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TV streaming option

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Blackhawk
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TV streaming option

Post by Blackhawk »

We're looking to get a new TV for Christmas, with the whole family behind the idea of getting a large family gift instead of a bunch of individual gifts. This isn't about that, though.

It's about our old TV. Michelle would like to put it in the bedroom. We got it in 2010. It's a plain old 1080, no HDR, no 4k, no USB ports. It does have HDMI ports. It does not have any integrated streaming options.

I want to get some form of Fire Stick, Roku, Chromecast. I need something that will plug into the TV (do they all use HDMI?) and will work wirelessly (we have a good connection in the bedroom.) I'm hoping to take advantage of the Black Friday deals.

Which device do I want?
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

Blackhawk wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:55 pm Which device do I want?
I'd suggest following The Wirecutter's recommendation for best media streaming device, namely the Roku Streaming Stick+. It's currently available from Amazon for $29.
NYTimes.com wrote:Image

Roku Streaming Stick+
A future-proof and affordable media streaming device


Improved Wi-Fi, support for 4K HDR, and Roku’s excellent interface and search features make this an easy choice as the best all-around streamer.
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by gilraen »

I have Rokus on every one of our TVs. Find it to be the most convenient and almost universally supported. It also has a much better menu than the Firestick (Amazon is usually too busy pushing their promoted content or Alexa on every home screen of theirs, I can barely stand their Prime Video app, I'd never buy a streaming device from them).

Chromecast is meant to serve as a middleman for you to stream from somewhere else (like from your computer or phone) - it doesn't come with its own apps. So it serves a different purpose.
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by Rumpy »

Yep, another vote for the Roku. I actually use this more than my Chromecast now, as the Android Netflix app has inexplicably stopped working without resetting the app before I can stream anything.

As for the Chromecast, they're actually moving away from that method to more of an Android TV style thing with its own remote now with the latest model, which will then compete more directly against the Roku and Amazon sticks.

https://www.engadget.com/chromecast-wit ... 24220.html
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Re: TV streaming option

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Looks like the Roku is winning! Amazon is suggesting poster fraud, though, so we'll need a recount.
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by stessier »

Another vote for Roku. Just be aware HBO Max doesn't currently work without a work around... Although that will almost certainly change by Christmas.
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by RunningMn9 »

My personal preference is AppleTV, but I also have a Roku TV for the kids, and a Roku stick for our bedroom TV. I had a firestick as well, and that was definitely a distant third.
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by hitbyambulance »

i prefer the cheap Android Chinese SOCs-with-an-HDMI-plug that have all sorts of ... interesting ... apps preloaded
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by Blackhawk »

I have a related question. Our new TV is a 2020 Samsung model. It's got various built-in apps from what I understand. Is there any reason not to plan on using the built-in apps? Would I be better off trying to get a second Roku prior to Christmas?
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Re: TV streaming option

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Blackhawk wrote:I have a related question. Our new TV is a 2020 Samsung model. It's got various built-in apps from what I understand. Is there any reason not to plan on using the built-in apps? Would I be better off trying to get a second Roku prior to Christmas?
I've been using the numerous built-in apps on my Sony TV with no issues. It's uses Google for the operating system so you can get more apps from the Google Play store such as HBO Max which works fine on the TV as well. I'll assume that Netflix, Amazon, etc that may be on your TV will work too so save your cash for other things.

On another note I hooked up my TV directly to my router with an ethernet cable. I figured that 4K streaming takes a lot of bandwidth.

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Re: TV streaming option

Post by gameoverman »

Blackhawk wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:46 pm I have a related question. Our new TV is a 2020 Samsung model. It's got various built-in apps from what I understand. Is there any reason not to plan on using the built-in apps? Would I be better off trying to get a second Roku prior to Christmas?
I have relatives with smart entertainment devices. The thing that has caused some anger is that it happens that smart apps, such as the Youtube app, may stop functioning if/when the company controlling that service changes the way it works. When that happens then the smart app is non functional until the device manufacturer, Samsung in your case, updates the firmware on the device. Needless to say, manufacturers don't always update the firmware, especially on devices that are a bit older. Your tv is a 2020 model though, so I think you'll be set for three or four years at least. And even then it's possible that the app that no longer functions won't even be one that you are still using.
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by $iljanus »

Samsung seems to run their own software for app distribution. But they have all the usual streaming apps and from a quick look at some internet articles it seems to be just fine.

So I wouldn't get a second device unless you run into a bunch of Samsung related issues.

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Re: TV streaming option

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Yeah, the updates being months behind (or having the apps just left non-functioning) [are a bit of a concern, and it's what prompted me to ask.
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

Blackhawk wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:46 pm I have a related question. Our new TV is a 2020 Samsung model. It's got various built-in apps from what I understand. Is there any reason not to plan on using the built-in apps? Would I be better off trying to get a second Roku prior to Christmas?
Yes, almost certainly.

The main problem with most Smart TVs is just how sluggish they can be. Smart TV apps are typically significantly slower, and even navigating around the native streaming interface can feel plodding and ponderous. Using the Netflix, Prime Video, or YouTube apps on a Smart TV is often a real slog too, especially in comparison to using a proper streaming device. That’s because most Smart TVs typically do not pack an equivalent level of hardware to the chips that power streaming set-top boxes and HDMI dongles.

