The Budgeteers' Guide to 21st Century TV
Last updated on 2018-01-19
About the Book
The Budgeteers’ Guide to 21st Century TV is an independent, technical companion for those seeking TV without the “help” of cable or satellite providers. Finding practical knowledge and useful approaches can take days into weeks of internet searching and expensive shopping. It’s easy to get waylaid into doing nothing because the options look really difficult or inappropriate. Additionally, manufacturers often focus on their products and solutions in isolation, often choosing to ignore the fact that many practical solutions utilize multiple vendors and mixed technologies. By providing our readers with a systematic overview, along with some in-depth useful examples, we hope to save you time and money, make the process more fun, and increase your chances of success.
This book caters for readers of all technical levels. It isn't dumbed-down, but it also isn't full of jargon. You don't have to have a technical bent, but even if you do, you may still find out some cool new ways to watch TV.
Major themes of the book are:
- Understanding and taking control of technology you own.
- Not paying for content that is freely available.
A lot of the information in this book is specific to the United States. We maintain a blog about the book at budgeteertv.ironviolin.com
What skills do you need?
Choosing how to proceed.
Chapter 1: Introductions
1.1 Specs and stuff
Resolution and screen size
Bandwidth — bits per second and stuff
1.2 Digitally Broadcast-to-air TV
Introduction to Antenna TV
What is an antenna?
Introduction to TV tuners
Networked TV tuners
Using Networked Tuners with Multiple TVs and devices
Do you need an networked tuner?
1.3 Smart TVs
Introduction to Smart TVs.
1.4 Digital Video Recorders (DVR)
Introduction to DVRs
Do you need a DVR?
Do you need a networked DVR?
1.5 Streaming Gadgets
Introduction to streaming gadgets
Introduction to Roku
Introduction to AppleTV
Introduction to Amazon Fire TV and FireOS
Introduction to SlingTV Air TV player
Using multiple gadgets on one TV — HDMI switches
1.6 Chromecast and AndroidTV
Android consoles and TV Boxes
Introduction to Chromecast and Android TV
AndroidTV and the NVIDIA Shield
1.7 Personal Computers and TV
Why attach a computer to a TV?
Introduction to the Intel NUC
Introduction to the Mac Mini
Remote input for PCs — keyboards, trackpads, etc.
Chapter 2: Getting content
Can you get broadcast-to-air TV at your place?
Choosing a digital TV antenna.
Getting the signal – and finding a home for the antenna.
Do you need a signal pre-amplifier?
Mounting the antenna.
"Live" Cable channel streaming services
Alternative "live" streaming sources
Movies and TV shows
2.3 Optical Disks
Optical disk formats
When to use an optical disk?
Chapter 3: Moving Content
The Home network
Streaming on the home network
Network Connections — Wires and Radios
Choosing between wired or wireless.
The Internet Service Provider
Finding and fixing streaming problems
Using multiple WiFi bands for smoother streaming
Keep it all working
"Fun" with Coax
HDMI, Display Port and other multi-media connections
HDCP and DRM
Chapter 4: Watching content
4.1 Smart TVs
Smart TV Operating Systems (OS)
4.2 Networked Tuners
Installing a HDHomeRun Connect Tuner
Watching live TV in an app
Maintaining a HDHomeRun Tuner
Networked DVR — TabloTV
Set up a TabloTV
Using a TabloTV
PC based DVRs — MythTV, NextPVR
4.4 Streaming Gadgets
Streaming — Overview
Set up a Roku
Set up an Amazon Fire TV
What is Google Casting?
Setup Casting Receivers — AndroidTV & Chromecast
Casting from apps and the Chrome browser
4.5 PC and Mac computers
Streaming in a web browser
Troubleshooting browser streaming
Watching Broadcast TV on a PC using a tuner
Who is watching the watcher?
Chapter 5: Example projects
Project skills and cost rankings
5.1 SmartTVs and live broadcast-to-air TV
Using an antenna with a Smart TV
The TV guide
5.2 Internet Streaming
Is this the right option for you?
Unbundling the cable TV bundle.
Making it work
5.3 Streaming "Cable Only" channels
Example: Hulu Live
Example: Playstation Vue
Sling TV Air TV Player
You can't always get what you want...
5.4 Combining streaming gadgets and broadcast-to-air TV
A networked DVR as a Roku channel
Watching Broadcast-to-air TV in FireOS
Chromecasting TV to the big screen
Installing apps on AndroidTV
NVIDIA Shield — an AndroidTV console
Watching a networked tuner as a Live Channel on AndroidTV
Using a networked DVR with AndroidTV
Casting to AndroidTV
Watching Amazon Instant Video on the NVIDIA shield
Trouble shooting AndroidTV
5.6 Personal Computers and TV
Keyboards, mouse and network
Watching a Tablo DVR in a web browser
5.7 TV on Apple computers and Apple TV
A Mac Mini computer with Tablo TV
A Mac Mini computer with a HDHomeRun tuner
AppleTV and a TabloTV DVR
5.8 Plex DVR on an NVIDIA Shield
Install the Plex client and Media Server
Configure the Plex DVR
5.9 Money saving ideas
Using less internet
Little or no internet
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