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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > TV & Media

TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old May 29 2013, 09:23 PM   #1
Spot's Meow
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Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

I'm moving in a couple of months, and thinking of dropping cable altogether when I do so. I am considering getting a Roku box and watching everything on my nice HDTV. However, I'm not completely sold on the idea of cutting cable out of my life. I need advice from you guys about how viable "cutting the cord" really is.

Information to know is that I watch a lot of television, a lot of it on network channels. I live in an area where getting antenna signals of my local channels would not be any problem, but of course I rarely watch anything live. I have a DVR through my cable company and am not willing to shell out the money for a standalone DVR service.

I already subscribe to Netflix instant streaming. Right now I watch it on TV through my Wii but would be interested in being able to watch HD videos.

A lot of the reviews for the Roku box are from people who watch mostly movies or who don't like network TV anymore. However, I rarely watch movies and as I mentioned before watch lots of network TV.

I know that almost all of the shows I watch are available through the network websites soon after airing. However, I'm unclear about whether I would be able to stream these through a Roku box. I can of course just watch them on the computer but I would like to be able to watch them on my TV. Also, if all of the shows that I want are available on network websites, is there any point to signing up for Hulu Plus? This makes me wonder why anyone signs up for it at all, if you can watch the same videos on network sites for free.

I'm wondering how you guys get to the content you want without cable. Let's say, for instance, you like the show Big Bang Theory. Do you just watch it on your computer? How would you watch it on your TV without having to DVR it from the antenna broadcast? The whole thing is just a little confusing to me and I'm hoping you guys can help clear it up, because I would love to dump cable.
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Old May 29 2013, 09:39 PM   #2
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
I'm wondering how you guys get to the content you want without cable. Let's say, for instance, you like the show Big Bang Theory. Do you just watch it on your computer? How would you watch it on your TV without having to DVR it from the antenna broadcast?
I get all the network shows I watch from iTunes. I don't have to watch it on my computer; I have an AppleTV box which streams everything. That is also how I watch baseball (via MLB.TV, a separate service).
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Old May 29 2013, 09:43 PM   #3
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

I haven't had cable for two years. Between Amazon Prime and Netflix (which both stream right to my TV via my DVD player) I'm pretty much covered for 90% of what I would want to watch. For the other 10%, I have..... alternative methods.

That being said, I watch almost nothing on network television anyway, I prefer to wait until the end of a season and watch the whole thing, and I've never been one to channel surf, so that might not work for you.
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Old May 29 2013, 11:08 PM   #4
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
I haven't had cable for two years. Between Amazon Prime and Netflix (which both stream right to my TV via my DVD player) I'm pretty much covered for 90% of what I would want to watch. For the other 10%, I have..... alternative methods.

That being said, I watch almost nothing on network television anyway, I prefer to wait until the end of a season and watch the whole thing, and I've never been one to channel surf, so that might not work for you.

I don't care much about channel surfing, but I do like to watch network TV shows within a few days after they air. I've also considered a Blu-Ray player that offers similar services, it just seemed like people were pretty happy with the Roku boxes. But I'm open to all feedback.
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Old May 29 2013, 11:16 PM   #5
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
I know that almost all of the shows I watch are available through the network websites soon after airing. However, I'm unclear about whether I would be able to stream these through a Roku box. I can of course just watch them on the computer but I would like to be able to watch them on my TV.
If a computer/laptop's graphics card has an HDMI output, it should be very easy to connect the computer/laptop straight to the tv.

I do this frequently whenever I want to watch some tv shows streaming from a tv network's web site, using my big screen tv in the living room. (I'm thinking of buying another computer dedicated to streaming stuff in this manner, and also for watching rips of my dvds).
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Old May 30 2013, 05:27 AM   #6
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

jayceee wrote: View Post
If a computer/laptop's graphics card has an HDMI output, it should be very easy to connect the computer/laptop straight to the tv.

I do this frequently whenever I want to watch some tv shows streaming from a tv network's web site, using my big screen tv in the living room. (I'm thinking of buying another computer dedicated to streaming stuff in this manner, and also for watching rips of my dvds).
I've checked my computer and it looks like it doesn't have an HDMI output, just a DVI-D output. From what I understand this can be solved with a converter.
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Old May 30 2013, 05:31 AM   #7
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

^ What kind of computer do you have? If you have a Mac, I strongly recommend getting an AppleTV. With that, you can stream pretty much everything from iTunes onto your HDTV. And the AppleTV also handles Netflix, Hulu and (I think) Roku as well.

