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What's your favorite streaming device?
Old 05-01-2019, 05:51 AM   #1
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What's your favorite streaming device?

We just cut the cord with cable TV. Have just internet now, which saves us $100 a month!

We have a smart TV with Netflix and Youtube but, it is limited for streaming. There isn't a way to setup other streaming services on it.

Anyway, I want to get a dedicated streaming "box" ... Roku, AppleTV, etc..

What do folks own and why do you like it?
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:57 AM   #2
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We have Roku’s and they’re the best choice for us, lots of apps and they don’t have other products or services to sell you. But if you’re an Amazon (especially Prime) devotee, and you don’t mind having Amazon services front and center, the Amazon Fire stick is probably a better choice. And if you’re an Apple ecosystem and services devotee and don’t mind having Apple services front and center, the Apple TV box is probably a better choice. All good choices depending on your needs.
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:03 AM   #3
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We have a lot of Apple stuff ... iMac for main PC and iPhones. For tablets we have MS Surfaces.

I don't want to be beholden to a particular ecosystem so, the Roku sounds nice.
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:08 AM   #4
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We have appleTV because it was a gift. We like it fine, but I probably would’ve gotten roku on my own eventually. Before the appleTV, we used the Nintendo Wii to watch Netflix.
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:09 AM   #5
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Each streaming "box" has it's strengths and weaknesses. Apple products tend to be more restrictive to their services, Roku less restrictive. For us personally, FireTV hasn't been overly reliable. We primarily use an AppleTV since we have Apple computers and iPhones and streaming between them is easy. We do not subscribe to Netflix or Hulu, but mostly stream UK programming using a VPN. We also use an antenna for local stations and do have a subscription to a small DirectTV Now package which was 1/2 of our old cable bill. We do like our AppleTV.
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
We have Rokuís and theyíre the best choice for us, lots of apps and they donít have other products or services to sell you. But if youíre an Amazon (especially Prime) devotee, and you donít mind having Amazon services front and center, the Amazon Fire stick is probably a better choice. And if youíre an Apple ecosystem and services devotee and donít mind having Apple services front and center, the Apple TV box is probably a better choice. All good choices depending on your needs.
That's an excellent summary. We have iMacs, iPad and Surface and each of us has a PC as a main machine (using it now). For the TV, we have Amazon Prime with a Fire TV (older version). I had an Apple TV hooked up, but we never used it.

Turns out we use Prime some, Netflix usually, Hulu often and that's about it. I'm not sure what we're missing, but there seems to be a dearth of good movies available.

Still glad we cut the cord years ago. Good choice on that, says I.
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:23 AM   #7
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Our son uses an Apple TV and likes it fine. We have Amazon Prime and bought a Firestick which also works great.

Being in the UK with the mandatory TV licence then all the OTA channels are free to stream and all provide apps to watch live or watch on catchup or via box sets. I thought we might buy a ďfreeview box with dvrĒ to record but in fact have found no need as all the programs we might want to record are available on catchup via their apps.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:03 AM   #8
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Are there any gaps in any of the devices, where you can't get a specific app with a certain streaming device?
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:05 AM   #9
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The newest Fire Stick also powers and controls volume on the TV... magically... without set up... so thatís my choice.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albireo13 View Post
What do folks own and why do you like it?
Roku here, the Ultra version. It's fast and, unlike Apple or Fire, not tied to a particular streaming ecosystem.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:11 AM   #11
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Lots of tips and analysis on this topic here from a couple of months back:

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ick-94865.html
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
We have Roku’s and they’re the best choice for us, lots of apps and they don’t have other products or services to sell you. But if you’re an Amazon (especially Prime) devotee, and you don’t mind having Amazon services front and center, the Amazon Fire stick is probably a better choice. And if you’re an Apple ecosystem and services devotee and don’t mind having Apple services front and center, the Apple TV box is probably a better choice. All good choices depending on your needs.
+1

My experience is with older Roku and newer Amazon devices, and I tend to prefer the device with the interface I’m more familiar with. Midpack’s knowledge and observations have been helpful.

My preference is for devices with hardwire Ethernet connection.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:21 AM   #13
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We still have ATT cable, 240 channels + Starz + Showtime. Also have Amazon Prime and Netflix. I know we're spending way too much for entertainment. Our ATT gives us a discount $20 for internet, $20 for landline, $112 TV. Netflix, $13. If we cut the cable, I'm not sure how much we'd save. I love the Smithsonian, Discover, local news, AMC, tennis channel, Big Ten, all the sports etc. on cable. But also Netflix movies and series, Amazon same. All these choices, plus Amazon Prime gives free Apps like PBS channel and many others.


I realize I'm throwing cost into the mix, but that matters if I want to consider favorite streaming services. When I read cut the cable experiences, I feel like we'd lose our favorite entertainment (all the services we have). Am I missing something? Are we paying way too much? I know it's a personal preference, but I can't help think we're overspending.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:25 AM   #14
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We are in the process of consolidating to just AppleTV.

