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  Reply # 1529500 10-Apr-2016 14:47
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Apples interface and remote are fantastic for everything but setup (onscreen keyboards are a nightmare for any remote though) and Apple have an app a networked remite from an iPhone/iPad (not sure about play store) that lets you type searches etc in the likes of Netflix and lightbox. It also works well to 'mirror' the iDevice screen when AirPlay isn't supported, which means [i]anything [/] that works on the phone/pad will show on the big acreen too.

I've had my ATV3 for about 3 years and wouldn't ever go back to an htpc.

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  Reply # 1529504 10-Apr-2016 14:56
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Mspec: I know this is another thread about somebody leaving sky however I have not seen anything that has been put together in a thread with some decent options in moving on.

I have been with them for a good ten years but enough is enough. Same stuff over and over and now there are better options out there for far less money.

I currently have sports but not to worried about loosing it as I only really use it to watch the V8's and Indy Cars.

Two of the main things I need to know are.

1. Which is the best free view decoder/recorder I should be looking at.
2. What would be the best streaming box that has Netflix as well as Lightbox etc.

Everything would be run through a AV Denon unit into my Panasonic 55" Plasma.


Thats about everything I can think of at the moment.

 

I went full spectrum and subscribed to: 

 

Netflix

 

Neon

 

Lightbox

 

Quickflix

 

(also free TVNZ onDemand)

 

 

 

....and with DNS unblockers:

 

Amazon Prime 

 

ITV Player

 

BBC iPlayer

 


I should say I'd rather cut my eyelids out with razor blades than watch sport. I've always been that way unless I accidentally get caught up in the hype of a tribal experience (RWC, for example...and then only the semis and the final)  Paying to watch sport would be an idea my brain just wouldn't understand. 





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  Reply # 1529548 10-Apr-2016 16:57
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Rikkitic:

 

 

 

Would you be willing to go into more detail on what you like about Apple TV, and what makes it valuable to you? I keep hearing so many good things about it but I have never seen it myself and I have to watch my budget. I use a streaming PC for everything, controlled from the couch. I control it with a Harmony remote and air mouse for keyboard input. AHK macros have made it much easier to use and I can also control it from my laptop, but it is still awkward at times and I am always looking for ways to improve it. I have tried plex and other media centre software, but it all seemed to be focussed on library content, not streaming site navigation, which is what I want.

 

 

Sure. For a start, I like Apple products, so I have quite a few, meaning the ATV fits nicely into my ecosystem and it's a familiar interface. The user experience is very much like that of my iPad and iPhone - smooth and fast. I like that just about every app I want is on there, and some of them are fantastic (BBC iPlayer's app is a joy to use). What makes it valuable to me is that it has apps from every region sitting together on the home screen, and I can just click between them to go from watching UK telly to Hulu, all the while with my region set to NZ for local weather info and my iTunes account set to US so that I can use the full Siri functionality. While it takes a bit of effort to set up iTunes accounts for all the different regions that you would like to install apps from, once they're all logged in on the ATV they sit there in a list and you can just click from one to the other without having to log in and out of each account every time. This makes browsing the app stores so fast and easy. Because the OS is so similar to iOS, and there are so many apps for that, I think the potential for loads of great new apps to appear on tvOS is huge.

 

It works just fine with my Harmony one, and you can now attach bluetooth keyboards, headphones, game controllers and speakers, if you wish. It's less fiddly than my HTPC, and I just don't like having the browser on screen - because of the high resolution the text displays quite small and it's hard to read. Also some of the Windows apps I tried were not great. I can airplay loads of content to the ATV that doesn't yet have a native app (Lightbox and TVNZ On Demand are exceptions, but Lightbox have an app in the works, I hear). I can also mirror my iPad screen if I am playing word puzzle games with my son. When the T20 Cricket World Cup was on, I was able to use my old media iPad (with Unotelly DNS in it) to pick up a live stream from StarSports in India and airplay it to the TV, complete with fascinating Indian commercials. Oh, and it runs Plex so if you do want local streaming, you can do it outside of iTunes, which also does it. Oh, and because I have it plugged in via my home theatre system (rather than directly into the telly) I can use it to stream Spotify from my iPhone and listen to it through the full speaker setup, or listen to Pandora's native app, a bunch of overseas radio stations, or Apple's own radio station. It also streams my full iTunes library from my Mac.

