GETTING MORE OUT OF ONLINE TV

Thanks to the wonders of online TV, we just watched 11 years worth of Agatha Christie’s “Hercule Poirot” series in just a few weeks.

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DUMPING CABLE

We keep hearing from readers who have dropped their expensive cable TV subscriptions. This is going to be an unstoppable trend. With plug-in adapters like Roku, Apple TV, or Google Chromecast, you get channels such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon Video. All of those except YouTube involve extra fees, like $7 a month price for Netflix. But that is very little compared to cable costs.

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TV OR NOT TV, THAT IS THE QUESTION

In three years, almost a quarter of all U.S. households won’t be cable TV subscribers, according to a new study by eMarketer. Instead, they’ll be watching Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other channels on the Web, either directly on their computers or through devices like the Roku Player, Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

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TURN YOUR TV INTO A COMPUTER

Asus has made a “Chromebit.” It’s an $89 four-inch black stick you plug into your TV to turn it into a Chrome computer. Temporarily, of course.

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FLASHBACK: THE VISION THING

The 20th anniversary of the first news broadcast on the Internet is coming up on November 23. In 1995, our friend Victor Dorff made history by talking ABC TV News into letting him put “World News Now” on the web. They thought he was crazy, but gave it a try.

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ROKU PLAYER VERSUS ROKU STICK

Why pay $130 for the “Roku 4 Player” when the Roku stick only costs $47?

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GOING WITHOUT CABLE TV

Going without cable TV is getting easier and easier. Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, Hulu, Showtime and HBO Now are obvious choices. But here are a couple we’ve overlooked:

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BEWARE OF TV ADS

We’re amazed at the info a website can collect about us without our doing anything but visiting.

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A BETTER REMOTE

We felt like we had been dropped back to 1960 when we temporarily lost our TV’s remote control. On modern TVs, it’s difficult to find the volume control – or any controls for that matter. A gizmo called “Pronto” could have saved our bacon. (Which after all that time trying to find the controls, was burning in the oven.)

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TV APP

“Plex” is an app for users of the Roku, a device that brings in hundreds of extra channels — Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, for example – on your TV.  Plex gives you shortcuts to your favorite content and lets you pick up where you left off in a movie or show. You can also get it for laptops and tablets.

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