Television - Roku & Similar Devices

Discussion in 'Movies & Entertainment' started by Ken Anderson, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    We haven't had regular television in our house for several years now. We use Roku mostly, although the Wii also has some of the same capabilities. For my Roku, I have Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and a few other pay channels, as well as several free channels, and that's what we use. In fact, we seldom even listen to regular radio anymore, since there are more choices available through Internet radio, also available on Roku.

    Since Netflix doesn't have everything available through streaming, I am also enrolled in their 2 DVD program, usually turning them around the same day that they are received, and the new ones appear amazingly fast, so we have no need of network television.

    There are so many advantages. Being able to watch television series one episode after another, for example. Things are so much easier to follow that way than trying to wait out periods of reruns on network television, or trying to figure out which time period they switched my favorite show to.

    Plus, the ability to rewind (although that's not precisely the word I want) things that I may have missed. Since I usually have the Roku on while I'm working, I frequently start episodes or movies over again.

    The convenience of the Internet and the devices that stream television programming and movies over the Internet so far outstrips any advantages to network TV that I can't imagine what the future will be for network TV, and movie theaters, for that matter.
     
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  2. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I agree about the future of cable, and maybe even satellite TV. They are both becoming obsolete as more and more people seem to be switching to internet streaming with Netflix and other similar services.
    We have an Apple TV, which does about the same thing as a Roku, and works well with the iPads. Even though Amazon Prime Video is not part of Apple TV, we can stream it using the Amazin ap on the iPad.
    I think that people are tired of paying for bundled services that they don't use all of; and more and more are switching over to the cheaper services like Netflix and Hulu.
     
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  3. Jenn Windey

    Jenn Windey Active Member
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    I cut the cable years ago and have not regretted it for one single second. I have Roku and an antenna so I can get the local broadcast and some of the major stations. I agree it is great to watch a whole series one episode after another without waiting and without commercials. That is what was the deciding factor for me. I had Time Warner which costs a fortune and when I was home and could watch TV what was on? Stupid infomercials or some other drivel I had seen a million times.

    I think cable is going to decline, the younger generation watches everything on their phones, pads or laptops. Major networks are not stupid, top shows stream online for free. I love that I do not have to rush home to catch a favorite show. I am also happy to see you can find some of the older shows that used to be so great. I was watching a new antenna station called GRIT, they had a remake of the 1973 movie Day of the Jackal this one was with Bruce Willis and Richard Gere, I had forgotten what an excellent movie that was. I was glad I stumbled upon it. Nope I will never go back to cable.
     
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  4. Peter Remington

    Peter Remington Active Member
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    I'm another one who hasn't used cable or satellite in over ten years. I get everything I want to see for a tiny fraction of the cost with Netflix, Hulu+ and by downloading from iTunes. I can't be bothered with commercials and following a show on the networks is well-nigh impossible. I really can't imagine how the old guard even manages to stay in business. I'm guessing that will change very soon and these guy will go the way of Blockbuster Video and the used book store.
     
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  5. Jim Veradyne

    Jim Veradyne Member
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    I could tolerate network television when I could expect summer reruns, and then a return of regular programming. Over the past several years though, they might air just a few shows, then some reruns, then take a season off, and return, in between being switched to different days and time periods. Even if I wanted to be loyal to the networks, it's all too difficult. What concerns me is that it is the idiots who are still wired to cable that are deciding the ratings. At least as far as I know, I haven't heard of Nielsen rating streaming or DVD rentals. If that's the case, it's no wonder the best shows get canceled. That's the only thing I don't like about streaming is that by the time I find out about a good series, it's often been canceled.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Yvonne, Jenn, Peter, Jim, welcome to the forum. Yeah, when I lived in California, I was chosen by Nielsen often, sometimes to keep the diary-type record of my programming, and a few times to have the box installed on my television. It made me feel powerful, and the sense of responsibility made me less likely to watch a lousy show, and to keep the television tuned into shows that I didn't want cancelled whether or not I was actually watching it.
     
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  7. Joss Brown

    Joss Brown New Member
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    I cut the cable cord about 18 months ago. We use Roku. I pay for Hulu Plus and my roommate pays for Netflix. I also watch some of my favorites on the network sites. It has been an adjustment. I won't lie about. There are some shows that I really do miss. I am two seasons behind on Homeland.
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    That's funny. I am watching "Homeland" at this moment. I am in Season 2, using the disks sent by Netflix.
     
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  9. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    We cut the cord about a year ago, now we use Hulu Plus and Netflix to watch the shows we like. Also youtube has a lot of the show and movies to watch. I have found some good movies and shows that I may not have seen if we were still on cable. I use my computer most of the time to watch most shows.
     
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  10. Joss Brown

    Joss Brown New Member
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    We pay for streaming only. I never considered getting the DVDs because we just do so much streaming. We are definitely going to add DVDs. I will be able to catch up on Homeland and Suits. ;)
     
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  11. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Every now and then, I cut back on the DVDs, but I am currently getting two at a time. There is just too much that's not available from streaming.
     
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  12. Louis Ruiz

    Louis Ruiz New Member
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    After a lifetime of traditional displays I had no problems adapting to widescreen but I think the new advances in television may be too much for me. It took me enough time to leave the DVD format and indeed I have not bought any of the movies that I had on DVD for Bluray. It makes no sense doing so according to me. 3D does not catch my attention either. I think I will be a hard sell for the new generation of technology in TVs.
     
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  13. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    We have hesitated to cut the cord completely - we have cut back on satellite to the cheapest programming. I just like that with satellite, I only have one format that I have to get used to. I do use Roku and netflix and their format is easy to use. But I've tried using the network streaming (like ABC, CBS, etc) and where they're all different, it's just confusing and requires too much thought. I think that I could probably get all the shows I watch now by streaming, but I'd have to keep switching back and forth between different platforms, and for me, it's worth the $50 a month to have the convenience of just one platform.
     
