Apple TV app (tvOS)

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jseymour
Posts: 400
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by jseymour » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:16 am

DebbieFL33 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:06 pm
@jseymour...since you seem to have conquered your various tuning problems with the HDHR Quatro (4 tuner OTA) you might want to investigate other alternatives than SD DVR. The SD recording engine is rock solid, however SD’s other DVR functions/UI is abysmal.

I and some others have adopted Channels DVR as our (possible interim/permanent) solution until new SD UI and/or tvOS is released. Although a relatively expensive solution (app price + $8/month) IMO...it is hands down the best, full featured DVR solution I’ve ever tried.
Thanks for the suggestion, Debbie, but $8/mo. for a DVR subscription is out of the question, no matter how good it is. (Never mind the $80 in per-device app purchase charges.)

Part of the reason for cutting the cord (actually, we never had a cord to cut in the first place) is the cost: $40/mo. for basic <whatever>. Well, what with Netflix + Amazon Prime + One America News we're now up to $30/mo. We've already discussed how we're not so sure we're getting our money's worth. So another $8/mo. is a non-starter.
DebbieFL33 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:06 pm
Others utilize Plex, Emby, MythTV, JRiver with all of the various SD tuners as their DVRs. And others use those same DVRs and/or Kodi/MrMC for a more enhanced playback experience.
These all involve recurring fees, I believe, as well? Never mind the complexity in all this, which is, likewise, getting out of hand.

Following Silicon Dust's response, above, I'm again considering suspending this project. The total cost has risen to over $900, from an initial estimate of $650-$700, and I keep running into roadblocks that increase the cost and complexity, and lead to repeated frustrations. As interesting as some of it has been, in total it's becoming kind of not worth it.

I've got a J-Tech HDMI/HDMI S/PDIF audio extractor already on the way (precipitously ordered before I'd seen the aforementioned response and w/o considering it + Apple TV would increase the total project cost by another $120). Since it's going to be here, anyway, I'm going to play with it, but I'm thinking after that maybe it's time to move on to more rewarding, less-frustrating projects :)

Thanks again for your suggestions.

DebbieFL33
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by DebbieFL33 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:42 pm

jseymour wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:16 am
DebbieFL33 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:06 pm
@jseymour...since you seem to have conquered your various tuning problems with the HDHR Quatro (4 tuner OTA) you might want to investigate other alternatives than SD DVR. The SD recording engine is rock solid, however SD’s other DVR functions/UI is abysmal.

I and some others have adopted Channels DVR as our (possible interim/permanent) solution until new SD UI and/or tvOS is released. Although a relatively expensive solution (app price + $8/month) IMO...it is hands down the best, full featured DVR solution I’ve ever tried.
Thanks for the suggestion, Debbie, but $8/mo. for a DVR subscription is out of the question, no matter how good it is. (Never mind the $80 in per-device app purchase charges.)

Part of the reason for cutting the cord (actually, we never had a cord to cut in the first place) is the cost: $40/mo. for basic <whatever>. Well, what with Netflix + Amazon Prime + One America News we're now up to $30/mo. We've already discussed how we're not so sure we're getting our money's worth. So another $8/mo. is a non-starter.
DebbieFL33 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:06 pm
Others utilize Plex, Emby, MythTV, JRiver with all of the various SD tuners as their DVRs. And others use those same DVRs and/or Kodi/MrMC for a more enhanced playback experience.
These all involve recurring fees, I believe, as well? Never mind the complexity in all this, which is, likewise, getting out of hand.

Following Silicon Dust's response, above, I'm again considering suspending this project. The total cost has risen to over $900, from an initial estimate of $650-$700, and I keep running into roadblocks that increase the cost and complexity, and lead to repeated frustrations. As interesting as some of it has been, in total it's becoming kind of not worth it.

I've got a J-Tech HDMI/HDMI S/PDIF audio extractor already on the way (precipitously ordered before I'd seen the aforementioned response and w/o considering it + Apple TV would increase the total project cost by another $120). Since it's going to be here, anyway, I'm going to play with it, but I'm thinking after that maybe it's time to move on to more rewarding, less-frustrating projects :)

Thanks again for your suggestions.
I can certainly understand not wanting to increase your viewing cost outlay. And, it is always a matter of personal preference. For example, being seniors on a limited budget, we opted to drop Netflix in favor of Channels...with picking up Netflix for 1-2 months/year and binge watch some of the series offered, ymmv.

