What’s a Roku?
It’s a small, stand-alone box that lets you watch television/movies from the internet on your television without the need (see additional information later) for a dedicated computer. This makes it simple, easy to use and reliable.Now you do need a reliable, high-speed internet connection to use this device.
We bought and installed a Roku 2 and got rid of our Comcast Cable TV service. The monthly difference in the cost of the Comcast service (telephone, TV and internet) vs. a high-speed internet connection and the use a Verizon Home Connect box we are saving upwards of $70/month!
BTW, this includes the cost of our business class (22 down/5 up) which was more than the old residential service that we had…the reason for this change was that the residential service had a monthly cap of 250 Gb/month whereas the business class service has no cap.But is that all there is to it? Well, no. You still need to decide what programming you will be watching.In our case we already had Netflix and now have it playing via the Roku. We also have a few shows that are available on either Hulu Plus or Amazon Instant Video.
Hulu Plus wasn’t an option for us and so we went with Amazon Instant Videos to a couple of shows that we like enough to pay for on a per season (or episode) basis.Now, rather than also paying for and using Hulu Plus we decided that Hulu (free) was a better option as we could get most of our other shows using Hulu.
This is where the computer comes into play as Hulu isn’t available directly on the Roku.We took one of our computers and purchases and installed a product called PlayOn which allows us to access most network programming as well as Hulu.This is then accessed directly from the Roku.
Obviously there is a lot more than can be written about this product but if you’re looking for an internet based alternative to cable (or satellite) television, this is a great option.