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ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please :D

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  • ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please :D

    mookie wants to get tech savvy and lower what he pays mainstream providers. so how does something like this work? i'm looking around as see i can 'watch espn', but only with my subscription to cable. (really?)

    so what are we looking at? costs?

    i'm assuming that espn and hbo are only viewable with a current cable or satellite package, then i can watch here as well. which is dumb.

    if i pay hulu $8/mo and netflix $8/month will that entertain me for the sum?

    then pick and pay (if available) other sports? (center ice & extra innings).

    HELP MOOKIE!!

    -thanks
    a legend and an out of work bum look a lot alike, daddy.

  • #2
    Re: ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please

    A roku is simply the device to stream things over the internet through your TV. It's about 3 inches by 3 inches, and maybe an inch thick. You don't pay a monthly fee or anything for it, nor is it a cable provider or an internet service provider. To use it you need an internet connection. If you already have something else like a Blu-ray player or gaming console to stream those things, you don't necessarily need a roku. It's pretty cheap and convenient to use, however.

    It has "channels" - some of which require their own fees or their own restrictions. Netflix, hulu plus, etc. You can get HBO Go, but you have to have a cable subscription to use it (or have a relative/friend's username/password to do so, not that I am advising that). Some channels are free and aren't too bad. I don't think ESPN allows streaming through the ROKU yet, but even if it does, it too would require a login to a current cable subscription.

    NHL GameCenter/Extra Innings/etc. all carry the usual blackout restrictions.

    My wife and I use it to stream Netflix, huluplus, the occasional amazon/redbox instant movie rental, and I get the NHL Gamecenter package. We also have a $5 rabbit ears antenna to get all the local OTA channels, about 20 in all counting secondary and tertiary stations. I would get Extra Innings as well but since MLB allows 6 teams to claim Iowa as their home markets, it ain't worth it. On any given night, the entire AL and NL centrals could be blacked out.

    We pay $60/mo for internet, ~$20 month for Netflix+hulu+movie rental, and then whatever Gamecenter costs (I think it's $120/yr, so roughly $10/month)
    Last edited by unofan; 12-01-2013, 06:20 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please

      Another thing to consider in addition to the Roku: an HD antenna. A cheapo is $30 at Worst Buy. Looks like a big square plastic pad that hangs on your wall and hooks into your TV cable outlet. Now you can get local channels over the air in HD for free, so that covers the big networks and local news. They make indoor and outdoor versions, so make sure you get the right one.
      Michigan Tech Huskies Pep Band: There's No Use Trying To Talk. No Human Sound Can Stand Up To This. Loud Enough To Knock You Down.

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      • #4
        Re: ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please

        I have a buddy that picked up a ROKU when lightning fried all of his electronics. He had a spare TV in a closet and if worked well for the couple of weeks it took to get everything replaced. Only used it to stream Netflix.
        the state of hockey is good

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Twitch Boy View Post
          Another thing to consider in addition to the Roku: an HD antenna. A cheapo is $30 at Worst Buy. Looks like a big square plastic pad that hangs on your wall and hooks into your TV cable outlet. Now you can get local channels over the air in HD for free, so that covers the big networks and local news. They make indoor and outdoor versions, so make sure you get the right one.
          You only need an hd antenna if your distance from the signal requires it. My $5 set of rabbit ears picks up the hd signals just fine.

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          • #6
            Re: ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please

            Originally posted by unofan View Post
            You only need an hd antenna if your distance from the signal requires it. My $5 set of rabbit ears picks up the hd signals just fine.
            Yeah, was just going to post that spending money for an "HD" antenna is a joke. Rabbit ears work just fine, as long as the TV (or converter box) can decode the digital signal. The same large house antenna that my grandmother has used for years worked just fine on her brand new fancy flat screen digital TV.

            An "HDTV" antenna is just crafty marketing to part you from more money, kinda like Monster branded cables.



            I think UNOFAN answered it pretty well. It's a way to watch Netflix, Amazon Streaming, Hulu Plus, and some live sports without needing the "super humongous big" cable plan. I pay for Netflix, Hulu Plus, NHL Game Center, and MLB.tv, and I really don't watch Comcast unless what I want is live (or I'm blacked out on MLB/NHL because it's a local game or only on the national TV broadcast).

            Since moving to the new apartment two months ago, I haven't touched the OnDemand button on my remote ever. What I want is available through Hulu Plus and Netflix.
            “Demolish the bridges behind you… then there is no choice but to build again.”

            Live Radio from 100.3

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            • #7
              Re: ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please

              Originally posted by aparch View Post
              Yeah, was just going to post that spending money for an "HD" antenna is a joke. Rabbit ears work just fine, as long as the TV (or converter box) can decode the digital signal. The same large house antenna that my grandmother has used for years worked just fine on her brand new fancy flat screen digital TV.

              An "HDTV" antenna is just crafty marketing to part you from more money, kinda like Monster branded cables.
              Well, being a quasi-Millennial and starting from zero antennae of any kind...

              Lesson learned. Good thing I went cheap then. Some of them went for $80 or more.
              Michigan Tech Huskies Pep Band: There's No Use Trying To Talk. No Human Sound Can Stand Up To This. Loud Enough To Knock You Down.