We are Apple aficionados...Macs, iPads, iPhones and ATV. We weren’t enthusiasts of Android and hadn’t utilized Android until the latest trim/cut the cord phenomena, however, we did try Nexus Player and Shield TV but not Mi-box, but we doggedly return to ATVs...especially with the latest addition of Amazon Prime.

Comcast is our service provider (OTA is not possible in our area) and when we started utilizing SD/Channels DVR with a Prime we were able to return several STB’s thus saving costly monthly fees and also add service to several additional TVs which were not on any plan.

Before switching to Channels DVR, we used SD DVR (running on original WD single bay NAS, very cost effective). As stated previously the SD recording engine is top-notch. Our biggest problem with SD (besides the abysmal UI) was the lack of any interface on iOS/tvOS and playback, thus leading us to trying the above Android devices.

Over the past years, SD, in addition to initial Android offerings, has added apps for iOS, Macs and Windows (UWP), although still lack a tvOS app. We now have many platform options for adding recordings, etc. and for watching live/recordings. On the ATV’s we can also view SD recordings utilizing Infuse, MrMC (both low one time cost) and Plex (free version...although not as responsive as others on mpeg2 (OTA) recordings).

In closing, you mention “One America News”...I’m not familiar with this offering...but wonder which devices you currently utilize to view this subscription?

jseymour
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by jseymour » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:15 am

DebbieFL33 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:42 pm
I can certainly understand not wanting to increase your viewing cost outlay. And, it is always a matter of personal preference. For example, being seniors on a limited budget, we opted to drop Netflix in favor of Channels...
It's not so much "limited budget," per se. Though we're retired we planned well, so unless there are multiple catastrophes we should be good. But we got here by managing our money wisely. Wisely as in not spending $400/year on television.
DebbieFL33 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:42 pm
...with picking up Netflix for 1-2 months/year and binge watch some of the series offered, ymmv.
We find so little of interest on Netflix, any more, we may drop it, anyway. (Re: My prior comment about not getting our money's worth.) Amazon Prime may go, when it's up for renewal next year, too. Same reason. Network streaming is essentially becoming as expensive as a cable/satellite subscription. I knew that would eventually happen.
DebbieFL33 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:42 pm
We are Apple aficionados...Macs, iPads, iPhones and ATV.
I was never a fan, but then my wife's Google account got owned three times in about as many months, and I'm nearly certain it was via an Android or Android app compromise. Can't have that, so the Android devices were gone w/in about a month--replaced with iPhones, iPads and an Apple Watch.

I do not like Android. I do not like Google. The only reason I have MiBoxen was cost and the S/PDIF output. But the S/PDIF output does not emit 5.1 and Xiaomi is sitting on the Oreo release. Thus my interest in Apple TV. I could still be convinced to stretch that additional $125 one-time cost, but, alas, there's no SD app for that, so that's out.

And that pretty much describes how this entire effort has gone. It's been one "Oh, <that> won't work. How about <this>? Nope. Well, maybe <this>?" Go down that road and hit Yet Another Roadblock.

We had guests for dinner yesterday. One of my best friends and his wife. My friend is a fellow tech geek. We worked at the same tech/manufacturing firm for a number of years (in software engineering positions). He asked me how the project was going. I told him. After a bit of back-and-forth he finally said "It's just been one roadblock after another, hasn't it?" "Yeah, it has," I responded. "It isn't worth the trouble," he said.
DebbieFL33 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:42 pm
Comcast is our service provider (OTA is not possible in our area) ...
We have Comcast and (*yech*) AT&T available, here. We're using Comcast for Internet connectivity, only. We have fairly decent OTA here.
DebbieFL33 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:42 pm
Before switching to Channels DVR, we used SD DVR (running on original WD single bay NAS, very cost effective).
Yeah... the WD single-bay "Personal" NAS is cost-effective, but it's also got a less-than-stellar reputation for reliability. (I tend to shun consumer-grade hardware of all kinds for that reason.) Switching up to a dual-bay Synology NAS was one of the cost bumps.
DebbieFL33 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:42 pm
As stated previously the SD recording engine is top-notch. Our biggest problem with SD (besides the abysmal UI) ...
I was figuring we'd learn to live with that and was willing to gamble on SD eventually getting it right. And, if not, then one of the various fall-backs. But the other options were meant to be fall-backs, not the initial go-to's.
DebbieFL33 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:42 pm
In closing, you mention “One America News”...I’m not familiar with this offering...but wonder which devices you currently utilize to view this subscription?
A Roku 3. I'd hoped to replace both the Roku 3 and the Channel Master DVR+ with the SD HDHR + streaming devices.

