New competition in the Streaming TV Market, but the same old Bullshit

Discussion in 'Television' started by W5HRO, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    All of those services require that now. It's mainly used as a form of identification to make sure it’s you and then they must have a way to bill you if you purchase any of their content. Most of them have the PayPal option at sign up except for one or two, but on those you can go in there and switch it to PayPal after then make it inactive if you want via PayPal.

    Anyway, they will not charge you for anything unless you buy something on there. What you do is just enter a passcode for purchases so when someone tries to buy something or when you yourself are not sure it will have you enter it, but they will tell you if it's not free up front most of the time anyway.

    What I like about this new Roku box is it does not have all of the advertisement crap like the Amazon FireTV box has where they show you movies and TV shows you can purchase. Even the Apple box has it. You have to navigate around all of that junk. The Roku box is simple and clean and you can turn off the Fandango and other options so they are gone. Your installed apps are right there on the right next to the menu selections on the left. See my home screen below.

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    One funny thing though, the PlayStation Vue app is completely different on the Roku box than it is on the FireTV and AppleTV boxes. On the Roku it does not have the channel "Guide" grid :'( You can still click on a channel though and view the options and it will show you what's comping up on that channel so at least that is something, but you cannot go backwards. For some reason, the PlayStation Vue app is different, but I think it's more reliable than on the other two boxes, at least that's what I have noticed so far, but it’s only been one night.

    Anyway, I will try Hulu again when they make it work on the Roku box. By then they will probably offer me another free trial or I can just use the promotion code for it that came with the box. The main problem with the AppleTV box is that dam shitty remote with the touch slide control, but I doubt they will ever change it. It really sucks and is a P.O.S. because of it :icon_thumbdown: It made Hulu's new app format just too hard to use and navigate through.

    P.S. That 2nd universal remote works with the Roku fine, but it must be pointed right at the box like the RCA remote which is strange. If was fine with the AppleTV box except for the rewind and fast-fwd controls didn't work. The Roku remote that came with it though works better than the FireTV box remote and it can be pointed anywhere.
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  2. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    Hulu finally added the FireTV box and sticks to their live service. I'm assuming the Roku's will be next.

    Anyway, I didn't renew the Playstation Vue service and went back to Sling for only $25 per month until Hulu adds Roku. I have been thinking about switching back to my FireTV box though because it works a lot faster. The Roku's are a bit slower like when you load the apps. I don't think they have as much cache memory or the faster chip sets like the amazon boxes do. It’s just the amazon boxes tend to crash every now and then and you have to restart them which is typical for android devices. I did have a couple of crashes using the Roku box for the first day or so and then there was an update and it stopped doing it. From what I’ve heard Roku is very slow about updating when there are problems or bugs in their software and/or firmware, but they eventually get around to it.

    Anyway, both the AppleTV and FireTV boxes are behind the Roku’s and I doubt Apple will ever change that fucked-up remote now with the swipe control. The Apple boxes are still way behind compared to all the others, but even so, I would have rather kept it instead because of the quality and reliability, but that dam remote just kills it.

    I’m currently home on vacation this week and I might hook the FireTV box up again today before my free trial of the Sling TV service ends again on the 6th. They won’t bill me for the $25 until the 6th which is Sunday. If I can get the free trail of Hulu again for a few days it might be worth checking it out since I have until Sunday with the other.
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  3. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    I think we could all use one of these :lol:

     
  4. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    By the way I did hook up the Amazon Fire TV box again and load the new Hulu live TV app on it and I've decided to go that route now instead. I canceled Sling and Netflix both because there is more than enough content on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video all by themselves. I've been paying the $9.99 per month for Netflix and I almost never even use it. The last time was when watching the new “The Ranch” episodes. What I will do it just sign up for one month only when the next set of episodes airs sometime this December or January. I will watch those and then just let it expire.

    So right now, I only have the new Hulu service and Amazon Prime and that’s really about all you need. However, I would like to have the Fandango Now app, but it’s not available on the Amazon boxes, only on the Roku boxes, but I do have the app on my Vizio TV itself so I can still order a new released movie if I need to.

    My Vizio TV has the Amazon Prime Video and Fandango Now apps, but the Hulu app is the old one without the live TV. Not sure when the TV’s will have the new Hulu live TV app, but I’m guessing it might require a bit more resources than what the TV’s currently have. Even though using the apps on your TV are a lot slower it would be nice to not even need any external box. If my TV had the new Hulu app I would just disconnect the external box and not even worry about it anymore. I’ve been eyeballing the 80” Vizio display below at Costco, but even it has the old Hulu app. I think what's going to happen is you will start buying these big Internet ready displays and hooking up your own over the air TV tuner boxes until that eventually goes away. All you are going to need is a good high-speed Internet connection with no monthly cap.