I don't know for sure if the ATV can be used with a Windows PC although it probably can, provided the PC is running iTunes.
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Old May 30 2013, 07:47 AM   #8
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

Hulu Plus ($9 a month) allows you to watch network television shows the day after they air, and Hulu Plus is an option on the Roku box. So for the price of a Roku Box, and about $17 (Hulu and Netflix combined) a month, you can pretty effectively cut the cord to your cable TV.
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Old May 30 2013, 04:36 PM   #9
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

J. Allen wrote: View Post
Hulu Plus ($9 a month) allows you to watch network television shows the day after they air, and Hulu Plus is an option on the Roku box. So for the price of a Roku Box, and about $17 (Hulu and Netflix combined) a month, you can pretty effectively cut the cord to your cable TV.
Regarding Hulu Plus, why can't those shows just be watched for free on the Network websites? I am trying to figure out the advantage that Hulu Plus has over watching the shows for free on, say, NBC.com. There must be some advantage or else people wouldn't purchase it, I just can't figure out what it is yet.
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Old May 30 2013, 06:28 PM   #10
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

I got an Apple TV back in April and have been very happy with it. Movies, music, and purchased TV series all stream from my laptop and/or the cloud and I can watch anythhing Netflix has to offer as well.

Granted, I do a lot of my TV viewing after shows air, so I'm usually just mirroring HBO from my iPad or the network website from my laptop on to the TV. So far, it's worked pretty well.

I've heard good things about Roku, but I have no personal experience with it myself.
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Old May 30 2013, 07:10 PM   #11
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
Regarding Hulu Plus, why can't those shows just be watched for free on the Network websites? I am trying to figure out the advantage that Hulu Plus has over watching the shows for free on, say, NBC.com. There must be some advantage or else people wouldn't purchase it, I just can't figure out what it is yet.
To access Hulu Plus, you can use a Roku which will run you $50 to $100 depending on the model you get--this is far cheaper than any laptop you'd want to buy that can hook up to your TV via HDMI. Of course, if you already have a laptop or another computer you can hook up to your TV, that changes the equation a bit.

Additionally from what I've seen most people don't want to futz with a laptop or HTPC attached to a TV--they just want something dead easy to use which the Roku excels in.
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Old May 30 2013, 07:42 PM   #12
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

We have an Apple tv box a few years old but don't really use it. Where can I learn how to use it? Hubby is of no help on this, I have to teach him how to program a dvr. Smart man but easily frustrated by things that don't interest him.
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Old May 30 2013, 07:48 PM   #13
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
J. Allen wrote: View Post
Hulu Plus ($9 a month) allows you to watch network television shows the day after they air, and Hulu Plus is an option on the Roku box. So for the price of a Roku Box, and about $17 (Hulu and Netflix combined) a month, you can pretty effectively cut the cord to your cable TV.
Regarding Hulu Plus, why can't those shows just be watched for free on the Network websites? I am trying to figure out the advantage that Hulu Plus has over watching the shows for free on, say, NBC.com. There must be some advantage or else people wouldn't purchase it, I just can't figure out what it is yet.
Because with Hulu Plus, you can watch an entire series rather than just the last few new episodes, and that this includes older TV series' that won't get broadcasted on the network websites.
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Old May 30 2013, 10:07 PM   #14
Spot's Meow
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

J. Allen wrote: View Post
Spot's Meow wrote: View Post
J. Allen wrote: View Post
Hulu Plus ($9 a month) allows you to watch network television shows the day after they air, and Hulu Plus is an option on the Roku box. So for the price of a Roku Box, and about $17 (Hulu and Netflix combined) a month, you can pretty effectively cut the cord to your cable TV.
Regarding Hulu Plus, why can't those shows just be watched for free on the Network websites? I am trying to figure out the advantage that Hulu Plus has over watching the shows for free on, say, NBC.com. There must be some advantage or else people wouldn't purchase it, I just can't figure out what it is yet.
Because with Hulu Plus, you can watch an entire series rather than just the last few new episodes, and that this includes older TV series' that won't get broadcasted on the network websites.

Ooh this makes sense. Yeah I don't need that. I stay current with all of my shows and use Netflix for anything older. But it does make sense now why people who aren't in sync with network TV would want that.

From everything you guys have said so far, I am thinking that I really should just skip the third party and go directly to hooking up my computer to the TV through a DVI-D to HDMI cable, which is only a few bucks on Amazon. This way I can watch both Netflix and videos from other sites in HD on my TV without paying for any additional services or equipment (besides the cable).
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Old May 30 2013, 10:21 PM   #15
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Re: Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

I have my laptop connected to my HDTV, so I download everything I watch and stream it to my TV. If you have a decent laptop or a computer next to your TV you could connect the two via an HDMI cable.
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