Ditching Cable or Satellite TV with Netflix and Roku
By February 14, 2011 at 01:00 PMon
One great way for many people to trim their budget is by ditching cable or satellite television service. There are some really great products and services out there which make cutting that expensive umbilical cord as painless as possible. One alternative to cable and satellite is Netflix with Roku.
Netflix is a service which sends DVD rentals to your home through the US Postal Service as well as a streaming content through the Internet for one low monthly fee. Netflix plans start at just $7.99 per month. The DVD by mail service is priced according to the number of DVDs you want to be able to check out at a time, from 1 to 4. There is no limit to the number of DVDs which you can check out in a month, you are only limited by the time it takes to send DVDs to and from the Netflix regional processing center. There are also not late fees or due dates, you are free to keep the DVDs as long as you want. Generally DVDs only take 1 business day to be delivered from Netflix. Blue-ray access can be added to your account for an additional cost.
Each Netflix plan allows you to instantly watch unlimited TV episodes and movies over the Internet right on your TV and computer. There are a number of devices which have built in Netflix integration such as Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, some DVD players, and a number of other devices. The Roku player which I discuss later in this article also has built in Netflix streaming as well as many other features. There is a fairly large selection of movies and TV shows; you can browse the Netflix library on their website. Netflix has a free 1-month trial which you can use to try their service risk free.
The Roku device was designed with Netflix in mind, but has expanded its capabilities beyond that of a simple Netflix streaming device. The Roku player is Netflix Members' #1 Rated Streaming Device and was voted Engadget's Home Entertainment Device of the Year! I own a Roku which I use to stream videos from Netflix and have been very pleased with its performance. The Roku player is able to dynamically adjust the video quality to take advantage of varying connection speeds and avoid buffering and seems to perform better than comparable devices at handling signal degradation. Some of the Roku devices come with HDMI output and are able to stream video in HD. All of the devices accept either wired or wireless Internet connections.
In addition to Netflix streaming, the Roku is able to connect to Amazon Video On Demand where you can rent or purchase movies and TV shows. The Roku device also can also connect to a Hulu Plus account which allows access to current TV episodes. Some other popular channels available include Pandora, UFC, MLB.tv, NBA Game Time, IMAX, and nearly 100 more. Additional details can be found on the Roku website
Overall I have been extremely pleased with my experience with Netflix and Roku and I don't mind saving a whole lot of money over cable or satellite as well.
- Jordan Squire