Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
TV subscription alternatives
Old 01-17-2011, 07:08 PM   #1
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
TV subscription alternatives

Someone on another thread mentioned getting HGTV on a Roku players, as well as being able to download from Netflix. For a good portion of the year I am without any TV signal--no cable, no air, no satellite. Most of the time I have broadband internet, but not all of the time. What are some options for getting some television? Can anyone tell me more about Roku players? What exactly do they do? Are their competing devices? For example, can an xBox, Wii and those type of devices do the same things?

I have used an hdmi cable from computer to tv to watch Hulu and some other stuff, but it ties up the computer. I like to cruise the net while I watch tv.


Educate me.
__________________

__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-17-2011, 07:43 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
Someone on another thread mentioned getting HGTV on a Roku players, as well as being able to download from Netflix. For a good portion of the year I am without any TV signal--no cable, no air, no satellite. Most of the time I have broadband internet, but not all of the time. What are some options for getting some television? Can anyone tell me more about Roku players? What exactly do they do?
Amazon.com: Roku XD Streaming Player 1080p: Electronics

Roku Player Products | Roku HD Player, Roku XD Player and Roku XDS Player

Roku connects to the internet (it has wireless built in, plus a wired jack) and you select from the 'channels' to get all sorts of programs. Netflix (need the subscription), radio stations, NASA, more here:

Roku Channel Store | Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, Hulu Plus, MLB.TV, Pandora, UFC, NHL & More on Roku

We are still exploring. I bought one for DW at Christmas, with the intentions of buying another if she liked it. Got a 20% off coupon from Amazon, so procrastination pays off.

Today, I programmed a bunch of radio stations into it, and hooked some better speakers up to the little TV. Now I get all these stations w/o interference - nice.

We got the XD model - good thing for us is that is has the old composite video to hook to old TVs, and HDMI for the new TVs. That HGTV post today made DW very happy. And I get to say - see what I learn on the computer?

Quote:
To use Roku, you need a high-speed Internet connection with a speed of at least 1.2 Mbps (such as mid-level DSL). You may also need a wired or wireless router if you are unable to connect the player directly to your cable or DSL modem.
Quote:
Are their competing devices? For example, can an xBox, Wii and those type of devices do the same things?
Yes, those plus most Blu-Ray players (more $, but could make sense if you need the player anyhow), and have a TV good enough to show the diff - 1080p, IIRC). Pretty much the same features. For us, the pros of the Roku are:

1) It is small: ~ 1" high x 5" x 5". Since I wanted this for the kitchen TV, I didn't want a big box.

2) The composite and HDMI I mentioned.

3) Low cost - $80.

4) Not often mentioned, but important to me - the Roku remote has a 'jump back 10 seconds' button. That seems to work much better than the rewind buttons on the computer (with Netflix), or on the WII. It keeps enough in memory that it does not need to re-buffer for those short "What did he say" moments.


Quote:
I have used an hdmi cable from computer to tv to watch Hulu and some other stuff, but it ties up the computer. I like to cruise the net while I watch tv.
Yes, I looked into computer hookups, but DW wants to just push a button and go, not get a cable plugged in, boot computer, etc (and I agree for these kinds of things, and when the answer is $80), and as you say, computer is tied up.

I'm not into movies/TV much, and even I think this is a very cool device. Easy to set up. Nice alternative to over-the-air when I do want 'something on' while cooking or cleaning.

If your broadband connection is fast enough, it sounds like a winner for you.


-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 08:13 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
I like the ease of use. Can't find the hgtv channel though.

Given that you have to have a fairly fast internet connection, is there a way to record for later use?
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 08:23 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
I like the ease of use. Can't find the hgtv channel though.

Given that you have to have a fairly fast internet connection, is there a way to record for later use?
Here's how to find these special channels, modhatter pointed HGTV out, and I posted the access notes here (it very simple):

Going to mobile phones only...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Thanks! - I did not know this. I never saw HGTV in the lineup (we've only had our Roku boxes since Christmas) - googling showed you need to add it as a "Private Channel" via the computer, then leave/re-enter the 'channel store' to pick it up on the box:

You need to login here: owner.roku.com ; then enter HGTV code.

I found some background info here:

TheEndless's channels for the Roku DVP!

