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Easiest Streaming Stick?
Old 11-21-2018, 10:17 AM   #1
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Easiest Streaming Stick?

Our cable TV has been out for a week (for most of our area).

I thought this might be a good time to buy a TV streaming device. I'm thinking either the Roku or the Amazon Fire Stick.

Any tips on which of these is the easiest and most reliable. I do NOT want to have another device that will require occasional calls to tech support.

I also hesitate because I don't want to be forced to watch commercials, even short ones. What's watching streamed TV or movies like?

Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:24 AM   #2
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You might want to check with your cable company. I have Spectrum. They have an app. With that app and a smart tv or a streaming stick, I can watch cable tv without any box or cable wire attached to the tv. The catch is, however, that their app only works with a Samsung tv and the Roku. I have a Samsung and it works good so I’ll be getting rid of that box and save $8/mo. If I’m willing to give up my dvr, I can get a Roku for my other tv (an LG) and save $20/mo. Looking for Roku deals this shopping season but first need to understand the differences in their different models.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:33 AM   #3
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I use the Fire Stick on two of my TVs. Mostly Netflix and Prime, though occasionally subscribe to Hulu (Handmaids Tale) and Starz (Outlander) for DW and HBO (Game of Thrones) for DS. Always unsubscribe at the end of the show's season.


No commercials whatsoever on Netflix at this time. Occasionally I will get an ad for another Prime show at that start of a Prime show. Hulu has ads, unless you pay more. Starz and HBO have no ads.


Very happy with the Fire Stick so far. No calls (yet) to Tech Support after about 2 years. I do very occasionally unplug a stick to force a hard reboot. Looking at the new Amazon Recast to integrate OTA into the fire stick for every TV - currently only have OTA on one TV. Recast has a DVR for OTA as well, which DW will love for Poldark.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:41 AM   #4
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Our blue ray player has that built into it, might want to check yours.
Some TV's also have that built in as well.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:51 AM   #5
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We got the Roku Ultra at Costco last week for a TV that doesn’t have cable (still have it on our big TV). It works sooo much better than our BluRay players but of course no DVD player with it. I don’t know how Roku compares with AppleTV etc (my kids have Apple TV and it seems to work just as well), or the other streamers but so far so good. If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll have no commercials on that content—the standard “free” Roku service’s shows do have them. I watched a movie on the Roku channnel and it had a little caption during the commercial breaks that told me I was watching 1 of 4 ads, 2 of 4 ads, etc.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:54 AM   #6
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I have Prime Video (because I have Amazon Prime, for shipping). Also Frank installed his Netflix on my TV so I have that if I want to use it. My TV is a 2013 Panasonic, so it is a smart TV and has apps for both Netflix and Prime Video. I used a Fire Stick with my older TV before I bought this one (no tech support needed, no commercials), but now don't have to use any device or gizmo. I just hit the "internet" button and then click on whichever app I want, then choose what show I want to watch.

I watch very little TV these days, and probably watch an average of 1 hour of streaming video each year. But that's just because of my individual idiosyncrasies. Amazon sends me e-mails now and then reminding me that I am not using my streaming video and implying that I am negligent.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry1 View Post
You might want to check with your cable company. I have Spectrum. They have an app. With that app and a smart tv or a streaming stick, I can watch cable tv without any box or cable wire attached to the tv. The catch is, however, that their app only works with a Samsung tv and the Roku. I have a Samsung and it works good so I’ll be getting rid of that box and save $8/mo. If I’m willing to give up my dvr, I can get a Roku for my other tv (an LG) and save $20/mo. Looking for Roku deals this shopping season but first need to understand the differences in their different models.
Funny - we bought a new Samsung yesterday and are getting Spectrum this morning (because Frontier/Verizon lied - not said casually - repeated over and over) and failed a minimum customer service level).

Think you must be getting Spectrum cable tv and internet. We just get internet and have a Roku for our tv viewing and Ooma for phone. Roku beats the smart tv as far as usability IMHO, though the Roku Ultra remote and the Samsung remote both happily control either unit.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Our cable TV has been out for a week (for most of our area).
Your cable is out, but your internet connection is still working?

We have several Amazon TV devices (stick and box). We use Prime and Netflix. No complaints.

