We aim to keep all of our customers in the know about industry changes that could affect their entertainment options. Here's what's new. Last month, contracts between Roku and YouTube TV expired and, as of yet, a new agreement has not been reached. So, what does this mean for Roku and YouTube TV users? For now, Roku has said that users with the YouTube TV app already downloaded will be able to continue using it, but if the app is deleted, or a user is looking to download it for the first time, they will not be able to access it. As a temporary solution, YouTube has embedded YouTube TV into the Roku YouTube app, meaning that if the YouTube app gets deleted altogether, users can still enjoy the service.
This is an ongoing situation and we will be sure to share if more progress is made. We’re here to make sure you continue to have access to the services you want. If you have any questions or concerns about what this means for you, get in touch today at MarshmallowStreaming.com.
George Kontos, Co-Founder Christopher Maciejczyk, Co-Founder
"streaming" vs. "smart"
We often get asked about whether we prefer streaming devices or smart TVs that incorporate streaming capabilities. Overall, we recommend the experience of streaming devices. Here’s why:
We like devices to perform their one intended function very well—which is the experience you get with streaming devices. When you combine too much into one product it usually leads to a worse product.
In general, smart TVs are underpowered. This leads to apps and content loading significantly slower than they should.
Most smart TVs only support certain apps and the ones they do support are rarely updated. This makes Smart TVs become obsolete or annoyingly out-of-date that much quicker.
We also find the User Interfaces to be more difficult to navigate. Complicated remotes don’t make the experience any easier.
When it comes to live TV streaming, the sheer processing power required often makes the experience slow and frustrating.
digital antenna guide
For those who have cut the cord on cable, but still want access to local channels, installing a digital antenna may be the answer.
Digital antennas are a product that you have to buy and try out to see if it works for you. Each home is unique and what TV signals you will be able to pick up is dependent on many different variables. Part of the setup process will include scanning for channels on your TV to see what’s available in your location.
A few things to note about using digital antennas:
Placing the object closer to windows will yield better results. The thickness of walls will influence signal strength.
Typically, the higher the antenna is placed, the better the signal will be.
Using websites like AntennaWeb.org will allow you to research where the broadcast towers in your area are located. Then you’ll be able to more easily orient your antenna in that direction.
If you are interested in purchasing a digital antenna for your home, we recommend Mohu brand digital antennas, specifically the Leaf Fifty, which is incredibly easy to set up and use. It can even be painted to blend into existing decor.
Don’t want to buy a digital antenna, but still want to enjoy local channels? You may remember that we recently recommended the service Locast as a simple solution to this problem. It uses the Internet to stream local channels that can be picked up with an HD antenna. Chicagoland users can gain access to more than 45 channels—even WTTW and WGN, which are missing from almost all other live TV streaming services. Locast is a not-for-profit, so signing up is free, but a suggested donation of $5.50 a month removes ads and helps support the service.
a final word
Consumers have made clear their growing desire for new and improved streaming options and companies are acting fast to keep up with the demand. AT&T (which owns HBO and WarnerBrothers Studios) recently announced that the company is set to merge with Discovery (home to networks like HGTV and TLC). It shows that these conglomerates are trying to compete with the likes of Netflix and Disney. It will take some time to know exactly what this will mean for future streaming options, but we’ll be sure to share any exciting new updates as they unfold.