Question Sticking Up for Sex and Violence. Advice needed.

russellsprout

Active Member
Apologies for failing to contribute anything much on here since my complaint about the killing off of Grace Archer to distract me from seeing SR toothpaste ads on the newly launched Commercial Television. In the intervening years I have found it somewhat difficult to keep up with New Technology but am now about to boldly go somewhere new -- hence the reason for the topic title. But perhaps further explanation is necessary:

Knowing very little about computer games, I had until now thought "Game of Thrones" was one of them. A game about shooting posh chairs. Turns out though, it is -- or so I am told -- a TV series on Sky Atlantic replete with sex and violence. I prefer cocoa and slippers, so have never watched it. Now, however, I've discovered that Mrs Sprout does. Oh Gawd. Or even, oh GoT.

It returns to Sky on April 15th next. Disastrously, that's 15 days after we've left Sky: I've had enough of constant price hikes and having to talk to sell-up customer advisers who refuse to let me pay in pre-decimal currency anyway. After 21 years, then, no more satellite TV for us. Up yours, Comcast. Unfortunately, I failed to recognise the impending loss of Game of Thrones, so now it's up yours, Russell, as well.

I was intending to replace Sky's satellite service with my Humax HD PVR to get Freeview HD. But my technologically advanced planning was more sophisticated than even that: after many years as a LoveFilm customer, Amazon stopped the nice postman from delivering DVDs to our door and when I complained said, oh all right, here's a new FireStick. Yours for £10. We were already on Amazon Prime, though I'm not sure why, so the stick worked immediately. And it's so nice to have something to talk to when Mrs S won't.

So. I figured, Humax + Freeview HD + FireStick: what can possibly go wrong? Answer: 'Game of Thrones'. You can't get its sex 'n violence on a FireStick.

Friends who know more about this sort of thing (sticks, I mean, not sex 'n violence) say I should buy a NOW TV stick because NOW TV is owned by Sky and its output includes Sky Atlantic which screens 'Game of Thrones'.

I've therefore extensively researched NOW TV sticks (mine's an odd sort of life, really) but to judge from reviews by some other purchasers (Amazon UK website) what you get for £14.99p is all that's worth £14.99p. The damn thing breaks in two. Gets hot enough to melt tar. Very often doesn't work at all. But yes: the NOW TV 'entertainment pack' will satisfy my dear wife's hitherto unsuspected craving for sex, violence, and posh chairs.

However . . . (sorry for the length of this post but this is all very complicated) I am now told that something called a Roku is (a) better than a NOW stick and (b) why the hell would I want two sticks in my TV set when just one Roku accesses both Amazon Prime and NOW TV (if you subscribe to the former and buy packs for the latter.)

One stick to rule them all, one stick to find them. Sounds good to me. If it's true, then I shouldn't need two sticks up my Sony. If it isn't true, then I'm told it's best to buy something called a HDMI splitter and put both sticks in that . . . except they may not fit side-by-side because the gap between the slots might be too narrow so you'll have wasted your money, dear Russell.

Some questions, then:

(1) Is it true that a Roku enables its user to watch both Amazon Prime and NOW TV, thereby rendering redundant the FireStick that I already have, as well as the NOW stick I'm being told I should get?

(2) If so, then is the Roku as good as the FireStick? (I'm trying to figure out if there's a reason for retaining the FireStick in place.)

(3) On the Amazon UK website, a "Roku Express Streaming Player" is £24.99. But though it's called a "player", it seems, instead, to be a "stick". By contrast, the "Roku Streaming Stick +Player" is £69.99. But again, there's only a picture of a "stick". So is a player different from a stick or a stick from a player -- and is it better, anyway, to have a stick AND a player? Why???

(4) Should I get out more? [Answer: yes. Probably. But only with Nurse].

Any help / advice / insights and demonstrations of technological expertise will be greatly welcome: many thanks.

IMPORTANT NOTE: My Sony TV is almost 9 years old. Memorably, the first picture it showed was a bloke called Cameron and a bloke called Clegg grinning at each other in the back garden of 10 Downing Street. I thought it was a technical fault. Sony refused to take it back. But despite that dreadful start, it has actually worked perfectly ever since. I mention this because this Sony is NOT a UHD model nor has it been pasteurised in any other way. Just. . . HD. It does, however, have x4 HDMI ports, if only x1 USB port. (Not sure if that's relevant or not.)
 

Smudger1

Active Member
NowTV sticks/boxes are re-branded Rokus, so pretty much the same hardware. If you keep an eye out, you can get NowTV boxes and/or sticks quite cheaply with an Entertainment bundle for a couple of months thrown in. Sometimes, it ends up being cheaper than buying the entertainment pass on its own. Seeing as this is the last GoT series, you don't end up with a pile of NowTV boxes that you bought just for the passes...

Here's a deal, at B&M:

NOW TV Smart Stick With HD & Voice Search & 2 MONTHS ENTERTAINMENT PASS

Not sure if you have to trigger the pass straight away, or if you can wait until GoT starts and run it from then...
 

russellsprout

Active Member
Hi Smudger: Many thanks for your advice and that link to the B&M offer; definitely worth pursuing! You've actually helped me with a problem I have in regard to the Roku offerings anyway, in that though the cheaper 'Express' stick is said to be x5 more powerful (whatever that means) the more expensive Plus version has a superior wifi range and the remote isn't directionally dependent on IR, as is the Express. However: I've now come across several complaints that the Plus version's remote uses its own wifi to communicate, as a result of which it interferes with a home network's smooth running.

Sincere thanks again for both your help and that excellent money-saving tip!

EDIT: oops, just realised: the NOW TV stick doesn't allow us to Watch Amazon Prime. However, as we already have an Amazon Firestick in place (which, of course, doesn't allow us to watch NOW TV) would it be feasible to have both sticks installed in the TV? Or is that a silly idea, and the Roku Express a more sensible proposition???
 
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Smudger1

Active Member
Hi Smudger: Many thanks for your advice and that link to the B&M offer; definitely worth pursuing! You've actually helped me with a problem I have in regard to the Roku offerings anyway, in that though the cheaper 'Express' stick is said to be x5 more powerful (whatever that means) the more expensive Plus version has a superior wifi range and the remote isn't directionally dependent on IR, as is the Express. However: I've now come across several complaints that the Plus version's remote uses its own wifi to communicate, as a result of which it interferes with a home network's smooth running.

Sincere thanks again for both your help and that excellent money-saving tip!

EDIT: oops, just realised: the NOW TV stick doesn't allow us to Watch Amazon Prime. However, as we already have an Amazon Firestick in place (which, of course, doesn't allow us to watch NOW TV) would it be feasible to have both sticks installed in the TV? Or is that a silly idea, and the Roku Express a more sensible proposition???

I got the impression that the NowTV boxes/sticks are a generation behind what Roku are offering in their newest devices, but if you're only watching for an hour/90mins a week, features probably don't matter too much, "can wife watch sword p0rn" does...

I have the non-4k boxes at home, but tend to use the app on the telly, not that it's any better quality, just more convenient, and it means I'm not using up an HDMI port on the Amp.

I see no issue at all with having both the Amazon and NowTV sticks plugged in at the same time, they'll be on different HDMI ports so there shouldn't be any crossover
 

russellsprout

Active Member
I see no issue at all with having both the Amazon and NowTV sticks plugged in at the same time, they'll be on different HDMI ports so there shouldn't be any crossover

Job done then! Really can't thank you enough, Smudger, for all your help. And Mrs S is now speaking to me again.
 

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