Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cutting Cable Without Sacrifice: How I pay $0 and STILL watch what I want, when I want.

Like many of you, I was sick and tired of dishing out $150+ for cable. Now of course, I had the "package deal" to try and save, but even that didn't help. I wasn't utilizing all the channels and to be honest, I just didn't like regular cable. Always watching re-runs, or having to watch the newest episodes at the time they came on because on-demand decided to be finicky. I also did not like not being able to use the fireplace feature year round. I am one of those people who wants a fire on my tv in January while I listen to my vinyls, without sacrificing the sound of wood burning, and now I can, for F-R-E-E! I essentially cut $100 OFF my bill! Now, if that doesn't get you interested, I don't know what will!


After doing a bit of research, I came across a couple of different streaming devices and received multiple personal reviews from different friends plus I myself, tried out a few of the popular products. I have to say, I am SOOO happy I made the decision to go with the Roku 3. The popular ones are the Apple TV, and the Amazon Fire TV. I know everyone is very excited about Apple products and while they are amazing, and I do own an iPad and an iPhone, I wasn't quite sold on the price: $170, for a small device that would mainly limit me to Apple apps. Also, the Amazon's Fire Stick: $100 for the 2015 version, seemed to suit those with Amazon Prime memberships better than anyone else, but seeing as how I don't have a membership account with Amazon nor will I ever, I decided that the Roku 3 was just right for me. It's a little curved square that fits in the palm of my small hand. (Roku even includes HBO, Showtime, and Amazon Instant Video).

Roku offers different variations of their streaming devices, but I ultimately decided on the $100 Roku 3. Why? Ohhhh, let me tell you! This baby is everything I could ask for. It allows you to customize your "channels" to what you like, provides on-demand for said channels, allows you to use YouTube directly on your TV, has radio apps to play live radio music (yes, well known stations), a feature to use Netflix simply by pressing a button that comes on it's remote, or using the channel on the TV -and... you can rent or buy movies directly through your Roku device. Some channels I have on mine, include the CBS app, Nickelodeon, Nick JR, Disney Channel, Disney JR., the Food Channel, HGTV, YouTube, CNN, and Fox News. Oh, and don't worry. You won't miss the big game. If it's playing on CBS, just simply add the CBS Sports channel, and boom. You're watching the Superbowl live like a champ.

It literally turns your TV into a smart TV. Plus, the adorable remote is headphone friendly. (Free headphones included with your Roku). The adorable purple headphones, also have the "squishy" ear buds. My ears definitely approve. Their is a volume setting on the side of the remote, so when you're utilizing the headphones feature -because the kids passed out on top of you, and you really want to watch an episode of Making a Murderer- you don't have to worry about blowing out your eardrums, or attempting to be an expert lip reader. Another convenient feature of the remote, would have to be that it has 4 buttons on the bottom half to access Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Rdio (Radio), and Hulu, easily. You can also catch up on your shows, because under each channel's "app", you can choose the specific episode you want to watch, or just watch live TV. (Applies to most channels. Some don't offer live TV, but do offer the episodes and seasons with daily updates)

Oh and the best part? It's completely "lazy-butt", friendly. Want to tell your Roku what you want to see without scrolling through? There's a voice feature, too. Want to show everyone in the room the super funny videos you found on YouTube, but don't want to be crowded around? Simply connect your iPad to the same wifi the Roku is streaming on, press the tv box on the YouTube video (see image below) and boom, everyone's watching the newest Buzzfeed episode. You can use the button to put pictures, personal videos, and shows onto the TV, as well.

All it requires is internet, and a one time purchase for your Roku device. THAT'S IT! You can add a special service like Sling TV for $20 a month, to watch live television, but I don't like re-runs, it's not a thing I'm into. Quality through my Roku 3 is 90% HD. Even when I stream live TV. Personally, I have more channels now, of what I REALLY want, than I ever did with a cable box. 

Setting up is extremely simple. You need to buy an HDMI cable first (I paid $10 for mine at Target, and it's perfect). Plug one end into the Roku and one into your TV. Then plug your Roku into a power source, and look at that! You have cable. It literally gives you precise, easy to understand, step-by-step instructions for every single thing you need to know. It took me a total of 15 minutes to completely set up, add my channels, and sit down to watch The Price Is Right. 

If you don't want to pay $100 for the Roku 3, which personally I feel is the best bang for your buck, there are other options. There is the Roku 1 and Roku Streaming Stick for $50, the Roku 2 for $70, and if you have a 4K Ultra HD TV and really want to guarantee excellent quality, they offer the new
Roku 4 for $130, which is still cheaper than the Apple TV.


Regardless of what you choose, I suggest that you check out all streaming devices before making your choice. I have had my Roku for a few months now, and I have to say, I am SO happy I made the switch! If you've decided to take the plunge, what streaming device did you choose?

Check out Roku here: Roku Devices


*I am not sponsored. All statements, and recommendations are my own personal opinion.

2 comments:

  1. I have been considering a Roku, but need one that is compatible with a non-HD television. I am curious, why is the Roku 3 a better value than the 1 and 2 in your opinion? I don;t know much about them, so I am curious what the features are, how they differ etc. Thanks in advance!

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    Replies
    1. Personally I wouldn't be able to give you a 100% perfect opinion, seeing as how I have never tried out the Roku 1 or 2. What I do know is that a Roku 1 works best with the older tv's. It's made to turn any HD OR older TV, into a Smart TV. For a full review and comparison on Roku products, you could check out this website: https://www.roku.com/products/compare There you can find every question about comparison answered!

      For my own personal Roku, I freaking love it. It's basically like having an app store on your television, that allows you to personally select the channels YOU want to watch. Whatever the app allows you to watch on a typical smart phone of tablet, you should find on the Roku streaming channel store. The Roku also offers free channels specified to "extras", like free Yoga, free music, free exercise channels, and free games - which my son loves. There are also some apps you can purchase, like better games, movie channels - or movies themselves - and of course your subscription apps like Hulu and Netflix.

      After switching, my son and I have found that we really don't miss cable at all. With the new technology and streaming capabilities, as long we have internet, we are more than happy with our selection!

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