A Roku 3 streaming player has replaced my DirecTV

A few weeks back I shut off my DirecTV service and I haven't looked back. Upon realizing how much satellite TV service cost and that I rarely, if ever, watched it, I decided it was time to try streaming as my prime delivery method. The Roku 3 came highly recommended.

I plugged the $99 Roku unit right into my former DirecTV's HDMI cable and was immediately off to the races. Setting up my Netflix and Amazon Instant accounts was a breeze. Picture quality is terrific, at 720p and 1080p. The device itself is pretty responsive and doesn't spend a lot of time between menus or switching "channels."

"Channels" are how Roku organizes content. The Netflix channel loads just like an app and I can page through all the same features and search options as on the AppleTv, iPad, iPhone or webpage. I haven't tried any of the independently available channels yet, as I am very happy with the content available through Roku's catalog. I've been told there is a very, very wide range of stuff available independently.

It has been over a month. The only downside to this transition has been the hundreds of calls from DirecTV failing to woo me back with expensive offers.

Roku 3 streaming player


  1. Whee! We should start a club. I also canceled my cable television service about two weeks ago after realizing that I hadn’t used it since the presidential debates. Haven’t had any remorse about the decision at all. It’s all Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video and iTunes for me. 

    1. Me too, perhaps April 2013 was the tipping point.  I was a fair TV watcher, but I’ve adjusted to no “new episodes” and just watch series I missed on Netflix.  Now and then I find something good on Crackle etc. as well.

      1.  Heh. What did it for you? I’d been seriously considering it since Nielsen released their report talking about TV-Free homes. When I saw the article about how, if Netflix were a cable television channel, it would be the most watched channel ever, that was the straw that broke Cablevision’s back.

        1. I haven’t had cable in years. For a while, I found it cheaper to just buy DVDs than it was to get cable. When a friend told me about Roku, I was sold. There’s no reason, aside from “new episodes” to have cable. You can even get all your sports on there. My brother and I added it up. If you got Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Sports, it would still be less than a 1/4 the yearly cost of cable. 

          That, and for the most part you are commercial free.

          1. There are some good “economics of cable” articles out there.  It is all about the sports.  Though sadly not in a totally good way, since non-sports fans are structured into paying for ever more expensive professional sports.

            For years I thought expensive players contracts had nothing to do with me, but no, it was coming from all our $100+ cable tv contracts.

          2. you guys should check out plex, for me it’s the killer ap for roku.  its freeware, and allows conversion-free local stream,ingfrom your pc to your rokus.  the interface is way better then the others i’ve tried, pretty similar to netflix, and it even auto populates the data for your movies and shows from online databases/

        2. What did it?  Classic, my cable company raised me from like $134 to $138 and pushed me over ;-).  Also classic, on the phone they said no discounts, but when I turned in my box they said “what if we do $120?”  Too late, now I’m $48 per mo, data only.

    2. The cable companies have been asking for this for a long time.  Extortionist prices, bundled with channels I don’t care about and a ridiculous amount of commercials plus often poor quality images. Good riddance.  Now if we could just do something about the cell phone companies.

  2. I tried a Roku and it irritated the piss out of me. I ended up returning it and getting a Western Digital TV Live because it supported way more codecs and was much more responsive. In my case the Roku needed a PC with transcoding software set up to handle a good deal of my library. The WD hasn’t run into a file it doesn’t like yet.

      1. No-Library: that’s a great term to differentiate the “Zero TV” households, which I think come in three flavors: 

        No Library: Folks who just want to watch a show, and have little or no interest in creating or managing a video media library. Concerned with ease of use and depth of catalogs. Comprises most people who opt for a Zero TV lifestyle. 

        Archivists: Folks who build massive media libraries of their own because they can build massive media libraries of their own. Concerned with technical quality of the media files they collect and count of titles in their personal collection. Is that person in the office who seems to always have the largest capacity keychain drive available. 

        Dr Moreau: Folks who spend hours combining various complex systems in an attempt to create a video consumption experience that does everything that Archivists do, plus what Cable TV and a DVR does, without having cable. Concerned with getting all of the devices and software working, and maybe watching a show if it does. Is that guy who rooted his Android phone so he can install software that lets hm control his XBMC in a way that no other device can.

