TV via the Internet as an alternative to satellite

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Amazon TV have dropped in price again to 89 euro. It was that price for Christmas, and after it went back up to 99 euro. I'm tempted to get one.

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To nitpick, it was €84 before coming back to €99 a month ago just when I decided to order two (see Post #1825 above).

However my month's experience with these Amazon Fire TVs has been well worth the €30 difference, even if I still regret not avoiding the higher price by going for the earlier one or waiting for the current one.

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Overplay vs unotelly

 

I have been using overplay, since the Satellite TV went down, last February and had several issues related to watching TV, some of

issues have been documented in this tread and its predecessor.

My system is Samsung Smart TV connected over WIFI to an O2 router, powered at 50Mb, last August I bought a DD-wrt router, to automate

IP updates and also because the Smart TV only allows one DNS number to be entered!, overplay supplies 2, you can enter both in

the DD-wrt.

 

The problems I have had

 

a ) ITV player would sometimes not play, the adverts seem to play then the loading circle, play then the loading circle - so the adverts normally

should take a couple of minutes to play - could take 15 mins to play with no guarantee the program to start after that.

b ) iplayer sometimes just stopped playing a program, mid way through, I could make it work again, by playing a different

program and then returning to the original.

c ) I could never get the auto-update of my IP address to work using the command supplied by Franklin and overplay, I tried alot

d ) While the Smart DNS service was switched on, I could never get to Google play, I could only go there after switching

off the Smart DNS service from overplay.

e ) Channel 5 player, never seemed to work!

 

I have raised several tickets with overplay on the above issues, but never got an answer that I could use to get my

system working in a reliable way. I was happy to have the system working sometimes, but thinking about it now I should

have been un-happy.

 

About 1 month ago, my system stopped working all together, no iplayer - nothing, The reason why it had stopped working was that

overplay's system had deleted my automatic re-charge of my account, for no reason at all. At this point I was just about re-new my automatic re-charge

by taking out a new subscription, when it occurred to me that I could try unotelly instead, so I took about a subscription with them.

 

I have to say I am very happy, all of the above problems are now gone, I can now, just switch the TV on and watch, there is no stopping

and starting, iplayer has not frozen since, I used one of many guides on Unotelly site to setup the DD-wrt router, no Further IP problems and

I can visit any site I want without a problem, channels 5 works.

 

I never liked the auto update of IP address from overplay, because you had to put your user name and password in the URL, which I always

thought was un-safe on many levels, Unotelly only has a token, which cannot be used to break into your account.

 

I also noticed that if you take the Smart DNS and VPN package from Unotelly its about half the price of overplay( 1 year )!!!

 

I know its early days with unotelly, but it seems ( for my system ) to me that unotelly is much much better than Overplay.

 

I do not work for either of the companies and have nothing to gain :)

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Since Friday I can no longer watch Zattoo. Reading on Zattoos facebook page, it is suggested that it is a DNS problem. I use Overplay DNS. Anyone else having this problem? I can log in just fine on the Swiss version and record programmes but I can't watch anything :(

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Just a quick one regarding Overplay Smart DNS and an android smartphone.

 

I got a HTC one as a present and it is great for using Zattoo with Chromecast.

 

BBC iPlayer is proving a bit trickier, however. Using the iPlayer app on the phone, I can download all programmes, watch all live tv, and chromecast on-demand stuff from the iPlayer to the tv. I cannot watch any on-demand content directly on the phone however, as I get an error message when I try to do so.

 

The BBC iPlayer Radio App has exactly the opposite issue. I can play all on-demand content, but none of their live streams.

 

Has anyone else got similar issues with Overplay and the latest Android version with iPlayer, or am I alone? Thanks.

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I'm also an OverPlay user.

I never use my (Samsung) Android phone for TV, but I have the same symptoms on it as you do with iPlayer radio on your HTC.

Having said that, I hardly ever use it even for that because I have a separate Internet radio for the purpose that delivers live BBC radio with no problems.

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I also get a connection error on the iplayer. I can get live Beeb using a browser but no on demand so I wouldn't say this was an overplay issue as it works fine on all other devices.

 

Unlike AB I use an app called RFM which gives me pretty much all UK radio stations and then connect to my sound system via Bluetooth. That said I did check the iplayer radio and it won't play live either.

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SO we are moving house this summer and I would like some advice.

 

At the moment we use a VPN on laptop and plug it in to the TV. But I want to have a straightforward UK access TV with no pesky cables hanging out all over the show to watch UK TV (mainly IPlayer, 4OD and UK Netflix..)

 

Would everyone just recommend I get a Samsung SMART TV and use a DNS? Are all Samsung SMART TVs DNS enabled?

 

THanks in advance for your help.

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If you've already got a smartphone or tablet, you could consider a €35 Chromecast device that you can plug into pretty much any TV with a HDMI socket. You can [broad]'cast' a signal from the tablet/phone to the Chromecast. This is how I watch Top Gear and Formula 1 (the only things I ever want to watch live). Everything else I watch pre-recorded, for which I use FilmOn's €10/month online DVR service and download the show's mp4 file and place it on a NAS device and play it (on PC, WD Media Player plugged into my TV, tablet, phone) anywhere.

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thanks but really I am looking for wired service if this is possible.Dont want to be connecting/plugging things in any more after 5 years of that! Think SMART TV with DNS/overplay is my best bet?

 

EDIT - ah righto yeah Ill look into chromecast short term to address my cable hatred issues

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Hi,

 

 

SO we are moving house this summer and I would like some advice.

What kind of an internet connection is available at the new house? Make sure it is fast enough for streaming...

 

Then, get a decent main router (I recommend some AVM Fritz!Box), let it handle the IP update with the SmartDNS provider.

 

Get a decent second router (the TP-Link TP-841N(D) is great for that task ), Velcro it at the backside of the TV, attach it via cable to the main router, and let this second router handle the DNS mangling; plug the TV into that second router. Done. Feel free to plug all other TV gadgets into that second router, too (or use WLAN with the second router).

 

 

Are all Samsung SMART TVs DNS enabled?

AFAIK, yes. However, going the route with a second el-cheapo router for the DNS-mangling is the easier way to get things going for the future, I have to assume.

 

Cheers

Franklan

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OK Franklan, thanks. But why dont I just change the DNS settings of the TV device itself?

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@oscar 63

 

A Samsung Smart TV is probably the most couch user friendly option if you're not interested in live TV, that's not to say you cannot watch live tv on a Samsung through it's smart hub but that's another option I'd suggest exploring at a later date.

 

As Franklan mentions above it's best to go the 2 router route it saves a lot of manual setup if using other devices and can also increase your wireless range throughout.

 

I know you say you are not moving until the summer but if you go the Samsung route they will shortly be releasing their 2015 models, the J Series, a lot of electrical stores will be ridding old 2014 H Series stock to make way for their arrival. Do some research and find the models you like in your price range and then shop around, you could find yourself a real bargain especially on the higher end sets like the 6,7 and even the 8 H-series.

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OK Franklan, thanks. But why dont I just change the DNS settings of the TV device itself?

 

You can Oscar and you only need to do it once. As long as the the Samsung TV is a Smart TV then you can add the DNS server number manually, one or two older lower end models from around 2012 were not compatible.

 

If you want to use multiple devices over Smart DNS then the option that Franklan mentions is the better one especially if you use a separate VPN for business.

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... At the moment we use a VPN on laptop and plug it in to the TV. But I want to have a straightforward UK access TV with no pesky cables hanging out all over the show to watch UK TV (mainly IPlayer, 4OD and UK Netflix..) Would everyone just recommend I get a Samsung SMART TV and use a DNS? Are all Samsung SMART TVs DNS enabled? THanks in advance for your help.

 

I have almost no experience of smart TVs, so I'll leave it to others to air the pros & cons of their favourites among these, but as far as I've read and heard, even the best of the bunch from Samsung can be more or less iffy from model to model.

 

Personally, I reckon it's better to treat the TV as a monitor with multiple HDMI sockets, to which one or more so-called set top boxes can be attached. The following describes my setup. (I use OverPlay Smart DNS set up in my Fritz!Box router and can't comment on alternative methods.)

 

For your selection of iPlayer, 4oD and UK Netflix I'd recommend you buy the TV with the best picture and (if you have no separate sound system) the best sound that you can afford.

 

Then you could go for a UK Roku 3 (~£95) from Amazon UK as your main STB.

The Roku 3 has native iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Netflix (and Sky's Now TV) apps and can be driven via Ethernet or WiFi.

 

The ITV Player on the Roku 3 provides catchup and live ITV, but for BBC and Channel 4 live streams I'd recommend the Amazon Fire TV (~€84 - €99) from Amazon Germany plus a Zattoo Premium HiQ subscription (65 CHF pa).

The standard German Fire TV comes with a Zattoo app that, if set to receive Zattoo from Switzerland, will provide all UK FTA live streams, but no EPG so no Zattoo Recall (=one week's catchup) and no Zattoo Recording (=one week's in-the-cloud "recordings" of up to 250 programmes.

It's possible to sideload the "Swiss" Zattoo Android app onto the Fire TV to provide the missing EPG, Recall and Recording features.

The iPlayer Android app can also be sideloaded onto the Fire TV, but 4oD can't.

For the standard German Zattoo app, the Fire TV can be connected via Ethernet, but for some strange reason the sideloaded apps require a WiFi connection for best performance.

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@AncientBrit - Bunch of good suggestions there. Bookmarked! If I ever become unhappy with my solutions I'll look into some of those for sure.

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Or there is the "faff free" Blade iptv service from Bavaria satellites... B)

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Just to update you all, I've been very happy with my MAG-250 solution since last Summer.

 

Bought a 6-month subscription for €120 from a nefarious third party (plenty of offers if you Google for UK IPTV) and have had access to UK channels (including regional), most satellite-based UK sport and movies with a 7-day catchup service.

 

Like SP says, it's very satisfying just to be able to switch on the box and surf with the remote rather than faffing around with various settings and apps.

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I can appreciate the operational simplicity of the IPTV solution, kludgie, but it's an expensive solution.

 

Whatever the box itself cost you as a one-time charge can be equated to the cost of one or two STBs, so let's say we're quits on that point.

 

Even if you were to switch to a slightly cheaper 12-month deal you'll be spending let's say 200 EUR pa instead of the approx. 60 EUR pa. that Zattoo costs me.

 

You can take any time span you like, but let's take 5 years... at the end of this period you'll have paid out around 700 EUR more than I in total and the next 5 years will cost you another 700 more and so on ad infinitum.

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