Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
tobybetsy
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Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bother)

Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:29 pm

I've become a horrible cynic as far as this particular device goes. FIrst, the good. I save maybe $20-30 a month by spending a little more a a better internet connection and "cutting" the TV/cable/satellite provider. Next, the bad:

Netflix streaming is 2nd rate and you're bored of their library within 6 months (~$8.00/month).

Hulu+ has pretty decent content. It's always at least one day behind (not that big of a deal), but even with an Ethernet connection, it crashes and freezes probably 50% of the time, invariably right in the middle of the most suspenseful part of your favorite program ($10/month).

USTVNow (Private Channel) is "OK" when you want to see something "live". Kind of a low quality feed and based in Pennsylvania. (I live in Chicago : (

Forget live sports. It's non-existent.

MLB.com is ok. But only if you're interested in watching the game after you already know the outcome (whoopee). And, you don't care about watching your hometown favorites, playoffs, world series, all-star games, due to blackouts ($100/annually).

Pandora is cool, but you can easily plug your computer into your speakers and have the same result.

Internet Archive is all that free, old B&W stuff you wouldn't even pause on if you were watching cable or satellite.

Play on and all those types of feeds (JustinTV, etc.) suck. and are totally dependent on whatever some kid is camcording on his bedroom tv at the time (and I suppose, the quality of your in-house processing, which in my house, isn't that great).

The ONLY good channel (which is a private channel and is apparently no longer available) rhymes with "shoe snoob". That's really the only redeeming quality to the Roku I can find.

We've had the box for more than one year. Roku staff are very nice and do their best to be helpful. All I'm saying is that if you're looking to "stick it to the cable-man", the tech is not there, yet. Jeez, it's gotta be just moments around the corner, but sadly, Roku has not become the magic box I had been hoping for. You might consider a simple desktop with good video processing and an hdmi cable out. That might be a better answer. I'd seriously check out google.tv and that logitech revue device. I haven't tried it, yet. But until this whole "integration" thing happens, hang tight. But hey, if you wanna just play "Angry Birds" and watch old reruns of "Father Knows Best", more power to ya!
 
mikebdoss
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:37 pm

tobybetsy wrote:
We've had the box for more than one year. Roku staff are very nice and do their best to be helpful. All I'm saying is that if you're looking to "stick it to the cable-man", the tech is not there, yet. Jeez, it's gotta be just moments around the corner, but sadly, Roku has not become the magic box I had been hoping for. You might consider a simple desktop with good video processing and an hdmi cable out. That might be a better answer. I'd seriously check out google.tv and that logitech revue device. I haven't tried it, yet. But until this whole "integration" thing happens, hang tight. But hey, if you wanna just play "Angry Birds" and watch old reruns of "Father Knows Best", more power to ya!


Almost every problem you described is related to the content providers, not Roku. They decide (in various ways) what material is made available. They can't stream what they're not allowed to. In my experience from a technical standpoint, nothing streams internet content as well as Roku. You'll get more content if your computer is connected to your TV, but generally your UI isn't anywhere near as easy.

Depending on how you watch TV, Roku can be a great replacement for cable. But simply buying the box and cutting cable before knowing what you're getting into is like buying a sports car and being mad that you can't schlep home a refrigerator with it - it's the wrong tool for what you're looking for, but that's not the fault of the box.
 
stratcat96
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:01 pm

If you live in Chicago, why are you watching USTVNOW which is just pirates of over the air network television in the Pittsburgh market...? Put an antenna next to you TV and you can watch Chicago tv...

if one's life completely revolves around watching cable television programming then no, there is no set top box that'll let you get it all for free so you can "stick it to the cable man".
 
Buckeye911
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:38 pm

stratcat96 wrote:
If you live in Chicago, why are you watching USTVNOW which is just pirates of over the air network television in the Pittsburgh market...? Put an antenna next to you TV and you can watch Chicago tv...

if one's life completely revolves around watching cable television programming then no, there is no set top box that'll let you get it all for free so you can "stick it to the cable man".

USTVNOW is from Lancaster, PA so it's actually the Philadelphia market. I don't find much need for it at home since I watch TV from an antenna but I travel out of the country and absolutely love it when I'm abroad. That is what it's intended for anyway. Now that it's available on the Roku I will be taking one of my units with me when I go to Thailand in a few months. I'm anxious to try it out there, I've always just watched on the computer before.
 
mkiker2089
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:59 pm

tobybetsy wrote:
Netflix streaming is 2nd rate and you're bored of their library within 6 months (~$8.00/month).



