Forum Thread

Help me pick TV - Hulu users input please!

Dr. J 25,044 3,353 November 5, 2015 at 03:43 PM
We currently have Dish and Xfinity (internet). I've had issues with reception (Dish) due to growing trees, so I looked into comcast for TV and I can basically get the same level of service for $30-$40 less per month, along with upgraded internet service (75 vs 25).

I've been mulling it for months; Comcast doesn't have the same offers online, by phone and in-stores; their website has been acting oddly sporadically -all this led to delays.

Anyway, I was just thinking if we need "TV" at all. DW watches Univision stuff on demand, and most primetime stuff off DVR (after the fact). I don't really watch that much TV; local news, maybe some History/Sci stuff but off the DVR.

Would something like Hulu suit us? I could upgrade our internet service (another $7 to go to 75 from 25 just for comparison's sake) AND buy a TV-like service and be MUCH cheaper than our current options. what about local TV? As this involves DW, the solution needs to be streamlined and reliable. [Checking Hulu they do have Univision VOD as well as the rest of the PT stuff]

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#2
All you need to get local TV is an antenna...

You can get a TiVo Bolt or Roamio OTA and record OTA tv with it. You can also use various streaming services with the tivo, but not as many as a roku. It's expired, but there was a recent deal on the roamio ota w/ lifetime subscription for $300. Hulu+ has ads you can't skip, but might work well for you, you need a set top box of some kind.

The bolt is nice because it supports cable card so you can switch between ota and cable and it supports the tivo mini so you can use it on multiple tv's.

There are always hidden fees, taxes, set top box rental, etc that add to your bill.
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#3
Just a warning that many of Comcast's offers are only temporary and that after a year they will try to jack your rates up significantly unless you call them and play hardball.

That being said, I have hulu and I like it but it's mainly for TV only. Their movie selection is pretty poor. Also I would make a list of all the shows you watch and do a one to one comparison to see if they have everything you need. Depending on what you watch an OTA antenna combined with a Tivo or other DVR mgiht be a better deal.
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#4
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
We currently have Dish and Xfinity (internet). I've had issues with reception (Dish) due to growing trees, so I looked into comcast for TV and I can basically get the same level of service for $30-$40 less per month, along with upgraded internet service (75 vs 25).

I've been mulling it for months; Comcast doesn't have the same offers online, by phone and in-stores; their website has been acting oddly sporadically -all this led to delays.

Anyway, I was just thinking if we need "TV" at all. DW watches Univision stuff on demand, and most primetime stuff off DVR (after the fact). I don't really watch that much TV; local news, maybe some History/Sci stuff but off the DVR.

Would something like Hulu suit us? I could upgrade our internet service (another $7 to go to 75 from 25 just for comparison's sake) AND buy a TV-like service and be MUCH cheaper than our current options. what about local TV? As this involves DW, the solution needs to be streamlined and reliable. [Checking Hulu they do have Univision VOD as well as the rest of the PT stuff]
Here's what I would recommend.

Antenna for national / local Over the Air (OTA) broacasts (think NBC, FOX, CBS, the WB, PBS, etc.)

Then a combination of over the top internet services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and/or Sling TV. (Sling TV offers live streaming of around 20 channels with add on packages for Univision - BIG caveat is they currently don't have a DVR function : some channels will let you go back 3 days in the catalog and start an old show.)

All of those will work fine on 25 Mbps speed.

I would get a Roku 3 (refurb) to use as your interface (the built in apps on TVs are bad and only get worse over time as they're abandoned by the TV manufacturer).

Total cost per month if you go "all in" on this would be
Hulu - $8
Netflix - $8
Amazon - $8.25 ($99 / 12 months) (bonus, you get "free" Prime Shipping!)
Sling TV - $20 base
Sling TV Univision Addon - $5


Total a month for entertainment = $49.50

Or drop Netflix and Amazon (as you might not care for their backlog) = $33 month
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#5
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
We currently have Dish and Xfinity (internet). I've had issues with reception (Dish) due to growing trees, so I looked into comcast for TV and I can basically get the same level of service for $30-$40 less per month, along with upgraded internet service (75 vs 25).

I've been mulling it for months; Comcast doesn't have the same offers online, by phone and in-stores; their website has been acting oddly sporadically -all this led to delays.

Anyway, I was just thinking if we need "TV" at all. DW watches Univision stuff on demand, and most primetime stuff off DVR (after the fact). I don't really watch that much TV; local news, maybe some History/Sci stuff but off the DVR.

