Just heard about Roku today...

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Just heard about Roku today...

Postby doogster » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:18 pm

...and I've been searching for a replacement for my monthly cable bill. My question is... can this box replacement my comcast subscription? I will give you more information. I have 4 TVs now hookup up to comcast.... 1 of those tvs is HD and has a DVR. We NEVER watch movies!!!! I would not be getting this to stream movies.... this family watches lots of kids shows (PBS, Nick JR, Cartoon network) and educational shows on the History channel and Discovery. Now... knowing what I just told you... will this box replace my need for a monthly cable bill? Any insight you have would be great!!!!
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby KennyJ » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:24 pm

I guess, the best answer is... it depends.

Roku is not really a cable competitor. There is no real live broadcasting except for MLB and UFC. Everything else is video on demand. You won't be able to watch live broadcast from networks or cable channels.

You can however stream videos from these 50 services: http://www.roku.com/roku-channel-store

I imagine the most used service on the Roku is Netflix. For $9/mo you get unlimited streaming of TV shows and movies (that are available). They don't really have any current seasons though -- so you'd be watching at least 1 season behind.

But you can watch current episodes through Amazon -- but it'd be expensive at $2-3 an episode.
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby jeffrok » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:26 pm

Question #1- Do you care if the shows you are watching are first-run? Most shows on Netflix are the ones that have been released to DVD. But yes, there are many good TLC/Discovery type shows. There are also many good dramas/comedies, etc for Netflix, again, if you don't mind watching last season's shows. Occasionally they'll have a series that will play a week behind the broadcasted show, but not typically. You can get same-season shows on Amazon VOD, but you pay to PURCHASE each episode, at around $.99-$2.99 per episode. The nice thing is you get to keep the "digital copy", and watch it whenever you feel like it. Often, Amazon has deals on entire seasons (not current seasons though), for under $20.

Question #2- Do you have a nice fast internet connection (1.5Mbps or faster)? If so, you're in good shape.. I think 3Mbps is a more realistic minimum for HD. Plus, Roku just made their high-end box 1080p compatible, so the faster the connection, the better.

You get a lot of variety with the Roku.. I still haven't "cut the cord" because there are too many broadcast channels that I record using my HD cable box, and my girlfriend watches a LOT of E! (unfortunately!).. I suppose if Amazon offered a "pay for this show in advance", and I could automatically buy or maybe rent shows at the beginning of the season, I'd be more likely to get rid of cable. For example, I watch The Office every season, and will until it goes off the air. If Amazon gave me the option to "pre-pay" for the season at a discount, say for $25, I'd do it.. I could get my 5 favorite shows for $125-$200, for the entire season.. Which is what I pay PER MONTH for my cable right now. Ouch.
Yeah, I got some Rokus.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koy2eg1ioZ8&list=HL1380998604&feature=mh_lolz
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby senorgregster » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:31 pm

Here are Netflix's History Channel listings (a mix of DVDs and streaming)
http://www.netflix.com/SubGenre/TV_Netw ... 464206_0_0

and Discovery Channel
http://www.netflix.com/SubGenre/TV_Netw ... 464206_0_0

Of course this means you will need to have a DVD player as well as the ROKU to make full use of the titles.
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby Plunderer » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:14 pm

Kenny (and others) nailed it: it depends...

I have little need for most cable channels, but I love watching movies and "good" TV shows. By "good" I mean that I am usually a latecomer to decent TV series anyways, so I usually catch them after the fact and don't need to see them as they air.

I find that Netflix largely fulfills those needs for me. Roku also has a bunch of other channels that, to me, are extras but are quickly becoming staples of my media diet.

I can honestly say that I cut the cord a few years ago and don't really miss it (except for my Red Sox games - which I can now get delayed through the Roku).

It's funny, because I think of family I have who are still tethered to the cable monster. Their TV's are always on, but they never seem to see or watch anything. When they sit down to stare at the box, it is mindless flipping through channels. In contrast, when I sit down with my wife, we always say "what do you want to watch?" then we simply watch it, without commercials or the need to channel surf.

If we really need/want to see something local or on broadcast, we also always still have over the air digital reception.

The Roku very much allows me to cut the cord, and I think a growing number of people are finding it to be a preferable option - especially with how much it costs to have so many useless channels (if cable wanted to save their own asses, they would have listened to the call for a la carte programming a long time ago). In the end, though, whether it works for you or not is hard for me to say. But I can say that it definitely does suit me...

Best,

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And a few older ones...
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby doogster » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:54 pm

thank you for all the responses... great info.... ya know, my MAIN concern is my 4 and 5 year old. We put on Nick Jr or PBS and they watch... they watch shows like Max & Ruby, Maggie and the ferocious beast, Scooby doo.... I'm just wondering if shows for little kids are avail out there somewhere... and I'm thinking maybe Netflix will not be able to fill that hole... the adults in the house can surely make due.... and also... how easy are they to locate and play.
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby KennyJ » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:18 pm

doogster wrote:thank you for all the responses... great info.... ya know, my MAIN concern is my 4 and 5 year old. We put on Nick Jr or PBS and they watch... they watch shows like Max & Ruby, Maggie and the ferocious beast, Scooby doo.... I'm just wondering if shows for little kids are avail out there somewhere... and I'm thinking maybe Netflix will not be able to fill that hole... the adults in the house can surely make due.... and also... how easy are they to locate and play.


