IPTV Apps on Firestick?

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by buzzard86, Apr 17, 2019 at 1:10 PM.

  1. buzzard86

    buzzard86 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    179
    Location:
    Warrington, PA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim R
    We recently cut the cord and I've been testing some of the streaming services. In addition to the pricier mainstream offerings (DirectvNow, Philo, Hulu, etc) some of the IPTV services are attractive. I tested one in particular, but have some concerns because it required me to download a third party application onto the Firestick called SoPlayer. I didn't use my real info and was not required to enter a credit card, but I'm a little concerned about the risk if I decide to subscribe and have to submit my personal info. Incidentally, it performed flawlessly during the trial and their customer service response to a question I had was quick and on point.

    Are these IPTV services legit and are third party apps safe on a Firestick? Not really familiar with either and not exactly sure what to be worried about.

    Thanks.

    Jim
     
  2. EppyGA

    EppyGA Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    10,450
    Location:
    Hoschton, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Let's Fly
    You think DirecTV Now is pricey?
     
  3. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,493
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DaleB
    I have yet to find a free streaming app that's worth what you pay for it (nothing). We were using Hulu with Live TV, are using DirecTV Now at this point, but may switch away as their quality and reliability have gone WAY down hill right along with their whopping 25% price increase. I can't get one of our local stations with an indoor antenna from here, so I'm about to order a directional antenna to see if that works. If it does, Sling will probably be next to try.

    Along the way I tried a couple of free services for movies and such, but very quickly dropped them. Our total spend with Amazon Prime, DTVNow, and Netflix is still about $100 a month less than we were spending for cable.
     
  4. buzzard86

    buzzard86 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    179
    Location:
    Warrington, PA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim R
    Certainly not compared to cable, but by the time I get the different channels to keep everyone in the family happy I'm in their premium package. The IPTV offerings have a surprisingly robust channel list for $30/month.

    I've been trying all of them. Fubo was our least favorite, DirectTV now our most favorite. None of the Sling packages had a good channel mix for us. If we don't go with an IPTV provider, I think we may likely settle on Philo and Locast (for the local channels).
     
  5. buzzard86

    buzzard86 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    179
    Location:
    Warrington, PA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim R
    Still trying to figure out if my central concern here is valid. Anybody know if there is malicious potential with a third party app on a Firestick?
     
  6. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,493
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DaleB
    Absolutely. It's not just the app itself you need to worry about, it's WHO you are dealing with. I have a certain level of expected trust when dealing with established, known firms like Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, and so on. When we get down to "Some bunch of people I've never heard of, most likely in Eastern Europe or China, who are trying to convince me that I'll get something for nothing (or at least way more for way less)", then my trust level drops to a negative number.

    The app is software, written and controlled by someone else, running on a small computer connected to your home network. Is the app there to get you to give them your email, a password you may have used elsewhere, and a credit card number?
    Is the app there to do network discovery and try to compromise other devices on your network?
    Is the app harmless, but the people behind it going to steal your money?

    You decide how much risk you want to accept.
     
  7. buzzard86

    buzzard86 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    179
    Location:
    Warrington, PA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim R
    ^ Thanks Dale. Pretty much the confirmation that I was looking for. I think my decision is made to avoid a non-name brand service.

    No regrets cutting the cord. Was tired of getting gouged by Comcast and Verizon. I feel like the big streaming services are still playing some of the same games, but at least I have more options and even the premium packages are still significantly cheaper (and without contracts).

    Actually, the Philo + Locast setup that we're likely to go with is quite a value. I'll have to forego cable news and The Weather Channel, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
     
  8. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,493
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DaleB
    Here's my prediction: We're already seeing the monthly price for streaming service creep upward, sometimes more than once a year. They know perfectly well what they're doing. Right now they're having no problem sucking as many new customers as they can handle from cable companies by charging prices a fraction of what the cable companies charge. Eventually, streaming service costs will rise to be about even with cable and satellite.

    To me, if you remove the cost differential (which I think will shrink to eventually be negligible), the biggest difference is ease of ditching one for another to find the best service and best deal. Where we live, there are exactly two cable providers - Cox and CenturyLink. Cox provides good service, but they gouge mercilessly on pricing. CenturyLink are just plain scumbags. Both will quote you a low price -- $39.95 intro for "Contour TV", for example (Cox's cable service with on-demand and streaming to your phone or tablet with their app). Of course that doesn't include the required rental of a $3 to $20 per month box for every TV in your house, or numerous "fees" and "surcharges" and stuff that will at least double the cost. Their $14.95 per month land line will actually cost you about $47.00. Switching from one to another is time consuming and involves a lot of equipment swapping, installation time, etc. You've got to really really want to switch.

    We got tired of Hulu not having a meaningful program guide for their live TV streaming, and they didn't carry AMC. Switching to DTVNow was effortless, and we could keep them both for a week to compare them. Zero extra cost to switch, no equipment changes. And their $40 a month is $40 a month, plus our local sales tax which I can understand and expect. When (not if) we switch from DTVNow to something else, it will be just as quick and easy. THAT is why I like streaming so much -- and the $1200+ per year we're NOT spending now.
     
  9. buzzard86

    buzzard86 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    179
    Location:
    Warrington, PA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim R
    Spot on. We had a Fios TV package but they jacked the rates at the end of the contract. Went to Comcast, internet was terribly unreliable and their support was even worse. I broke my contact after about four service visits and countless hours on the phone with totally ineffective "technical support."

    None of the streaming services' basic- or mid-tier packages seem designed to span the needs of a family demographic, but still so much better than the cable alternative. Plus, I'm literally not tied to the cord anymore. I can locate and move TVs at a whim. Put one on the deck last week to watch a Phillies game - easy peasey.

    I agree that the cost differential will probably continue to close. However, I feel like there's a lot more competition for the streaming services than the cable monopolies so hopefully that will keep prices in check. Actually, my bigger concern will be data caps.
     
  10. tsts4

    tsts4 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    764
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Auburntsts
    We recently moved to a new State and cut the cord during the process. On our living room TV we've got a ROKU+, a MoHo Leaf OTA HD antenna, and a Tablo 4-tuner DVR (with a 1TB external HD). We pay $45/month for internet service and we bought the lifetime programing guide to the Tablo. On our Master bedroom TV we just have another ROKU+ which can access the Tablo in the living room for local live HD TV or anything that we've recorded. Couldn't be happier with this setup.
     
  11. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,493
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DaleB
    I was worried about data caps as well. I'm a full time telecommuter, and absolutely depend on having high speed access for far too many hours a week. Our plan has a 1TB per month cap... since switching to streaming for ALL of our TV, as well as using Amazon Music for a lot of our listening, we've never really gone much past 600GB in a month.
     
  12. tsts4

    tsts4 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    764
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Auburntsts
    Our service is through Spectrum (AKA Brighthouse) 100Mbps+ and no data cap.
     
  13. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3,493
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DaleB
    1Gbit, 1TB cap. :)