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.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Too many services?

I was talking with someone the other day about the number of apps I have on my streaming devices. That's when it really hit me that I have over 50 on my Roku, but less than half that on my Chromecast device.

Why is that?

Well, I started my streaming with Roku back in 2010. I was excited by the apps that were available, and added apps to find content to watch. Keep in mind that there were not nearly as many apps available then as there are now. Everything was new. Everything was different. I added a lot of apps, which is something that many new streamers did, and do.

Anyway, I added a lot of apps, and when I upgraded Roku devices, the apps on the account were added to the devices. I would go through my Roku apps from time to time in order to cull those I never watched. I always left more than I should have. I still have over 50 on my Roku devices.

Lately, I've used Google TV devices -- Chromecast, Walmart Onn, and so forth -- more than Roku. They were bare to begin, and only included apps as I added them. On my oldest Google TV devices, I have less than half as many as on my Roku.

I should remove most of the apps from my Roku device, and maybe I will. Maybe.

My Streaming Life doesn't utilize that many apps, when I actually sit down and think about it. My devices should more accurately reflect that.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Best free streaming services?

Last week, we linked to an article on Tom's Guide about the best pay streaming services. I said we'd get to the free services later. That's today.

Similar to the pay services list, these aren't really a top ten, but rather the top in certain categoriestop in certain categories.

  1. Freevee: The best free streaming service overall. I disagree with this. Freevee is good, sure, but the best? I don't know about that.
  2. Roku Channel: The best free streaming service originals. No real disagreement here. A good choice.
  3. Pluto TV: The best free streaming service for live channels. This is my choice for best overall.
  4. Tubi: The best free streaming service for discovery. I'm not sure what "for discovery" means. Finding things you didn't expect? That's all of them. Tubi doesn't stand out to me. Good service though.
  5. Crackle: A free streaming service packed with originals. So the same category as Roku Channel, but not Roku Channel. I have used Crackle for years, and find it okay. It was one of the first FAST services, but it's not the best today. Good though, but not great.
  6. Sling Freestream: The best free streaming service for watching classic shows. I'd still say Pluto TV takes this category.
  7. Vudu: The best free streaming service for watching popular movies. No, that would be Freevee. Vudo is okay.
  8. Xumo: The best free streaming service for live news and sports. I agree more on the sports than the news.

I'm not mentioning one other service they list, because it's no longer available to new users. Read the article if you are that curious.

My Streaming Life uses more FAST services than pay services. Any of these are good. Pluto TV, Roku Channel, and Freevee are the best, in my opinion, regardless of category.


Sunday, June 9, 2024

Photos and privacy

Your photos can reveal a lot about you. Okay, "duh" you say. But there's more to it than that. Naomi Brockwell has some thoughts on how much your photos actually reveal.

[YouTube]

My Streaming Life is private. Or at least that's my goal. My regular life should be too.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Streaming the Stanley Cup (2024)

The Stanley Cup finals begin this weekend. Game one is tonight.

The best-of-seven series opens tonight in Miami with the Florida Panthers, last year's runner up seeking their first title, hosting the Edmonton Oilers, who are seeking their first title since 1990.

If you are a fan of the NHL, you can watch the Stanley Cup without cable.

TNT is broadcasting the series, and you can watch TNT streaming by a few methods.

ABC

  • Antenna (free)
  • Sling TV (8 markets only) ($45/month)
  • YouTube TV ($73/month)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($77/month)
  • Fubo (Pro) ($80/month)
  • DirecTV (Entertainment) ($85/month)

ESPN+

  • ESPN+ (standalone) ($11/month)
  • Disney Bundle ($15/month)

The cheapest way is to use an antenna. That's free, if you have one. Next is ESPN Plus at $11/month, then the Disney Bundle at $15/month. Sling TV, either the Orange or the Blue package, has it if you live in one of 8 markets that carry ABC. Otherwise, YouTube TV at $73/month is the cheapest service that carries ABC. The overall content of the package may be a reason to pick one of the more expensive packages.

My Streaming Life doesn't normally include ice hockey. But if yours does, you have options. Lots of options.

Friday, June 7, 2024

The best pay streaming services?

Tom's Guide has a list called "The best streaming services in 2024The best streaming services in 2024." They are all pay services. Also, there is a separate list for free streaming services that I'll cover later, so I'm calling this their list of the best pay streaming services.

It's a reasonable list. And, if you've not seen their lists before, it's not a top ten or similar type of list. It's a list of what it calls the best in certain categories. This means that of the top ten services, it could be that 2-9 aren't on the list, because they aren't the best of any particular category, just good overall, and better than some on this list.

Or, maybe these are the best overall. I don't think so, and I'll go into that shortly.

For now, there are the categories:

  • Best overall
  • Best value
  • Best for live TV
  • Best new TV
  • Best variety
  • Best for families
  • Highest quality originals
  • Best for sports
  • Best add-on

Here are some of the services they list.

  • Max (Best overall). I think that Paramount Plus is actually better than Max, but Max is a good choice.
  • Peacock (Best value). Again, I'd go with Paramount Plus, as the prices are the same, and I like Paramount Plus content better. Other good choices would be Philo or Frndly TV.
  • Sling TV (Best for live TV). I would suggest that YouTube TV is a better service. However, it costs nearly twice as much. Since Sling TV doesn't have local channels (at least, not in most markets), and missing locals doesn't matter, then Philo is a great option as well.
  • Hulu (Best for new TV, or best streaming service for cord-cutters). No argument here. $7/month is a great price for what you get.