Yes.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_ ... ec4831a260
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? ... st&x=0&y=0
http://www.netflix.com/WiSearch?oq=&v1= ... ch_submit=

Netflix has a ton of stuff. My son watches Kipper, Spongebob, Dora, Diego, etc:
http://www.netflix.com/WiGenre?sgid=2050&pgid=302
http://www.netflix.com/WiGenre?sgid=2051&pgid=302
http://www.netflix.com/WiGenre?sgid=2052&pgid=302

etc.
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby Saqqara » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:59 pm

Yes Netflix is loaded with stuff for kids... you won't miss anything there.

Main problem with a transition is if someone is hooked on a very specific show that happens not to be available. It's not like there isn't 10000 other things equally good or better to watch... but it might cause arguments.
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby robertm » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:11 pm

doogster wrote:...and I've been searching for a replacement for my monthly cable bill. My question is... can this box replacement my comcast subscription? I will give you more information. I have 4 TVs now hookup up to comcast.... 1 of those tvs is HD and has a DVR. We NEVER watch movies!!!! I would not be getting this to stream movies.... this family watches lots of kids shows (PBS, Nick JR, Cartoon network) and educational shows on the History channel and Discovery. Now... knowing what I just told you... will this box replace my need for a monthly cable bill? Any insight you have would be great!!!!



One of the reasons I don't leave satellite is because there is not enough documentary type content. If you don't watch movies I can't imagine how you will be satisified with netflix. There is a lot of TV on it but most of it is older shows that have already been cancelled. Recent content on Amazon will easily cost you more.

Also, if there are times you will have all 4 TVs going you will need a 4 out DVD plan from Netflix and a blazing fast internet connection. You will definitely want all those to be hard-wired to the router too to make it as efficient as possible.
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby KennyJ » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:22 pm

robertm wrote:
doogster wrote:...and I've been searching for a replacement for my monthly cable bill. My question is... can this box replacement my comcast subscription? I will give you more information. I have 4 TVs now hookup up to comcast.... 1 of those tvs is HD and has a DVR. We NEVER watch movies!!!! I would not be getting this to stream movies.... this family watches lots of kids shows (PBS, Nick JR, Cartoon network) and educational shows on the History channel and Discovery. Now... knowing what I just told you... will this box replace my need for a monthly cable bill? Any insight you have would be great!!!!



One of the reasons I don't leave satellite is because there is not enough documentary type content.


Out of curiosity... like what? I like this kind of stuff too - and watch a lot of it on Netflix...

There is a lot of TV on it but most of it is older shows that have already been cancelled.


Is that really true?
Heroes, 24, and Lost were all available while the last seasons of these shows were still on.
30 Rock, The Office, Pawn Stars, Deadliest Catch, Myth Busters, SNL, Spongebob, Stargate Universe, Dr. Who, Weeds, Family Guy, American Dad, South Park, etc.
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby robertm » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:07 pm

KennyJ wrote:Out of curiosity... like what? I like this kind of stuff too - and watch a lot of it on Netflix...

There is a lot of TV on it but most of it is older shows that have already been cancelled.


Is that really true?
Heroes, 24, and Lost were all available while the last seasons of these shows were still on.
30 Rock, The Office, Pawn Stars, Deadliest Catch, Myth Busters, SNL, Spongebob, Stargate Universe, Dr. Who, Weeds, Family Guy, American Dad, South Park, etc.


Most of the discovery shows are not available and they are among some of my favorites.

You listed 16 shows, even if the number were double that it would only be around 20 percent of the total television content available. So yeah, 80ish percent is most by definition. There is nothing wrong with that. I love many of the older shows but it is what it is.
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby Saqqara » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:19 pm

I also think Netflix has quite a bit of documentary content, and it makes up a good portion of my viewing. TV is catch as catch can, and so is Netflix to a lesser degree. You will start out finding excellent stuff on your favorite topics, and you will have to branch out as you exhaust it. But I've been pleased at the rate of new stuff coming on, and it seems to be accellerating as Netflix grows.

Don't forget the DVD's in the mail, they still make up some of the value.
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby KennyJ » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:26 pm

robertm wrote:
KennyJ wrote:Out of curiosity... like what? I like this kind of stuff too - and watch a lot of it on Netflix...

There is a lot of TV on it but most of it is older shows that have already been cancelled.


You listed 16 shows, even if the number were double that it would only be around 20 percent of the total television content available. So yeah, 80ish percent is most by definition. There is nothing wrong with that. I love many of the older shows but it is what it is.


Fair enough -- but most of TV shows in existence have been cancelled. :-p
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby robertm » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:43 am

KennyJ wrote:Fair enough -- but most of TV shows in existence have been cancelled. :-p


Again, I am not saying it as a bad thing. But if you are looking for a direct replacement to cable you would need to know that most newer shows are not available.

I think the biggest problem here is excluding movies. Movies are somewhere in the 80-85 percent range of all the content. That still leaves a big number but then personal preferences will knock that number down much much lower. For instance, in the documentaries I count about 750 titles in the subgenres that I normally watch and I certainly will not like or choose to watch all 750 just because they are in those subgenres.
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Re: Just heard about Roku today...

Postby Rick_R » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:21 am

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the new kids channel "Kidlet"

http://kidlet.tv/
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