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    #2583690

    Inspired by this. The other night my Sister wanted to CONTINUE watching something she started to watch on Amazon prime. We have access to it via our C
    [See the full post at: Streaming is an absolute mess]

    Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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    • #2583699

      Yes, we too struggle often with the multiplicity of streaming services. In my view, this proliferation is a more-or-less direct result of viewers objecting to the cable bundle and wanting a more a-la-carte experience. So instead of paying one big bill each month, we end up paying numerous little bills each month, with the added administrative headache of keeping track of all those accounts and whether we really get our money’s worth for each one.

      On a more positive note, this weekend we’re finishing up a short (6-episode) series from Australia on Netflix, called “Fisk.” It’s quirky and funny.

    • #2583700

      …We have access to it via our Comcast interface. She couldn’t find it in her recently viewed items. I ended up going online on a computer which had the right recently viewed items and then manually add it to the “my stuff” section. …

      Sounds like a lousy way to find out that the “Recently Viewed” list is only locally stored and not stored in the cloud for the service being used.  🙁  😠

    • #2583702

      Lol, when I was a child my family was too poor & lived too far away from the city too subscribe to cable or satellite services. Our TV received 4 broadcast channels: ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS.

      I still remember the first time I saw cable and was stunned that people were paying big money to watch programming that was loaded with huge quantities of commercials. I always assumed such a big bill would have negated the need for any commercials in the programming.

      Anyways, I’ve used Hulu, Comcast  Netflix… none of them are really a huge interest for me. Maybe they’ll have one or two shows of interest, but I’m better off just buying the box set of DVD/BlueRay off Amazon.

      If I’m watching TV today, it’s usually MeTV (broadcast/free). I never saw many of the older shows when I was younger and many of them are a hoot!

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      • #2583717

        “Our TV received 4 broadcast channels: ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS.”

        I guess I’m old.  My childhood didn’t originally include PBS because it hadn’t been started yet.  We had CBS (2), NBC (4) and ABC (7), and we had KTLA (5) plus channels 9, 11 and 13.  ALL of these are STILL in operation, miraculously!

        We DID have some UHF channels that were good.  I remember being barely able to watch the old “Thunderbirds” plus “Fireball XL-5” and “Speed Racer”. plus we had a few other UHF channels but they were VERY weak where we were.  PBS eventually showed up on 28, again a UHF channel, but also came in a bit scratchy.

         

        //Steve//

         

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        • #2583792

          Ah, that brings back memories, don’t forget Super Car and Captain Scarlet!

          We got the same 3 main networks but only on 3 channels and in B&W until my Grandparents bought a color TV. Since they lived right next door, I always when over there on Thursdays to watch Star Trek in Living Color.

          By the time PBS got added to the line-up, my parents had also gotten a color TV, one of these “really big” console models like this…

          And I regularly watched many of the British shows PBS played on the weekends like Gerry Anderson’s series and Doctor Who.

          BTW, most of those old “Supermarionation” series are now available on DVD or even remastered Blu-ray.

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          • #2583807

            Glad I could help you walk down Memory Lane!  Gerry Anderson had a LOT of other shows, too, and not just with Supermarionation – he did UFO and Space:1999, both with live actors but heavy use of miniatures.  After UFO, he swore he’d never work with (temperamental) live actors ever again, but he was persuaded somehow to do so with Space:1999.  UFO only went one season, Space:1999 went for two.

            I have Thunderbirds and UFO both in their entirety on DVD.  I have some others that I’ve managed to download and hope to legitimize with DVDs if I can only FIND them!  They may be available in the UK on PAL format, but I’m in the US and need NTSC.  Converting is often very problematic, unless you know some tricks….

            Perhaps you have a couple of years on me, Mom wouldn’t let me stay up to watch Star Trek on its original run, but I got to enjoy it when it went into syndication!

            //Steve//

             

            • #2583824

              Not sure about the age different, but I was 12 when Star Trek premiered?