There is a lot more, and they give good reasons for the choices they made. I simply disagree with most of them, but don't suggest the services they pick aren't good. Just not the best in each category, in my opinion.

My Streaming Life doesn't utilize pay services very much. I prefer free services, but will add one of these services a month as part of a rotation. Any of them are actually good options.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

D-Day +80

80 years ago, June 6, 1944, was the day of the Normandy Invasion, where the Allied Forces carried out Operation Overlord. The commander of the invasion force, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, issued the order for the invasion:

Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

We should never forget those that fought to secure the freedom of Europe from the German forces.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Max price increase


Good news everyone! Max is raising the price again!

Word came out last month that Max might raise pricesMax might raise prices.

Turns out the rumors were right. Max has upped the monthly cost by $1 to $17/month.

The ad supported tier didn't change. That is still $10/month. Does that mean the ad revenue is good, and to keep pace, they charge more to make up the shortfall from ads? I dunno. I'm jyst glad the ad supported tier didn't go up. It remains t $10/month for three years now.

My Streaming Life uses the ad supported as part of a rotation. I won't be switching to the ad free version any time soon.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Tablo and streaming

I've used Tablo for a while. It's how I watch over the air television at home.

Recently, Tablo rolled out a new generation of devices that offer a lot of new features, but omit one of my favorites: Tablo Connect, where you can watch your TV channels at another location. If you have the older devices, you still have the functionality. I have that. But, the new devices don't support that. I don't have a new device.

Having only older devices means I'm not getting the newer features. One of the features is streaming channels. Recently, Tablo posted an article outlining the streaming channels you get with Tablo.

No matter your preferences — be it cooking, current events, travel or outdoor adventure — Tablo provides over 70 free live-streaming channels for you, offering the added benefit of recording your favorite shows to watch at your convenience! Here is the full list (in alphabetical order) of all the FAST Channels you gain access to for free with a Tablo device.

That is followed by a list of the free ad supported television (FAST) services:

  • Alien Nation
  • Estrella Games
  • Gusto EspaƱol
  • iFood
  • ALL REALITY | WE
  • ALL WEDDINGS | WE
  • allblk
  • Almost Friday
  • AMC En Espanol
  • AMC Thrillers
  • Anime HIDIVE
  • BIKE Mag
  • Bloomberg Originals
  • Bloomberg TV+
  • Bounce XL
  • Bounce
  • Buzfeed Unsolved
  • Circle
  • Comedy Dynamics
  • COURTTV Legendary Trials
  • COURTTV
  • Craftsy
  • Dove Channel
  • DraftKings
  • Entrepreneur TV
  • Estrella News
  • EstrellaTV
  • Fawsome
  • Forbes
  • Free Movies+
  • FUBO Sports Network
  • Grit XTRA
  • Gusto TV
  • History Time
  • Homeful
  • HSN
  • iFC Film Picks
  • Insider
  • ion Mystery
  • ion Plus
  • ion Television
  • JUDGE nosey
  • LAFF more!
  • Love Nature
  • Maximum Effort Channel
  • MSG Sports Zone
  • MyTime Movie Network
  • Nosey
  • Outside
  • Overtime
  • Portlandia IFC
  • Powder
  • QVC
  • Retro Crush
  • Scripps News
  • Skateboarding
  • Slightly Off IFC
  • Snow Boarder
  • So…Real
  • Sportsnews Highlights
  • Stories By AMC
  • Surfer
  • Tastemade Home
  • Tastemade Travel
  • Tastemade
  • The big dish Channel
  • The Country Network
  • The Design Network
  • The Walking Dead Universe
  • The Washington Post
  • Time
  • Total Crime
  • World Poker Tour

All in all a good list. My Streaming Life still users the older Tablo devices, but I may get a new device in the next couple of months. This looks interesting.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Plex for the beginner

I saw an article on the Plex Website recently that was called "A Beginner’s Guide to Plex." When I got Plex it was for my media server. I never really thought about other features of Plex. One reason is that it didn't have a lot of other features when I got Plex. Now, it is more than a media server. You can use the app for more than that.

I still don't use the Plex app for much more than watching from my media server. But, if I wanted to know more, Plex has it covered:

Once you set up your free account with Plex, you’re ready to experience what is truly the go-to entertainment platform for fans (like yourself) to discover movies, shows, fellow fans, and the joy of streaming, daily.

First, like anyone arriving at a new destination for the first time, you’ll want to take a look around. Let us give you a tour.

Welcome Home

Home is where your next favorite thing to watch is (or could be). Here is where you’ll see what’s on Live TV now, what’s most popular now, plus a ton of free curated collections available on demand. And once you customize your Plex further, you’ll see even more—like what’s trending across your favorite services.

The article goes on and covers all the major features of the app. My Streaming Life uses mainly the media server, which I've been running for a while to play my local media. But it has a lot more.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Time to look seriously at Linux?

Over the years, Microsoft has been collecting and monetizing more and more of your data. With recent changes, such as Recall, more people are getting fed up with Microsoft. But what can you do about it?

One option is to switch to Linux. Britec looked at that possibility recently:

[YouTube]

My Streaming Life still uses Windows for my local Plex server, but I'll be moving to Linux soon. I'm so tired of Microsoft's nonsense.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Is Fubo still a thing?

Fubo has had its share of issues lately. Growth has been slower than expected, but in the last few weeks, some analysts are looking more favorably at Fubo.

Still, some are worried. For the average consumer who is a streamer that just wants to watch TV, that doesn't really enter into the day to day thinking. They're wanting to know if they can watch what they want as a reasonable price.