        1. Amazingly I fit into none of those. I suppose Archivist is closest but I have a library because I don’t have live TV and I also have a child. Plus my wife and I like to be able to just pick a movie or show and get it going rather than hunting for the disc. I’m not overly concerned with the quality of the image (though I do rip my BluRays in 1080p) I just need something that will play what I’ve got without going MacGyver on my setup.

          1. I was – for a while – a Dr. Moreau – then fell back to Archivist – and I suspect I’m like you, somewhere between No-Library and Archivist.

            CanIStreamIt.com coupled with Amazon Prime, Netflix, Vudu and iTunes plus a Roku + Apple TV have made my video life much closer to what I want – which is no-library. The Roku, however, has made a local library of certain media files very practical for me – and the Roku 3 looks even better (I have a Roku 2)

        2. Definitely in the first camp here. In fact I see no point in owning something like this because I can just watch something on netflix on my PC or plug it into the projector. I have some DVDs because they are either of things that are near impossible or actually impossible to find streaming, or I bought them before streaming was as common, or I just want to own them for whatever reason. Other than that I just watch what I see that looks interesting on netflix etc. (is it juts me or does Prime have a totally crap selection?).

          Anyway, occasionally I see a show or something when I’m at some one’s house and TBH it hasn’t made me miss TV much. At the time I gave it up, actually, I couldn’t afford internet either (yep, I used the public library and I wonder how long that option will be there for people). Now I pay through the nose for my internet  connection. I can’t imagine paying even more to have some TV shows I don’t really care about thrown my way.

        3. I’m a library guy with a Roku.   I run Plex Media Server on my laptop and access it from the Roku box.

          I probably prefer XMBC to Plex, but Plex works well with Roku and has apps for my smartTV and BR player (as well as my iPad, phone, etc.)  I can even access my server via the web.  That’s pretty cool.  I can take my iPad on a trip, and as long as I have decent WiFi access, I can stream anything from my personal library from the computer sitting on my desk on the other side of the country.  Of course, that aspect doesn’t involve Roku.  Roku is just how I access it on one of my TV’s.
          It’s essentially like having your own private Netflix.If XMBC could do all that, I’d consider it.  Point being, you can most definitely be a “library” type and use Roku.  It’s actually pretty good for that via Plex.

        4. Guess
          I’d be an archivist, however, I’d suggest there might be something in between
          archivist and a non-librarian, as I rarely save what I’ve already watch.

          For me my long ago abandonment of cable was
          that it simply had little to offer me so I had to roll my own. While I admit I’m
          an old media junkie/pack rat (Blu-rays, DVDs, VHS, Laser discs, 16mm, Super 8mm
          all get a rotation of some kind in my house)  I’ve been a long time convert to media players
          and I can’t imagine ever going back.  For
          me it is all about playing that library – streaming services have underwhelmed
          me (well maybe NFB, Youtube and/or Vimeo in there would be good if the interfaces
          on the various boxes were decent).  Most
          of the services are fine for new stuff and some mainstream old stuff but that
          barely covers everything that I am interested in.

          I was a sports nut, I can’t imagine ever going back to cable. I would only go
          back if they offered a completely a la carte system for choosing channels,
          which at least in my area they can’t or won’t do. 

      2.  i use roku for both. i have playon for streaming from my library on my pc (included with the free option) as well as the additional content that playon provides for paid members. plus of course netflix, hulu, amazon, crackle, etc

          1.  thanks. and thanks for pointing me to their facebook page. always looking to network about roku

    1.  Oh, that’s interesting. I don’t use a Roku, but I do use a Sony Blu-Ray player to play video files. The only downside is that it won’t register seperate .srt files so you end up having to embed them in files. Meh.

    2. I had the complete opposite experience than you. I tried the WD Live (because of the codecs it supported it seemed like a good choice) but I never could get it to see the media on my network consistently. Plus it never would finish cataloging my media when it was directly attached via usb, and the UI would lock up requiring a hard reboot. The final nail was their customer service, which basically was non existent. 

