Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Frndly TV is a Great Deal for Family-Friendly Streaming

Looking for family-friendly entertainment without breaking the bank? Frndly TV might be the hidden gem you've been searching for! Here's a breakdown to help you decide if it's the right fit:

Family-First Focus:

Frndly TV shines with a focus on wholesome content. Boasting three Hallmark channels, UPtv, MeTV, and more, it's a haven for families. Starting at just $7 per month, it's a budget-friendly option compared to other live streaming services.

Local Channel Caveat:

Important note: Frndly TV doesn't include local channels in any plan. If local news and sports are important to you, you'll need an antenna or another service. However, if you already have an antenna, Frndly TV can be a great complement.

Content for Every Taste (Sort Of):

While Frndly TV excels in family-friendly content, it has a smaller channel lineup (currently 38 channels) compared to other services. If you prioritize variety, it might not be your best choice. But, as a secondary service alongside another streaming platform, it could be a good fit.

Channel Highlights:

  • A&E
  • Hallmark Channels (3)
  • The HISTORY Channel
  • INSP
  • Lifetime
  • Educational Channels
  • Weather Channel

72 Hour Look Back

Frndly TV offers a featured called "72 Hour Look Back, which allows you to navigate backward in time in the program guide and watch any show or movie that aired in the past 72 hours. This feature is available with all of packages.

Plan It Out - Consider the Features You Need:

Frndly TV offers three tiers with the same channel lineup but different features:

  • Basic ($8/month): 480p resolution, 1 stream, no DVR (ideal for smaller TVs)
  • Classic ($10/month): HD (1080p) quality, 2 streams, 3-month DVR
  • Premium ($12/month): 4 streams, 9-month DVR

Interface:

The interface is user-friendly, similar to Hulu+ Live TV. However, you can't rearrange channels, which might be a drawback for some.

The Verdict:

Frndly TV offers exceptional value for family-friendly entertainment. It's a budget-conscious option with a great channel selection for its niche. However, the lack of local channels, limited channel selection overall, and lack of customization options are important considerations.

My Streaming Life has included Frndly TV since the service launched. If family-friendly content is your priority, Frndly TV is definitely worth exploring!

Monday, June 17, 2024

Philo: Value Depends on Your Tastes

I recently revisited a Philo review I wrote and decided to give the service another try. They offered a free week trial, even though I'd subscribed before. Figured I'd check it out and cancel, but life got busy! Between a hectic first weekend and travel, I barely used the free trial.

Since I wasn't using another service that month, I decided to keep Philo and see how it went. Here's the thing: most of the shows I'd watch are already on Frndly TV, and other offerings like "My 600-Lb. Life" aren't really my style.

Don't get me wrong, Philo's a great service at a good price, especially for those who skip news and sports. But for me, it doesn't offer much beyond what I already have with Frndly TV, especially considering the price difference.

That said, Philo has a lot to offer for its price point, with a variety of channels many viewers will enjoy. It just wasn't the right fit for my streaming needs. My Streaming Life won't include Philo after the month is up, but it might be perfect for you!

Sunday, June 16, 2024

More Microsoft bashing

As some of you know, I'm passionate about online safety. While no platform is perfect, I prioritize security and privacy whenever possible in my streaming recommendations.

Today, security expert Rob Braxman ("The Internet Privacy Guy") shared valuable insights in a recent YouTube video. It's a reminder that staying informed is crucial.

[YouTube]

My Streaming Life is built on the foundation of responsible online practice. While I may not always have every security flaw covered, I do make an honest effort.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Cable Fees: Are You Paying More Than You Think?

A recent Cord Cutters News article caught my eye. It claimed Comcast/Xfinity charges San Francisco customers over $300 a year in hidden fees on top of their TV package. Yikes! But is this just a local issue, or are cable fees outrageous everywhere?

Intrigued, I dug deeper. Turns out, the article was based on San Francisco's rate card. I wondered if it was just an excuse to criticize Comcast, or if similar fees were lurking in other areas. Living on the opposite coast from San Francisco, I decided to investigate my own cable rates. Guess what? They weren't much better.

For instance, San Francisco customers pay a whopping $26.70 a month in broadcast fees, just for local channels! Here in southeast Georgia, it's not much lower at $25.70. That adds up to over $300 in fees annually, on top of the base channel package price! Speaking of which, the local channels package itself costs $20 a month, bringing the total cost to a staggering $45.70 a month.

Want more than local channels? The standard cable package jumps to $60 monthly. Then add the $25.70 broadcast fee and the $11.40 regional sports fee, and you're looking at a monthly bill of $97.10 for basic cable! My Streaming Life left cable behind years ago. It's no wonder why: The savings were significant then, and they seem even more appealing today.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Flag Day, U.S. Army Birthday (2004)

June 14th holds double the honor! We celebrate both Flag Day and the birthday of the U.S. Army. Now, let's hear the Star-Spangled Banner performed by the U.S. Army Field Band.

[YouTube]

My Streaming Life is important to me. But my admiration and respect for the Flag and the Army are greater. I'm proud of my military service. I'm proud to be a citizen of the United States of America.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Streaming the College World Series (2024)

The wait is over, the College World Series kicks off tomorrow! This year's a conference showdown: the ACC and SEC each send four teams to battle it out for the championship.

ACC: Keep an eye on North Carolina, Virginia, Florida State, and North Carolina State.

SEC: Don't miss Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas A&M, and Florida.

Ready to Stream? Here's Your Game Plan:

Catch all the action with a variety of streaming options, some more budget-friendly than others:

ESPN

  • Sling TV (Orange) ($40/month)
  • YouTube TV ($73/month)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($77/month)
  • DirecTV (Entertainment) ($80/month)
  • Fubo (Pro) ($80/month)

ESPN+

  • ESPN+ (standalone) ($11/month)
  • Disney Bundle ($15/month)
The excitement continues all week with games most days, except for a possible break on Thursday (depending on how the double-elimination tournament unfolds). The College World Series wraps up next week:
  • Saturday, June 22nd: Best-of-three championship series kicks off (Game 1)
  • Sunday, June 23rd: Championship series (Game 2), with a potential Game 3 on Monday, June 24th.
My Streaming Life says "Play ball!" College baseball at its finest - sounds like a perfect way to unwind this summer. So grab your snacks, settle in, and enjoy the games!

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

An antenna gets you a lot

A surprising fact was overlooked in a Variety's year end TV viewership report: 6 out of the 10 most popular networks are free over-the-air channels (like the ones you get with an antenna). This means you don't necessarily need cable, satellite, or even streaming services to watch these top networks.

So, can you ditch cable and watch for free? It depends on your location and reception. Websites like Antenna Web can help you check if an antenna will work for you.

Need help setting up an antenna? There are two options:

  • Do it yourself: Use Antenna Web to find out what kind of antenna you need for your area.
  • Get help from an expert: A professional like Tyler the Antenna Man can assess your situation and recommend the right antenna.

Beware of exaggerated claims: Some antenna sellers make unrealistic promises about their products. Tyler can help you sort through the hype and find a quality antenna.

The bottom line: With an antenna, you might be able to watch your favorite channels for free, especially the most popular ones.

My Streaming Life uses an antenna on occasion. I don't watch free over the air TV every day, but I watch it enough that it was worth the time and expense.