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Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Roku, Kodi and the like


inkman
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If it does any of the streaming devices hook to the TV through the USB, which will allow you not to have to upgrade your current TV.

 

I was under the impression that the USB port was only for power on those (my Roku streaming stick is my only experience); if you plug the USB cable on the stick into a wall USB charger (like from an old phone) it'll work fine. The video works via an HDMI port on the TV. I have a Roku something that's 4k compatible, but more important to me is it has a wired Ethernet which is more stable than Wifi. Also, the screen casting thing with the Roku looks a lot better than Google Chromecast (which I have built into my TV). The Chrome cast from a browser via "tab cast" only does 720p from the looks of it. Both have their uses. 

 

I don't think anyone has mentioned Youtube TV yet. I believe it carries all the NBC hench-channels so you'd be able to watch the hockey playoffs.

 

Kodi: When I've tried Kodi, it's been hit or miss whether things actually work; maybe I need to try again if people are having luck with it. Also, what's the legality of "free"? There is certainly free content available for Kodi, but once you started talking about getting cable streams, you were veering into gray (or black) areas. 

I'm not 100% sure but I think maybe you can get Center Ice directly onto your streaming device.  It looks that way on my Roku.  I'm  not sure but I don't think you need a cable subscription.

 

I think the VPN is the important part there. Xbox, PS[3,4], Roku and Chromecast have native clients. I don't think Amazon Fire does, however.

 

My config: FIOS internet, NHL.tv, Prime video, Roku, and Chromecast. If I get to the point where I'm worried about NHL playoffs, I'll probably do youtube.tv or some other service that's month to month.

 

I have a Buffalo DirectTV login that I'll occasionally use to watch the Sabres on MSG if they're playing Philly or on NBC sports.

Edited by MattiPaj
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Wow lots of good info here. Gotta see what options are hardware wise.

I highly recommend getting a Roku. It's easy to add apps and channels and it's extremely user friendly. You can buy a Roku streaming stick for around $45 or a top of the line box for around $100 (I've got 2 Roku boxes and 1 Roku streaming stick). The stick has the same processor the boxes do and I haven't noticed a difference in quality so it's probably better to opt for the streaming stick and save the extra cash.

 

I used to play Netflix and Hulu through blu ray dvd players but it kept forgetting my sign in information and it was annoying to have to sign in all the time, plus it was slower to load and move between programs. With the Roku it happens much less often and usually only on the apps that require a cable subscription. Plus with the Roku you can add the apps for anything that isn't pre-installed (HBO Go, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Hulu, Netflix, etc., plus just about every cable channel has an app although most require a subscription of some sort).

 

Don't waste your money on a smart tv unless you absolutely hate switching remotes and want everything to work on a single remote. Even then Amazon sells attachments for both Roku and Fire Stick remotes for anywhere from $15 to $30 (depending on sale prices) that give you like 10 extra buttons you can program yourself to allow you to do things like adjust the volume, change inputs, and turn the tv on or off. Apples to apples you are paying several hundred dollars for the smart features that are nothing more than essentially having a regular hi-def tv coupled with a streaming device like a Roku or Fire Stick, only it's built into the tv. The difference is most people keep their tvs for years and years so eventually the hardware for your smart tv becomes outdated. When your streaming box/stick eventually becomes outdated it's better to shell out $45-$100 for a new one rather than $500 or more for a new tv.

 

The best (legal) advice I can give you is to split the cost of all these services through account sharing. I pay $14.97 per month for Netflix and that allows me up to 4 simultaneous streams at a time so I've given my account information to both of my brothers and my parents. My brother pays a little less than that for Hulu with no commercials and I sign in with his account. My girlfriend has Amazon Prime so we use her account for that and my Dad has HBO, Starz, and Showtime through his Cable Company so I can use his login information to stream HBO GO, Showtime Anytime, and Starz. You can also get the NHL.tv app for all the Sabres games for around $120 or get every NHL game (less the blacked out ones) for around $160.

Roku also has a Sunday Ticket app that doesn't require a subscription to Directv.