 

There are other boxes that do the same things, but for me the Apple app store and the integration with my iCloud across all my devices makes it a really nice fit. I use it more often than broadcast telly or my HTPC. I just press "Play Apple TV" on my Harmony remote and it turns on all the right devices for me, then I can click straight into Hulu or whatever and pick something to watch. So, yeah, I kind of love it. I haven't tried any of the other streaming boxes so I can't make an objective comparison with anything else except the PS3, which does have a huge range of streaming options (even TVNZ On Demand), but I didn't find the user experience nearly as smooth - using the HTPC was just as easy.

 

That's my totally biased opinion :o) Hope it's helpful.





Geek girl. Freelance copywriter and editor at Unmistakable.

 

Currently using: Modified 2008 Mac Pro, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, AppleTV4.


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  Reply # 1529578 10-Apr-2016 17:18
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Thanks very much for that. It sounds a lot like what I want, except I am not in the Apple ecosystem at all, so it might be too steep a climb. But thanks for the info. I appreciate your trouble.





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  Reply # 1529618 10-Apr-2016 18:59
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Rikkitic:

Thanks very much for that. It sounds a lot like what I want, except I am not in the Apple ecosystem at all, so it might be too steep a climb. But thanks for the info. I appreciate your trouble.



No problem. The UI is very user-friendly, so it shouldn't be too steep a learning curve, if you decide to take the plunge. Certainly it wouldn't be any harder than with something like a Roku or Fire TV. Like I said, there are lots of similar devices that fill the function, just with slightly different features. You just need to work out which ones are most important to you and make sure your chosen box can accommodate them. Good luck in your search :)




Geek girl. Freelance copywriter and editor at Unmistakable.

 

Currently using: Modified 2008 Mac Pro, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, AppleTV4.


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  Reply # 1532906 14-Apr-2016 10:57
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Someone help me too please as ditching Sky as well but don't want to start another thread. I have however read this whole thread and found it useful but I'm still unsure. ( I nearly impulse bought an Apple tv4 after the glowing reviews on here but don't know if I'd need it.)

I have a:

 

  • desktop w/hdmi
  • smart tv – only used for gaming atm
  • dumb tv – has all the same holes as the smart one bar ethernet connection
  • ps3
  • phones – kid uses his to get music & watch online stuff
  • sky dish

 

 

Ideally –

 

     

  1. I'd like both tvs used as tvs.
  2. I think I want them connected to the desktop – wired or wifi?
  3. I want freeview and probably netflix.
  4. Maybe ondemand content. I don't use it atm because I use mysky.
  5. I'd like to be able to view different content/channels on the tvs at the same time.
  6. I don't think I care about HD – don't miss what you never had …

 

 

 

I think I'll miss mysky the most as I use it for everything I watch pretty-much. That said I don't know if I'll need to buy a fancy (expensive) recorder if I can access everything online through my tvs?

 

I'm assuming I'll need a Freeview Sat receiver at least though right?

 

Is there anything else I need for what I hope to achieve? Are my expectations realistic?

 

Any help, opinions gratefully accepted. I'm not big on the tech terms though; only just googled and learned what hdmi ports were for so dumb it down if you can. Thanks. :)

 

 


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  Reply # 1533013 14-Apr-2016 13:17
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Unlike most people, I have never gone the app route and I also don’t use media centre software. What has worked fairly well for me is a PC-based system. I have a ‘smart’ (read: dumb) TV but I don’t use any of the smart features. The TV is just a monitor hooked to the computer and other devices. The other devices include UHF and satellite STBs and Sky. All video is HDMI and goes through a remote-controlled HDMI switch. All audio is s/pdif and goes through an HT amp. A Harmony remote controls everything so audio and video inputs switch together. I have an IR remote dongle on the PC which is also controlled from the Harmony so I can navigate the browser and generate key presses and mouse actions using AutoHotKey to create the necessary actions. The Harmony also controls all the other devices and what the buttons do varies according to the activity selected. The Harmony is a brilliant gadget. I couldn’t live without it.

 

I also have an HDCP stripper and a Hauppauge HD PVR2 for HDMI recording. Everything goes through that. The main drawback of my system is that even with all the shortcuts and macros, it is sometimes awkward (not really hard, just a little unhandy) to do some things from the couch. I have a quick zoom/unzoom button for close-up views when necessary but controlling the computer from a distance can still be a pain at times and I am still looking for a better browser. When it gets too much, I just pick up my notebook and remote-control it from that.

