The video question of the year...

BrandonM

Member
Nov 9, 2011
137
150
I'm toying around with the idea of getting Roku or something similar (Firestick, Chromecast, etc.). I'm also looking into things like CarbonTV, Rumble, YouTube Premium, Disney Plus, Hulu??? We had Netflix for a few years but their content seems to get worse and worse so we canceled.

There is so much to choose from so I'm wondering what streaming services, for both hunting and regular content, that you guys watch. Any suggestions or even thoughts on ones to avoid that aren't worth it?
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
6,032
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Gypsum, Co
The only one that I have is the Amazon Fire Stick.

There are some good older shows both movies and series that I like to watch. Haven't watched too many of the outdoor/hunting type of shows on it.

But then if I didn't have a Prime membership I wouldn't have that one.
 
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ore hunter

Very Active Member
Jul 25, 2014
714
112
ive still got dish at $70 a month now,,will something like the firestick do the sportsman and outdoor channels,as well as discovery,locals,and nfl network?wouldlike to ditch dish
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
6,032
6,002
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Gypsum, Co
ive still got dish at $70 a month now,,will something like the firestick do the sportsman and outdoor channels,as well as discovery,locals,and nfl network?wouldlike to ditch dish
No it won't.

The Fire Stick is a Amazon product and there is very limited network shows on it except for older shows that are no longer playing on the network.

But as more and more switch to a streaming feed the more that you will be able to watch off of your computers modem. But it is my experience you need at least 10meg service to get good streaming service with more meg being a lot better. But the streaming services cost also $5 here and $9 there they will all add up.
 

buckbull

Veteran member
Jun 20, 2011
1,676
686
I use amazon prime mostly because I get it with a prime membership. They have some really good shows like jack ryan. Me and the kids are marvel fans so we use Disney plus alot. Wandavision is pretty good. Netflix is great for older television series, me and my daughter are currently working our way through criminal minds. YouTube premium is woth the price not to deal with advertisements. I gave up on cable and dish, they just kept raising the price.
 

taskswap

Very Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
513
371
Colorado
My time to shine.

I have all of these, and have probably also owned every weird-o product to come along over the years. (Anybody ever use a Boxee Box?)

IMO the very best option you can get "for most purposes" is a TV with Roku built in. It's really hard to beat a simple, all-in-one solution (no HDMI cable and power supply mess, only one remote to worry about, etc). We're fond of TCL, which is often seen as a lower-end brand but they have great, intuitive remotes and the menus are very fast. A common problem with TVs is being under-powered for the "media menu" app and the experience is just terrible. We've had that with a Samsung and then a Hisense.

If that's not acceptable or you REALLY like your TV, the next best option is a Roku Ultra. Roku's interfaces are very simple, fast, and intuitive. They're a pleasure to use compared to other options. You'll get every app, a good remote, the box is small, and they hold their value well - if you change your mind, if you've saved the box you can often resell them on eBay or Amazon for 70% of what you paid. Try that with other electronics. (Roku pays me nothing for this - I really do like their products.)

I rank all the other options below Roku because of all the vendors, Roku has the least "skin in the game" with a specific vendor. A Fire TV CAN play from Netflix or other sources, but the bias toward Amazon Prime is very noticeable in the user interface, and the two Fire sticks I tried were both super slow. The same is true of Apple TV, which is basically a REALLY expensive Fire TV but the bias is toward iTunes and the remote is worse. (Yeah, Apple, the "design king" made the worst remote ever.)

Chromecast is just underpowered for anything other than sharing from your phone, like if you want to do a slide show for guests. The problem is they tried to make the device very small, and while they succeeded, there just isn't enough room for the horsepower you need for a solid user interface and streaming apps. BUT if you have COVID payoff money burning a hole in your pocket, it would definitely be my "second item to add" to a Roku stack for that little extra feature. It's a cheap addition to a good setup to get a few extra features.

When it comes to apps, you take your salt with your pepper:
  • If you have kids, consider starting with Disney+. Their movie library is limited to Disney and Pixar titles BUT it's ALL of those - and those are the ones kids want. They have basically all the "family" blockbusters, from the animated Pixar "everybody gets a trophy" movies (you know the ones I mean) to the Star Wars and other series for teens and older. if you can only afford one, skip over this. If you can afford more than one, start with this.
  • Next, we use Amazon Prime the most. It has a lot of "everything", and we consistently find things here more than any other services. Not everything is free, but paid items are typically cheaper than other sources, and it covers a lot of bases.
  • After that we use Hulu. I personally don't watch TV, aside from re-runs of old series nobody else likes, like Archer, but my wife and kids do. With the right subscription setup you can get football and other things so we find we use this one a lot.
  • Rounding up the list is Netflix. They used to be #1 but they never seem to have what we search for, and if they do, one of the above did too so they seem redundant. HOWEVER, they've invested a lot in custom content and we've enjoyed Space Force, Lucifer, The Kominsky Method, and things like that. Also, if you travel a lot (we do) Netflix has a lot of content available for download. Great way to fill a long car or plane ride. If you want this feature, Netflix should push up the list, because while their library of movies is more limited, their library of "downloadable items you might actually watch" is probably the biggest of all.
  • Finally, don't forget Fandango. It's an odd choice because it was just a movie ticket purchasing service until recently, but they are an AMC company or something like that, and they get all the "new releases". If you spring the money on a 4K Roku TV (or have one - and if not, they're only like $500 now depending on the size) you can get a surprising number of titles in 4K here.
The Roku also has a ton of other apps available. For instance, my wife uses BeachBody On Demand for her workouts, you can browse your Youtube stuff if you care about that, etc. The thing with Roku is any software vendor that wants to make an app will always make it here first. So most other devices have plenty of apps - but Roku has "all of them".