              As for being able to stay up to watch it, we lived on the East Coast so it was on from 8:30 – 9:30 pm on Thursday nights which wasn’t really that late since I didn’t normally go to bed until 10 pm or later. It probably also helped that I was watching it over at my Grandparents home which was right next door. Of course all my homework had to be done before hand. 🙂

              Yeah, I remember UFO and Space 1999 although I wasn’t enough of a fan to try and get them on DVD or Blu-ray.

              BTW, I have Fireball XL5, Captain Scarlet and Thunderbirds in DVD NTSC format I bought from Walmart as well as digital downloads of Gary Anderson’s 2005 “reboot” of Captain Scarlet (New Captain Scarlet) and the Gerry Anderson approved 2015 “reboot” of Thunderbirds (Thunderbirds are Go) that was produced by ITV & Pūkeko Pictures.

              While the New Captain Scarlet series was OK (the computer animation wasn’t really that great), I have to say Weta Workshop absolutely nailed recreating the “look & feel” of the original Thunderbirds series with their combination of computer-generated animation and live-action models!

    • #2583716

      Susan, they make DVRs for broadcast now. I also have a VCR/DVD recorder that picks up broadcast, including the sub-channels if I remember correctly, so that it can record pretty much anything I want. I haven’t USED it for that yet because I don’t have a really decent antenna outside the house and those square ones they say pick up tons of stuff really DON’T from inside the house at my location.

      Such devices as mine are limited by the storage capacity of the tape or disc media, but they have them now that are actually equipped with hard drives of pretty large capacity and reportedly do a bang-up job of storing a lot of stuff for later viewing. You may want to explore those possibilities.

      I picked up the VHS/DVD device at WalMart a while back. It’s a Magnavox model, includes HDMI output plus it “upscales” whatever it’s playing to HD format suitable for the bigger TVs in use today. It also converts VHS to DVD+R and DVD+RW media, although it senses copy protection on the VHS media automatically – and cannot be disabled as such – so it will not allow you to convert copy-protected tapes over to DVD. (I understand why, but a bummer still.) Since it supports DVD+RW media, you can reuse the discs for quite a few times before they are no longer functional – still a bargain.

      I mainly got it to convert home recordings such as home videos of family (I had a BIG camcorder that took VHS tapes, so had some great home movies I wanted to convert) plus some older on-air recordings. It performed quite well for those, plus some older tapes from way back when they didn’t HAVE copy protection. The old “War of the Worlds” movie from the 50’s was one such. The OTA capability was a bonus but haven’t explored it because of the antenna issue.

      Anyway, those are options you may want to consider.

      //Steve//

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      • #2583795

        My Mom has a Magnavox PVR (Personal Video Recorder) she bought at Walmart that includes a DVD +RW/-RW and an 80GB HDD that can record up to 90 hrs of TV in SLP mode or 15 hrs in HQ mode.

        It’s the cheaper model that didn’t include HDMI so I had to use composite video to connect it to her TV but it works great to record the OTA (Over The Air) TV programs she likes to watch using this “old school” antenna I put up for her back in 2000 to replaced the multi-decade one that was just about rusted away to nothing.

        Antenna

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        • #2583808

          Thanks for the info.  I’ll look into getting the PVR at WalMart.  What’s the storage capacity?

          //Steve//

          • #2583830

            As pointed out in my reply, it has an 80GB HDD.

            It also upscales content to match the TV’s resolution and includes a dubbing function that allows you to copy the contents of the HDD to DVD or vice verse although, just like yours, it doesn’t allow dubbing of “copy protected” DVDs/programs.

    • #2583721

      Over recent month we have been doing a lot of traveling and became progressively frustrated with the television being provided at hotels, airbnbs, etc.

      At the same time, our hosts provided excellent WiFi.

      So, we began using a HP ProBook laptop to stream television and other video feeds.

      The process is simple:

      • We plug a video cable to the laptop’s DisplayPort,
      • Connect a DisplayPort / HDMI adapter,
      • Then run a HDMI cable to the TV.

      Then we boot-up the computer, login to the video provider of choice, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

      By using a VPN we are able to stream programing from around the continent and the world to the television.

      And if you are in a hospital or coffee shop that offers WiFi, you can watch programing on a laptop’s monitor or tablet.  Television is now available everywhere.

