Saturday, August 21, 2021

Top 10 Free Movie Apps in Amazon Appstore

The apps below are sorted by the customer rating listed on Amazon.  All of the apps listed are compatible with a Fire TV Stick.  If searching the app store, be careful about choosing a compatible app since there are some similarly named apps that are not compatible with a Fire TV Stick.  Some apps require signing in using a separate TV provider such as Comcast Xfinity with the appropriate level of access.  The rating information is current as of August 21, 2021.

When not watching recordings from Comcast, my personal favorite app for watching free movies is IMDb TV.  IMDb has been owned by Amazon since 1998.  In addition to watching free movies, IMDb can be used to see movie information including a release calendar, DVD and Blu-ray releases, top rated movies, news, movies coming soon, and showtimes in theaters.  Also, IMDb can be used to keep track of what movies you want to watch.    


Top 10 Apps for Watching Free Movies

Roku Channel
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Number of ratings: 39,145

The Roku Channel is your home for free TV.  Watch an ever-changing selection of hit movies, TV shows, 100 live channel with news, weather and sports, and popular kids’ entertainment–all totally free. Enjoying your favorite entertainment has never been easier.  Download and start watching for free.

Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Number of ratings: 4,802

This is a new app, so the number of ratings is understandably low.  Watch thousands of free movies and TV shows anytime with the IMDb TV app.  IMDb constantly updates their library with new titles from an array of genres including comedy, drama, romance, thriller and original shows.  No paid subscription is necessary.  IMDb TV is always free.

Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Number of ratings: 51,047

Download Peacock, the streaming service from NBCUniversal.  It’s where the best of streaming meets the best of TV.  And best of all, you can watch for free (or upgrade for more).  With the free version of Peacock, you get instant access to hundreds of free movies from major Hollywood studios such as Universal, DreamWorks Animation, and Focus Features.

Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Number of ratings: 499,543

Download now to stream Pluto TV's 100+ channels of news, sports, and the Internet's best, completely free on Amazon.  Also, get access to Pluto's free video-on-demand library of over 1000 entire movies and full TV episodes.

Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Number of ratings: 411,699

Watch thousands of hit movies and TV series for free.  Tubi is 100% legal unlimited streaming, with no credit card and no subscription required.  Choose what you want to watch, when you want to watch it, with fewer ads than regular TV.  Tubi is the largest free streaming service featuring award-winning movies and TV series.  There is something for everybody; from comedy to drama, kids to classics, and niche favorites such as Korean dramas, anime, and British series.  Download now and start streaming for free today.

Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Number of ratings: 91,101

Watch hours of Dance Moms, Devious Maids, and Bring It!  Now you can watch your favorite Lifetime shows and movies wherever and whenever you want, right on your Fire TV and Android devices.

Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Number of ratings: 64,307

Watch your favorite Hallmark Channel original shows and movies wherever and whenever you want with the Hallmark TV app!  Just launch the app and log in with your cable or satellite provider account. If your cable or satellite provider isn’t currently available, rest assured that we’re working on it and will have them up soon.

Rating: 4.1 out of 5
Number of ratings: 112,673

AMC is home to some of the most popular and acclaimed programs on television.  Original AMC programming includes The Walking Dead — the highest-rated series in cable history, Fear the Walking Dead, Preacher, Better Call Saul, Dietland, Humans, Into the Badlands, McMafia, The Terror and many more.  Also, watch a selection of specially curated movies.

Rating: 4.1 out of 5
Number of ratings: 17,540

Turner Classic Movies presents Watch TCM, a “TV Everywhere” service that lets you enjoy unlimited access to the best of TCM, at no additional cost with your TV subscription.  Not your ordinary “TV Everywhere” service, WATCH TCM is a content rich and in-depth movie companion that lets you experience the richly textured world of classic movies that only Turner Classic Movies can bring you.  Make sure you get TCM at home.  You need to get TCM at home with either a cable or satellite TV package in order to access Watch TCM.

Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Number of ratings: 65,598

Watch full episodes of Freeform shows like Cruel Summer, Good Trouble, grown-ish, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, The Bold Type, Motherland: Fort Salem, Siren and many more!  Connect your TV provider to unlock episodes, stream movies and watch live TV.  No TV Provider?  No Problem!  Binge complete seasons of throwback Freeform shows, including The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Baby Daddy.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Epson 2250 Projector with Fire TV Stick and Sony AV Receiver

This video shows how to remove the Android TV stick in the Epson 2250 projector and connect a Fire TV Stick.  You can remove the Android TV stick, and sell it with the additional remote that comes with the projector to recoup some of the projector purchase price.  The Fire TV Stick remote can turn the projector on and off, and the Fire TV Stick remote can control the volume on the Sony AV receiver.   Also, the video goes over some audio considerations.  The projector was placed on the AV receiver for the purpose of creating the video.  The projector should not be place on the AV receiver when powered on so proper heat venting can be maintained.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Free 4K Using an Antenna: HDHomeRun vs. ZapperBox

ATSC 3.0 will make 4K content reception using an antenna possible, and it continues to be deployed across the United States.  In addition to a higher resolution, the new standard will make other visual and audio improvements possible.  Baltimore, Syracuse, and Buffalo are the latest cities as of the writing of this blog post to be making final preparations to have ATSC 3.0 services.  With the addition of these three cities, approximately 25% of United States viewers will have access to ATSC 3.0 according to Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc.  The areas that currently have ATSC 3.0 available and those that will have it soon are shown below. 

ATSC 3.0 USA Deployment Map
ATSC 3.0 United States Deployment Map

ATSC 3.0 Tuner Options

A compatible tuner is required to receive ATSC 3.0 broadcasts.  One option is to purchase a new TV with an internal ATSC 3.0 tuner.  A better option may be to purchase an external ATSC 3.0 tuner box for those who want to use DVR software to record TV content.  SiliconDust's HDHomeRun Connect 4K can be purchased now, and the ZapperBox can be preordered now.  The ZapperBox M1 will be available around September 2021 according to the manufacturer.    

HDHomeRun Connect 4K

The table below summarizes the key features and differences between these two products.  The table includes the features of the ZapperBox that are reported by the manufacturer to be included when the first model ships and future software updates.  The ZapperBox manufacturer indicates that software updates after the product is first available may expand its capabilities. 

Feature Connect 4K   ZapperBox M1  
Compatible with DVR software using IP connected storage Yes Eventually
HDMI direct connection to TV No Yes
Stream to devices on the network Yes Eventually
Ethernet port Yes Yes
Connection to network required for displaying content Yes No
Compatible with ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 Yes Yes
Direct IR remote control of external tuner No Yes
Dolby AC-4 audio pass-through Yes Yes
Optional direct Dolby AC-3 and AAC audio output No Yes
Simultaneous onboard ATSC 3.0 tuners 2 1
Simultaneous onboard ATSC tuners 4 1
Manufacturer's listed price $199.99 $329.00

Audio Considerations

The HDHomeRun Connect 4K requires additional hardware that supports Dolby AC-4 audio in order to use the ATSC 3.0 tuners.  A sound system that supports Dolby AC-4 is not required if a product such as an NVIDIA Shield which can decode Dolby AC-4 internally is used with the Connect 4K.