Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?

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Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=8433834roku.jpg

We are very low tech where I'm asking if I can get free TV with the low  
tech equipment that I have already at home.

I picked up two unopened Roku streaming sticks at a garage sale where the  
husband who worked for Roku had left the ex wife where he had a few cases  
of these things that the ex wife was selling for a buck each but she didn't  
know what they're good for - and neither do I.

The gray box is a Roku 3810R and the green one is a Roku 3800R.

Googling, everyone seems to already know what they do, where I can tell  
from the hits that they connect your TV to the Internet over your router so  
that you can use Netflix and stuff.

But we are really low tech so my question is how much free stuff can this  
Roku thing give me? All the articles assume you have Netflix, and they even  
assume you have cable, and they assume you have a TV, none of which I have.

I don't have a TV antenna to get over the air broadcast TV, and even if I  
did, I'm remote so I'd likely get one station or two at best.

THere is no cable service. Just electricity. Nothing else by way of  
services.

I'm on WISP. About 5 Mbps down and up.
The router is an old WNDR Netgear N with the USB port unused.

The kids have a PS3 connected to an old Sony TV.
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=6286595sony_model.jpg

The Sony TV is too old for HDMI.
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=7549633sony_cables.jpg

I know the Sony TV can do Netflix over the net through the PS3 which is  
wired to the router because we had a friend stay for a few days and her  
account worked where the kids set that up, but we don't have Netflix  
account.

We have Windows 10, one of which has an HDTV monitor.
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=4561584hdmi_1.jpg

So that one kid's desktop is the only HDMI connection in the house.
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=1354901hdmi_2.jpg

In our low-tech situation, with only my kid having an HDMI monitor, which  
nobody shows on the net, can the Roku streaming stick be used to get free  
TV stations?

Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
On 3/26/2018 6:56 PM, Amethyst wrote:
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Best I know is that a Roku device only makes a dumb TV into a smart TV  
and only free TV available is what is on the internet like this stuff:

ttps://www.killthecablebill.com/tv-channels/

But you say you do not even have a TV.

Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
On 3/26/2018 5:56 PM, Amethyst wrote:
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port on a TV set , but it MIGHT work in the USB port of your son's  
computer . You'll find the free stuff on roku is riddled with some very  
annoying commercials , if you can tolerate them thren go for it .  
Otherwise , netflix can be as cheap as around 10 bucks , CBS all access  
is around the same . Prime is OK , but a bit more expensive at 14 a  
month - but you get free shipping and a ton of commercial-free  
programming .

--  
  Snag
Ain't no dollar sign on
peace of mind - Zac Brown


Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
scribbled:

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Prime's $99 a year with a one-time payment ($8.25 a month). Decent free
movies and TV, Prime movies and originals (some quite good). Free access
to a couple million songs and thousands of playlists. Free two day
shipping on eligible items. Unlimited could storage of images. One free
eBook book a month before release. Free lending library of eBooks. Well
worth the cost of a fast food meal a month.
--  
'What Profiteth It A Kingdom If The Oxen Be Deflated?'
Riddles II, v3  
- T. Pratchett

Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
Terry Coombs wrote:

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Not a USB, it connect into an HDMI port. I have one.

Short answer to OP is yes, there are some free channels of varying  
degrees of value. Better channels need subscription or some cable tv  
package, but like me no cable access here. Works on my slow DLS < 3mbs.

--  
Take care,

Jonathan
-------------------
LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com

Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
On Mon, 26 Mar 2018 23:23:12 -0400, "Jonathan N. Little"

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Thank you for confirming there are "some" free channels, which is all that
I care about since the goal is free TV, where all this talk of commercials
isn't the point at all since you all have a completely different setup (eg
cable, which we don't have) and most of you likely have Netflix (which we
don't have and don't want to pay for).