The answer is, of course, what is reasonable? Well, it's whatever you're willing to pay. My son, for instance, recently switched to Fubo. It's $7/month more than YouTube TV, but to him, it was worth it. Fubo has more content he wants.

Along that line, Cord Cutters News had an article this week comparing Fubo and YouTube TV. At the time I write this, the article has some errors. Maybe they're now fixed, but as I link to the article, the errors are there. However, the errors don't impact the conclusionimpact the conclusion:

No one but you can decide what is the right service for you. Fubo, Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Philo, and DIRECTV STREAM are all great options. If you re still unsure, take advantage of their free trials to test them out and pick the one you like.

My Streaming Life doesn't often include a service such as Fubo. For my son, though, it does. We all have our different requirements from a streaming service. Find yours.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Google changing product names again?

Google is changing the name of something. Again.

Remember a few years back when Google Cast was renamed "Chromecast built-in?" If not, well they did. That's what's important in all this.

Now, Google is rebranding "Chromecast built-in" as ... wait for it ... "Google Cast." Ta dah!

Why the name change? Who knows. It's Google being Google, and that's reason enough I suppose.

Website 9to5Google noticed the change this week 9to5Google noticed the change this week:

The updated branding is referenced on Android.comon Android.com (with chromecast.com/built-in redirecting to that page) and this Google Support articlethis Google Support article

Google Cast (formerly Chromecast built-in) delivers multi-screen TV and audio experiences with speakers.

"Google Cast" inherently gets "Google" into the name, so that could be why this change is happening today.

I'm not picking on Google. Well, maybe. But they aren't alone. Remember when everything Apple was "i-this" and "i-that" and such? Now it's "Apple this" and "Apple that" and so on. Companies do that.

The Chromecast name appears to now belong exclusively to the streaming devices. I will look for other Chromecast compatible devices, such as the Walmart Onn Streaming Device line to see if the packaging changes to reflect Google Cast or if Chromecast remains. That depends, I suspect, on whether Chromecast refers to Google's device exclusively, or to any such streaming device apart from a TV with the functionality built in.

My Streaming Life uses Chromecast and Chromecast compatible devices. A simple name change won't impact me, or you. But I wonder what is actually behind it, and if it's more than simply branding. What lurks underneath?

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Philo increases price? Philo is free? Yes, and yes.

Follow me on this. Yesterday, Philo announced a free ad supported television (FAST) service. There are over 70 channels involved, and some even offer DVR service.

Yesterday, Philo announced a price increase to $28/month (up from $25) for its standard pay TV service (streaming cable, or vMVPD service).

So, yeah, both.

Philo's pay TV service is great. No local channels, and no news and sports (well, not the big boys anyway), but a lot of entertainment channels. A bargain at $25/month, and still a bargain when the price goes up in a couple of weeks (June 12, 2024).

The FAST service is smaller than, say, Pluto TV, Roku Channel, Tubi, and the like, but still pretty good:

  • 4UV
  • All Reality WE tv
  • All Weddings WE tv
  • AllBlk Gems
  • AMC Thrillers
  • Anger Management
  • ANIME x HIDIVE
  • Are We There Yet?
  • BBC News
  • beIN Sports XTRA
  • The Bob Ross Channel
  • Cheddar News
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul
  • CINEVAULT
  • CINEVAULT Westerns
  • CINEVAULT: Classics
  • Cold Case Files
  • Comedy Dynamics
  • Confess by Nosey
  • Cowboy Way
  • Crackle
  • Crime 360
  • Crime Cults Killers by A&E
  • Crime ThrillHer
  • Dance Moms
  • Deal Zone
  • Drag Race Universe
  • Duck Dynasty
  • Ebony TV by Lionsgate
  • FailArmy
  • Game Show Central
  • GET Comedy
  • Growing Up Hip Hop WE tv
  • Gusto TV
  • HerSphere
  • Home.Made.Nation
  • Ice Road Truckers
  • IFC Films Picks
  • INFAST
  • INTROUBLE
  • INWONDER
  • Kin
  • Matched, Married, Meet
  • Modern Marvels
  • Movie Favorites by Lifetime
  • MovieSphere by Lionsgate
  • MSG SportsZone
  • Mythical 24/7
  • Nashville
  • OuterSphere by Lionsgate
  • Outside TV
  • Overtime
  • People Are Awesome
  • The Pet Collective
  • PlayersTV
  • pocket.watch
  • Portlandia
  • RetroCrush
  • Revry
  • Ryan and Friends
  • Scares by Shudder
  • Screambox TV
  • Slightly Off IFC
  • Stories by AMC
  • Tastemade Home
  • Tastemade Travel
  • Tiny House Nation
  • TV One Crime & Justice
  • UnXplained Zone
  • USA TODAY
  • Vevo '80s
  • Vevo '90s
  • Vevo Country
  • Vevo Features
  • Vevo Hip-Hop
  • Vevo Pop
  • The Walking Dead Universe

And many have DVR functionality, according to Cord Cutters News:

"Another way we have been working to bring more value to our subscribers is by expanding the catalog of free channels we offer as part of Philo. We currently have a curated selection of 70+ free channels — from reality to music, news to classic TV — with more to be added over time. What’s new is that users will now be able to sign up to watch and record a majority of free channels without being a Core subscriber or providing a credit card. Whether someone's not ready to make the jump to Core or is simply taking a break, we still want to provide them with a wide selection of great shows and movies." Philo said in a statement on its website.

