Roku, anyone?

I am at the point of wanting to dump TV providers. They charge too much and much/most of what they deliver is junk. Even though we don't watch a lot of TV there are times when a bit of mental popcorn is nice so I've been exploring other ways of content delivery. The device known as "roku" seems to get good marks so I wanted to ask y'all for opinions/experiences.
Do you have one and do you like it?
If you don't, do you have an alternative method of content delivery?
If you do use a roku...
1. Do you find that the free channels offer much of interest?
2. Do you subscribe to one or more of the pay channels such as Hulu Plus, Netflix, etc? If so, how's the non-movie content?
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dadiOH
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wrote:

If you play WAMU's Kojo Nnambi show from noon today, which should be be available online by dinner time, they say quite a few things about Roku, in two sections during the first 25 minutes. I haven't heard the next 30 yet. . I don't think they answer your numbered questions, but it's still worth listening.
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wrote:

It's Tech Tuesday. Every Tuesday is.
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On 12/3/2013 6:23 AM, dadiOH wrote:

I bought one. I don't watch tv a whole lot, but when I do, I appreciate the usefulness of the Roku.
1. It streams Amazon Instant Video, and I'm a Prime member, so that's nifty.
2. There's an app that lets you use your Android or Apple device as a Roku remote, which is handy. Less fumbling for remotes.
3. It's an easy way to add your tv to your home network, even if you haven't got a smart tv.
4. You can stream certain types of files from your home network onto your tv. Alas, most of my digital video content is in a format Roku struggles with, but I could always convert them.
5. Yes, there's a lot of free channels. I'd say the largest number are religious in nature (surprise), but there are a lot of other specialty subjects as well. I especially like the outdoors shows channels and the cooking channels. They also run seasonal channels featuring holiday content.
To sum up, a Roku is an inexpensive and easy way to expand your tv viewing options.
All that being said, there is one big buyer beware. The Roku registration process requires you to provide them with a credit card account number They claim they need that on file, in case you ever decide to purchase content (such as a subscription channel). That's not necessarily something to get outraged over, but they do not make that clear prior to purchasing one. It's a problem for people who haven't got a credit card, or who don't want to put their account number on file with Roku. You can call customer support and scream at them, and they'll supposedly knuckle under and tell you how to complete the setup without providing that information.
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On 12/3/2013 4:23 AM, dadiOH wrote:

I found about three FREE old movies I wanted to watch. That was about it. The novelty of the box soon wore off.
There's a huge amount of crap available...YMMV. I've not studied it a lot, but I believe that all the free stuff is available without the ROKU box. And the stuff you want is pay stuff that's available without the ROKU box.
If you have a monitor that interfaces directly with it in the right modes, it can be a useful wireless internet connection to compatible paid content without a computer.
It's wireless, so I like to keep it turned off when not in use. I have to get out of my chair, take three steps, then plug in the power. Been about six months since I thought it might be worth the trouble. This post motivated me to look to see if it was still there...it is... still powered off. ;-)
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On 12/3/13 6:23 AM, dadiOH wrote:

I bought one maybe six weeks ago or so. It's probably been a month since I turned it on.

The one thing I remember was trying to watch the old movie Easy Rider. It was free but the interruptions from all the commercials got annoying. I think I gave up before watching the whole thing.

requirement. I opted for the Paypal choice. One can require confirmation with the Paypal option if I recall correctly.
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On 12/03/2013 07:23 AM, dadiOH wrote:

Roku is fantastic!

If you are looking for intelligent content, check out Ted talks. Their web is http://www.ted.com/talks but video is also available on Roku.

While Amazon Prime Instant Video offers a lot of free content, I currently buy 9 season passes for various tv series. Watching shows without commercials is awesome.
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On 12/3/2013 7:23 AM, dadiOH wrote:

HuluPlus. I like it because it's small and easy to hookup. I like the HP selections (although not all networks are represented equally), but even though there are a lot of other channels, I haven't found much on them. I'm not that big a movie watcher, so I've only skimmed though the various selections, and didn't see much that interested me.
After I'd had the Roku for a while, I bought a Sony smart Blu-ray player. It does pretty much everything that Roku does (at least of what I am interested in). I got it for not much more than the cost of a Roku, so you may want to look at that approach since it also, well, plays DVDs.
HuluPLus is fairly inexpensive, except for the fact that I have it in addition to cable. At some point I'd like to eliminate cable, but I'm not there yet. For most of the shows that I watch, they have the whole season available, but generally not previous seasons. Some have previous seasons, but not all; apparently related to licensing agreements. I do find the picture quality much better than my cable system (standard def), but one downside is that if my internet hiccups, so does either of the streaming devices.
I also have Amazon Prime, but find that many of the current shows I want to watch are not included. However, they do seem to have more seasons available, for a price.
I'd recommend going to all of the services' websites and looking at what their selections are. I'd also recommend looking for deals on HP or Netflix, since most seem to have trial plans. I lucked into a free one month of HP through my Best Buy point system thing. Then the DVD player came with an offer for a couple of months of free HuluPlus, but only for new people. It's definitely going online to search for free, extended trials.
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I just bought this and it will play everything that you throw at it and it has WI-FI, w/netflix, HuluPlus and a USB port for what ever you want to plug into it. http://sellout.woot.com/offers/philips-blu-ray-player-with-wi-fi-apps
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