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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the most requested (and highest watched/rated) bundle of channels has been scooped up by Frndly, as announced by cordcutter news as well as other sources. The channels are Metv, H&I, Decades, Story TV, and Start TV. Although many of those have been available for roku users through 'Free2view TV' (F2V TV) for a few months, and some like Start TV have been on YouTube TV for some time, this is the first time they've all been on a streaming package, along with the newly added Frndly dvr system, which bundles different levels of content storage up to 9 months, just like yttv and recent Hulu live levels.

Although Metv is already on the service, the other channels are due to be added on April 19th of this year. What has been interesting from the start for these channels, is that they have been available as 'free to air' off digital c-band satellite for those equipped to recieve them, as well as both main and sub-channels from ota broadcasters, again for those able to recieve them; ratings on those channels have been quite good, typically coming in the low 20's among all ota channels. So for those unable or blocked from receiving them ota, either by basic physics (transmitters over the horizon) or by legal restrictions, the low-cost Frndly subscriptions appears to be finally lifting the barriers to these popular channels.
 

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Yeah, this is noteworthy in that it's the first time that MeTV has appeared on any streaming service. It ranked as the 23rd most-watched US TV network last year, so it's pretty popular. Now that it's broken into the world of streaming cable bundles, perhaps we'll see MeTV (and more of these other Weigel diginets) appear on YouTube TV, Hulu Live, DTV Stream, and/or FuboTV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Not in Chicagoland, but have run into yttv blocking occasional programs (like local sports commentary shows) in Seattle for unknown reasons. The usual response from the stations is that they dont have permission to stream the show 'over the internet' yet they have no problem allowing it a day or so later from their own website OVER THE INTERNET. Lawyers may be involved, which may explain the inconsistencies.

Also, the expansive DVR system Frndly has recently implemented (from Google?) means you can record and playback any metv program for at least 72hrs up to 9 months, depending on your subscription level.
 

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This is excellent news. To admit, I didn't think Weigel would allow MeTV streaming without local affiliates, and great that Frndly is adding all of the Weigel networks, except MeTV Plus, at no cost increase. Frndly added Lifetime/A&E not too long ago and added all, but Crime & Investigation.

For frndly-I wish though their EPG/app was a little better. It works slightly better on the Amazon Firestick than Roku with a 30 second skip. I have a solution, frndly merges with Local BTV, that has Cozi and Antenna TV and most importantly a better app with picture and guide viewable when browsing the guide, while Frndly has most of the channels and a better name. The idea of family friendly tv at a low cost with some local channels would be very compelling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually, they've been streaming Metv for quite a while on/through their website, and all their channels on Free2View TV on Roku for quite some time, all sans any DVR and with time shifting all over the place. Many of the channels currently carried by Frndly are available free through other providers, again without any DVR; so the addition of expansive capability in that area makes it a prime target of subscribing as soon as all the Weigel channels are added later this month.
 

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Actually, they've been streaming Metv for quite a while on/through their website
I just recently learned about this. However, you can only free stream MeTV via their website/app if you're located in an area served by a Weigel-owned station broadcasting MeTV. So for instance, here in Nashville, we have Weigel-owned WJFB which carries MeTV on 44.1. So instead of using my OTA antenna, I have the option of streaming MeTV free directly from Weigel through their website/app if I create a free account there. But if I was down in the Chattanooga area, where MeTV broadcasts on the Sinclair-owned WFLI at 53.3, then no dice. Couldn't live stream MeTV from Weigel's own app/website there unless I spoofed my geographical location (e.g. via a VPN) so that it appeared I was in some other area (such as Nashville) which is served by a Weigel-owned MeTV affiliate station.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just a bit of a heads up for those thinking about subbing to Frndly; although the subscription levels basically allow more screens/streams at the same time plus hd vrs sd and additional months of dvr storage, unlike virtually all other streamers from Netflix to hbo max and disney+, they don't have multiple sub accounts or users so all users log in with the same credentials and share the same dvr 'bucket'. So while your dvr selections will show up in the system so will all your family members, since they are logging in on the same account. Sounds like a method to confuse everyone with the huge amount of programming stored up to 9 months!

I'll bet after a couple months of their new super dvr system they'll revisit this no user account decision.
 

