Author Topic: Roku  (Read 14072 times)

Bob W

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Roku
« on: December 18, 2014, 10:04:17 AM »
Anyone have experience with this?

I'm thinking of converting my current cable/internet to internet only and using Roku while adding Netflix.

I saw a brief demonstration at a friends house and liked it.

Please note if you are using a 1,2 or 3.

Or other suggestions are welcome.  (I need net for work and enjoy watching series from start to finish)

kudy

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Re: Roku
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2014, 10:10:19 AM »
I got a Roku 3 as a gift for my birthday.

Between my girlfriend and I, we subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime. All 3 stream well on the Roku box. I've also played Pandora on it, and tried a few other little apps, but for the most part I haven't checked out the other available "channels." It's a good all-in-one streaming box for us, so far.

boognish

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Re: Roku
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2014, 10:12:14 AM »
Depends how you feel about pirating content, but I torrent everything. No cable, just internet.

slugline

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Re: Roku
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2014, 10:12:29 AM »
Assuming that the programming you want to watch is available it's a great option. (If it really matters to the discussion, I own one of the first-generation Roku which pre-dates the curernt 1, 2 & 3 models.)

MooseOutFront

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Re: Roku
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2014, 10:14:41 AM »
We got a Roku 3 when we cut cable.  I like them a lot.  Amazon Prime is plenty of content and we have that anyway.  Also look into running Plex on your computer and using the Plex app on Roku to watch it.  Works well, especially once you delve into the "unsupported App Store."

okkiedokki

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Re: Roku
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2014, 10:20:38 AM »
We have a roku 2, and use netflix and an app called playon, which is much like plex (previously mentioned).  But with playon i can see the free version of hulu instead of needing a hulu subscription as well as stream content on my computer across my network to my roku.  Works out really well and saves us a ton of money over cable.

Allen

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Re: Roku
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2014, 10:53:38 AM »
They are pretty great.

MustachianAccountant

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Re: Roku
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2014, 11:14:07 AM »
We have a roku 2, and use netflix and an app called playon, which is much like plex (previously mentioned).  But with playon i can see the free version of hulu instead of needing a hulu subscription as well as stream content on my computer across my network to my roku.  Works out really well and saves us a ton of money over cable.

We have the PlayLater upgrade to the PlayOn, which lets you record things as well.

PlayOn streams TV shows that networks make available on their websites, to your Roku box. So anything that ABC, CBS, etc post to their website as "full episodes" is fair game for your PlayOn/Playlater. You can also watch YouTube through it which, strangely, isn't available as a standard Roku channel.

They also recently added "ad skip" to the PlayLater, which means when you're watching the recorded show, it automatically skips all the ads.

The price for the two is (I think) $80, one time fee.

Playon/Playlater is pretty much the only way we watch TV nowadays.

iamadummy

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Re: Roku
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2014, 11:15:42 AM »
all are probably very good, until you want any live sports

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Re: Roku
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2014, 11:23:47 AM »
We have been using a Roku 1 and a WII for over a year, using Netflix and Hulu.  We switched from D...Netw... and have loved saving $70 plus dollars a month.  I have ordered a Roku stick for another tv in the house, we liked it that much!

We do supplement our tv with an antenna that we already owned, and have used cokeandpopcorn.com (?) as well.

I say go for it.

TexasStash

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Re: Roku
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2014, 11:42:19 AM »
Live sports events are actually easier than I expected to find online. Pro and college. Unless you're looking for more obscure or less popular sports that is.

It looks like PlayOn+PlayLater is now an annual subscription for $20. Not bad but something to consider versus a one-time fee.

MooseOutFront

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Re: Roku
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2014, 11:42:32 AM »
all are probably very good, until you want any live sports
the espn app is awesome on roku.  *cable login required

MooseOutFront

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Re: Roku
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2014, 11:44:41 AM »
A free account at ustvnow.com gets you network TV (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, PBS).  This can be watched from within the Plex app after you install the unsupported app store.  Works on Roku or smartphone.  The ability to record though costs a monthly subscription.

FarmerPete

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Re: Roku
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2014, 11:56:53 AM »
I have a full on computer hooked to my TV.  It's overkill for just watching shows, but it's got the best flexibility of any device.  You can get a mini-pc from Lenovo for $200 that will play any media you throw at it.  We bought a Fire Stick for my in-laws, but it just got here yesterday.  I have an Apple TV and it's crap.  Limited apps and crappy 720p resolution.  Maybe the new Apple TVs are better as mine is only 2nd gen I believe.  If I had to buy a device myself, I'd probably go with a Roku 1 or stick.  I like that Roku is independent and thus has an interest in making everyone happy with content.

