[LincolnTalk] Seeking advice on internet/home entertainment upgrade

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[LincolnTalk] Seeking advice on internet/home entertainment upgrade

awaugh
We're about the "cut the cord" and ditch our land line (a.k.a. Spam-o-Matic) and cable TV service and just have internet from Verizon, which currently supplies all three. We have an older Verizon router but will be buying a new one of our own. Meanwhile, our TV (for which we currently have a Roku box) is 12 years old and is about due for replacement as well. My question is this: what would you recommend -- a smart TV, and if so, what models are good these days? Apple TV? Do I need to look at  Chromecast or Google TV, or is that redundant? Thanks.

Alice Waugh

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Re: [LincolnTalk] Seeking advice on internet/home entertainment upgrade

Scott Clary
Alice,

Recently went through all of this at two different homes.

Well certainly not a techie, I did learn a bit.

Went with YouTube TV as the live TV provider. It hosts I believe over a hundred channels and anything I'd ever want to watch and much more including every Sports channel, locally and nationally and every news network. Of course if you want after I signed up they went from $50 to 65 but still a fraction what we were paying the Comcast. And Verizon who we switch to as well offers it through their internet service so you get it all in one bill.

As you probably know you're going to need a modem and a router if you're going to do wireless which I'm sure you are. So you get a combo unit. I got the Asus which I've attached a picture after doing quite a bit of research. Very happy with it.

TVs - wow - tons of jargon, tons of options. If you want the best and want to spend four figures you go with an OLED.





Kind Regards,

Scott Clary
617-968-5769

Sent from a mobile device - please excuse typos and errors   

On Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 6:21 PM Alice Waugh <[hidden email]> wrote:
We're about the "cut the cord" and ditch our land line (a.k.a. Spam-o-Matic) and cable TV service and just have internet from Verizon, which currently supplies all three. We have an older Verizon router but will be buying a new one of our own. Meanwhile, our TV (for which we currently have a Roku box) is 12 years old and is about due for replacement as well. My question is this: what would you recommend -- a smart TV, and if so, what models are good these days? Apple TV? Do I need to look at  Chromecast or Google TV, or is that redundant? Thanks.

Alice Waugh
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Re: [LincolnTalk] Seeking advice on internet/home entertainment upgrade

Scott Clary
In reply to this post by awaugh
As a follow-up, I inadvertently sent my reply to all before I was finished composing. And sent the balance to Alice individually. 

Kind Regards,

Scott Clary
617-968-5769

Sent from a mobile device - please excuse typos and errors   

On Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 6:21 PM Alice Waugh <[hidden email]> wrote:
We're about the "cut the cord" and ditch our land line (a.k.a. Spam-o-Matic) and cable TV service and just have internet from Verizon, which currently supplies all three. We have an older Verizon router but will be buying a new one of our own. Meanwhile, our TV (for which we currently have a Roku box) is 12 years old and is about due for replacement as well. My question is this: what would you recommend -- a smart TV, and if so, what models are good these days? Apple TV? Do I need to look at  Chromecast or Google TV, or is that redundant? Thanks.

Alice Waugh
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Re: [LincolnTalk] Seeking advice on internet/home entertainment upgrade

Dennis Liu
In reply to this post by awaugh

Alice, my $0.02:  buy the TV you want, whether or not it’s a “smart tv”.  You’ll be surprised, most new TVs today *are* smart TVs, since it’s a negligible expense to add the hardware for that, AND the service providers are subsidizing the TV makers for that anyway.  Software is eating the world.

 

Having said that, focus on the streaming stick/device if the TV itself doesn’t offer the service(s) you actually want, or if you prefer the way that a particular stick does input.  For example, some people prefer Roku, or prefer Amazon Fire, or Google.  The latter two integrate well with Alexa and Google Home.  Roku is a very popular quasi-independent provider with an easy to use interface.  Apple TV caters to those who want to stick in the walled-garden-Apple-world; it’s a premium product with a premium price, but arguably the least flexibility.  Amazon Fire is fairly dominant, with direct integration with Alexa and all the Amazon smart home devices, and a great remote control, and, of course, Amazon prime video, so you can pull up all sorts of stuff to buy or rent or get free (though most of that is also available via the Prime app on the other devices).

 

Google TV is especially impressive, since you can not only search (via voice or through your phone or through the remote or through a Google Home device), but that search can also run across multiple services, so you can discover different streaming options.  Google TV has the widest support for apps from different services, by far.  Anything that runs in Android will run on Google TV, so this is easily the most futureproof.  And you can also control any and all Google smart home automation stuff, like security cameras, doorbells, light switches, thermostats, etc.  Oh, and since YouTube TV is looking like it’s going to be a strong contender for best cord-cutting service vis a vis live TV, that will run natively on Google TV with full search integration.

 

AND you can also do “casting” from other devices.  Have a video on your laptop you want to watch on the big screen?  Just cast it through Chromecast, and voila.  It’s magical.  Can also be done for any apps running on your phone or laptop too.  Oh, and Google TV is what Google calls its service, and available via the new version of Chromecast – called, shockingly, “Chromecast with Google TV” as the new name for the latest version of the Chromecast stick.  It’s $50 vs $30 for the prior version (Chromecast 3), and worth the extra $20, as it’s 4k instead of 1080p, and have wider audio and video support. 

 

Lastly, these streaming sticks/devices are all way more futureproof than the smart TV.  Because it’s much easier (and cheaper) to just replace a stick instead of the TV (akin to replacing a VCR deck, or upgrading to a DVD playing, rather than the VCR integrated into the TV).