-ERD50
No, they don't let you record for later use, I guess this is a piracy concern (as if the pirates won't get around it and us law abiding folk are restricted). I wish I could, I'd record overnight. No big concern over bandwidth/quality, or hogging it when I'm doing other things on the computer. I'm sure there are ways around it, haven't looked.

As far as downloading - you can do video podcasts that way, and I think you can link the Roku to share your podcasts on iTunes, but have not tried yet.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 08:28 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,676
I bought a ROKU this year and am very impressed. Netflix has great content & I find myself using it more and more. I use Wifi 802.11G (not the latest/greates "N") and it can still stream HD movies. I use a cable modem for internet access.

Martha, There are "private" channels that do not show up in the ROKU channel store. You have to add these online at
https://owner.roku.com/Account/ChannelCode/
Type in HGTV to get the private HGTV channel.
Google "Roku private channels" for more.

Private means that someone created (did the programming for ROKU to stream the content from a website) this channel & has shared it. I've found ones for TED, CNN, and justin.tv too. See the link in the other thread.
__________________
walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 08:34 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Here's how to find these special channels, modhatter pointed HGTV out, and I posted the access notes here (it very simple):

Going to mobile phones only...
Oh thanks. I missed that post.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 07:28 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,643
The Playstation 3 will stream video from the net (Netflix, et al), will play DVDs and Blu Ray disks, and can play games if you enjoy that. My son and my daughter both have PS3s and use them for all three activities.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 09:26 AM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
I like the idea of ditching 70 analog cable channels in favor of a box that will offer the one or two channels which spouse actually watches, plus the attic antenna for the OTA broadcasts.

But the lack of a simple TiVo-like device is a deal-killer.

Spouse says she's worth what we're paying for cable TV, and I agree, but the cable TV content certainly lacks value for the money spent...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 10:09 AM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post

But the lack of a simple TiVo-like device is a deal-killer.
This is a major irritant for me as well. Everything watched will have to be "live" whether or not it is inconvenient.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 10:42 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
But the lack of a simple TiVo-like device is a deal-killer.
I have mentioned this before but all we have is OTA TV. (Decline to participate in Pay TV)

Anyway, (also mentioned before) we use SageTV® Media Center - PVR, Music and Photos for Windows and Linux PCs and consumer electronics devices. Yes, there is some up-front cost -- tuners, antennaes, software, etc -- but your computer (any ol computer) becomes your TIVO device. The number of programs recorded while simultaneously watching another depends upon the number of tuners -- we have four. That way we can record four different programs while watching a recorded one all at the same time. And with the COMSKIP Plug-in (free) there are no commercials (see above "decline to participate")

Or, like TIVO, you can watch a live show and have all the pause, stop, replay features you have come to expect while watching TV.
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 10:50 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
zinger1457's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,452
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I like the idea of ditching 70 analog cable channels in favor of a box that will offer the one or two channels which spouse actually watches, plus the attic antenna for the OTA broadcasts.

But the lack of a simple TiVo-like device is a deal-killer.

Spouse says she's worth what we're paying for cable TV, and I agree, but the cable TV content certainly lacks value for the money spent...
Not sure about all the programming offered on Roku but with Netflix it is somewhat like having a DVR, the difference is all the programming is stored on the Netflix site. You can watch any available programming when you want, pause it for later viewing, rewind, fast forward, etc.
__________________
zinger1457 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 11:14 AM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinger1457 View Post
Not sure about all the programming offered on Roku but with Netflix it is somewhat like having a DVR, the difference is all the programming is stored on the Netflix site. You can watch any available programming when you want, pause it for later viewing, rewind, fast forward, etc.
I think what we object to the most is having to pay for 90% of what she doesn't watch-- news programming, ESPN, and "guy" channels. Spouse would much rather pay a la carte, but the cable companies (and the studios/producers) wouldn't survive the consolidation.

Yeah, I know, "as opposed to how well they're surviving now..."

It'll get there. Maybe one day Windows Media Center will even be as simple and as stable as TiVo.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 01:07 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Let me add a little more about SageTV. (Granted, it is good to be in an area where there are several dozen TV channels available Over The Air (OTA).

These are shots from the TV Screen and are controlled by the Remote Control device. (Well, actually -- in full disclosure mode, they are shots from my computer but it is identical on the TV.)

