Ditching Cable or Satellite TV with Netflix and Roku

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

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.


Roku

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

Comments (4)


#1
Sandy
February 14, 2011 at 02:00 PM

Jordan, Great blog and timely; I have been investigating the Roku / apple box options in lou of my crap cable company. THANKS!
#2
Jordan Squire
February 14, 2011 at 09:05 PM

Sandy, no problem. I have not had any experience with Apple TV, but some of my coworkers really enjoy theirs. Cable is just so overpriced so it is nice that there are more and more options becoming available.
#3
Steve
February 03, 2012 at 01:12 PM

People may not like cable prices, but remember you must have a broadband connection with high speeds to stream content successfully from the Internet. Cable companies have one of the best (if not the best) pipelines to the Internet. Cable companies are already monitoring data usage by customers and may/will?? start charging overage according to a customers data usage. Someday in the future, for those using only streaming services, unfortunately, the savings will disappear.
#4
Mike
August 02, 2012 at 10:56 PM

So happy to see a 2012 posting in these comments which tells me your company is still with us.
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