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Between Netflix and Hulu on lost any device I get by fine... I also don't watch much TV, I have friends with a hacked roku and the sky is the limit and you can actually hack them watching 10 minutes of you tube videos, sports, movies, you name it

 

Lots of people hack Roku or sidechain apps into Firestick.  Then they go out and load Kodi and get one of the illegal streaming applications from there.  All I can say is, beware of what you do.  They are illegal, despite some of them claiming otherwise.  500 channels for $20/month isn't real.  Basically someone out there is "livecasting" a channel and then this app is picking that up.  It could go off the air at any time.  The other thing to be cautious about is that when you load these "apps" you are inviting them into your private network.  There has been more than one of these kinds of apps (same with loading non-play store apps, etc. on smartphones) that will get rights to operate and then begin monitoring lots of other data on your devices/network or worse.  Remember, all of these applications are conduits to your private network.  If you run your Roku and your PC on the same network there are possibilities (not saying probabilities) that the app can allow people into your network that could in return gain access or at least probe around other devices connected to your network.

 

I'm not sure I trust Amazon, NBC, or any other legal entity either, but I trust them more than the illegal entities out there.

 

It's a new frontier and wave of the future. Many new TVs are smart TVs that have the apps included in the TV. Kind of restrictive when wanting to customize or cast though.

 

It's all very much up to what works for you. Lots of options and individual possible setups. You'll save a lot of money over what cable costs though.

 

I would steer clear of relying on ANY smart TV application platform.  TV manufacturers are interested in pushing screens and one way they will do that is to slow or outright stop development and support of the platforms on the TV.  You are far better relying on a cheaper device connected to your TV that will at least receive a longer string of updates.

 

 

Here's what I'm currently doing:

 

Internet through Spectrum-TW. Using my own high speed modem so I don't pay a rental fee. $67/mo for just internet. 

 

YouTube TV ($35/mo), Netflix (Josie's parents account), Amazon Prime Video (so cheap that I don't care), all on my Xbox One. This gives me most of the TV and movies, including a decent amount of sports coverage.

 

For watching the Sabres, I'm using NHL.tv on my PC. I use Private Internet Access as a VPN and Kodi with the NHLtv Add-on to watch. Kodi is a must for streaming MSG feeds because MSG feeds are terrible quality compared to everyone else so you need to use Kodi to turn the bit rate down manually or else the feed will be choppy because a browser like Chrome is trying to stream as fast as possible but MSG is too crappy for that. 

 

That's interesting.  I use MSG>Go all the time and I haven't noticed any problems.  I've done it on iPad, Android Phone, my PC (using Chrome).  I wasn't aware of others having issues (not that I was looking either).

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Lots of people hack Roku or sidechain apps into Firestick. Then they go out and load Kodi and get one of the illegal streaming applications from there. All I can say is, beware of what you do. They are illegal, despite some of them claiming otherwise. 500 channels for $20/month isn't real. Basically someone out there is "livecasting" a channel and then this app is picking that up. It could go off the air at any time. The other thing to be cautious about is that when you load these "apps" you are inviting them into your private network. There has been more than one of these kinds of apps (same with loading non-play store apps, etc. on smartphones) that will get rights to operate and then begin monitoring lots of other data on your devices/network or worse. Remember, all of these applications are conduits to your private network. If you run your Roku and your PC on the same network there are possibilities (not saying probabilities) that the app can allow people into your network that could in return gain access or at least probe around other devices connected to your network.

 

I'm not sure I trust Amazon, NBC, or any other legal entity either, but I trust them more than the illegal entities out there.

 

 

I would steer clear of relying on ANY smart TV application platform. TV manufacturers are interested in pushing screens and one way they will do that is to slow or outright stop development and support of the platforms on the TV. You are far better relying on a cheaper device connected to your TV that will at least receive a longer string of updates.

 

 

 

That's interesting. I use MSG>Go all the time and I haven't noticed any problems. I've done it on iPad, Android Phone, my PC (using Chrome). I wasn't aware of others having issues (not that I was looking either).

MSG>Go may be a completely different beast. I just know that MSG feeds through NHL.tv are problematic.

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I was under the impression that the USB port was only for power on those (my Roku streaming stick is my only experience); if you plug the USB cable on the stick into a wall USB charger (like from an old phone) it'll work fine. The video works via an HDMI port on the TV. I have a Roku something that's 4k compatible, but more important to me is it has a wired Ethernet which is more stable than Wifi. Also, the screen casting thing with the Roku looks a lot better than Google Chromecast (which I have built into my TV). The Chrome cast from a browser via "tab cast" only does 720p from the looks of it. Both have their uses. 

