What You Missed
Ken Spencer was back, there were several exciting items on the raffle table and it was a cool 78˚ outside — all in all great night for a MacNexus meeting. We had a good size crowd this evening. The raffle prizes were two $25 iTune gift cards, a Wyze Internet camera (version 2) and a Brother Laser printer. Ken was speaking tonight on “Streaming.” His usual agenda on the screen had a generic man cutting a cable with a pair of scissors. Ken is looking slim and trim. He is using the technology route to lose weight with a blood pressure monitor and a scale that reports to his iPhone. He said it’s hard to cheat when it all goes on the iPhone (but he did have one of the delicious cookies from the snack table). He noted that his talk tonight was going to be on “Cutting the Cord” and that, by the time the presentation was over, some of the programs/services he mentioned will probably have changed. But, he would give us links to update ourselves on what is available.
In current events: Apple hit a trillion dollars in market cap value, the first company ever to reach that value on August 21, 2018. Ken asked how many were stockholders and several smiling members raised their hands. You can now us Apple Pay at Costco using your iPhone or Apple Watch. He told us that he had left his Costco Citi credit card behind in a restaurant on his trip to see the total eclipse, cancelled the card and, when the new card arrived, it had already been updated in Apple Pay. Apple will have an announcement event September 12, 2018. The Keynote usually is live streamed. They are expected to announce new iPhones, a new iPhone XS, an iPhone XS+ (a larger version of the iPhone X), and an iPhone X without the OLED screen. There may also be a iPhone 8S and 8S+. iOS 12 should be available around then also. While the event will primarily be an iPhone event, the rumors are Mojave, the new Mac operating system availability will be announced as well as new Apple Watches with bigger screens and possibly a new Mac Mini and /or a Mac Book Air. If you are on Apples lease program for your iPhone and you are eligible for a new iPhone, Ken suggested getting on your computer and iPad and having the Apple Store open right before midnight. Keep refreshing it until you can place your order for the new iPhone. Ken does this “for us” so he can report to us on the latest iPhones. If you are still using your iPhone 5S or newer and you think the battery is going bad, there is still time to get the battery replaced by Apple for $29, you need to make an appointment at the Apple Store to take advantage of the offer.
It is MacNexus election time again. Bob White sent an email blast to the membership with the nomination forms. The offices open are Vice President, and two Directors. The nominations have to be in by the September 1st Saturday workshop. The election results are announced at the October General Meeting. Ken had a helpful hint to avoid autocorrect “correcting” a brand name with an unusual spelling. Type in the name, but put an extra letter at the end of the name then use delete to take out the extra letter, and autocorrect will leave it as you spelled it. He said this works on all the devices with autocorrect. A member asked Ken more about Apple Pay. Ken showed us the process for adding a card in Apple Pay with his iPhone. A member commented that he had purchased something with Apple Pay and when he went to return it he gave the store his credit card and the refund didn’t go through. He had to use Apple Pay to process the refund. This is because Apple Pay generates a one time number to use for the transaction and it is different than your credit card number. Ken had his cards set up on his computer for autofill and using the fact you can name your credit cards, he has the CVS and expiration date in the name of the card so they are easy to fill in if needed on the computer. Ken had noticed when driving around an orange car with Zride (http://zride.cab/customer/ ) signage on it. He checked it out and it is a ride service for when you have a medical procedure where you are anesthetized. Most doctors will not let you use a ride service like Uber or a regular cab to get home after the procedure. Ken said they serve many cities in the area including Roseville.
After the break, Ken showed a quick slide show on Streaming ( you can see the Lincoln Hills version at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNMZDiII300&feature=youtu.be . It explained what Streaming means and what you need to do it. Streaming started out as a way of doing Video on Demand but now means much more. It is now commonly called “Cutting the Cable”, a way to see content you would typically watch on regular or cable TV without having to pay for cable television. Ken did note that Cable Cutting doesn’t always mean you will save money.
Most people get their content either over the air with an antenna, using a satellite service or a cable company. This may change when 5G is widely distributed as it will allow wireless connections with similar speeds and bandwidth to what you get with cable companies now. 5G will require more towers and infrastructure, so it will be a while before it is widely available. When it is, you may have a box in your house that connects wirelessly and provides the same service as you get with the cable coming to your house.
Streaming typically requires a connection to the Internet, a device to “receive” the content and display it on your TV and an HDMI connection on your TV. You can use a HD Antenna to get over the air signals from your local TV stations. Often, the local stations have several channels and the HD is high quality. A website like Antenna Web (https://www.antennaweb.org ) or the FCC website (https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps ) can help you determine what antenna you need and where to aim it for the best signal. There is a local service Cord Cutter Pros (www.cordcutterpros.com ) that can help you with what you will get with an antenna and the do installations.
To “Cut the Cable” make a list of the stations and shows you want to watch (and more importantly the stations and shows your spouse watches) as well as the networks they are on. There are handouts available at www.lhuag.org for you to record your stations and shows. Once you have your list you can search for what services and programs you want on sites like: clark.com/technology/tvsatellite-cable/best-live-tv-streaming-plans-deals-2018 or https://www.recode.net/2017/11/20/16654846/how-to-find-guide-watch-tv-cable-channels-price-cost-you-want-online-streaming.
Many devices for streaming can be hard wired for the best connection or work over WiFi if the signal is strong. You will want to check your Internet speed to make sure that you have the bandwidth to stream shows. You want to check ping times and packet losses especially if using a DSL connection. One thing to check is data caps on your internet service. HD video takes four times the data of standard definition TV and 4K TV takes four times the data of HD TV. Some devices will change to a lower definition if the connection speed won’t support a higher definition.
TV shows can be found on services like Netflix, Hulu Live, Amazon Prime and YouTube TV. Many the live shows will have commercials, like what you will see on regular TV. DirecTV Now is a streaming service that offers many channels and has a DVR capability as does YouTubeTV. Sling TV is another service that also offers many channels a la carte as does Philo TV. HBO Now offers HBO shows on a subscription basis. All of these services have monthly charges, usually in the $30-$40 range per month. DirecTV now offers a free 4K Apple TV if you pay for four months of service in advance.
Devices: Apple TV allows you to AirPlay content from your iPhone/iPad to your TV in addition to apps that show streaming content. Roku and Roku stick are very similar to Apple TV offering many services and a clear interface. ChromeCast is Googles streaming device. Kindle Fire by Amazon comes in several versions, including Fire Stick and Fire TV Cube. Smart TVs often offer streaming services but usually without an easy to use interface. Some smart TV’s come with Roku built in which uses the Roku interface. Some DVD players also offer streaming services. Tivo DVR’s offer streaming services as well as DVR recording of TV shows either from cable TV, satellite TV and over the air. This is what Ken has in addition to his Apple TV.
Most smart devices, phones, pads and computers have steaming apps for watching content. With an iPhone or iPad and an Apple TV, you can use the apps on your device and Airplay them through the Apple TV to your regular TV. You want a device that offers a wide variety of streaming apps or programs with a clear interface for accessing the apps.
It was then Raffle time. All the prizes went home with happy members. I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting. Remember to invite someone to check us out. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.