Roku Update

Yesterday I wrote about having no choice but to cancel our cable so we could use a internet based cable service, and now today I have some new information.

I didn’t really look into how much everything was when I bought the Roku Stick+ for the living room. Like, how much is our cable bill, internet bill and home phone? Would I really be saving money by getting rid of our cable? The answer is apparently no.

Our cable is $72.49 minus a promotional discount of $32.50, so I’m actually only paying $39.99 for cable, which if you think about it, that is cheaper than any of the streaming services. What is making our bill higher is actually the cost of the equipment rental. I am paying $8 for each of our 2 cable receiver boxes, plus another $10 for the DVR service on one box, plus an additional $12 for Tier 1 which is additional channels we never even watch.

Our internet is $75 minus $10 for the bundle and $10 for promotional discount making our internet $55. Our phone is also $30 minus $10 for the bundle. So if we got rid of our cable, my internet would go up and so would our phone.

My life partner tried the Roku with our cable providers app (or channel as Roku likes to call them) and he hates it, so he doesn’t want to get rid of his receiver, but he will keep his Roku for those times when his services starts to cut out and become impossible to watch. He can just switch to the Roku and use the Spectrum app.

I, on the other hand am perfectly happy getting rid of the DVR service and my cable box. The DVR is in my room, so I’m the only one benefiting from that, and that is $18 that I would be saving every month, plus $12 from the Tier 1, that makes a saving of $30 a month. Plus, I will be quitting my gym membership which is another $20 a month, so right there I will be saving $50 a month.

I already bought another Roku for my bedroom for watching our cable service. Since I typically have 2 shows on at the same time some nights, I can watch those 2nd shows on the apps on the Roku. Like, one night I might have something on the Travel Channel and The CW, so I can just watch one on cable, and the other one on one of the apps the next day. I do that with Hulu anyway where I watch all my Fox and NBC shows, so I can just do the same thing with the CW or Travel channel.

Our promotion will be ending soon, I think in December, and they currently have a promotion for $99 for 1 year for cable, internet and phone, so we will save even more money then. The money I will be saving from not having DVR + my cable receiver + Tier 1 + my gym membership will pay for the Roku sticks over 2 months. I’m excited for this change and because in January I will have more money for groceries and other stuff.

Let’s Try That Roku Thing Again

In January 2011, my life partner and I decided after talking with one of his family members that we would quit cable and get 2 Roku’s because I had complained about the price of cable. This guy said “Well, you watch your shows on the DVR anyway, right?” No, actually, we watch live tv. In fact, at the time we didn’t have a DVR. I knew they existed, but we didn’t have one. I have one now, but we still watch live tv.

In 2011 I received our Roku’s and returned them simply for the fact that the one in the living room didn’t connect to our WiFi which is in the bedroom. I didn’t think the signal was strong enough, but the issue was deeper than that as I explained in this post. https://xanapus.com/2011/01/04/our-roku-boxes-arrived-today-theyre-going-back-tomorrow/

Well, that was 2011, this is 2019 and we have once again decided to quit cable, but there are a couple reasons for this decision.

1.) The price is way too high. Nearly 2 years ago we went to our cable service provider and said we need to change our service because I was paying $170 a month for our cable/internet/phone bundle. They told us there is a special that for 2 years we would get their $30/$30/$30 deal which came out to $90 a month, plus extra for a package my partner wanted, the DVR for one room, the cable box for another room, the WiFi box and the digital phone box. Our total bundle came to about $120 or so. I was fine with that, but then they told us at the end of the first year that our bill was going up because that 30/30/30 thing was only for 1 year, then it would go up to $170 and that is STILL a discounted price, which means when our special is over, my bill goes up even more.

2.) Our channels are constantly getting pixelated and it’s maddening, especially when the channel goes out and it doesn’t even record my show. When I’m not home and then I come home to find out it didn’t even record my show(s), I wonder why the hell am I paying $170 a month for this? We thought it might be our cable boxes, but I’m pretty sure the issue is our cable wire. That’s the only thing that makes sense to me because the app never has that issue.

I discovered there are so many different cable streaming services you can pay for that are cheaper than cable. They are mostly all around $50 or so.

Hulu + Hulu TV is $45 a month and you can stream on 2 devices at a time and they give you a DVR that is only 50 hours worth, and for another $5 you get ad free.

YouTube TV allows you to have 6 users while allowing 3 streams at once, plus an unlimited DVR for all accounts for just $50 a month.

Sling is cheaper at $25 a month, but you don’t get a lot of channels. They have 3 options, each option has specific channels, or both options for almost double the price. It also comes with 50 hour DVR.

For right now we have a Roku Stick + in the living room that works and I didn’t have to call anyone for help, and our cable service’s app is installed, as well as YouTube TV, Sling and Hulu to get us prepared for the switch. We have to decide which one is better, I like YouTube TV better.

