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?
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.
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
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
To sum up, a Roku is an inexpensive and easy way to expand your tv
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.
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
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. ;-)
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
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.
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