I’ve been trying for a while now to convince the missus that we should drop our satellite (Shaw) in favour of using a mix of OTA and some streaming. She’s been very relucant because the satellite is sort of the ‘one stop shop’ for her viewing needs (a mix of DVR and HTGV/Food channels basically). I finally broke her down with getting a Tablo and trying it out. My plan is to rely on the Tablo for all the stuff we normally DVR (CBS, ABC, NBC, Global, etc…) and to use StackTV for the ‘live’ viewing she does (HGTV, Food, etc…). I haven’t actually subscribed to StackTV yet, and instead I’m trying to use the Global TV app, with our Shaw login credentials, as a proxy for it, at least until I can get the rest of the family used to viewing tv this way. Once we drop Shaw and the credentials for the GlobalTV app go away I’ll start the free trial of StackTV to replace it.
And now the crux of the issue I’m facing. Since the Satellite is still present, even though I hid it’s access down at the bottom of the list on our Harmony remote, it’s still the family’s go-to access for TV. I’ve been trying to make the access for watching TV as seemless as I can for everyone, but I think we’re running into a bit of ‘choice overload’ with everything we have setup. The TV is a Hisense Roku TV, connected to it is an Apple TV 4 (not 4k, just the 4) and an Android MiBox (that’s basically unused, but still connected). All of which are setup to be capable of watching Tablo, Prime, Disney+, GlobalTV, Plex, etc… The kids already just tune to the AppleTV for Prime/Disney+, so that’s one possiblity is to configure the Harmony to always send them there for live TV too. On the other hand, with the Harmony, I can configure the Roku to go straight to the Tablo channel, which is more like they’re used to with the Satellite. On the AppleTV, they have to select to go into the Tablo. But I’m worried about the disjointed experience of watching some things via the Roku, and others via the AppleTV.
What are peoples opinions on ways I should tackle this? Is there a setting I missed in Harmony that would let me dial direct to the Tablo app? Or should I try to switch everyone over to watching mostly on the Roku, and set up different Harmony activities for direct dialing into the appropriate Roku ‘channels’? Or are there other options I haven’t considered?
For similar simplicity reasons I converted my entire household (wife and two kids) to Roku a few years back. Now all 7 TVs operate in exactly the same way and all my external streaming services, as well as in home Tablo and Plex choices are available everywhere. As a bonus, every TV operates with one Roku remote. I get no “hey dad” support questions because it is all the same, simple, and familiar. I’m not sure how attached you are to your Harmony remote but having one Roku remote per TV has worked great for us.
Agree with @bbaorbb, have used a Roku for many years with no issues, easy to use remote. Remotes included with newer models can turn tv on/off and control volume too.
Just my opinion:
That integration is the big selling point for cable/satellite. I don’t know of any way to get anything close to it when cord-cutting. My wife won’t even touch our TV because it’s just too complicated. It’d probably be better if my TV (TCL Roku) provided a way to display a simplified list of apps… she only needs a few. I try to tell her that she can ignore the other apps, but they still intimidate her.
Sign her up for her own Roku account. Buy her, her own Roku. Connect it to an HDMI port. Even add her apps for her. and your done.
Thanks for the insight. I’m most likely going to stick with the Harmony remote, as we have more we control via the remote than what’s been mentioned (Nintendo Switch, Receiver, Blu-Ray, etc…) and Harmony’s all in one approach to activities work well for us. Even as I was typing the up the original post, I was starting to talk myself into setting it all up through the Roku, and based on yours and the other posts on here, it seems like that might be the right way to go.
Absofreakinloutely! The Roku provides one of the simplest interfaces in my opinion. I would set up macros(button sequences) for anything else if you must stick with the Harmony remote. I prefer the simplicity of the Roku remote these days but I was once a universal remote with nearly unlimited buttons guy too. Optical media like Bluerays and DVDs get ripped to my Plex server. My optical media is very lonely these days. I don’t even have an optical media player plugged in to a TV anymore.
In my experience it might take a little while to get your wife moved over but I suspect she will like it just fine. The kids will definitely adapt!
EDIT: I didn’t exactly give up complex macros when I gave up my complicated remote. I use Home Assistant now.
I agree on keeping all the end units the same. We use Fire TV ( not sure why we started with Amazon). Once I got the wife use to using it for everything, we cancelled the cable. And she puts the apps we us most to the front of the list. Only with one of the TV’s we use a Sideclick remote for power and volume buttons.
I also agree with keeping the end units the same. We have Roku Ultras on both of our main TVs wired to the router. We really only use 3 apps on Roku regularly. Tablo, YouTube and the video app for my NAS. My wife doesn’t really care what device I setup for us to use. We’ve gone through 5 changes to our streaming players over the years.