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jeffrok
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:03 am

Actually, if the channel description ONLY says "free" and nothing else, it SHOULD be just free, or possibly free with ads.
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DBDukes
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:54 am

DubTaylor wrote:
...
Channels listed as Free, may be Free and may be Free to download and install, but you need to pay for those channels to work. So... Free? Kinda yes, and kinda no. The hand is quicker than the eye kinda thing. Then there's the old Free for seven days, but we have your credit card info and you get charged on day 8 - in the fine print. I wonder how many $Millions that's good for each year?

In the last couple of years, Roku has modified their channel/app categories so that the "free to download and install" thing isn't really applicable any more. The "free for seven days" thing? Yep. That's still happening with stuff listed in the Free category. However, it does say that in the description. And, yes, I've ended up with being billed because I didn't take the steps to cancel in time. I'm not looking to blame anyone for that, though. Personal responsibility. I'm an adult. I'm not looking to blame Roku, some streaming service, or the boogey man for my error.
DubTaylor wrote:
Eventually users get used to this kind of thing and stop installing those Free Channels - because they're not Free if you want to use them. If you just noticed a new charge on your credit card and realize you forgot to cancel that 'service' (running on that fast timer). Probably won't do that again.

Yep. Roku really should have one more category of Free Trials to differentiate fully free (usually ad-supported) from Free To Try. That would be helpful to new users and long-time users alike.
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Vorg
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:39 am

Something else very missleading that a lot of sites do to get people to read their articals is start of with a subject  "How to get xyz without cable", or "without paying for cable". But you start reading and you still have to subscribe to _____ to get it or to use what ever channel.
 
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:52 am

Vorg wrote:
Something else very missleading that a lot of sites do to get people to read their articals is start of with a subject  "How to get xyz without cable", or "without paying for cable". But you start reading and you still have to subscribe to _____ to get it or to use what ever channel.

Yes, there are many online articles with misleading titles. For example, there are a whole bunch that claim you can install Kodi on a Roku player. No, it can't be done. And when you read the article you see they are only referring to screen mirroring from a computer or smartphone/tablet. That's the good and the bad of the Internet. Anyone can post something, regardless of accuracy. All they need to do is embed enough key phrases and the search bots pick it up and make it available. And I completely agree with you about the ones that claim to get something without paying for it. Same as those infomercials on TV advertising this great little gadget that hooks to your TV to get all these channels for FREE!!!. Guess what, it's a cheap little TV antenna, and unless you have outstanding over the air signals available you won't see anything. And they put in real fine print that it doesn't offer the premium cable channels, where no one with normal eyesight can read it.  :roll:
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:13 pm

atc98092 wrote:
Yes, there are many online articles with misleading titles. 

I've seen articles about how to get a date with Natalie Dormer.  I think I'd fall for that before I'd believe there is any such thing as free television, no matter what anybody's ad copy says.
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mikebdoss
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:24 am

blue_94_trooper wrote:
atc98092 wrote:
Yes, there are many online articles with misleading titles. 

I've seen articles about how to get a date with Natalie Dormer.  I think I'd fall for that before I'd believe there is any such thing as free television, no matter what anybody's ad copy says.

There's plenty of free television. Antenna, mostly, but there are a few Roku channels too. 
 
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:09 pm

kharrisma wrote:
@optikhog:  Yes, it does state "Subscription required," or "additional fees may be required," or something to that effect on many channels... and I do indeed pay for several of these channels.  TANSTAAFL (google it.)  Note though: nowhere... I'll repeat: nowhere.. does it say that you must have a cable subscription in order to view this channel.  You find that out only when you try to watch it.  NatGeo actually lets you watch about an hour of programming before they boot you out and want to know who your "provider" is.  That would be called a "misleading practice" in my book.  If a cable subscription is required to view the channel, it ought to say to right up front, so you don't waste your time and wind up frustrated and disappointed... and angry at being jerked around yet again, this time by Roku instead of cable (which most of us have learned to expect from them.)


Nat Geo Wild was the reason I finally cut cable TV. They had it on the lower tier package, and I watched it a lot. But then, it was moved to a higher tier, which mean even more money paid for bundles with channels I won't watch. And tha, was the straw that broke the camel's back, as they say. Been cable TV free for over 2 years now. I'm learning, over time, to be satisfied with what I get over YouTube and Pluto.