As far as content, if you really want more content than what you can get for free, the holy grail of content is to find a friend/relative who is paying for one of the big TV packages and getting them to share their username/password.  I'd gladly pay a friend $10 a month for their DirecTV credentials so that I can stream all those shows for free, unlock ESPN, HBOGO, etc.  It would be about the same as HuluPlus but with a lot more content.

MooseOutFront

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Re: Roku
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2014, 12:12:36 PM »
I have a full on computer hooked to my TV.  It's overkill for just watching shows, but it's got the best flexibility of any device.  You can get a mini-pc from Lenovo for $200 that will play any media you throw at it.  We bought a Fire Stick for my in-laws, but it just got here yesterday.  I have an Apple TV and it's crap.  Limited apps and crappy 720p resolution.  Maybe the new Apple TVs are better as mine is only 2nd gen I believe.  If I had to buy a device myself, I'd probably go with a Roku 1 or stick.  I like that Roku is independent and thus has an interest in making everyone happy with content.

As far as content, if you really want more content than what you can get for free, the holy grail of content is to find a friend/relative who is paying for one of the big TV packages and getting them to share their username/password.  I'd gladly pay a friend $10 a month for their DirecTV credentials so that I can stream all those shows for free, unlock ESPN, HBOGO, etc.  It would be about the same as HuluPlus but with a lot more content.
1) apple tv 3 = still crap.  Can't believe how poor they let this device be compared to Roku.  I do use it for airplay from my phone sometimes however and that is nice.
2)  Correct, but Directv login is not the holy grail.  Comcast or Uverse or Timewarner is.  Directv doesn't work for these streaming services on Roku by and large.  Not sure why, but specifically it's a no-go for the ESPN, FoxSportsGo, and Disney apps. 
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 12:35:38 PM by MooseOutFront »

tmac

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Re: Roku
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2014, 12:18:24 PM »
Roku+Netflix+Hulu Plus+Amazon Prime = Plenty for us.

For the rare live event, we have my mom's cable account access for online. She uses our Amazon Prime so it works out.

Murr

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Re: Roku
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2014, 12:26:23 PM »
Was at local Target today and they had Roku 3 and 2 on clearance in electronic dept for 50% off. I bought my 3 a few months back and love it. For $48 its a steal.......

SpinGeek

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Re: Roku
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2014, 12:37:33 PM »
We have had a Roku 2 for about two years, with Hulu+. Unfortunately the free Hulu only works on the computer, not on the Roku. Back in August we decided to give Amazon Prime a try, and honestly regret it. Not worth $100 a year. Once that runs out, we'll probably try Netflix. For our one hour of TV-watching time per night, it keeps us well-supplied.

There are some interesting channels on the Roku for free; some History, NatGeo and PBS shows have unlocked episodes. Plus there are a lot of interesting documentaries available on YouTube, which now has a stable channel of its own. If you like obscure movies that you've never heard of before, there are a lot of channels out there. A lot of church channels, cooking channels, some kids channels.

The only issue we have is CBS. They held out on Hulu because they wanted more money, so now they have their own mobile app with a monthly access fee. Right now we're watching the back episodes from the website on my computer and hoping we can get caught up on NCIS before they start removing episodes. I'll have to check into Playon and ustvnow.com.

We also picked up a Homeworx digital tuner for about $45 that allows us to record OTA TV on a separate external hard drive. It works pretty well, although we have to watch our weekly recording schedule if any of our shows get shifted out of their normal time slot. I just need to get a bigger hard drive, so we can start recording all the CBS stuff. We also installed an external antenna on the old dish mount on our garage.

+1 for Pandora; spend a little time setting up your favorite "stations" and liking/disliking a few songs to tweak it.

Milizard

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Re: Roku
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2014, 12:48:52 PM »
We also have a Roku 2 and Hulu+.  The lack of CBS shows hurts, that's for sure.  We're planning on installing an antenna to supplement for CBS and live TV.  For some reason, the Roku2 interferes with the SmartTV and vice versa.  If we try to watch Hulu on the smart TV, it screws up the Roku settings.  We watch so little TV these days (because of 2 little munchkins), it's not worth spending the time trying to figure out.

