Saturday, April 13, 2013

Proud To Be A Streamer

I know, ay my age that could mean something completely different. About half a year ago I decided to become a "cord cutter." When I moved in my first apartment in 1974 I got cable TV. You pay monthly for that, which I did until I left their services somewhere in the year 2001. Then I joined DirecTv. They were great. Clear inexpensive and had a TIVO that allowed you to time shift. Six months ago I became what is known as a "cord cutter." My monthly bill from DirecTv was somewhere around $65 which is very inexpensive for them. I didn't have any Hi-def packages or specialty channel. I even had an antenna I installed in my attic to get local channels. My friend, Pete, who is an old radio bud had discovered a way to "cut the cord" and I started talking to him about it. I'm an equipment research kinda guy so I studied all the options and decided o get a Roku. Now my monthly bill is about $16 a month (for Netflix and Hulu Plus subscriptions) and I still get beautiful Hi-Def local channels from my attic antenna. And it doesn't stop there. There are loads of channels that cover everything. My two favorites are Nowhere TV for loads of content and Video Buzz that allows me to watch YouTube.

This month, Roku released that it has some 5 million units of their produce. It comes in many configurations but I've narrowed it to two. The LT (light purple box) is Hi Def 720p MDMI / composite out and gets and sends its info by Wi-Fi. The other is the XS or Roku 3 (different models, the three being the newest) which has Hi-Def 1080 and uses Wi-Fi or an Ethernet port. Every model has built-in wireless (Wi-Fi b/g/n compatible), new on-screen experience with one-stop search
and plays 720p HD video. The XD / XS and Roku 3 are 1080.

The down side is you're going to lose the ability to watch the newest programs on The History Channel. And, I have to buy a season pass from Amazon to watch the new Doctor Who episodes at $2 each. By my calculations, I'll save about $650 this year by not having DirecTv.

And here in my country we get digital off air channels that are free with all the networks and and side specialty channels. Amazing ease of use, quality and selection. If you're not seriously considering this, you need to be. But, you do need a decent internet connection. I have the AT&T 6MB/ps plan and everything works fine. No problem watching content while using my iPad. Just for a test I was able to stream two different programs on separate TV's...and use the iPad with no problem. 
Here are some links for more info. 
Cord Cutters Roku 3 Review:
Apple Tv / Roku Comparison:

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