      In fact, we have begun using the same approach while watching TV at home and are considering giving up our cable company’s TV Box + Remote Control thereby saving the $10.00/month in rental fees!

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      • #2583769

        Kathy, good post.  Thank you.  Spectrum just went up another $8/mo for my TV, phone, and internet.  It’s now my largest recurring monthly bill.  I can’t decide though …should I invest in a smart TV with that cost or just continue paying these increases.

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      • #2583811

        Simple solution:

        1. Get a Roku, costs only about $20 to $30.
        2. Install the Roku Home app on your device(s).
        3. Stream programs from your mobile device(s) to the Roku.

        OR you can install the appropriate channels on the Roku directly and just stream them from there.

        Another option re: Spectrum is to simply ditch your DVR boxes, use Roku devices on your TV sets instead, and save the rental fees for the boxes.  Have Spectrum enable the “Cloud DVR” service and you can record your programs in their cloud service.  It takes a little getting used to at first, changing over like that, but it will save you a bunch in the long run.  Save further by moving your premium channels to individual streaming services, since Spectrum won’t let you get content a-la-carte but only in bundles.  So if you want HBO, subscribe to MAX and get just that.  And so forth.

        //Steve//

      • #2583826

        In the United States many local TV stations allow you to stream their video live without logging in.

        Others require that you to create an account including NBCUniversal and ABC7 New York.

        While many more require you to login via a cable system such as:

        • Xfinity,
        • Optimum,
        • Version,
        • Spectrum,
        • Optimum.tv,
        • DIRECTV,
        • AT&T U-verse,
        • Dish,
        • YouTube TV,
        • Sling,
        • RCN,
        • COX,
        • DIRECTVstream,
        • Hulu, or
        • One of more than a hundred other cable systems.
    • #2583768

      Yes, it is a mess. It isn’t going to get better anytime in the near future, probably worse. Unfortunately, the golden age of streaming is over. Wish it weren’t so.

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    • #2583812

      Yes, it is a mess. It isn’t going to get better anytime in the near future, probably worse. Unfortunately, the golden age of streaming is over. Wish it weren’t so.

      We’re not out of the Golden Age yet, rather we’re getting into another generation of the service.  And there’s a LOT to be had out there for free or very nominal cost via some of the “channels” that Roku provides, or that are available on whatever device.  I’ve found some cool stuff on Pluto, Crackle, DUST, “Old Movies” (an Android app you can stream to your Roku, see earlier message), Peacock (free or paid), “Sci-Fi Movies” (also a ‘Droid app), Tubi, and some others.

      Plus, if you have a cable subscription and plan to keep it, you can sign onto streaming versions of some of your existing channels via your Roku or phone/tablet using your cable subscription account information, and get at on-demand content that way.  I especially enjoy using that method for Turner Classic Movies!

      //Steve//

       

    • #2583817

      I stopped all streaming subscriptions as well as all premium cable channel packages back in 2017 (including Sunday Ticket to watch NFL football games). Since then I rarely even turn the television on anymore except for severe weather coverage in the area or occasionally to watch an older movie on one of the cable channels that is included with the basic package that comes with my apartment rent. But the commercials are annoying and seem more like propaganda now, which they probably always have been I just did not notice it as much before. So instead I tend to use one of my computers (with dual 27″ monitors) to occasionally watch an old movie for free that are often available via non-mainstream video platforms.

      It’s been great to have a lot of extra free time and being more active instead of sitting on the couch so much, not to mention saving a lot of money not paying for all those subscriptions and premium packages anymore. Overall it has helped with being healthier physically and mentally.

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    • #2583833

      A few years ago I wanted to see if I could watch the very first episode of “I Dream of Jeanie” on Youtube.  I was very surprised to find that I could watch the entire 1/2 hour show.  When she was let out of her bottle, she spoke some other language to Tony.

      Being 20 something in the 70's was much more fun than being 70 something in the 20's.
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    • #2583882

      My household rarely struggles with streaming services because we’re mostly looking for original content. We subscribe for a month, finish desired content, cancel, then subscribe to the next service with desirable content. If we’re interested in a weekly serial, we’ll wait till the last episode has aired, then watch 3-5 episodes a week. We spend less than $100/year. We also have Amazon Prime which includes Prime Video.