 

I don't think anyone has mentioned Youtube TV yet. I believe it carries all the NBC hench-channels so you'd be able to watch the hockey playoffs.

 

Kodi: When I've tried Kodi, it's been hit or miss whether things actually work; maybe I need to try again if people are having luck with it. Also, what's the legality of "free"? There is certainly free content available for Kodi, but once you started talking about getting cable streams, you were veering into gray (or black) areas. 

 

Yes HDMI ports.  I misspoke.  Thanks.  Kodi is free and legal, but it can be a gray area sometimes, depending on what you're using it for.  https://www.cloudwards.net/is-kodi-legal/  Link is a pretty good explanation of its legality.

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Yes HDMI ports.  I misspoke.  Thanks.  Kodi is free and legal, but it can be a gray area sometimes, depending on what you're using it for.  https://www.cloudwards.net/is-kodi-legal/  Link is a pretty good explanation of its legality.

 

I think the easy way to put it is this. Kodi is a framework for applications to operate.  The applications may not transmit content that they are not licensing properly and therefore are illegal.  Kodi has a lot of great functionality in its own right, but its "extensions" are where things get ugly.. and fast.

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I still pay for cable + internet through Verizon Fios, but also have both a chromecast and an amazon firetv on the primary television. I continue to grapple with the value of paying for cable and whether I could deal with only using chromecast/firetv and one of the "tv streaming" supplements like youtube.tv or hulu.

 

For now, my reliance on watching MLB Network and the various regional sports networks, plus NBCSports and NFL Network in the winter seasons has outweighed the cost savings of cutting the cord. It would take a lot of re-training to go to the apps to get our content rather than the cable channels.


Forgot to add - We have Netflix account, Amazon Prime currently, and pay for HBO and Showtime through Fios as well. If I were to cut the cord, I would at least supplement with HBO Now at a minimum.

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Based on the equipment I have it looks like a Roku box is the way to go. Spectrum is offering 10 channels of my choice (from their selection, basically the major cable stations) for 21.99 and an additional 15 will get me all the premium channels (HBO, SHOWTIME, etc.). So I'll be able to access the spectrum app on Roku and get the programming I want. Ill have to check my options for sports. Basically, Bills, Sabres, Orange and Red Sox. I don't need to see every game but having access would be nice.

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[sNIP]

The best (legal) advice I can give you is to split the cost of all these services through account sharing. I pay $14.97 per month for Netflix and that allows me up to 4 simultaneous streams at a time so I've given my account information to both of my brothers and my parents. My brother pays a little less than that for Hulu with no commercials and I sign in with his account. My girlfriend has Amazon Prime so we use her account for that and my Dad has HBO, Starz, and Showtime through his Cable Company so I can use his login information to stream HBO GO, Showtime Anytime, and Starz. You can also get the NHL.tv app for all the Sabres games for around $120 or get every NHL game (less the blacked out ones) for around $160.

Roku also has a Sunday Ticket app that doesn't require a subscription to Directv.

 

"Legal" you said? I think the cable company might not see that the same way. :)

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NHL.tv has an app for pretty much all streaming hardware.  I use it on Apple TV, works like a charm.  

 

 

 

Yeah, I do Hulu live TV.  I ditched Sling for it because sling was hot ###### garbage.  Channel lineup varies by market (I don't get ABC live because they don't have an agreement with the local affiliate, for instance) but I also get the Washington regional sports channels, I'm sure they have that nailed down in most markets.  No NHL Network, but eh, that's only a few games a year.

 

Does NHL.tv give you a choice of home/away feeds ? What is the single team full season price ? 

 

I used MSG GO this year with my sister's Directv login info. Awesome on a Mac, but would like to see the games using Apple TV next year w/o Airplay. 

 

DirecTV now is perfect for the playoffs as it has all channels the games are on. 

Edited by Gramps
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Does NHL.tv give you a choice of home/away feeds ? What is the single team full season price ?

 

To the first: yes, it indeed does.  To the second: it cost me $120 for all teams.  I don't know what the single team cost would have been.  I'm also fairly certain you can get a discount for student/military.