Does anyone have any advice on how to install an outdoor antenna these days?  We used to have a dish with cables still running into the house.  Could we hook it up to those cables?  (As you can probably tell, I'm clueless.)

MooseOutFront

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Re: Roku
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2014, 12:54:32 PM »

Does anyone have any advice on how to install an outdoor antenna these days?  We used to have a dish with cables still running into the house.  Could we hook it up to those cables?  (As you can probably tell, I'm clueless.)
I used my existing directv wiring to hook my roof mounted antenna to.  The cable runs are way long and the set up of the splitters degrades signals, so it's not ideal.  However after installing a pre-amp we're good to go on signal.  Except NBC which I can't get at all now that the leaves fell. :(  All in all the antenna is about the furthest thing from a one size fits all solution there is.  Moving mine 12 inches left or right is the difference between getting channels and not.  tvfool.com is a good place to check your location.  Then prepare for some trial and error.  Round up on the size of antenna it says you need.

Bob W

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Re: Roku
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2014, 01:02:00 PM »
Thank you all!

Groovin Old Hippie

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Re: Roku
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2014, 01:19:16 PM »
We love our Rokus!  We dumped Uverse TV almost three years ago and truly don't miss it.  We have a Roku 2 and Roku 3.  We use the 3 for our main set and have the 2 in the guest room.  The 3 is great for late night watching because it has a headphone option.   We have Netflix and Hulu+ plus many other channels we've added.  Crackle has some good original series.  We currently have 198 channels and add/delete channels as our interests change.  One of our current favorites is TED Talks.

It's a different way to watch TV.  You don't just turn it on and your show is there.  But a few clicks of the remote and you have more content than you could ever imagine was out there!

frugaliknowit

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Re: Roku
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2014, 01:28:30 PM »
You don't necessarily need Roku.  Here's a few workarounds:

1.  Depending on where your tv is, you can port any computer directly to it.
2.  All new tv's are "smart tv's" with a browser.
3.  Most new blue ray players have netflix, amazon, pandora and various other apps.

2bor!2b

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Re: Roku
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2014, 01:35:15 PM »
I use Google Chromecast for streaming youtube, netflix etc. Its only 30 bucks on amazon and one of the best selling too.
I personally love it. I have basic cable and I never watch it.

Milizard

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Re: Roku
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2014, 01:37:26 PM »

Does anyone have any advice on how to install an outdoor antenna these days?  We used to have a dish with cables still running into the house.  Could we hook it up to those cables?  (As you can probably tell, I'm clueless.)
I used my existing directv wiring to hook my roof mounted antenna to.  The cable runs are way long and the set up of the splitters degrades signals, so it's not ideal.  However after installing a pre-amp we're good to go on signal.  Except NBC which I can't get at all now that the leaves fell. :(  All in all the antenna is about the furthest thing from a one size fits all solution there is.  Moving mine 12 inches left or right is the difference between getting channels and not.  tvfool.com is a good place to check your location.  Then prepare for some trial and error.  Round up on the size of antenna it says you need.

That is good news--thank you!
We checked our location back when DH bought the antenna (probably last spring?).  There aren't a whole lot of stations available, but there are some.  CBS is a maybe, as the station is a little farther away.   I do like to be able to check the local news/weather.

Returnoftheyeti

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Re: Roku
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2014, 09:53:32 PM »
Smart TV manufacturers are terrible about updating the firmware and software in their devices.  They just want you to buy a new TV. Roku is great for updates and staying current.

We got a Roku as the Mrs. Hated the complexity of using a computer when she wanted to just watch TV. The Roku is simple to use and navigate the menus. It's fast and the playback is awesome.

Also, a major bonus of the Roku vs. TVs is the ability to controls it with a smartphone, and apps like Netflix and YouTube allow you to "fling" content from your phone or tablet to the Roku. Searching Netflix is way better on an iPad.

Finally, the PBS channel is a must have for great free content.  If you are a techie, look into Plex, otherwise PBS and Netflix are all you need.

MustachianAccountant

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Re: Roku
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2014, 06:52:36 AM »
Also, a major bonus of the Roku vs. TVs is the ability to controls it with a smartphone, and apps like Netflix and YouTube allow you to "fling" content from your phone or tablet to the Roku. Searching Netflix is way better on an iPad.