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              • #8
                Re: ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please

                you can't get around ESPN, sadly. It is, however, very helpful for other streaming content.
                BS UML '04, PhD UConn '09

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                • #9
                  Re: ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please

                  Thanks

                  So aparch. You HAVE this AND comcast? You pay comcast as well as subscriptions to netflix & Hulu?
                  a legend and an out of work bum look a lot alike, daddy.

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                  • #10
                    Re: ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please

                    I am interested in all this. I don't watch that many tv shows, and am on a constant price-comparison for watching shows as they come out (via Amazon/etc paying per ep) and sports. The live sports are really keeping me attached to cable right now.
                    Never really developed a taste for tequila. Kind of hard to understand how you make a drink out of something that sharp, inhospitable. Now, bourbon is easy to understand.
                    Tastes like a warm summer day. -Raylan Givens

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                    • #11
                      Re: ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please

                      Originally posted by Brenthoven View Post
                      I am interested in all this. I don't watch that many tv shows, and am on a constant price-comparison for watching shows as they come out (via Amazon/etc paying per ep) and sports. The live sports are really keeping me attached to cable right now.
                      yes, this is the downside.
                      BS UML '04, PhD UConn '09

                      Jerseys I would like to have:
                      Skating Friar Jersey
                      AIC Yellowjacket Jersey w/ Yellowjacket logo on front
                      UAF Jersey w/ Polar Bear on Front
                      Army Black Knight logo jersey


                      NCAA Men's Division 1 Simulation Primer

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mookie1995 View Post
                        Thanks

                        So aparch. You HAVE this AND comcast? You pay comcast as well as subscriptions to netflix & Hulu?
                        Yes. I pay for the Digital Starter package from Comcast. It gets me expanded basic cable service and a pretty fast internet connection. Comcast also threw in HBO for free when I signed up (doesn't expire). Doing their Double Play is (in most cases) cheaper than internet only and it allows me access to these apps.

                        With my Comcast account, I was able to activate the Watch ESPN app, HBO Go, and Watch Disney on the AppleTV.

                        The ESPN app lets me watch any ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 (the streaming only) channels, but blocks me from streaming ESPNNews and ESPNU on the AppleTV (because they're not part of my Comcast subscription).

                        With MLB and NHL, you are blacked out from the home games wherever you log in at. Since I'm in Chicagoland, that means I can't watch any streaming game involving the Cubs, White Sox or Blackhawks. As I'm not a fan of those teams, the only time I need to watch those sports on Comcast is if my team is playing against them. Or if the game is being broadcast on ESPN/Fox/NBC/NBCsn/NHLnet.


                        My wife and I don't watch too many shows on TV, but what we have watched, we enjoy being able to binge watch episodes at our leasure through Netflix or Hulu Plus. And the back catalog of episodes is something that Comcast can't offer OnDemand.


                        Between the Netflix (which is shared), Hulu Plus, Comcrap, and averaging the lump payments for MLB and NHL, it works out to be just over $100 a month for TV we actually watch, versus paying whatever assinine amount Comcast wants to charge for similar.
                        “Demolish the bridges behind you… then there is no choice but to build again.”

                        Live Radio from 100.3

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                        • #13
                          Re: ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please

                          Originally posted by aparch View Post
                          Yeah, was just going to post that spending money for an "HD" antenna is a joke. Rabbit ears work just fine, as long as the TV (or converter box) can decode the digital signal. The same large house antenna that my grandmother has used for years worked just fine on her brand new fancy flat screen digital TV.
                          Note that using an indoor antenna for "free" TV over the air waves also depends upon where the broadcast signal originates. We found that we could only get one local station given the geography of our area; the broadcast stations for the other "free" stations were too far away for an indoor antenna to receive them.

                          A very helpful person at Radio Shack explained to us why we would need a roof antenna in our area; and why we would need a rotor attached to said roof antenna to pick up broadcasts from different stations, depending upon where they originated.

                          In other words, if you are within signal distance of a "major" city that hosts multiple broadcast stations, you can use the indoor antenna. However, if you live in an area like ours, in which the broadcast stations are geographically distant (and scattered in different directions), it might not work for you as well as it works for others.



                          We went without cable for about a year and found that, between Netflix and TV station websites, we could watch most of what we wanted to see. But then they kept jacking up the internet connection fee until we reached the point that it actually cost less to have internet plus phone plus basic cable as it did to have internet only and a landline phone.


                          I really hated to cut the landline phone, as it was the only electronic device that kept working throughout the 13-day power blackout we had in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. It took even longer to get internet service restored as falling trees had taken down the access lines.
                          Last edited by FreshFish; 12-02-2013, 01:34 PM.
                          "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

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                          • #14
                            Re: ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please

                            i really want to lose the landline too. friggin' waste of money that is. unfortunately i get my wifi off them, so that needs to be thought over.

                            i thought about going tv through them, but the add on for boxes and crap adds up.
                            a legend and an out of work bum look a lot alike, daddy.

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                            • #15
                              Re: ROKU??? - what is this? help mookie out, please

                              Originally posted by mookie1995 View Post
                              i really want to lose the landline too. friggin' waste of money that is. unfortunately i get my wifi off them, so that needs to be thought over.

                              i thought about going tv through them, but the add on for boxes and crap adds up.
                              Mook, you sound like me: cheap old baster who understands some of this new technology, but not all of it. I'm gonna keep tuned to see what I can learn.
                              bigmrg74: "You can't drink the day away if you don't start early!"
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                              All great men are dead and I'm not feeling well.
                              A Margarita! in every hand and another Margarita! in the other hand!

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