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Cable No More Family Room

May 2, 2016 – May 27, 2016

The Glen Ellyn Public Library’s Cable No More Family Room is an interactive exhibit designed to give you the opportunity to try out both streaming services and devices in a comfortable, stress-free environment.

With cable provider prices continuing to rise and the unnecessary bundling of some services in order receive a “discount” (channels you don’t want, landline services you don’t need), cutting ties with traditional cable has become a very real trend.

The popularity of these online services has risen sharply over the last several years for a couple of reasons: first, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video have achieved a very high standard of quality, and second, the hardware for viewing these services directly on your TV (in HD quality) has become affordable, dependable, and very versatile.

The Cable No More Family Room looked and felt like a typical family room, giving visitors the opportunity to try out an array of online streaming services and devices in a comfortable, hands-on environment.

Guests could access the major streaming services and test them on some of the most popular streaming devices. Devices were chosen from across the cost spectrum, from the low-end (Amazon Fire TV Stick) through the mid-range (ROKU 3) and up through the top-tier (Apple TV 4th Generation), giving each visitor an accurate representation of the devices available and their capabilities.

Visitors received a copy of approximate pricing information and a list of the pros and cons regarding the featured services and devices.

 

Featured Services

  • Amazon Prime Video
    • Similar to Netflix, but with a smaller library
    • Award-winning original content and high quality original children’s programming
  • Hulu
    • Some current TV shows are added the day or week after they air
    • More current major network television than Netflix, but not as many back episodes
    • Some original programming
  • Netflix
    • Offers a huge library of movies and television as well as award-winning original content
    • Not a lot of new movies and only previous seasons of some TV shows, not current ones
  • Sling Television
    • Live, streaming television
    • No major networks, but many popular cable channels such as AMC, ESPN, TNT, HGTV, Food network, etc.
  • VUDU
    • Digital copies of movies and TV shows purchased by the library
    • Some new movies and shows, but not everything

Featured Devices

  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
    • Small and is typically hidden behind your TV
    • Ties to your Amazon account so you can access any digital purchases you have made
    • All major streaming apps work: Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, etc.
    • Simple gaming options
    • Does NOT work with any Apple iTunes or App Store purchases you have made
  • Apple TV
    • 4th generation Apple TV “puck”
    • Ties to your Apple ID and iTunes account
    • Can download any iOS apps you have previously purchased IF they are compatible with tvOS, the Apple TV operating system
    • Can view any videos or listen to any music that you purchased from Apple
    • Supports touch and talk remote as well as Bluetooth gaming controller for mobile games
    • Can watch Netflix and Hulu but not Amazon, Sling TV, or VUDU
  • ROKU
    • 3rd generation ROKU “puck”
    • Remote with independent headphone jack or you can use the app on a mobile device
    • Searches across all services for programming
    • Compatible with all streaming services: Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, Amazon Prime Video, VUDU, etc.
    • Has USB port for viewing personal media

Other Devices and Services Available For Purchase

Devices

Services