My Streaming Life doesn't usually include pay TV services such as Philo, but that is a service that I would consider if a family member wanted more than what is currently available for free. Philo continues to be a favorite of mine, even with a price increase.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Another look at the Peacock discounts

Following up yesterday's article on Peacock's Military Appreciation sale, Michael Timmermann talks about Peacock offering a special low yearly price to lock in before an upcoming price hike:

[YouTube]

As I've said before, I don't watch Peacock a lot, but it is a good service at a good price. It's not necessarily Peacock that I don't watch, it's most pay streaming services. My Streaming Life uses a lot of free ad supported television (FAST). That will probably be the case for a while. But that is a good deal about Peacock.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Peacock discount for veterans

Yesterday was Memorial Day. Today is one of the last four days of Military Appreciation Month. I make that distinction because a lot of people seem to confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day. I'm a veteran, and I appreciate that Veterans Day is a thing. I certainly appreciate Memorial Day which is to honor those that did not return from service.

It's quite frustrating to me when I see things that seem to honor veterans in general on Memorial Day. That day is not for me. It's for my fallen comrades.

When Peacock had a special for veterans, I grimaced, thinking they were confusing Memorial Day with Veterans Day. Only, that was an error on my part. You see, May is also Military Appreciation Month. And that's the reason Peacock is offering a special offer for veterans. So good on them.

Normally, I don't look to take advantage of discounts for veterans. I've seen so many over the years that wore one kind of uniform or another -- military, law enforcement, etc. -- that would put on their uniform to get into a football game for free or to go out to eat to get a discount. I don't actively seek military or veteran discounts. If I'm asked or explicitly offered, then yes I'll accept gratefully. But I don't seek it out. That smacks of "I did this, where is my reward?" I don't seek a reward for my service. I wasn't drafted. I volunteered freely. I don't expect a reward.

That's not to criticize the vast majority of those who served who will take advantage of discounts offered. It's just that I've seen enough who wore a uniform that are looking out for themselves, and themselves only. Generally, they don't last long in uniform, because that's not what service is all about. Sure, benefits are great and are appreciated. I've seen enough selfish veterans, or selfish veterans spouses that it puts me off. I don't want, in my mind, to be lumped in with them.

Anyway, Peacock had a special for veterans as part of Military Appreciation Month. I only saw in in conjunction with Memorial Day, but it is a fine thing they're doing offering discounts to veterans. I've criticized Peacock, NBCUniversal, Comcast, and all aspects of that company plenty. This I do thank them for. I have a code and understand that I can use the code later when my current Peacock deal ends. I'll take advantage of it then.

As you can see, I'm not avoiding all discounts. I'm just not one to actively seek them out, or go around letting people know I'm a veteran. I bring it up when it's applicable, but the rest of the time, I don't say anything about it.

My Streaming Life doesn't use Peacock TV a lot. I do a little. The discount is much appreciated, and gives me a better feeling regarding the streaming service. That's the idea, right?

Monday, May 27, 2024

Cutting pay TV, not just cable TV

When I cut the cord back in 2011, there were no services such as Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu+Live TV, Fubo, or the like. Once those services came along, and more and more people had streaming alternatives to cable TV -- actually streaming versions of cable TV -- cutting the cord picked up. Now, it looks like more people are doing like I did, even with those options.

What I'm talking about is that more people are dropping cable TV than are subscribing to streaming services. At least, that's the trend.

A survey by Cord Cutters News says that around have of cord cutters are not subscribing to "streaming cable" services.

Increasingly cord cutters are moving primarily to on-demand services like Disney+, Netflix, or Max. According to past surveys of our readers many start with a live TV streaming service only to later move to on-demand only options.

Now with Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery launching a sports-only live TV service it raises real questions about the future of some of these streaming services.

My Streaming Life didn't have those options orginally. I still don't subscribe to the services. More and more are doing it that way. I too wonder if this means some of those servcies won't be around long.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Microsoft privacy violation

Microsoft has added a new feature that will cause some concern for a lot of people. Windows 11 will take a snapshot of user screens every three seconds. Britec has the details.

[YouTube]

My Steaming Life still uses a Windows computer to run Plex. For now. A Linux server is looking more and more like a good idea.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Another look at the new Walmart streaming device

 Cord Cutters News also reviewed the new Walmart Onn 4K Streaming Device:

[YouTube]

I'm still undecided on getting one of these devices. There are some postives, for sure. I'm just not sure if it's worth the money, for what extra it brings to the table. My Streaming Life doesn't really need another streaming device.

Friday, May 24, 2024

College Football Playoffs on Max

I'm not a regular user of Max (formerly HBO Max), but I do find it to be a good service. It is in my rotation of services.

Something will be added to Max this fall: college football. Specifically, the first two rounds (including quarterfinals) of the playoffs.

According to news reports, Max and TNT will air games over the next five seasons, starting with this year, when the college football playoffs expand to 12 teams.

The deal will see Warner Bros. Discovery’s TNT Sports and HBO Max show two first-round games over the first two seasons of the contract. In the ensuing three years, it will broadcast and stream two first-round games and two quarterfinals. The sides could add more games.

While TNT’s future partnership with the NBA is in doubt, the move for CFP games is unrelated to those current tenuous negotiations, according to executives briefed on the talks. The CFP agreement would have happened regardless of where the talks with the NBA stood.

ESPN, the home of the national championship, retains the rest of the rights to the newly expanded 12-team CFP with its six-year, $7.8 billion agreement.

