Cut the Cable - Resources and Links


For those who enjoy MST3K, classic tv shows and odd movies from yesteryear, Shout Factory has just put their steaming service, Shout Factory TV, online.

I just added the channel to my Roku and will report back tomorrow.


Shout Factory TV - that’s pretty cool. They have 32 episodes of MST3k there, including one of my faves, Secret Agent Super Dragon.


They do add commercials, be warned. I wouldn’t mind giving them a few bucks a month for commercial free access, but it is a free streaming service so I guess I can’t be TOO picky.


I got the invite for Sling TV and was able to sign up online for the 7 day trial.

If it only allows one stream at a time (haven’t tested it yet), this is not going to work for my household.

Also, the iOS app does not work with AirPlay. Lame.

Lastly… commercials… aside from Hulu Plus, I’ve been enjoying a commercial-free TV experience for years now, do I want to go back?


Apparently Sling has an expanded sports lineup now, too.

Great news: we’re already adding to our channel lineup! For those who are already enjoying the service, we’ve released a $5 per month “Sports Extra” add-on pack which includes: ESPNEWS, ESPNU, SEC Network, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Goal Line, Universal Sports, Univision Deportes, and beIN Sports. We’ve also added El Rey, Maker, and Galavisión to our core package.

Never heard of most of those.

Also, I got another email saying I can sign up online now, but all the account management (change, cancel) is still over the phone. Progress is being made, it seems.


Ooh, looks like they have all of Home Movies!


I was pleased to find It’s Gary Shandling’s Show available. I forgot how truly original that sitcom was.


Free FireTV stick or $50 off a FireTV with 3 months of prepaid SlingTV.. SlingTV costs $20/month, so if you need a firetv stick or firetv, that brings the SlingTV cost down to either $20 or $10 for 3 months of service. Pretty great deal, if you’re interested in SlingTV and need a streaming device.

I’m happy with my firetv. It’s a great streamer that also runs Kodi extremely well.


Annoyingly, ShoutFactory seems to be built on the Hulu back-end, so it’s VPN proof (at least for a casual person like me).


FireTV for $50? Sold! I’ve been wanting a regular fire TV and a reason to try out sling TV so this was a solid deal for me.


Ok testing sling tv at work on my iphone 6. The quality looks great! (at least on the phone) and the streams start really really fast (much quicker than say netflix). Buffering time seems < 2 sec. So far I’m impressed. I’ll have to try this on my fire tv stick later tonight. You have a few bandwidth options on the iOS app:

DVR features seem to work fine on channels that support it. I like the 30 sec jump forward and 10 sec back buttons.
CC works well too.


What’s the difference between the FireTV and the FireTV Stick? Can you install Kodi on both? Or just the FireTV? I don’t really have any more HDMI slots on my TV. But I don’t use my Chromecast anymore, maybe I can replace that. Plus I think the Cricket World Cup is going on right now, and I think ESPN has the rights to it in the U.S. Hmmm.


The fireTV stick is a bit slower, with less memory, and doesn’t have ethernet, a USB port, or an optical audio port. The remote that comes with the fireTV stick doesn’t support voice commands/search, either. You can buy the voice remote separately, if you really want it. Or do voice search through the android app. Both have 5Ghz wifi.

Kodi works on both just fine. It is technically slower, but I doubt you’ll ever notice the difference. And it is only $40-- or free if you try that slingtv thing.

Running Kodi on my firetv (not the stick) is [I]very[/I] comparable to my asus chromebox with 4GB RAM and a dualcore haswell celeron with linux. It really is an amazing Kodi client. Everything works except android limitations; 23.976Hz refresh and sync to display isn’t available. If you don’t know what that is, you don’t care.


Sling has the same offer for Roku. Either $50 for a Roku 3 or the Roku Stick free with prepaid 3 months.


Man, I kind of need a new roku.


The firetv is down to $84 on amazon today, making it cost only $34 with the slingtv promotion.

I like my roku just fine, but it doesn’t run kodi.


Apparently, if you have FireTV already, you can get some Sling for free. Amazon emailed me this:

For a limited time, get an exclusive, two-week free trial of Sling TV on your Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.

So I’m trying it out for a couple of weeks. I think anyone can try Sling for 7 days, so basically Amazon’s doubling the trial length.

I’m not greatly impressed with the FireTV myself. It constantly has to buffer on Netflix, for one thing, while all my other devices on the same network have no issues. Picture quality is lower than what I get out of my PC, too, which is no great surprise given the much higher horsepower on the PC, but annoying nonetheless. And the Kodi installation can’t seem to fast-forward through my MythTV backend’s recordings properly, which again I attribute to lack of horsepower. Having to adjust the volume through my stereo sucks, too, since I want to leave it at the setting I’ve already lined up properly with other input devices. But it does seem to handle Sling OK.


So I price adjusted my fire tv (regular) so now it’s down to $34. I just finished setting it up. It’s an upgrade from the fire tv stick which I was using.

  • Having a USB port + ethernet is killer. Hooking up my logitech wireless keyboard/mouse pad combo thing worked well and it’s quite usable as a full blown android stick pc. The best part was adding flirc though and opening up a bunch more kodi commands to my harmony smart control remote. I was able to add the 30 sec step forward and 7 sec step back which are critical for skipping commercials (a must have feature for the wife).
  • DD 5.1/DTS passthrough works fine.
  • It feels faster than the stick but I think that’s a combo of the faster quad core cpu + moving from wifi to gigabit ethernet. Seeking and scanning is quick.
  • browsing with android chrome or firefox isn’t half bad. Keyboard/mouse is supported pretty well on fire tv.
  • Side loaded siriusxm and subsonic android apps both which worked well.

Some additional side loading tips:
apk downloader chrome extension:

did some research and it appears to be safe to use but don’t take my word for it. XDA hasn’t thrown up any red flags:

force apps into landscape mode:

Having most of the popular apps in the amazon app store + kodi + side loading android apps makes this the single best value of any streaming box IMO. At this point I’ve replaced most of my wd tv live boxes with other devices like the fire tv or the med600x3d. I liked the fire tv stick but I love the regular fire tv. I think the stick will be nice for travel though. I can see using it in a hotel and firing up plex or kodi + personal cloud with a hootoo.

Netflix isn’t having any buffering issues for me. My kodi backend is just NFS shares using hanewin server.


Your post inspired me to play around with the FireTV some more, ARogan. I was able to improve Netflix performance a bit by moving around some Ethernet cables, which makes me think perhaps I had a bad connection. It still buffers more than using the web Netflix on my PC, but not as much as before. Same cables plugged into my PC work fine, though, so I dunno.

What did you use for getting your FLIRC remote to work? Amazon has this thing that looks handy for adding IR ability to pretty much whatever.

I’m in the process of removing my old XMBC install and putting a newer Kodi build on, to see if that works any better with my MythTV backend.


Is there a channel listing for Sling. I haven’t checked the site since it went live, and it was kind of vague on channels.