Help Me Decide: Why Should I Buy An Android TV Box?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Forum' started by Jeffrey, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. lovemyram4x4

    lovemyram4x4 Member

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    The Shield TV actually runs Android TV, I'm pretty sure the other box only runs standard Android. There's a lot of advantages of using boxes that actually run Android TV aside from the UI.

    As for cutting the cord, make sure you're fine with giving some things to save a few bucks. I've looked into it a few times and it's still not worth it to me.

    If was to get close to everything I get with Fios TV it would cost more to get low bit rate compressed video and mostly 2.0 audio. To just get the stuff I normally watch I'd only save a little but still not get the high quality stream I get from Fios.

    Your wants/needs will be different so cutting the cord for streaming services may be great way to save money. Look at PlayStation Vue, many love it, I tried it, it cost almost as much as Fios just to get most of the channels that are important to me and while video was adequate they don't offer 5.1 audio and DVR is quite limited compared to my setup.

    I do still use 2 Shield TV's (just replaced an Android box with a second Shield). I mostly use SPMC(Kodi) to view my DVR/movie collection from my media server (yes my DVR runs on my server). I rarely use any of the Kodi streaming add-ons or the ones installed on the Shield TV(I get free subscription for many of the TV network apps through Fios) but it's to have there ready to access when I need them.

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  2. johnomaz

    johnomaz Silver Member

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    We cut the cord at my house when my wife lost her job in December of 2015 and we couldn't afford TV anymore. Needless to say, we found ourselves having a ton of extra time on our hands. Its amazing how much time we spent sitting there, channel surfing and not actually watching something specific.

    Hulu is a good place to start if you want to watch specific shows that are available on Hulu. You can browse to many channel websites and they stream their shows for free and can cast the show up to your TV.

    Or you can go the bittorrent way and download everything you watch. You can use something called Sonarr to watch and manage what shows you watch, use a bittorrent client like Deluge to have Sonarr tell it what to download, Plex to manage the library and streaming of the video content to your TV and pay an annual fee for a bittorrent friendly VPN. I mean...thats what I heard you can do ;). A computer or server would need to be set up for it. A device as small as a QNAP could be used or something larger like a full on server running any OS really, but I've hard unRAID is pretty good. FreeNAS also works and is free. You know, just saying.
     
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  3. PereDroid

    PereDroid DF News Team Reporter

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    @lovemyram4x4 If you could get everything you have with FIOS? What would that be?
    I don't need a 5th of what my cable company provided.

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  4. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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    It happened to be in the Off Topic Forum and Promoted temporarily to get some additional attention which is not against the rules.

    OR.. Perhaps it's there to supplement all the content you have been posting...
     
  5. PereDroid

    PereDroid DF News Team Reporter

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    I'm only teasing. Obviously or I wouldn't have tried to be helpful.
    And I never promised I'd be prolific.
    Quality vs Quantity, my friend.

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  6. xeene

    xeene Gold Member

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    i've been without cable subscription since 2010. i have yet to miss an episode of any show or any blockbuster film. i have a 3d surround sound movie theater with 120" screen in my basement, i'm a tv fanatic.
    i have a windows 10 pc with wd passport 2tb usb drive with popcorn time/utorrent that streams bittorent content to other 12 smart devices in the house over gigabit network in the house.
    what i would do in your place is purchase NEO Z83-4 you can read a good review of it at Minix NEO Z83-4 Mini-PC Review
    you can probably get it for under $150 in asia, i bought it for $160 in the states. it's a VERY powerful full windows 10 pc for it's size, can output 4k content simultaneously to 2 tvs/monitors. has 4 usb ports. you want to game on it? no problem, just not on ultimate settings. streams 4k youtube/netflix/amazon/hulu/whatever without a hickup. if you want to have a library of content, connect a 3-4tb usb drive to it and save all the content you want.
    i do subscribe to private internet access vpn that costs about $30 a year and has no effect on connection speed.

    so all it really costs me is $160 for entertainment box and $3 a month for vnp and i get access to all the media in the world.
     
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  7. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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    I know that Bro... Just busting you....
     
  8. lovemyram4x4

    lovemyram4x4 Member

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    I also don't need most of what they give me. I'm not sure if Frontier has the channel groups that Verizon started offering a few years ago, but I ended up have to get almost every group for sometimes just 1 channel and it only saved $10 and lost Showtime, Epix and Cinemax.

    Similar thing happened with PlayStation Vue, pretty much had to get the biggest package to get all the channels I wanted, lost some I'd like to get, lost uncompressed mpeg2 video and 5.1 audio and only saved a little(maybe not even anything if I more closely matched line ups plus possible increase in internet price without TV package).

    We mostly watch the local networks, the sports channels that show motorcycle racing and xtreme sports, BBC, AMC, TNT, USA, WGN, CC, CN, A&E, history, discovery, science, PBS, ION, TBS, FX, NG, SMTH, SYFY, Freedorm, Epix and Showtime for series. There's a bunch of other channels like Sundance, MGM, Sony, HBO, Cinemax, TMC that I'll watch stuff on but no series.

    Some of those I can live without and most only have a few shows we watch(maybe only 1). We almost never watch live TV and often binge watch series.

    Oh I also don't have to watch commercials like many of the streaming services force you to watch, plus my set up auto skips them.

