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Member since: 2001
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Results of switching from satellite/cable to stick(s) Amazon/Roku.

The other thread, about *how* to hook up the sticks is full of fantastically good information from everybody, especially Mr engineer KY_EnviroGuy: https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181174662

Whoever might be interested in this should know that I'm incredibly low tech, so am "discovering" things that many people know.

So I even had to learn what "streaming" is. Then, familiar with Amazon via Kindle for several years (which I find to be O.K. for reading but clumsy and cumbersome for navigating the web), I found out from everybody about Roku, with the subsequent dilemma of choosing without knowing either one.

Luckily, there's YouTube for getting acquainted with what the things look like, plus the fantastic Loungeteers, and for me it turned out that somebody had an Amazon stick that I got to try for connecting and navigating a bit. Then, the Roku website helped to figure what product I thought I wanted, which was the Streaming Stick+.

It turns out that both of these are apparently supposed to be so intuitive that the instructions are bare bones about plugging in, with even the devices themselves being *unmarked* with nothing except the Brand names on them.

***What this translates to is: No On/Off button, and remember the stuff keeps "streaming" so long as connected, and all the fanatics *rave* that the latest models have a Volume Up/Down buttons on the SIDE edge - my discovery being that when I'm squeezing the FRONT OK and other buttons I'm mistakenly also squeezing the SIDE buttons, mostly LOWERING the Volume.

So with a couple of hours of Amazon stick under my belt, I found the Roku available no big deal at Best Buy, Walmart, Target - eliminating the big deal of ordering. Amazon customer support had made the point that they service their item if it's bought through them but that if from a store you're supposed to get help from the store. Hmm.

Then being able to compare the two, my Kindle experience was validated with their stick - a bit more clumsy than the Roku, which is my choice. What was next was to decide whether this was actually what I wanted to get rid of satellite/cable.

For starters and *EMPHASIS* - my personal interests and habits are for live (as scheduled, not necessarily *live*-live): MSNBC (Rachel, Ari, Tweety, Brian, sometimes Morning Scab), the daytime non-cable GMA, View, and evening COLBERT and the others; SNL.

All of that is to EMPHASIZE that I have zero interest in run of the mill movies; certainly not the t.v. series, the cable reality shows, certainly not sports. Just the politics and network stuff above. I've been puzzled about all the people I've run into who are manics for movies or even music. I can't even picture how anybody spends all of that time in catatonia watching those things. From the '70s the comparison I make is of zonked-out post-Hippies lying on mattresses on the floor. Besides, the movies tend to have learning moral-to-the-story and the movie maniacs I've met don't seem to have learned anything.

Whew. Well, alrighty then. How do the sticks fit into my way of life and as a substitute for what I use satellite for? I'm an old retiree, with a daily rut. I wake up at 5 A.M., turn on Morning Scabs on the satellite and doze through it until 8 A.M. After the personal tasks, a couple of hours on the internet, mostly at DU. The afternoons are hit/miss, in/out, but daytime is basically for the local channels (via outside antenna). Then Ari, Tweety, Rachel on satellite (skipping HAYES and mostly skipping Lawrence), then maybe Conan, then back to local for the late night comedians. But here's the point, that I do *NOT* sit and WATCH those things. The main t.v. is on a shelf overhead, and I'm either on the laptop or doing other things, NOT WATCHING, just audio.

Weekends are mostly for the satellite - Saturdays the Expedition Unknown, or Egypt stuff; Sundays the Reliable Sources stuff.

Somebody in the other thread made the point that the stick programming had to be "babysitting" the stick. Not how I use the satellite as background. Besides, in my situation the main t.v. is in one room on a shelf half buried in knickknacks. So my main connection for the stick is in the bedroom, meaning that my main hours of use, late afternoon for Ari/TweetyEtc, the stick is not handy in the main room.

But here's a realization: After all these 20+ years of satellite, I just figured out I don't use it as much as I thought in terms of total hours, certainly not enough to justify the cost of satellite/cable. But also, the hassle of the stick is something to consider (for myself). As for the initial installation of the stick, it's physically simple, but I wasn't prepared for a whole lot of registering, lots of running back and forth to the laptop (wired in a separate room) to log into the different programs, all with passwords and code numbers to write down.

Somebody made the point that there's no on/off on the sticks, that if you leave them installed the streaming will continue if you're watching from another Source. So for me, I have been disconnecting the stick and re-connecting. This would not be fit my morning routine at 5 A.M.

Even on weekends, when I use satellite or stick most of all, stick is in another room, laptop (where I am) in another room. Hmmm.

As for the try-out yesterday of the Roku, which was easier than the Amazon, 95% of what I saw available was all the stuff listed above that I have *NO/ZERO* use for - all the movies, t.v. series, reality shows, sports, whatever. ZILCH/NADA/NOTHING I will ever have on. I happened on free History items that looked interesting (for weekends) and actually made the time to watch three of them - "Wagner and Hitler", "Spartacus" (documentary, not the movie), and "The Celts". Yeah, things I'm interested in, plus quite a few of the other things - Egypt, the real Merlin, stuff like that. But they were free, and the cliche (TRUE) happened, that you get what you pay for, so these items were high school bland stuff.

