Tuesday, October 22, 2019

How to Watch Hallmark on the Cheap

Guess what? According to Hallmark and Lifetime, it's the Christmas season!

But what do you do if you love Hallmark movies but don't have cable, or if you have just a basic package that doesn't include a DVR?

Enter Frndly TV.

(Please note that this is not an affiliate or paid situation—I am a paying Frndly subscriber who is pleased with the service and wants to spread the word!)

Frndly is a new service that costs $5.99, $7.99, or $9.99 per month, depending on what DVR and multiple screens features you want. It only offers 12 channels, but it has the three most important channels to me (and my dad ...): Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama. It also has PixL, which I like to call the poor man's Hallmark 😄. PixL has original movies, but it also shows lots of Hallmark oldies, often under "alternate" titles. (I wrote about the channel here.) You can see the full lineup of Frndly's channels here.

I signed up for the $7.99 option because it comes with a 30-day cloud DVR, and two screens can watch at one time. (The $5.99 plan is one screen and no DVR, and the $9.99 plan is four screens and a 90-day cloud DVR.) The DVR is unlimited, meaning I can record whatever I want—and multiple things at the same time—and keep them for 30 days. I figure if I haven't watched something 30 days after recording it, the chances of ever getting to it are pretty slim.

The DVR will certainly help me out as I do my second year of "hot takes" on Instagram of all the Christmas movies I watch.

When I first heard of Frndly at the beginning of September, I figured I'd wait until Hallmark's Christmas season started, do the 7-day trial, and figure it out from there. But then my Dad, who loves Hallmark movies even more than I do, had open heart surgery, and I thought he would appreciate having it throughout his recovery, so I signed up at the end of September.

I. am. hooked.

I currently have 55 programs recorded 🤣 ... but the best part is that I'm no longer bound to the Hallmark schedule. Those of you with DVRs already understand this, but it's a new (or returning, as I did have a DVR for a hot minute about 6 years ago) concept for me.

The service isn't perfect, though. My dad has all but given up on it because the feed kept dropping out on him when he tried to watch. It's a bug that I think they're working through, as I haven't seen the "oops" robot man for several days now. But one of the movies I recently recorded was that oops screen until the 90 minute mark, so I can understand my dad's frustration!

Still, even with the "growing pains," Frndly is worth it to me. I signed up for the monthly plan because the Christmas season is when I really want the DVR option. We'll see if I keep it going after Christmas ... and if I do, I'll certainly switch over to the yearly (cheaper) option.

Also, I just heard about this today: If you sign up for a free 7-day trial by the 26th, you'll be entered for a chance to win a year of free Frndly TV! Use this link: https://www.frndlytv.com/deckthehallmark. Honestly, I'm a little jealous that I'm ineligible since I'm already a paying customer.

Anyway, this concludes Becky's Public Service Announcement 😉

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