Roku Was Our Gateway To Cutting The Cable.

Story: Roku gets sucked into TVsTotal Replies: 9
Author Content

Jan 11, 2014
10:12 PM EDT

That's how much we paid Time Warner for our full home package when our annual subscription ran out. Don'cha just love the way they remind you that your contract is about to expire?

Oh, wait. They don't. They see how long you'll pay 45% more a month before you call customer service, screaming at them at the top of your lungs. And then when your voice gives out, you hand the phone to your spouse and (s)he can give them he** too.

It was the perfect storm of change. A sharp increase in our Time Warner bill, a Roku 3 box received as a gift for Christmas and the top tier of TW Internet speeds becoming available in our small town. Whereas were were getting 20 down and 1.5 up...for an additional 20.00 a month, we get 50 down and 3 up. I can live with that.

So here's our employed entertainment setup. Top Internet speed subscription, Chromecast dongle (redundant at this point), And a Roku box with built-in wireless, a decent tablet connected via HDMI to our TV and a wireless keyboard with onboard mouse to access the....uh, alternative streaming sites. Probably NSFW unless using adblock plus, and maybe even not then)

I like several television programs but I don't alwasy like the time they air. That's why the ability to connect to sites like mentioned above is cool. I missed the Friday night showing of "Grimm" last night but I caught up with it earlier today. Most of the popular shows are available on the uh...alternative streaming sites within an hour or so of original air time. Someone on the Pacific Coast records it, decodes and formats into .flv and uploads it...and on rare occasions (depending on DST) it is available almost exactly at it's air time in your time zone. Besides that...DVR boxes went up to 14.00 a month so even if I wanted to timeshift watching...I still had to endure the commercials and pay an exorbitant fee for the ability to do so.

Lessee...I have even more choices than I had with cable and I am not paying anything for it. I get all the OTA channels for local networks in HD, I can connect to my plex server as well as other medium via my Roku box...

Yep. Cutting the cable was worth it. And Diane loves the Roku games...especially Angry Birds. The Roku controller uses the same technology the Wii controller does and is able to be used for gesturing in games.

I wish we could have done this a long time ago.

Jan 11, 2014
11:54 PM EDT
I really don't understand you, Ken. You sound like you want a service that pleases you for a fair price. Sounds kinda commie to me.

Jan 12, 2014
12:58 PM EDT
The problem with my ISP,... If you cut out cable (which due to my daughter's addiction to nickelodeon, and mine to BBC America, is impractical), you get charged almost as much just to have Internet, and still have to deal with the 250GB cap, which means using Netflix and Hulu isn't practical.

The only up-side?!?! They don't require digital descramblers for basic cable, which means my 2 HDHomeruns are able to work great with MythTV to record anything I want...

If I ever move and find an ISP with decent speed and no caps, I'm cutting the cord... It's cheaper to buy seasons of Dr. Who and Spongebob than to have cable... And my HDHomeruns will work fine to record OTA digital TV...

Jan 12, 2014
5:48 PM EDT
> If you cut out cable (which due to my daughter's addiction to nickelodeon, and mine to BBC America, is impractical), you get charged almost as much just to have Internet

That's been my experience in this area too. There must be more competition in Ken's neck of the woods.

Not that cable is even available where I live...

Jan 12, 2014
5:50 PM EDT
@tc, yeah, he's one of those Free Software hippies.

Jan 12, 2014
8:17 PM EDT
> ... he's one of those Free Software hippies.

Oh, definitely. Have you checked out his taste in music?

Cue the Bellamy Brothers:

Jan 13, 2014
1:15 AM EDT
Us commies need to stick together so here is my goto streaming sites

Plus SelekTOR to give me access to the BBC, ITV, STV and Channel 4 on demand sites.

Pretty much all the media anyone could want.

Jan 13, 2014
9:58 AM EDT
Ken, as an academic question, does Time Warner have a monopoly grant in your area?

I'm paying $50 for just internet. They wanted to give me introductory phone, TV, and Internet for $49.99, at what they said was three times the internet speed.

I said, I don't want phone, or TV, can you just sell me the additional internet speed?


And Comcast is a local monopoly, so it's this or DSL.

Jan 14, 2014
8:34 AM EDT
Bob, surprisingly enough, we have several choices here. AT&T U-verse is blanketing this little town with "offers you can't refuse". There is also AT&T DSL and several wireless carriers in that area that can supply Internet service, albeit slow (relative to U-verse and TW.) As far as a monopoly grant, I don't know. What I do know is that everywhere Google goes to announce the "new standard" in connectivity, the established ISP's soil themselves in rushing out a "We Have Fiber Too" press releases.

Google has their detractors but I don't see how competition at this level can do anything but aid the consumer. All that contingent upon Google keeping their Don't Be Evil mantra.

Jan 14, 2014
9:58 AM EDT
"surprisingly enough, we have several choices here"

While most places have a "last mile monopoly" granted by the city/county to only one cable service provider, the same way that telephone POTS lines have, not all do, and those who don't have much lower prices.

One of the wonderful things about "cartels" is that the same economic incentives that make collusion attractive also make breaking the back-room agreements attractive.

Competition is a wonderful thing for consumers.

Posting in this forum is limited to members of the group: [ForumMods, SITEADMINS, MEMBERS.]

Becoming a member of LXer is easy and free. Join Us!