We were early TiVo adopters and have upgraded a few times over the years (we had a preHD TiVo!). We don't really like the latest TiVo UI changes and the support for apps (Netflix, Amazon, etc.) has never been that good.

We recently got a Tablo which is similar to a TiVo for OTA viewing and DVR, except that it doesn't hookup directly to a TV. Rather it connects over your home network to various devices (AppleTV, Roku, iPhone, etc). It works a bit differently from TiVo, but we find it works very well for our uses. We especially like their new automatic commercial skipping feature!

With this setup, we don't need to switch the HDMI inputs on our TV at all - I disliked doing this a few times each night. So we use just the Apple TV remote for everything. It even turns the TV on and off.

Our use cases for AppleTV: Tablo app for OTA DVR, Netflix and Amazon Prime apps for viewing those streaming sources. And a smattering of other apps - DW watches GOT once a year on HBO for example.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:05 AM   #15
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Are there any gaps in any of the devices, where you can't get a specific app with a certain streaming device?
Yes. I have Spectrum cable. It’s not the same as cutting the cord, but I can get rid of my cable boxes and use their app to stream my cable tv. It nice because I can watch a tv anywhere in the house without running a cable. However, the app is only available on Samsung smart tv’s and Roku. So I would advise to look into it if there is a particular app you want to make sure it’s supported. I wouldn’t worry about the big apps like Netflix and Hulu but if it’s a special app, I’d check into it.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:11 AM   #16
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Are there any gaps in any of the devices, where you can't get a specific app with a certain streaming device?
Not really with Roku or Amazon, they both have tons of apps. Apple probably has everything you'd need, but there are fewer apps there. Best thing to do is decide what apps you want and then make sure the streaming hardware you buy offers them.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
We still have ATT cable, 240 channels + Starz + Showtime. Also have Amazon Prime and Netflix. I know we're spending way too much for entertainment. Our ATT gives us a discount $20 for internet, $20 for landline, $112 TV. Netflix, $13. If we cut the cable, I'm not sure how much we'd save. I love the Smithsonian, Discover, local news, AMC, tennis channel, Big Ten, all the sports etc. on cable. But also Netflix movies and series, Amazon same. All these choices, plus Amazon Prime gives free Apps like PBS channel and many others.


I realize I'm throwing cost into the mix, but that matters if I want to consider favorite streaming services. When I read cut the cable experiences, I feel like we'd lose our favorite entertainment (all the services we have). Am I missing something? Are we paying way too much? I know it's a personal preference, but I can't help think we're overspending.
Like most people, DW was very concerned about losing "her (cable/satellite) channels" so I carefully compared live broadcast streaming packages vs what we had network by network. She lost one channel she liked, and gained about 5 she was missing. Anyone considering making the switch should compare network by network in my opinion, and don't let the total number of channels fool you!

We have the PlayStation Vue Core package. It costs us $50/mo and it has all those channels and almost 60 more. And with our Roku, Netflix, Amazon Prime and hundreds more are all free. FWIW

We have 60+ channels with PS Vue, but we only watch about 20 of them - ever. Until Feb 2018 we had Dish satellite TV, we had 120+ channels, but we only watched (you guessed it) about 20 channels...

Cable and satellite boast lots of channels, but 80% of them are garbage niche networks that very few people want.

Our XFinity internet service costs us $50/mo, but we'd have internet service regardless of TV, so it's not an additional expense for us. We paid for internet all the years we subscribed to cable and then satellite.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:17 AM   #18
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We are running PS Vue on our 2 Apple TVs and 1 Roku Stick. The Apple TVs are faster and offer a better overall experience, but I would be nearly as happy with a Roku.

Due to privacy concerns, I won't allow Google devices in my home.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:36 AM   #19
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We have Rokuís and theyíre the best choice for us, lots of apps and they donít have other products or services to sell you. But if youíre an Amazon (especially Prime) devotee, and you donít mind having Amazon services front and center, the Amazon Fire stick is probably a better choice. And if youíre an Apple ecosystem and services devotee and donít mind having Apple services front and center, the Apple TV box is probably a better choice. All good choices depending on your needs.
We compared the Roku Streaming Stick+ and the FireTV 4K, one each on our two smart TV's. We liked the Roku better so we returned the FireTV and replaced it with a second Roku.

Our two TV's now have the exact same Roku interface and excellent little remotes.

FireTV - didn't really like the interface, doesn't support YouTube TV, the remote didn't have volume buttons, and didn't like the Alexa integration at all.

Roku - Liked everything about it compared to our smart TVs and FireTV. I wish the remote had a mute button and that it worked with Amazon Recast which I'm very interested in.

BTW, we tried most of the streaming services at the same time: Vue, HuluLive, ATT Watch, Sling, DirecTV Now, and YouTube TV. We used free trials for a week and at the end cancelled all but YouTube TV. The interface is fast and intuitive and the unlimited DVR works great.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:45 AM   #20
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Roku. Remote has a button for Netflix, and one for Amazon. Install YouTube and other apps. Easy as pie.
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