You lost me right there. Actually that makes me think the OP is a troll with an axe to grind rather than a normal poster. If someone can't find new content on Netflix then they aren't trying. Rate things, even things you hate, and it will continuously find stuff for you. That's assuming you don't look for content actively. Every time I finish watching a few things and start to woner what will I find next I end up finding more than I could possibly hope to watch.

Netflix - Hulu - and Crackle to round the two biggies off. That's all you need. The rest is just gravy.
-Marshall-

Nun sacciu, nun vidi, nun ceru e si ceru durmiv.
I know nothing, I see nothing, I wasn't there,
and if I was there, I was asleep.
 
stratcat96
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:36 pm

Buckeye911 wrote:
stratcat96 wrote:
If you live in Chicago, why are you watching USTVNOW which is just pirates of over the air network television in the Pittsburgh market...? Put an antenna next to you TV and you can watch Chicago tv...

if one's life completely revolves around watching cable television programming then no, there is no set top box that'll let you get it all for free so you can "stick it to the cable man".

USTVNOW is from Lancaster, PA so it's actually the Philadelphia market. I don't find much need for it at home since I watch TV from an antenna but I travel out of the country and absolutely love it when I'm abroad. That is what it's intended for anyway. Now that it's available on the Roku I will be taking one of my units with me when I go to Thailand in a few months. I'm anxious to try it out there, I've always just watched on the computer before.


I'm glad you enjoy it while you're abroad. My point to the OP was that he lives in a major market city where an antenna could pick up his own local television, so to criticize Roku because of ustvnow isn't local to him is a bit..... silly?
 
Buckeye911
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:35 pm

^^^ True that, stratcat. A decent antenna is a wonderful thing.
 
mastermesh
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:59 pm

mkiker2089 wrote:
tobybetsy wrote:
Netflix streaming is 2nd rate and you're bored of their library within 6 months (~$8.00/month).



You lost me right there. Actually that makes me think the OP is a troll with an axe to grind rather than a normal poster. If someone can't find new content on Netflix then they aren't trying. Rate things, even things you hate, and it will continuously find stuff for you. That's assuming you don't look for content actively. Every time I finish watching a few things and start to woner what will I find next I end up finding more than I could possibly hope to watch.

Netflix - Hulu - and Crackle to round the two biggies off. That's all you need. The rest is just gravy.


have to admit, netflix's site sucks... the instant browser for roku makes it a lot better though. ;)
http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=46566&p=359897#p359897 -channel lists/tools
http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=63553&p=409506#p409506 -fta
http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=64096 -linear channels
 
Metro
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:47 pm

Wow, I'm sure he hates Roku & Netflix but sounds to me he hates the world too. You had 30 days to check it out & keeping cable to see if it was worth it but you cut the cord instead. Sounds like you should put foil around the Roku & turn that old cable back on. But then you will complain it costs too much.

I've used the Roku as soon as it came out & cut the cord two years ago & have not looked back. 95% I watch is from Netflix, 4% Pandora & 1% everywhere else. Netflix, yeah I'm pissed that they doubled the price since it's so much cheaper to stream than mail but I stuck to the streaming only & do miss the newer DVDs. I think it would have been better accepted if they allowed 1 DVD a month with streaming.

The only thing I miss is the local tv news but I'm told theres not much to lose there with what is on the news anyway. I've tried indoor/outdoor antennas to get my local news but the hugh building next to me built solid in 1900 won't let the local stations get to me, only some distant ones in the other direction. Even when the World Trade Center was standing & broadcasting, I couldn't get local well being in the umbrella effect but could watch it. But that was a huge price to pay to worry about reception.
 
Desert Dingo
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:46 am

To each his/her own.

My decision to cut 'cord' 2 yrs back was to save $1,200 yr Sat bill, (no cable my area). NW AZ (west grand canyon). For those that say they cannot recieve via antenna...I use a very small outdoor antenna, ground up 10ft porch roofline. Pick up 17 HD major channels + some basics. 150m from Vegas and 250 from Phoenix, get both markets. Bought first edition basic Roku, (they had 35 channels, now over 300). Recently got a 2XS...both working fine. Had NF for 10 yrs., now only using 'streaming' service. Granted, no one watches "all" Roku channels, but would rather have that choice. Using my setup PC to TV, so i have the entire web to find just about any entertainment i could ever watch.

So for, other then basic setup cost, my monthly bill: NF $8.00; another sub @ $5.00. I need ISP for biz, so i cannot count that as part of my entertainment expense. In future i probably will add a sub or two, but doubt if my monthly bill for entertainment will ever come close to a sat/cable bill.
 
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jeffrok
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:52 am

Wish I could cut the cord.. As a huge baseball fan (Brewers) and a fan of other sports, I can't give up cable as much as I'd like to.. There's also several TLC/Discovery type channels not found on the Roku.