Shows Previously Recorded waiting disposition:

Recorded.jpg

And those shows that are scheduled to be recorded:

scheduled.jpg

Notice on the left, there is the Guide that you can flip through to decide what to watch or record:

Guide.jpg

And this kind of thing is available for lots of other stuff too -- your Music, Your Photos, your DVD/BluRay player, Online stuff (including TV), etc:

Menu.jpg
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 01:30 PM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 942
Here is link to adding HGTV as well as other channels to your Roku box:

Roku Channel Database

You will notice at the top of the screen there is a link that you can click on, and that will take you to another screen where you type in the code for the programming you want to add to your Roku box. However, you need to have an account with Roku first to add anything, but when you buy the box and set it up which is quite simple, you will establish an account. I find Roku plus Netflix gives you a lot of choices. Netflix is on there for whenever you get around to watching the shows or movies. Current news however, CNN, MSNBC, FOX etc. is on there for the day before. So for instance if you click on the show you want to see on CNN, you will see Mondays show. On Wed., you will be able to see Tues show.

If you want to see LIVE streaming for news, you will need to add JustinTV, and that will give you live streaming for news.

I am interested in knowing more about the Sage TV myself, but think I will post a new link on it, or it might get lost.
Hope this information helps. Any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.
__________________
modhatter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 01:44 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,885
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I like the idea of ditching 70 analog cable channels in favor of a box that will offer the one or two channels which spouse actually watches, plus the attic antenna for the OTA broadcasts.

But the lack of a simple TiVo-like device is a deal-killer.

Spouse says she's worth what we're paying for cable TV, and I agree, but the cable TV content certainly lacks value for the money spent...

I have OTA only. But I do have a DTV Pal DVR so I have the goodies of "taping" to DVR, pausing live TV, etc. As a splurge I also have a Slingbox so I can watch my home TV anywhere on my laptop.
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 03:43 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Waimanalo, HI
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I think what we object to the most is having to pay for 90% of what she doesn't watch-- news programming, ESPN, and "guy" channels. Spouse would much rather pay a la carte, but the cable companies (and the studios/producers) wouldn't survive the consolidation.
I've not managed to understand the fairly widespread enthusiasm for a la carte pricing. I guess the idea is that if the cable/satellite company were to stop sending some channel to you, its costs would go down, and so you would be charged less. But why think that? Consider shopping and religious channels, which probably pay the distributor to carry their channels, e.g. Are you really paying for those channels that you choose not to watch?
__________________
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
GregLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 04:01 PM   #17
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 942
OK, what's a DTV Pal DVR? Only one I know that offers a TV schedule that you can buy and record OTA channels is now Called Channel Master (formerly Ecco or something) But many complaints and they will not honor warranty and are not going to stock any parts for repair, so not real enticing purchase for $350.
__________________
modhatter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 04:09 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
I've not managed to understand the fairly widespread enthusiasm for a la carte pricing.
Perhaps it's because your explanation, while quite true, just doesn't have the same "warm/fuzzy-get-under-their-skin" feeling about it.
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2011, 09:22 PM   #19
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I have OTA only. But I do have a DTV Pal DVR so I have the goodies of "taping" to DVR, pausing live TV, etc. As a splurge I also have a Slingbox so I can watch my home TV anywhere on my laptop.
I don't know what you are talking about, can you expand on what do these items do? Do they only work with over the air tv?
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2011, 12:26 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
I've not managed to understand the fairly widespread enthusiasm for a la carte pricing. I guess the idea is that if the cable/satellite company were to stop sending some channel to you, its costs would go down, and so you would be charged less. But why think that? Consider shopping and religious channels, which probably pay the distributor to carry their channels, e.g. Are you really paying for those channels that you choose not to watch?
There are a lot of channels that get 25 cents to 1 dollar for every 'subscriber'... it adds up...

I have maybe 20 channels in my favorites... and 6 are local.. a few are ones that I rarely watch, but once in a blue moon they have a program I want to watch... and I have maybe another 100 or more that I never watch...

I think if I were able to pick the channels I want... I could cut my bill in half....
__________________

__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Alternatives to indexing (alternatives to cap weighted indexing) jIMOh FIRE and Money 7 08-31-2010 09:52 PM
How to end "Subscription to Thread" dex Forum Admin 1 04-28-2009 12:33 PM
Magazine Subscription mickeyd Other topics 12 08-09-2008 04:10 PM
CD alternatives bayareaguru FIRE and Money 13 07-31-2008 06:05 PM
Alternatives Lagniappe Hi, I am... 28 06-19-2006 08:52 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:44 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.