Here's a Mashable write-up that further clarifies why you're almost always better off using a dedicated streaming device:
Smart TV apps are convenient, but you should really stream with a device
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by hitbyambulance »

Sony is the worst - my experience with their consoles and Blu-Ray players is they are ruthless with terminating access to streaming services.
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by JCC »

Samsung TVs run Tizen which is reasonably well reviewed. Back when I had a Sammy TV I had a Roku stick plugged into it so I didn't use it much. I tend to agree with the sentiment that a streaming device is the "better" choice most of the time. On the other hand, there is no harm in trying the built in apps to see if you like them before buying another Roku, Firestick, etc.

I will say when I bought a LG TV last year, I had read rave reviews of their (motion capable) remote and WebOS but it definitely hasn't clicked with me. In fact it drives me crazy how complicated it is just to switch inputs on the damned thing. So I use a Roku.
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by Blackhawk »

I'm strongly considering spending the last of the Christmas budget on a second Roku Streaming Stick +. One other factor - we're already getting one for the bedroom, and I would't have to train the entire family on multiple remotes and interfaces.
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Re: TV streaming option

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Blackhawk wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:50 pm would't have to train the entire family on multiple remotes and interfaces.
...is training really necessary to navigate streaming apps? unless they're unfamiliar with modern day touch UIs.
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Re: TV streaming option

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hitbyambulance wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:22 am
Blackhawk wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:50 pm would't have to train the entire family on multiple remotes and interfaces.
...is training really necessary to navigate streaming apps? unless they're unfamiliar with modern day touch UIs.
*Shrug* I've never used a streaming app... app. We normally use a PC hooked up with the TV as a monitor and stream from browsers/Windows apps with a mouse.
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Re: TV streaming option

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Blackhawk wrote:
hitbyambulance wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:22 am
Blackhawk wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:50 pm would't have to train the entire family on multiple remotes and interfaces.
...is training really necessary to navigate streaming apps? unless they're unfamiliar with modern day touch UIs.
*Shrug* I've never used a streaming app... app. We normally use a PC hooked up with the TV as a monitor and stream from browsers/Windows apps with a mouse.
So for my setup when I turn my TV on with the remote that came with it the apps that I have on the TV come up on the opening home screen. I cursor over to my app of choice, press a button to select and off I go to watch more British Baking episodes or whatever you want.
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Re: TV streaming option

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How do you search for a particular show without a keyboard? One letter at a time? At least twice a week someone will ask me, "Does Golden Girls: The High School Years stream anywhere?" I type it into Just Watch via keyboard, click the link, add to list, and done.
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Re: TV streaming option

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Blackhawk wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:06 am How do you search for a particular show without a keyboard? One letter at a time? At least twice a week someone will ask me, "Does Golden Girls: The High School Years stream anywhere?" I type it into Just Watch via keyboard, click the link, add to list, and done.
Yeah I’m afraid so. Good old tedious cursor highlighting with the remote.I do have the option of enabling Google assistant and yelling at my remote but I don’t enable any verbal interface software in the house. Not sure if Samsung has the same option if you were interested in such a thing. Then again a house full of people yelling at the remote might not be something you want to encourage...
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Re: TV streaming option

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Blackhawk wrote: Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:06 am How do you search for a particular show without a keyboard? One letter at a time? At least twice a week someone will ask me, "Does Golden Girls: The High School Years stream anywhere?" I type it into Just Watch via keyboard, click the link, add to list, and done.
This is where Alexa or other voice assistants comes in quite handy...
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by Ralph-Wiggum »

I have been perfectly satisfied with the built-in apps for my TCL Roku TV. I haven't really noticed any performance difference between the built-in apps and when I had a dedicated Roku player and it certainly is convenient to have one remote to control everything. That said, I don't know how the Roku TV compares to built-in apps for other TVs.
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Re: TV streaming option

Post by hentzau »

I have a 2 year old Samsung smart TV and the apps are great on it. The only one that doesn’t work is Twitch, and I use my Xbox for that.

Oh, and did yours come with a voice remote? Samsung has a search service that is voice capable.
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Re: TV streaming option

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Anonymous Bosch wrote: Wed Dec 16, 2020 9:14 pm
The main problem with most Smart TVs is just how sluggish they can be. Smart TV apps are typically significantly slower, and even navigating around the native streaming interface can feel plodding and ponderous.
That would be some of the difference between a $1000 TV and $2000 TV when the picture otherwise seems comparable. I got the latter after the salesman piled on all sorts of extras and it makes a huge difference, even with connected devices such as the Fire TV box. It comes with a much faster CPU and RAM than the cheaper alternatives.

I never used Roku, so I can't really vote for that. Since Comcast made it cost-effective to go back to a cable box, the new cable box also has a ton of apps included, including Amazon Prime Video. I haven't needed the Fire box since, but I suspect I'll be using it again come summer when I anticipate the Comcast deal turns into a pumpkin.
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Re: TV streaming option

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I have had a 55" TCL Roku TV for 2 years and it is not sluggish at all after all that time. Still going strong, turns on quickly and no delay between pressing remote and app reaction. I had a Sharp Roku TV upstairs and it was very sluggish, it could take 3 to 4 seconds between button push and the TV or App to do something, very irritating. I replaced it this week with a another TCL Roku TV. If there is any complaint about the TCL TV is the voice sound can be a bit low but i have a sound bar to help. Upstairs one is a more confined space and the voice is easier to hear. The color may not be as sharp as a sumsung or sony but I barely can tell the difference except sometime a brown or dark tanned face color may look a little orange but that is probably fixable with adjustments.
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Re: TV streaming option

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Lassr wrote: Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:59 am The color may not be as sharp as a sumsung or sony but I barely can tell the difference except sometime a brown or dark tanned face color may look a little orange but that is probably fixable with adjustments.
all TVs should be color calibrated since most are not, from the factory
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