Cut the Cable, Go With Roku
It all started for me by trying to save a few bucks each month. I saw many bills coming in, and some of them didn't make sense. I cut the fat where I could, but there was one thing that continued to slap me in the face--THE CABLE BILL!
I'm not sure what the norm is, but between TV, internet and phone, I'd been paying around $180.00 a month. I couldn't imagine why it was so high, especially because, we only have a small number of channels we watch, along with a small number of shows.
My four-year-old son watches any kids show that's on, Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, Rabbids, Dead Time Stories, and a host of others on Nickelodeon and Disney. But the truth is, he's not all that picky. He'll watch just about anything colorful that catches his eye.
My wife and I have three shows we watch religiously, Face Off on Syfy, The Walking Dead on AMC, and Game of Thrones on HBO, and that's it. I didn't feel like cable was giving me what I was paying for.
Then, I found out about Roku!
What Is Roku?
A Roku is a small device, nearly the size of a hockey puck that can allow you to steam shows through applications like Netflix or Hulu directly to your TV. It also has apps for specific stations, such as CNN, ABC, NBC and several others. The device itself costs under $100.00, and it's small enough to fit anywhere. It's attached to your TV with a HDMI cable, which is sold separately, to stream shows directly, without paying any providers.
What Does It Do For Me?
What I did was, I immediately signed up for Netflix and Hulu to stream shows and movies. Each of these services costs $7.99 for streaming, and they offer a plethora of TV shows and movies that everyone in my family enjoys. At some point I'll probably choose one over the other, but right now I'll go with both, since they aren't too expensive, and each has a free trial period.
Netflix and Hulu satisfied my son's need for all kinds of children's shows. He doesn't really need the newest releases of Power Rangers. The old ones satisfy him just the same. However, what was a problem were the three shows my wife and I had been watching on cable.
One convenient thing that Roku has is rental type applications, such as Amazon Instant Video, Redbox, Blockbuster, Vudu and its own M-Go. These applications allow us to go in the day after a show has aired on cable, and buy the individual episodes we want. Face Off and The Walking Dead are $1.99 per episode, while Game of Thrones, from HBO, is $2.99.
At first, this pay per episode seemed pricey, but if we take into consideration that we're saving at least $80.00 per month cutting cable, and each of the shows will run us between $7.96 to $11.96 per month, on top of the fact that we are only paying for these things during their season's of running, we are saving money.
To Sum It Up
Before getting the Roku, we needed to take stock of what we wanted out of it, and make sure we could get it. My son gets an abundance of children's programming, he can watch over and over again. We get a small number of new movies, and we can access our three shows through the rental apps.
If we add it up, Netflix and Hulu together will be $15.98 per month, Face Off and The Walking Dead will be $7.96 each per month, and Game of Thrones will be $11.96 per month. That's a total of $43.86 per month, and only in the months that all of our shows are aired, so we're saving a minimum of $36.14 per month.
Interesting Roku Links
Roku has two types of channels they offer, public and private. Those that are public are professionally supported channels such as Netflix and Hulu. The channels that are private, are legal and validated channels, but they are not supported by professionals, so the quality may not be the same. However, many of the private channels are awesome.
Roku Channel Page - What's Hot! - Roku's official site and their public channels list.
Find Some Roku Private Channels - Roku's private channels list.
US TV Now For Roku - US TV Now is a private channel for U.S. service personnel working abroad.
Cable has become over-priced, and we've decided to cut it out entirely. There are so many different options that cable companies can't continue to gouge us with extreme prices and slam in channels that we don't want. I can't imagine going back to cable at this point unless there are some major changes in the way things work with the cable companies. So, from now on, it's Roku for us!
Is Roku right for you? Let me know in the comments below.