Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sloth and Fire

We are entering another cold snap so today is perfect for sloth and Fire.

 And I mean this kind of fire...

and this kind of Fire. 

If you are over on the facebook then you know I absolutely love our Amazon Fire TV. We snagged it when they had a sale just before Christmas and it's still our favorite thing. Folks have been asking me about it so I'm going to show you what it is and why it's so great.

Very simply Amazon Fire TV is a way to watch TV online.... on your TV. In the past if we wanted to watch shows and movies online then we had to watch on my laptop.... or plug a big cord into the TV from my laptop. It was awful but it was the only way both of us could watch.

I never really minded when it was just me - I just watched on my laptop and I got a lot of mileage out of my NetFlix account.  But trying to hook up the TV was a disaster. We almost never did it and it always just made my husband mad. It kind of went like this....

.... *extremely exciting part of the movie*..... and then one of the cats would step on the cord and the TV screen would go blue, us screaming: PEPPER!!!  Or we'd lose the connection with Amazon right when Godzilla was about to.... about... what? What?

 It was just stupid.

So usually it was just me and Nicholas huddled around my cat-hair-covered laptop trying to hear what was going on. All of that is over.

I honestly could not figure out what the advertising for Amazon Fire was when it first came out. I did not know why Gary Busey was yelling weird things at the TV and did not care. But then I stumbled upon a how-to video that explained it and it all made sense.

Look how little it is!

The Amazon Fire TVturns your TV into an online viewing machine!  You can watch any of the shows or movies from Amazon Instant Video, NetFlix, or Youtube right from your couch without hooking anything else up.

Now this is how movie night goes.... We turn on the TV, use the TV remote to click to "Input 2", pick up the most adorable remote ever and click on the movie we want. We can even use the voice command thingy AND IT WORKS.

This snazzy little remote changed everything.

So the other nite we commanded the TV to play Fury and watched an action packed, fabulous movie without once yelling at Pepper. No one tripped over the cord, the picture quality was excellent, and in just a few clicks and we were viewing. And since the Fire TV is already linked to your Amazon account it's all set up if you want to buy shows and movies. Easy peasy!

Originally we were going to get the Fire TV Stickbut the sale before Christmas for the Fire box got us. As far as we can tell the big difference between the Fire Stick and the Fire box is that the Stick is about $40, is much smaller, and does not come with the gaming options. We have never even checked out the gaming stuff.

So here are the questions we get:

Is it worth it?
Yep. Every cent. I can't tell you how easy it is and how much that has made a difference. I am not a gadget person at all... but this is really terrific.

But why would you pay for that when you have cable or can get a "smart" TV?
We don't have cable so the cost of the Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Prime is still much cheaper then a cable bill. Smart TV? Sure. How much money do you have? They tried to sell us one for $1200 and we laughed at them. I'm sure the prices are going to come down but we are not willing to pay that much more. We've been checking out new TV's and not all the Smart ones come with the Amazon app to watch stuff on Amazon Instant Video or Prime. The sales guy said that most of the LG TV's have it but not all of the brands.

What about Roku?
*shrugs* The nerds say it's about the same but we have Amazon Primewith access to tons of free shows and movies... and buy most of our movies from Amazon so it makes sense for us to stay in that "eco-sphere." It is so easy.

What else?
We also really like the original programing from Amazon (and NetFlix) - as far as companies go I'm betting on them to take us to a new level. Amazon has their new original programing for free with your Prime account. They did a preview last year where you could watch any of the show's pilots and then provide feedback - they kept the best shows and ended up winning a ton of awards. They are doing the same thing right now I'm betting on The Man in the High Castle.

What else?
My friend L had a great point - she said that their TV is mounted to the wall and that trying to hook up a laptop to it with a cord was unrealistic. If we tried this I am positive someone, perhaps me, would trip over the cord and rip the TV right off the wall.

Also - how cool is this? There are a lot of shows you can use for homeschooling. I would have never had thought of that but isn't that a great idea?

But... but what about cable?
Cable can screw right on off. They have completely missed the boat and are now scrambling to catch up. Remember when they changed TV forever with The Sopranos? Now all I hear about is how none of their customers are happy with the service, it's expensive, and there is never anything on. The only thing that interests me is that HBO is finally getting on board with online viewing with their HBO Go... and we think that current customers will get that when it comes out thru Amazon Prime. Of course the only reason I'm interested in that is so I can see Game of Thrones. I'm still mad tho that they want to sell a channel and not by-the-show.

What's so great about online viewing?
You can watch what you want, when you want. I can't stay up late enough for most of the network shows.... so I just watch them the next day or whenever. And I never have to sit around thru a totally dumb show waiting for what I really want to watch to come on.

Plus I totally love binging - which is watching a bunch of episodes in a row. Why wait until next week? Plus there are no commercials. I'd pay to never see another "ED" commercial again. Seriously.  Right now I'm watching Spartacus which is really terrific but we are all counting down the days until House of Cards Season 3 comes out. I will be very busy that day parked directly in front of our TV with my Fire TV remote in one hand and Nicholas snuggled under my other arm.

Any drawbacks?
Yes. For the first few weeks I couldn't pry the Fire TV remote out of my husband's hand. I am not kidding. He went from angrily lumbering off anytime we wanted to watch anything online to being a full on fan. He also went thru and monkeyed up my Watch List. I had so carefully groomed it..and now it's full of Red Green and stupid BBC fake sci-fi shows. So I'm kind of irritated about that too. Otherwise we just love it.

Happy Friday everyone! Are you getting with the program and watching online?

Editors note: It's Friday - how about some affiliate links in this post? Why do I always put this at the bottom of these posts?  Technically I'm supposed to tell you this which is why I'm including this editor's note. How does it work? Easy peasy. I get a tiny portion of the sale when you click on one of the links, go to the Amazon page, and purchase something. It can be anything - this book, movies, or something you need from Amazon anyway.  Do you need anything Amazon? You can support this blog by just clicking one of these links. Or using the black Amazon search box on the right side of this page. It doesn't cost you once cent more but helps me with the "cost" of this blog. If you like this blog, or if I've helped you at all in your farming efforts, just make a purchase from Amazon from one of the links, my store, or the black Amazon search box on the right side of this page. Thanks!


David said...

Totally agree... binging on programs is awesome, and just using the HDMI dongle (stop giggling) is easy to use. Fire stick does not have voice - but there is some gaming though I"m not a gamer. Also the storage on the fire tv is bigger so the buffering streaming is a bit smoother but in general it is the same thing. Yep it's pretty cool!

Unknown said...

We ditched Dish last year, got a roof antenna, then Roku and Netflix and never went back. There's so much on Netflix and the other free Roku channels, we always have too much to watch and not enough time! It's $8.99 a month and the Roku ($89.00) paid for itself already. We actually got 3 more PBS stations with our antenna, cool! All those travel and cooking shows! I also get free DVDs from the library...

Vera said...

No TV here, but use our computers to watch things on. Anyway, Lester and me would not share happily one TV screen, neither of us wanting to watch what the other was watching so we would have to have 2 TVs to keep us both happy!

Unknown said...

Do you have to have an internet connection? or is that built in?

Cr said...

I've seen your posts on this and wondered - how do you get your internet? DSL, cable, satellite? We're so far out in the boonies that our only option is satellite and I'm afraid all the streaming video would suck up our monthly allowance. So we get DVDs from Netflix and the library (gotta love the library) and I very judiciously watch a couple shows on the laptop every so often.

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