OT: Best streaming service

Submitted by BlueCE on June 13th, 2018 at 4:11 PM

Hey all, I know this was talked about in the past but I tried using the search and I get no results (i.e. searching for "roku" / just see ads).  Up to this point I have been streaming Netflix or football games by hooking up my computer to the TV.  However, I was looking for a better way to do it without having to connect the computer each time.  All I am looking for is to easily stream Netflix and use a web browser to stream football games (since I don't have cable).  If we could stream Amazon/HBO as well that would be awesome.  Trying to not break the bank. I do not have a high-end TV (at least yet) so likely superb resolution on the stream is likely not to make a difference. Trying to get it in place to watch some of the World Cup (will it be free to stream?).

What do you suggest? Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire?? I had Chromecast and it really didn't work. 




June 13th, 2018 at 4:22 PM ^

YouTube TV is probably the way that I will go for football this season.  Sling doesn't offer BTN and I've had issues with buffering and system crashes during very inconvenient times (MLB playoffs last year) and my complaints to customer services got bot auto-responses.

I would've loved to dump Xfinity/Comcast but they pretty much cornered me into reupping with them for 2 years along with a cancellation fee since they're pretty much the only game in town.  I'll be curious if their download speed gets worse with net neutrality expiring.  Makes me feel less guilty about using Kodi on FireStick.


June 13th, 2018 at 4:32 PM ^

Those cancellation fees make me laugh. If I cancel, I'm not paying them another dime. Good luck collecting that from me. 

With that said, the only reason I still have Comcast is because there's literally no other reasonable internet provider in my area that can provide consistent speeds needed to stream. 

What I'm really waiting for is Direct TV Now to offer a DVR service. When that happens, their channel offerings are better than all others. 


June 13th, 2018 at 4:45 PM ^

Direct TV Now has a beta cloud DVR service.  I signed up with them and used for a few days, but terminated because they did not carry the local channels in my area.  I tried the DVR (20GB) and it worked fine.  If they had the local channels, I would have kept them, and in the end I might go back.  I watch a lot of things DVRd, including second halfs of the late afternoon UM football games because of commitments that take me away from live watching.


June 13th, 2018 at 11:34 PM ^

I have tried most of the services. PS Vue, direct tv now, Sling tv, but the only service that didn't buffer during live UM games has been youtube tv. I have 500 mbs internet service and I stream with my gaming pc which is top of the line that I built myself, so I think I am safe in assuming the problem was with the providers.


June 14th, 2018 at 8:12 AM ^

I also have DirecTVNow ($10 mo. for 3 months), they do carry local channels, but when they updated their app to include the DVR functionality, it screwed something up and one of the bugs is no local channels. I've chatted with reps from DirecTVNow several times, and "it will be fixed anytime". It's been a pain in the ass, but for $10/mo., I guess I'll hold out, and at least Fox works for me for the World Cup.


June 14th, 2018 at 11:37 AM ^

I think the local channel issue is also a regional thing.  You can type in different zip codes to see which regions have local channels.  Where I am living at the moment, no local channels; however, in a different area where I have another house, they do have local channels.  Whether you can get them also depends upon your billing address and also your actual location when streaming.  "They know where you are."


June 13th, 2018 at 4:49 PM ^

What don't you like about xfinity?  I loved Verizon, but they gave me a hassle when I moved back to the DC area. I've had Comcast since, and once i upgraded to the X1 box, they have been amazing. My wife also works from home, so our internet is good, regularly between 250 to 260 Mbps in a 5k sq ft, 3 level home with great service in every corner of the house. We also have our home security through them as well. It's probably the first time I haven't had a single complaint about a cable provider ever. But I also know the experiences are different everywhere, and I know outside of customer service, people have issues with them, just curious what they are. 

I have Comcast, Netflix, Amazon Prime, with a fire stick on one tv, PS4 on another and a Chromecast on a third.


June 13th, 2018 at 5:20 PM ^

Comcast has actually made a lot of system improvements in our area (they inherited a derelict system from whoever owned the lines before), so we've had a lot fewer blinks and outages than we used to. They are also unusually receptive to my wife's every-other-year tirade that keeps our rate fairly reasonable and even gets us channels for nothing (last year, a bitchfest got $80 off the monthly bill AND free HBO for a few months). If you can bend them to your will, it seems to work well enough. Also, sports - probably the primary reason we even bother with it still. 


June 15th, 2018 at 1:25 PM ^

Old thread now so no one will probably ever see this but here is my new reason as of today.

Back in April, Xfinity quoted me a price for updated service as my old "promotional" rate was set to expire. I actually have the email that has my price quote.  $69.99 with a discount of $29.96 for a package rate of $40.03 plus fees & taxes with the line that HBO was included and after 24 months regular rate of $15 would apply.  I checked today and it was $47 higher. The rep I was chatting with agreed with me initially.  Then came back and said that the regular rate was $99.95 with a discount to $69.99. Sorry that's not what the order I signed off on said.  Then he reminded that I was in my promotional period, i.e. the termination fee of $230 would apply.  I politely said that application of the fee was debatable.  In the meantime I'm looking at other options and it's basically choosing between a red hot poker in the bum or a stick in the eye. 