It seems from the other discussions that the kids and I need HDMI "IN"
where the monitor to the desktop computer is the only device with HDMI
"IN".
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=4561584hdmi_1.jpg

The Sony Playstation 3 only has an unused HDMI "OUT".
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=6417873ps3.jpg

And the DVD player also has an unused HDMI "OUT".
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=3232054dvd_player.jpg

The desktop is connected to the router by WiFi and the playstation is
connected to the router by Ethernet.

The playstation then goes directly to the back of the TV, as does the DVD
player.

Given the monitor has multiple different connections, I can free up the
HDMI "IN" of the monitor by using a different cable out of the back of the
desktop tower.

That would free up the only HDMI "IN" that I have.
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=1354901hdmi_2.jpg

So the only question remaining is whether the Roku streaming stick would
work connected to that HDMI "IN" of the desktop computer monitor.

Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
On 3/27/2018 2:30 PM, Amethyst wrote:
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Just read the manual and plug the thing into the
HDMI of the monitor and see what it does.
As I recall, you wifi into it to set it up.  Should be clearly
described in the manual.  Worry about other devices after you
determine that the content is usable.  Depending on your model,
the only audio output is thru HDMI, which can severely limit your options.

I played with mine for about ten minutes
before I gave up on the useless free content.

I think you'll find that the stuff available for free is absolute CRAP.
Anything you want to watch is NOT FREE.
And you can get most of the same stuff with an app on the computer.

roku is for people who have a dumb tv and want to get content without
dedicating a whole computer to the process...and are willing to pay for  
content.

You can get free movies you'd actually want to watch using your internet
browser on your desktop or smartphone.
Google tubiTV and Crackle to get started.
Go the the national TV network websites and see what they have for
streaming.  Used to be a lot of free network TV, but I think they
are now charging for access.  Check it out.
You should be able to get anything network accessible in a standard
format to go thru
your roku.  I haven't looked in a while, but networks like to force
you to use their viewer app so they can control the advertising content.
My neighbor swears that buying netflix is the best bang for the buck.
YMMV



Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
On Thu, 29 Mar 2018 22:58:28 -0000 (UTC), John Doe

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That brings up a good point where I wonder of the Roku Streaming Stick can
"stream" a movie onto a TV that was previously downloaded onto a desktop
computer using the youtube downloader?

  [C:] youtube-dl.exe https://youtu.be/dcaYmLgXsPo

I got the YouTube downloader from here:
https://youtube-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl.exe

And the MP3 encoder from here (if I want to download just the audio):
http://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/builds/win64/static/ffmpeg-20170711-0780ad9-win64-static.zip

Can a Roku streaming stick stream from the local desktop to the TV?

Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
Amethyst wrote:

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Yes, quite easily with Plex.

https://www.plex.tv/apps/streaming-devices/roku/


Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
wrote:

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+1
Plex is probably the most popular method. There are other Roku channels
that work similarly.


Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
On 3/26/2018 7:58 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:
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Terry-

Perhaps your Roku stick is made to plug into a USB port or fits a USB  
port, but my Roku stick fits into and requires a HDMI port on a TV.  The  
two plug/socket configurations may look very similar, but they have  
different dimensions and wiring.  The OP will require an HDMI port to  
use the Roku stick.

Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
On 3/27/2018 8:19 AM, Peter wrote:
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you're right , they do look a lot alike . We have 2 Roku's , both plug  
in with an HDMI cable . Sounds like the OP needs to buy a new TV ...

--  
  Snag
Ain't no dollar sign on
peace of mind - Zac Brown


Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
On 3/27/2018 11:41 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:
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That's my opinion.  Its been about 2 years since I bought a 30 inch  
Samsung smart TV for only $239.  I've got bigger none smart sets but  
this one considered small was for a spot in my den.

Also think I would opt for higher download speed which may be needed for  
streaming.

Also wanted to mention when it comes to Netflix you can put it on all of  
your devices which means that the devices do not even need to be in your  
house.  Restriction is that you can not have more than two or three  
viewers at once.  One of my friends here had a son living out of state  
that offered him access to his account at no cost to him.  I like a lot  
of the Netflix series and they might put on 10-12 one hour shows per  
season but when the next season comes out they put out the whole series  
so you can binge.

Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
Frank wrote:

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Nothing prevents an ISP from throttling Netflix,
even if you buy Gigabit service. That's the beauty of
net neutrality or the lack thereof.

This is one reason that people cannot see Netflix in HD,
because the connection to Netflix is throttled, no matter
what grade of service you thought that you'd bought.

The ISP could have been cut out of the picture, by the
usage of a VPN to "hide" the traffic, except Netflix has
anti-VPN provisions to prevent people from other
countries from subscribing to US Netflix service
(by using a US billing address).

Netflix has a lot of nuances. One size bandaid doesn't fit all.

    Paul

Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?

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I just want to say that all the articles assume you'll pay for Netflix,
which isn't the question here.

I don't want to pay for anything since I think it's foolish to pay for what
you can get for free, if you can get it for free.

That's why I asked what comes with the Roku sticks. It seems, from the
answers, "stuff" comes for free, so that's good.

Now all I need is to figure out if the Roku can plug into the HDMI "IN" of
the monitor (with a Y adapter) or if the Roku can plug into the HDMI "OUT"
of the Sony Playstation 3.

If the Roku can plug into the HDMO "OUT" of the Sony PS3, that would be
perfect because the Sony PS3 already has cables that go into the old but
rather large (48 inch?) Sony TV (maybe through the DVD player?).

Come to think of it, I didn't look at the back of the DVD player yet.
http://www.bild.me/bild.php?file=3232054dvd_player.jpg

The DVD player also has an HDMI "OUT" that I ask if I can plug the Roku
stick into?

Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
On 3/27/2018 4:00 PM, Amethyst wrote:
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from the nearest "big" city , and down in The Hollr . No reception at all .
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input on the monitor should work though .

--  
  Snag
Ain't no dollar sign on
peace of mind - Zac Brown


Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?


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I am in a situation much like yours where it should be obvious that if we
don't even have cable service, we won't have over-the-air TV service
either, which is because we are remote and that's how we like things to be.

We are WISP for Internet and telephone and that's all we have other than
electricity from the power company. The water, and septic are not services
which are provided to us. Only garbage pickup happens once every two weeks
by truck and that's it for services pretty much.

The goal here is just to see if these Roku sticks can be made to work,
where the only HDMI "INPUT" we have is the computer monitor, which we can
free up if we use a different cable out the back of the desktop tower to
the computer monitor.


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Thank you for confirming that the Playstation 3 and DVD player HDMI ports
are not going to be useful since they're both outputs.

That leaves the only HDMI input being the computer monitor.  

For those who have a Roku streaming stick, do you concur that the sticks
should work in the computer monitor HDMI input? The computer is a modern
Windows computer desktop.

Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations?
Amethyst wrote:
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Yes it will work the HDMI port is a INPUT. Just as you can use a TV's  
HDMI port for a computer monitor.

To confirm I dug out the ol' Roku 2 DX and connected to and old monitor  
that only has DVI but I used a DVI-HTMI adapter. Works just fine.



--  
Take care,

Jonathan
-------------------
LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com

Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations? CAVEAT
Jonathan N. Little wrote:
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NOTE: The monitor would have to have builtin speakers else you will have  
no sound!!!

Much easier just to pickup a Wallymart special TV. You can easily pick  
up a small one for $100

--  
Take care,

Jonathan
-------------------
LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com

Re: Can a Roku streaming stick be used to get free TV stations? CAVEAT
On Tue, 27 Mar 2018 18:04:49 -0400, "Jonathan N. Little"

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We are Spartan.

We have one couch in the entire house, one table, one bookshelf, etc.

We currently have that one huge but old Sony TV we bought for $100 years
ago (before the advent of HDMI most likely), so any TV would have to
replace the huge Sony TV we have now.

This Walmart one is less than $100 & says it has speakers & HDMI in:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sceptre-24-LED-Full-HD-1080p-Monitor-E248W-1920-Black/40718688

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