      I switched to Roku 2 XS and never had a problem. I use Plex to stream my media on my network. The Plex media server does a great job of managing my media and the Plex channel works great. The only complaint I have is the “film strip” UI that it uses to select a channel. I hear the Roku 3 has an updated UI so maybe that’s gotten better.

    3. It doesn’t do Amazon streaming which is a requirement for me and lots of other people.  The Roku plays enough file types for me from the box but I mostly use Plex streaming from my Mac which is easy and fast.

  3. I’m seriously considering doing the same thing with our Apple TV.
    We’ll be behind on some stuff we watch religiously on HBO and the like, but it all  shows up for streaming eventually..
    We already use the Apple TV like crazy for streaming music and other content every day (but mostly music) and I like that you can control it and send content to it from any ipad/iphone in the house.  Pretty sweet.
    I’m hoping soon enough there will be no more cable/internet/satellite/dvr and we’ll all just be able to pull up the old or current content we want on demand without having to deal with multiple vendors to access said media via one “box” plugged into the stereo and TV.

    1. I cut the cord last month with my Apple TV.  Don’t forget PBS, A&E, History Channel and a few others allow you to Airplay their content from your iPhone/iPad to your AppleTV.

      Also, I figure with saving at least $70 a month from ditching cable, I can occasionally buy the current season of a show on iTunes for $40.  Say the show lasts for 4 months, that’s $10 a month.

    2. I would use Apple TV instead of Roku if Apple TV supported Amazon streaming and Plex but it doesn’t.  Also no way to play video files from the Apple TV via USB flash or SD.

  4. I made the switch almost 4 years ago now.
    I started with a boxee box, which was great, but the lack of ongoing support killed the product. Particularly a problem where netflix volume would randomly change. They had that bug open for over a year.

    I now have a roku 2, which is OK, but streaming video files from my server is possible only with plugins. I’ve tried the plex plugin, which doesn’t work well on the roku. The user interface in netflix and hulu is also slow. 

    I’d give a roku 3 a try, but if the user interface is slow, its going right back in the box.

    To be honest, I don’t even care about my video collection anymore. Before I was paying 72$ a month for cable TV. Now, I pay about 27$ a month, and then only because I have Netflix, Amazon prime and Hulu. Since i don’t care about sports, that works just fine. 

    I also have a antenna to pick up the major broadcast stations (ABC, NBC, etc.) which works great.

    1. My WD TV Live has been a pure treat. The interface is fairly quick and so far it’s handled every codec I’ve thrown at it. Netflix was pretty responsive on it, too.

    2. Did you try the USB connection for local media files? That’s what I did with my Roku 2 for the kid’s titles – I found that every possible arrangement of in-home streaming server resulted in phone calls to me from my wife while I was at work asking how to get the F#&+@ TV to play the show that the kids wanted. Using a simple external USB drive, the movies the kids watch (and watch…and watch…and watch) are local to the Roku and play just fine. No tech support phone calls to Dad needed. 

    3. Plex works really well for me on my Roku 2.  I run the Plex Media Server on my laptop and it works as well, if not better, than Netflix on a number of devices (Roku, BR Player, iPad, etc.)  I think it’s great.

    4.  try playon? if you get the free trial and decide not to pay for it, playon still works to transcode files stored on the pc/server running it to the roku

      1. Actually I have playon from when I bought it a couple years ago. I updated it to the current release but then got distracted and never actually tried it. Thanks for the reminder.

        1. i use hulu almost exclusively on playon due to the roku hulu plus interface being absolute crap.

      2. i tried the cracked version of playon before moving to plex- hated it, the UI was fugly, it doesn’t autopopulate show information and in general looked and worked a lot worse than the freeware.

  5. I’ve had a Roku from each generation, and just picked up a Roku 3.  Mainly, I was interested in the audio mode (small house with wooden floors means it’s alway too loud for sleeping roommates), but have found the picture quality and responsiveness much improved over the 2nd generation.  I’ve never used any of the game features, so I can’t comment constructively on that.  

