Monday, October 18, 2021

Watching The Simpsons

Over the years, I've seen many episodes of The Simpsons. I remember first watching the characters when they were shorts/bumpers featured within The Tracey Ullman Show during its first couple of seasons. I don't remember watching it when it first became its own thing, but I may have. I did see many episodes over the next 30+ years, but never watched it regularly.

Now, there is the opportunity for me to catch up on all the episodes. And get paid in the process.

Platin Casino, a company with a UK Website and a Maltese incorporation, is offering to pay people to watch the show.

I'm wondering if I should try this. I'd have to allot 35½ hours a week to do this. If I spent 12 hours each on Saturday and Sunday, that would mean I'd still need to spend around 2½ hours each night, if I kept my day job.

This sounds more like something a person without a job would do.

Maybe more companies will start doing this. Then I could get paid for what I do. My Streaming Life and my real life would finally become one!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Watching NHL games

I covered this a month ago, but it's worth bringing up again, since the season is underway.

NHL games are being carries on Disney/ESPN and Turner Sports this season. Most of the games this week are on ESPN+, which is a $7 standalone service. Of the 45 games this week, two are on TNT, four are on NHL Network, one is on ESPN, four are on Hulu, 38 are on ESPN+. That doesn't add up, but it's okay. The three Hulu games are also on ESPN+, so the math is correct.

Last month, I said that you needed ESPN+ and one of these services to watch NHL games:

  • Sling TV Orange ($35/month)
  • YouTube TV ($65/month)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($65/month)
  • DirecTV Stream ($70/month)

That is not correct. I didn't take into consideration that some games were only on NHL Network. Only two of those services carry NHL Network: Sling TV and DirecTV Stream. With Sling TV, you have to add the Sports Extra to the Orange package. With DirecTV Stream, you have to upgrade to the Ultimate plan, which is $95/month.

To watch all NHL games, you need ESPN+ and one of these services:

  • Sling TV Orange with Sports Extra ($46/month)
  • DirecTV Stream Ultimate ($95/month)

That means to watch all the NHL games streaming this year, it will cost you at least $53/month (that's $46 for Sling TV Orange with Sports Extra, and $7 for ESPN+).

I expect this is the final, and finally correct, answer for how to watch NHL games streaming. If I have to correct it, I will, but I think this is actually it. Until the playoffs.

If you're wanting hock in your Streaming Life, you know know your opttions.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Who benefits from a 12-team playoff?

This is a streaming topic because I watch college football via streaming. All of the games by all of the teams mentioned are available to watch via streaming.

Before the Southeastern Conference expanded to add Oklahoma and Texas to the fold, there was movement to expand the College Football Playoffs from the current 4-team setup to 12 teams. After the announcement of the move by the two schools, movement to expand the playoffs ground to a halt. Most talking sports heads said that the other conferences thought a 12-team expansion would benefit the SEC. I disagree. And the numbers by the sports talking heads back me up.

First, under the current setup, the SEC is the only conference that has had multiple teams in the same year, when #3 Georgia and #4 Alabama made it, won their semifinal games, and played for the championship. If you count Notre Dame as an ACC team in 2020, then the ACC had two teams that both lost their semifinal games.

ESPN has an article listing where things stand midway through the season. It shows who would be the likely playoff teams right now under the current 4-team setup and under the proposed 12-team setup.

Currently, the Allstate Playoff Predictor has:

  1. Georgia
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Alabama
  4. Cincinnati

Those would be the four teams in the playoffs, meaning two from the SEC. That's under the current setup, and has happened before, when Georgia and Alabama ended up playing for the title after the 2017 season.

But expanded to twelve teams, you have:

  1. Georgia
  2. Alabama
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Michigan
  5. Cincinnati
  6. Ohio State
  7. Iowa
  8. Michigan State
  9. Notre Dame
  10. Pittsburgh
  11. Penn State
  12. Coastal Carolina

That means two from the SEC; one each from the Big 12, ACC, American, and Sun Belt; one independent; and five from the Big Ten. Not much of a bump for the SEC, going from two teams to ... two teams. The Big Ten goes from none to five.

Maybe the Alliance has the wrong conference as their target?

Friday, October 15, 2021

Watching the WNBA Finals

I've not been watching the WNBA finals. I don't follow the sport. That's causing me to kick myself because of my bad timing. You see, even though I don't follow the sport, I should be posting how to watch the games for those who are fans of the sport. I've done this for some racing events, golf, and other sports I don't watch. So, why not the WNBA? Exactly. Why not? I should have. I totally missed that the finals were underway.

The series between Chicago and Phoenix is tied at one game apiece. It's a best of five series, so there are at least two more games, possibly three.

Game 3 is tonight on ESPN2.

Game 4 is Sunday afternoon on ESPN.

If a Game 5 is required, it will be Tuesday night on ESPN2.

