Keith Smith - My Blog

Screw Verizon and there stupid STB's and constant rate hikes with the

Thursday, May 28, 2015 - by Keith A. Smith

In February of 2014 i finally decided to cut the cord! I returned all the Set top boxes (STB) that were in my house to the provider and cancelled my tv subscription. The customer service guy tried really hard to prevent me from canceling but i was persistent enough to see it through, during the same process I negotiated a speed tier increase which was going to be utilized by all the Internet connected things.

I like most people have more shows on hulu, Netflix and amazon prime than on anything else, the challenge was going to be with sports! How would I be able to watch football and basketball? And what would would be the device of choice for streaming? Since i don't have any smart tv's or any of that I started to do some research, i already knew of the apple tv's, roku's and chromecast's of the world but i wanted something different, on Mar 27, 2014 i heard a rumor that amazon was working on some sort of set-top box which was intriguing to me. Apr 2, 2014 Amazon unveiled a new streaming video product during a press conference it dubbed Fire TV, after looking at the specs it seemed like it do fit the bill for what i wanted.
On Apr 2, 2014 i pulled the trigger and purchased my first amazon fire tv, the setup was pretty straight forward and there are a few popular music apps included like Pandora, but the company says its Amazon Music Cloud player will be available soon. Currently you can't access your local video or music collection from an external drive, even though there's a USB 2.0 port. Company execs say the port is meant for accessories as well as developer support. But once the Amazon Cloud Player is ready, you can upload your songs to it and play them.

FreeTime for kids is another feature that works with parental controls and limits the amount of time your kid can watch videos and play games. It also lets you create personalized profiles for each of your children. The FreeTime service is a subscription that will cost US$2.99 per month, and is said to be arriving in the coming weeks. A month later i planned to other another Fire TV, but i needed to make a few changes first.

As i noted here i chose to go the Amazon Fire TV route for media streaming in 2014, by the time September rolled around i had not found a solution for watching football and basketball with out a tv subscription. I stumbled upon a article that reminded me that i could use a vpn solution to access certain content, I already knew of a pretty reasonable vpn provider that might be able to do this but in order to test it out i would need to and i did purchase NFL Game Pass which would allow me to stream the NFL games. To sum it all up my answer was a vpn provider and a NFL Game Pass subscription for the streaming of NFL games.
In February of 2015 i figured now would be the time to see if i would be able to find a solution for the streaming of NBA games. I discovered something called NBA League pass which was suppose to allow you to stream NBA games just like the NFL Game Pass did for me, after installing the app and creating a login i attempted to watch a few games but two things seemed to be vary consistent which were the following streaming quality, a lack of HD broadcasts.

The streaming quality was just dreadful, so much so that after about 4 weeks i cancelled it because of that and the customer support wasn't really helpful. My last option was to wait for the Sling TV to become available, at least then i could gain access to ESPN and TNT which are stations that sometimes carry NBA games. On February 13, 2015 i installed the Sling TV app and it filled the all gaps that were existing (e.g. HGTV, ESPN,TNT and some NBA games) in early goings I had some issues with the streaming quality but i believe quite a few people had the same sort of issues. Over the past few months the streaming quality has improved and all is well for now.
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