And, of course, amazingly, Nat Geo Wild has never shown up to be one of the channels available to choose in the cable company's $20/month "Build Your Own Package" offerings. :|
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:01 pm

So would subscribing to a provider such as Direct TV Now solve the issue discussed above?
 
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:05 pm

jeffd0956 wrote:
So would subscribing to a provider such as Direct TV Now solve the issue discussed above?

What do you see as the issue? What exactly are you concerned about?
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:21 pm

[Like a lot of other people, I gave cable the boot due to it's rapacious business practices, and instead purchased a Roku streaming device.  Was quite happy with it, until I started running into channels like "The History Channel," and now "NatGeo," that won't play unless you tell them who your "Provider" is, and log in through them to watch.

This was part of the very first post that started this thread. I hope my question makes sense. If when I use the DTN streaming service, will I be required to pay additional to watch The History Channel, NetGeo, etc, as the poster descibed was happening to him
 
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:28 pm

jeffd0956 wrote:
[Like a lot of other people, I gave cable the boot due to it's rapacious business practices, and instead purchased a Roku streaming device.  Was quite happy with it, until I started running into channels like "The History Channel," and now "NatGeo," that won't play unless you tell them who your "Provider" is, and log in through them to watch.


This was part of the very first post that started this thread. I hope my question makes sense. If when I use the DTN streaming service, will I be required to pay additional to watch The History Channel, NetGeo, etc, as the poster descibed was happening to him

Absolutely not. His problem was that he didn't have a provider. DirecTV Now is a provider, as I tried to tell him.

While History Channel and other TV Everywhere apps requires authentication against a provider, DirecTV Now is one of the providers that can be used. If you have a subscription to DirecTV Now, you can authorize the app using it. Other streaming services that support History include Philo and Hulu With Live TV. However, for History Channel, neither Sling TV nor YouTube TV support it, even though History part of their package. But, as I mentioned in my first response to him, those can be used for many channels, just like cable or satellite. Just not History and that family of channels.

As it happens, not every cable service can be used, either. Not every provider supports every app on every platform (Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, etc). But generally, providers can be used, whether it's a cable provider, a satellite provider, or a streaming provider.
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:30 pm

Got it. Thanks
 
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:28 pm

I'm guessing the basic hulu, not the hulu live TV, won't cut it ether for something like the syfy roku app? Since There isn't much from syfy there. If you browse by network, they only have a few old things like battlestar galactica.
 
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:13 pm

Vorg wrote:
I'm guessing the basic hulu, not the hulu live TV, won't cut it ether for something like the syfy roku app? Since There isn't much from syfy there. If you browse by network, they only have a few old things like battlestar galactica.

Correct. Hulu With Live TV is a provider. Standard on-demand Hulu service ($8-&12/month) is not.

Now, when you go to authenticate SYFY against Hulu, it will say simply "Hulu," but the on-demand-only service doesn't cut it.
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Re: Cable-cutters be advised:

Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:59 am

kharrisma wrote:
Like a lot of other people, I gave cable the boot due to it's rapacious business practices, and instead purchased a Roku streaming device.  Was quite happy with it, until I started running into channels like "The History Channel," and now "NatGeo," that won't play unless you tell them who your "Provider" is, and log in through them to watch.


Roku is acting as a generalized app-store.  It seems to me the majority of app stores have the same sort of issues.  If you look at Google Play store for Android devices, both the History Channel and National Geographic have application descriptions which claim the apps will stream full episodes.  It again isn't clear until you install the app on an Android device the degree to which is it just a wall garden of teaser clips.  While Google Play does have In-App purchases for other apps, since the provider login is not an in-app purchase, there is no such warning.

kharrisma wrote:
The long and short of it is: just because you see it listed as "available" in the channel store (or whatever they're calling it these days,) that doesn't mean it's available for you to watch.  Some of these "offerings" require a cable subscription in order to watch them.


When I go to the Roku "Whats On' web page and look up History and Nat Geo TV, it says clearly that "CABLE OR SATELLITE SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED."  So, from what I can tell Roku is doing better than the Google Play app store is doing.

kharrisma wrote:
I don't understand WHY Roku shows these channels as if they were available for watching through a streaming device, when in fact they're NOT... unless you have a cable subscription (which kind of defeats the whole purpose of buying a Roku in the first place, doesn't it?)  Why would somebody with a cable subscription buy a Roku in the first place?  You've got cable... you've got internet... what's the point of having a Roku at all in that situation?  I don't get it.  I really thought that Roku had positioned itself as "The answer to cable"... but maybe I just got the wrong impression.  If so, they've certainly changed their tune.


