Streaming WITH a DVR but NO BOX-am I dreaming an impossible dream?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by head_unit, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Had a Charter Spectrum tech over, who said if I got a new Samsung TV it had a Spectrum TV app, and I could run that with NO CABLE BOX. Visions of a boxless future made me feel angels singing "Alleluia" about my ears...until I read an article from last year that to have DVR, you needed a box after all.

    We don't really watch that much TV, my wife watches local news channel, The Cooking Channel, and then mostly Netflix. I mostly watch DVR'd stuff, from old Perry Mason reruns to Hotel Impossible. I just really want to get rid of boxes and remotes...
     
  2. OldSoul

    OldSoul Shattered

    Location:
    Vallejo, CA
    I would've said YouTube TV, but you don't seem to watch enough TV to justify it.
     
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  3. dougotte

    dougotte Vague Waste of Space-Time

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    A DVR is a hard drive that records the content. If you don't have a box, where will the hard drive reside? Some people create their own DVRs on a PC, but then you'd still have a box.

    My wife and I don't record as much as we used to do. Instead, we watch more On Demand or via the channels' apps. But, not every show is available that way, or sometimes a limited number of episodes are available.
     
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  4. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Ah, true, I was thinking of the cloud DVR some services offer.
     
  5. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    I've made it a point to NEVER use a cable set-top box. And I refuse to pay to rent one. I'll pay for the multi-card for my TiVo, but that's all I need.

    Okay, this is probably not what you are getting at, as I DO pay for my "basic-expanded" cable service. I just don't need the technology to be tempted to order special programming, or use "on-demand" services. What I pay for, are the channels themselves. VCR...cable-in from the back. DVR...cable-in from the back. I once lived in Milwaukee, and two tiers of cable came from two outlets in the wall. One A/B switch later, bob's yer uncle.

    I've always used my VCR or DVR as my "set-top-box". And then I've gone to bed, knowing there's no ca-bull company inserting itself between me and the time-shifting method I choose to watch my television shows. And sleep pretty well.
     
  6. MilMascaras

    MilMascaras Musicologist

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I setup my Dad for his Spectrum App, to get rid of renting multiple cable boxes. He only rents 1 HD cable box on his Main TV (no DVR on that RokuTV), and his bedroom and guest room TVs have 50" RokuTVs running the Spectrum App, so he doesn't incur $8 rental fees for boxes on each of those other TVs. I setup a few other Roku TV channel apps, Univision Sports, ESPN, Discovery, History, EPIX, etc. so that he can watch shows on demand via the Roku Apps or on demand in the Spectrum guide to avoid DVR Fees. It does about 98% of what he expects... (I also gift my family shares of my Netflix and Hulu subscriptions). I always sign him up for the cheapest triple-play promo packages, and when his promo expires, I switch it to his wifes name as a new user, and vice versa every other year... He's old school and wants his cabletv, so I just make sure to capitalize every promo while avoiding many ridiculous TWCSpectrum added fees

    BUT Cheapest option to get those exact channels you mentioned above: PhiloTV $20 month (no local channels).
    I use a Winegard indoor antenna for local over the air, which in WLA (I see you are my neighbor) and rabbit ears are pretty good and includes: CBS, NBC, PBS KTLA (ABC is flaky in WLA) NHK, ION, KMEX UniVision Unimax, KLCS, COZI and ANTENNA (these have the old 50s 60s and 70s TV shows); And Xumo and PlutoTV apps on Roku do lots of free antenna type tv also...

    PhiloTV is $20 month for 58 non premium channels: I took a free promo to test, I gave them a virtual credit card that expired quickly, I signed up via email address (didn't want to give them my cell #), and I cancelled at end of promo, and they never disconnected me?! But anyways, on Philo, they have your Cooking channel and Hotel Impossible on HGTV, and much more, thought I mostly watch Discovery and Motor Trend.

    PhiloTV on my Roku TVs and boxes (Ive been a cord cutter for about 8 years).
    PhiloTV has a weird cloud DVR. Unlimited but with a 30 day expiration. Very often the shows you "tape" are actually served to you "on-demand", so you cannot fast forward the repetitive commercials. BUT it has a very cool little feature: say the "Live" show starts at 9:00PM, and you tune in at 9:16PM... well, it has a setting that allows you to see the show from the 9:00 beginning if you wish... but downside: you cannot fast forward the repetitive commercials....

    My setup is much more complex than most users are accustomed too, as I do Rokus with many apps, a VPN and Pi-hole, a Plex server with many plugins, an AppleTV with Kodi, a good rabbit ears antenna, a music and movie NAS (local and remote server), m3u playlists, etc etc, and Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu. (Just on principle and middle aged maturity I avoid those pirate iptv services), and use my tech savvy (and every free promo) to get lots of stuff for free or as cheaply as practical (my total outlay for content is ~$15/mo?)...

    But for most civilians using SmartTVs, who want to ditch the cable tv companies, I would recommend taking a good hard look at YouTube TV ($50.mo), as they seem to be trying really hard to do it correctly, and Ive tried and tested literally every service and angle over the past decade...
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  7. dougotte

    dougotte Vague Waste of Space-Time

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Sorry, I didn't know about that option. That might work.
     
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  8. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    AT&T TV NOW (formally DIRECTV NOW) has cloud DVR. I can't recall which smart TVs have this app built in. I use it via Apple TV.
     
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  9. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    How do you like it? And how much does it cost? And do they keep raising the price? I currently have DIRECTV and while I liked it when it was DIRECTV, under AT&T it is now way expensive and getting help is much poorer. As for the app, you're making me wonder if I could download apps for some of these to my Vizio...
     
  10. yamfox

    yamfox Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    In our house we have the Hulu with Live TV service, and are definitely much happier with it than we were with Spectrum, which despite having swapped out boxes multiple times often had issues with faulty recordings and glitches in the video.
    The Hulu service has DVR but it works in a pretty unique way that may take getting used to but I find quite convenient - it rolls all of your recorded content into the main Hulu interface, so what you record off-air appears seamlessly alongside the offerings from the Hulu service and cable video-on-demand content that comes with the live TV service, making it sort of 3 apps in one that way. If a recorded episode is also available on-demand, it’s smart enough not to show both copies and just present the VOD version (usually with fewer commercials), but if it expires and the recorded copy is still in your DVR it’ll revert back to that. And obviously since the DVR is completely in the cloud it can be accessed anywhere - however many TVs you have, computers, phones, tablets.
    The live TV guide also used to be similarly unconventional, but within the last couple weeks it was completely redesigned to more resemble a typical box, albeit quite a bit smoother and more elegant than ones I’ve used.
    Don’t need a new TV either - we use Roku Sticks as they tend to be better powered and more intuitive than most smart TVs built in interface. Plugs in the back out of sight and comes with an RF remote that you don’t need to point anywhere specific to use, and controls volume and power on the TV as well.
    I tried other internet TV services and was most happy with this one, DirecTV Now has the most possible channels but the highest tier packages are quite a bit more expensive and don’t come with that library of Hulu content, and YouTube TV was missing some very essential channels for some members of the household
     
  11. Comcast Cfinity offers an app with a cloud DVR as do streaming services like YouTube. I’ve used both, they’re ok although they pause the picture when you fast forward so it can be tough to zip past commercials accurately.
     

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