So, for fans of the game, how do you watch without cable? You need a live streaming service that carries ESPN.

Of the eight major cable alternatives, Philo and Frndly.TV won't do, as they don't carry sports. But the other six do offer ESPN in their package.

  • Sling Orange ($35) or Sling Orange+Blue ($50)
  • Vidgo ($55)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($65)
  • YouTube TV ($65)
  • Fubo ($65)
  • DirecTV Stream ($70)

Some people think that ESPN+ gets you ESPN content. It gets you some, but it's mostly a supplement to ESPN, although ESPN isn't required to get ESPN+. However, it won't do you any good for watching WNBA games, since those are on the two big channels, ESPN and ESPN2. I say this a lot, but a lot of people still don't get it: ESPN+ subscription does not get you the standard ESPN service.

All of the services listed above will get you ESPN and ESPN2. They will also get you a lot more than those channels, so if you want a live streaming service, you may want to consider that. Or not.

While some services offer a free trial, not alldo:

  • Sling TV and Vidgo offer the first month for $10, but no free trial.
  • Hulu+Live TV offers a 7-day free trial, then a $10 discount for three months.
  • YouTube TV offers $10 off for six months, but no free trial.
  • Fubo TV offers a 7-day free trial.
  • DirecTV Stream offers no free trial nor a discount.

If want some some WNBA action in your Streaming Life, any of these services will fill the bill.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

More Plex server plans thwarted

I've been running a Plex server for some time. I recently purchased a new computer to function as the Plex server, but had some issues copying my content over.

My hard drive couldn't be read by the new device. It recognized the drive was there, but wasn't reading it. Rather than troubleshoot it and risk losing data if I made an error in the process -- who wants to lose nearly 8 TB of data, after all -- I simply pulled out my USB hard drive docking station and connected it.

When it wouldn't read it either, I was very concerned. Had I already damaged my media drive? Had I lost 8 TB of moves and TV shows?

Well, no, I hadn't, as it turns out. When I put the drive back in the old computer, it read it just fine. So, was my hard drive docking station bad? I hadn't used it in some time. I had taken it with me on several service calls, so it was jostled about for months but never used. Maybe it had been damaged. Perhaps it was bad. So, even though I don't use one a lot, when I need one, I need one. So I ordered a new one, and it was supposed to arrive earlier this week. It didn't.

Two days ago, it was due. The post office was delivering, so when I got the notice on my phone that it was delivered, I went to the mailbox. No package. Researching that, I found that the post office Website says that if it is marked as delivered, but isn't there, you shouldn't worry about it. Really.

In rare cases, package may show as 'delivered' but could take additional 24 hours.

Yes, they accept that their employees will mark an item as delivered, but not deliver it. And they're okay with that. But after a day or so, they'll listen to what you have to say.

If it has been over 24 hours from the 'delivered' status, to save time a  service request may be sent by email to your local Post Office™ facility for follow-up. You will receive a confirmation number and a contact within 2-3 business days.

That's right. They'll mark an item as delivered, not deliver it, but you can't ask about it for over a day. But after that additional delay, you can email them. Within 2 or 3 business days, they'll let you know they got your email.

So, if say, Monday, you expected a package, and it was marked as delivered, but you didn't get it, don't bother them until Tuesday. Then, you can send them an email. By Thursday or Friday, you'll get confirmation that your email was received.

This happened to me before, a year or so ago, and I did speak with the fellow who said he was in charge at the local post office. He told me he would call me back and let me know the results.

How long before he called me back? Well, as I said, it's been over a year. That delivery issue was settled outside of post office help, since there was no post office help.

So, I'm now in that situation. And that's unexpected. The regular letter carrier that serves my location is not the problem. She's done this job for some time, and is very conscientious about her work. She's good. And she didn't do the delivery, as I've found out. Had she been doing the delivery that day, it would have arrived. I'm convinced of that. Whoever filled in for her that day simply marked the package as delivered, and didn't deliver it.

So, I'm having to deal with copying my Plex content without a direct connection.

I mapped a drive to the old computer and began copying some content over. That was intended to be a test, just to confirm it worked. And it worked well, to a large degree.

The movies I copied showed up as expected. Better as expected, in fact. The data that Plex found, including the posters and movie data, was much improved over the older computer's data. I was very happy with that.

The test copy worked well enough for the basic moves, that I could copy a few hundred at a time and would probably be good.

It's been a lot more trouble than I expected, but when I get the hard drive docking station -- it will either show up or be replaced due to being lost in shipping -- it may be an easier and quicker process. That would be a welcome relief.

The updated movie information will be good. But the better computer for the behind the scenes work -- ripping moves I've purchased so they can be added to my Plex library -- will be a better process. It's just that I didn't really expect this much work to make it happen. I hope it's worth it. My Streaming Life better improve from this much work. (It won't.)