Entertainment services

OK, I’m a little behind getting to this, and I do apologize for that.  No excuses.

So, I did some research on the entertainment services offered by the TV/Monitor I posted in my last post.

TCL 32S305 32-Inch 720p Roku Smart LED TV (2017 Model)

It comes with some of the services already loaded on the hard drive of the TV.  All these options are based on having access to the Internet.  Wifi works just fine.  The ones that I saw were Netflix, Vudu, Prime, Hulu, Google Play: Movies and TV,  Spectrum, Roku Media Player, Sling, Showtime, HBO Now, Roku Channel, and Pluto.  Now, some of these I’ve heard about and know and even am a member, Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Google Play, Roku, Spectrum, Showtime and HBO Now.  Some were new to me.  I figured I would just do a quick breakdown on all of them, so bear with me.

Netflix – 3 plans from $7.99, $10.99, and $13.99 a month.  You can view on as few as 1 screen and no HD (least expensive monthly plan) to as many as 4 screens (the $13.99 a month).

Prime – This comes automatically with your Amazon Prime membership. You can watch on any device that you have downloaded Amazon, and enjoy the content.

Vudu – Free to join, and some content is free with ads.  You can rent Movies from $2.99 to $5.99 and own movies or TV sho$100w season bundles from $9.99 to $29.99.  There is a mixture of classics and newer programs and movies.

Hulu – Free trial, then $5.99 a month for the first year and then $7.99 a month after the first year.  Hulu has primarily classic TV shows and movies, but some newer TV programs as well.

Google Play Movies & TV – Free with a Google account to get in, but the Movies and TV shows start at $4.99 per Movie or season.

Spectrum – Subscription based.  You must be a Spectrum customer.  I am not, so I couldn’t look further into this one.

Sling – $25.00 a month and has some of the major channels that you may have had on cable or satellite.  Such as ESPN, AMC, CNN, HGTV, Comedy Central, TNT, History, etc.

Showtime – Cable pay channel from way back when you can now get it without cable for $10.99 a month.

HBO Now – Same as Showtime, but the cost is $14.99 a month.

Pluto – I found this one interesting.  It’s set up similar to cable or satellite, but all internet based and a wide variety of content, from internet videos to TV shows, to movies  It’s free, but you do have to put up with ads when watching.  I tested it on a classic movie and after about 7-10 minutes, there were 3 ads.  You can’t skip through them, as it is not a DVR.  But, worth looking into for the huge variety that it gives.

Roku Channel – Free, with a variety of options to view.

Roku Media Player – Free, you can play movies, videos, pictures from your own USB device or Media Server.

USB devices range from $20 for a thumb drive (Yes, a thumb drive would work) to $100 or more for an external hard drive, such as this:

WD 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive – USB 3.0 – WDBU6Y0040BBK-WESN

So, what is a Media Server?  I’ll go into that more on my next post, but they range in cost from $100 to $300 or more.  They appear to be quite an option, but that is at first glance and I want to research them more.  I’ll give you the lowdown on it for the next post.

Until next time.