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Level 10

Life with Roku - observations 1 year in...

So I'm approaching a year now with Roku. I had TiVo first on cable card and then switched them over to OTA. But the Subscription fees were killing me (I had 2 TiVo Bolts and 2 minis). I have a decent antenna, but needed the DVR capabillity so... I found Tablo. Tablo + Roku stick was working out great so retired the TiVos (they're in the basement... nobody seems to want them) and bought an Ultra for the living room and have Streaming Stick+ units on the 3 other TVs. Antenna goes to Tablo. Tablo streams to any or all TVs using the Tablo Roku app.
Programming: We still wanted some of the cable channels we actually watched and since they were mostly ViaCom channels (HGTV, DIY, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel, Discovery, etc...) I found Philo. For $20 a month we get most of what we used to actually watch on cable. Not all. But most.

Recently our internet provider (Charter/Spectrum) started offering a couple of streaming package options and cloud DVR service. They have one that includes locals and a bunch of other stuff and then you get to choose 10 channels from a list of optional channels. After much research, chatting with online reps, phone calls for clarification of this or that, and because I seem to be the guy that friends and family ask about this stuff... I activated the aforementioned Spectrum TV Choice package and chose 10 channels that we were not getting from Philo, but that we would watch (CNN, CNBC, ESPN. FX, NBCSportsNetwork, National Geographic, SyFy, TNT, Weather Channel, and MSNBC) along with the cloud DVR. I have internet and phone through Spectrum already and adding this package increased my monthly bill by $28 (including all taxes and fees)

I think packages LIKE these are becoming more and more available. I could see them as a means for a lot of people to cut their cable bill by quite a bit. No truck roll. No extra equipment. No additional fees for added set top boxes or cable cards. The SpectrumTV app on Roku seems to work well. Now whether or not I KEEP this service I think depends upon how useful it is (or becomes) for $28 a month. We watch locals over the antenna through the Tablo. But.... it's still an antenna and with the towers 38 miles out and trees in the way, it sometimes ACTS like an antenna. So is having a backup plan for the locals PLUS the additional channels going to be worth it? I'm going to keep it through spring and see how the antenna fairs when the trees leaf out again. So I'll make the "Go" or "No Go" decision in early summer.

ALL of this is possible though because of the Rokus. So... almost a year in and I think I can state that we're committed. Smiley Very Happy (...although after 40 years I think my wife would say I'm the one that should be committed... but that's an entirely different story...)

 

Chief Technology Officer, Barge Captain/mechanic/deckhand/dock hand, Cook, Lawn care and vehicle maintenance.
Yep.... I'm retired. :D
10 Replies
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Level 17

Re: Life with Roku - observations 1 year in...

I'm happy with Roku.

It works for me also.

I dont have cable at all. Just Internet from a dedicated provider.

I'm beyond being used to cable.

Every time I'm at someones house with cable and have free reign

I feel like I dont miss it at all.

Roku Ultra ---Ethernet rules---

From now on if people dont upvote me and do as I say I will consider holding my breath and selling my Roku's.
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Level 7

Re: Life with Roku - observations 1 year in...

It was interesting reading your detailed observations on Roku after 1 year. My observations after having Roku for about two weeks are mostly positive. I have the simplest of the Roku packages and despite being a technologically challenged senior I got it set up and operational. Was able to add my Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts quite easily. I’m very frustrated that some shows that are supposed to have closed captioning (marked cc) on Amazon Prime don’t in fact show the captions at all. I’ve searched and read everything I can find and apparently this has been a problem for other Roku users as well. I’ve tried all the tips and fixes, but no subtitles. The show I’m specifically struggling with is Prime’s series “Six Feet Under.” Just FYI. I enjoyed your post!

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Level 9

Re: Life with Roku - observations 1 year in...

I've owned a few Roku devices now over the past 3 years or so - moved from a TiVo. I could never go back to scheduled TV any more to be honest. All the TVs in our house have a device on them now and I think we've reached a point where non of my family things of watching live TV any more.

I love the freedom my Roku gave me

* Enjoying my On-Demand Life *
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Level 11

Re: Life with Roku - observations 1 year in...

The only thing I have ever been as happy with as Roku when it comes to electronic devices was our Replay TV. Invented by the same person who invented Roku. Go figure. Smiley Happy

Roku is my favorite streamer, mkvXstream.com has my favorite Roku channels
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Re: Life with Roku - observations 1 year in...

My question about the Spectrum Choice package is this, i pick ten channels from Spectrum but several of those ten channels are available on Roku but to watch it live you must go on a computer and register the channel as it gives you a code number to activate the live service, would it be unwise then to pick one of those ( that are in the list of ten to choose from), or should you pick something else ? That’s where I get confused. 

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Level 10

Re: Life with Roku - observations 1 year in...

When choosing your 10 optional channels for Spectrum Choice, what I did when testing the service, was look for channels I DON'T have in my Philo package. If you use the TV Everywhere apps (the individual channels you can get for Roku), they are just that... individual channels. If you put them into your optional selections on TV Choice you get them all in an on-screen guide, AND.. if you get the Cloud DVR service, you can record programs from them. I don't think any of the individual channels let you record for later use, although many of them have on-demand offerings which may or may not give you access to a program you wish you'd recorded.
Philo is $20 a month, has most of the Viacom channels and has the built-in ability to "save" a show for later.
Spectrum's TV Choice with Cloud DVR lets you do basically the same thing.

So instead of having to Exit to the home screen on Roku every time you want to change channels, you can often just back out to the guide for TV Choice and go to a different channel. And your Roku Home screen isn't full of all those individual channels.

Chief Technology Officer, Barge Captain/mechanic/deckhand/dock hand, Cook, Lawn care and vehicle maintenance.
Yep.... I'm retired. :D
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Re: Life with Roku - observations 1 year in...

So I think what your saying is , yes put those channels in your Spectrum Choice ten list and then get rid of those “apps” on roku so you don’t have to exit the Spectrum if you wish to view another channel, plus if you have the cloud recording with Spectrum choice you can record , sorry still learning as I haven’t made the call to switch yet. Thanks 

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Level 10

Re: Life with Roku - observations 1 year in...

Yes, that's correct. Choose your 10 optional ones. And if you had an individual app for a channel that's now in your 10, you can delete the app. Another nice thing about TV Choice is also that you don't need (and get charged for) a cable box at every TV. Less clutter. Less expense.

Chief Technology Officer, Barge Captain/mechanic/deckhand/dock hand, Cook, Lawn care and vehicle maintenance.
Yep.... I'm retired. :D
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Re: Life with Roku - observations 1 year in...

Thanks for your input, very helpful ! !

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