Goggles Paisano

June 14th, 2018 at 6:54 AM ^

I have BTN on Youtube TV in the Bradenton/Sarasota area.  I scrapped Directv last month at $130/mo for Youtube  at $40.  I have most of the same channels.  The only downside for me is channel surfing is not very viable with the streaming service as it is with cable or directv.  But certainly not that big of a deal with the $1,080 annual savings.  


June 13th, 2018 at 4:15 PM ^

Do you have a playstation? I've been using PSVue for the past 6mos. I get all the sports channels for $44 a month. 20 more for HBO/Cinemax.


June 13th, 2018 at 4:17 PM ^

I have an Apple TV and Youtube TV. Both are great.

Used to have Hulu Live and that was absolute shit. Extremely laggy and buggy. Have had no issues with Youtube TV so far. 


June 13th, 2018 at 4:17 PM ^

I have a roku 3 and a Fire TV. Both work fine and reliably. Roku just did an update to all apps and I don't like it as much. I prefer the Fire TV.  My kids use the voice commands all the time to find stuff. We have a couple echos so it's a nice ecosystem that they are used to. 


I don't use the web browser much on either. It's wonky. 


June 13th, 2018 at 4:26 PM ^

I love the Roku.  But be sure to get the right one for your needs. They change the model numbers and names all the time, so you can just compare here https://www.roku.com/products/compare

Namely, if you want it to do 4k streaming instead of 1080p you'll need a specific model. 


June 13th, 2018 at 4:27 PM ^

and if you're looking for streaming services to watch, it seems youtube tv consistently gets good reviews around here.  not to mention it has big ten network and a good sports channel lineup


June 13th, 2018 at 4:30 PM ^

We used YouTube TV and a chrome cast and it worked like a dream.  We also stream Netflix and Amazon Pride via Xbox and it also works very well though the prime thing can get klugey if you pay for the streamed movie


June 13th, 2018 at 4:33 PM ^

My streaming service was Direct TV Now and my internet was Comcast/Xfinity.  It had poor quality - constant freezes and blurry quality when zoomed out.

I am thinking of switching to satellite - because I am not a Comcast fan.


June 13th, 2018 at 6:43 PM ^

Don't do it!!!!  I had satellite internet (Hughesnet) for ~10 years because it's all I could get until Comcast ran a line.  The download/upload speeds are fine, but you will utterly HATE the download cap limits and overage costs.  You cannot stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, or any other streaming service because it's too much bandwidth and will quickly bust your monthly cap.  And customer service is off the hinges bad.

Stay away from satellite internet if you have a choice.  (DirecTV is fine - I've had no problems with them for close to 30 years now - other than monthly cost...)

Sione For Prez

June 13th, 2018 at 4:37 PM ^

Have you guys had any issues with buffering while using YouTube TV, specifically during large sporting events? My wife and I were at someone's house during last football season who was streaming a game with YouTube TV (not sure what device) and it buffered right around when OT was set to start. My wife has been completely against any streaming service since. I have no idea if it was an issue with their hardware, internet connection or just comes with the territory of trying to stream live events.


June 13th, 2018 at 4:42 PM ^

Just got DirecTV Now and love it. They're actually running a promo where you get a free Apple TV 4K if you pay 3 months up front. Plus adding on HBO is only an extra $5 as opposed to $15 with everything else.


June 13th, 2018 at 4:51 PM ^

Most people are recommending Youtube TV, but it sounds like you do not want to pay for a subscription based service.

Sounds like you are looking for a device that can stream: Netflix, Amazon/HBO and has web browsing capabilities so you can access free streams to football games.

Your best bet is Roku or Amazon Fire TV. I heard that Amazon Fire TV has a web browser, but if it is anything like any other web browser that I've used on a tv it is very awkward and frustrating. 

If you don't want to pay for something like Youtube TV and still want to watch football games, screen mirroring/casting is probably your best bet. If you didn't have any luck with Chromecast you can try Miracast.


June 13th, 2018 at 5:13 PM ^

I use a steaming service simply-tv.com. A friend uses vader straming service...all sports channels that you need.  Good for when Michigan is on BTN or ESPN 3 etc. but it has all the major channels for around 20 bicls a month. Can stream on internet, android box or firestick.


June 13th, 2018 at 5:15 PM ^

I'll add a vote for YouTubeTV definitely the best option for a Big Ten fan. I use a PC connected to my TV you can get a bunch of media machines for a few hundred dollars but Chromecast, Roku, and Fire Sticks are all quite excellent.