Would something like Hulu suit us? I could upgrade our internet service (another $7 to go to 75 from 25 just for comparison's sake) AND buy a TV-like service and be MUCH cheaper than our current options. what about local TV? As this involves DW, the solution needs to be streamlined and reliable. [Checking Hulu they do have Univision VOD as well as the rest of the PT stuff]
How far are you from TV towers? You can put your address in here: http://antennaweb.org/, and it will tell you how far each local TV station is, as well as recommendations of what kind of antenna you'd need to watch that station. The antenna would get your local networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, Univision, etc), but would be live TV only. But, after the cost of the antenna (~$25-$50 if you're close to a city), it's all free to watch.

Hulu is good for people who watch current TV; they have the $8 / month option with ads, or $12 / month without ads. They carry a lot of stuff - most everything primetime from NBC, ABC, Fox, and then limited stuff from other networks - but they do not carry CBS. You can search online to see if they carry specific shows you want to watch, but it sounds like they'd carry a lot of what you want.

For CBS, you can watch using the Plex app. There's a channel for Plex which basically pulls all of the video from CBS's website and puts it in a nice interface for browsing and watching on the big screen. No commercials there, either.

All that said, it can be a pain to switch inputs between OTA and the Roku/AppleTV/Chromecast, and then switch streaming services between Hulu, Netflix, Plex, etc. I mainly use Hulu and Plex so it's not too big of a deal to figure out which one to use, but if you've got those plus Netflix, Amazon, and others it could be more of a pain.

I'd get a Roku3 or Roku4, rather than use your TV's smart apps, due to better support. If you've got iStuff, AppleTV may be a better choice.
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#6
Quote from mmathis View Post :
How far are you from TV towers? You can put your address in here: http://antennaweb.org/, and it will tell you how far each local TV station is, as well as recommendations of what kind of antenna you'd need to watch that station. The antenna would get your local networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, Univision, etc), but would be live TV only. But, after the cost of the antenna (~$25-$50 if you're close to a city), it's all free to watch.

Hulu is good for people who watch current TV; they have the $8 / month option with ads, or $12 / month without ads. They carry a lot of stuff - most everything primetime from NBC, ABC, Fox, and then limited stuff from other networks - but they do not carry CBS. You can search online to see if they carry specific shows you want to watch, but it sounds like they'd carry a lot of what you want.

For CBS, you can watch using the Plex app. There's a channel for Plex which basically pulls all of the video from CBS's website and puts it in a nice interface for browsing and watching on the big screen. No commercials there, either.

All that said, it can be a pain to switch inputs between OTA and the Roku/AppleTV/Chromecast, and then switch streaming services between Hulu, Netflix, Plex, etc. I mainly use Hulu and Plex so it's not too big of a deal to figure out which one to use, but if you've got those plus Netflix, Amazon, and others it could be more of a pain.

I'd get a Roku3 or Roku4, rather than use your TV's smart apps, due to better support. If you've got iStuff, AppleTV may be a better choice.
I agree on the Roku or other external box vs TV's apps. I have never seen a TV who's apps are fast, get updated, etc. Wifi reception tends to be an expensive add on or doesn't work very well. The Roku's on the other hand support 4k, get updated, and are easily replaced by the next thing when it comes out if you want. If not they just sit and run.
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#7
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I agree on the Roku or other external box vs TV's apps. I have never seen a TV who's apps are fast, get updated, etc. Wifi reception tends to be an expensive add on or doesn't work very well. The Roku's on the other hand support 4k, get updated, and are easily replaced by the next thing when it comes out if you want. If not they just sit and run.
My new LG set is probably the exception to that rule. Has every service I need, amazon, hulu, youtube, netflix, etc, and is directly connected via ethernet so it's pretty darn quick. Only downside is that the Plex client is third party so it doesn't support add-ons yet and the LG store is separate from the google play store even though its an android OS.

Quote from mmathis View Post :
For CBS, you can watch using the Plex app. There's a channel for Plex which basically pulls all of the video from CBS's website and puts it in a nice interface for browsing and watching on the big screen. No commercials there, either.
What is it called?
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#8
Quote from brbubba View Post :
What is it called?
The CBS Channel Smilie

IIRC, I had to search for "CBS" specifically, as it wouldn't show up in the regular list of channels to install.
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#9
The only catch to this is I'd need a roku-like device for every TV, right?
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Quote from Dr. J View Post :
The only catch to this is I'd need a roku-like device for every TV, right?
Certainly do... Also pretty sure that Hulu only allows one stream at a time vs. Netflix which offers varying numbers of streams based on your plan.

On the bright side you could get all Nexus Players for every TV @ $50/device, assuming you pay retail. Only negative is that Amazon is withholding their streaming service from Android TV right now.

Tivo only makes sense if you can get the lifetime subscription bundles and then you can get mini's for each room, which seem to go on sale for ~$100. Without that lifetime sub bundle you are looking at $150/yr. This certainly would satisfy a DVR itch if you have a need for it.
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