There are a couple reasons to still get a Roku when subscribing to cable:

(1) Avoid per TV cable box fees:

A friend of mine was told to pay $15 per month per TV to get access to all channels provided by the cable line up.  Without the cable box, only a hand full of local TV channels (same as you could get with an antenna) could be viewed.  The FCC has required for a long time cable providers also provide a "cable card" as a cheap alternative to a cable box.  Comcast went out of their way to make clear they have no intention of actually honoring the cable card requirement.  They sent technicians with cards that were either broken or already registered to a previous customer were Comcast's system refused to complete the cable card pairing to his account.  Each time the technician said the cable card install would have to be rescheduled of which they didn't have another appointment available for an entire week.  And each time my friend would have to wait at home during a 4 hour window for another tech to show up and fail to perform the cable card install.  It seems they are comfortable with charging customers for a miss appointment but provide no refund if the customer's time is wasted due to the appointment producing no results.  This went on for a *MONTH* were Comcast failed to provide the cable card activation required by law.

However, with a Roku, my friend got all the channels he cared about for an one-time fee.  Setup of the Roku took only minutes to get successful results instead of waiting over a hour to hear more Comcast run-around.

(2) Roku can supplement a cable subscription with content not otherwise availabe.

For a long time Roku has provided "SmartTV.com" channel and allowed customers to order the content direct from the provider.  The same content has been blocked by Comcast and Charter regardless of how many cable customers requested to be able to subscribe.  In court documents about the matter, both cable providers have indicated they have first amendment rights to use "editorial discretion" to not provide the content to their customers.  Therefore, while customers may choose to use Comcast or Charter for access to other content, the only way for those customers to get to SmartTV.com was to get a device like Roku to bypass the cable company "editorial" prohibition.

kharrisma wrote:
So anyway, prospective cord cutters: know that Roku is not a direct replacement for cable.  It's better than nothing at all (especially with broadcast TV all but extinct), but there's still a bunch of "pay-for" (which I have no problem with at all... I pay for several channels now), and other stuff that you can't watch at all unless you do in fact still have cable.  I just don't think that cable-only content has any place in the Roku lineup.  OR, if it does, why it isn't segregated into a 'cable-only' or 'cable subscription required' area.  I'd happily pay for either of these channels (or any channel I like enough to be willing to pay for,) but that's just not an option here.  Cable, or nothing.


HBO has shown with "HBO NOW" that content historically only available through cable can be made available direct to consumer.  If there is specific channels you expect to be able to pay for independent of paying a cable company, you should contact the companies that provide that content and ask why there isn't alternatives to cable.  It isn't really up to Roku how other companies choose to license or bill for their content.

To Roku's credit, they have made worked to make more content available in their own Roku channel that has never required cable to get full access to.  While it would be nice to be able to pay a monthly fee to get an ad-free Roku channel, I think they are trying to avoid conflicting/competing with the other companies that publish channels to their device. 

kharrisma wrote:
I'm beginning to think that they're just all in bed together... given cables' deep pockets, they probably just quietly bought Roku, left it mostly alone to appease cable haters like me, and just as quietly started adding their 'cable-subscription-required' content.  And no, I'm not some conspiracy-theory nut... I just for the life of me can't understand why I'm seeing things in the Roku that I can't watch unless I ALSO have cable.  And if I had cable, why would I have a Roku?


You really should do some research into Anthony J. Wood, the founder of Roku.  His attempts to provide a DVR (called ReplayTV) which could make it easy for people to skip through commercials was treated as a major threat to the status quo by the established media companies.  He currently has a net worth of $1 billion and has plenty of money to live well for the rest of his life.  The idea he might have sold-out to big cable doesn't make sense to me.

The first Roku was originally designed to make it easier to see Netflix directly on a TV.  Again, Netflix also was treated as a major threat to the status quo.  Netflix continues to run fast.com to help customers see if their cable provider is really providing the network speed they claim they are to customers.

Roku is "in bed together" to the same extent a web browser, Google Play or any other generalized platform is.  It might be nice if Roku settings included channel store filtering options were someone could choose to exclude all cable subscription based channels.  But such an option might just create user confusion.  It seems to me that Roku has tried to balance the needs for being transparent with Roku users by including the cable subscription requirement in ALL CAPS in the channel store when a channel has such a requirement.

If you still wrap your head around why a Roku provide any benefit to someone that already has cable, then return your Roku to where you bought it.

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