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Legend
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Just a bit of a heads up for those thinking about subbing to Frndly; although the subscription levels basically allow more screens/streams at the same time plus hd vrs sd and additional months of dvr storage, unlike virtually all other streamers from Netflix to hbo max and disney+, they don't have multiple sub accounts or users so all users log in with the same credentials and share the same dvr 'bucket'. So while your dvr selections will show up in the system so will all your family members, since they are logging in on the same account. Sounds like a method to confuse everyone with the huge amount of programming stored up to 9 months!

I'll bet after a couple months of their new super dvr system they'll revisit this no user account decision.
Decades and H&I became active this week.

I like their channel selection but find their channel epg and dvr organization messy, but it's a very simple app. It works better with Amazon firestick over Roku.

Anyways, it's supposed to be family friendly tv so one is not supposed to hide what one's watching with another family member via separate profiles.

As far as channels:
I actually requested for feTV, and the Weigel channels to frndlyTV's owner, Bassil El-Khatib, via LinkedIn two years ago. I was surprised he responded back to me and that they have actually added the channels. And the A&E/Lifetime channels which were unexpected.

Their facebook page has a lot of positive comments because of the channel additions. Some are now asking for Cozi, but I suppose Comcast/NBC might not allow it so easily? It is on local BTV without NBC, but that might be the local Cozi. Others are requesting Antenna and Rewind TV, but not sure if Nexstar would grant national feed distributions. Most of classic shows from those networks are already on frndlyTV's other channels, or Amazon Prime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When I lived close to the big city dma's and in a community without any antenna restrictions dont quote fcc rules, they dont apply to property title restrictions all these channels were available ota most on subchannels. But as the dma I live in is 300 miles from end to end, I'm over the horizon 120+ miles from those broadcast towers so streaming is the only way. I still dont understand that all the years where folks beat in DirecTV and Dish to carry these channels on sat yet their streaming services fail to do so. Makes no sense. If Frndly would carry a few more of the olde tyme channels, particularly tvland, it would be perfect, but it would probably be a problem as it's part of Paramount.
 

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I subscribed to FRNDLY a few days ago using my Firestick. So far it's been great. I signed up because I can't pick up several OTA sub channels in my area due to trees and low transmitting towers.
Pros:
1) Mix of Sub Channels IE ME-TV, H&I, GET TV and networks usually found on pay services IE INSP, FETV, Hallmark channels
2) You can rewind any channel regardless if you were watching it, usually rewind back 2 hours
3) Channel surfing has almost no delay, maybe dependent on ISP speeds
4) DVR is fantastic once you learn how to navigate it. You can record single episodes or the series
5) Quick guide at the top (push up arrow) is nice and starts at network you're watching
6) Picture quality is HD. Many of the 70's classics are in HD on GET TV, H&I and Decades. Some shows will be in 4:3 aspect and have black bars on the sides.
Cons:
1) The Guide could be great if they allowed for it to be customized with Favorites
2) When you're watching a channel and click the Guide, it resets back to the first channel of the Guide instead of showing the channel you're viewing
3) No way to exit Guide back to the show you're watching unless you click the show while in the guide. If you hit the "return arrow" once, nothing happens but if you click it twice, you will exit out of the app. I believe Firestick and Roku remotes are to blame since they are so basic
 

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If Frndly would carry a few more of the olde tyme channels, particularly tvland, it would be perfect, but it would probably be a problem as it's part of Paramount.
TV Land doesn't air a wide variety of classic content anymore. Antenna, Rewind and Cozi would be more desired.

About the only classic show not on a frndlyTV existing carried channel, but on TV Land, would be Everybody Loves Raymond. But the series is on the Peacock streaming service. And categorizing ELR as a classic is arguable, but let's say it is old enough and popular enough to be a classic.

King of Queens airs on fyi, which frndlyTV has though. On its facebook page, some users were asking if any channel airs Home Improvement. I am aware Laff airs it, and it's on Sling but not frndlyTV. I couldn't find Home Improvement as a full series, on any of the streaming services.
 

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FRNDLY TV just updated their app this week and took away the ability to rewind any live channel back 0-59 minutes. It was a nice feature, but now it's no more. I wish they would fix the lack of Guide options and add some more OTA channels IE ME-TV Plus, COZI-TV, LAFF and Rewind-TV.
 
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