TV options for the tech unsavvy

Changes in technology often come with lots of benefits, but for some, it can be frustrating as older tech like DVDs becomes outdated or inaccessible. Personally speaking, relatives of mine live in areas without access to the NBN and while there are surely tech solutions, the difficulty in accessing them can be a bridge too far for the simple pleasure of wanting to sit down and watch the latest shows without too much cost or effort.

We also hear similar tales from within the Community, like this example from @backflip:

Regardless of the reasons, I would be interested to hear what entertainment options people have found for those without access to the now standard streaming services like Stan and Netflix or for those who are not overly tech savvy. Please share your experiences below.


I still buy DVD/Blu Rays for many movies and series we like. I am sure they will disappear over time as newer tech pervades the market. If you sign up to some providers eg Fandango you can download movies you have purchased but as another topic is this Choice Community has evidence of these services are closing down in many cases eg UltraViolet. EBay and similar can be a good source of some shows which are rare to find otherwise but you do need to be careful of pirated material.

I guess the reality is that we need an internet service that is capable of providing these streaming and downloading sources that is fit for the entire population rather than a haphazard approach as we have now. Of course this is a topic that has been well explored on this Community.


Likewise. I had an account with UltraViolet, which is due to close on 31 July 2019, but my account only had one movie and I have the physical version.

There is a decent digital option on which I now own quite a few movies. MoviesAnywhere is US-centric, but since I routinely obfuscate my location and it doesn’t check that hasn’t been a problem. It occasionally offers free movies for connecting any of several other digital movie accounts (e.g. Google, iTunes, Amazon, VUDU etc.) to MoviesAnywhere, and once you connect those accounts your movies are accessible from any one of the accounts. I have probably a dozen free movies on there, having taken advantage of offers to ‘connect’ my accounts and then disconnecting once I got the freebies :wink: .

Largely, though, I keep to physical media.


Or more to the point, a DVD won’t disappear over time. Once you have bought it, you can continue to watch it. It doesn’t stop working like a range of internet-based services and/or DRM-encumbered options.

I knew what you meant though and I am sure you are right that eventually the DVD will go the way of the dinosaur.

There’s always free-to-air. It “just works”.


Yeah Free to Air is great if you live in an area where you have reception. That is part of the problem as there is a significant few who lack the ability to have any of these services, and no one seems able or perhaps willing to remedy that situation.


Maybe those who can’t get free-to-air via terrestrial transmission can get it via satellite.


Aye in the situation there is no cloud cover, it isn’t raining they could get reasonable reception, but ask @gordon about his nbn™ satellite reception, his opinion of suitability is probably close to unprintable :smile:


Yes not for internet, just for TV. Yes heavy rain can be a problem and high winds can be and heavy cloud can be, and then there’s the twice yearly sun outage - but there may be no solution at all on the terrestrial side if you can’t get signal e.g. unfavourable topography.


Tying in with another thread, another option is Freeview Plus. When it works at all, it just works. :slight_smile:

If I may be permitted a slight digression on DVDs … if the government actually looked after our interests, this whole region thing would have been banned at the outset. Not only is it anti-free trade and anti-competitive but it clearly doesn’t serve the interests of consumers, which nicely ties in with the thread " Starting to understand why people pirate".


The ACCC said the same many years ago. Unfortunately, we have a ‘free’ trade agreement with the US that requires us to effectively emulate its copyright laws and protect its content owners. That’s what ‘free’ trade agreements tend to involve - and now the US is actively considering putting tariffs on Australian steel and aluminium.


I do not think of myself as tech “unsavvy” at all, but I am damned if I am going to be forced into streaming when a) internet connections in our area are still as unstable as they are (and I live in suburban Sydney), b) streaming is essentially a digital form of leasing, not owning, in most cases and c) I’ve yet to see a streaming service that covers all the various movies and TV shows I and my husband are interested in. I think it’s a shame that Choice don’t do many new reviews of DVD/BluRay player (or PVRs, for that matter). Given vinyl is back on the rise, and the death of printed books predicted after Kindle was launched is yet to happen, I don’t think hard recordings of movies and other video productions is going to totally die any time soon.


Thanks for the feedback @mskemmis. Our most recent PVR test was a few months back, members can visit our website to see the review.


My Mum’s in an aged care facility and confined to a bed with her motor skills deteriorating significantly. Even if I managed to get her internet access (which is quite a trial in those places, unless it’s via a 4G dongle or something) she wouldn’t be able to navigate through all the things to see what she wanted to see.
I eventually resorted to getting an old Raspberry Pi (mini-computer) and subscribing to things she wants to watch but then downloading them for her and sticking them on the Pi. Then I’ve got a simple remote for her that she pretty much just needs to turn on and press a button and it will play the next show in the list.
It’s frustrating I have to resort to this level just to enable her to watch the things she likes to watch. But at least it’s been working for the last few years and enabling her to watch TV whereas otherwise she’d be confined to a bed staring at a blank wall all day.


Clever solution, well done @RyanH :+1: