home theater, cord cutting, video streaming, a/v tech, and more!

Miami Vice
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Postby Miami Vice » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:44 pm

Getting rid of cable is a common topic, and a lot of people have gear plugged into their TV (or their TV itself) that can do really cool things to access a variety of programming.

I've been cable tv-free for about 6 weeks now. Here is what I miss:

-Penguins games: I've caught a few on NBC, but in general the play hasn't left me missing much. Been listening on the radio in the evening while I screw around on the PC

-cable news: not that I've actually missed it in the last month per se, but if a big news event was breaking I know I would. something like the Boston Bombing or Sandusky arrest/Paterno ouster would have me glued to the tv.

What I've done instead:

-caught up on previously recorded programs: I have about 500 programs on my DVR, most I've never watched - episodes of Nova, miniseries from History/Science/Smithsonian, other random junk like that

-made the most of Netflix: they've added a lot of educational documentaries recently, which is in my interest wheelhouse

-watched web-hosted tv shows: my favorite are Red Letter Media's Best of the Worst and Half in the Bag. Both are humorous movie review programs. I also like the weekly show Home Theater Geeks on Twit and Superhero Show on IGN.

In my living room to help find and play content:
-smart TV with Plex app, Netflix, Youtube, and Pandora
-Home Theater PC running Windows Media Center and Plex Media Server
-Xbox One
-Xbox 360

Using and sharing a Plex server is an amazing way to aggregate and consume content. My friends with Samsung smart tv sets have access to my entire library of movies, television programs, and DVR recordings by accessing my Plex server.

Image

Freddy Rumsen
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Re: home theater, cord cutting, video streaming, a/v tech, and more!

Postby Freddy Rumsen » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:47 pm

We cut the cord over three years ago and the only thing I miss is ESPN/Sports channels. I have too much of a conscience to use the streaming sites, but I think in the near future we will be able to a la carte that stuff like I already do with MLB.tv

Amazon Fire has been one of my best investments as well.

shmenguin
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Postby shmenguin » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:41 pm

is that plex app available anywhere else besides certain TVs?

Miami Vice
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Postby Miami Vice » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:48 pm

Plex for Samsung was just developed by some guy, not the actual Plex team. He just released version 2.0 of it and its great. It very much mimics the look and feel of their htpc front end Plex Home Theater. It only works on models from the past few years that have webkit based browsers.

Vizio tv sets have an app too, but I'm not sure who developed that.

The Android version of the app has been merged into one branch along with Google TV, Android TV, and the Amazon Fire TV.

There is also a plugin for the Plex server that will basically turn your HDHR Prime into a Slingbox.

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Postby shmenguin » Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:04 pm

Source of the post There is also a plugin for the Plex server that will basically turn your HDHR Prime into a Slingbox.
link?


DigitalGypsy66
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Postby DigitalGypsy66 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:09 pm

I have Plex on my Sony Bluray player, but I use it via Chromecast.

LITT
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Postby LITT » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:18 pm

I'm going to be in the market for a 55+ (could probably go up to 70) in the next few months. Any recommendations on high performers at a reasonable price?

columbia
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Postby columbia » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:24 pm

has the Netflix interface improved such that I could create a queue for streaming through the web interface and then access it (said list) though other devices?

the errey i breathe
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Postby the errey i breathe » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:55 pm

I've been without cable for 2 years now, with my schedule (4-10hr days) I don't really miss having it since I can just Netflix when I want to watch shows. Lots of options on reddit for streaming and MLB.tv have made missing out on the Buccos/Pens/Steelers a non-issue.

Miami Vice
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Postby Miami Vice » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:14 am

I'm going to be in the market for a 55+ (could probably go up to 70) in the next few months. Any recommendations on high performers at a reasonable price?
Check back in about two months, unless you want to have it purchased by then. 2015 models just started showing up on store shelves over the last few weeks, and the higher end models usually arrive in the May-July time frame.

The sale prices right now won't be as good, if they are discounted at all (the often aren't the first few weeks in stores).
has the Netflix interface improved such that I could create a queue for streaming through the web interface and then access it (said list) though other devices?
I think that might have been a limitation on early streaming devices. For as long as I've had Netflix (2010) you could do this (at least with my 2010 bluray player and 2010 Google TV).

On most devices now you can even create separate user profiles. Even if there isn't anyone else in your house it could be a good way to create multiple lists (documentaries, tv shows, movies).

LITT
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Postby LITT » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:16 am

I'm going to be in the market for a 55+ (could probably go up to 70) in the next few months. Any recommendations on high performers at a reasonable price?
Check back in about two months, unless you want to have it purchased by then. 2015 models just started showing up on store shelves over the last few weeks, and the higher end models usually arrive in the May-July time frame.

The sale prices right now won't be as good, if they are discounted at all (the often aren't the first few weeks in stores).
no rush on the purchase. won't need until october/november so if prices go down in a few months, thats good for me

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Postby mikey » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:05 am

I cut the cord last month - as documented in the former IT thread...and I did it just to watch hockey basically. I don't really watch TV anyhow, so I upgraded my internet to the 105+ mbps package, upgraded my modem and have the hockey package. Now all the games are in HD (as opposed to the 12 SD channels I got on cable)...the only thing I don't do now is watch the occasional Seinfeld or Simpsons episode with an early dinner and I need to find a reliable NHL Network stream going forward...after that, I don't really watch much, so it was an easy switch...

