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"Hang on, let me pause it"

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Black Girls Rock 2017

On Netflix at 3:01: Lynne Koplitz: Hormonal Beast.

Up at 8:00 on BET it's Black Girls Rock 2017.  On SyFy at 9:00 it's the 12th season finale of Face Off, ID has Night Shift Nightmare & on Cooking it's the 6th season finale of Man Fire Food.  At 9:30 on Bravo it's The Real Housewives of New Jersey: How They Got Here.

At 10:00 on SyFy it's the series premiere of Face Off: Game Face, CNBC has the return of The Filthy, Rich Guide, ID has the 2nd season finale of I Am Homicide, OWN has Oprah's Master Class and on Science it's the series premiere of The Planets.  TBS has the 2nd season finale of Wrecked at 10:30.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

I Cut the Cord!

I did it, I finally cut the cord & for the most part it's not affecting me at all.  I have had so many people ask me about it that I wanted to share my experience & knowledge & detail my setup.

So as you know I'm a TV junkie so I never thought I'd be able to cancel cable considering how much stuff I watch.  Just to put it into perspective, I record everything & when I was going to cancel I went through & deleted all of my series recordings so after I removed everything that I dumped or was cancelled after last season there were 99 series recordings left.  That's a lot of shows to still watch when you don't have the convenience of cable, or so I thought but I know now that's not the case.

Obviously I record a lot of TV, I record everything really so that I can skip commercials & watch more shows in less time.  I did all kinds of research because I knew there had to be DVR's that work with an HD antenna and I was right.  Of course you've got Tivo which has always had a great reputation and they have a couple of different options for OTA (over the air) DVRs with varying prices but my biggest issue with Tivo is that I could only watch my shows on the TV that the Tivo is connected to.

I did more research and I ended up going with the 4 Tuner Tablo.  The Tablo is very unique in that I can watch my DVR anywhere, anytime and here's how it works.  I connected the Tablo to the TV in my guest room which gets the best HD antenna reception.  The Tablo is connected via wi-fi to my network & then I have a 2 TB portable hard drive connected to the Tablo.  I can access not only the DVR but the live TV feed from that antenna through the Tablo app on my Roku, phone, computer, etc.  Being a 4 tuner means that I can record 4 shows at once which is great...come prime time in the fall that's certainly a possibility!  So sometimes I will have some spotty playback or buffering but I know it's because of the wi-fi so come the fall season I'm sure I'll be dealing with it more & might add a powerline adapter to my setup.  Basically I plug one into a wall outlet & hard line it to my router & then I plug another one in the wall near the Tablo & hard line into it which creates a hard line connection from the DVR to the router.  One other thing I really like about the Tablo is the guide that it offers and it's free for the first 30 days but you have an option to purchase.  I went ahead & purchased the lifetime guide for $150 ($4.99/mo, $49.99/year) as it covers every Tablo you may ever own on your account & having the guide makes life so much easier.  Here's some photos to show you what Tablo looks like (on Windows 10 though all apps are very similar).

Prime Time Guide

Live TV Guide

Well that covers all of my local stations and the big networks but what about the insane amount of Bravo, Hallmark, Logo, A&E, AMC, FX, TBS, TV Land and more that I also watch?  Well, I went through my options on Hulu and they just weren't enough, obviously I'm willing to jump through hoops or take extra steps to watch some shows but having to use 10 different apps a night just seems a bit cumbersome.  As you saw in my previous posts, I tried PlayStation Vue and I also tried Sling and opted to go with Sling primarily for the channel options & pricing.  Both of these offer a free trial so I suggest you give them both a whirl to find out what's for you.  Believe you me as any other competitors show up I'll be going with a free trial on all of them.  Below are a couple of screen shots of the Windows 10 Sling guide & DVR.  When watching on Roku the guide can also be toggled to a grid version rather than the channel view guide.

Sling Guide (By Channel)

Sling My TV (shows DVR, My Channels & favorites)
For those few shows I'm not able to get from Sling, Hulu, other app I pay for, or antenna I can record it to my friend's DVR from my phone & watch it when I'm at their house or online when I can cast it from my phone to the Chromecast that is connected to my TV.