Don't get me started on Plex. This post would be 3 pages long(er).
 

go_deep

Veteran member
Nov 30, 2014
2,531
1,689
Wyoming
I have an omni 150 mile off air HD antenna, had it for just over 10 years. I get 13 channels for free after the huge upfront cost of about $70 for the antenna and I installed it myself.
 

idcwby

Veteran member
Jun 23, 2015
1,115
2,632
Idaho
Amazon has Meat Eater, Eastmans, RMEF, and a lot others I haven’t watched yet. There is a good selection of old westerns also. With all that and an occasional new show on there it keeps me entertained. 😁 Netflix isn’t worth the money far as I’m concerned.
 

BrandonM

Member
Nov 9, 2011
137
150
ive still got dish at $70 a month now,,will something like the firestick do the sportsman and outdoor channels,as well as discovery,locals,and nfl network?wouldlike to ditch dish
Unfortunately, Sportsman and Outdoor Channels only offer their stuff on MOTV (their app), but I think that will change in coming years due to demand.
 

BrandonM

Member
Nov 9, 2011
137
150
My time to shine.

I have all of these, and have probably also owned every weird-o product to come along over the years. (Anybody ever use a Boxee Box?)

IMO the very best option you can get "for most purposes" is a TV with Roku built in. It's really hard to beat a simple, all-in-one solution (no HDMI cable and power supply mess, only one remote to worry about, etc). We're fond of TCL, which is often seen as a lower-end brand but they have great, intuitive remotes and the menus are very fast. A common problem with TVs is being under-powered for the "media menu" app and the experience is just terrible. We've had that with a Samsung and then a Hisense.

If that's not acceptable or you REALLY like your TV, the next best option is a Roku Ultra. Roku's interfaces are very simple, fast, and intuitive. They're a pleasure to use compared to other options. You'll get every app, a good remote, the box is small, and they hold their value well - if you change your mind, if you've saved the box you can often resell them on eBay or Amazon for 70% of what you paid. Try that with other electronics. (Roku pays me nothing for this - I really do like their products.)

I rank all the other options below Roku because of all the vendors, Roku has the least "skin in the game" with a specific vendor. A Fire TV CAN play from Netflix or other sources, but the bias toward Amazon Prime is very noticeable in the user interface, and the two Fire sticks I tried were both super slow. The same is true of Apple TV, which is basically a REALLY expensive Fire TV but the bias is toward iTunes and the remote is worse. (Yeah, Apple, the "design king" made the worst remote ever.)

Chromecast is just underpowered for anything other than sharing from your phone, like if you want to do a slide show for guests. The problem is they tried to make the device very small, and while they succeeded, there just isn't enough room for the horsepower you need for a solid user interface and streaming apps. BUT if you have COVID payoff money burning a hole in your pocket, it would definitely be my "second item to add" to a Roku stack for that little extra feature. It's a cheap addition to a good setup to get a few extra features.

When it comes to apps, you take your salt with your pepper:
  • If you have kids, consider starting with Disney+. Their movie library is limited to Disney and Pixar titles BUT it's ALL of those - and those are the ones kids want. They have basically all the "family" blockbusters, from the animated Pixar "everybody gets a trophy" movies (you know the ones I mean) to the Star Wars and other series for teens and older. if you can only afford one, skip over this. If you can afford more than one, start with this.
  • Next, we use Amazon Prime the most. It has a lot of "everything", and we consistently find things here more than any other services. Not everything is free, but paid items are typically cheaper than other sources, and it covers a lot of bases.
  • After that we use Hulu. I personally don't watch TV, aside from re-runs of old series nobody else likes, like Archer, but my wife and kids do. With the right subscription setup you can get football and other things so we find we use this one a lot.
  • Rounding up the list is Netflix. They used to be #1 but they never seem to have what we search for, and if they do, one of the above did too so they seem redundant. HOWEVER, they've invested a lot in custom content and we've enjoyed Space Force, Lucifer, The Kominsky Method, and things like that. Also, if you travel a lot (we do) Netflix has a lot of content available for download. Great way to fill a long car or plane ride. If you want this feature, Netflix should push up the list, because while their library of movies is more limited, their library of "downloadable items you might actually watch" is probably the biggest of all.
  • Finally, don't forget Fandango. It's an odd choice because it was just a movie ticket purchasing service until recently, but they are an AMC company or something like that, and they get all the "new releases". If you spring the money on a 4K Roku TV (or have one - and if not, they're only like $500 now depending on the size) you can get a surprising number of titles in 4K here.
The Roku also has a ton of other apps available. For instance, my wife uses BeachBody On Demand for her workouts, you can browse your Youtube stuff if you care about that, etc. The thing with Roku is any software vendor that wants to make an app will always make it here first. So most other devices have plenty of apps - but Roku has "all of them".

Don't get me started on Plex. This post would be 3 pages long(er).
Wow!!!! Really, really good info taskswap! Thanks for the education on what you've learned. Much appreciated!
 
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