17 May, 2022

Watching TV

I’m doing a little reorganization of my in-home entertainment choices (i.e. television offerings) and thought I’d share in a little more detail what I use to give me television and movies here in Mazatlán.

First, I use smartdnsproxy (https://www.smartdnsproxy.com/?afid=27708a335f7e) to make many services think I’m in the USA. You can change your internet router fairly easily to use smartdnsproxy, and then all of the devices in your home will work. Alternatively you can make changes to your PC / phone / tablet / laptop / etc. so some use it, and some do not. Smartdnsproxy works by changing the way your internet requests are processed, so it’s not a VPN. They do have vpn services available though, in case you have need of one. I did try other services and found that they didn’t work where I am.

Smartdnsproxy does need to know your IP number, so if your internet provider changes it, you will suddenly lose access to your entertainment options … a minute or two spent updating your account with smartdnsproxy takes care of everything and you’ll be back in business! TelMex likes to change mine about every two weeks – so when I have a problem that’s the first thing I check.

I also use a Roku attached to my television. Roku makes my ‘smart’ tv even smarter. And it makes ‘dumb’ tv’s smart! Best of all, there is no monthly service charge for a Roku device. Once you’ve bought yours, there are no more expenses (other than your paid channels). With Roku you’ll have access to several free television and movie channels. Freevee. Pluto. Local Now. Crackle. The Roku Channel. ABC News. Tubi. All the paid channels are there too, like Paramount+, Disney+, HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Hulu, Sling, etc. There’s even a channel that lets you watch local news channels from many cities in the USA (‘newson’). Yes, the ‘free’ channels have commercials – but so do cable channels and you have to pay for those. Some of the channels do require you to have a provider in order to work – Like ABC, NBC, and CBS (you can watch CBS if you have Paramount+). I still have a house in the USA and have internet + tv there (for my security cameras), so I can link that so my ABC, NBC, and CBS channels on the Roku will give me live broadcasts. With smartdnsproxy sometimes they’re from Tampa and sometimes from LA – The only thing I don’t like is that Tampa’s ABC affiliate doesn’t show Jeopardy!

For several years I subscribed to Sling TV. Recently I sat myself down and realized that for the ONE channel it provided that others didn’t, it wasn’t worth the money I was spending. So I killed it on the 1st of the month. So far I’m not going through withdrawals – and I’ve discovered that there are other ways to get that one channel as well – at least on my PC. So now my paid channels are down to Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, and Disney+. Hulu and Netflix for general television and movie watching, Paramount+ for the Star Trek shows, and Disney+ because they have the Marvel shows. Hulu and Disney+ (as well as ESPN) are bundled, so the price is pretty affordable.

So, while I’ve cut the cord on cable I’m still paying a little under $50 a month for the paid channels AND smartdnsproxy. I was paying more than that just for Sling TV. I could definitely knock it down a little more but right now it’s about the right place and provides what I like.

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