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    Also, everything works a lot better if you use a wired Ethernet connection instead of Wi-Fi. When I switched everything over to the Ethernet cable the streaming became much more reliable. If you have other people in the house sharing your Wi-Fi using smartphones and tablets then you want a hard-wired connection. It was funny because every time I was watching a show and I went to upgrade the apps on my iPhone by hitting “update all” it would start screwing up that show I was watching. As soon as I connected the box to Ethernet all of that went away. I guess it was just bottlenecking the Wi-Fi in the house.

    The bad thing too is I'm waiting and hoping they will let Goggle Fiber run everything down here this far south where I live. It looks like they are going to be doing San Jose because it’s on their expansion list. We are probably going to be next. I just don't know how long it will take for them to get it down this far south in our AT&T district. I looks like they are currently working to eliminate those dumbass outdated federal regulations which are a carryover from the breakup of AT&T back in the 1980's. I hate Google about as much as AT&T, but what I’m hoping happens is once they get the lines run down this far south is that it will open up the door for 3rd parties. If I lived just a little farther south I could get Verizon Fios right now at 50mbps up and 50mbps down for only $39.99 per month. That’s for their cheapest Internet only plan. I’m currently paying Comcast $69.99 per month for only 16mbps up and 3mbps down.
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  5. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    I have an update, I was having trouble with the new Hulu service because when watching it on the weekends and occasionally during the week it would get stuck like there was slow or no Internet service. When it started it looked it was only happening on certain channels like the History Channel. I like to watch American Pickers, Pawn Stars and a couple of the other good shows on that Channel.

    Well, last night it started happening all of the time and on every channel. Then when I went to just the Amazon Prime stuff on the FireTV box the same thing kept happening and it got worse by saying no Network connection. I restarted my modem and router a couple of times, but after a while it happened again. The last time it happened I went and checked my iMac and the Internet connection was fine.

    I started to suspect the problem was with the Amazon FireTV box so I re-hooked up the Roku box again and loaded the amazon video app which is the same thing the FireTV box itself uses only built-in and the problem went away. I was able to watch 2 shows and a movie before going to bed without any interruption. I was going to try the Roku box again anyway when Hulu makes it work with them too so I have no idea if the Hulu service also has a problem because my main problem was definitely with the crappy android FireTV box. I sure wish Apple hadn’t screwed up the remote on theirs because I wouldn’t be having this trouble.

    Anyway, I have canceled the Hulu service for now because it was going to expire on Sept 1st anyway and I’ll just have to wait until they make it work on the Roku box which hopefully will be soon. I signed back up for the Sling service again for a month and will just wait for the other to happen. Not much more I can do other than that, but I’m done with those P.O.S android boxes for sure. I see now why I have also only ever used iPhone's too. That FireTV box had been flaky since day one and it just kept getting worse and worse as time went on.
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  6. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    Looks like Hulu just added the new live TV service for the Roku boxes. I've been checking their website once a week and it wasn't ready last week so it looks like they just added it within the past few days. I think I had checked it this last Sunday and it still wasn’t there, but it is now :icon_thumbup:

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    • Roku Streaming Stick (3600)
    • Roku Express
    • Roku Express+
    • Roku Premiere+
    • Roku Premiere
    • Roku Ultra
    • Roku 3
    • Roku 4
    • All Roku TV models
    So far since changing to the Roku box from the Fire TV box has eliminated that connection problem I was having. I'll sign up for the Hulu service again today and install the new app tonight when I get home and see how it works and if the slow connection problem I was having was in fact related to the Fire TV box and not Hulu itself which I think was the case. I'll report back after I try it again for a week.

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  7. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    Ok, here's the update on the new Hulu live TV app for the Roku box. Exact same crap as with the Amazon Fire TV box. When watching the TV channels live, there is constant stopping and buffering so I have already canceled it. I gave it a chance for the past few weeks and there was no in improvement so it's just not worth it. Looks like they have a bandwidth issue with the live TV streams.

    Anyway, Sling works the best but it's still missing 3 key channels; ABC, CBS and Fox News.

    Anyway, as soon as my Hulu service times out later this month I will just go back to the PlayStation Vue app until Sling adds those missing channels.
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  8. W6MQI

    W6MQI Member

    The XYL signed up for Hulu again so she could watch some of her shows and so far its been hanging in there no start and stops for buffering like last time. The 42" Vizio TV I was having problems with in past finally gave up nothing but blue screen of death I'm done its time for the shit can. All these TV providers piss me off they all have a little of everything but, not everything so one ends up needing several services to get what one wants, and none seem to work well at all. So I'm still stuck with a huge Comcast bill with billions of channels, and I watch maybe 10 of course the 10 channels I watch arn't available with the basic package. Wouldn't it be nice to choose the channels one wants to pay for only, and leave out all the other crap, oh no that would be too simple! Its all about the money.
     
