Talk to me about Amazon FireTV and similar devices


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    So I'm helping my father out of the CRT-era and into the 21st century. New TV, a separate soundbar ("But separate speakers are a luxury!" "Fuck you, you're retired."), the works.

    He's a passive background type TV consumer. Doesn't much care what's on. Therefore there is absolutely fuckall reason he should be paying Comcast a $180 (including standard hidden fees) for shitty internet and shitty basic TV.

    Problem: The cheapest plan Comcast is even willing to discuss is $181 (not including standard hidden fees) and includes a vastly upgraded internets, 230 fucking channels, and a fucking phone line.

    Well, actually, they'll also discuss Internet-only plans that cost much less money. $60 for a much faster internet connection, plus $6/mo for Amazon prime, plus $9/mo for Netflix, plus $8 for Hulu, plus fucking Youtube should be way more than enough.

    Anyway, he can't do smartphones to save his life. So Chromecast is out of the running. The Apple thingabob is still vaporware and probably costs a zillion bucks anyway. Fire TV looks okay to my uninformed eyes (I don't TV at all).... What else is out there? What's good? What's not?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Incidentally: Fuck Comcast with a rusty god damned spoon. Seriously. They suck so fucking bad that they invented their own derogatory adjective ("Comcastic") by accident, which caught on so fucking hard they all but renamed the entire fucking company to Xfinity (except that they failed to actually change the name of the company and can't even be consistent with the switch in their own marketing materials), nevermind that Xfinity is the sort of thing that would have been a cool thing to name your company TEN YEARS BEFORE THEY DID IT.



  • Honest question, does he watch HistoryHitler/Big-foot/Murica channel(s)? If not, Netflix is probably a good enough replacement. If he does, Amazon prime stepped up their game recently. Not that I watch that stuff... Because raisins.

    And on some coasts Comcast is known as Ass-cast. Because fuck you, we aren't going to fix this shit!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    He does, but mostly because they're usually the least awful thing on.

    That is, he's a browser. When he sits down, he watches whatever is least shit at the time. Which is usually truly awful. On demand streaming will be a big change from that.



  • I can't with a serious face say, "Just restrict him to big kid channels" so he won't see the non-Hitler-bigfoot-atlantis-aliens-moarbigfootchannell but...I think this knows how it will end.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Shrug. Not my problem if he uses his newfound abilities to actually control what is in the TV to rot his brain.



  • I have a Roku 2. It's good. I like it. Easy to use.

    You might have to set it up for him because you have to do a lot of web-browsing to authenticate it with Amazon and Netflix and etc.



  • @Weng said:

    Fire TV looks okay to my uninformed eyes (I don't TV at all).... What else is out there? What's good? What's not?

    I have an original Roku and a Fire TV. The Fire TV is much more capable than the Roku, but in this case that's probably it's biggest weakness - it presents lots of options, while the Roku has a much simpler UI. If your dad doesn't us a smartphone, then the Fire TV will probably be way too complicated.

    I find that going all-online-streaming generally increased the quality of what I watch - I have to put effort into the selection rather than just turning on $FAVORITE_CHANNEL and leaving it - so I ended up watching more documentaries and whatnot than I did before.


    Filed under Sorry I re-railed your thread, but it is in general help</del?:hanzo:


  • mod

    I also have a Roku, it's got a nice simple interface. When I set up my mom's Amazon account on hers, despite the process being ridiculously simple, she was totally confused, so if your dad's one of those "computers are so hard, I could never learn that" kind of people like she is, definitely hook up all the accounts for him.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Let's put it this way: If I don't set it up for him, everything will be connected together via CATV coax. Because that's the only way he's ever dealt with before, and it's still an option.



  • Pretty sure Rokus only have HDMI.

    But I get your meaning.



  • I'll second the FireTV one. Got a FireTV stick for my mom to connect to their NotQuiteSmartTV from Sony (seriously, this thing has an USB port and, in theory, could play videos from it - but only if the USB stick is FAT32 formatted and the video is MPEG1 (yes, 1(one)).

    Works just fine.



  • Just fyi, since OP is interested and his dad might have an older tv, my Roku has Hdmi and A/V out. It's a Roku XD, and does 1080p through the hdmi port.



  • Does he have a decent PC? If so, get a Roku for the TV. Install Plex on the TV and computer. Install History channel channel, Smithsonian, etc. On the Roku.



  • @Weng said:

    Anyway, he can't do smartphones to save his life. So Chromecast is out of the running. The Apple thingabob is still vaporware and probably costs a zillion bucks anyway. Fire TV looks okay to my uninformed eyes (I don't TV at all).... What else is out there? What's good? What's not?

    I have a FireTV. I like it. Cut the cord a looooooooong time ago. Works well on a good connection. The only downside to it, is unlike Netflix, pretty much most of their content is pay-per-episode. I don't watch that many shows, so I consider paying just for the shows I want a mini-cable subscription. But if you wanted to watch a lot of shows, that can get pricey fast. Yes, they do have free shows to watch (usually older shows) if you have a Prime subscription. And one can spend a long time watching those if one isn't picky about what one watches.


  • mod

    @Vaire said:

    most of their content is pay-per-episode

    You can get Amazon Instant Video on the Roku, that's what I use. Can you not get Netflix, Hulu, etc on the FireTV? If so, that means the Roku is a lot more versatile.

    I only buy shows on Amazon if I can't find them on Hulu, Netflix, or Crunchyroll. Then I usually buy seasons at a time.



  • @Yamikuronue said:

    You can get Amazon Instant Video on the Roku, that's what I use. Can you not get Netflix, Hulu, etc on the FireTV? If so, that means the Roku is a lot more versatile.

    You can get Hulu, I am not sure about Netflix, but I think you can. I am all-in on the Amazon ecosystem, though, so that is all irrelevant to me, though. :shrug: YMMV


  • mod

    Ah, looks like you can get Netflix on that.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Pretty sure Rokus only have HDMI.

    Roku 1 doesn't... And I found out about that the hard way... as in a week before public release of an app, the Roku people were like:

    Roku: The app doesn't work on SD!!!!!!11111!!!OMG!!!
    Me: how are we supposed to test this when all we have is HDMI and I can't degrade...
    Roku: That Roku 1 we sent you to test has a S-Video output
    Me: oh, thanks (opens the Roku 1 box that I haven't touched)



  • I would go for the fire tv. I was actually quite surprised with how good it is. My technically incompetent sister and Luddite father have a great time with it. It's a pity that more apps don't integrate the voice control. One of more impressive implementations that I've seen.



  • @DogsB said:

    It's a pity that more apps don't integrate the voice control.

    You mean you can now yell at your TV and it will listen? Man, don't we live in wonderful times.



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    @DogsB said:
    It's a pity that more apps don't integrate the voice control.

    You mean you can now yell at your TV and it will listen?


    Or your phone, or your Xbox ... or all three at the same time



  • No that feature is has always been available. But you can search the library by talking into the remote. It actually works quite well shockingly enough!



  • XBOX off

    XBOX and TV turn off

    TV on

    TV turns on, XBOX does as well

    I think I see your problem.



  • @DogsB said:

    No that feature is has always been available. But you can search the library by talking into the remote. It actually works quite well shockingly enough!

    https://youtu.be/HHoNQrxG_8M



  • FIVE STARS!

    Would watch again.


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