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We will, we will ROKU

COW Blogs : Ron Lindeboom's Blog : We will, we will ROKU
I don't know if this latest gadget we bought to bring Netflix streaming to our home is pronounced Roe-Koo or Rock-You but I will tell you this, we have been quite impressed by it and it does rock. ;o)

In fact, we have been talking about dropping our cable television altogether and just using the ROKU. Why? For $99 we bought a device that allows us to use our $14.99 a month Netflix account to watch what we want, when we want. Is everything available? Not by a long shot. But there's more than I have time to watch.

Cable here in Paso Robles, California means just one company to choose from and at about $84 a month for the account, that works out to $1,008 a year for 100 Channels of Nothing's-On-When-You-Really-Want-It.

Sure, they have On Demand and some of it's free but we have had it lock up so many times and have had to reset our converter so many times and walk through the process after the picture freezes -- that we have grown so sick of it and no way I'd trust it for Pay-Per-View.

But with our $99 ROKU hooked up to our wireless modem, we log into Netflix and download many TV series and thousands of movies. Concerts and documentaries are there, too.

We still get our DVDs delivered from our choices and watch them, but it really is a great thing to be able to log into your $14.99 Netflix account and grab things on the fly that the cable company is charging a lot more for.

We will ROKU, indeed.


Re: We will, we will ROKU
by Mike Cohen
...time passes...

Bought the newest version of Roku this week, added $7/month HuluPlus and we now have pretty stunning on-demand HD video over wifi into our LCD 120hz Samsung. And it's 1080p, which you can't get from live tv yet. I'm impressed.

Mike Cohen
Samsung BlueRay with Netflix
by Steve Kownacki
We bought the Samsung BD-P2550 about 6 months ago ($250 at Best Buy) and not only does it do about every disc format under the sun, but Netflix and also Pandora music. So I have the outputs go to the music system in the house for 24/7 uninterupted music. It's hardwired ethernet not wireless.

Plus I can carry around the PC laptop and watch movies anywhere the WiFi reaches. You can only use the PC or the BD player one at time or you need to get a 2nd account. When you pause a Netflix movie, you can resume where you left off - plus rate them right on the TV. The only thing you can't do on the Samsung is seach the Netflix library. You have login to your account online, add to your instant que and they immediately show up in the que on your TV. Spiffy.

And Netflix customer service is top notch. They routinely inquire about quality issues and the mailing dates of the sruface mail. Quickly responding to feedback and sending replacement discs for any issue.

Most of the streaming stuff looks pretty good, some is crap, some is fantastic. Even if the flick is in HD, your connection at the time may not connect at a high enough speed; so you stop it and try again - sometimes 3-4 times till it gets HD. Sound is very good too. We've got Verizon 15/2 line at home and it doesn't take anywhere near that to work, but it helps with 2-3 computers usually online at the same time.

Samsung regularly has downloadable updates for the player- we've had 4 since owning it. VERY SLOW. NOTE: Do not start an update when you invite your wife to watch a movie at a given time. :o) Plan to do this at least 2 hours in advance.

It does have HDMI, Mike
by Ron Lindeboom
That is how we have it hooked up to our flat-screen HD TV. In fact, our ROKU came with its own HDMI cable in the box. Is it a Monster Gold HDMI cable? No, but when you deal with 480p and 720p as the ceiling -- there is no 1080 as the bandwidth would be prohibitive, I guess -- while not perfect, the picture is still very good on the HD stuff.
good to know it works
by Mike Cohen
I have considered getting this, as I watch a lot of online movies on Netflix. Good to know it works as advertised. Too bad it does not have HDMI or HD, but for $99 what do you want?

I wish there was a similar device for Hulu, as they have even more free videos to watch. I suppose I could run a VGA cable under the floorboards and into my living room.

I almost never watch tv on that 40" tv that I just had to have. About all I do with my large screen tv is layoff shows from my DVR to DVD-R for time shifted / room shifted viewing upstairs on our 24" Magnavox from 1990, which still has a great picture.

Actually I watch a lot of the NASA channel live, especially when there is a shuttle mission going as there is this week.


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