So basically I had to buy a good antenna ($25+, I had a hand me down that gets slightly better reception than what I bought), a Tablo ($190-276), an external hard drive ($55+), Sling TV service and bump my internet service up a notch while I already had a Roku ($40+) on every TV and Hulu service.  All in all it was a large investment up front but luckily for me I had an Amazon card & was able to get 95% of what I needed there so I was able to start saving from day one where some folks might be waiting upwards of 10 months to recoup their expenses.  Obviously I watch more TV than the average person so you might not need so much when it comes to your setup and might be able to cut the cord for less. 

There is a good chance that I've provided information you don't need & haven't touched on something you do want to know so feel free to comment & I'll reply best I can as it relates to my experience.

The Nineties season finale tonight

At 7:00 on NBC it's the U.S. Gymnastics Championships.  Up at 8:00 on Science it's How the Universe Works, A&E has a special Storage Wars while MTV has 2 episodes of Teen Wolf tonight.  

Up at 9:00 on PBS it's the 4th season premiere of Endeavour, HBO has a special Game of Thrones, HMC has Garage Sale Mystery, Food has the 8th season premiere of The Great Food Truck Race, History has The New Age of Terror, Smith has the 1st season finale of Inside Windsor Castle, TNT has the 4th season premiere of The Last Ship and on CNN it's the season finale of The Nineties.  Science has the special Great American Eclipse and at 9:30 on E! it's Reunion Road Trip: Return to the Jersey Shore.

On Hallmark at 10:00 it's the original telefilm At Home in Mitford, Travel has the series premiere of Caribbean Pirate Treasure, Showtime has the 5th season premiere of Episodes, Animal Planet has the 1st season finale of I Was Prey, ID has the 15th season finale of On the Case with Paula Zahn, Starz has the 4th season premiere of Survivor's Remorse and on E! it's the 2nd season premiere of WAGS Miami.

On HBO, Ballers is pushed back to 10:15, Insecure pushed to 10:45 and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver will air at 11:15.  On Comedy at 11:30 it's the 2nd season finale of Legends of Chamberlain Heights.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

I Tried Sling

So I tried Sling & like my Vue review it's mostly what I don't like about it and some things I did like and I have to say I like more things about this than Vue primarily the channels as it includes all of the "fluff" that I like and then I can add more on if I want to.

What I don't like about Sling is that you have to go online to edit your my channels section if you try and add them through the Roku app it will only let you add 2 & then the rest will flash when you select them but they don't actually select. So this issue finally stopped...not sure how or why as it happened to me on 2 different accounts & 2 different Roku models.

There's often a delay so I push the back button on my remote and nothing happens so I end up clicking repeatedly thinking that the Roku didn't receive it and then before I know it I'm completely out of the app. Vue had the same issue & I'm just hoping that over time I'll adjust. I really wish the guide would scroll around to the beginning once you reach the end otherwise if you start in the middle then you have to scroll through one half twice.

I do like that the guide actually tells you what the show is that's on rather than the episode title.  It is a bit tricky trying to navigate the guide & what is on through the Roku app being that you are going right to left rather than everything listed top to bottom but if you go into the Android app you can view the guide like a cable guide with all of the channels listed on the left top to bottom & what is on (by time) to the right of the channels. -- So during my trial period they added an option to toggle the guide to look like a regular old channel guide but it's not perfect, like I said it doesn't scroll around to the beginning, it doesn't tell you the current time & if you want to see what an episode is you have to click it and I wish it would just show a synopsis below or to the side when you highlight the show. It also doesn't give you the option to set a default, for example I would like it to always default to grid with "my channels" but every time I go back to the grid I have to re-select for it to show only "my channels" and this is really annoying & big time waster (like I could do this 20+ times a day).

Like Vue I can't see what's on while I'm watching something...again, this changed during my trial. You can push "up" to see what else is on while you are watching something but it pauses what you are watching & if it's a channel that doesn't allow you to rewind/pause you miss what was happening while you were nosing around.