(OAN [or OANN] is a news channel with a definite libertarian/conservative lean, but they do a fairly decent job of keeping their politics out of their news reporting and cover more news, with less cruft, in less time than any I've recently seen. They remind me of CNN back when CNN actually reported, you know, news.)

ETA: The aforementioned J-Tech HDMI/HDMI S/PDIF audio extractor arrived. Did exactly what I expected it would: Got 5.1 to our receiver from the HDHR app, but only Dolby Pro Logic from the Netflix app. This is because the MiBox 3 is telling Netflix it can handle Dolby Digital Plus, but the J-Tech box can't down-mix the DD+ in the HDMI stream to Dolby Digital. So Xiaomi/Android has now screwed me two ways in one go. Yay Xiaomi! Yay Google!
Last edited by jseymour on Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Keenan
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by Keenan » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:06 am

I'm really hoping the Apple TV app happens sooner rather than later as the experience on the Fire TV is not a very good one. The fact is, for me anyway, the Fire TV is a device I want to get rid of as soon as possible, for a number of reasons.

If Channels wasn't so expensive I'd be using it already but $25 for the software and then $96 per year is pretty darn steep.

DebbieFL33
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by DebbieFL33 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:22 pm

@jseymour and @Keenan...My take on the Channels solution:

Primarily we pay the Channels $8 per month as a cost for commercial free on both national broadcast channels/Cable playback using MrMC (or utilize quick comm skipping on ATV via (double click on ATV remote) or universal remote...Harmony Smart (1-click)...as we “hate commercials”...YMMV. We cancelled Netflix (as an offset) and retained Amazon Prime (due to superior and current programming). We do add Netflix for 1-2 months during the year to binge watch offerings.

In addition, Channels offers a fantastic UI, guide and other advanced DVR functions. Best yet, you can try for a month and then cancel if you don’t feel it’s worth the monthly fee.

@jseymour - although SD currently doesn’t offer an ATV 4/4K app, it will probably be available before year end. SD is very slooowww in updating but I do believe they will finally achieve this goal. You may want to wait before continuing your “project” but utilizing either SD apps on various platforms for setup of recordings and a third party playback app (Infuse, MrMC (one time or sub fee for Infuse) or Plex (yuk!) free on an ATV 4K for your main TV may be your solution...or as you suggested you could drop your project. However, you could try the Channels DVR with an ATV 4K for 1-2 months for the ultimate DVR experience...but again, in addition to device purchase this would cost $25 (tvOS app only) + monthly DVR fee. Also Channels has an Android app (again $25) which you could setup on your MiBox (not sure if this playback only or full featured DVR functions) but either solution would require DVR recording setup on a networked PC/Mac/NAS)...similar to SD’s DVR requirements + (SD yearly fee of $35) setup. Channels full featured Android app ($25 fee) + monthly fee can be setup on Nvidia Shield (~$200) for recording engine/DVR functions/playback)...again similar to SD DVR setup ($35 yearly sub).

Another suggestion is to wait for a price drop on the ATV 4K (usually around Black Friday - Thanksgiving)...also note the Shield TV is usually on sale. Both are excellent playback/smart app devices. I have both ATV 4K and Nvidia Shield TV and prefer the ATV... most probably since we are primarily an Apple household and can fully utilize ATV capabilities with iPads/iPhones/Macs without a lot of consternation. I’ve had ATVs for many years prior to either the Channels or SD DVR and found many uses for same prior to current DVR playback...including photos, videos, and music playback to our non Smart/Smart tvs.

Edit: Delete redundant wording

DebbieFL33
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by DebbieFL33 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:35 pm

@jseymour

Regarding your subscription to OAN/OANN, I cannot find an iOS (hence probably not tvOS) app for playback to Apple devices. This may be the final “deal breaker” for you.