I normally subscribe to ESPN during the college football season, and I don't know how this will impact things. It could be that I'll need to subscribe to more services to watch all the games. I don't like that idea. But I do like the idea of streaming services getting access to major sports. I suppose I need to take the bad with the good. My Streaming Life will be impacted, I just don't know how.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Can you completely cancel Comcast (or Spectrum)?

I cut cable years ago. To clarify, I dropped cable TV. I still have cable Internet.

Suppose you want to drop not just cable TV, but also cable Internet. What are your options? Cord Cutters News has some suggestions.

#1 Your Phone Company

When I say “contact your phone company about Internet service” you are likely thinking DSL. The good news is most phone companies won’t even sell DSL any more including AT&T. Instead, they are offering fiber in most areas.

If you have not talked to your phone company in a few years it may be time to give them a call and look at their fiber options.

#2 5G Home Internet

The fastest-growing Internet service in the United States right now is 5G Home Internet especially from T-Mobile and Verizon. Yes, these services are not available in all areas, but you may be surprised how many areas they are available in. Also, look at AT&T for its new 5G Home Internet as it slowly rolls out.

If they are not in your area yet make sure to sign up for notifications as they are quickly rolling out across all their markets.

Fiber and satellite are two other options mentioned. Give the article a look.

My Streaming Life has only satellite of these four options, should I decide to drop cable. So far, it's cheaper for me to stay with Comcast/Xfinity.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Comcast Strikes Back

Lon Seidman had a video recently talking about the bundle that Comcast is offering. It is worth a watch.

[YouTube]

My Streaming Life uses Comcast/Xfinity for Internet, and I don't normally subscribe year-round to services. This is worth considering.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Amazon interface change makes NOT subscribing harder

There was an article last week that I haven't addressed. It talks about a change that Amazon made to the Fire TV interface, and the author wasn't happy about it.

The change is a small one, but it can indeed cause issues. AFTV News reports that Amazon changed the default button to download an app to instead download and subscribe. That is a small, but critical change.

When searching to install select apps, such as Paramount+, Apple TV, Philo, Starz, and others on a Fire TV, the default option is no longer to simply download the free app, as it has been for the last 10 years. Instead, the default option has now changed to both download the app and simultaneously subscribe to the service.

These automatic subscriptions are processed through Amazon, so, even if you’re already subscribed to one of these affected streaming services directly, you may find yourself double-subscribing when all you intended to do was download the free app and log in with an existing subscription. The option to "Download app only," which used to be the default option for all apps, is now the third button in on an app’s download screen.

What’s worse is if the streaming service offers a free trial before the paid subscription automatically payment begins, the icon displayed to both simultaneously subscribe and download the app is the same cloud-download icon used for apps you’ve already downloaded in the past.

It is true that reading the screen would allow the user to know that they were subscribing, but for people that have used the interface for years, changing the functionality the way they did could indeed cause. Think about it. Have you used a streaming device for years? Many times long-time users will automatically go through the motions of performing a series of steps without even looking. They're familiar with it. Then it is changed. Well, that's what happened.

My Streaming Life doesn't usually involve Fire TV devices. Yes, I have Fire TV devices, but I rarely use them. I don't really like the Amazon interface. Now I like it even less.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Traditional pay TV loses more customers

In the first quarter of this year, over nearly 1¼ million customers dropped Comcast, Spectrum, or DISH. According to Cord Cutters News, this translates into nearly 14-thousand per day dropping one of those services.

This amounts to Comcast, Spectrum, and DISH losing over 13,700 TV customers every day in the first quarter of 2024. If this trend continues over 5 million TV customers will cancel TV from DISH, Comcast, and Spectrum. That would be up from the 3.260 million the three companies lost in 2023.

The report goes on to break down the losses for each of those major pay TV services. My Streaming Life doesn't depend on those services for TV. Well, not directly; I have Comcast's Xfinity Internet that I use for streaming. I dropped traditional pay TV over 13 years ago. More and more are finding that's the way to go.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Linux Chromebox Micro review

I haven't tried the new Lenovo Chromebox Micro. But Lon Seidman has:

[YouTube]

I've used a lot more ChromeOS recently, due to the issues with Windows and security. I've generally been happy with ChromeOS, but I do prefer the Chroembook Plus. The limited specs do give me pause.

My Streaming Life doesn't generally use a computer. But not everythign I do is streaming. ChromeOS is fine for me. Not too sure about this particularly device though.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Streaming the Preakness Stakes (2024)

The Preakness Stakes will be this afternoon. It's the Triple Crown race that doesn't get as much exposure as the others. The Kentucky Derby is always the big one, and the Belmont Stakes gets a big push over the Preakness Stakes for some reason. That never really made sense, as the three jewels of the crown are pretty much all prestigous races.

If you are interested, and if you are a streamer, you will probably want to know how you can watch it. Or even if you can watch it if you're a streamer. And of course you can.

NBC is carrying the race. The race will actually be on NBC and Peacock. Coverage begins at 1:30 pm, with the actual race a few minutes before 7:00 pm.

Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan will be running, and there will of course be interest if the horse can win the 2nd race of the Triple Crown.