The DVR is easy to find and it gives you the option to only record what you want it doesn't automatically dump every OnDemand episode of that same show into your DVR. One thing that does suck about the DVR is I'm realizing you can't record every single Channel I just tried to record something on Fox and it doesn't even give me the option. It is nice though that it's my local Fox station but there's no NBC (there is OnDemand), CBS, ABC or CW. Vue did have NBC. I think this content might vary by market as their websites indicate they have most of the big networks but clearly they don't. On the plus side it doesn't really matter because they are all available with an antenna anyway.

Sling does not offer the jump back option with the Roku. When you use the quick jump button nothing happens, or it goes back to the last channel you were watching. While fast forwarding or rewinding on a DVR'd show the show continues to play and you can see the frames as the rewind or fast-forward is moving and you can change how fast it goes so that's pretty handy.  While it’s handy, this is streaming so it’s hard to control where it stops and when it stops it seems like it always jumps forward a bit whereas my cable jumps back 30 seconds so I rarely have to rewind after fast forwarding. The fact that it jumps forward a bit wouldn’t be so annoying if I could use the jump back key on my roku remote.  There is a -10 and a +30 (sec) option on the Android app which does make it a bit easier to skip commercials there but then having to wait for things to load often takes just as much time as waiting through the commercial.

They really need to add a myTV list in the on now section. They have comedy Drama action adventure Etc but nothing that only shows your favorite channels.

If you set a show to record all episodes it records all episodes on all channels not just the channel you have it set on. I'm not sure if that's a pro or a con I guess it depends. Also once you have done this if you want to cancel a recording it cancels all future recordings you can't just cancel the one episode...I think this may have changed but I'm not sure since I'm having DVR issues!

Some channels and shows offer you the option to start over when you go to play them if they've already started that's pretty awesome.

One thing that is very annoying is that not all channels allow you to rewind pause or fast forward and that's very frustrating you basically have to record everything you're watching on those channels...assuming you can, there are a few that don’t allow recording. For example I'm sitting here watching TV Land and my phone rings I hit pause no dice, I have to hit OK and then record.

I recorded three episodes of a TV show last night and four episodes of another one my DVR has 1 episode of each.  I tweeted to Sling & they’ve been providing help which hasn’t worked but at least they are quick on responding.

Because it's web-based it does freeze up sometimes and I find it extremely frustrating. When I get that text that says oh my God so and so's on turn it on and it takes me 5 minutes to get there and I miss something that's unacceptable to me. I often find myself rebooting the Roku to get the app to stop freezing or pixelating & I shouldn't have to do that either.

While I do like the fact that it shows what show is on rather than what episode is on this sucks when it comes to the DVR because I have 20 episodes of Roseanne and have to go through each one to find out what I want to watch and then you can't just go to the next one either you have to go back and then it shoots you back to the beginning of the DVR then you have to try and remember which episode you left off on click on it and see what it is it's a pain in the ass but I'm hoping that over time this gets better & maybe a bit more intuitive.

As for recordings, it’s odd that I can setup/watch a recording on my Roku and on my phone but the Windows app doesn’t support either...this isn't the case with Windows 10 it seems. The strangest thing has been happening for the last week, Bravo shows aren't recording right. I have everything set to record all new episodes yet it will just record random episodes & not the actual new episodes. When I look at the guide it shows it as recording but when I go to my DVR it's not there. Thankfully via Twitter DMs Sling got this fixed for me.

I have decided to go with Sling for my primary TV so even though I have a lot of complaints above I still prefer it to Vue, not only for the channels but for the excellent customer support on Twitter when it comes to issues & suggestions for improvements.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Game of Thrones premieres tonight

Courtesy HBO
Tonight at 8:00 on PBS it's the 1st season finale of My Mother and Other Strangers, Discovery has the special Naked & Afraid: Swamp Nights, Nick has Kids' Choice Sports 2017 and Bravo has the 6th season premiere of Shahs of Sunset.  At 8:30 on HGTV it's the 4th season finale of Lakefront Bargain Hunt.