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    #32 lovemyram4x4, Jan 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  9. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
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    Sorry for the delay....looks like these guys have been a great help with offering a number if various options.
    A lot of folks have set up their router through a VPN in order to use FireTV in those countries where Amazon content is blocked. The best option however would be to use "Smart DNS". How to Access US Amazon Prime Instant Video in Thailand Via Smart DNS on Amazon Fire TV
    This will in turn allow ALL US Amazon content to be played on your FireTV in Thailand.

    Personally I only subscribe to Netflix & Prime. Everything else I get through Kodi, Crackle & YouTube and the various other free options/apps.
    I don't care that I'm not seeing the very latest episodes the week or month that they come out, so I watch all of my Marvel content (Arrow, Flash, etc) through Netflix or Prime. Which they both offer, though usually a half to one season behind... That doesn't bother me though.

    I was subscribed to HBO Go & Showtime, but only for a couple months....for me it wasn't worth the additional 10-15 bucks each a month. I love my GOT, but it's one of the few shows I actually purchase the season on BluRay.

    Holler if I can answer any other questions about the FireTV.

    S7 Edge tap'n
     
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  10. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    If I'm going to be frank I was thinking the exact same thing as @PereDroid except minus the joking part. I mean we really promoted a thread to the front page dedicated so that you can cut the cable and save money.

    But then I later saw the value. When I cut the cord a few years ago it was at a time when it was starting to pick up and companies were finally getting on board and yet we still had issues of reliability that prevented me from fully suggesting people jump on board because I knew that there were still too many shortfalls. At the time Sling just started and their first year of broadcast during the NFL season saw a lot of angry twitter posts about why people kept getting kicked off of espn. This led to an immediate partnership with ESPN where people would have the watchespn for a backup if sling went down.

    Over the years we are seeing more options, more reliability, and more acceptance in the fact that people want to cut the cord. Plus just as many of us had mention cutting the cord is just healthy all around. It gets you watching tv less, off the couch more, stressed about 24 hour news less, and helping to save money. Meanwhile you still get your favorite shows. But what it did was it help re-prioritize your life. No longer am I letting Tv dictate my schedule. Instead my schedule dictate tv. And I find myself finding more productive ways to catch up on my shows including grabbing the old vr headset and going to the gym, where I would watch a show while riding the stationary bike. Or walk on the treadmill (minus the VR headset of course) while watching a movie from Google Play or a tv show from Hulu or Netflix.

    I also realize that there were a lot of times I watched a show that was either boring or I saw several times just because I felt that was all there was to watch. In other words tv had more influence than I thought. So cutting the cord help eliminate this as well as eliminate all the pointless shows in my life. Oh and with the money I saved I was able to put more and savings and still enjoy a nice movie at the nice theater.

    @Jeffrey, first thing's first. I am glad you opened this thread and promoted it because it allowed the community to jump back on a good topic of cutting the cord. And this was at a time when we have a lot more (legit) resources to help make that happen, even more so than when I talked about it a few years ago. There are obviously going to be more people looking for threads like this and your thread helped put that back at the forefront. CES 2017 had several devices dedicated toward cord cutters. So kudos on the thread and despite my initial feelings of this thread being promoted I am actually glad it was because it provided some good information in here by our members (good job DF members).

    But for you @Jeffrey the first year of cord cutting will be the hardest. There are going to be so many times you are going to feel like cable will allow more ease of this or that. Oh and don't let your internet go out or get interrupted, man you going to really miss cable then. But hey you will get through the first year and though every minor hiccup may feel like a crisis if you stay level headed you will see the solution is but a click away. And when you finally get through the first year and you one see how much money you saved and second see how much time you gained, you will never want to be a slave of tv again. All those before me told me a similar story but being so caught up in cable I didn't want to hear it. When I finally got fed up with cable and ditched it, I struggled through the first year and after that it was smooth sailing from there and I didn't look back. When I tell people I barely watch tv I get the stares. My tv spend more time off than on and I like it that way. And yet I still catch all my shows and favorite sporting events.

    Any way this was a long post but thanks again for posting this thread and heck of a topic right now. Keep it going guys I am loving hearing ways people managed to cut the cord. Now that would be a good topic, how people have cut the cord out of their lives. In fact I feel like in ways this thread has basically been that as well as provide tips for those looking to cut the cord.
     
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  11. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    Yeah I know I went on long enough. But just remembered.

    The first year I started down the cord cutting path was after Xfinity kept gouging me despite the cable box freezing and having issues. So I downgraded to basic cable. After I learned in the States rabbit ears have me what I watched on basic it just went downhill from there.

    I say that to say I didn't just go cold turkey day one. I had to ween my way off.

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  12. PereDroid

    PereDroid DF News Team Reporter

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    Great post. While I agree with much of it, I disagree about the first year. It was pretty easy for me. We had Hulu. We had Netflix. We were watching less and when shows were on, catching them later and not even using the DVR.

    My only remote issue was the Cav's and Indians playoffs. I went to the bar a lot. Good, hanging with friends. Bad, for my liver and my wallet.

    I got a Roku TV also. 55inch 4K. It's nice. Not amazing. But cheap! I do like that you can add a memory stick and use that to pause, rewind, fast forward OTA antenna broadcasts. How cool is that? That may come in handy if the Browns ever get worth watching.

    If internet is cheap, and sports aren't your thing...It's a piece of cake. It certainly doesn't hurt to try and you can go back, probably at a discount, at any time.

    The only drawback I have is telling people not to spoil things for me because I never see them when they broadcast. :D

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