  6. We cut cable over two years ago and haven’t looked back since. We already game so our connection of choice is our Xbox 360. Even with the Xbox Gold Membership subscription, it’s still so much cheaper. We did add a subscription to Hulu Plus. It’s not perfect and it’s the lazy way to access Hulu but it’s only $8 a month so…eh. 

    Overall, it works out to about $25 per month versus almost $80. I would never go back to shelling out money for cable TV. One of these days, we might add antenna but we’re not in any rush.

  7. Been there for 3 years, welcome!  I use a homebuilt very low power fanless PC (with a DVD drive), running a now somewhat unsupported program called Snapstream to record OTA TV like Nova & Glee for the kids. Plus you can pause, and got to a browser to check the IMDB page of that actor you’re watching!

    Now if only the broadband prices would come down, $60/mo is stupid.

  8. I have a Roku and a Logitech Revue.  The Revue would be the be-all and end-all of Google TVs except for Logitech’s descent into consumer-contempt corporate insanity which resulted in the utter lockdown of the device (they are also ruining the best-of-breed squeezebox system as we speak).  The Revue is dead because Logitech refused to make money on it; it was more important to them to disrespect their customer base than it was to generate profits.

    The Roku is very much like the DirectTV system in that it has channels the provider grants access to, and you watch them passively from the couch.  You pay subscription fees for popular channels like netflix, hulu, etc.

    We find that a Windows7 or Ubuntu system (we have both) with HDMI out gives a wider variety of content at lower cost.  The upfront investment for the PC is worth the content improvement and allows richer interactivity.  A wireless keyboard with integrated touchpad and rechargeable niMH batteries, a laCrosse charger, you’re good to go for the next decade.

    Angry Birds on the Roku with a 57″ screen is pretty great, though.

  9. 1 month ago we made the exact same switch.  Hello Roku3 goodbye $100/month DirectTV bill.  We watch local news on the iPad and all the shows we want on the Roku3.  The only problem we have now is we have a gaping hole where our entertainment center had the DirectTV box.

  10. Biggest downside to “cutting the cable” that I’ve found is you lose out on pretty much all sports. Most leagues have a streaming option these days, but they tend to nail you with blackout restrictions for local teams.

    And sports just so happens to be the one thing I really want. 

    1. I got rid of Comcast after installing a slingbox on a little-used cable box at my mom’s house back in NY. Works great and I can watch all the Yankee/Knicks/Jets games I want out here in PDX along with any other channels. I get slingbox on my living-room TV via an app on a Sony Google TV unit. If my mom’s house wan’t an option I would consider paying someone $20 a month to install an additional box just so I could slingbox it.

    2. Have you tried an antenna for sports? I don’t watch sports, but maybe your favorite shows are broadcast? Over the air signals are both free and very, very nice to look at. 

      1. Unfortunately, unless it’s a marquee/nationwide game it’s not going to be on OTA broadcast. For instance, all the Baltimore Orioles games are on their own cable channel, MASN. Very very rarely will they be on ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX

        1. Oh, that’s a shame. I’ve never quite understood the chain of thought that imposes blackout rules. It’s not like someone sitting home is going to decide to drive to the stadium and spend $200 on tickets because the game they want to see isn’t on local TV. Instead, they will either not watch (and thus reach a smaller TV audience) or find “alternatives” which don’t provide revenue to the content owner. Foolish either way. 

    3. ESPN3 isn’t bad for what I’m looking for.  And if it’s not there, Justin.TV or other streaming is available with ease.

      So it is possible at this point, but given the way things are going, the sports teams are going to be coming along on the bandwagon sooner or later.  There’s no way they’re going to miss out on another revenue stream.

      1.  What’s the deal with Justin.TV?  I loaded it on my Roku 3 a couple days ago, and pretty much all videos shut off after about 20 seconds.

        1.  justin.tv on roku is a channel designed by a private developer back when there was only one roku model. it’s not official, not affiliated with roku or with justin.tv (although i hear justin/tv knows about it and doesn’t mind that it exists)
          when there’s a new roku software or hardware version, it’s up to the developer to update the channel. sometimes it can take a few months.