Up at 9:00 on HGTV it's the 9th season premiere of Caribbean Life, HBO has the 7th season premiere of Game of Thrones, HMC has the original Home for Christmas Day, Bravo has part two of The Real Housewives of Potomac reunion and on Reelz it's the special Chasing Evel.  On Nick at 9:30 it's the special The Dude Perfect Show.

At 10:00 on Animal Planet it's the special Human Prey - Feeding Frenzy, CNN has the return of The History of Comedy, HGTV has the 4th season premiere of Island Hunters, PBS has the series premiere of Remember Me and on FX it's the 4th season premiere of The Strain.  AMC has the return of Talking with Chris Hardwick.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Better Call Saul season finale tonight

photo credit:
Tonight at 6:00 on Viceland it's Under the Influence.  Up at 8:00 on Food it's the 2nd season finale of Kids BBQ Championship.

On A&E at 9:00 it's Kids Who Kill and Discovery has Diesel Brothers.  At 10:00 on CNBC it's the return of American Greed, AMC has the 3rd season finale of Better Call Saul, and DFC has the series premiere of Reno, Set Go!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

I Tried PlayStation Vue

I did the free 5-day trial with PlayStation Vue on the Roku platform & I also accessed it via Windows. I'm going to warn you right now that usually my reviews generally consist primarily of things I don't like so I'm going to do my best to also comment on what I do. I wrote the review as I was using the service.

Right off the bat the things I can't stand about the service so far are: when you're done with something it goes all the way back to the beginning not where you left off. For example I check BBC and realize the movie I wanted to watch just ended and now it's going into Star Trek so I hit the back button and instead of going back to BBC it flips all the way back to the beginning of the channel list. FYI this only seemed to happen on certain channels. Navigating through the channels was fairly self explanatory so finding something to watch right away was easy.

Because it's internet-based there's a delay with everything and I move too fast so I start watching things I don't want to watch and then they start showing up as recently watched things & clog up my feed.

I don't like that when I'm watching something I can't just scroll up and down with the remote arrows to move to the next channels I have to go back to the list & search back through and find something else to watch.

I find the service to cater more to males or rather sports fans, there is a lot of sports content and I don't need any of it. It's really lacking the fluffy and/or female directed content that I require like Lifetime, Logo, Comedy Central and Hallmark.

You can't record something while you're watching it you have to go back to the channel screen to set it from there which is kind of annoying.

As I'm trying to navigate around the app I just keep getting sent back to the Roku home screen because of this annoying delay it seems to have. This is by far my biggest frustration with the app. I click nothing happens, I click again it happens twice it's very annoying. I think I recorded an episode of a TV show but now I can't find it.

Once you save a show to your shows that will always record new episodes but also dumps a bunch of random OnDemand stuff in with all your DVR shows so you keep having to filter through to find what you're actually looking for. I can't find a way to only see what I've dvr'd and what is scheduled to record.

You cannot fast-forward through new OnDemand shows but you can at least with the one I tried that was a week old.

The biggest issue I was worried about was only being able to ff 10 secs at a time. I'm guessing that's an Apple TV issue as I was able to ff as much & as fast as I wanted.

Every time I go to log into my account I have to wait for a code via text...this happened at least 4 times in the 5 days I had it & more than once it was on the same device.

When I'm scrolling through “All Live TV” it shows a show image w/ the episode name rather than the show name & I can't see the words on most of the images to know what the show is.

Sometimes when I click to watch a live show it takes me to a landing page first.

Pro/con based on preference, the app didn't close/ go to sleep all day.

I don't like that I can't see what else is on while I'm  watching something.

I can say that I never had an issue accessing the service on any device I tried it on, the picture on my television was clear as a bell and the app has a lot of potential. If you are into sports this might be a good option to at least test out. I know that the user experience varies by platform whether it's Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation, etc. so being able to try it is great I just with they gave it a full week.

I basically tried to record/watch everything on Vue via my Roku while I was recording everything with my cable to see what was lacking. For me, a lot was missing that I really rely on & I wouldn't want to miss out on these shows so even with hulu, channel apps & antenna and more this service doesn't give me enough to allow me to cut my cable.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Menendez: Blood Brothers, tonight on Lifetime

Photo Credit: Lifetime/Copyright 2017
Tonight at 8:00 on TLC it's 90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?, CBS has The 71st Annual Tony Awards, ABC has the 4th season premiere of Celebrity Family Feud, Lifetime has the original telefilm Menendez: Blood Brothers and on NBC it's Stanley Cup Finals, game 6.  At 8:30 it's a special Bob's Burgers.