 

Equipment needed for all this: TV, amp, UHF box, satellite box, Sky decoder, PC, Harmony remote, generic IR remote with USB dongle, HDMI IR switch, HD PVR2, HDCP stripper. I think that's everything.

 

 

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 1533158 14-Apr-2016 18:51
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Raine:

 

I think I'll miss mysky the most as I use it for everything I watch pretty-much. That said I don't know if I'll need to buy a fancy (expensive) recorder if I can access everything online through my tvs?

 

I'm assuming I'll need a Freeview Sat receiver at least though right?

 

Is there anything else I need for what I hope to achieve? Are my expectations realistic?

 

Any help, opinions gratefully accepted. I'm not big on the tech terms though; only just googled and learned what hdmi ports were for so dumb it down if you can. Thanks. :)

 

 

Go to the Freeview website and check if you can get terrestrial Freeview where you live. Freeview satellite is more widely available but is not in HD. Do you have a UHF aerial? You'll need one for Freeview HD. I'm assuming your smart tv will already have a Freeview tuner built in, your other one may not so you'll need a Freeview receiver box in order to get the broadcast on that telly.

 

Your PS3 is actually an amazingly good media device - apps for many different SVOD suppliers, including Netflix, Lightbox, YouTube and TVNZ On Demand. All you need is a PlayStation account to download the apps; they're free.

 

A Chromecast might be a good purchase to stream stuff from your PC or mobile devices.

 

I think you probably still would need a PVR, so you're not held hostage by the different Freeview channels' OnDemand time limits for catch-up content. I have a Panasonic - it's not bad. I hear DishTV's one with Freeview Plus is pretty good and they have good support representation here on the forums.

 

Honestly, even if you're not geo-unblocking, you can get a really good range of content online now. The majority of my viewing is available from NZ sources.





Geek girl. Freelance copywriter and editor at Unmistakable.

 

Currently using: Modified 2008 Mac Pro, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, AppleTV4.


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  Reply # 1533444 15-Apr-2016 10:26
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littleheaven:

 

 

 

Raine:

 

I think I'll miss mysky the most as I use it for everything I watch pretty-much. That said I don't know if I'll need to buy a fancy (expensive) recorder if I can access everything online through my tvs?

 

I'm assuming I'll need a Freeview Sat receiver at least though right?

 

Is there anything else I need for what I hope to achieve? Are my expectations realistic?

 

Any help, opinions gratefully accepted. I'm not big on the tech terms though; only just googled and learned what hdmi ports were for so dumb it down if you can. Thanks. :)

 

 

Go to the Freeview website and check if you can get terrestrial Freeview where you live. Freeview satellite is more widely available but is not in HD. Do you have a UHF aerial? You'll need one for Freeview HD. I'm assuming your smart tv will already have a Freeview tuner built in, your other one may not so you'll need a Freeview receiver box in order to get the broadcast on that telly.

 

Your PS3 is actually an amazingly good media device - apps for many different SVOD suppliers, including Netflix, Lightbox, YouTube and TVNZ On Demand. All you need is a PlayStation account to download the apps; they're free.

 

A Chromecast might be a good purchase to stream stuff from your PC or mobile devices.

 

I think you probably still would need a PVR, so you're not held hostage by the different Freeview channels' OnDemand time limits for catch-up content. I have a Panasonic - it's not bad. I hear DishTV's one with Freeview Plus is pretty good and they have good support representation here on the forums.

 

Honestly, even if you're not geo-unblocking, you can get a really good range of content online now. The majority of my viewing is available from NZ sources.

 

 

Thanks - I only have a sky dish (no aerial) but sold on the PVR as I can get weeks behind on some stuff.  Your "held hostage" comment nailed it for me.  

So I've been looking at options and decided since one tv will need a satbox I'd rather get one w/built-in recording than two separate devices and I'm kinda sold on the S8200.  Reading the whole dedicated thread on that product did it no favours but since I'm not a geek I'm hoping all the complaints will be irrelevant to me.  

One further question you or someone may be able to answer - the satbox will be connected to my dumb-tv and I'm hoping to leave my boys smart tv w/ps3 intact.  But the S8200 has no Netflix app - would that mean we can't view Netflix on the tv it's connected to at all or is there some kind of cable or wifi setting we could use to get Netflix onto it?  

