Dumping Cable & Getting a Roku - Advice Needed

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Spot's Meow, May 29, 2013.

  1. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Spot's Meow Premium Member

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    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.
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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).
     
  3. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  4. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Spot's Meow Premium Member

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    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.
     
  5. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    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).
     
  6. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Spot's Meow Premium Member

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    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.
     
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ 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.
     
  8. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    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.
     
  9. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Spot's Meow Premium Member

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    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.
     
  10. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. Sheep

    Sheep Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  12. propita

    propita Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  13. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    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.
     
  14. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Spot's Meow Premium Member

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    Ooh this makes sense. Yeah I don't need that. :lol: 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).
     
  15. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Spot's Meow Premium Member

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    My desktop is right next to my TV but neither my desktop nor laptop have an HDMI output, but the desktop does have a DVI output, so I am going to buy an adaptor.
     
  17. cylkoth

    cylkoth Commodore Commodore

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    The short answer is that the big broadcast networks have been trying to protect their infrastructure-their distribution of content thru their local affiliates. They have been loathe to do anything that may damage relations with their partners, and lower profits. They have not created apps that permit watching their networks on set top boxes such as Roku, in fact, ABC is the first of the big 4 to finally create an app that they are rolling out this summer.
    I don't know if it will be available for the Roku though...

    If you want to save a little , you can get a refurbished Roku at their site. The new Roku 3s that are now sold, are HDMI only-no a/v output for using on an older television. The older Roku 2 XS has Ethernet and a/v output-check the specs to make sure you get the model that best suits your needs.
    http:// http://www.amazon.com/Roku-XS-1080p-Streaming-Player/dp/B005CLPP84
     
  18. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    Different situation being in the UK and all but if you have a games console almost all of them have TV apps. Xbox has iPlayer, Netflix, LoveFilm, Channel 4 and Channel 5 catch up services here. I know over there they have Netflix, Amazon, Hulu. Same goes for the playstation. The Wii has Netflix and I think Amazon too.
     
  19. Sakrysta

    Sakrysta Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have a Roku and I LOVE it. It does, however, have its limitations in that it has no YouTube app. I like it better than my Blu-ray player that has most of the same apps because it's just so stinkin' easy to use. No boot time. Simple user interface. Just all-around a well-designed product.

    Hulu Plus' usefulness is debatable. I like it because I can get HD to my TV thru the Roku with it. However, not everything availble via Hulu Plus is availalble to stream to your TV, and a lot of the content that is a benefit of "Plus" is duplicated with a Netflix subscription. In addition, several major networks do not have agreements with Hulu to host their content - CBS, TNT, USA to name a few, which really stinks. Hulu's free version will probably do you fine if you're willing to watch on your computer, especially if you already subscribe to Netflix, and using your computer will allow you to keep up with those other networks as well using their websites.

    I still say get a Roku though. They're relatively inexpensive for the value they provide, and I just think they're awesome. Plus, their marketing is purple. :techman: ;)
     
  20. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Spot's Meow Premium Member

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    ^Now how did you know that purple is my absolute favorite color! Do you think that purchasing the Roku LT (the cheapest one) is good enough? The features compared to the more expensive ones don't seem like that big of a deal but I've never had one before, so what do I know.