I know about the website can I stream it, which is nice but not always accurate. I have netflix, hulu plus, amazon prime, crackle, pbs, etc. for free films and tv as well as a variety of pay streaming sites I use. Is there any interface where I can list all the apps I use and just find out if any of them have the movie that goes through my TV (as opposed to can I stream it, which goes through my PC and after I find what I want then I look it up on my tv)?
The newer Tivos will handle Netflix, Hulu (I’m not sure about hulu+), Vudu and Amazon Prime as all one ‘thing’. That is, you can search for a show and it’ll just figure out where to stream it from.
They can also stream Youtube.
But I understand most people don’t want to invest in a TiVo. The next option would be to look into a tablet and ChromeCast. That way anything you can get on the tablet (which would include things like HBOGO etc) can be casted up to your TV.
I"ve got a chromecast and never really understood its functionality. I just stream stuff from my PC which is nice not having to use the HDMI cable, but how does a chromecast differ from just using an HDMI to connect a laptop to a TV?
It’s much simpler.
No needing to change your video display settings.
No need to maximize the content, etc.
I’m a big fan of the Roku.
The weakness of a Chromecast is that you have to use a phone or tablet as the interface, where the Roku has a regular remote control and can be easily programmed into a universal remote like a Logitech Harmony. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like having to look at a second screen - and it’s impossible to select something on a phone or tablet without looking at it. I want a remote that fits into my hand and has physical buttons that I can locate by feel in the dark.
The only real advantage of a Chromecast over a Roku is the price, and you can get a Roku stick cheap enough.
The Roku is probably the most well-supported device out there with more apps than anything else, so you can put NetFlix, HBO-Go, Showtime, Plex, Amazon, you name it. The only thing it doesn’t support is Apple, and Apple is not on anything but their AppleTV.
I use my laptop. I’m not sure if you were excluding other devices or just saying that you need another device, period.
When I got my Chromecast it came with three free months of Netflix. I was already an existing customer AND since I bought it at Best Buy, someone they linked something to something else and I got an email before I made it to my car letting me know that I wouldn’t be charged for Netflix for the next three months. I think that made it cost something silly like $7. That made it worth it even considering I almost never use it.
Also, Roku has ‘channels’. I don’t own one, but I have used one a few times. I haven’t played with it that much, but they seem to have their own streaming service. I’m not sure how it compares to other streaming services, but that’s something that is totally out of the realm of Chromecast. All Chromecast does is take what’s on your tablet/computer/phone screen and put it on your TV. It doesn’t connect to the internet in any meaningful way.
Nothing to add here other than TiVo supports Plex, even if I don’t know what it is, I see it in the menus.
To the OP, I think you need to clarify exactly what you want. You say you want to be able to pick a show and see where you can find it, but you also say you have a website that does that. You also didn’t like the idea of Chromecast (and that was probably my fault for bringing it up) since you don’t see the advantage of using it over HDMI. I’ve never ‘streamed’ via HDMI, so I don’t really know how it works, in a technical level. For example, I can stream a chrome window, but still be doing other stuff.
Having said that, maybe look into Roku, I know it can handle Netflix, Crackle and (I think) Hulu. I’m not sure about HBOGo, however.
I’ve actually found the Can I Stream It website to be pretty terrible. About half the time I have looked up a movie there, it tells me it’s available on HBO streaming and then when I go to HBOGo it’s not there.
I own a roku and consider it the most superior way to get streaming apps. It is vastly superior to smart TVs, Smart DVD players, Chromecast, Gaming consoles, etc. when it comes to the quality and quantity of streaming options.
However lets say I want to watch movie X. I can go to ‘can I stream it’ and see if any of the apps I have is offering it. However Can I stream it is wrong sometimes in my experience. They say movies are not available that are, or movies are available that are not, etc. Plus I’d prefer something on my roku that has the same functionality of ‘can I stream it’.
Is there an app for the roku I can download and then tell it ‘I have netflix, hulu plus, amazon prime, crackle, etc. etc’ then I can use that app to type in the name of a movie and it finds it wherever it can find it on any of the streaming sites I use?
Of course in that functionality you’d obviously have preferences. Free movies are superior to movies I have to rent. And movies where I don’t need to watch commercials (like netflix) are superior to ones where I would need to watch them like Hulu plus or Crackle. If Movie X is on netflix for free w/o commericals, on Crackle for free with commercials and on Amazon prime for $2.99, I would prefer it automatically redirect me to the netflix site to watch it.
Yes, this. Can I stream it is better than nothing, but it is wrong a lot to the point where I sometimes end up checking netflix, hulu plus, amazon prime, etc. anyway even when Can I stream it tells me the movie isn’t there because I’ve learned not to trust it completely.
