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Saving Money is Costing Me Money

Discussion in 'Source Components' started by Towen7, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    When I decided to drop my pay TV subscription there are some things I didn’t consider.

    Like needing a streaming device at each TV. I had six TVs that had a STB, several of those dont have built-in streaming ability. Neither the Roku or Amazon sticks have Ethernet ports and as I much prefer to keep as much traffic off of WiFi I’ll need a $15 adapter for Amazon’s $30 Fire Stick players and/or step up to the $100 Roku players.

    Then there is the matter of control. We were using U-verse’s excellent universal remotes in all rooms except the HT. But Since the streaming players use BT controls and the TVs and audio systems use IR the only option is a hub based control system like the Harmony Hub. The cheapest solution is the Harmony Smart with Hub at $80. That’s a lot to pay for power, volume, and the super basic controls needed for a streaming player. Worse is that the $80 remote isn’t backlit and the hubs all need a wifi connection (no option for a wired connection). I can live without a universal remote in some places.

    Living Room: Roku Premier plus $75, Harmony Smart Control $80: Total $155
    Master BDRM: Amazon Fire Stick $40, Ethernet adapter $15 , Harmony Smart Control $80: Total $135
    Office: TV has Roku built-in which works on IR, Harmony 350 $30
    Patio: Amazon Fire Stick $40, Ethernet adapter $15 , Harmony Smart Control $80: Total $135
    Kitchen: Amazon Fire Stick plus Ethernet adapter $55 (will just deal with using two remotes)
    Kid’s room: Amazon Fire Stick plus Ethernet adapter $55 (will just deal with using two remotes)

    So the total to get close to the functionality I had before (and I’m still missing significant features) is $565. But to be fair I already have a Fire stick in the bedroom and a Roku Premier Plus in the living room so the outlay is only $450. I’m saving $30 a month after discounts so it’ll only take me a 15 months to catch up.
    jomari likes this.
  2. jomari

    jomari War Never Changes Famous

    wasnt sure if you cut the cord already, did you?

    sorry, i assumed you working with AT&T, do they have to 'force' you to buy what you sell kinda thing, or is that passe?

    yup, cutting the cord is difficult, but doable. after the initial cost, it can make a substantial difference.

    my problem is i have been running uverse with 80 bucks a month at the fremont house.

    the one we havent lived in for almost a year and a half.

    we need the uverse tv to avoid being charged the internet overage.

    but since we only use internet for our arlo, its a flipping expensive cost.

    i just havent had time to wrap up the uverse boxes and cancel.

    back on topic,

    consider that gadget huey mentioned back then? the plug in ethernet thingies?
  3. AndySTL

    AndySTL Well-Known Member

    Take a closer look at the newest Rokus. I believe the new for 2018 models’ remotes include TV power and volume buttons with IR. I think the volume buttons are on the side.
  4. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I have. I cancelled U-verse and subscribed to DTV Now (and had existing subscriptions to Netflix and Amazon Prime) And yes, im and AT&T employee but I’m not forced to buy anything. As an employee I do get a discount on our services but only get to apply it to one video product at a time.

    I have wired Ethernet lines all over the house, that’s not the problem. The Fire stick and Roku stick, most Roku boxes are wifi only and I dont want to rely on wifi for video streaming. Amazon had an adapter to allow a wired connection but Roku doesn't.

    The point is that I hadn’t thought about anything beyond the monthly cost and should have considered things like connections and controls.
    jomari likes this.
  5. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    I hope it all works out in the end.

    Why don't you want to rely on WiFi? I felt the same way when I got my first Roku box, but that was the last streaming box I've wired up and now everything is WiFi and it works fine.
  6. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    The Roku volume control buttons only works on AVRs with CEC which mine don’t support.
  7. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I ran the Fire Stick in the bedroom on wifi and it was fine... most of the time. I’ve got a 45Mbps internet circuit. The 2.4GHz spectrum in my home is extremely congested by all the neighbor’s devices. And despite upgrading routers the best performance I was able to get was less than 12Mbps on the 2.4 band with only a single device. I get decent speeds on 5GHz but the streaming boxes dont support it.

    The $15 adapter isn’t all that bad and I probably won’t bother to hard wire all the boxes, just the ones we watch most.

    The real cost comes from the controls. I’m a huge believer that AV systems should be super easy to use. I dont want to use a bunch of separate remotes and you shouldn’t have to explain to people how to use your system. Thus the desire for a universal remote at the main TVs.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
    Flint likes this.
  8. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    On the topic or remotes, and I hesitate to even mention it because it’s suuuuuuch a first world problem but ...

    The Amazon Fire remotes make an audible “click” when you press a button. That’s an annoyance because sometimes either my wife or I will watch TV in bed (muted with CC on) while the other sleeps. Simce accessing almost anything on a streaming service requires many, many, button presses it’s better to just go to the other room when I can’t sleep.
  9. Dentman

    Dentman Well-Known Member

    Damn, my life is so simple. 3 tv's, the free Ruko stick+ they gave and the 2 3 year old Ruko boxes I already had, all wi-fi.
  10. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    So WiFi aside (because I agree that most of the time it’s not a big problem) ..

    Am I the only one that feels compelled to avoid using one remote to turn on the TV, and a second remote for whatever streaming device, and a third remote for volume?
    jomari likes this.
  11. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    In my family room system I am fine with that. I just leave everything turn on all the time and rarely adjust the volume, so most of the time I only need the streaming remote.

    In my HT I use my Philips smart remote and thed streaming remote.
  12. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Famous

    We have a TiVo remote and an appletv remote on the side table in the family room and master bedroom. Have never really thought to myself: “life sucks” :moon:
  13. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Times have changed.

    I recall my first GTG at Yromj’s place. Where several members gathered at the Trunk of Tee’s car to ohh and ahh at a PlayStation’s remote keyboard.

    Now we’re all ...”meh, what came in the box is good enough.”

    You guys make me sad.

    I guess Rammis was right
  14. AndySTL

    AndySTL Well-Known Member

  15. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    True story ... I just got home from Best Buy where I bought a SideClick for the Amazon remote.

    It won’t solve the noisy click problem but that only applies to the bedroom. I’m hopeful it’ll suffice for the other rooms.
  16. AndySTL

    AndySTL Well-Known Member

    Ha! Yeah, I've been happy with them. They feel a bit awkward at first but you get used to it. My only real complaint is that the seem overpriced to me. If they were cheaper I would probably buy a couple more. Maybe I'll look for a pair on ebay. Or better yet maybe I'll try one of these.

  17. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    as for the click, i can control my fire tv devices from my phone
    Towen7 likes this.
  18. JeffMackwood

    JeffMackwood Maxi-Me

    I'm sure you could McGyver an acoustic treatment and duct tape solution for that. Or mount the remote inside an oven mitt with an opening just big enough for the IR to get though. (The whole thing doubles as a hand warmer - but maybe that's more apropos for a Canadian setting.) C'mon! Get creative here!
  19. Dentman

    Dentman Well-Known Member

    Truth be told it only bothers me in my HT. My Ruko stick+ controls my TV's volume and power in my family room so just that one remote there.

    I'll be looking for a solution for the HT soon. I'll be picking up a new tv next week so I'm waiting.
  20. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    That’s a great idea and it’s something I didn’t even think about.

    I just downloaded the app and in addition to being silent, it also allows me to use the phone’s virtual keyboard to greatly speed up entering text for searching.

    Thanks for the tip!

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