advertisement
Forums

The Forum is sponsored by 
 

AAPL stock: Click Here

You are currently viewing the Tips and Deals forum
real world experience with streaming video? lotta questions
Posted by: goodmanx
Date: September 13, 2009 12:05PM
we're thinking about cutting the cord with dish network and getting all our video via streaming through our 16 mb comcast internet connection. we're curious about what experience others have had with this. we don't watch much at all from the broadcast stations. we usually watch movies on hbo or showtime, history channel, comedy central and other sundry cable networks. we like the idea of streaming movies thru netflix, but find the choices pretty limited. we expect to use a new mini as the hub of all things video and to have a triple- or quad-interface hard drive with at least 1.5 tb of memory. i have a lot of questions about how this whole operation will work.

maybe i can save all of us a lot of time by your referring me to a website that comprehensively describes the experience and how it differs from traditional providers. no? ok, here goes.

the current cable/dish paradigm seems to be that we either watch what the networks offer at that time or watch whatever we've recorded or have on dvd. how does this change after the cord is cut? do we use hulu or some other site to look for whatever we feel like watching that's been previously broadcast? what's your day-to-day experience in watching and how has streaming changed your (cringe) viewing habits?

will we be able to use a second monitor on the same computer so that the tv is used for tv and the other monitor is available in the same room for general usage or must the mini be dedicated only to video? (i actually know that the computer is generally available for other use via the tv monitor when not used for tv.)

are programs accessible in real time, such that you can watch them from the channel's website or is there usually a time-lag, so that they're available later via hulu or some other service? are all episodes usually available and, if so, how soon after broadcast?

if content is available in (cringe again) real time, do you use the online program guides as you would for cable or satellite? do you keep a browser window open for the guide while watching shows, maybe resizing the guide and content windows to see both at the same time, sort of like the guide function that dish has?

does netflix add new content pretty regularly or is it mostly the same old stuff that you're still not interested in watching?

are full series from syfy and other channels generally available to watch sequentially? how soon are they generally available after broadcast?

doesn't each tv needs its own video source (either a computer or apple tv or some other appliance), or is there a way to use wireless and connect from a router to the tv and get a video signal via ethernet? will all content from the mini be available to the other sets and, if so, how do you get it there?

since the tv channel isn't changed, is there much need for a traditional remote? do you find yourself using the remote much or just using the keyboard? volume/mute can usually be controlled through the keyboard and we almost never find ourselves messing with other settings; will this change because of the different signal qualities coming over the cable? do you use a regular or specialized keyboard? is there some other smaller input device that's available? how well does the iphone app work?

since we rarely watch broadcast channels, would there a need for a tuner like the elgato eyetv? if so, what other products do you like that generally do the same things? do you find that a digital antenna works well for capturing broadcast channels?

it seems like having content available to stream negates the need to record. is there a reason to record streaming content or do you just find a show online when you want to watch it? if it is recordable, then how do you do that? is there a way to pre-set the recorder so that it starts recording while we're away.

are there many problems with the quality of streaming content or is most of it reliably of pretty high quality?

will the constant video stream interfere significantly with other web usage?

we'll appreciate your responses and other thoughts, observations and recommendations about the streaming tv experience.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: real world experience with streaming video? lotta questions
Posted by: The UnDoug
Date: September 13, 2009 10:51PM
You may want to repost this if you don't get a lot of responses, and if you do so, change the subject.

It sounds like you're wanting people with experience with setting up a system to stream video that you have on a server out to users via the web. So I'm thinking that a number of people who know a lot about what you're asking (and I know they exist, because I've read their posts on the subject) may not even click the link to read your post.

You asked a lot, and I can't answer it all (some I don't know, some I just don't have time to respond to now).

I have a Mac Mini hooked up to a 32" LCD tv. We *do* like broadcast over the air channels (NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, etc.). So we use the remote to switch from TV to the computer input.

If you have a computer that can run it, you should download "Plex" (http://www.plexapp.com) and play around with it. It's a really nice interface to tons of online video content. It has Hulu, and Joost "channels" which makes it easy to access all the shows and movies they offer.

Lots of the TV networks offer their shows on their own websites. iTunes offers TV and movies for download (for a price).

I don't use Netflix.

That's all I have time to answer now. :-)



[www.zeemaps.com]
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: real world experience with streaming video? lotta questions
Posted by: Doc
Date: September 14, 2009 12:42AM
Quote
goodmanx
the current cable/dish paradigm seems to be that we either watch what the networks offer at that time or watch whatever we've recorded or have on dvd. how does this change after the cord is cut? do we use hulu or some other site to look for whatever we feel like watching that's been previously broadcast? what's your day-to-day experience in watching and how has streaming changed your (cringe) viewing habits?

I have the tv on in the background all the time. Same as before. It's just all local OTA digital programming now instead of cable.

I watch DVDs more often then before... and feel better for doing so. I have a big collection and felt guilty about not watching them more frequently.

I hit Hulu quite a bit. And I've found other sites for content that isn't available on Hulu. (Notably, their selection of anime is better than you might expect, but they seldom have recent episodes.)

I've got a Mini hooked up to the tv with control via Keyspan IR remote (which I've got programmed into my universal tv remote) a wireless mouse and Leopard screen sharing, so it's convenient and comfortable to watch tv shows where they belong.

Quote
goodmanx
will we be able to use a second monitor on the same computer so that the tv is used for tv and the other monitor is available in the same room for general usage or must the mini be dedicated only to video? (i actually know that the computer is generally available for other use via the tv monitor when not used for tv.)

When I scale Flash video to full-screen, it does not blank my second monitor.

Depending upon what work you're doing on the second monitor, it may cause the video to choke or skip frames. I think that dedicating a computer to the job when watching video is the better course.

The Mini that I have hooked to the tv is also my music server and a test server for other stuff, so it's not going to waste when not being used to watch online video.

Quote
goodmanx
it seems like having content available to stream negates the need to record. is there a reason to record streaming content

I haven't felt the need to record online content. I have an old LiteOn recorder that records network broadcasts with a digital-OTA tuner (alas, not in HD) and that takes care of time-shifting content that may not immediately be available online.

Quote
goodmanx
are there many problems with the quality of streaming content or is most of it reliably of pretty high quality?

Most of it's of high enough quality that my old G4 Mini is starting to have trouble with dropped frames. (Hulu is especially good. Mostly on par with cable and satellite transmissions. Not as good as local digital HD tv broadcasts.) I'm looking for a good deal on a more recent Intel model to replace it.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/2009 12:44AM by Doc.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 124
Record Number of Users: 186 on February 20, 2020
Record Number of Guests: 2330 on October 25, 2018