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Author Topic: Roku streaming live TV  (Read 475 times)
zxcvbob
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« on: February 04, 2019, 08:16:49 AM »

My cable bill keeps creeping up and is now over $200 a month; angry that includes phone and Internet, but mostly it's TV.  I have 3 TV's in the house, and even tho' they should be cable-ready, Spectrum requires you to use their cable box and the rent keeps going up on the converter.  Two sets have converters (the first converter *used* to be free) and one does not but it has a Roku Streaming Stick, and Roku has a Spectrum app.  I'm thinking of getting rid of the cable boxes and getting a Roku for one of the other TV's (the last set has an Amazon Fire Stick, which unfortunately does not support Spectrum)

I was not really interested in the Super Bowl, but I tried streaming it live on the Roku.  The Roku is connected via an 802.11ac router which is more than fast enough, but the game was barely watchable because it kept stuttering and stopping and buffering.  When it worked, it worked just fine for a while, then the picture would kinda break up like it was pixelated, then either go black or give me a "buffering" indicator.  Meanwhile, the TV with a cable box had almost no bandwidth problems (it had a few minor ones)  I've had minor problems trying to stream live programming in the Spectrum app before but nothing like this.

That's a Spectrum problem, right?  They don't have enough capacity?  Or maybe they were starving the Spectrum app to punish people for not using a cable box. 

I wish I had an antenna hooked up to see how over-the-air compared.  I should have been able to get the game from the local CBS station.
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 03:34:13 PM »

I just recently changed over to streaming.

From what Iĺve heard WiFi for Roku and Fire stick are not always stable.

My Roku buffers a lot on live broadcast due to higher bandwidth. When checking the connection speeds I range from 8Mbps to 51Mbps. Local interference is what Iĺm contributing it to.

Hard wiring is supposed to stop this. Iĺm waiting on a Ethernet adapter to hook it up. I have a stable wired connection at the Roku location that fluctuates from 80 to 98 Mbps.




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Chris
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 05:36:06 PM »

My son uses a Roku in his dorm. Tried wireless and had issues frequently. Switched to the ethernet and no issues.  My bet was the demand was pretty high on the provider.
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 05:46:37 PM »

I have a Roku on the living room TV, it is hard wired.

Wife has a Roku stick on the TV in her quilting room, it is 22 feet and one floor from the AP, no problem with Sling, Netflix, or Hulu.

Master bedroom has a smart TV, 31 feet and one floor from the AP, it can be sketchy.

I have a 30' aerial and I can pick up Rochester and Austin, MN stations really well most days. So you should have no problem with NBC, ABC, PBS and Fox, CBS (Mason City) should be okay for you on most days.

I would definitely hardwire your streaming devices if you can. I pay $50 a month of a local Internet company and about $50 for Sling, Netflix and Hulu. Thinking about dropping Sling and upgrading to Hulu Live for the "cable type feel"
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 05:50:27 PM »

We have Spectrum, a crappy router, and watched the Super Bowl on Hulu Live just fine so I doubt itĺs Spectrum punishing you lol.
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 06:56:15 PM »

OP:
Quote
I wish I had an antenna hooked up to see how over-the-air compared.  I should have been able to get the game from the local CBS station.

You really don't need much of an antenna for Over-The-Air (OTA) TV if you're near a city.  Just a hunk of thin wire stuck in the Antenna jack of your set will give you a sample of what's available.  If it looks OK, then go spend for a "real" antenna, or go online for the design of a DIY one.

I
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2019, 07:27:43 PM »

OP:
You really don't need much of an antenna for Over-The-Air (OTA) TV if you're near a city.  Just a hunk of thin wire stuck in the Antenna jack of your set will give you a sample of what's available.  If it looks OK, then go spend for a "real" antenna, or go online for the design of a DIY one.

He's about 70-80 miles away as the crow flies for the CBS tower. We are both in the same TV market, his local has most the stations and my local has the CBS tower.
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 04:34:25 AM »

Update

Received the Ethernet adapter and it works on the fire stick. Will not work on a Roku stick. Roku requires the Ultra box for Ethernet support.

Fixed the buffering issues we were having on live broadcast.

Wish the WiFi would have been more stable.


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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 06:10:02 AM »

I have been using the Amazon fire device connected to my wireless router.  The last 6 months, I signed up for Sony Playstation View to get cable TV during football season.  I can watch all the channels and watch recorded shows with no issue.  The biggest difference if you are streaming so the skipping forward and back is not as fast.  Also, they lock out the fast forward for some shows to force you to sit through commercials (that was the exception not the rule).  The advantage is I set one college football game to the record and it started saving all NCAA college football games which I could watch later.  I think the recordings are accessing some sort of central archive.  Cost is about $50 a month with no contract.  I need to cancel it since football season is over. 