Possibly the Roku devices you currently have deployed may be the only playback device(s) available.

Be sure to investigate further before making any decisions.

Keenan
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by Keenan » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:32 pm

@DebbieFL33

I may take another look at Channels, I'm assuming it's billed month-to-month?


Also, DirecTV Now has a promotion where if you sign up for 3 months of service they'll give you a "free" ATV 4K(32GB) for the $105, which would be the cost of service for 3 months. Just remember to cancel the service after you have the ATV in hand, you'll still get the 3 months of service but you won't have to remember when to cancel it later.

DebbieFL33
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by DebbieFL33 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:03 am

@Keenan

Correct on the mtm (it is auto) billing on Channels. Cancel (easy process) anytime.

Sounds like a great deal for Direct TV with the ATV 4K...Fantastic way to try their service for a few months AND getting an ATV 4K for $105 is a win-win for users wanting to test drive the ATV 4K. IMO, don’t think any Black Friday deal...just for the ATV 4K... will be as good.

Too bad, we already have ATV 4 or ATV 4K for all of our TVs, otherwise I’d jump on this deal.

Thanks for the notification!

jseymour
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by jseymour » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:46 am

DebbieFL33 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:22 pm
@jseymour - although SD currently doesn’t offer an ATV 4/4K app, it will probably be available before year end.
Perhaps. I'm not going to sweat it. The work I've put in so far has given us better "TV reception" on two TVs, and there'll eventually be a third, and perhaps a fourth. And it is amusing to randomly fire-up local TV on the mobile devices around the house and out on the patio. So, while I'm disappointed (but not, sadly, surprised), and would not have done what I have knowing what I now know, it hasn't been a complete waste of time & money.
DebbieFL33 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:22 pm
Another suggestion is to wait for a price drop on the ATV 4K (usually around Black Friday - Thanksgiving)...also note the Shield TV is usually on sale.
I'm not confident either of those will be worth the cost and here's why: I went out and bought a J-Tech HDMI/HDMI TOSLINK audio extractor. It did give me 5.1 on the MiBox 3, on Live TV, but not on Netflix. "Ok, not a complete waste," I thought. "I can use it on the Roku 3, which has selectable audio formats." Only thing is: Those don't work the way any reasonable individual might think. "WTH?!?!" More research. Turns out the only devices that can get 5.1 DD/DTS out of Netflix and Amazon Prime are DVD/BD players with streaming support (which they almost universally do poorly) and one specific Roku box. This is because both NF and AP have gone to DD+ and most devices could, but do not, down-mix DD+ to DD.

The Apple TV may down-mix DD+ to DD when you select DD on it, but the only way to know, for sure, is to buy one, put that J-Tech device on it, and try it. For 2¢ I'd go down to Walmart today and do just that. Or I could join an ATV forum and ask, but my experience so far has been asking questions about audio formats, TOSLINK and S/PDIF results in either no or incorrect information.

ETA: Surround sound settings on your Apple TV 4K or Apple TV (4th generation) explicitly states: "Dolby Digital 5.1: This setting re-encodes surround sound to Dolby Digital 5.1...". I've asked for confirmation in the Apple support forums. We shall see.
DebbieFL33 wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:35 pm
@jseymour

Regarding your subscription to OAN/OANN, I cannot find an iOS (hence probably not tvOS) app for playback to Apple devices. This may be the final “deal breaker” for you.
How to watch One America News on Apple TV

They also have an Amazon Fire app. But no Android TV app.
Keenan wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:32 pm
Also, DirecTV Now has a promotion where if you sign up for 3 months of service they'll give you a "free" ATV 4K(32GB) for the $105, which would be the cost of service for 3 months. Just remember to cancel the service after you have the ATV in hand, you'll still get the 3 months of service but you won't have to remember when to cancel it later.
Hmmm...

