Cord cutting - getting rid of sky but having similar features for Freeview?

rorton

Active Member
We have Sky Q currently, and 3 boxes around the house - just not really using it for the sky channels, all we seem to do is record some stuff from Freeview channels (BBC/ITV Type dramas) The rest is Netflix so mulling the idea of ditching sky.

Problem is, I don't know how to go about the convenience of being able to record/plan stuff to watch later.

In this day and age, recording something also seems a bit old fashioned, so I had in my mind that all the tvs are smart, so is there some kind of 'planner' that can merge all the Streaming FTA serivces (Iplayer, ITV Hub, All4, My5 etc) so I can go to it to either mark stuff to watch instead of actually recording it, and its all in one place, so we can sit down, open the 'planner' and choose and then stream something across any of the services,

Bear in mind all the TVs are different makes , Sony in the lounge with Android, a Samsung running what ever it runs, and a couple of Fire TV Sticks.
 

Scapegoat

Well-known Member
Have just ditched Sky Q this week and am in the process of looking at options.

Looked at the need to record and decided its not required any more - everything is pretty much available on-demand (Netflix, Disney+, Prime, iPlayer, 4OD etc) so only need to be able to access these services on the TVs (we only have 2).

Both TVs are 'smart' but quite old (6 years) and we have an Amazon FireStick on one TV, and an older Apple TV (v3) on the other.

3 days in my view is that for convenience - the same system on both (all if you have more) is desirable.

Our old Apple TV isn't up to it - too slow and cannot download new Apps (so we cannot get Disney+); Fire TV is better (like the Alexa voice control - Sky Q-esque) but does force feed their own content a little more than I'd like.


We are going to wait a few weeks to see how we get on the FireStick and also if Sky come back with an attractive return offer. Not wanting to spend a lot of money currently as we are building a new house next year and that will end up with a new AV/Sound equipment install, but I can see the interim solution being either 2 x firestick, or 2 x other simple device.
 

rorton

Active Member
Im tempted by a HD Homerun Network TV tuner, running into my Plex Server.

Like you, im not convinced that recording is the future, but for the stuff we record on BBC/ITV/C4 etc the wife wants to be able to see it like she does on sky,

Just wish there was some kind of 'front end' that sat in front of the Catchup Appos that worked across all platforms and you could setup a watch list if what you wanna watch.

Suppose paper and pen is an option, but its not very technical!
 

MarcDavison

Standard Member
Im tempted by a HD Homerun Network TV tuner, running into my Plex Server.

Like you, im not convinced that recording is the future, but for the stuff we record on BBC/ITV/C4 etc the wife wants to be able to see it like she does on sky,

Just wish there was some kind of 'front end' that sat in front of the Catchup Appos that worked across all platforms and you could setup a watch list if what you wanna watch.

Suppose paper and pen is an option, but its not very technical!

Unfortunately the only service to have a "partial" front end/integration with the diverse streaming apps is Sky Q...

We've just gone through a similar adjustment process, we do have a freesat Tuner on the living room TV so can watch the minimal channels on that but everything else is streamed when needed.

It's taken a bit of getting used to, after the convenience of the Sky Q EPG but after an adjustment it's usable and we can watch pretty much everything we want to watch when we want to.

There are sites/apps like JustWatch where you can search and find out which streaming service might have a given program available etc.

My biggest complaint is the poor picture quality from the SD Only ITV player.
 

rorton

Active Member
Interesting observation about ITV player, I wasn't aware of that, what a shame!

Maybe the answer is some kind of app as you suggest, and then just adjust our process and get used to using an app to track what we watch, would save a few quid on extra kit!
 

CatsWithThumbs

Active Member
If you're not quite ready to let go of recording you could do worse than look into Youview. They no longer sell boxes directly (its main purpose these days appears to be to supply TV to BT subscribers) - however, there are boxes available second hand (ebay, CEX for example) and they function as a standard Freeview recorder even without such a subscription, with some planner integration with the catch up apps as you require.

You can go backwards in the guide to launch a missed show directly in its app (as you can with more modern Freeview Play) and you can also add on-demand shows to a Watch List thereby fulfilling your planner requirement I think.

It also has Netflix app available, plus Now, all the standard catch ups, UKTV Play... possibly also Amazon Prime if you get a BT-branded model. Those are made by Humax so are pretty solid, plus there are some actual Humax branded models but these do not include the Amazon app. There are also Huawei branded models but I am not familiar with these. The interface is the same on them all though.
 

deadmonkey

Active Member
Manhattan T3-R does Iplayer, ITV Hub, All4, My5 plus integrates pretty nicely with the recording functionality as well - which I find preferable for some content just to be able to skip through the ads on the commercial channels.

You can get the 500GB for only 169 quid, so not too pricey if you want a couple. Also seems to be pretty reliable and responsive and you can always supplement with a stick if you also want netflix, prime or whatever on that telly.
 

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