Life after exiting the TV ‘bundle’ trap

Ever wondered why you are paying for some 200-plus cable channels and watching just 5?

It’s been a month since we cut the cord, and I haven’t missed anything! Now for just $55 maintaining the Internet connection and a Roku box, we get all the TV we need. That means: 3 ways to get the news channels (yes an antenna still works, and the channels are HD) and plenty of movie channels. Including a great choice of free, ad-supported movies.* And that’s not even considering the choice from Amazon Prime.

The concern I had about missing a DVR is offset by the fact that all the TV channels we watch after 9 pm are recorded, anyway. I feel bad for the cable business. Instead of listened to their marketing guys, they should’ve listened to their customers.

*  And should we really want movies, there’s Netflix for about ten bucks. For more a la carte channels, there’s Sling. The total monthly cost would with all of this would still be about 25-50 bucks cheaper than the bundle.

Chromecast Vs Roku case rests (for now)

While many of you are staking bets on whether to back Germany or Portugal, I’ve been wrestling with another tough choice: Extend my content to other screens using Chromecast, or go with a media player such as Roku.

Chromecast is a slick little piece of engineering, with some issues not well explained when you open the delightful little box. One needs to figure out which platforms support Chrome and find a workaround those that don’t. To make matters worse, the Kindle does not support some apps that are available on other Android devices.

Which made me long for something quicker and needs no workaround. Roku has raced ahead and given us about three choices, so this week it was one hearing on my bench: Roku original, Roku 1, or Roku 2. Actually there are four choices: One’s a ‘streaming stick’ (just like Chromecast), and the other three are nifty little media players.

All this about the same week that the Supreme Court ruled against streaming television content via that other little rogue box, known as Aero. In an earlier hearing, some of the judges wondered if this was not what streaming media from the so-called cloud’ was all about.