Friday, 20 February 2015

A new TV experience: Roku

Yesterday I went to the dentist, got the second half of a deep clean and got my last crown started. This represents the last pieces of dental work that I'll have to actively save up to pay for. I have other check ups and an extraction which will put a dent in any given pay check but nothing unmanageable. 
Anyway to get to the point, my appointment yesterday cost around $400 less than I thought it would. Maybe my insurance is covering more, maybe I got some sort of loyalty discount..who knows!

I decided to reward myself for 2 hours in the dentist chair by getting something I'd been itching to buy. A Roku streaming device for watching TV. I didn't know that getting rid of a cable subscription was such a big movement here. I just thought as an outsider it was a lot to pay to watch TV littered with advertisements. We've been using a laptop hooked up to a projector to watch Netflix etc. which is great, but frustrating when you need to use the laptop for something else. 

Anyhow this little box is changing all that. To me it is basically a mini-computer with an internet connection that runs a lot of apps. Each app is TV/Music/Multimedia based e.g. Netflix, HBO Go, Pandora. There are a few free 'channels' with older TV shows and movies, a lot of subscription channels and then a few 'box office' type ones where you can make once off purchases through a credit card/paypal acc linked to your Roku account. I'm looking forward to exploring all of this to get the best from the Roku. So far I think besides Netflix my favorite has to be the Lifetime app so I can watch Dance Moms (don't judge).

I like the remote, especially since I don't have to point it at the box itself (which sits behind me). I instinctively point it at the screen making me feel much more like I'm watching an actual TV. One ingenious feature I really like is that you can plug some headphones into the remote and it kills the audio feed to the speakers...so if you want to watch TV while another person is asleep you can!

There are a bunch of these devices e.g. Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV but I went with the Roku based on on-line reviews. I got the most up to date Roku, the 3, also based on reviews as apparently its a significant improvement on older versions. In all it cost around $127; $107 for the Roku itself (in Target including tax) and another $20 for a HDMI to mini-HDMI (projector has a mini connection) cable.

I'm not sponsored for this post in any way, nor am I endorsing the Roku as I've barely used it. I'm just ridiculously excited that these things exist....yes I am a nerd!!

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