Firestick, Roku, Kodi, computer stick, pc, etc.? Which are best for parents? Services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, etc.?

UKTone

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Feb 24, 2015
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My parents are 54 (mom) and 67 (dad) but they both have smart phones nowadays and are used to them enough. I bought my mother an i3 tower from a computer store for 160.

I want them to get rid of cable and save them some money.

Netflix I heard they made it illegal to share an account... is this true and do other companies do it too? What would trigger a share incident, like if they both login to the account in the same house, would that do anything?

I have Amazon Prime for $49 a year because I'm a student, but Amazon TV doesn't seem as good as hulu, netflix, and others, and I don't particularly like that they give you an option to subscribe to HBO for example or buy movies, that might get confusing and expensive for them. But I am definitely no Amazon TV expert.

I would also like to mention that it seems that streaming online videos/movies is legal and I am sure the companies are getting their money by either suing or getting a cut of any profits the site makes using their content since many of these sites stay up. So I don't think it's all too unethical to use free sites, I'm sure I'm going to get a lecture of some sort, but want to really weigh all options for them.

I am considering getting either another pc, compute stick, or a steam stick (firestick, roku, etc.) for my dad and/or mom, they live in the same house and can switch at any time. My dad is a Vietnam Veteran and he mostly just likes to watch the local news. They also have antennas that allow them to watch digital tv, so he can watch the news that way as well, but trying to see other options.

So which options are best? Thank you.
 

bloodroses

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Jan 27, 2013
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I've tried PCs, Chromecast, and Roku with my parents. The only one they still use, due to simplicity, is the Roku. Also, unless you need 4k, the Roku streaming stick is more than powerful enough. Just don't go with the Express lines.

I had a Firestick, but returned it 2 days later due to pretty much only amazon support (outside side loading). I also have a Pi for Kodi+games, but would never recommend it for my parents as it is quite cumbersome compared to the other streaming device options. Android TV seems interesting, but AFAIK, the only ones that have full app support+ Kodi is the Shield and MiBox. On any cheap no name android stick, Google Play store is a hit or miss and Vudu is a complete no-go. I have an older chinese MiBox that collects dust as a result.

Basically, unless you need Kodi, Roku is the complete solution for everything else.

With Kodi legality, many of the popular channels are still illegal for streaming and you can get in trouble for it:
http://cordcuttersnews.com/comcast-starts-issuing-copyright-infringement-notices-to-kodi-users/

As for cord cutting (which I've done at my apartment), I use Sling TV, Vudu, Crackle and Netflix mainly. Since Vudu added the 'Movies on Us' program, I have been using it much more than my Netflix lately; plus it's free! I also have an Amazon Prime account, but barely use it outside a few TV series.

Just make sure your parents don't toss their digital antenna since you can't get the main 4 local TV stations (CBS,NBC,ABC,Fox) through these services.
 

why_wolf

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Aug 28, 2015
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Personally I'd say Roku with a Netflix account is best, that's what I have my parents set up with. The thing that's nice about the Roku is just how dead simple their remote is.

You can share Netflix accounts, I do, but you're not supposed to. It's the same with all the other services. Most will allow 2, maybe more, devices to be logged in at the same time on a given account.
 

axehead15

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Apr 9, 2013
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So a couple things:

1. Netflix can have multiple people on the same account. The lowest netflix subscription allows 2 at a time.
2. I have used the majority of these things, and I find Roku to be probably the most friendly. Especially for older folks. The Roku 3 comes with a nice remote, and apps are easy to manage. (also here is a cool article for you: https://blog.roku.com/blog/2015/07/27/5-things-you-didnt-know-you-can-do-with-your-roku-player-or-roku-tv/)
3. As long as you have over the air antenna, you don't need cable for most things, like live local sports (GO BILLS!) or News.
 

greens

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Jan 27, 2012
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Also worth noting that this Netflix limit refers to two simultaneous streams.

You can have netflix on dozens of devices in the same home. They see the IP is the same.
 

theyeti87

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Sep 15, 2012
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I am partial to the Roku. That being said, don't skimp on the $35 mini Roku's, as they are pretty slow when using the menus. I've been using Roku2 for about 1.5 years now as my set-top-box. It is a great device for cutting the cord. Between Netflix, HBO Now, Sling TV, and local stations from the antenna, that's really all I need, all for ~$110/month including paying for 100mbps internet.
 

bloodroses

Honorable
Jan 27, 2013
19
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10,570
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I've tried PCs, Chromecast, and Roku with my parents. The only one they still use, due to simplicity, is the Roku. Also, unless you need 4k, the Roku streaming stick is more than powerful enough. Just don't go with the Express lines.

I had a Firestick, but returned it 2 days later due to pretty much only amazon support (outside side loading). I also have a Pi for Kodi+games, but would never recommend it for my parents as it is quite cumbersome compared to the other streaming device options. Android TV seems interesting, but AFAIK, the only ones that have full app support+ Kodi is the Shield and MiBox. On any cheap no name android stick, Google Play store is a hit or miss and Vudu is a complete no-go. I have an older chinese MiBox that collects dust as a result.

Basically, unless you need Kodi, Roku is the complete solution for everything else.

With Kodi legality, many of the popular channels are still illegal for streaming and you can get in trouble for it:
http://cordcuttersnews.com/comcast-starts-issuing-copyright-infringement-notices-to-kodi-users/

As for cord cutting (which I've done at my apartment), I use Sling TV, Vudu, Crackle and Netflix mainly. Since Vudu added the 'Movies on Us' program, I have been using it much more than my Netflix lately; plus it's free! I also have an Amazon Prime account, but barely use it outside a few TV series.

Just make sure your parents don't toss their digital antenna since you can't get the main 4 local TV stations (CBS,NBC,ABC,Fox) through these services.
 

UKTone

Estimable
Feb 24, 2015
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4,510
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Thank you all.

I didn't realize Kodi would be illegal because it uploads somehow too (didn't read everything, but that was enough for me lol).

I also didn't mention that they do not have smart tvs (at least I don't think they are). I seen an article mentioning that Kodi can work on non-smart tvs. Which ones work for non-smart tvs or both?

What's the difference between the Rokus? Roku 1, 2, 3, 4, Ultra, etc.?

Thanks again.
 
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