I suppose "easy" is in the eye of the beholder, but even my technophobe wife manages to use them with no problems.
As far as reliability, there has never been a problem.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:19 AM   #9
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We pay for Amazon Prime so we use the Fire TV stick. They were purchased at different times, when they were on sale for $19.99. We mainly watch Netflix and Prime Video, and also installed in it a streaming app for DVDs (we play them from a computer). Never had to call them for support over the years.

No commercials on Netflix, Amazon seems to have a short trailer for one of their shows maybe every third or forth time we access it during the day, but I do not consider it intrusive.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:23 AM   #10
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We have 3 Rokus and 2 Roku TVs. I've never tried any other kind of streaming stick, but our Rokus are great. The 3 TVs with the separate Rokus are just the little sticks and they work great. Again, never tried the more expensive Rokus since the sticks do it for us.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:42 AM   #11
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Your cable is out, but your internet connection is still working?
Yes. It's related to some kind of switchover to digital TV.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:44 AM   #12
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Another option is to use a spare or dedicated computer with a wireless mouse and mini keyboard.

This is my preferred method and works with the major streaming services like Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Acorn etc... For me, mouse control is the easiest/best input device.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:47 AM   #13
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Ordered the Amazon Fire stick with Alexa voice remote. Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:50 AM   #14
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Several people I know have Roku. To a person they love it. Have not researched the other options enough to decide which would be best for DW and I...
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I thought this might be a good time to buy a TV streaming device. I'm thinking either the Roku or the Amazon Fire Stick.

Any tips on which of these is the easiest and most reliable.
I haven't heard any issues with reliability of either the Roku or Fire Stick. Based on my limited but positive experience with Roku and the fact they seem to top the list of "best" streaming devices, I'm about to buy two Roku Ultras when they go on sale for $50 each tomorrow.

Roku has more streaming options as they are platform neutral, unlike Fire, which leans toward Amazon and doesn't have apps for some streaming services. I'm an Amazon fan, but since the Fire stick doesn't have an app for YouTube or the new YouTube TV streaming service, something that I might be interested in giving a try, I'm going with Roku.

Quote:
When it comes to the sheer number of available apps (not counting games), the Roku devices, with access to thousands of apps (or channels, as Roku calls them), win by a landslide.
https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-t...fire-tv-stick/

EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Ordered the Amazon Fire stick with Alexa voice remote. Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:57 AM   #16
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Looking at the new Amazon Recast to integrate OTA into the fire stick for every TV - currently only have OTA on one TV. Recast has a DVR for OTA as well, which DW will love for Poldark.
Don't mean to hijack this thread but regarding the Recast device, make sure you read the reviews before buying. I currently have a Tablo for OTA DVR and although it works pretty well, I often wished it wasn't so slow at times. When I heard about the Recast I was ready to jump in with both feet....until I read the reviews and learned more things about it.

Keep in mind this device is 'version 1' and it appears they tried to cut some corners in order to get it out the door. For example, you are unable to schedule recordings in advance. You must be watching the show before you can record it. Plus, there is no option (currently) to record the series of a show. Now all this might be quickly rectified with a software update but who knows how long it will take. I decided to stick with Tablo for now.
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:59 PM   #17
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We have three Roku's (1 Ultra & 2 Streaming Stick +) we use daily, and we've never had any issues with them. We don't have Amazon Fire TV but from what I've read (considerable) they are great too. I'd choose based on what I was hoping to stream, and whether or not I want a lot of Amazon content. If you use Amazon for lots of things, you might like Fire TV. If not, I'd go with the Roku as they have the most apps and they aren't pushing other services like Amazon, Apple, Chromecast, etc.
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:21 PM   #18
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How about the voice (alexa) tuning. Just bought the Fire Stick.... can use it to talk to alexa but haven't figured out how to use it to select channels.

I didn't expect the stick to change volume, bit when it started up, it seemed to respond to the control.

Took me five minutes to get off the blank screen. Duh... read the instructions?

So far 5 minutes of trying stuff out.

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Old 11-21-2018, 02:51 PM   #19
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I love my Roku Premiere, but today, I"d just get the Roku 4k stick. Awesome app, easy to use...only issue is that I occasionally have to reboot it to get it to sync with Amazon Prime. Some of thier remotes come with headphone jacks....

I just use mine for Amazon Prime and YouTube.
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Old 11-21-2018, 03:40 PM   #20
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With the fire stick can you get major network live tv
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