However, I'm so fed up with how much my cable bill is up to, sometimes I ask myself "Is it really worth $85 more dollars per month just to watch sports?"
Yeah, I got some Rokus.
https://youtu.be/d1CSEeqWl10
 
bennor3814
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:23 am

There will always be a few users who won't be happy with what the Roku and its various channels, including private channel, provides. There will be some who failed to understand what the Roku really is before they purchased it, failed ot understand how it works, and will there for blame the Roku for not being like their cable or satellite service. If you want service like your cable or satellite service, then pay for cable or satellite service. There will always be some who are disappointed with the fee based services like Netflix and Hulu Plus or with Crackle and others who use commercials before/after/during their content. Pretty much nothing on this planet short of air and possibly water is "free". It costs money to produce the content that is aired on; cable/satellite, what you can receive with an antenna, or your through your Internet connection. Yes its frustrating that some Hulu content that isn't available on Hulu Plus. That isn't Hulu's fault rather its the content providers who are blocking their content from being streamed to the Roku and other non PC devices.

If your a channel surfer who watches live programming including live sports and live news then you may find the Roke won't fill that void if you cut the cord. For many, the use of the Roku with Netflix and Hulu Plus and even Amazon Instant Video, along with Roku private channels, and the use of an antenna, can replace most what the content they watch with their cable/satellite service. Use of the Roku may require one to change how they have normally viewed "TV" content in the past. And there will always be some who don't like change.

The Roku works great for me and will allow me to cut my monthly Comcast cable bill from $123 down to as low as $18 (not including taxes) if I don't cancel cable all together. If I didn't have a mountain in the way of the local TV antenna farms that block me from receiving the local NBC, CBS, Fox stations I'd be able to do a 100% replacement of cable with the Roku based on my current TV viewing. And if I want the latest movies that are out on DVD and not available on Hulu/Netflix/Crackle or other Roku based movie channels, I can either pay Netflix or Red Box, or see if my local library has them for free to borrow. If your big on live sports then you may have to pay an additional fee to watch the sports you enjoy on the Roku. For me I don't watch enough sports on the non local TV stations to justify the $100+ a month cost for cable TV.
 
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gonzotek
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:34 am

Buckeye911 wrote:
USTVNOW is from Lancaster, PA so it's actually the Philadelphia market.
No, it's neither Pittsburgh nor Philadelphia, it's Harrisburg market (http://www.abc27.com/, http://www.wgal.com/index.html, http://www.whptv.com/default.aspx , etc.). Philadelphia market has different affiliates(WPVI (ABC), WTXF(FOX), WCAU(NBC), etc. ).
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=206 ... ,11.634521
Remoku.tv - A free web app for Roku Remote Control!
Want to control your Roku from nearly any phone, computer or tablet? Get started at http://help.remoku.tv
by Apps4TV - Applications for television and beyond: http://www.apps4tv.com
 
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KennyJ
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:38 am

mkiker2089 wrote:
tobybetsy wrote:
Netflix streaming is 2nd rate and you're bored of their library within 6 months (~$8.00/month).



You lost me right there. Actually that makes me think the OP is a troll with an axe to grind rather than a normal poster. If someone can't find new content on Netflix then they aren't trying. Rate things, even things you hate, and it will continuously find stuff for you. That's assuming you don't look for content actively. Every time I finish watching a few things and start to woner what will I find next I end up finding more than I could possibly hope to watch.

Netflix - Hulu - and Crackle to round the two biggies off. That's all you need. The rest is just gravy.


Yeah.. I have over 300 things in my queue.. and have consistently had over 200 in my queue for the last 2-3 years.
 
jcmolet
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Re: Roku as an alternative to cable or satellite? (don't bot

Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:06 am

tobybetsy wrote:
Netflix streaming is 2nd rate and you're bored of their library within 6 months (~$8.00/month).


Agree somewhat. I think it is important to recognize Netflix for what it is and for what it does. It is a low cost video service looking to provide access to lots of content. That is perfect for consumers that are looking to spend less money, get lots of content (generally older), and for whom playback quality (audio and video) is not paramount. I doubt if any subscription service will be able to do much better in the current environment. That is why I augment Netflix with pay-per-view services (namely Vudu and Zune movies) that give me access to new content with better audio and video quality. I don't imagine I will be getting rid of Netflix anytime soon as $8/month is negligible and if nothing else, Netflix provides good background noise when I'm not really paying attention. However, there is no doubt that the novelty of Netflix wore out for me after about a year when I had gone through most of the content I was interested in seeing and it was clear their video quality pales in comparison to other services.

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