Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

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1bassleft
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Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby 1bassleft » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:53 am

Or Bu^^ered, as I usually call it. Don't worry, I have read related threads here (very useful, too) but didn't want to hijack or derail them.

My setup is an unsmart HDTV and, pretty much solely for TV, a Lenovo T420 (Win7). We were only here for hols, so I used to rent a mobile SIM for my router (now redundant) and a Bu**ered account that runs out in April. $90 that I doubt I'll be repeating. Constant conflicts with anti-virus (their cheery algorthimic livechat had me remove it, but the latest Total 360 seems to cope), glacial connection speeds and regularly having to uninstall it, re-tell the T420 to use IPv4 only etc etc and re-install just to watch the terrestials (occasionally Sky Go) online.

Now we're here on extended stays, I've had a 10Mb/s semi-wireless put in and this same routine every time the Mrs wants to watch Andrew Neill and Choo-choo Portillo is bugging me no end. Reading here about Smarty DNS et al (and the rather attractive annual pricing) is making me think "why wait for April?" So, given that I've got the UK TV Licence, Sky and Virgin media packages (the latter I'm offloading in March) and a wife who watches lots of TV, finds Virgin's menu too complicated (it is, TBF) and loves the SKY EPG. What sort of kit would you helpful people recommend? Software and hardware suggestions all welcome. If it helps, I regularly return to my UK address for stints. I realize the T420 is a bit old and could swap it with my UK-based X230 (worked fine in France) but I'm willing to cough up for a reasonably priced box if it means she can point a remote rather than calling me across every time. An advantage (but not a big deal) is if Linux is supported as I use an X220 running Zorin OS9 just for 'netting but it would be nice to watch something that interests me, for once. And, FWIW, I much prefer Win7 to 10. No need to suggest things that turn off the lights and play the music - I might as well change my name to Alexa by deed-poll anyway.

Thanks in advance for any ops/exps.
Oz

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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby TorreDelAguila » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:03 am

Now, if you could re-post that in no more than fifty words, in plain English...
Chris

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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby markwilding » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:20 am

I too am not sure what the question is but I will answer SKY go
The only way to get Sky go up onto a big screen TV at the moment without a Sky box is with a Games consul. I use either Smarty DNS or UnblockUs DNS servers, others available. If you don't already have an old PS3 or the like, it's possible to get a second hand one for around 40- 50 pounds. Quality is excellent

An alternative is getting rid of Sky and replace it with Now TV, very cheap box and works well, with some Sky channels as well as BBC and ITV live with all the catch up that goes with smart TV these days or discard Sky and go with a Fire TV with Amazon Prime and Netflix. Again, it would be possible to watch Andrew Neil and Portillo live or as I do the next day on catch up as well as this you can watch all the other normal channels programming.

I've been reading that Sky might ditch satellite in the near future and move everything online so there might be more alternatives in the very near future.
Last edited by markwilding on Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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costakid
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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby costakid » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:42 pm

1bassleft wrote:Or Bu^^ered, as I usually call it. Don't worry, I have read related threads here (very useful, too) but didn't want to hijack or derail them.

My setup is an unsmart HDTV and, pretty much solely for TV, a Lenovo T420 (Win7). We were only here for hols, so I used to rent a mobile SIM for my router (now redundant) and a Bu**ered account that runs out in April. $90 that I doubt I'll be repeating. Constant conflicts with anti-virus (their cheery algorthimic livechat had me remove it, but the latest Total 360 seems to cope), glacial connection speeds and regularly having to uninstall it, re-tell the T420 to use IPv4 only etc etc and re-install just to watch the terrestials (occasionally Sky Go) online.

Now we're here on extended stays, I've had a 10Mb/s semi-wireless put in and this same routine every time the Mrs wants to watch Andrew Neill and Choo-choo Portillo is bugging me no end. Reading here about Smarty DNS et al (and the rather attractive annual pricing) is making me think "why wait for April?" So, given that I've got the UK TV Licence, Sky and Virgin media packages (the latter I'm offloading in March) and a wife who watches lots of TV, finds Virgin's menu too complicated (it is, TBF) and loves the SKY EPG. What sort of kit would you helpful people recommend? Software and hardware suggestions all welcome. If it helps, I regularly return to my UK address for stints. I realize the T420 is a bit old and could swap it with my UK-based X230 (worked fine in France) but I'm willing to cough up for a reasonably priced box if it means she can point a remote rather than calling me across every time. An advantage (but not a big deal) is if Linux is supported as I use an X220 running Zorin OS9 just for 'netting but it would be nice to watch something that interests me, for once. And, FWIW, I much prefer Win7 to 10. No need to suggest things that turn off the lights and play the music - I might as well change my name to Alexa by deed-poll anyway.

Thanks in advance for any ops/exps.
Oz


Que??

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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby GerryinCajiz » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:18 pm

costakid wrote:
Que??


Thanks Costa, I thought my grey matter had seized up! Semi wireless and UK TV licence has got me scratching my head.
Gerry

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Paulinmalaga
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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby Paulinmalaga » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:51 pm

Likewise, it makes no sense at all to me.

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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby TorreDelAguila » Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:45 pm

markwilding wrote:I too am not sure what the question is . . .

:think:
Chris

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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby 1bassleft » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:20 pm

Sorry everyone, I'm terrible for TLDR. Instead of Buffered, which is bad, I'd be interested in people's experiences with VPN services that reliably allow me to use UKTV for the months when I'm in Spain. I'm trying Smarty on a free for 3 days but any long-term usage experience others have had would be very welcome before I spend on an annual account. Thanks for any help (and apols again - thought I'd include any info that might help but ended up garbling the request instead).

