GCET and Tv alternatives

The essence of using GCET, esp when switching from a cable service like Comcast, is to understand that all services must now come via internet, not a video feed.  This means that any show (or movies, etc) that used to be watched on TV must now be found on an equivalent internet service.  This is simple when watching on a computer, tablet (iPad), or (modern) phone, since they all are directly connected to the internet, via wifi or internet wire.

Tv over the Internet, on your TV screen:
To watch on a TV screen, there needs to be some device that displays the incoming internet service on the TV screen, in short: Internet in, video out.  An important point to realize is that cable TV is always some form of bundle, you are paying for not just the wire, also for the content.  If you switch to GCET then you are on your own to find content, that might mean paying for a subscription to a TV channel.

There are a number of different hardware paths to support internet on a TV screen:

  • Classic internet Streaming devices: Netfix, Roku
  • New streaming devices: SlingTV, Sony Playstation Vue
  • New TV plugins: FireTV, Chromecast, AppleTV
  • Smart TVs: these run aps specific to various channels
  • Advanced internet DVR: Plex 
    these are for DYI folks, who want to control their own TV environments, they usually do not require advanced engineering degrees so long as you are willing to experiement and learn their particulars.

Content, TV channels and more:
Some channels provide fully free internet content (such as CW, Syfi). Others provide such free content only to tablets or phones, and to watch on a tv screen, require a smart TV or TV plugin so you can ‘cast to your TV from your tablet etc device. And some require a subscription to get any content over the internet, the classic networks are mostly like this.  Some of these channels are now posting content on their web site, although not full shows.

There are also pay Internet services that provide TV channels, such as Hulu Plus, AT&T DirecTV Now, YouTube TV.

Major Channels:
(ed: I’ll update this page with channel specifics over time)

  • ABC – You can still watch full episodes one week after they premiere without signing in.
  • NBC – Seems free, not working ??
  • CBS – Need CBS all access, paid (haven’t found price)
  • PBS – Join your local PBS station:  WGBY Springfield
  • FOX – ?? researching, seems paid, only see Cable channel options
  • CW – Free

Free Content sources:

  • check the library – they have arrangements that give you access to various streaming content: Hoopla
  • For something totally different, check out Art on my Tv and We love Museums @ Home  (Disclamer: that’s a blog and service of mine)

More suggestions and ideas at:

 

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