The fastest time in the Preakness Stakes was set by Secretariat in 1973, at 1:53. The second fastes time is officially 1:53.28 by Swiss Skydiver in 202. However, Sham's 1973 2nd pace finish may actually be the 2nd fastest. At the time, Sham was 1/5 of a second behind Secretariat. However, there was a later review of Secretariat's run and time showed an error in the official time, and the unanimous adjustment gave Secretariate a faster time that is still the official record. If Sham was actually 1/5 of a second slower, then his time would be 1:53.2, which would be the 2nd fastest of all time, just as in the Kentucky Derby. They don't normally keep such records or make adjustments on second-place horses where the order of finish is not in dispute. Sham lost to Secretariat in 1973, but had Sham run that time, and Secretariat not run in the race, Sham would have won and be the record holder to this day.

Will any records be set today? Find out. Watch the Preakness Stakes on NBC or on Peacock TV and see for yourself.

Here's how to watch:

Peacock TV

Subscription is $6/month for the Premium service. It's $12/month for ad-free. But ad-free doesn't include not having ads in live TV. The ad-free applies to on-demand only.

NBC

  • Antenna (free) over the air.
  • Sling TV ($40 Orange) ($40/Blue) ($55 Orange + Blue)
  • DirecTV Stream ($85/month)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($77/month)
  • YouTube TV ($73/month)
  • Fubo (Pro) ($80/month)

If watching the second jewel of the Triple Crown is on your agenda for the day, you can enjoy streaming it on one of those services. My Streaming Life will include today's Kentucky Derby, probably on Peacock. But there are plenty of options.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Is Walmart removing the premium remote from their new Onn 4K Steaming Device?

It sure looks like Walmart has stopped, at least temporarily, including a fancy new backlit remote with the Onn 4K Pro Streaming Device.

Lon Seidman noticed his new device had the old remote on a video he posted recently on Lon.TV. Now, AFTV News has a report that this wasn't an accident:

When the listing first appeared at the start of the month, the images showed a more premium remote that included backlit buttons. The updated images now show the standard remote without backlit buttons.

The premium remote that comes with backlit buttons is easy to identify because it is also the version that comes with a large blue “Free TV” button. The remotes without a backlight are also missing the blue button. Apart from a few unsubstantiated comments I’ve come across, it does seem as though both versions of the remote do include a remote finder, as is demonstrated in this review video which shows the standard remote beeping after the button on the front of the Onn 4K Pro is pressed.

While the introduction of new images showcasing the standard remote seems to suggest that Walmart is continuing with the non-premium remote, this may not necessarily be the situation. That’s because Onn 4K Pro boxes that include the premium remote actually have a more recent manufacturing date.

So, they may make a comeback, but that's not a guarantee. My Streaming Life is fine with the old remote on the old Onn 4K device. But, if I do get a newer device, I want the better remote.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Roku and baseball

Roku will be carrying some Major League Baseball games for free. And you don't need a Roku device to watch them.

According to a post from late March, Roku will carry Sunday MLB games:

Starting May 19, we will offer Sunday MLB games for free on The Roku Channel, plus an all-new MLB Zone to help you discover live and upcoming games, nightly recaps, highlights, a fully programmed MLB FAST channel in the Live TV Channel Guide, and more across the Roku platform.

That kinda got lost in the shuffle until recently. Now, as we approach May 19, it's getting more attention. Roku made another announcement this past week, and that has gathered a lot of attention, but people are overlooking what Roku said in March, as quoted above.

The new news release give a few more details, but it still means the same thing: Roku Channel will carry games. And that means you don't need a Roku, if you download the Roku Channel app for your Fire TV or Google/Android TV device. Sorry Apple TV users, there isn't a Roku Channel app for your platform.

My Streaming Life has missed having baseball. This helps.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Maybe not the new Walmart Onn Streaming Box

Last week, I expressed a desire to try the new Walmart Onn 4K Pro Streaming Box. Well, Lon.TV actually tried it, and based on my experience with his reviews in the past, I'm now thinking about giving the new Walmart box a pass.

[YouTube]

If the only real feature is the Google Home capability -- essentially meaning it includes the functionality of a Google Nest Mini -- then it's not really worth the extra money to me. It might be to someone though, as the Google Nest Mini is regularly $49, the cost of the Onn 4K Pro Streaming Box. It's kinda like bundling a Chromecast with a Google Nest mini, except the specs are a little lower.

My Streaming Life uses both Chromecast and Onn Streaming Device setups, and I like them both. I still may try one, but since the overall device is the same experience insofar as streaming, and I don't need another Google Assistant device in the Living Room, I may pass on this. Or at least delay trying it out.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Comparing Google/Android TV devices

Recently, AFTV News compared a group of Google TV (or Android TV) devices against the Fire TV Cube and some Fire TV Stick devices.

I found the article interesting. Maybe you will too.

The report indicated the Fire TV was the top device, but NVIDIA Shield was second and third (Pro and Standard versions).

Two Fire TV Sticks took 4th and 5th. Google Chromecast took 6th. The two Walmart boxes took 7th and 8th.

No big surprise, really. The Fire TV Cube is a really good device, but I prefer the NVIDIA Shield to it. I also prefer the Chromecast to the Fire TV Sticks, but that's simply a personal preference. The Walmart devices are still the best value, in my mind.

My Streaming Life doesn't involve gaming, but if yours does, the order of finish from AFTV News is a good guide. If gaming doesn't matter, they're all really good devices, and the interface should be the deciding factor. For me, it's Google TV rather than Fire TV. But that's just a personal preference.

 

Monday, May 13, 2024

Comcast's Now Internet is now available ... or so they say

Reports are out, and the Websites seem to agree, that Comcast's Now Internet service is available nationwide.

According to Cord Cutters News, Now Internet has rolled out nationwide.

