.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Midpack, since you are planning to move to another community anyway, try a cheap homemade indoor antenna once you get there, just for fun.

I am thinking that if you end up anywhere near a big metro area, chances are pretty good that you will be able to pick up PBS and dozens of other stations just fine and for free.
OTA works well at our house, upstairs anyway. But DW isn't too keen on having to change input sources or deal with multiple remotes, so I'm charged with finding an almost direct drop in for satellite functionality. Switching back and forth between OTA and streaming yields a from DW, and not having one "DVR" for everything is also a .

If one of you wants to reason with her, be my guest. I've learned to pick my battles after 37 years...
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Which Roger View Post
Hope I'm not hijacking you're thread, but I have a question: Since we're also about ready to cut the cable, can you fill me in on how you are getting live streaming for the other channels post-cable? Will you have to pay for them? We get live streaming of most of our cable channels for free, while we still have cable, but the streaming sites require a cable subscription to access the content.
My reply is here http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...vue-85494.html
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:48 AM   #10
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OTA works well at our house, upstairs anyway. But DW isn't too keen on having to change input sources or deal with multiple remotes, so I'm charged with finding an almost direct drop in for satellite functionality. Switching back and forth between OTA and streaming yields a from DW, and not having one "DVR" for everything is also a .

If one of you wants to reason with her, be my guest. I've learned to pick my battles after 37 years...
Get a smart remote to control multiple sources with ease. I've been using a Logitech mid-range model for years. I got my parents one too and it really made it easier for them to navigate through switching all the settings for multiple devices.

You can get a Logitech 650 (what I've got) for only ~$50 now. You can spend more for fancier models but that one gets the job done.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Hyperborea View Post
Get a smart remote to control multiple sources with ease. I've been using a Logitech mid-range model for years. I got my parents one too and it really made it easier for them to navigate through switching all the settings for multiple devices.

You can get a Logitech 650 (what I've got) for only ~$50 now. You can spend more for fancier models but that one gets the job done.
Maybe I should look again, though we'd need 2-3. I thought the ones that could handle OTA and streaming devices were more expensive, but haven't studied them in a while.

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I could maybe see it if you want to watch something that is actually timely like a sports broadcast or the 6pm news but most of what you would "live" stream is pre-recorded.
This is where LIVE is still important to us. Watching recorded news or sports seems unnatural to us, but maybe we're dinosaurs who just don't get it yet...I know lots of younger folks don't have/never had live TV.
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Old 03-23-2017, 06:01 AM   #12
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We have Frontier FiOS for internet service. They offer a "broadcast tier" TV service, which, when bundled with internet service, is cheaper than internet alone. So it's a no-brainer, especially since OTA broadcasts in our area require a large outdoor antenna.

We use Amazon Fire TV boxes on our 2 main TVs. We never switch inputs and the only remote is the small Fire TV remote with voice search. To watch live TV without switching inputs, we installed Kodi on the Fire TV boxes, which also enables EPG and DVR functionality.

For PBS, we can watch live via Kodi on Fire TV, but that's generally limited to Newshour and Washington Week, if we happen to be in front of the TV at that time, which is not very often. We also installed the PBS app on Fire TV, which we use more frequently than live TV, although some shows require the PBS Passport, which we do not have.

In general, I use live TV primarily for sports and news. DW still likes to watch certain prime-time network shows live, for whatever reason. But streaming now accounts for around 80% of what we watch, mainly Netflix, Amazon, and Curiosity Stream.
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Old 03-23-2017, 07:19 AM   #13
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We also installed the PBS app on Fire TV, which we use more frequently than live TV, although some shows require the PBS Passport, which we do not have.
That's all I've found too, I have the PBS app on my iPad>Chromecast. If Passport included live I'd pay, but for on-demand?
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:02 AM   #14
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... If Passport included live I'd pay, but for on-demand?
This is where you need to work on your curmudgeonly paradigm.

Live TV only really makes sense for sports and maybe news. PBS Newshour is available on the app within a couple hours after airing. Everything else PBS airs is better suited for streaming. For example, I like "This Old House," but it's far more satisfying to binge-watch an entire project than to watch 20 minutes per week spread over 10 weeks.

Embrace the brave new world. If the free content doesn't have everything you want, then dust off your wallet and pay the $5.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:07 AM   #15
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This is where you need to work on your curmudgeonly paradigm.

Live TV only really makes sense for sports and maybe news. PBS Newshour is available on the app within a couple hours after airing. Everything else PBS airs is better suited for streaming. For example, I like "This Old House," but it's far more satisfying to binge-watch an entire project than to watch 20 minutes per week spread over 10 weeks.

Embrace the brave new world. If the free content doesn't have everything you want, then dust off your wallet and pay the $5.
I know you're right, we're getting there thanks to YouTube. Lots of great content there, all asynchronous TV (Bill Gates term for on-demand back in 1995).
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PBS Live Streaming
Old 03-23-2017, 11:40 PM   #16
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PBS Live Streaming

We cut cable/satellite a little over four years ago. We bought a used TiVo with a lifetime subscription on eBay for $300 back then, which has allowed us to DVR broadcast TV. We also do Netflix (and Amazon, with our prime shipping subscription). The TiVo has been well worth it over the years -- I'm a big fan of pbs shows! I guess our ROI over four years isn't too bad.

ETA: this really only works if you don't watch a lot of cable sports.
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:52 PM   #17
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For what it's worth. Though I dropped Time Warner for my cable tv provider, I still use them for my internet. Consequently, if I wanted to, I can still get all the local stations (including PBS) by re-connecting the cable to my tv.
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:57 PM   #18
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So we're cutting the cable, and the only "channel" we can't seem to find live streaming is PBS. PBS is one of our favorites, but we're not going to pay cable/satellite rates any more for PBS alone - everything else we care about is available live stream.

We're willing to pay for a PBS live stream, but all I can find is on-demand libraries for $5/month. Are we missing it, or do we need to get over our access to live programming paradigm, like many Millennials have - with on demand only like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, etc.? Brave new world for us curmudgeons.
I think you might have to get over your need for live streaming. What's wrong with on demand? Are your schedules built around certain shows on certain days/times?

Personally I love on demand and always resented having to organize my time around a TV schedule, so it's probably a bit hard for me to understand. Perhaps Sunday nights have always been a big Masterpiece Theater night in your household or something?

There are some live apps like Bloomberg TV.
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:40 AM   #19
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I think you might have to get over your need for live streaming. What's wrong with on demand? Are your schedules built around certain shows on certain days/times?

Personally I love on demand and always resented having to organize my time around a TV schedule, so it's probably a bit hard for me to understand. Perhaps Sunday nights have always been a big Masterpiece Theater night in your household or something?

There are some live apps like Bloomberg TV.
I know you're right, as I conceded above, sometimes old habits die hard (mostly DW). Even now, a lot of what we watch is DVR'd, so we might as well be watching on demand - at least for the services that update their libraries next day (like Hulu), we don't want to wait until 'next season' for TV programs to appear (like Netflix & Amazon). It appears with on demand we'll be back to watching commercials again in some cases, where we could skip them with the DVR, but the savings and convenience of a cloud DVR are worth it to me.
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Old 03-24-2017, 06:00 AM   #20
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With PBS, the show is usually available the day after being aired. And can usually be seen for the next two weeks for free without needing PBS membership (i.e. Passport). It's only if you want access to a much more extensive library of content that you need Passport.

If you give to PBS anyway, a $60 annual membership fee (which is tax deductible as a charitable contribution) covers this benefit. The $5 a month comes from paying your annual membership in monthly installments.
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