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"Legal" you said? I think the cable company might not see that the same way. :)

 

It's legal enough. At least someone is paying for their service rather than just a couple of seeders broadcasting their streams to the masses for free over the internet. Netflix definitely knows this happens and even encourages it by offering packages that allow 1, 2, or 4 simultaneous streams. The guy running HBO has encouraged it in past interviews that I've read as well and I think they allow 2 or 3 simultaneous streams from a single account.

 

Hulu technically doesn't because to my knowledge they still only allow one stream at a time. If that's how they choose to run their business model, that's fine. I watch Hulu a lot, but I probably wouldn't pay for it if I wasn't able to stream one from my family. I'm not sure about the others but if they really wanted to clamp down on it, they can find a way to tie it to IP addresses the way Time Warner does with their Roku apps. If some of these streaming apps tried to clamp down on account sharing they would probably lose business overall.

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It's legal enough. At least someone is paying for their service rather than just a couple of seeders broadcasting their streams to the masses for free over the internet. Netflix definitely knows this happens and even encourages it by offering packages that allow 1, 2, or 4 simultaneous streams. The guy running HBO has encouraged it in past interviews that I've read as well and I think they allow 2 or 3 simultaneous streams from a single account.

 

Hulu technically doesn't because to my knowledge they still only allow one stream at a time. If that's how they choose to run their business model, that's fine. I watch Hulu a lot, but I probably wouldn't pay for it if I wasn't able to stream one from my family. I'm not sure about the others but if they really wanted to clamp down on it, they can find a way to tie it to IP addresses the way Time Warner does with their Roku apps. If some of these streaming apps tried to clamp down on account sharing they would probably lose business overall.

 

I'm sorry, but what you're doing is no better than pirating.  You're not paying for content you're watching, just like all of those masses watching over the internet.  I'm not making a moral judgment on the matter, just calling out the hypocrisy in the bolded.

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So anyone with Roku got a fix for not have numbers on the remote? I'll use the Google machine to see what comes up. It's my biggest concern. You need to enter the guide to change channels. There are a couple buttons on the remote that I'm not sure what they do, so maybe I can program them or something.

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I don't use Roku with the Spectrum app all that much (I was looking into cutting the cord with Spectrum too so I bought a Roku but then got lazy and haven't pursued further) but what worked for me is to set the channels you want to access quicker as favorites and then you can simply go into the favorites list in the app and scroll to the channel you want.

 

I think those other buttons may be used if you try to play games

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I don't use Roku with the Spectrum app all that much (I was looking into cutting the cord with Spectrum too so I bought a Roku but then got lazy and haven't pursued further) but what worked for me is to set the channels you want to access quicker as favorites and then you can simply go into the favorites list in the app and scroll to the channel you want.

 

I think those other buttons may be used if you try to play games

Thanks
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I'm sorry, but what you're doing is no better than pirating.  You're not paying for content you're watching, just like all of those masses watching over the internet.  I'm not making a moral judgment on the matter, just calling out the hypocrisy in the bolded.

 

Agree to disagree. If you don't think scale matters than I don't know what to tell you.

 

Take this example. You have a 17 year old kid that lives in your house and uses your cable service, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc. This kids uses a Roku to stream all the services. Fast forward one year and the kids goes off to college. He takes that Roku with him and continues to utilize all the same programs. Why is it legal while the kid is under your roof and then suddenly illegal when his address changes?

 

When I went to Vegas on vacation last year I took a Roku with me and was able to still stream all the same content I do at home. In that scenario it's perfectly legal even though my address temporarily changed.

 

You are paying for unlimited streaming for most of these services. If your household suddenly goes from 5 people to 4 people (because someone dies or that same kid is now living in a dorm). Do they cut your price 20% because now suddenly you are using their service 20% less? I don't think so. The account holder is paying for that service. If he/she wants to share their passwords with 10 people that's their businesses. It's only going to screw the account holder over if he tries to sign in to watch something and the app boots him out because too many people are already signed in to use the service he is paying for. At that point he can either wait until someone using his information logs off or he can change his password and boot everyone from using his login information.

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So anyone with Roku got a fix for not have numbers on the remote? I'll use the Google machine to see what comes up. It's my biggest concern. You need to enter the guide to change channels. There are a couple buttons on the remote that I'm not sure what they do, so maybe I can program them or something.

