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I need some advice about TV streaming

Old 01-10-20, 12:28 PM
  #1  
kap 7
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I need some advice about TV streaming

I don't spend much time watching tv - maybe a couple hours a week. I happen to come across an ad on facebook today for Pluto TV which claims to have 100+ free channels. I don't have a smart tv but I see you can buy devices such as the roku express for about $30 but i honestly don't know much about them.

Anyway, I was hoping to get any advice I can get about devices and services and realistically how many free channels I might be able to get on my tv if i were to purchase something like that. I'm not really interested in paying monthy fee to netflix, hulu, etc.

I do have a pretty solid internet connection just don't like the crazy directTV bill.
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Old 01-10-20, 12:54 PM
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Roku is nice, but it's more like an operating system than a service. It will integrate and give you access to your Netflix and Hulu or whatever channels you do want to pay for. There are free channels too and you can just watch YouTube and listen to Pandora if you want. The free channels are probably mostly the same between services, except for the ones that are proprietary to your device, like the Roku channel. And if you ever want to pay for a movie, that's pretty easy too.

I dumped DirecTV when they got rid of CNN years ago - they tried offering me all kinds of deals, so maybe just call them to quit and they'll give you a year for free or something.
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Old 01-10-20, 01:05 PM
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^ In addition to that, with a Roku, numerous apps can be added/removed at will. Ad-laden channels like Pluto, the Roku Channel, Tubi, et al offer more content than you have time for. Some pay apps/services like Hulu, HBO NOW, etc have no ads. Plus, Roku has no vested interest in promoting their own pay content as Amazon and Apple do. That's why I didn't bother with an [another] Apple TV or Amazon Fire product. They push their own content first and foremost...no surprise.
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Old 01-13-20, 03:16 PM
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A Roku is a pretty great deal for a one-time cost, assuming you have a wifi router and decent bandwidth to stream video.

'Free' Roku channels of interest include NBC, ABC, CW, PBS, and tons of other ones like as mentioned Pluto, Roku channel, Tubi, etc.

Note all of those Free Roku channels will insert commercials into content. But hey, keep a book on hand, keep a game of solitaire going, check your texts, get a snack, go to the bathroom, etc.

There are craptons of Roku channels. We were able to add a free channel put out by the NCAA Division III conference that our kid's college is in, so we can watch basketball (or other sportsball) games, live-streamed or on-demand after.
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Old 01-14-20, 12:19 PM
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Pluto TV is found by clicking on the Watch Free TV banner in MSN Video https://www.msn.com/en-us/video
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Old 01-14-20, 12:36 PM
  #6  
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You can watch Pluto TV streams on your computer and get an idea of what it offers before diving in with a set top box like a Roku.
https://pluto.tv/live-tv/

There is an indie film on the Pluto Sports channel right now about doping and Lance Armstrong as we speak

There are a lot of free channels, sites, apps to watch various "TV" channels and sources. Apps like Pluto, Tubi, and the Roku channel provide a convenient access to many of them with some type of built in guide and the ability to browse and search. A Roku is a decent device and Pluto is an app that runs on it. One area of interest might be local news stations, a lot of stations broadcast that live for free and have the stream available after. There are apps that can collate that for you on the Roku and provide easy access to the streams, I use NewsOn.

I don't know how many hours I've spent watching a train go through the country side on the "Slow TV" channel on Pluto.

Last edited by u235; 01-14-20 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 01-14-20, 12:40 PM
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I highly recommend you check out Kanopy.com. It is free for users who are members of many organizations, mostly colleges, universities, and libraries. If you are a college student or employee, or if your local public library is a member, you can get Kanopy for free. Otherwise you basically can't get it.

Kanopy is full of documentaries and independent films. Lots of old/weird stuff to sift through, but plenty of gems in the mix.
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Old 01-23-20, 06:45 PM
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Thanks everyone for your feedback!

I decided to go ahead and get one last night since the replies here were pretty positive. ..... I have it setup and the amount of free content is enormous!
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Old 01-25-20, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
I don't know how many hours I've spent watching a train go through the country side on the "Slow TV" channel on Pluto.
One of my favorite Pluto channels! I turn this on at work because both CNN and FOX News are both ridiculous and maddening. A lot of people there think the "train channel" is stupid and don't see the irony.
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Old 01-25-20, 12:11 PM
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Until recently and for the last 30 years or so I've had cable TV and now have gone to streaming (using Roku) and our TV cost have gone from about 190 a month to around 100... did have to stay with the cable company for internet which is still our biggest single cost with streaming. I should mention we had no/zero premium channels with cable, just basic. We bought a couple of Roku streaming devices and we did go with Sling to replace the cable TV. We also now have a bunch of free streaming TV services, Pluto, Tubi, YouTube (not Youtube TV service), Betamax (B movies), Crackle, RT and Roku itself has some free stuff to watch.

Also find out how many over the air channels you can get. We live about 15 miles south of Cincinnati and the last time I had an antenna was around 30 years ago. At the time there were something like 5 maybe six available over the air channels. Sling doesn't have local TV with its streaming so I researched TV antennas and bought one. Then I let my TV search for available over the air channels and to my amazement about 15 channels came up.

Bottom line, even with Sling as a cost, I'm paying about half as much as compared to cable and getting a heck of a lot more channels.
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Old 01-27-20, 07:53 AM
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Ug... OTA TV sucks... so full of repeating poorly done local commercials... this stupid car dealer, that annoying furniture company, and attorney after attorney... and everyone "the best" and "having a sale."

Not that network advertising is much better, but quality tends to be dramatically higher, thus making it "less painful."

Sadly, streaming services tend to repeat the same damn ads over and over... fostering a hate by the viewer of the product or service advertised, ironically.
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Old 01-27-20, 09:55 AM
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yah, streaming commercials are WAY more repetitive than OTA
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Old 01-27-20, 12:57 PM
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I have 3 Roku devices myself, they all feel slow once you've tried something like the Shield (channel changing, app launching, etc.) but it was the cheapest option for me. Unless price is the only consideration, nothing should be on this list except the Apple TV and Nvidia Shield IMO.
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Old 01-27-20, 01:39 PM
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Interesting, never heard of Shield before. Looks like they have plenty of channels too. If (when?) we are in the market, I'll look at getting a Shield instead of a Roku again, but we've got 2 Rokus on the 2 tvs and not looking to upgrade.
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Old 01-28-20, 04:20 PM
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I would highly recommend read some reviews online, but it's a really great device. Good luck!
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Old 01-28-20, 05:01 PM
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OTA channels are actually worth considering - they are now often broadcasted with higher quality than cable channels and there can be plenty of them: I get about 40 on my small indoor antenna. There is also Locast (https://www.locast.org/) service that provides streaming access to many of the local OTA channels for free, they have apps for most popular platforms, including Roku (which I never tried - but I use Locast sometimes on PC and Android).
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