Now Internet starts at $30 a month for 100 Mbps, which is enough for three 4K streams and the ability to surf the web. There is also a $40 a month option for 200 Mbps down, which is enough speed for six 4K streams and the ability to surf the web. There is also NOW Mobile with unlimited 5G, talk, and text for $25 a line.

"NOW is a simple, reliable, and low-cost way for people to get Internet and Mobile service on their own terms." said Bill Connors, President of Connectivity and Platforms, Comcast. "Our trials have shown that there is a need for a better prepaid product that provides a more consistent and reliable connection and we’re excited to bring fresh new options to this market."

The service seems clearly targeted at the growth of 5G home Internet services as its marketing even directly compares Comcast Now to 5G home Internet.

Well, here's the thing. I can't subscribe. Well, I can, but they're making it hard. I've looked at it, but am finding it practically impossible.

Also, please note NOW Internet is not available for customers who:

  • Subscribe to other Xfinity services (except Xfinity Mobile).
    • If you want to downgrade from Xfinity Internet to NOW Internet, you’ll need to remove all other Xfinity services (except Xfinity Mobile).
  • Have Bulk Video, Bulk Internet, Managed WiFi or WiFi Ready service.
  • Are located at fiber properties.

If you’re eligible, you can sign up for NOW Internet with no credit check, no annual contract and taxes and fees included in the cost of service. You’ll pre-pay for services and your subscription will auto-renew at the end of your prepaid service period. You can cancel at any time by visiting xfinity.com/now.

Honestly, I'm not wanting to cancel Xfinity Internet just to try to subscribe to Now Internet. I don't have any Xfinity equipment, so I could walk into my designated Comcast center and cancel Xfinity Internet and subscribe to Now Internet. If I try to do it online, I'll be without Internet for a period of time, between my Xfinity service ending and my receiving my Now Internet equipment.

My Streaming Life works great with Xfinity Internet. I'm not planning on messing with that just to save a few bucks. On the other hand, I may decide that I want to save the money bad enough to actually go through the steps. After all, I'll be paying Comcast less money if I do that. And that sounds like something I might do after all.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

What can you do about Windows privacy?

I'm a big believer and supporter of security and privacy. You should be able to be online securely, and your privacy should be respected.

Britec had a take on that, and says it doesn't really matter.

[YouTube]

I will disagree with an assessment that there's nothing you can do. I will agree that you can't stop everything. But think about it like this: there is no way to make your house completely secure. But that doesn't mean that you don't put locks on your door and lock the hosue when you leave. You do what you can do to stop what you can.

My Streaming Life is impacted by my privacy and security practices, but it doesn't stop me from watching what I want when I want. It's more related to non-streaming activity. I will continue to do what I can, but I know that nothing stops everything. But some things stop many things.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Even more Amazon ads

If you have been worried that you weren't seeing enough commercials on your streaming services, fear not. Amazon will soon offer more commercials for you.

On the heels of Amazon's announcement this past week about new types of ads to be offered to advertisers, word is now that Amazon will start showing ads when you pause Prime Video.

Cord Cutters News reports that Amazon will start playing ads when you hit Pause when using their service.

Amazon is trying to grow ad sales on the Fire TV and Prime Video. Last year Amazon’s Fire TV added full screen video ads when you start your device. In January Amazon added ads to all Prime Video subscribers unless an extra fee is paid.

With these new ads Amazon will show a carousel of products that customers will be able to scroll through to select the ads/products they are interested in.

The pause ads will also be shown during Amazon’s live sporting events as well as movies and TV shows.

The report also includes information that you can avoid the ads if you pay Amazon an additional $2/month for an ad-free version.

My Streaming Life doesn't include a lot of Prime Video. This won't change that.

Friday, May 10, 2024

More Amazon ads?

The Hollywood Reporter says Amazon is adding more ads. Yay?

According to the report, Amazon is going to offer "an expanded suite of new interactive and shoppable ad formats" to Prime Video.

The three formats are:

Shoppable carousel ads, which includes a sliding lineup of products from a sponsor during Prime Video commercial breaks. Users can quickly move between products using their remote, and add items to their Amazon cart.

Interactive pause ads: The pause ad has become a standardbearer format in video streaming ever since Hulu debuted the concept in 2019, letting services insert an ad at a natural moment: When the user has paused a video. Amazon will add a translucent banner that once again lets users instantly ad a product to their Amazon cart.

Interactive brand trivia ads: A format that lets brands share more information about themselves or their products, with users able to add items to their carts, learn more information about brands or products, or even earn Amazon credits with the purchase of selected items.

The implication is that this means more ads. I'm not so sure. It may turn out to be the case if advertisers are attracted to the new options.

My Streaming Life doesn't often involve Prime Video. I subscribe to Prime for shipping benefits, and rarely use Prime Video. But, I do on occasion, so I may encounter this. Once I experience it, I'll know if I like it, hate it, or don't care one way or the other.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Another increase from Max?

Prices the last three years have gone up a lot. Prices for everything. And now word is Max is about to have another price increase.

About a year ago, HBO Max (now just plain Max) had a price increase. The cheap, ad supported plan didn't go up then, but the bigger tiers did.

Now, another increase is in the works, if Bloomberg is correct:

They include the possibility of more layoffs at the company, which has eliminated more than 2,000 positions over the past year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are still being worked out. The streaming operation alone could bear hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts, mostly in marketing and technology, the people said.

