Roku question

Scott,

I see you mention your Roku box on the blog every so often. I’m thinking of finally cutting the cord (with cable), but we don’t have any gaming systems. Is the Roku worth it? How do you pull streams in for TV stations? (I ask because I notice that, with various station-specific apps for mobile, there’s a sign-in process that asks for the login information for your local provider. Well, if I’m using a web service there is no login.) Any alternate suggestions from your experience?

Any insight would be much-appreciated!

If only I knew of a website that assisted people with cord-cutting questions! Oh well.

I have several Rokus, actually: A Roku XD​ for the office TV​
, a Streaming Stick​ for the home theater room​
, and a ​new version ​
Roku 3​ on the main TV. ​I’d consider them vital because I have a 5-year old that only understands Netflix, Hulu and Plex as content-delivery methods and doesn’t even "get" why regular TV has commercials. I also have other methods, of course, given that I have PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii and Wii U all hooked up to various TVs. I actually like the picture quality on the Xbox One better than the Roku, but it’s obviously a tad less intuitive to use. Selection of stuff is great, you get Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, WWE Network, all the usual stuff. Disney has a pretty great channel with their YouTube videos and clips and stuff and I can testify that it’s very popular in this household, although I’m sick of the fucking Descendants and Dog With a Blog. And the interface on the newest Roku 3 is lightning fast and very simple to navigate, plus I love the wifi remote and headphone jack right on the remote. Roku 4 is coming right away with 4K support as well.

Now, as far as regular TV goes, I was able to watch pretty much everyone I wanted on Hulu up to a point, but since we’re giant Big Brother fanatics we finally sprung for the basic TV package again a few months ago. Here in Canada, cord-cutting choices are a lot more limited and in fact in Saskatoon you can only get two channels with an antenna. For those in MURICA, I’d recommend Sling TV, which is reasonably priced at $20 a month and gives you the major networks plus Food TV and HGTV and a few other specialty channels. It’s offered as a terrestrial version of DirecTV if I’m not mistaken, but I was only able to gain access for a couple of days before their extraordinarily picky customer service robots shut me down. It’s incredibly difficult to get around geoblocking restrictions on it, but it was a pretty good selection of stuff from what I saw, and gives you the live sportsball stuff that people seem to enjoy. Apps are available for it on Roku or Xbox, so it’s easy to access.

Hope that helps.