This is really off topic, so let me start by saying a Roku is a great way to watch Netflix, Crackle, and other streamed services. I love using this with Playon because that adds channels like Hulu, the Food Network, and the History Channel I liked when I had cable plus some awesome archives of classic shows and movies. The XS is my favorite Roku due to the fact that its usb port can stream local media.
That said, we spend less than 10% of our viewing time looking at streamed media. Most of that is Netflix and you can stream Netflix to most new devices. If you are going to cut the cable, you are going to need solid broadcast for news, sports, and live programming. That means a good antenna pointed in the right direction and a decent distribution system. You will likely miss your DVR as much as anything once you pull the plug.
Just got the ROKU XS bundle (includes HDMI cable) deal from Costco.
It is not clear at all from ROKU's own web site, but many of the "free" channels are either just clips (e.g. SyFy, WSJ) which is highly disappointing/misleading, or like Crackle, are (not surprisingly) advertising supported (60 seconds every 8 minutes) but are HIGHLY annoying as: 1) they are time based vs story based, so hit at the "wrong" times, and 2) are extremely repetitive, as they cycle through the same 4 to 8 30 second commercials.
Also note that the commercials are not at the same "rating" level as the program you are watching. Learned that the hard way when watching a program with my kid and saw a commercial with some intense themes and violence. That is aside from the fact that you may have to scroll through several movie/tv program icon images that made me kringe with my child there, on the way to the "clean" stuff.
I've dropped most of these "free" channels from my home list.
I'm looking at PlayOn and holding out hope that the free channels there are real time streams vs the disappointment mentioned above. Again, scouring the web site and one cannot tell. Hulu, Food, History, Disney, other kid channels, etc. are ones we are interested in, so would like to hear what the real experience is like.
PlayLater looks interesting too. Reasonable "Lifetime" license price too. Downside is need to have a dedicated computer "server" set up and always on.
As for OTA, my Mohu Leaf Plus arrived. Captured 15 channels from 30 miles away. However, 10 of those are Latino (they might be interesting if we knew the language, but we don't). We only get two of the major networks live. Might play around with positioning the antenna, but slightly disappointed with my first impression (considering the high ranking reviews in Amazon). Love the form factor though, as we cannot have an exterior antenna, and don't want an ugly wire tree or similar device in our media center.
Last edited by caveatemptor99; 03-26-2013 at 08:21 PM..
What I'm doing since SageTV is basically dead (yes I know I can still use it but it's unsupported and I don't want to make a new server with an unsupported produt) is I bought an HDHomerun, and I'm using Windows Media Center, WTV-Metarenamer and MC-TVConverter2 to move the recorded non-protected shows to Plex. A bit of a pain to set up but it's working acceptably with the Roku's as front ends. I really didn't want to go to WMC but it is currently the only DVR software (at least that I'm aware of) that can hook to the HDHR and record digital content. There are 3 HD protected channels, ID, History International and Military Channel. For those I'll watch them off the server in my bedroom, the rest can be watched throughout the house.
I miss the old days of plugging a coax lead into a tuner card, using BeyondTV and hooking up a MediaMVP as an extender, and the whole setup taking 1/2 a day, but alas those days are gone forever it seems.
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