What's new

Streaming Option for basic Local TV Channels only (1 Viewer)

David Norman

Premium
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
7,756
Location
Charlotte, NC
Odd dilemma and I've not sure what options are available.

High 80 yo, out of state Father in Law just moved into an Assisted Living style apartment. He basically only watches (listens) to the local TV networks -- mostly news and weather with an occasional sporting event if the local team is televised. At home he's had cable or lowest level DirecTV bundled with his phone/internet service just b/c it was easy.

I would say try to get an OTA antenna, but towers are at least 60-80+ miles away no matter which city you aim at. Years before he got cable and predigital OTA days, they had a rather large rooftop antenna with rotor which could get stations from at least 3 metro areas, but depending on weather and tree situation that really was never 100% reliable and more than once I remember being down to a single fuzzy channel as late as 1988.

Now, his apartment (no balcony) it's unlikely to be able to install and outdoor antenna and at the distances I'm sceptical of the functioning of an indoor antenna especially given my experience with the digital channels not seeming to have the legs of the old analog stations. I'm probably going to try it just to see how it works. I think his 32 in Samsung has a compatible tuner, but I'm not even 100% sure of that.

The complex has Comcast where they can get basic SD cable for $25/month which is ugly, but at least usable and with even HD is mostly lost due to at best mediocre vision. I think the cable is one-size fits all for all the residents since it seems to run like a hotel system for the couple hundred apartment. The $25 really isn't a problem, but if I can get better quality for less, I'm in.

Long preamble -- short question:
If the indoor OTA antenna option fails, Is there a streaming option that basically just supplies local networks for a small fee per month -- a lifeline type service. I need simple and something usable at least similar to channel channels on cable or a TV Tuner. Hulu or YouTube +Live seems to be overkill and over twice what he's already paying. Sling's even worse since it relies on an antenna anyway. DVR service isn't necessary and any sort of Internet interface would likely be far too cumbersome -- Turn TV on, change channel, watch.
 
Last edited:

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
21,753
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
I did a little bit of research when I cut the cord last year - I didn’t end up getting any live TV service so I don’t know how much this research holds up, but I don’t think I ever saw anything as low as $25/mo for basic service - that price may be unbeatable. Best I saw on streaming were packages that started around $40.
 

Cranston37+

🇺🇸
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
3,038
Real Name
Patrick
Sling TV starts at $30, which is the cheapest service I can think of (and doesn't use an antenna like your post says).

I'm not sure what he likes to watch, but there's a surprising amount of free content out there:

NewsOn is an app that shows local news broadcasts all over the country for free. It's actually one of my most used apps.

Pluto TV is free. It's not new programming, but there's actually a lot of stuff on there.

The Prime Video (app) includes IMDB TV, which is free with ads.

Heck, Peacock has tons of content that is free with ads.
 
Last edited:

David Norman

Premium
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
7,756
Location
Charlotte, NC
I certainly haven't something like a $10 per month package. I suspect you're right and I honestly don't think it's makes a lot
of difference to him to watch zoomed, SD broadcasts with all sorts of stuff cutoff the sides and/or top. I think pre-DirecTV he had
that with his previous U-verse -- cable box hooked with Composite Cables (I brought my own HDMI when I visited to watch late at night, but was hesitant to change his stuff permanently). When he switched to DirectTV to get a better deal the installer
must have switched him to an HDMI cable which is probably what I should have done at some point, but I was afraid if the input got switched he'd never get it back to the right input without calling somebody out for a $100 service call

I really never understood why he had CableTV/Satellite at all.


Sling TV starts at $30, which is the cheapest service I can think of.

I'm not sure what he likes to watch, but there's a surprising amount of free content out there:

NewsOn is an app that shows local news broadcasts all over the country for free. It's actually one of my most used apps.

Pluto TV is free. It's not new programming, but there's actually a lot of stuff on there.

The Prime Video (app) includes IMDB TV, which is free with ads.

Heck, Peacock has tons of content that is free with ads.

Very little is anything on cable. Just about anything involving an app, another box, a different remote, switching from here to there isn't going to work. Sling also is missing the one thing I need.

I don't think I've seen him watch anything other than local channels and TBS/FoxSports when a Braves or Falcons game might be on -- and I suspect the latter was mostly b/c I was there. Local affiliate News/Weather, and he used watch a decent amt of PBS news/business (McNeil - Lehrer stuff). I don't think I've seen him watch anything PBS is a few years and I can't remember he ever watch a scripted show, sitcom, drama, game show, etc. This is a man who was quite happy with a B&W TV at least until 1984/1985 or later

If he was 30 miles away from the towers of the 4-5 networks it would be simple choice.


Even things like Cable News -- CNBC, CNN, etc I don't remember. My dad would have CNBC running 8-9 hrs a days on weekdays just for the noise though he did like a couple of the hosts (Kelly Evans particularly) and Kramer's show, but he most liked making fun of folks like Kudlow -- for a decade or more all I heard was "Watch Kudlow and do the exact opposite of anything he says and you'll make a lot of money"
 
Last edited:

Cranston37+

🇺🇸
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
3,038
Real Name
Patrick
Just about anything involving an app, another box, a different remote, switching from here to there isn't going to work.

I'm confused re: what equipment is or is not ok for his situation. Your thread title says you are looking for a streaming option, but that's going to involve apps, a box, and a remote.

What kind of equipment are you hoping to use? Are you looking for a streaming service?
 
Last edited:

David Norman

Premium
Joined
Oct 12, 2001
Messages
7,756
Location
Charlotte, NC
Maybe my thread title should say Streaming Local Networks and not even network TV -- I didn't realize we could edit Thread title directly no.

The main issue is how to get Channel 2/5/11/17/etc to the TV if an indoor antenna isn't going to pull a station from 60-75 miles cleanly.
Morning news, 5/6 oclock news, 10oclock news, Local Weather Channel, possibly an occasional Nature or History Doc on PBS

I'm aware and was too dismissive on box/app, but I'm looking for an alternative as dead basic simple as I can get. THis is for a 90yo who knows how he's watched TV for 60+yrs and I'm not sure how things will turn out if I try to change too many moving parts. He's a very smart man, but 90 with the some mild memory issues -- routine and as close to what's his muscle memory is really important.

Turn on TV, Turn on Cable-Sat Box (App/Roku/Apple hopefully those will be linked) -- punch one button to get to Channel 5, push one button to change to PBS, push a button (or 1 twice) to get to Channel 11 or even channel up/down button to cycle 6-7 channels (honestly 2-3 is more like it). Even the box issue I could work around with careful filters and programming or even voice control via Alexa since he has teh basic idea with with an ECHO DOT (the Radio item is more more natural fit) , but....

A simple menu with only his channels to click to would probably work -- button to menu. see ABC/Channel 2/WSB,, Click, watch. I have played with or used Sling and Roku and AppleTV and Netflix apps and none of those general interfaces aren;t going to work -- just too many button pushes or directional pushes to get from Point A to point B. Time shifting, binge watching aren't even on the table.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
348,747
Messages
4,855,324
Members
142,370
Latest member
napasada
Recent bookmarks
0
Top