Wait, what? How does this work?? Tell me more...

neo von retorch

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Re: Roku
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2014, 06:57:01 AM »
I had not heard of that before either!
http://blog.roku.com/blog/2014/10/30/control-roku-tv-with-the-free-roku-mobile-app-for-android-ios-and-windows-phones/

"The Play On Roku feature makes it easy to send the music, photos and videos you have saved on your smartphone or tablet right to your TV. Donít huddle around your tiny mobile screen to see your vacation photos Ė share them with the entire living room on the big screen!"

"You must first enable screen mirroring in the Roku settings. From the left Navigation bar, click on Settings, followed by Screen Mirroring and enable it from the drop-down menu."

http://blog.roku.com/blog/2014/10/02/introducing-roku-screen-mirroring-beta-for-microsoft-windows-and-android-devices/

"In addition, you can use the mobile apps from Netflix and YouTube to browse and then launch videos from your smartphone or tablet straight to your TV with the Roku 3 and Roku Streaming Stick."

MooseOutFront

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Re: Roku
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2014, 06:59:36 AM »
Nice.  I need to set that up.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Roku
« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2014, 07:10:52 AM »
I know you already got a ton of feedback, but we have a Roku 3 with Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime (which we had before anyway). It is THE BEST. Granted we were upgrading from having no cable, but if you don't care about sports (or, can get decent OTA signal and only care about sports in your market) there is absolutely no reason to pay for cable. We keep meaning to hook an old computer up so we can watch regular Hulu and drop Hulu Plus but haven't gotten around to it yet.

slugline

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Re: Roku
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2014, 07:53:38 AM »
Smart TV manufacturers are terrible about updating the firmware and software in their devices.  They just want you to buy a new TV. Roku is great for updates and staying current.

I read that Roku is partnering with TV manufacturers to build on their platform so there may be a little hope on this front.

Bob W

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Re: Roku
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2014, 10:36:05 AM »
TED talks!  I hadn't thought about them.  I love TED talks but have only viewed them on tablets.  Wow, that is a whole new idea for me.  Thanks for that one. 

FinallyWakingUp

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Re: Roku
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2014, 10:55:04 AM »
A free account at ustvnow.com gets you network TV (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, PBS).  This can be watched from within the Plex app after you install the unsupported app store.  Works on Roku or smartphone.  The ability to record though costs a monthly subscription.

Will this allow one to view NFL games that are on the major networks?

MooseOutFront

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Re: Roku
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2014, 11:57:27 AM »
Yes it will.  Problem is it's the network stations from somewhere in Pennsylvania I think so you'll be missing your local team most likely.  Unless you're a Cowboys fan because their games are always the national game of the week.

Kaspian

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Re: Roku
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2014, 12:48:23 PM »
Somebody's already mentioned it, but I think it deserves a repeat--Crackle is pretty great for a free channel.  You can download the interface on any PS3 or 4 and voila, tons of movies and shows for no fee.  It'd take a long time to exhaust what all the programming they offer.  I tried not to, but I really do enjoy "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee".  :)  "Chosen" (another original series) is also pretty good. 

meyla

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Re: Roku
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2014, 12:58:33 PM »
I have 3 Rokus in my house, 1 Roku3 in the main family room and 2 Roku2s in bedrooms. I use the Netflix, Hulu, Twitch.tv, Lifetime, and MLBTV channels. The only problem I have in my area is that Comcast has implemented the "tiered" bandwidth payments, so I am not actually really saving money by cutting cable when you consider the cost of Netflix, Hulu, and the "overage" charges I pay due to the fact that our TV watching is 100% over the internet.

I love the Rokus, but I also think Chromecast is a great option.

Returnoftheyeti

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Re: Roku
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2014, 05:57:24 PM »
A free account at ustvnow.com gets you network TV (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, PBS).  This can be watched from within the Plex app after you install the unsupported app store.  Works on Roku or smartphone.  The ability to record though costs a monthly subscription.

While I am not one to make ethical judgements, and trust me, I am for sure not a saint, but USTVNOW is at best in a legal grey area, and at worst illegal.
http://www.tvpredictions.com/answer204072014.htm

So, again, I am no saint, but in my opinion advising others of a service that may be a legal grey area, is probably not very Mustachian. 

Saving $$$$ = Mustachian.  Stealing != Mustachian 

I am not saying you should, or should not use USTVNOW, that is for you and your own code of ethics to decide. 
You could also save money by breaking into Target and stealing your groceries, but that also is probably not a very Mustachian attitude. 


