Saturday, May 28, 2022

Never read the comments, or trolling the trolls

The old adage in online blogging and social media is "never read the comments." That's because that's where the trolls and jackasses hang out. Not everyone there, to be sure, but it sure attracts them.

I don't have that problem. I do get the occasional spam comment, but the overall commenting process here doesn't lend itself to trolls. I mean, sure, some can drop by and be total jerks, but that really doesn't happen. I require authentication to comment, meaning a commenter must have a Google account, or some other authentication measure that Google accepts in order to comment.

Why does that make a difference?

Friday, May 27, 2022

What happened to all the Fox News app complaints?

As you may know -- and if you didn't, you do now -- I frequent the Roku Community Forum and will occasionally offer help to those with issues, user to user.

One app that always received a lot of complaints was the Fox News app. No, I'm not talking about some lefty complaining that it exists -- that has happened because awful people gonna awful -- but users of the app complaining that it didn't work. Mainly, it logged them out constantly and they had to log in again and again.

To be fair, I never used the app. I don't watch Fox News. I also don't watch MSNBC, ABC News, CNN, CBS News, or any of the other talking head services. I use other news sources and news aggregators, plus some subscription services, to stay abreast of things. Streaming talking head apps aren't how I do it, whether from the left or right.

But, the app has generated lots of complaints over the years, mostly because of it never working correctly. Sometimes, I wonder if it's someone not understanding how the app works. That's an offshoot of the people who think a Roku is a magic box that gets you all the TV ever for free. It's not. And the Fox News app isn't a full Fox News source, live and free 24/7. It's an app that will get you access to some content that you may have to pay for.

Anyway, since early April, the complaints have died down. I don't know why that would be the case, but if Fox did fix the issues with their app, or change the interface to make it easier to use, then great. And it's about time.

I still won't watch it. Nor the other talking head channels. My Steaming Life is good. I don't need excitable people in suits to mess with that.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Time for a new TV

One of the reasons I cut the cord was to save money. In fact, that was the overriding reason I cut the cord.

I admit I was fascinated by the prospect of watching TV without cable when my son showed me how he was watching content back in, when was it? 2008? Around that time. Anyway, I was fascinated and wondered if it was the way to go.

He didn't really have a choice. He had moved to a new residence, and cable wasn't a priority. He had internet service, however, and either knew or found out he could use a device to stream (Xbox, I think). And liked it, so he stayed with it.

I spent two years researching the cost of equipment and comparing the cost of the content before I was able to show that it was cheaper for me.

All that to say I don't want to spend money if I don't need to spend money. However, right now, I need to spend money.

My TV has been having problems lately. I've had the device about five or six years, and it's been having problems for the last year or so. It will suddenly turn itself off. I don't like it when a TV does that. And this past weekend, it did it several times. I really don't like that. So, I think I need a new TV. And that means spending money.

I've actually been researching for a while, ever since this behavior started. And it wasn't doing it more than a couple of times a week. Now that it's up to a couple of times a day, I decided to get really serious about my research. And I think I've come to a conclusion.

My son has an LG TV, and it has worked well for him. One of my sisters really likes her Samsung TVs. But several years ago, I bought a Sony TV for one residence, and that TV has been rock solid. Great picture, very reliable. It's a good TV. Check that. It's a great TV. So, despite the good results from my son and my sister, I'm going to get a new Sony TV.

Consumer Reports gives it a rating of 84 and a "Recommended" rating. And one nearby retailer has that very model for $500 off. So, yeah, I've decided on the device I want.

I've made the purchase already, and it will be delivered in the next couple of days. I should be a happy TV watcher very soon. I'm not happy about spending the money, because Sony is an expensive brand. But, I'll spend the money where necessary. I'll save money where I can. And I'll be back to enjoying my Streaming Life in short order.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

What's with the button hate?

Lately, I've seen a lot of hate for the app buttons that Roku puts on their remotes. There has always been some dislike by some users over the buttons, but it seems to have ramped up lately.

Most of the complaints are that Roku won't allow users to reprogram them. And some say they'll go buy a Fire TV because of it. Fire TV doesn't have any shortcut buttons, by the way. Meaning that if they can't get four out of four buttons they like, they'll take zero buttons.

One was unhappy that he couldn't be guaranteed that he would get a particular button, so he just wouldn't buy a Roku. Again, see the bit about Fire TV devices not having any buttons.

Some Android/Google TV devices have a Netflix shortcut button, but that's it. Fire TV and Apple TV don't have shortcut buttons. Roku has four, but there's no guarantee what they would be.

Roku sells the buttons to companies. Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, Hulu, and others will buy buttons for the device. They'll pay Roku good money to get a shortcut button on the device. And those four I listed are the ones on the Roku remote I use the most. Sling, Vudu, and ESPN+ are on other Roku remotes. The five Roku remotes I use the most have a total of seven different apps. So there's no guarantee of anything.

However, people get really ticked off about them. Another common complaint is that they keep hitting the buttons. Apparently not hitting the buttons is too hard.

I don't understand it. If I don't want to launch Apple TV+, I don't hit the Apple TV+ button. If I don't want to launch Netflix, I don't hit the Netflix button. This ain't rocket surgery.

But, people are different. And they get all bent out of shape about things like that. Rather than high gas prices. But me? I hate high gas prices. But I'm quite capable of not hitting buttons, so there's that. Of all the things going on that are wrong, my Streaming Life is surprisingly calm.