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   PastimesHome Theater Systems - Designs, Products, Tips and Info


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To: Frank Walker who wrote (226)9/18/2019 3:50:49 PM
From: greg s
   of 291
 
I’m surprised that satellite TV is still competitive with Internet based TV (IPTV)

You are missing an important fact. People who live in the boondocks have to use satellite broadband (like HughesNet) for their IPTV.

With satellite broadband comes the Fair Access Policy (FAP) where your speed gets downgraded to near dial-up speed after you hit their limit. This happens very fast when streaming television.

Satellite TV (like DirecTV) has no such limits.

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From: J.F. Sebastian9/30/2019 10:53:59 AM
   of 291
 
Well, I've just made the leap back to using Xfinity/Comcast for my TV service. Or at least I'd like to.

I got a great 2-year deal on my TV package that includes Showtime for the full 2 years.

With the continual increases in streaming TV package costs, it was the best choice for me. PS Vue had gone up to $65+ /mo.with taxes, and then I still had to pay for internet as well, another $65/mo. On top of that, I had to pay $50/year for a DNS changer service at unlocator.com so I could watch my local baseball team without blackout restrictions through MLB.TV.

All of that makes the Xfinity deal a good one.

I'll get far better reliability, no blackout issues for local baseball, Showtime for 2 years (I watch several series on it already), a better DVR than the cloud DVR PS Vue offers, a year to watch recorded shows instead of 30 days, etc., etc.

However! Since Xfinity has you install everything yourself these days, I'm up to the whims of they equipment working like it should and hoping my account has been setup properly. Something is wrong and I could neither connect the X1 DVR to their service or setup my TiVo with the CableCard I need for service on it. Both failed the manual installation by me.

Screens on both devices say something is wrong with my account and I need to call them.

Ugh.

Normally this wouldn't have been too big of a deal, but Xfinity no longer offers 24/7 tech support. Their hours now approximate their local retail stores –– about 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM, whatever your local time is. Why not, everything is self-install now, right?

Aggravating to say the least. I'm sure they save a metric ton of gold doing this, but it leaves a sour taste with me and it reminds me of why I left Xfinity in the first place.

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To: J.F. Sebastian who wrote (229)9/30/2019 12:28:34 PM
From: John Koligman
1 Recommendation   of 291
 
One good thing about Xfinity if you want to save even more, especially if you don't use a lot of data is their cell phone plan. They don't charge per line, and include unlimited talk/text for nothing. Data is 12 bucks a month per gig. They used to have a $40 unlimited data plan but I think that has changed. My wife and I live in a densely populated area with Xfinity hotspots all over the place, (the phones automatically connect to them via wifi) so we don't use data and our monthly cell bill for TWO iPhones is $7.26... Hard to believe but true.

John

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From: Don Green10/12/2019 8:14:31 PM
1 Recommendation   of 291
 
I am researching various Cord Cutting Options to replace my sources Comcast basic cable package and My Tivo DVR.

I have been a TIVO user for more than 10 years and still recommend it. What I am most frustrated with is paying for 75-150 channels but honestly only watching 10 at most on a monthly basis. So I am trying to determine how to best find the 10 channels I generally watch and maintain the capability of recording them and when desired to save a episode or video to my PC which I can generally with TIVO.

So far I have narrowed down DVRs to HDHomeRun and Plex TV. Since I am already a PLEX subscriber/ user they are in the lead. I plan on buying an HD antenna soon to experiment with.

If any has any ideas or suggestions I would love to see your stream or OTA thoughts.

flixed.io

techhive.com

cordcutters.com

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To: Don Green who wrote (231)10/12/2019 11:44:17 PM
From: J.F. Sebastian
   of 291
 
I can provide a bit of advice here.

For HD reception, the antenna you choose is key. Can it be mounted on your rooftop? Can it be outside at all, or does it need to be an indoor model? If inside, do you have an attic you could put it in?

I have a 1 By One flat leaf antenna inside my home, but reception is hit-and-miss. Bad weather, which around here is mostly light rain, can affect the signal. Sometimes, even in good weather and for no reason I've been able to determine, the angle of the antenna has to be moved slightly to get a clear picture without pixelation. Overall it's been a little frustrating.

However, if I was able to put a larger aluminum antenna in my attic (or certainly outside), from everything I've read I'd get much better and more reliable performance.

When OTA works, it's wonderful since the signal is not compressed like on cable or satellite. You get a crisp, clear picture that you just have to see.

Ironically, I just went back to Comcast with a 2-year deal to use with my TiVo. Hopefully they won't raise the taxes to the point that streaming would be less expensive, but streaming was getting overpriced and it was time to say goodbye.

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From: J.F. Sebastian10/14/2019 4:22:20 PM
   of 291
 
POLL: Which streaming device do you use most often for streaming services to your TV, like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, etc.?

Votes Cast : 11
Which device do you use *most* for streaming services?
Amazon Fire TV
 
1
Apple TV
 
3
Google Chromecast
 
0
NVIDIA Shield
 
0
Roku
 
4
TiVo DVR
 
0
A non-TiVo DVR, like Xfinity X1
 
0
My Blu-ray player
 
0
My TV's built-in streaming
 
3
Other
 
0
 
This poll is now closed (poll closed on 31 Oct 2019).

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From: Frank Walker10/15/2019 5:03:15 PM
   of 291
 
I want to buy a 4K-capable “HDMI splitter” gadget so the output from my DVR or PVR can feed TVs in my 2 main rooms. 2 outputs would be OK but more outputs, like 4, could be useful eventually for a kitchen TV and another room TV.

The splitters with 2 outputs are usually self-powered while the splitters with 3 or more outputs have a small wall-wart power supply.

These splitters seem to be available in 30 Hz or 60Hz 4K varieties.Should I get the 60Hz version?

Initially I will just be using 2K (aka 1080P) video but will likely be upgrading the DVR device to 4K in a few months. I’m expecting the splitters should work with 2K without problems. For 4K I might need to upgrade some of my HDMI cables.

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To: Frank Walker who wrote (234)10/15/2019 5:06:24 PM
From: Don Green
2 Recommendations   of 291
 
Check this out if you haven't already

techguided.com

newegg.com

bestreviews.com

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To: Don Green who wrote (235)10/16/2019 1:54:29 PM
From: Frank Walker
   of 291
 
Thanks. Note that a splitter is for connecting multiple TVs to one source, while a switch is for connecting multiple sources to one TV.

Several specifications to consider in a splitter, and at many suppliers, even Monoprice, the full specifications are not included for all devices. For best future capability I should probably look for 4K capability at 60Hz and 4:4:4 colour. However I’m not sure current consumer devices such as a DVR actually output 4K 60hz 4:4:4 so maybe a lower end splitter would be OK. As most of the splitters are affordable between $20 and $100 I might as well get the best one I can find. HDMI often has connection problems so I will check the reviews for reliability issues.

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To: Frank Walker who wrote (236)10/16/2019 4:03:53 PM
From: J.F. Sebastian
   of 291
 
A 4K splitter sounds like a good idea for making it future proof.

However, I'm not aware of any DVR that outputs in 4K because nothing is broadcast in that yet. You can get 4K on some streaming services like Netflix, but I believe you have to use a streaming box for that such as a Roku or your 4K TV.

Please correct me if I'm wrong about that.

I believe 4K broadcast TV is coming, but I'm only aware of it being available over-the-air (OTA). The bandwidth required for 4K is substantial, so it'll be years before it's available on cable or satellite.

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