Plus I’d prefer something that I could install on my roku (or attach to my TV) that does the same thing. It’d be nice to type in a movie name like ‘Groundhog Day’ and then have it tell me which apps I have installed is offering it, what the price is, and then let me choose which app I want to use to watch it.
Ahhh, got it. That I can’t help you with since I don’t have a Roku. TiVo can do this, however (but it’s a lot more expensive). Also, if the show/movie isn’t available, you can tell it to watch for it and it’ll pop up when it’s available (including on regular TV).
Does anyone have a Roku 4? Can the Roku 4 do what I’m asking (list all the streaming sites that a movie is on)?
I have a Roku 1, so I have no idea what the newer models can do. Looking online I get the impression the Roku 4 may have this functionality, but I think it is limited to 20 streaming apps it searches. But that could be enough because that includes netflix, hulu, crackle, amazon, etc.
The Apple TV 4 does pretty much exactly that. Push the Siri button and say “I want to watch Groundhog Day,” and a list of which services it’s available on shows up. Then you choose which one. It offers universal search for most of the bigger usual streaming suspects like HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Showtime, PBS and then iTunes. There is no Amazon app yet, although it is available for iOS. Apple provides an API to developers to include their apps in the search results, so it’s up to the developer to include itself in the universal search.
I have a Roku 3, and I have not found an app that lets you search across channels. It’s pretty much one channel at a time - use the HBO app to watch HBO content, etc. The AppleTV functionality is interesting, but like everything Apple, it is mainly a very good tool for giving Apple more money.
Plex is a tool for those of us who have built up our own libraries of content. I set up a server, and it indexes it and presents my movies and TV shows in a very clear interface.
You’re gonna have to pay somebody, it may be Roku and Hulu or it may be Apple and Netflix.
But you’re gonna have to pay somebody.
I also have a Roku3, and on the home screen (where the list of channels is), you can do a search for a show or movie, and it will tell you what channels (Netflix, Crackle, Vudu, etc) that show or movie is on. It will come up and say “<this movie> is on Netflix for free, it’s on Vudu for $2.99, Amaxon Prime for $1.99”, etc. If it recognizes your search as a specific movie or show, but its not on any of the channels, it will let you save it and notify you if it becomes available. For example, I searched for The Tick (the animated series), which is not available on any channels. The Roku saved it and will let me know if it becomes available on any of my channels. Very nice.
I have the Roku stick, for point of reference, don’t know if that makes a difference. But on the menu, there’s a “Search” option. I just search for what I want to watch, and Roku gives me all of the apps it’s available on. Some of the results cost money or require you to subscribe, some may be available for free on Netflix or Prime or Crackle, etc. But if it’s available to stream, my Roku gives me my options.
This is true (we use the voice search on our Roku 3 for this all the time). It searches the “major” services (including Acorn TV, Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, CBS All Access, CinemaNow, Crackle, Fox NOW, FXNOW, HBO Go, Hulu, M-GO, Met Opera on Demand, Nat Geo TV, Netflix, Popcornflix, Roku Recommends, SnagFilms, STARZ Play, Time Warner Cable and Vudu. according to https://blog.roku.com/blog/2015/09/08/roku-search-search-across-20-streaming-channels-for-movies-tv-shows-actors-and-directors/), so it’s not 100% if the show you are looking for is on Tubi or WatchESPN or Sling or something, but it’s pretty good, and it gives you all the options.
I. Will. Be. Damned. This whole time I was looking for the functionality somewhere else, and my roku had it all along under the misleading button called ‘search’.
I feel like Dorthy in Wizard of Oz, I spent all this time looking for something that I had with me all along.
I had an old Roku, and it was slow and I hated it.
I have an el cheapo (Visio) “smart tv” in my bedroom, and if it isn’t on amazon or netflix, I don’t watch it there. But it works excellent for those services.
Actually, I keep threatening to get rid of the Netflix. We never remember to send dvds back, and the streaming is getting largely useless for us. The kidlets get some use out of it, though. They have PeeWee’s Playhouse and a lot of old PBS things.
Anything else, I try to find on Youtube or do without.
But I feel ya on trying to find an integrated method of finding content. I’m paying for cable, too, and I’ve never hooked up the box (it sort of “came” with the internet, thanks Comcast !@$#) which makes me feel like I’m wasting…something.
Meant to say, I have my main PC hooked up to the main TV, so that makes everything work out in the living room.
I also just figured out that you can 1) bring up YouTube on your phone and on the roku, then search for videos using the phone and play them on the roku, and 2) download a roku app which does the same thing as 1), but for all channels, not just YouTube.