So far, the only things *LIVE* I found of my needs were on Tune In (radio) - where the MSNBC things are live as scheduled daily - Ari/Tweety/Rachel. And the other radio, I Heart. But that's the point, they're RADIO, besides that they are with the stick IN THE OTHER ROOM, not where I am with the laptop (wired down).

*********BOTTOM LINE ("bottom line" = financially speaking): My whole proposition was to GET RID OF SATELLITE/CABLE COSTS. Somebody told me in the other thread that I can get my MSNBC and CNN on Hulu. Yeah, for FORTY DOLLARS. And the YouTube channel ain't free, and neither are the other things I might want.

So it looks like I might just well go ahead and get rid of the satellite, and only use the Roku for limited things and DELAYED things. And. change. my. daily. routine.

i see there are already a couple of posts praising the *subscriptions* to this or that. I ain't going to subscribe to stuff. My whole point was to cut the cost.

**********ON EDIT, To put a finer point on my "solution" ************

And frankly, with a healthy dose of self-esteem, I believe my solution is rather INGENIOUS!1

I've got about a month left of Dish. After more than 15 years, it's a little rough to cut it off, not for Dish's sake but because it might mean being a little less plugged-in to stuff than my DU peers, since I want to be a little bit up on things though am backward in many things. I chose Dish in the first place because DirecTV was owned by MURDOCH and I regarded cable as a rogue exploiter along the lines of "Ma Bell" of the old days.

But after the above exploration of the Roku and Amazon sticks, I have hit on an idea that more or less keeps me connected to things while making it palatable to cut out the satellite.

First, to repeat, I discovered how little actual use I put in with the satellite offerings: Barely four hours of MSNBC/CNN on weekdays, more on Saturdays - and almost all of it as background noise while I am on the laptop or doing other things. Almost never as sitting/watching. The rest of the time, it is the Local channels with the big networks - also as background noise.

Second, the BRILLIANT INSIGHT is that Tune In Radio carries LIVE (as scheduled) the MSNBC/CNN programs. Radio. Audio only (need we say?). I have Tune In on the laptop, android phone, and Kindle. I have a SOUND BAR, bluetooth, such that I can access my stuff while on the laptop with Tune In on a separate Tab. And in the bedroom for the 6 A.M. Morning Scabs, can access on the phone with the sound bar amplifying.

Third, the STICKS, whether Amazon or in my preference Roku, would defeat the purpose of cutting COSTS of satellite because I have zero use for the mostly movies and SUBSCRIPTIONS (needed for MY stuff) would mount up to the same amount or more than satellite. Plus, somebody told me that leaving the stick plugged into the t.v. means that the streaming continues even when the t.v. is on a different Source, so I need to go through the (self-imposed) hassle of connecting/disconnecting the stick.

So now I will cut out the satellite; use the Roku mostly on weekends; use the laptop/phone/soundbar for my weekday news background noise. Brilliant, yes?!1 I say, BRILLIANT!1

They didn't want SHITLER at the border, don't want the wall, he didn't invite the mayors (Blue parts



Congressmen Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) and Vicente González (D-TX) introduced on Wednesday the This Land Is Our Land Act to prohibit the Department of Homeland Security or Department of Defense from constructing any new border barriers, including walls or fences, on federal land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior. The bill would also prohibit the administration from using eminent domain to force construction of a border barrier on private property, and it would clarify that Defense Department funds could not be used under a “national emergency” for constructing a barrier of any kind on the southern border. “Since his inauguration, President Trump has subjected Congress, federal employees and, most importantly, the American people to uncertainty and harm in pursuit of an unnecessary wall along the southern border,” said Espaillat. “The President’s wall is nothing more than an ill-conceived campaign tactic and a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars.” González added, “I am proud to join Congressman Espaillat in supporting the This Land is Our Land Act. Let’s put a stop to the president’s wasteful project and pursue pragmatic solutions to protect our communities, our land, and our rights.” Read the text of the bill here.

Brownsville left out of border security discussion

.... This afternoon, Senator John Cornyn and other politicians hosted a roundtable discussion where they allowed various city and county officials to voice their concerns. According to Brownsville Mayor, Tony Martinez, he was not given the opportunity to be a part of the discussion as he was not invited.

"I think if you believe in good government and if you believe in having the people speak and believe in having the largest community among region they may want to hear your voice," expressed Martinez.

Residents like the Cortez family, believe a new wall would not make a difference. They have lived in Brownsville for over 40 years and say that since the border fence was installed on a portion of their backyard, it has not stopped any activity from coming across the border. ....

"As you can see we have the border close to us and they should also listen to the concerns of residents here in Brownsville," the Cortez family expressed.

Mayor of McAllen, Texas, where Trump is visiting, doesn't support the president's border wall

McAllen, a city of roughly 142,000 people that's located along the Rio Grande, has a strong economic relationship with the Mexican border city of Reynosa right across the river. Darling told Reuters a wall would make daily life difficult in this regard.

"We have tens of thousands of people go back and forth every day," Darling said. "You can't just shut this place down."

Darling hopes that Trump's visit to McAllen will help him see that a wall is not a viable option. ....

Darling is not the only elected official in Texas who questions the logic surrounding Trump's push for a wall. Republican Rep. Will Hurd, who represents more of the southern border than any of his colleagues in the House of Representatives, is also opposed to building a wall.


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