Maybe I'll grab a netflix account for movies or something...but with the playoffs coming up, there won't be time for that anyhow probably...

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Postby Factorial » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:15 am

I cut the cord last month - as documented in the former IT thread...and I did it just to watch hockey basically. I don't really watch TV anyhow, so I upgraded my internet to the 105+ mbps package, upgraded my modem and have the hockey package. Now all the games are in HD (as opposed to the 12 SD channels I got on cable)...the only thing I don't do now is watch the occasional Seinfeld or Simpsons episode with an early dinner and I need to find a reliable NHL Network stream going forward...after that, I don't really watch much, so it was an easy switch...

Maybe I'll grab a netflix account for movies or something...but with the playoffs coming up, there won't be time for that anyhow probably...
What are paying for just internet vs internet and cable?

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Postby mikey » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:30 am

Well, it's a little different for me because I talk down my prices considerably. So, I had second-best cable tier, a sports package, HBO, Showtime, HD DVR and 25 mbps internet for $78/mo. But I saw what it should be per month due to a billing error one time and it was $223/per.

The internet (105 mbps, which is actually 125 based on speed test) is retail $83.99 per...I have it for $37 per.

Factorial
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Postby Factorial » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:40 am

Well, it's a little different for me because I talk down my prices considerably. So, I had second-best cable tier, a sports package, HBO, Showtime, HD DVR and 25 mbps internet for $78/mo. But I saw what it should be per month due to a billing error one time and it was $223/per.

The internet (105 mbps, which is actually 125 based on speed test) is retail $83.99 per...I have it for $37 per.
Wow, what will you charge to get on the phone with Comcast to get my rates that low?

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Postby mikey » Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:02 pm

Well, it's a little different for me because I talk down my prices considerably. So, I had second-best cable tier, a sports package, HBO, Showtime, HD DVR and 25 mbps internet for $78/mo. But I saw what it should be per month due to a billing error one time and it was $223/per.

The internet (105 mbps, which is actually 125 based on speed test) is retail $83.99 per...I have it for $37 per.
Wow, what will you charge to get on the phone with Comcast to get my rates that low?
:lol: You make me an offer...

They can be somewhat flexible if you play your hand correctly...I mean, it took a fair amount of negotiating to get this done, certainly. And they try to flip it on you randomly and get their money back...but once you get a bill with a low price on it, you have all the leverage...

tifosi77
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Postby tifosi77 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:32 pm

Any thoughts on TWC as an internet service provider? Recently found out that I have TWC as an option in my neighborhood, and we're one of the cities that has the 100, 200, and 300 Mbs plans available. I'm reluctant to switch because I don't know how service would be impacted by the pending merger with Comcast.

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Postby columbia » Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:42 pm

worst.customer.service.ever

columbia
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Postby columbia » Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:45 pm

Comcast's customer service is almost as bad, but their product actually works, so you don't really have to deal with them.

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Postby tifosi77 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:11 pm

Yeah, Mrs Tif had an apartment across from her office (long story, it was paid for by her company) for about 18 months and she had TWC for internet and cable. Don't recall any problems with the internet service, but the television stuff sucked out loud. The menu was poorly organized and confusing, and the website was almost worse.

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Postby blackjack68 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:55 am

Luddite question...

I'm finally getting into streaming. I have a Blu-Ray player with Netflix on it and have watched lots of Netflix. I have come across a website that will allow me to download other shows not yet available on Netflix.

How do I get those shows from my computer to my TV?

#oldguyproblems

Miami Vice
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Postby Miami Vice » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:26 pm

Luddite question...

I'm finally getting into streaming. I have a Blu-Ray player with Netflix on it and have watched lots of Netflix. I have come across a website that will allow me to download other shows not yet available on Netflix.

How do I get those shows from my computer to my TV?

#oldguyproblems
There are a lot of ways to play media saved on a PC to a television.

First off, you need to figure out what kind of files you have. Are they .MP4 files? .MKV?

Secondly you need a player device at your tv. The bluray player might work if it is considered a DLNA player. Do you have a "smart" tv? Those usually have DLNA players built in. How about a game console? Perhaps for a low cost player you'd get a Chromecast.

Third, you need "server" software on the computer your files are saved on. I think Plex's DLNA server is definitely the best. Some bluray players and smart tvs also have Plex apps, which makes browsing on the television and playing the files even easier.

So those are the components you need. Beyond that you need to make sure either a) your player can play whatever files youre sending it, or b) your server is set up to convert those files into something playable in real time.

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Postby tifosi77 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:22 pm

I love the Chromecast, but I've recently noticed some weird shenanigans with it. A couple times in recent days, I've been 'casting YouTube content, and then stopped the video on the tablet app.... but the video continued playing on TV. Exited the app on the tablet, and switched out of Chromecast input on the TV. Went back to Chromecast input, and the video had continued playing.

??

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Postby eddysnake » Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:16 pm

I've been impressed with the Android lollipop update. The advanced calling 1.0 is really nice with the video calling and hd voice. Anyone get the update?

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