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    • #2583905

      I still remember the first time I saw cable and was stunned that people were paying big money to watch programming that was loaded with huge quantities of commercials

      Yup ME TOO!

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2583923

      I’m new to residential Video to TV Streaming. I’ve had DirecTV for many years but as they no longer carry the NFL “Sunday Ticket” pkg which is now available exclusively on YouTube TV, I recently added Streaming to my home system.

      Here’s my technical info:

      Internet : Frontier (formerly Verizon) 75/75mbps Fiber Optic to outside house, RG6 Coax to interior of house/Router.

      TV’s: 1080p (no 4k)

      Streaming Players: Roku Express 4k+ (2ea)

      Streaming Outlets : 2 TV’s : One near Router in my Office, one in Main Viewing Room.

      Streaming output cable from Router to both TV’s: CAT6 UTP (unshielded) Ethernet Cable

      All wired Ethernet Streaming (no WiFi)

      As I’m new to TV Streaming, I was wary of it since I’ve read about “buffering, pixtling”, etc issues regarding Video Streaming, I decided to go the “wired” choice although I’m sure there are many WiFi Streaming customers that experience no issues.

      The first thing I did was to do an A/B comparison picture clarity test between DirecTV and the Streaming outlet to my TV HDMI Inputs (same channel on both). What I found surprised me; the Streaming Channel was clearer than the same channel on DirecTV.

      After watching many hours of mostly old “classic TV” shows, I’ve seen no Buffering or Pixtling issues present on either TV. The outlet I was more concerned about is the Main Room TV where the CAT6 Ethernet Cable is run through my Attic down through the house room walls. It’s about an 80-foot cable run from my Router to the TV. So far the Video is flawlessly clear.

      Regarding the overall Streaming Menus & Channel Guides, etc. : So far my experience has been good overall although I see some of the “Recently Watched” issues mentioned in this thread. I’ve found that I have to use the “Search” tool to find some of my Recently Watched items. Most of them are easily available, appearing in the “Continue Watching” section.

      Thanks for the posters here //Steve// for great streaming experience & info.

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    • #2584015

      Plus, if you have a cable subscription and plan to keep it, you can sign onto streaming versions of some of your existing channels via your Roku or phone/tablet using your cable subscription account information, and get at on-demand content that way. I especially enjoy using that method for Turner Classic Movies!

      What has your experience with TCM been like since they were absorbed by HBO\Max and after the CEO recently eviscerated staffing there?

       

    • #2584018

      But the commercials are annoying and seem more like propaganda now, which they probably always have been I just did not notice it as much before. So instead I tend to use one of my computers (with dual 27″ monitors) to occasionally watch an old movie for free that are often available via non-mainstream video platforms.

      I hate, hate, hate commercials. You can’t always get away from them with streaming channels either, even paid streaming channels.

      To watch for free – if you haven’t already done so check to see if your library offers Kanopy:

      https://www.kanopy.com/en

      You get 15 ‘watches’ each month from a pretty wide and varied collection of movies, TV series, documentaries, etc.. It’s a nice option to have.

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    • #2584089

      I hate, hate, hate commercials. You can’t always get away from them with streaming channels either, even paid streaming channels.

      We have noticed that some streaming services make you play through the commercials, and if you want to rewind to something before a set of commercials, you have to let them play all over again.

      For all the technological progress of the last 40 years, we are being marched back to pre-VCR days when you couldn’t fast-forward through the ads.

      In addition, some streaming services are now eye-dropping series episodes one per week, just like in the old days. We watched “Hijack” on AppleTV+, and had to wait a week for each new episode. Makes it harder on viewers if it’s a complex plot, as seven days later you won’t necessarily remember who’s who, or what happened when. Meanwhile, waiting for all the episodes to be released before starting to watch exposes you to the possibility of having the show spoiled by a chance comment in cyberspace or in real life.