I used to have Directv.  It was a great cable service, but they were creeping up the on the cost and I got to where I was only watching a few channels and most of that wasn't even new shows.  I was happy to drop that cost and have no regrets. 
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2019, 06:16:03 AM »

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HVYG6K1/?coliid=I1KX78EO52QZZP&colid=3TDS158L20Y8K&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

For broadcast TV, I have an antenna like this stuck in the window facing Houston.  I am about 60 miles away with no hills in between.  Picks up the broadcast channels out of Houston with no issues.  Half the channels are in Spanish, but I can still get news on the major network stations.  I was surprised just how much extra content I didn't know about was on the HD subchannels. 
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2019, 06:18:16 AM »

The little USB dongles are rather underpowered for everything everyone wants them to do.  Chromecast, Firestick, Roku's littlest device, etc.

We have two of the nicer streaming boxes on the market in our house.

The first is the NVidia ShieldTV.  Crazy insane powerful, doubles as a gaming system.  It can also serve as a home streaming media server for other devices.  I've been extraordinarily happy with this device as a primary hub for screengazing.

The other is the Amazon Fire set-top version.  Larger than the USB dongle devices, this one has a larger power supply unit, more CPU power, and better heatsinks inside.  Wonderful streaming capabilities from all services (Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, etc).

Two TV's and the BluRay player are "smart" and have their own client streaming apps and wifi, but they're just lackluster in their processing power in comparison to the purpose-built devices listed above.


If you're really set on having "live" TV, you might look into Sling TV.  I've tried it once and it certainly worked as intended... I just realized I can never be a regular TV watcher ever again.  The commercials were maddening.  No performance issues, it just can't be paused/rewinded/fastforwarded/recorded.
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2019, 06:28:21 AM »


I just realized I can never be a regular TV watcher ever again.  The commercials were maddening.  No performance issues, it just can't be paused/rewinded/fastforwarded/recorded.

This is key to me. I currently still have satellite service because it's easiest on my elderly, non-tech dad. So I have all the pause/rr/ff/record stuff. When I move I need to look at other options.

It looks like I can get up to 15MB down depending on which rural service I choose there.  I live with running the Roku on 5MP here, which is (barely) liveable, so  I assume 15, while not giving me super duper HD, will handle most any streaming service. It will just be all about what service gives me the best of those needed "skip or save stuff" options.

It might even be, if cost is more reasonable there than here, that a sat dish might end up being the best option. Especially if every damn network, etc. starts their own streaming service. If I have to pay 20 different streaming bills (even if they are all consolidated, like on Amazon) that's gonna start adding up to more than a satellite bill.
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zxcvbob
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2019, 06:28:50 AM »

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HVYG6K1/?coliid=I1KX78EO52QZZP&colid=3TDS158L20Y8K&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

For broadcast TV, I have an antenna like this stuck in the window facing Houston.  I am about 60 miles away with no hills in between.  Picks up the broadcast channels out of Houston with no issues.  Half the channels are in Spanish, but I can still get news on the major network stations.  I was surprised just how much extra content I didn't know about was on the HD subchannels. 

This is the antenna that I intend to try... someday:  https://web.archive.org/web/20161126131302/http://www.diytvantennas.com/sbgh.php

But the folded dipole link in the article looks more my style for a first try.
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2019, 06:35:55 AM »

This is the antenna that I intend to try... someday:  https://web.archive.org/web/20161126131302/http://www.diytvantennas.com/sbgh.php

But the folded dipole link in the article looks more my style for a first try.

I have an old 1970's Winegard outdoor aerial that works just fine. Check your attic, you may already have one up there.

You can get a transformer from the brown cable to coax pretty cheap at any big box store.
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2019, 07:12:30 AM »

Everything runs through the roku or xbox, depending on the TV. Honestly, I was about to ditch the roku until I found out that they finally carry youtube.
I only have cable internet, not cable tv.
I also use a Nighhawk wireless transmitter which easily reaches 100' in any direction from my house- very few problems with buffering, lost, or weak signal to my devices.
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2019, 10:11:19 AM »

Update on the update

Buffered some today. Not a live channel. Iĺm now thinking some of this may be Playstation Vue feed.


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zxcvbob
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2019, 03:24:13 PM »

I locked my Roku at 720p instead of letting it autoconfig to 1080p and that seems to have solved the buffering problem.  OTOH, I haven't tried watching anything like the Super Bowl.
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