  9. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    Have you been watching Fox News live with it? That's the main one I was having a problem with. Each time I tried to watch it the Roku box would keep popping up with the black buffering screen with the green bar graph going across. Some days it was worse than others. It seems like when watching prerecorded content, it was fine. It was just with the live streaming.
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  10. W6MQI

    W6MQI Member

    No havn't tried yet.
     
  11. WD5JKO

    WD5JKO Member

    "Have you been watching Fox News live with it? That's the main one I was having a problem with."

    I would not be surprised if they put a data BW cap on "conservative" media outlets. Try CNN. or MSNBC, I bet they come in just fine.

    Jim
    Wd5JKO
     
  12. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    That's possible, but it wasn't the only Hulu live stream channel that was doing it. Fox News was doing it the worst though, so maybe they are throttling it back more than the others. They more than likely have a bandwidth issue with their new live service which is the problem. It’s one those things that might improve over time. Sling TV had the same problem when they first started, but now it’s pretty dam solid.

    Anyway, I already decided to start the PlayStation Vue service back up last night instead of waiting and so far, the Fox News live stream is fine. I'm not having the problem with Sony's service so it was definitely Hulu. I’ll just stay with the Vue service for the next year or so then maybe try Hulu again later on and see if its improved. I don’t really like their format though. Sling TV has the best format and it’s improving. If they would just add those 3 main missing channels I would go back with them instead because it’s cheaper.
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  13. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    So, for a summary of this topic in general or a review...
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    1. The current Amazon Fire TV boxes are very fast, but become unreliable after time like a Windows computer. They require constant restarts because they often crash. The remotes work fine, but they are missing volume control capability of your TV and/or sound equipment.
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    2. The 4th generation Apple TV boxes work the best. The main problem is the new touch remote completely sucks and is very hard to use and navigate around the new apps. It’s a real problem and a big deal breaker. The only upside to the remote is that it will control the volume of your TV and/or sound system. Apple did just release their new 4K TV box, but it still has the same crappy remote.
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    3. The new Roku boxes are much slower than the Amazon Fire TV boxes, but they are more reliable and don’t require restarts or reconnecting. The remotes work fine, but they are missing volume control capability of your TV and/or sound equipment.
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    4. The Hulu Live TV service is not yet fully debugged and working 100%. Several of the live steams constantly stop to buffer and will often get stuck. Their live TV format also sucks. The live channels are mixed in will all of the other prerecorded content so it’s very hard to navigate around and find them.
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    5. The Sling TV service works the best, but it is missing 3 of the major channels. It’s missing ABC, CBS and Fox News. They have the best format though and its perfect for live TV. The app also runs very lite and doesn't require much resources.
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    6. The DIRECTV NOW service completely sucks. It doesn't have DVR capability and the picture quality is poor. It’s all low-resolution stuff compared to the other services. It looks just like a crappy compressed cable TV signal.
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    7. The PlayStation Vue service is much more reliable than Hulu and has all of the channels. The format is not as good as Sling's but it works good enough. It’s currently the best and most reliable deal out of all the available services if you want all of the main channels.
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    Anyway, if you notice I have tried all of the services and boxes out there and so far, the Roku box with the PlayStation Vue app works the best because it has all of the channels. That combination is currently the best deal and the most reliable.
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  14. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    Well, I’m going to have to update my review here because I just got the new Apple TV 4K box and the reason why is because after about 2 months the Roku box started having the same problem as the Amazon Fire TV box. It kept getting disconnected from the Internet and my Internet connection is fine and solid. As a matter of fact, my Internet speed has doubled recently because Comcast updated their business plans. The plan I had was for 16M down and 3M up, but now I'm getting around 30M down and 7M up and I didn't change anything. They just automatically increased everyone’s speed.

    Anyway, it’s just like with all other non-Apple computer and/or media type products, they suck and are just not reliable. They work great for the first few weeks or months and then start having problems just like those crappy Netgear routers, etc. The list goes on. Buying Apple is like buying a Japanese car. It will go for 100.000 miles minimum before anything ever goes wrong with it.

    I'll just have to get use to the new touch-slide remote :twisted:

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  15. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    Update, I still hate the Apple touch-slide remote, but the box has been working great. It completely solved my problem. I'm no longer getting disconnected or etc. Like I said, buying Apple is like buying a Japanese car. Always way more reliable than everything else.
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