On FOX at 9:00 it's the 2nd season premiere of American Grit, DIY has the 5th season premiere of Barnwood Builders, TNT has the series premiere of Claws, History has Hamilton: Building America, E! has the 13th season finale of KUWTK and on ABC it's the series premiere of Steve Harvey's Funderdome.

At 10:00 on ABC it's the 2nd season premiere of The $100,000 Pyramid, Comedy has Jordan Klepper Solves Guns and AMC has the time slot premiere of Talking Dead.  At 10:02 on Lifetime it's Beyond the Headlines: Murder in the Family and the sneak peek of Blood Brothers #2.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Orange is the New Black is back!

Photo credit: PinkNews
At 3:01 on Netflix, season 5 of Orange is the New Black is back and Shimmer Lake premieres as does season 1 of My Only Love Song then Amazon has An American Girl Story as well as the series premiere of Le Mans: Racing is Everything.

Up at 8:00 on SyFy it's the 3rd season premiere of Dark Matter and ABC has Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night followed by NBA Countdown at 8:31 and Game 4 at 9:00.

Also on at 9:00 on SyFy it's the time slot premiere of Dark Matter and Showtime has the special Becoming Cary Grant.  On ID at 10:00 it's the 1st season finale of Detective and SyFy has the 2nd season premiere of Wynonna Earp.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Show Renewals for 2017/2018

Renewals by Network (organized by show below)

Network Show
ABC “Agents of SHIELD”
ABC “American Housewife”
ABC “The Bachelor”
ABC “Bachelor in Paradise”
ABC “Black-ish”
ABC Celebrity Family Feud”
ABC “Dancing With the Stars”
ABC “Designated Survivor”
ABC “Fresh Off the Boat”
ABC “The Goldbergs” – through Season 6 in 2018-19
ABC “Grey’s Anatomy”
ABC “How to Get Away with Murder”
ABC “Match Game”
ABC “The Middle”
ABC “Modern Family” – through Season 10 in 2018-19
ABC “The $100,000 Pyramid”
ABC “Once Upon a Time”
ABC “Quantico”
ABC Scandal”
ABC “Shark Tank”
ABC “Speechless”
ABC “To Tell the Truth”
CBS “48 Hours”
CBS “60 Minutes”
CBS “The Amazing Race”
CBS “The Big Bang Theory” – through Season 12
CBS “Big Brother” – through Season 20
CBS “Blue Bloods”
CBS “Bull”
CBS “The Bold and the Beautiful”
CBS “Code Black”
CBS “Criminal Minds”
CBS “Elementary”
CBS “Hawaii Five-0”
CBS “Kevin Can Wait”
CBS “Life in Pieces”
CBS “MacGyver”
CBS “Madam Secretary”
CBS Man with a Plan”
CBS “Mom”
CBS “NCIS: Los Angeles”
CBS “NCIS: New Orleans”
CBS “Scorpion”
CBS “Superior Donuts”
CBS “Survivor”
CBS “Zoo”
CW “The 100”
CW “Arrow”
CW “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”
CW “The Flash”
CW “iZombie”
CW “Jane the Virgin”
CW “Legends of Tomorrow”
CW “Masters of Illusion”
CW “The Originals”
CW “Penn & Teller: Fool Us”
CW “Riverdale”
CW “Supergirl”
CW “Supernatural”
CW “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
FOX “American Grit”
FOX “Bob’s Burgers”
FOX “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
FOX “Empire”
FOX “The Exorcist”
FOX “Family Guy”
FOX “Gotham”
FOX “Hell’s Kitchen” – through Season 18
FOX “The Last Man on Earth”
FOX “Lethal Weapon”
FOX “Lucifer”
FOX “The Mick”
FOX “New Girl”
FOX “The Simpsons” – through 2018-19
FOX “So You Think You Can Dance”
FOX “Star”
NBC “America’s Got Talent”
NBC “Better Late Than Never”
NBC “The Blacklist”
NBC “Blindspot”
NBC “Chicago Fire”
NBC “Chicago Med”
NBC “Chicago PD”
NBC “Days of Our Lives”
NBC “The Good Place”
NBC Great News”
NBC “Law & Order: SVU”
NBC “The Night Shift”
NBC “Superstore”
NBC “Taken”
NBC “This Is Us” – through Season 3
NBC “Timeless”
NBC “Trial & Error”
NBC “The Voice” – through Season 13 in fall 2017
Syn “Harry”
Syn “Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court”
Syn “Live with Kelly” – through 2019-20
Syn “The Real”
Syn “The Wendy Williams Show” – through 2019-20