 

I have Smart TVs *and* Fire 4k sticks, but just bought a Chromecast with Google TV. 

 

[ Oh, and hey, if anyone loves the Amazon ecosystem and wants a Fire stick 4k, I have a brand new one, sealed in the box still; $50 on Amazon right now, and you can have it for $40, since I bought a Chromecast with Google TV to try that out instead.  It’s tough being a roughly-evenly-divided Google vs Amazon home; one kid is calling out for Alexa all the time, while the other is shouting for Hey, Google.)

 

Vty,

 

--Dennis

 

From: Lincoln <[hidden email]> On Behalf Of Alice Waugh
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2020 6:00 PM
To: Lincoln Talk <[hidden email]>
Subject: [LincolnTalk] Seeking advice on internet/home entertainment upgrade

 

We're about the "cut the cord" and ditch our land line (a.k.a. Spam-o-Matic) and cable TV service and just have internet from Verizon, which currently supplies all three. We have an older Verizon router but will be buying a new one of our own. Meanwhile, our TV (for which we currently have a Roku box) is 12 years old and is about due for replacement as well. My question is this: what would you recommend -- a smart TV, and if so, what models are good these days? Apple TV? Do I need to look at  Chromecast or Google TV, or is that redundant? Thanks.

 

Alice Waugh


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Re: [LincolnTalk] Seeking advice on internet/home entertainment upgrade

Scott Clary
In reply to this post by Scott Clary
Mary and whomever else is interested, this is the entire correspondence I sent to Alice (with a few add-ons and Corrections). And keep in mind, I am not so tech savvy. I'm sure there are many others in town much more so. Mary, we get Internet through Verizon and as a new customer got the new customer discount. One more tidbit - you can get free phone service through Google Voice. To keep your same landline number, you would need to Port that number temporarily to a cell phone (because I didn't have a spare cell phone laying around, I purchased a TracFone for next to nothing and got the cheapest plan a $10 for one month) after that is done, you can Port it over to your Google Voice as Google voice only accepts cell phone numbers, not landline numbers. And you can make and receive calls on your home phone or any device - laptop, tablet, desktop or cell phone. You can also have it ring on multiple devices.  Lots of latitude. The one caveat, as Sara mentioned, if internet goes down so does your phone but most everyone has a cell phone to cover that occurrence.

Alice,

Recently went through all of this at two different homes.

While certainly not a techie, I did learn a bit.

Went with YouTube TV as the live TV provider. It hosts I believe over a hundred channels and anything I'd ever want to watch and much more including every Sports channel, locally and nationally and every news network. Of course if you want after I signed up they went from $50 to 65 but still a fraction what we were paying the Comcast. And Verizon who we switch to as well offers it through their internet service so you get it all in one bill.

As you probably know you're going to need a modem and a router if you're going to do wireless which I'm sure you are. So you get a combo unit. I got the Asus which I've attached a picture after doing quite a bit of research. Very happy with it.

TVs - wow - tons of jargon, tons of options. Pretty much all new TVs are smart TVs  and connect to the internet. If you want the best and want to spend four figures you go with an OLED.


Inadvertently hit the send button before I was finished.

So as far as TVs go, we went with a 4K HDR which is a very capable TV and you can get them for quite a bit less than $500 or certainly more depending on the size and brand. The more expensive TV we went with is a 55 inch Sony. Don't have the model but it is a really nice TV and it is a 4K HDR with a 120 refresh rate. It's also a Google TV with built-in Chromecast. Really good bargain Brands which we also have are HCL and Hisense which have built-in Roku which is my go-to streaming service and you are already familiar with. Where you already have a Roku unit you could do something that has the Chromecast built right in which is the same as a Google TV which Sony and Vizio offer. Vizio are good TVs as well. There is redundancy between Google TV and Chromecast as Google TVs have Chromecast built in. And to make things more confusing all smart TVs give you access to most streaming services including YouTube TV, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and the rest. So I guess the bottom line is you really don't need a TV that has Roku or Chromecast built-in. I use Roku units on a couple older non-smart TVs.

I'm not sure I got all this right but pretty close. Voice to text may be some pretty bad typos.


Kind Regards,

Scott Clary
617-968-5769

Sent from a mobile device - please excuse typos and errors   

On Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 10:19 PM Mary Kostman <[hidden email]> wrote:
I’d love to hear all of it.  I’m tired of paying Comcast so much, and if I dropped TV and just did internet, it would be almost the same price.  How do you get internet now?

Thanks,

Mary Kostman

On Oct 15, 2020, at 7:18 PM, Scott Clary <[hidden email]> wrote:

As a follow-up, I inadvertently sent my reply to all before I was finished composing. And sent the balance to Alice individually. 

Kind Regards,

Scott Clary
617-968-5769

Sent from a mobile device - please excuse typos and errors   

On Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 6:21 PM Alice Waugh <[hidden email]> wrote:
We're about the "cut the cord" and ditch our land line (a.k.a. Spam-o-Matic) and cable TV service and just have internet from Verizon, which currently supplies all three. We have an older Verizon router but will be buying a new one of our own. Meanwhile, our TV (for which we currently have a Roku box) is 12 years old and is about due for replacement as well. My question is this: what would you recommend -- a smart TV, and if so, what models are good these days? Apple TV? Do I need to look at  Chromecast or Google TV, or is that redundant? Thanks.

Alice Waugh
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