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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby El Cid » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:28 pm

I have been using SmartyDNS for a couple of years or more. No problems and if they get blocked it usually takes a day or so before they fix it.

Their sub includes a VPN if you need it, but most routers will not allow a VPN and if you are on a slow connection it can slow it down significantly.

Sid

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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby 1bassleft » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:34 pm

Thanks for the rapid response, Sid. As Smarty have a Valentine's offer (just like their Xmas one, $27 a year instead of 80-odd) I've just done the 3-day free trial in the last few hrs. Surprisingly, in my case, the DNS option didn't fool iPlayer nor even ITV Hub. I double-checked and restarted but still no joy. Disheartened, I tried their VPN and I was straight in. That didn't surprise me but, so far, the VPN is not lagging the progs. Mrs 1bl is gorging on 4OD and SkyGo as part of the experiment and getting no waiting time. Very unlike Buffered VPN. If I also don't get all the tiresome conflicts over the next few days (Buffered's record is lasting a week before re-setting everything), I think the $27p.a. will be irresistible. Given that you have 2yrs+ of good experience, I'm in an even better position to go ahead, thanks. I'll look into the DNS issue, it's probably a tweak required; I've barely scratched the surface.

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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby gerryh » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:52 am

No problems here using SmartyDNS.
To set up the DNS service on your router you must follow, exactly, the instructions for your particular router on the Smarty website. Plenty of guidance/ tutorials on there.
If you contact them, they are very helpful, and say you haven't set up the DNS service properly then they will probably extend your free trial until you have it set up and you are happy with the service.
I use the VPN service on my Android phone and tablet if I want to access BBC iPlayer etc when not at home.
Details of how to set it up are fully explained on their website.
Cheers
Gerry
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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby Wicksey » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:25 am

I managed to set up the DNS in my router by following their instructions so it means I can watch BBC etc on my Smart TV or or laptop via wifi, or my PC which is by cable from the router without any problems. I am very pleased with the service they give for a one off modest fee.

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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby markwilding » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:54 am

Smarty DNS have been having problems all week with the IPlayer . As it happens my subscription was up for renewal this week so I had a look at other companies and have decided to take out a year's subscription with Smart DNS for about 15 pounds. My reasoning being that if it goes down a couple of times through the year and have to set up temporary payment with one of the others, it will still be cheaper than a non-problematic year with UnblockUs or Smarty.

1bassleft
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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby 1bassleft » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:50 pm

Thanks everyone for the responses, glad to have them (esp considering I nearly strangled the thread at birth). So far, Smarty is working fine using the VPN side with no lagging and not disrupting my OS and hardware drivers. I realize I'm better off with DNS so I'll look further into the setup and try their service dept. Good to know you've found them helpful.

I might have garbled it first time round, but Buffered annoyed me because I spent time on their livechat and, as I was getting a bit more frustrated/sarcastic with my text, it slowly dawned on me that "Keith" or whomever was actually just a bunch of algorithms throwing "try this" and "thanks for suggesting where I can stick my $90, I'll do that" answers at me. I felt like a right goon once I cottoned on.

I think the Beeb has been making a concerted effort. It (but not ITV, C4) was regularly thwarting Buffered VPN and I did read other threads here that Smarty users had short hiccups. Thanks for the tip, Mark. If other providers have a cheap annual deal going, it makes sense. I told Mrs 1BL that Sid has only had very occasional one-day probs and her response was "a whole day?" No pleasing some people.

I was also wondering if anyone has found that a box+remote has been worth the spend, for people in the house who'd rather just point and press? My wife's in that category. She's the only one of us bothered about TV so I get a bit ratty if I'm constantly hauled over to change settings (which hasn't happened so far on this free trial, thank goodness).
Thanks again, everyone

1bassleft
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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby 1bassleft » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:04 pm

Mark, had a look at Smart DNS. Only sign of cost was "pricing" link down at the bottom.$40 for a year is what I saw. Not bad, but is there a link elsewhere for the £15 price?

EDIT: Gerry, Wicksey - thanks. There's more to the DNS than I first thought, I should RTFM :wink: . Should be fully sorted soon.

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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby Paulinmalaga » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:32 pm

These are their prices as of today
https://www.smartdnsproxy.com/PreSignUp

Depending on your router the DNS should be a very simple 2 minute job......mines the Movistar Fibre Askey Router

1bassleft
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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby 1bassleft » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:21 pm

That's the price I saw, thanks Paul. If it's the standard (no special deal) price, that's quite good and I'll keep them in mind as a backup. The router put in by the installers is a TP Link which is as common as. Should be a straightforward job to finish off.

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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby markwilding » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:04 pm

I’m not sure why the price was different on Saturday but you could set up an account and take up their 2week trial offer.
Don’t subscribe until they email you with their discounts, Which they do regularly.
SmartyDNS also have an offer with a discount running at the moment.

1bassleft
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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby 1bassleft » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:34 pm

Yes Mark, the Smarty Valentine offer of $27 for the year (about 50p/week) is a definite worth-taking-up. I like the idea of using a competitor's free trial if the main one's down (don't know why that didn't occur to me) and, if a good deal comes up when it expires, taking it up as a back-up resource.

I don't know if they still do this, but when I used to check Do You Spain for car hire (a while ago - got fed up with them), I'd swing my mouse over to close the window and, suddenly, a window with "Wait, here's a special deal!" would pop up. It's getting more prevalent on shopping sites, might happen with trial expiries.

1bassleft
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Re: Recommend me a replacement for Buffered

Postby 1bassleft » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:58 pm

And, just a quick update, I had followed the steps, except rebooting the PC. Once done, Smarty works as DNS as well as VPN. Thanks again for the advice.


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