  11. I’d be happy to cut my cable, except that it would cost me more to have just internet than it does cable+internet.

    1. You should make a phone call and talk to an actual person then, my FIOS bill is $45 for cable only.

      1. My wife and I have talked to a lot of actual people.  Without fail, an internet only package is more expensive than a cable+internet package.

        1. call to cancel the service, wait till they send you to customer retention.  they’ll make you an offer, gaurantee it.

    2. If you are referring to the Internet + Voice + Television “Triple Play” which most cable companies push and promote, yes, the cost of just Internet is about $50 per month, as compared to getting, all three for about $100 per month, but that is also a promotional price and after a year it goes up.

      1. I am not talking about promotional rates.  We are long past promotional deals with our cable company.  Every year, whenever the previous annual deal we struck with them expires, we renegotiate.  To date, the best price is always cable+internet; internet alone, for whatever reason, has been more expensive.

  12. I win! I turned off cable when my daughter was 3 (12 years ago). Haven’t watched commercial tv at home since. We did fine with a tv set in the van that picked up public television and a DVD player. Now we have a Roku, which we love. We have Amazon Prime hooked to it and Netflix and there is plenty of content.

    Not every single show is on it, but with the Amazon we can pay on a per season basis for Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc. at a reasonable rate and watch each episode one day after they air.

    Whenever I’m at a hotel or my gym watching cable, here’s what I notice now: 1) commercials are terrible and I do not miss them.  2) For someone who hasn’t had cable in 12 years, it’s amazing how many reruns of shows I have already seen I will view in my very limited time watching cable.

    1. We recently added the Disney channel per request.  Every 3-4 bits there’s a Disney commercial.

      This is our least-watched channel per request as a result.  My kid is growing up in a commercial-less world by choice because they think commercials are  dumb.

  13. I made the switch 8 years ago. I’ve been upgrading the system  as new easier to use technology has become available.

    Since this is now a special club (Welcome Jason!) of people whow are willing to look at new methods, let me throw something else at those of you who are adventuresome.

    1) Look into Playon.TV. It allows me to stream to my TV
    1) Hulu
    2) Netflix
    3) downloaded movies
    4) downloaded TV shows

    Using a combination of PlayOn plugins and a Hulu like services called http://www.tvmuse.eu/
    I’m able to watch Downton Abbey before it gets to the US
    The Sundance Channel
    SySf channel
    Comedy Central

    Pretty much anything you liked on Cable as an individual channel for free. (Cable TV now puts up shows on their website as soon as they air on TV)

    Cost is 45 dollars for the software and you need to be a bit technical savvy, but it will work with your Roku!
    It can be buggy at times, but having it and using Plugins allows me to have a $200 a month cable package for about 4 dollars a month.

      1. Yes. I’m not sure how well they work since I don’t watch them, but go to the Playon.TV page and see what they have. I know they have Major League Baseball but you have to get the package from MLB.

        As I said, one of the things about the system is that it can be customized to your needs, but it helps to be a bit tech savvy. I was an early customer and suffered through a lot of hiccups. But now it is pretty stable, however because they stream so many different types of video if one of them makes a change in the stream, it can mess up the stream to your TV. It also takes a good internet connection and a good computer to run. But I already have both of those.
        Another way of looking at this. Say you pay 100 for cable a month and you need a 800 computer to run it, With in 8 months you will have paid for the computer. Also, for a while they had a deal that if you buy a lifetime license you get a few Roku box!
        I use my BlueRay player as my connection to the TV and computer.

        Play on also allows you to watch your media on your TV, so photos, videos, music all can be played on the TV via PlayOn.

        1. if you like playon, you should seriously check out plex.  going from one to the other was a serious eye opener.

          1.  You know I just looked it up, I was going to try it but I saw so many people having problems. Maybe that is the “support forum’ effect. People don’t write in and say, ‘Everything is working great!”
            I’ll try it out. Thanks!