    • #2584137

      In addition, some streaming services are now eye-dropping series episodes one per week, just like in the old days. We watched “Hijack” on AppleTV+, and had to wait a week for each new episode. Makes it harder on viewers if it’s a complex plot, as seven days later you won’t necessarily remember who’s who, or what happened when.

      We were sharper back then. 😁

      But yeah I agree, watching Lioness and forgot they were doing that. I would have waited a few weeks to get a buffer. And Prime now pushes FreeV which has ads. 😫

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
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    • #2584231

      Plus, if you have a cable subscription and plan to keep it, you can sign onto streaming versions of some of your existing channels via your Roku or phone/tablet using your cable subscription account information, and get at on-demand content that way. I especially enjoy using that method for Turner Classic Movies!

      What has your experience with TCM been like since they were absorbed by HBO\Max and after the CEO recently eviscerated staffing there?

       

      Hasn’t changed.  TCM is part of my Spectrum cable subscription, so I use the Android app for TCM and sign in using my Spectrum credentials.  They confirm I’m okay that way and I get full access.

    • #2584232

      I still remember the first time I saw cable and was stunned that people were paying big money to watch programming that was loaded with huge quantities of commercials

      Yup ME TOO!

      When my grandparents first got cable at home (late 60s or very early 70s, I think; no box, just straight into the TV), they did it because TV reception was a little bit sketchy on some channels.  They got the broadcast channels plus a few others like The Learning Channel (which is now TLC and is anything BUT “educational!”).  It wasn’t all that expensive for them, and the reception (obviously) improved tremendously.  They were paying at the time just for improved reception and really didn’t use the extra content, so they were pretty satisfied.

      //Steve//

       

    • #2584233

      A few years ago I wanted to see if I could watch the very first episode of “I Dream of Jeanie” on Youtube.  I was very surprised to find that I could watch the entire 1/2 hour show.  When she was let out of her bottle, she spoke some other language to Tony.

      Yes, she was supposedly speaking Arabic, but I doubt it was authentic Arabic.  //Steve//

    • #2584282

      plus a few others like The Learning Channel (which is now TLC and is anything BUT “educational!”)

      Indeed! Several cable channels have veered away completely from their original purpose. Last time I looked, there was no longer any “M” on MTV. Bravo and A&E began life showing classical music, ballet, and art-house/international films.

    • #2584558

      For TVs… I use ChromeCast with Google TV. It allows combined search of many sources including most installed streaming apps including YouTube, YouTube TV (including free version), Amazon, Paramount+, Tubi, and MANY others. Youtube TV itself has something like 800 free “live” channels.

    • #2584604

      Roku is excellent for streaming live broadcast channels from around the United States including ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.

      We frequently tune into live broadcasts from New York, Los Angles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego Dallas, San Jose, etc.

      They also offer a wide range of other streaming services.

      Roku Streaming Players can be fed by Wi-Fi or Ethernet and hard wired to a smart TV.

    • #2584885

      My focus is getting high speed internet at a decent price. I got a good rate two years ago for a three year period. But somehow Spectrum still figured out a way to raise the rates by doing a blanket increase. Long story short Spectrum would not honor their original commitment. No negotiation. Guess what? You can lodge an “informal” complaint at the FCC. Spectrum had to respond to me, and then they had to respond to the FCC. Both increases got taken off my bill. So don’t forget the FCC as a play maker.

      We still can’t figure out the brouhaha over steaming. We have Hulu and Britbox and can share same with the kids. They share Disney. And we bit the bullet and paid the extra for them to have Netflix. So in the the end our bill is a lot less then it would be with cable AND we can watch from anywhere. I also get music through Deezer and Tidal. And still much less than cable ever was. And somewhere we get Amazon Prime through one of the other children. (Never watch it. Death in Paradise is now on BritBox.)

      That all being said, we watch later at night. I may do a 45 minute show, or on Vera nights it will be a bit longer. Then I head upstairs and read my Kindle. Book Bub has been great for that.

      And yes… I watched every episode of I Dream of Jeannie, episode by episode. Same for Star Trek. OMG color was amazing. So much better than the greenish and white TV we had before that.

      Gotta love technology. It is absolutely amazing.

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