My Streaming Life has Max in rotation. I'll subscribe to one service for a month, but only one. Then I'll pick another service. The thing is, with all the price increases, combined with the amount of free ad supported content there is, my rotation involves breaks where I don't subscribe to anything. This won't help.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

I gotta try the new Walmart 4K streamer

I've been pleasantly surprised with the Walmart Onn streaming devices. Well, the second generation devices. The first generation devices were awful.

The original Onn Streaming Stick and Streaming Box were terrible devices. However, when they released new devices last year, I gave them a look, and I liked what I saw.

The current Onn Streaming Box is a great device for $20. The Onn Streaming Stick is good as well, but I like the box better.

Recently, word came out of an updated Streaming Box, with some seeing it on shelves, but not officially released -- somebody in stocking at some Walmart store had some explaining to do! -- so I've waited until it's officially released to decide what to do.

Well, now it's been released. And I will get one and try it out. Eventually.

You see, it's not in stock. Oh, it's been released, and showing as an item for sale on the Walmart Website, it's just that they're all sold out.

When they are back in stock I'll get one and try it out. I'm optimistic based on the current devices. My Streaming Life sometimes uses the Walmart box as a Google TV device. I think I'll like the new one. I sure hope I'm not disappointed by the device.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Just how much is cable?

If you're like me, you're a streamer, not a cable TV customer. But the reality is, some are both. For a long time, my mother kept cable even after she started watching TV via streaming exclusively. She had a hard time dropping cable, although she had no trouble not watching cable. To her, it was her insurance policy.

She had a difficult time realizing that if Comcast Internet went down, Comcast TV would be down as well, but it was her decision, and I helped her with it, so she could watch what she wanted, when she wanted.

She eventually cut back on cable, keeping only local channels -- this was before I put up an antenna at her house -- and saved a lot of money. But until she did that, she was paying a shipload of money for cable TV.

A lot of people pay a lot of money for cable TV, even today. A recent report from U.S. News & World Report says that the average cable TV customer pays over $200/month for the service:

Using data from a variety of public sources, the site found the average monthly cable package is now $217.42 per month. That’s more than the average household’s monthly cost of $205.50 for all other major utilities combined.

However, that cable bill might be for more than simply television. Cable companies may advertise one price for service and then tack on broadcast fees, cable box rentals or other costs that can easily add $50 or more to a monthly bill. Another common strategy is to upsell bundled service packages which make it difficult to understand exactly how much is being spent on cable television itself.

The article goes into a lot of detail about what makes up those numbers, so give it a read if you're curious. But this is a good example of why I cut cable, and why my mother eventually cut way back on cable.

My Streaming Life doesn't involve cable TV. I get local channels form an antenna, and pay very little for the rest. I'm happy, and spending a lot less money than a lot of family members.

Monday, May 6, 2024

Max cracking down on password sharing

Word came out last week about Max cracking down on password sharing. According to a report from Bloomberg, Max has begun a "lot like Netflix" password crackdown:

Their plan starts with increasing the number of people paying for Max. The company plans to start cracking down on password sharing as soon as this fall, timed to one of the strongest programming slates in recent memory. Max will release a new season of House of the Dragon in June and debut The Penguin and Dune: Prophecy later this year.

The playbook looks similar to the one already being employed by Netflix. It will allow account holders to add extra members for less than the $9.99 price of Max with ads, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. Those extra members will have their own credentials and log-ins. They’ll be able to set that up without losing their viewership history.

The reports also says that Netflix has posted strong gains since the crackdown on password sharing, and Max wants the same.

My Streaming Life doesn't use Netflix or Max on any regularity, although they will occasionally make it into my service rotation. I understand their reasons for cracking down on sharing of passwords, but a lot of people aren't going to like it.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Securing your iPhone and iCloud data

Apple has made their iCloud service more secure and private. Well, potentially. Naomi Brockwell explains:

[YouTube]

My Streaming Life doesn't depend on any iCloud content. Online security and privacy is very important anyway. If you use iPhone, make sure you're doing what you can to keep things secure and private.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Streaming the Kentucky Derby (2024)

The Kentucky Derby is this afternoon. It's kind of a big deal, and has been for a while.

If you are interested, and if you are a streamer, you will probably want to know how you can watch it. Or even if you can watch it if  you're a streamer. Of course, you can.

NBC is, again, carrying the race. While USA carried the Kentucky Oaks yesterday, the Derby is on NBC and Peacock. Coverage begins at 2:30 pm, with the actual race a few minutes before 7:00 pm.

The fastest time in the Kentucky Derby was set by Secretariat in 1973, at 1:59.4. The second fasted time in the Derby was Sham, at an estimated 1:59.8. Why was Sham's time an estimate? Because they don't normally keep as accurate records on second-place horses. Sham set his time in 1973, when he lost to Secretariat. Had Sham run that time, and Secretariat not run in the race, Sham would be the record holder. That was quite a race.

Will any records be set today? Find out. Watch the Kentucky Derby on NBC or on Peacock TV and see for yourself.

Here's how to watch:

Peacock TV

Subscription is $6/month for the Premium service. It's $12/month for ad-free. But ad-free doesn't include not having ads in live TV. The ad-free applies to on-demand only.

NBC

  • Antenna (free) over the air.
  • Sling TV ($40 Orange) ($40/Blue) ($55 Orange + Blue)
  • DirecTV Stream ($85/month)
  • Hulu+Live TV ($77/month)
  • YouTube TV ($73/month)
  • Fubo (Pro) ($80/month)

If watching the first jewel of the Triple Crown is on your agenda for the day, you can enjoy streaming it on one of those services. My Streaming Life will include today's Kentucky Derby, probably on Peacock. But there are plenty of options.