Friday, July 1, 2011

Roku

I purchase two roku units in early June and cut way back on cable service. We had two DVRs and a pretty extensive lineup of channels through Comcast. Now we have one DVR and the economy plan. We subscribed to Netflix steaming service and hulu plus, for a total cost of $17 per month. After recouping the cost of the roku, which are $75 each, we’ll be saving a lot of money.

The Roku with Netflix and hulu plus has really changed the way we watch television. We only kept cable to watch particular shows that are not (yet) available through Netflix and Hulu. Other than the shows we record on the DVR, we never watch cable. It’s all on demand viewing via Netflix and Hulu. I don’t think our kids have watched any television through cable since the switch.

The savings and selection are nice, but there is a downside. First and foremost, there are almost no live sports through the Roku. You can watch live baseball for a fee, but I only watch Big 10 football. I will sorely miss that.

The biggest problem impacts some television models and Roku has been trying to resolve it for 4 years+ Sometimes when switching to the Roku you will only see a green screen. This only occurs if you are using an HDMI cable with specific television sets. I want to use the HDMI cable to get a 1080 picture when it’s available. There are a variety of ways to work around this problem. You can restart the Roku but this takes 3 minutes. You can reseat the HDMI cable but this is hard on the cable and I’ve read you can damage the cable or the HDMI port on your Roku or TV. Reseating the cable every time you want to watch TV is a real drag. I have found if I switch from a HD signal off another HDMI device to the Roku it’s fine 100% of the time. If I switch from a standard def signal or a device using component cables, it produces the green screen 100% of the time.

I’ve read you can set your Roku to 720p max or use component cables, but I really want that 1080p picture when it’s available, so I haven’t tested these methods.

Roku forums and support have been pretty good. I had trouble setting up one of the two units I purchased and their support staff did an excellent job resolving the issue. Information on the green screen issue has been inconsistent and unclear.

Now that I have a way to make my roku work 100% of the time, I’m quite happy with the purchase. It’s a nice addition and has really changed how my family watches TV.

3 comments:

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Ernie,

I hope you don't mind me contacting you this way when its not directly related to your latest post, but, as you have a link to my website, I thought you might like to know that the address is changing and you may wish to update the link.

Furthermore, I also run a blog with a different address, which would allow you to receive updated comments like other blogs.

Anyway, the new website address is
http://www.worldofalthea.talktalk.net/ and the blog website is http://worldofalthea.blogspot.com/

Keep posting ... :)

Lance.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Ernie,

This is somewhat embarrasing, but after more ISP issues, I am back with the original provider. So, the new site is now back at:

http://www.worldofalthea.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/

The blog remains unchanged at http://worldofalthea.blogspot.com/

A big sorry for messing you around. And a big thank-you for supporting my site. (If it is any help, the blog site will *not* change, as it is not linked to any provider. I provide a link to my website from there, which I will keep updated should it change again.)

All the best,

Lance.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Ernie,

You must be able to see the future ... Frustratingly, I have moved back to Talk Talk yet again due to very poor customer service from Virgin. So, basically, you have the correct link pointing to Talk Talk website and changing it again was not required.

Now, quickly write another blog so I can leave this embarrasing episode behind me. :)

Lance.