Keenan
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by Keenan » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:30 pm

jseymour wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:46 am

Keenan wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:32 pm
Also, DirecTV Now has a promotion where if you sign up for 3 months of service they'll give you a "free" ATV 4K(32GB) for the $105, which would be the cost of service for 3 months. Just remember to cancel the service after you have the ATV in hand, you'll still get the 3 months of service but you won't have to remember when to cancel it later.
Hmmm...
Yep, $110.25 delivered. I've ordered 3 of them over the past year using a different email address each time.

jseymour
Posts: 400
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by jseymour » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:02 pm

Keenan wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:30 pm
jseymour wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:46 am
Keenan wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:32 pm
Also, DirecTV Now has a promotion where if you sign up for 3 months of service they'll give you a "free" ATV 4K(32GB) for the $105, which would be the cost of service for 3 months. Just remember to cancel the service after you have the ATV in hand, you'll still get the 3 months of service but you won't have to remember when to cancel it later.
Hmmm...
Yep, $110.25 delivered. I've ordered 3 of them over the past year using a different email address each time.
Y'know... if I had an answer to my 5.1 digital sound question and if I had any confidence there'd be an Apple TV HDHR app before the coming of the next ice age, I might be inclined to pull the trigger on that deal. But I've made too many investments in this project that turned out to be a dead end to burn myself like that again real soon ;)

(I'm fairly confident on the sound question. Not so much on the HDHR app question.)

But thanks for the heads up!

Keenan
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by Keenan » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:17 pm

Yes, I hear that. I've purchased 2 Fire TV's and a couple of generic Android boxes and haven't been happy with any of them. Getting an Apple TV app would be fantastic, as long as it happens before I'm eligible for Medicare!

If you're a baseball fan, the MLB.tv app is the best available, the streams are 60fps and look better than any broadcasts I've seen from both DirecTV or Comcast.

jseymour
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by jseymour » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:57 pm

Keenan wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:17 pm
Yes, I hear that. I've purchased 2 Fire TV's and a couple of generic Android boxes and haven't been happy with any of them. Getting an Apple TV app would be fantastic, as long as it happens before I'm eligible for Medicare!
Isn't it disappointing that, with all the technology and choices available, putting together a complete system that actually works well, much less works well without having to jump through several dozen hoops, is so difficult?

E.g.: So looking at DirecTV. Wife goes "Limited to three devices." "We'd have only the one..." I begin to reply, then finish with "but we do have the MiBoxen." Take a look... Hahahahaha! No DirecTV Now app for Android TV because, yer gonna love this: Just as with the Amazon Fire things: AT&T/DirecTV is planning their own Android TV-based device Image

This is just stupid. Not that I really care about DirecTV, but c'mon. This kind of nonsense, along with the DRM/HDCP stupidity, is why I cannot find a single streaming device that will give me:
  • HDHomeRun,
  • Netflix,
  • Amazon Prime Video,
  • One America News Network, and
  • 5.1 DD/DTS sound for all
no matter what combination of bits I try to put together.
Keenan wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:17 pm
If you're a baseball fan, the MLB.tv app is the best available, the streams are 60fps and look better than any broadcasts I've seen from both DirecTV or Comcast.
My Lord, NO! We both detest sports-watching. In fact: It was MLB that earned my ire first, when the player's union struck the first time.

Keenan
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by Keenan » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:11 pm

Yeah, I know, it's ridiculous that it's so hard to get one device even to just cover the major streaming providers. Even worse, when you get into all the individual channels and their own streaming sites it just gets completely out of hand.

And then there's the political crap, the Amazon app on the ATV doesn't play the 5.1 audio stream on many titles whereas it plays just fine on other devices. :roll:

jseymour
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Re: Apple TV app (tvOS)

Post by jseymour » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:47 pm

Keenan wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:11 pm
Yeah, I know, it's ridiculous that it's so hard to get one device even to just cover the major streaming providers. Even worse, when you get into all the individual channels and their own streaming sites it just gets completely out of hand.
Which is why I've pretty much decided to return the J-Tech audio extractor and call it a day for now. Find something different to play with.
Keenan wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:11 pm
And then there's the political crap, the Amazon app on the ATV doesn't play the 5.1 audio stream on many titles whereas it plays just fine on other devices. :roll:
As luck would have it I accidentally tripped-across what that's all about earlier today. That's because some of AP's content is actually in DD, rather than DD+, and it seems Apple didn't build actual 5.1 DD support into the ATV. Odd, isn't it, since it'll down-convert DD+ to 5.1 DD? But there it is. Word is they're working on it. How about this one: No DTS support at all, and no plans to add it. Yup: A "premium" streaming device for a premium price and no DTS support Image

I was actually entertaining the idea of buying one of these things, despite the premium. Now I'm kinda sorta thinkin' probably not.

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