Renewals by Show

Show Network
“48 Hours” CBS
“60 Minutes” CBS
“The 100” CW
“Agents of SHIELD” ABC
“The Amazing Race” CBS
“America’s Got Talent” NBC
“American Grit” FOX
“American Housewife” ABC
“Arrow” CW
“The Bachelor” ABC
“Bachelor in Paradise” ABC
“Better Late Than Never” NBC
“The Big Bang Theory” – through Season 12  CBS
“Big Brother” – through Season 20 CBS
“Black-ish” ABC
“The Blacklist” NBC
“Blindspot” NBC
“Blue Bloods” CBS
“Bob’s Burgers” FOX
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” FOX
“Bull” CBS
“The Bold and the Beautiful” CBS
Celebrity Family Feud” ABC
“Chicago Fire” NBC
“Chicago Med” NBC
“Chicago PD” NBC
“Code Black” CBS
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” CW
“Criminal Minds” CBS
“Dancing With the Stars” ABC
“Days of Our Lives” NBC
“Designated Survivor” ABC
“Elementary” CBS
“Empire” FOX
“The Exorcist” FOX
“Family Guy” FOX
“The Flash” CW
“Fresh Off the Boat” ABC
“The Goldbergs” – through Season 6 in 2018-19 ABC
“The Good Place” NBC
“Gotham” FOX
Great News” NBC
“Grey’s Anatomy” ABC
“Harry” Syn
“Hawaii Five-0” CBS
“Hell’s Kitchen” – through Season 18 FOX
“How to Get Away with Murder” ABC
“iZombie” CW
“Jane the Virgin” CW
“Kevin Can Wait” CBS
“The Last Man on Earth” FOX
“Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court” Syn
“Law & Order: SVU” NBC
“Legends of Tomorrow” CW
“Lethal Weapon” FOX
“Life in Pieces” CBS
“Live with Kelly” – through 2019-20 Syn
“Lucifer” FOX
“MacGyver” CBS
“Madam Secretary” CBS
Man with a Plan” CBS
“Masters of Illusion” CW
“Match Game” ABC
“The Mick” FOX
“The Middle” ABC
“Modern Family” – through Season 10 in 2018-19 ABC
“Mom” CBS
“NCIS: Los Angeles” CBS
“NCIS: New Orleans” CBS
“New Girl” FOX
“The Night Shift” NBC
“The $100,000 Pyramid” ABC
“Once Upon a Time” ABC
“The Originals” CW
“Penn & Teller: Fool Us” CW
“Quantico” ABC
“The Real” Syn
“Riverdale” CW
Scandal” ABC
“Scorpion” CBS
“Shark Tank” ABC
“The Simpsons” – through 2018-19 FOX
“So You Think You Can Dance” FOX
“Speechless” ABC
“Star” FOX
“Supergirl” CW
“Superior Donuts” CBS
“Supernatural” CW
“Superstore” NBC
“Survivor” CBS
“Taken” NBC
“This Is Us” – through Season 3 NBC
“Timeless” NBC
“To Tell the Truth” ABC
“Trial & Error” NBC
“The Voice” – through Season 13 in fall 2017 NBC
“The Wendy Williams Show” – through 2019-20 Syn
“Whose Line Is It Anyway?” CW
“Zoo” CBS