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GabyBaby posted 11/22/2013 15:23 PM

Hubby and I don't watch a lot of cable tv. Since my last kidlet is nearly up and out of the house, I'm looking harder at cable alternatives that would be a lot less expensive than a monthly cable bill.

I saw a Roku ad and wondered if any of you know what it is and, if you have experience with it, how you like it? What info can you tell me to give me a "real user" opinion?

Thanks!

jrc1963 posted 11/22/2013 15:25 PM

I'll be watch this thread for answer too...

hathnofury posted 11/22/2013 15:54 PM

I don't know a thing about Roku, but we recently cut cable and got a digital antenna to get the local network channels, which is just a $50-150 investment depending on what you get. The only times we have had trouble with it is when the weather has been really bad, and even then we can usually catch whatever we missed through the network website on a computer. But we live in a large metro area, and there is not much to block a signal here.

In addition, we also have set up both a Netflix streaming and a Hulu Plus account through our DVD player to see which service we like best. Even with paying for all three, it's still cheaper than what we paid for cable. We also considered Amazon Prime streaming, since it does have a fair amount of things free and individual episodes fairly cheap, but it didn't jive up with what we watch.

hathnofury posted 11/22/2013 15:54 PM

I don't know a thing about Roku, but we recently cut cable and got a digital antenna to get the local network channels, which is just a $50-150 investment depending on what you get. The only times we have had trouble with it is when the weather has been really bad, and even then we can usually catch whatever we missed through the network website on a computer. But we live in a large metro area, and there is not much to block a signal here.

In addition, we also have set up both a Netflix streaming and a Hulu Plus account through our DVD player to see which service we like best. Even with paying for all three, it's still cheaper than what we paid for cable. We also considered Amazon Prime streaming, since it does have a fair amount of things free and individual episodes fairly cheap, but it didn't jive up with what we watch.

Catwoman posted 11/22/2013 16:49 PM

I have one. For $60 and my monthly netflix subscription, it is totally worth it.

You can get other on line services on it too, but it am not a TV person, so this works for me.

Cat

GabyBaby posted 11/22/2013 17:05 PM

Thanks for the feedback!
Do you need a unit for each television?
I'm assuming you can't record things like Tivo, correct? It is only for streaming shows?

[This message edited by GabyBaby at 5:05 PM, November 22nd (Friday)]

Nature_Girl posted 11/22/2013 17:23 PM

Got rid of cable long ago. Thank goodness for Netflix streaming!

Catwoman posted 11/22/2013 17:33 PM

You would need a unit for each TV. It runs on your wireless network, FYI.

As far as I know, it is only streaming. But there may be alternatives. I just don't watch enough TV to know what those might be.

Cat

GabyBaby posted 11/22/2013 17:36 PM

Thanks!
From the prices I'm seeing at the moment, I can outfit 3 tvs for the price of my monthly cable bill. I think I'll try one unit and see how it goes, then either cancel cable after the trial run and buy a couple more Roku units or just keep cable and whine about the cost until something better comes along.

@NG - I love my Netflix too!

sunsetslost posted 11/22/2013 17:42 PM

Huge endorsement for the Roku. The only reason I kept cable is for the live sports. Also, check into the internet provider's online content. I watch current shows a day late on my iPad through the Comcast ap

Lionne posted 11/22/2013 17:52 PM

My cable (satellite actually) isn't that pricey but I'd love to lose it. But the Roku site isn't very informative. What's the deal with sports? Can you watch them in real time? My fWH would die without a steady stream of sports.

GabyBaby posted 11/22/2013 17:55 PM

What's the deal with sports? Can you watch them in real time? My fWH would die without a steady stream of sports.
This is something DS would want as well (though he'll be leaving home soon). He loves football, NASCAR, and basketball.
I've actually come through to see him watching 2 games on tv (split screen) and a race on his laptop.
The kid is diehard!

Take2 posted 11/22/2013 18:02 PM

The Roku suits my needs, netflix mostly. But I did read online that you could set up a channel on your computer and have the Roku latch on to that....? That would mean what you can stream on the computer you could stream on the roku... but it was too complicated for my tech know-how. Doubt that will satisfy the sports fans, though.

bluelady posted 11/22/2013 19:10 PM

We have a Roku and it suits us, as well.

It's connected wirelessly to SO's computer and anything that he downloads can be streamed through the Roku to the tv. We also use it to watch on Netflix.

Now, there are some channels that allow you to stream without having to download. I'm not a tech person, but I think the way SO described it was that if they offer it on their website, it can be streamed for free (and legally) through the Roku. Like I said, I'm not sure of the details. All I know is that it gets me the Food Network.

All in all, we're happy with it.

dadof4 posted 11/22/2013 19:50 PM

I looked at Roku and continue to evaluate it. The things I think we would need to cut cable:

1)Roku for each TV. (5 total including my mom's inlaw)
2) Local access via Areo. This is in lieu of getting a digital antenna to get the local channels. It is subscription and you get all the local programming. It also has an app and is supported by Roku.
3) Getting subscriptions to Netflix/HULUPlus/HBOplus etc.

Downside.
We are huge Boston Bruins and Boston Redsox fans. New England Sports Network (NESN) doesn't broadcast via streaming. So we are kind of hosed there.


Summary:

You can cut your TV and Landline phone (wont Comcast be Sooooo happy) and save lots of money during the year. The cost savings will pay for themselves.

Caveats:

1) Test your internet connection by going to www.speedtest.net. Make sure you get at least 10 MB/second download. Most home connections via Comcast will yield around 15-20 MB/sec.

2)Get a wireless signal booster for your router. It will connect to your wireless router and you will get a better connection to your internet for your wireless connectivity and your Roku (not to be confused with 3G/4G cellular).

epiphany2006 posted 11/22/2013 20:38 PM

But I did read online that you could set up a channel on your computer and have the Roku latch on to that....? That would mean what you can stream on the computer you could stream on the roku...

Don't bother with this, it worked while it worked but now it doesn't anymore. Otherwise I love my Roku.

GabyBaby posted 11/22/2013 23:30 PM

Thanks again!

Dadof4- thanks for the extra level of detail.
I tested our speed and we would be good to go.
I also like that we would be able to get our local channels via a subscription supported by Roku.

Sports would be the tough one, but I do see that they have an ESPN channel, so all may not be lost.

solus sto posted 11/23/2013 00:17 AM

My kids gave me Roku for Christmas last year--best present ever. Seriously.

GabyBaby posted 11/23/2013 08:12 AM

Awesome! You good folks have convinced me to try it.

Amazonia posted 11/23/2013 08:28 AM

look into Chromecast too - similar product, cheaper price

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