I'm not opposed to cables as already have other various tv, phone and power cords running along walls.  They're unobtrusive enough so extra cables run alongside them won't make a difference.  I'm also getting a professional to install and set-up whatever I decide to go with so I'm not worried about set-up difficulties.  

 

Edited to add: Leaving the smart tv and ps3 intact isn't definite.  Kid is happy with whatever is practical. 


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  Reply # 1533469 15-Apr-2016 11:04
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Raine:

One further question you or someone may be able to answer - the satbox will be connected to my dumb-tv and I'm hoping to leave my boys smart tv w/ps3 intact.  But the S8200 has no Netflix app - would that mean we can't view Netflix on the tv it's connected to at all or is there some kind of cable or wifi setting we could use to get Netflix onto it?  

 

 

If you've got a spare HDMI input on the dumb TV, your most economical option is probably a Chromecast. I'm not sure if you're keen on geo-unblocking - Netflix seems to have made that near impossible now - but the Chromecast will give you apps for NZ Netflix, YouTube, Lightbox, Neon, Fanpass, Google Play Movies, Spotify, Pandora... there's loads. I see it also has a Plex app, which means you can install the Plex server on your PC and stream anything you have stored on there to the Chromecast. Plus you can cast anything from just about any mobile device or desktop. I don't own one myself, but for $70 it's a really good option, and should give you access to more media than you'll ever need.





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Currently using: Modified 2008 Mac Pro, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, AppleTV4.


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  Reply # 1533568 15-Apr-2016 14:21
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I bought a Roku 3 about 3 years ago and have been happy with that. Use it to stream content from Plex Media Server running on my laptop. Have a DishTV S7070r for "normal" tv but will probably upgrade to a T2200 once we get a UHF aerial installed. 


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  Reply # 1533604 15-Apr-2016 15:31
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littleheaven:

 

If you've got a spare HDMI input on the dumb TV, your most economical option is probably a Chromecast. I'm not sure if you're keen on geo-unblocking - Netflix seems to have made that near impossible now - but the Chromecast will give you apps for NZ Netflix, YouTube, Lightbox, Neon, Fanpass, Google Play Movies, Spotify, Pandora... there's loads. I see it also has a Plex app, which means you can install the Plex server on your PC and stream anything you have stored on there to the Chromecast. Plus you can cast anything from just about any mobile device or desktop. I don't own one myself, but for $70 it's a really good option, and should give you access to more media than you'll ever need.

 

 

Second this recommendation.  I have a Chromecast plugged into my Samsung smart TV.  It just works better!  My kids know how to use it too - they're 4 and 6 so that gives you an idea of its intuitiveness.  Its a very cheap way to test the waters on this.  Even if you end up with a more "advanced" set up in the future I would bet you'd still have a use for a Chromecast.  E.g. we take ours away on holidays with us (as long as there is wifi).


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  Reply # 1534647 17-Apr-2016 23:22
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Ok - went shopping before work and now the proud new owner of a satbox s8200, a chromecast 2016 thingy and windows 10 (dirt-nap coming up for my beloved xp  :(  )

 

Gotta say there's no way I'd have the confidence to spend this kinda dosh w/out all the free advice and help from here so thanks.  


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  Reply # 1534731 18-Apr-2016 10:34
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Raine:

 

Ok - went shopping before work and now the proud new owner of a satbox s8200, a chromecast 2016 thingy and windows 10 (dirt-nap coming up for my beloved xp  :(  )

 

Gotta say there's no way I'd have the confidence to spend this kinda dosh w/out all the free advice and help from here so thanks.  

 

 

 

 

From tomorrow, FreeviewPlus will be added to Freeview Satellite and will enhance the S8200 guides and catch up services. Please let us know if you require any assistance while using the satBox.  

 

 





 

 

Josh Hill 


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  Reply # 1534736 18-Apr-2016 10:42
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Raine:

 

Ok - went shopping before work and now the proud new owner of a satbox s8200, a chromecast 2016 thingy and windows 10 (dirt-nap coming up for my beloved xp  :(  )

 

Gotta say there's no way I'd have the confidence to spend this kinda dosh w/out all the free advice and help from here so thanks.  

 

 

Awesome! Have fun with all your gadgets. I ended up convincing my sister to buy a couple of Chromecasts in the weekend as well. Let us know how you get on.





Geek girl. Freelance copywriter and editor at Unmistakable.

 

Currently using: Modified 2008 Mac Pro, HP M6-1017TX Laptop, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, AppleTV4.


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