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  14. Nikos Pine

    Nikos Pine New Member
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    Hello! Does anyone else here use those streaming service that you see all the time? Amazon has one now, and then there is the Netflix of course, and Hulu. They seem to be the most popular way people are watching things, and cable bills keep going higher and higher. You can find a lot of good shows to watch on those as well. I have Netflix, and it only costs me 8 dollar a month which saves you a lot compared to cable. You can find so much on the internet these days, it amazes me.
     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    We have a couple of Roku devices, as well as a Wii, both of which can be used to stream television and movies, although we mostly use the Roku for that.
     
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  16. Kevin Matthew

    Kevin Matthew Member
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    I cut cable a few years ago when I realized I was paying $100 per month for 90 channels even though I watched probably TWO. Since then, we have purchased a Roku, a Tivo and an AppleTV. The Tivo comes in handy to record shows from the antenna, and the other two come in handy for everything else. I especially love using the AppleTV to show my computer screen on my big screen TV... Much better than watching the same news over and over 24/7!
     
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  17. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    One of the things about Netflix that I really like is that they have separate programming for each person. The kind of movies that I enjoy watching are usually not anything that Bobby likes to watch, and the war and action movies that he enjoys are not anything that I would watch.
    With Netflix, they have a "who is watching" selection, and mine has movies that I have watched, and ones they suggest for me, based on previously watched shows. Bobby has all of the kinds of shows that he is interested in, on his section of Netflix.
    They have it set up so that you can have a special area for each member of the family, or at least for adults, and then one with children's programs.
    Youtube has a similar thing, since you have to sign in for your account, and then when you watch things and choose the stations that you subscribe to; those are the ones that show up in your list of videos to watch.
    I think that having the shows that fit your specific interests is a wonderful idea, and saves a lot of time when you are looking for something to watch.
     
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  18. Kevin Matthew

    Kevin Matthew Member
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    Good point Yvonne. I love having my own section of Netflix where I can save my old television shows that I know no one else wants to watch. (Although, I don't understand why everyone doesn't want to watch 50's sitcoms!) That is one of the advantages of Netflix over Amazon Prime Instant and the Apple TV.
     
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  19. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    We have DirecTV and have switched to a cheaper package just last week. My husband is having withdrawals from programs that he usually watched. He may not be able to handle 'cutting the cord.' Myself, I can watch Netflix on my computer or when I'm alone on TV. I also like that we can still watch the latest movies on Pay per view or On Demand. We have never tried it before because we worked different shifts but now that I'm at home we can.
     
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  20. Kevin Matthew

    Kevin Matthew Member
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    Von, I understand completely... It took me a long time to finally decide... luckily, with an antenna, we could get the major networks over the air and record them on Tivo... The only thing I truly miss is HBO, but at this point, (or soon?) you'll be able to subscribe to HBO GO without cable... So I'll be totally happy... Especially with the roughly $900 we save per year over cable...
     
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  21. Juan Ortega

    Juan Ortega Member
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    It does seem more and more understandable to leave behind cable providers and similar offers, with online streaming offering much of the same entertainment. I hardly flip through channels nowadays with close to every show being available online, even live streams keep up with current trends. Not to mention the savings in cutting such costs. I hope digital broadcast and broadband merge in the future to create a new viewer experience, with similarities to that of Blu-ray in the future with all selections for the price of an internet connection. Given some good thought it does seem reasonable.
     
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  22. Hannah Davis

    Hannah Davis Active Member
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    I get the feeling that in the future there will be on such thing as cable TV. It seems as if its already being phased out by Roku boxes and online streaing. There are now providers such as Netflix, Amazon prime and Sling TV that give individuals all the entertainment choices of cable if not more. I have noticed that our cable bill has gone up considerably for basic cable no doubt because of the amount of people who have unsubscribed because they have found out that there were far cheaper choices out there. If I had high speed internet and not DSL I would certainly be looking in this direction.
     
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  23. Jenn Windey

    Jenn Windey Active Member
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    @Hannah Davis i have DSL and have no problem with Roku or streaming video on my laptop. I think as far as the laptop goes it is more about what's in the laptop processor and memory wise then the download speed. Regardless I watch most things with no problems. I have noticed that if I go to one of the major television sites like CBS there are times when the load seems to be more choppy. It seems to be hit or miss , but I do keep in mind millions of people are trying to stream those files at the same time. The long and the short of it is, as far as streaming via the web, if you can run most youtube videos you would probably be okay with streaming TV. I think amazon has some free test videos if you want to see how it works for you.

    Roku is seamless on my TV, there are a few broadcasters that are just awful, these are free ones that run slow and I doubt it has anything to do with my TV or Roku, you just have to keep it in your mind that some of these broadcasters are the equivalent of a small public service channel if even that. If you are curious how these channels may play for you go to one of the stations, like Crackle and log in, this is free and see how it streams on your computer, this is about what you could expect on your TV through the box.

    My theory is DSL is better then it once was because not as many people use it, many people use high speed and cable so the ranks of people on DSL or no where what it was say 10 years ago.
     
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  24. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Living in a small town, my Internet access is fairly slow as compared to a lot of people, if you look at the thread where Internet speeds are posted, yet I don't have any trouble with streaming via Roku. Very rarely do I have trouble with buffering.
     
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  25. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I've just ordered the Roku 4, which includes, among other things, voice controls, meaning that I'll be able to tell is which movie I'm looking for and it will present me with the options. Some Roku 3 versions had that as well, but mine didn't. The Roku 4 is supposed to have other improved search features as well, but I'll let you know what I think when it arrives.
     
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