When Cord cutting Start with an antenna and Plex Channels for Movies and TV

One of challenges people face when deciding if they want to cut the cord is how to replicate what they have with cable TV with regards to content and ease of use. I have been using Plex for over 2 years and consider it my go to channel for a lot of my content. Paired with my Roku 3 boxes for my TV’s, I have it all. An inexpensive indoor TV antenna give me live TV all day thus I don’t miss anything from cable.

For those of you who live in areas that a TV antenna doesn’t get you live TV, there is always Sling TV through the internet.

So why do I like Plex so much? I have over 120 Roku channels that has great content like Crackle, Internet Archives, Tubi TV and more. I like the old TV shows and movies from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and the Roku does a great job giving it all to you. But when you add the Plex channel, you get a whole other list of channels that Roku may not have. There are channels like “Filmon, Let me Watch This & Ice Films” that have tons of movies that you didn’t even know existed. I am talking about really good movies, not something that didn’t even make it to DVD. I have over 20 Plex channels which I usually go to when I switch on my Roku box and watch TV.

Plex comes in two components, the server which can run on an old PC or laptop and apps for Android, IOS and Roku. The Plex server +is free. The apps are $5. Well worth the money. If you do a search for Plex on the internet you will find tons of information about all of the ways you can hook up and watch your content from anywhere, including your home movies and pictures. It takes a little effort to use all of Plex’s capabilities, but to start, just load the channels portion of Plex.

There are also unofficial Plex channels that offer more great content. The three channels I spoke about earlier are unsupported (unofficial) channels and work great. There are a number of ways to add channels to Plex. With the official ones, you can go to the Plex app on your Roku, or to the Plex web interface on your PC where the server is running. With unsupported channels (www.totalhtpc.com/plex-unsupported-appstore) you download the channel you want directly from the web (Github has a ton) and copy them to the Plex plugins directory. To get to the Plex plugins directory, right click on the Plex icon in the system tray and select “open plex plugins directory”. Copy your channel file to the directory and you are all set.

By the way some Plex channel file names like “unsupported library bundle-master” need to be renamed to “unsupported library bundle” without the master word in the name.

Good luck and have fun.


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My Roku Channel List – The best of Roku Channels

I wanted to take a moment to share the list of Roku channels I watch on my Roku devices. Your list may be different, but the list below will give you a starting point. If you have channels you like but don’t see here, please let me know. I am always looking for something new. The best part is that if you don’t like a channel, press a couple of buttons and its gone.

Home Media Connect to your own content Special Interest Whatever interests you
Home Media Plex Special Interest DOGTV Channel
Special Interest Para Trek TV
IPTV Content on the Interet Special Interest Paranormal Activity Channel
IPTV Revision3 Special Interest Paranormal Activity Channel
IPTV YouTube Special Interest Paranormal Reality Free Zone
Special Interest TopicUFO
Movies New, Old and Cool Movies Special Interest UFOs and Aliens Channel
Movies Cinema Libre
Movies Dorado Films TV Major TV networks
Movies Drive-In Classics TV A&E
Movies Film Movement TV CBS
Movies Indie Crush TV Comedy.TV
Movies IndieFlix TV ComedyTime
Movies Kino Lorber TV HISTORY
Movies Moonlight Movies TV Lifetime
Movies My Favorite Movies TV NBC News
Movies Openfilm TV PBS
Movies Public Domain Movies & Series TV Syfy
Movies SnagFilms Watch Free Movies TV Warriors of War
Movies The Director’s Chair TV World Worth Watching
Movies Threshold Plus
Movies Vanguard Cinema Vintage TV Old shows and movies
Movies Viewster Vintage TV Comedy Classics Station
Vintage TV FirstRunTV Network
News Major news sources Vintage TV Pop Flix Classic TV
News BBC World News Vintage TV Retro Sci-Fi
News euronews Vintage TV Retro Tech Time Machine
News Fox News Channel Vintage TV Retrovision Internet TV
News RT News Vintage TV Sci-Fi Station
News RT News English Vintage TV Timeless Television
Vintage TV Warner Archive Instant
Other Miscellaneous
Other Update My Channels Casting Use your phone or tablet
Other weather maps US Casting PlayCast
Other Weather4us Casting PlayOn
Casting PlayTo
Casting PlayUSB
Casting Twonky

Amazon Fire TV – Another Box that Woulda Coulda Shoulda

You read article after article about the new Amazon Fire TV and see the praises heaped on the device. I admit if I was an Amazon prime member and had their tablets, I would look hard at this new entry into the IPTV market. But devices are not the only part of the IPTV viewing experience.

First, you need to know there are three discreet ways you can get IPTV.

  1. Windows PC – A great known in the market, running software like Playon TV, Hulu and a bunch of other apps, including XBMC and PLex media servers. I have a media PC running all of the above and love it.
  2. Linux – Roku and others use their own version of linux and provide their content via Channels you get for free and pay for. A great way to extend you PC an native Roku channels to different rooms in your house wirelessly (great picture quality). BUT, you can only get the channels that Roku lets you have, kind of like iTunes.
  3. Android – I hope this is the future. There are tons of apps made by everybody that gives you the choices we are all craving for. That is, don’t tell me what I want. Let me pick. The more choices I have, the more freedom I have. Not locked into anyone.

Just like the latest HDTV entries that come with their own built in apps, everybody has a different take on what consumers want. The book by Arthur Freeman entitled “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda: Overcoming Regrets, Mistakes, and Missed Opportunities” says a lot.

My regret is that every manufacturer wants to lock you into their system. Cable and cell phone companies have been doing this for a while (Don’t we love that?). What happened to “open systems”? Where users could pick what they wanted with few restrictions? Reading closely you find out that Amazon uses a “highly customized” version of Android; or in my view a locked version of android. If they woulda used a more open version of Android, you could pick from hundreds of apps not just from their list of available apps.

Amazon and others coulda given us a more open system, giving us choices and let us be loyal customers thankful for the choices.

Somebody shoulda told Amazon people want content, let us pick what we want to watch.

There is hope. I just purchased an Android media box disguised as a game controller. It is called Ouya. It started as a Kickstarter project and is now in production. I haven’t even set it up yet, but based on information on the internet and their forums will let you load all the apps you want without the Amazon, Roku, Boxee, etc. restrictions. So let me list you the FREE apps I am going to install which will also get me off of cable:

  1. ABC
  2. NBC
  3. CBS
  4. PBS
  5. Crackle
  6. Snagfilms
  7. French TV
  8. TV5 MONDE
  9. Tele-Loisirs
  10. Hulu/HuluPlus
  11. Playon
  12. Allcast
  13. YouTube
  14. Plex
  15. Netflix (maybe, Snagfilms has a ton of great movies)

I don’t know about you, but this pretty much fills my TV viewing appetite. So is the Amazon Fire TV a great device? Yep, as far as the device part goes, now who is going to step up and really give us what we want, freedom of choice? No one I know…yet.