          2. it does require at least a minimum of technical sense, and a willingness to play with it a bit as you figure out it’s little quirks, but any “tvlike” device support forum tends to bring out the worst of the helpless.   any boing boing reader should have no problem at all. basically you end up creating three new folders, “tv shows” “movies” and optionally “music”  then point plex media server at them.  if plex and the media live on the same hard drive it should update automatically.  mine stays on a networked NAS, and sometimes i have to tell plex to scan manually to find media, or occasionally if a download is buried in a couple layers of files it won’t see it and i’ll have to seperate things out to the top level “tv show” folder,  but really those are minor and take a click or two.  the only real bug complaint i’ve got is that it just fails with any daily news program style format, and i’m forced to put the daily show and colbert report into the movies folder to get it to see them. i can live with that.

  14. Did roughly the same thing last month – we ditched TimeWarner and hooked up a Roku2 we had received as a Xmas present over a year ago. A month later and I’m wondering what took us so long?!

    Let’s be honest – there are like two shows on cable that are worth watching at any given time. I discovered that for most of these, I can buy a season’s pass or watch an episode for a couple of bucks. Because we’re paying for it, there are no commercials. I am currently enjoying “Defiance”, which will end up being about $40 for 20 episodes. Also, I’m loving the reruns of stuff I never watched as a kid on my antenna-based broadcast channel. Bionic Woman? Magnum PI? Charlie’s Angels? She-Ra? (that’s a terrible cartoon, but excellent when drunk). Who wouldn’t want to watch the Six-Million Dollar Man rather than Let’s Laugh at Rednecks and Bitches Be Crazy reality shows? I’m also getting into Korean historical soap operas and racing/action movies from Roku’s Asian Crush channel.

    The only problem I have is that despite living in a pretty nice neighborhood in the middle of the damn entertainment industry, I have very little choice when it comes to internet providers. Either I could pay out the ass for Time Warner (which, no. I mean, they couldn’t do a decent job providing me with cable; why on earth would I trust them with internet?) or I get my pick of shitty DSL speeds from AT&T. Right now I’m on the second slowest DSL speed, and still doing OK. I may need to bump it up to stream Netflix, but I’ll check that out next month.

    1.  “Because we’re paying for it, there are no commercials.”  Just wait.  That’s the way cable was back in the ancient times, too. 

      1. I remember. And when that happens, I’ll stop paying for it. Even a season’s pass is only charged one episode at a time, with an option to cancel. Should that change, locking me into watching commercials, they can kiss my subscription money good-bye.
        Other forms of visual media will pop up to fill the void, or I’ll start getting through my ever-growing TBR pile faster.

    2.  I’m going to recommend a combo of  Playon and http://www.tvmuse.eu/ which is like Hulu based in the EU.
      I can watch Defiance the same day that it is broadcast via a stream on TV-links.eu (the name of the Plug-in that you need to install with Playon.tv)

      You can also get plugins for Nickat Night, the Cartoon Channel and Adult Swim cartoons. (I watch Robot Chicken)

      Finally, I dont’ know where you live, but consider Sonic.net’s FUSION service. It is a combo Telephone and Internet. It’s not VOIP, here in SF they are a bonafided phone company with the kind of quality that you want from a phone company. I got rid of AT*T all together. I get about 17 Megs down and 1 meg up with the service. And I get free US long distance. All for under 50 bucks a month. Plus they are just an excellent company with good polices toward privacy. Excellent service and support. I can’t recommend them highly enough.

    1. Good point about the XBOX, which really is a powerful all-in-one media and entertainment box. It’s also got a very large range of content source options, from Aamzon to Vudu, and I don’t think that there’s a box out on the market that has native support for more streaming services. 

      At work, we have developed some media apps for it, and it’s got a great combination of media features that are unmatched by any streaming box out there. Not enough companies are making good use of their SmartGlass interface, though, and it’s a shame, really, that they didn’t include a Blu-Ray disc player with it, because then it would really be the “one-box” solution for a home entertainment system for people who like gaming.  Maybe the 720? Who knows? Not me. 