 

31R3XVlrZyL._SL500_AC_SS350_.jpg

 

I have a couple of these things on 2 of my 3 Roku remotes. They are currently $30 on Amazon but depending on when they go on sale I've seen them for $15 or $20 as well. You can program all the buttons on it to do whatever you want (I programmed mine for power, input, volume up/down, channel up/down, mute, etc). It takes less than 5 minutes to program them and eliminates the need to switch remotes constantly (although I wish it had like 2 more buttons). It won't solve the number issue but does make it easier to surf through your options.

Edited by Alkoholist
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It's legal enough. At least someone is paying for their service rather than just a couple of seeders broadcasting their streams to the masses for free over the internet. Netflix definitely knows this happens and even encourages it by offering packages that allow 1, 2, or 4 simultaneous streams. The guy running HBO has encouraged it in past interviews that I've read as well and I think they allow 2 or 3 simultaneous streams from a single account.

 

Hulu technically doesn't because to my knowledge they still only allow one stream at a time. If that's how they choose to run their business model, that's fine. I watch Hulu a lot, but I probably wouldn't pay for it if I wasn't able to stream one from my family. I'm not sure about the others but if they really wanted to clamp down on it, they can find a way to tie it to IP addresses the way Time Warner does with their Roku apps. If some of these streaming apps tried to clamp down on account sharing they would probably lose business overall.

 

I'd be surprised that those services don't have language that says streams are only for household members or legal residents where the service is. We could quibble about what a household is, etc., but in reality you're probably breaking the contract. It's on the "I'll burn you a copy of this CD" level rather than "here's a copy of the CD on my website for 1000s of people to enjoy" level; I doubt anyone is going to come after you (not yet at least).

 

So anyone with Roku got a fix for not have numbers on the remote? I'll use the Google machine to see what comes up. It's my biggest concern. You need to enter the guide to change channels. There are a couple buttons on the remote that I'm not sure what they do, so maybe I can program them or something.

 

The Roku app on a smart phone has a full keyboard and acts as a remote. Not quite the same thing.

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Agree to disagree. If you don't think scale matters than I don't know what to tell you.

 

Take this example. You have a 17 year old kid that lives in your house and uses your cable service, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc. This kids uses a Roku to stream all the services. Fast forward one year and the kids goes off to college. He takes that Roku with him and continues to utilize all the same programs. Why is it legal while the kid is under your roof and then suddenly illegal when his address changes?

 

When I went to Vegas on vacation last year I took a Roku with me and was able to still stream all the same content I do at home. In that scenario it's perfectly legal even though my address temporarily changed.

 

You are paying for unlimited streaming for most of these services. If your household suddenly goes from 5 people to 4 people (because someone dies or that same kid is now living in a dorm). Do they cut your price 20% because now suddenly you are using their service 20% less? I don't think so. The account holder is paying for that service. If he/she wants to share their passwords with 10 people that's their businesses. It's only going to screw the account holder over if he tries to sign in to watch something and the app boots him out because too many people are already signed in to use the service he is paying for. At that point he can either wait until someone using his information logs off or he can change his password and boot everyone from using his login information.

 

Because of the Terms of Service that you and everyone else doesn't read when you sign up for the services.

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Because of the Terms of Service that you and everyone else doesn't read when you sign up for the services.

It's rules like that which lead to piracy in the first place.

 

The broke college kid isn't going to suddenly spend his beer and pizza money on streaming services. If they figure out how to block it, he'll probably just go without and his parents will just be more likely to cancel since they are paying the same amount while using it less overall.

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Somewhat related, so I’ll share. If you want NHL.tv, NFL Sunday Ticket, MLB.tv etc, use a .edu email address to sign up. You don’t have to pay with a credit card in the same name. It just has to be an active college student to verify the email (and they do that real-time, not by sending an email for verification). Nothing required of your kind lender of email address. Just a bunch of savings for you.

 

I save a TON of money by using my wife’s credentials. She’s a forever-student in a PhD program haha. Since I’m out of town, I get all my local sports this way and don’t have to pay for a cable package. I know this isn’t possible for a lot of you locals. But for transplants or WNYers that want all the league, give that a shot.

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