Community Discussions

Connect with other Roku users to learn more about streaming, cord-cutting, finding your favorite content, or talk about the latest entertainment happenings. It's all on Roku!
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Iona-D
Level 14

Is Streaming Really Free? Or Am I Just Being Bamboozled?

I thought news articles like this one would have been pretty much eliminated by the “Streaming Revolution” overtaking traditional always paid for by the consumer cable especially during the past several years.  Apparently not as this article seems to argue. How I Cut My Family’s Cable and Streaming Bill by $170  https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/21/your-money/cable-streaming-bill.html

I even watched another news correspondent complaint about the “free” streaming offerings on GMA just this morning as I got out of bed getting serious bills at the end of the month.   

So here I am yet again repeating the same old ideas such as Streaming is NOT free-perhaps cheaper if one carefully selects the content offered out there beforehand.  Plus out there in Televisionland is now a truly a Wild West show.  You the consumer is strictly on your own. The day of just plopping down in front of the family television and veg out with content just being thrown at you all the while mindlessly taking it all in is simply over for the most part. 

Why you might ask?  Well, most of you simply hand over your credit card way too easy.  Not questioning exactly if the content is truly free without any time limit or if you are allowing some computer to automatically deduct money without question at a given time-i.e. reading the fine print.  At least traditional  cable everyone knew they were doing business with someone or something.  Now not so much.  

To review:  Don’t mindlessly hand over your precious 16 digits to just anyone when someone asks for it online, offline or even over the phone.  Ask yourself if you really want the service or not WAY before you are contacted or even they contact you.  Yes, there are free bananas.  The free content on Streaming apps are free.  Only if you practice strict hanging on your pursestrings and dish out you money when you want to understanding  what you are actually asking for will do the job.  

And please don’t listen to the crying of pleading children and teens when it comes to “my friends are watching……(insert the program and the app here).  You cannot budget it with confidence, you simply cannot afford it.  The hardest lesson in finances the younger crowd will have to learn sooner or later is:  In the real world, we all just cannot whip out our smartphones and buy everything in existence like they show in those awful bank commercials.

Tags (1)
26 REPLIES 26\
MilesT
Level 14

Re: Is Streaming Really Free? Or Am I Just Being Bamboozled?

Well said.

Hybrid option: cable/sat plus streaming

Streaming can reduce cost of additional cable/sat boxes if you are a multi-tv household.

The cheaper delayed gratification option than cable or streaming: buy second hand boxsets (Dvd/bluray) of series on eBay, watch, then sell on again.

Not a Roku employee
0 Kudos
Boz
Level 12

Re: Is Streaming Really Free? Or Am I Just Being Bamboozled?

That's a LOT of words, lol!

But FREE is FREE of monthly real dollar cost.

If it requires a credit card, it's NOT FREE!

Simple...

0 Kudos
Iona-D
Level 14

Re: Is Streaming Really Free? Or Am I Just Being Bamboozled?

Let me put in a far more simpler way. OK there is no "free" lunch here in "Streamingland" at all.  You (Roku does not give these away, they may lower the price for "sales" but that does not make it free) buy a "one time purchased" device(s) and/or television(s) with the Roku branded OS.  Then you gravitate to all those numerous offered programming that is really not free at all.  You will pay for ALL OF IT via your "eyeballs" (viewing ads/commercials).  Then, for the more coveted selections on the selfsame popular coveted apps, you will pay OUT OF YOUR pocket for that particular privilege (i.e. with your own credit/debit cards).  Only then you will be granted access.  Nothing free here.

The trouble starts when the consumer does not understand this sort of business model.  For those who do, this is a real bargain compared to the more traditional pay television model (i.e. cable).  For the ones that do not, probable, though sadly unnecessary. trouble is brought on themselves.  As you can see all the previous negative posts about payment issues out there.

Fewer words, still the same outcome!

 

OwnerofDevices
Level 12

Re: Is Streaming Really Free? Or Am I Just Being Bamboozled?

A free lunch always refers to an opportunity cost or a potential loss of a missed opportunity not an actual lunch that is free. So, even if some pays for your lunch you lost to opportunity to do something else like take tennis lessons or go to the gym. 

Iona-D
Level 14

Re: Is Streaming Really Free? Or Am I Just Being Bamboozled?

Proper word descriptions is not what is at stake here. The real issue I see as the foundation of the potential and the actual user is lack of knowing who is actually paying for what. 

What is at stake here is when you use anything Roku (or any other streaming OS/app branded services, you are actually selling access to your viewing habits. No money needs to change hands.  Unless you go for a premium app service.  No "free" here, just typical corporate cost shifting.

It does greatly sadden me when people feel let down or neglected by the lack of customer education and support when things don't go the way the purchaser/user envisions.  

That is what I have exploring inmy recent posts here and elsewhere.

0 Kudos
TCLrepairman4
Level 8

Re: Is Streaming Really Free? Or Am I Just Being Bamboozled?

the only thing free is over the air with antenna broadcasts, anything more than that is gonna cost you

0 Kudos
Iona-D
Level 14

Re: Is Streaming Really Free? Or Am I Just Being Bamboozled?

So true.  I have a "rabbit ears" antenna hooked up to each television set.  Along with at least 1 old fashioned non streaming video player ( DVD. Blu Ray, etc.)  right next to the antenna.

danitaz
Level 9

Re: Is Streaming Really Free? Or Am I Just Being Bamboozled?


@TCLrepairman4 wrote:

the only thing free is over the air with antenna broadcasts, anything more than that is gonna cost you


And this assumes you are in the US.  Many countries do have a "TV Tax" that is required monthly/annually just for having a TV in the house, and many countries require that you inform them of the fact that you "have no TV" or it's billed automatically with an energy bill, etc. (I'm in Italy - the electric bill here does that in our area).  So, in those instances, even OTA broadcast isn't free.

Ultimately this discussion comes down to what access to entertainment, etc. is worth to an individual.  Sure, you can go to YouTube and watch a lot of content, but that isn't free either.  You need Internet Access.  

Cable-cutters are looking at flexibility.  Subscribing to cable, for example, gives you channels you might not have any interest in.  For the most part, choosing "exactly" what you wish to pay for will reduce your overall cost of viewing, but as they say YMMV (your mileage may vary).

Danita

 

Roku Express, Roki Streaming Stick, Roku TV.
I'm not a Roku employee. Just a TV streaming geek since 2008!

If this post solves your problem you can help others find the solution too! Just click "Accept as Solution."
Philip_Norris
Level 9

Re: Is Streaming Really Free? Or Am I Just Being Bamboozled?

There are MANY streaming channels that are FREE Crackle, Pluto, Tubi Plex are the biggest. I think even IMDB is free. IF you have Amazon Prime, you have their channel. RedBox has free streaming.

My cable bill was $225/month... I have Prime, Peacock, HBO/Max, Paramount, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, Disney and because of "deals" I get what I want for roughly $100 (YouTube TV is the most expensive at $65/month). 

 

Again, there are PLENTY of "free channels" some you don't need an email address for even. You can add channels like Paramount (CBS), Peacock (NBC), they will have your local network channels and those 2 combined less than $20/month. 

0 Kudos