MooseOutFront

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Re: Roku
« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2014, 07:53:05 AM »
Give me a break. Illegal?  Maybe a violation of a company's terms of service, but not illegal or even kinda. But thanks for the link. I had the same question about aero vs ustvnow's paid plans with dvr.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 09:19:12 AM by MooseOutFront »

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: Roku
« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2014, 03:39:14 PM »
We have a Roku LT (the cheapest kind you can get) and it's our primary vehicle for video content in the house.  Video sources in descending order of usage:

Amazon Prime Video
YouTube (easy to manage your "watch it later" queue on your desktop, tons of great content)
HBO Go (friend's account)
Plex (running on an 8 year old mac mini in the basement)

We honestly don't use the Plex setup much anymore, I'm thinking about tearing that down over the holiday break.

The Roku has been pretty solid.  It uses a paltry amount of electricity too, which is nice.

MoneyCat

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Re: Roku
« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2014, 04:18:58 PM »
I have a Roku XDS (I think that's first generation) and I don't even miss cable at all.  We have a subscription to Netflix and I also subscribe to Major League Soccer's MLS Live for $60/year and watch tons of live pro soccer matches.  They also support NHL Gamecenter Live if you subscribe to that.  There are a bunch of free channels too, including Nowhere TV which provides a lot of live local news broadcasts.  Between a Roku and an antenna, cable is obsolete.

GeneralJinjur

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Re: Roku
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2014, 11:02:21 PM »
If you are not in a rush, you can pick up refurbished Rokus on Woot.com.  My parents and I have Rokus at both our houses and nobody paid more than $35 or $40 for them.  I think there is one of the version 2 machines, but the others are the early ones, which still work perfectly.  We stream Netflix and Amazon Prime (at least til that subscription runs out), along with the weird independent channels.  I am not a sports person, so there is plenty of mind rotting TV shows available whenever I'm in the mood.

BTW, it's my family's 20 year anniversary of cutting cable and only using antenna.  That's a serious chunk of change!

MooseOutFront

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Re: Roku
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2014, 11:20:16 PM »
BTW, it's my family's 20 year anniversary of cutting cable and only using antenna.  That's a serious chunk of change!
Impressive.  At $80/month and assuming a 7% return, 20 years of cut cable equals a current stache of $41,674 which is providing monthly cash inflow of $139 per month right now. Every month.  Hope it was worth it!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 08:06:11 AM by MooseOutFront »

Rage

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Re: Roku
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2014, 01:12:25 AM »
We have a Roku 3, after trying pretty much everything - we had a Google TV (Logitech Revue), a WDTV Live, we've used computers (had a mythTV for a few years, a mac mini for a while after that), an XBox (XMBC), a Chromecast, a Roku LT (too slow), and probably a few others I'm forgetting.  We've even tried using a cable box, what a nightmare that was.  Roku 3 + Netflix + Plex is the best solution I've seen so far.  It just works.

Bob W

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Re: Roku
« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2014, 11:35:56 AM »
Thank you everyone!  Looks like we're going ruko in 2015.

socaso

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Re: Roku
« Reply #44 on: December 21, 2014, 01:06:32 PM »
We've been using Roku 3 for almost a year and there is almost more content than I can handle. We have Netflix, Hulu Plus and I got Amazon Prime as a Christmas gift (hubby doesn't know yet!) I also like the PBS channels, Crackle and YouTube, all of which are free. The only thing I wish is that there were a way to keep all the shows I like to watch in one folder so I don't have to toggle between apps. It's a small price to pay, though. I could probably drop one of the apps and not miss it.

Bob W

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Re: Roku
« Reply #45 on: December 22, 2014, 08:17:47 AM »
Bought the Roku last night and started setting it up. Going to stealthily inject this in the mix and then cut the cable.

We went for years (10)  without cable or internet and only 4 channels of broadcast until about 8 months ago.  To be honest I don't think our quality of life has improved with cable, so I'm doubting it will with Roku.   

For movies we used to buy 50 cent used VHS tapes.  We have several hundred so could probably go 2 years without watching the same movie at night. 

I plan to try it for several months and then decide if we want to be TV heads going forward.

The question will be ---"Is net/roku at $70 a month worth the extra year of life we would need to work in order to fund that indefinitely?   And even if it is,  wouldn't we rather put that money to  work in our grandkids accounts?"

Spent a few hours watching TED talks yesterday.  So maybe I could just fool myself and say this is an educational expense?