      1. I agree, I think the Smartglass screwup was not making it backward compatible to earlier versions of Android. You have to have 4+, and people just don’t switch over their phones or tablets that fast. Now the Durango/720 launches in May and that will likely be another set of issues/hardware breakdowns/lack of titles. Right now, the off-the shelf Walmart 360 4g is a hell of a toy. Thousands of cheap games. It runs IE flawlessly. With a keyboard you can work on it as long as you use Google’s cloud. It’s damn near a PC, sort of. Ok, that’s a stretch.

    2. Except for the XBox Live subscription, which runs about $45/year.  When mine came up for renewal this year, I calculated I could get a Roku 3 or Apple TV for two years worth of XBox Live.  Since I don’t really game that much anymore, no brainer.  Adios MS, and your stupid XBox points, and noisy fans, and making me pay to access the internet that I already pay for.

      1. Yeah, if you don’t game, I get it. I’d pay the 45 for XBL no matter what — online multiplayer and co-opping campaigns with my family/friends across the country is priceless. Everything else the XBOX gives me feels like free frosting on the cake.

  15. Oh, and for apartment dwellers – do not be put off by the advice you will get that you MUST have an outdoor antenna or you won’t get broadcast; we bought a $25 indoor one and it works great. Full disclosure: 3 story apartment building, too many trees for satellite, but no other taller buildings on the block.

  16. Been using Roku HD for 7 months now and don’t miss cutting the cable at all.  One nice addition would be a YouTube app.  You can get YT by streaming from your PC through PlayOn but I have avoided a lot of add-on services.  Netflix alone has done the job for me.  I would also suggest you avoid “cheaper” alternatives.  Before the Roku, I got a Netgear NeoTV and it’s only a fair device at best.  It does have a full querty keyboard on the back of the remote and a YouTube app, but the system is horrifically slow to respond and would often just freeze up.

  17. Until I can find a way to get Golden Gopher hockey, football and basketball via a streaming device, I”m stuck with cabe and FSN North. Sure, i can get pro sports packages for Twins, Vikings and Wild, but when you add up all of those, you get a pretty hefty bill.

    For sports fan, streaming just doesn’t make sense. 

  18. Approximately 4 years for me.

    I wish roku had you tube and an internet browser.

    The roku android app has made the roku interface easier to manage with a keyboard for text input.

  19. Wish I could do this, because the $100+/month we spend on DirecTV every month is ridiculous. But I watch a ton of live news and there’s just no good replacement for that with a streaming box. 

    1.  Hook your laptop to your tv with an HDMI cable and watch live news, etc. I watched all the presidential debates that way. Got rid of cable years ago. I might have stayed with them IF they would let you subscribe to certain networks but they force you to pay for hundreds of channels you’ll never watch.

      1. RT does as well, plus theres a bunch buried in other channels.  nowhere.tv, and several other dedicated news channels that have popped up the last few months. 

  20. If my wife wasn’t a diehard college football, basketball and professional baseball fan, this would be the way to go. Alas, we’re perma-cursed with cable.

  21. Not a sports fan, huh?

    I’ve been waiting years to be able to ditch cable. It simply isn’t viable yet.

  22. I’ve been using Rokus for a couple of years now and finally cancelled DirecTV on April 1.  With a few add-ons, you can have a much richer array of content than cable/satellite offers, though, of course, there is some specific content which you will lose.  For sports, the biggest items that holds folks back, I have MLB.TV and ESPN3 (streaming through a PlayOn channel) on my Rokus and, of course, all the over the air broadcasts.  I watch the free version of Hulu on the Rokus through PlayOn and Plex, as well as a lot of other internet content not available directly on Roku.  I also use Windows Media Center to DVR live over the air TV, which I then stream to my Rokus through Plex.  I also use PlayOn and Plex to stream music and movie files stored on my computer.  With Plex, you can download metadata on movies and TV shows on your hard drive to give a very similar experience to Netflix and Amazon.  And I have antennas attached directly to the TVs, giving me access to 27 TV channels and 2 radio channels.  After set up cost, my recurring cost is less than $36/month, compared to $91 for my last monthly bill from DirecTV.  I’m definitely not looking back.

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