The TV in the bedroom is a smart TV that already has Hulu and YouTube TV installed, but our cable service’s app isn’t available, and neither is Sling. I have to keep using my cable box, which is ok for now, even though I will still have trouble with pixelation. I can watch my shows On Demand if I have to. If we do go with Sling, then I will probably have to buy another Roku Stick +.

This is a huge change. No one likes change, especially when they have to remember how to get to their favorite channels, but once you get used to the change, you can pretty much adapt to anything if you are willing. I am willing, but I can’t say that about my life partner who hates change more than I do. We will see. All 3 services have a trial, so we can decide which one we like before we get rid of cable.

Tell me in the comments if you have cut the cord and went with a Roku or similar device and which internet service you are using. I’m curious to know which of these 3 services are better.

Update: Yeah, things have changed. Please read the new post.

Good Things Must End Early

When I was younger, I didn’t have enough time to watch TV. I had to work for 8, sometimes 16 hours per day, then I had the long sometimes 2 hour bus ride back home and all I wanted to do was sleep so I could start the next day over again. When I became legally disabled, I had all the time in the world, but still I didn’t watch tv because I didn’t want to start in the middle of a series not knowing what was happening.

In 1996 Buffy came on the air, then Roswell and Charmed and I felt some strange chemistry with these shows because they were all supernatural. Now, it seems like all I watch are shows that are somewhat supernatural in nature, or science fiction. I’m not much into reality show except for the occasional RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Real Housewives of Dallas.

Now it seems that I have too many shows, and it’s hard sometimes to catch up. Almost every night I have 2 shows recording on my DVR at the same time, and I may have up to 6 shows recording on any given night. How did this happen? So, I need to make a choice and stop watching certain shows because it’s just too much.

A couple of years ago I stopped watching The Walking Dead, and the reason I stopped watching was because they added a new character on the show named Negan. Negan is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and I have had a major crush on him for years since he was on the show Supernatural. His character is not a very nice guy, and he is why I had to stop watching. To me, The Walking Dead was a show that was about surviving the zombie apocalypse and it changed so much when Negan came along. It was no longer about surviving zombies, now it was all about surviving Negan. I did not like that. If Jeffrey Dean Morgan is going to be in a show that I like, I would like his character to be a guy that I watch the show for. I would like to be able to watch the show because my favorite actor is on the show that I’ve loved for years. Instead, the writing of his character turned me against the show. I no longer wanted to watch to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan taunting everyone and burning their mattresses just to be a dick. It went from horror genre to psychological thriller.

There are some shows that I watch now that are turning into psychological thrillers, shows like Arrow, The Flash and Riverdale. I have the last 3 episodes of Arrow still on my DVR and I don’t want to watch them, and I don’t see myself wanting to see the next episodes until the season finale. I’m still watching The Flash because I still love the beloved characters. I am SO over the bad guys, DeVoe who murdered all these dark matter metahuman’s from the bus, and his wife Marlize, although I think the only reason I’m still watching is because I feel sorry for her because she’s trying to leave him, and she finally used his own technology to get away so yay her. But I am mad that they took stretchy man from us because I loved his character and I am holding out hope that the team will find a way to get him back because he was the last guy DeVoe killed, and he’s still using Ralph Dibney’s body. Riverdale is almost finished, and then I think I’m finished. I think they’ve raped the comic book and turned it into a nightmare that I can’t seem to wake from. The latest episode has me done with the show, but I will continue until the season finale.

If I continue to watch Supergirl, I’m going to end up having to watch crossover shows because Supergirl crosses over with Arrow, The Flash and The Legends of Tomorrow, which I think has already ended for the season. I don’t have an issue with Supergirl or the Legends of Tomorrow, so I think I would like to hold onto those and just deal with crossover episodes I guess.

iZombie is just silly and that’s why I love it. I think it’s sad that they have walled off Seattle and are using a guillotine to kill anyone who tries to turn people who are dying into zombies because they don’t have enough brains to feed the zombies they have now, and now Liv is the one turning sick people into zombies. It’s pretty much HER show, and they can’t kill the main character, so I think she’s safe.

The Originals just came back for their final season, and they haven’t done anything wrong to make me stop watching, and I kind of want to see how that show ends.

The 100 just came back, and they’ve already started with a ship full of prisoners who’ve been asleep for 100 years and are looking to basically take over the entire planet, which seems to be one little tiny green spot on a planet that is otherwise unlivable. I kind of just want to see where they go and if I don’t like what they do with these new characters, well then I’ll just stop watching. I have very little loyalties to The 100, so that one will be easy to stop watching.

Colony just started up again and I seem to be fine with that show, for now.

Krypton is a new series and I have 4 episodes on my DVR mainly because I just don’t have the time. If shows will just stop coming at me bro, then I might be able to watch them so I can clear them off my DVR.

Then there are shows I watch only on Hulu like Once Upon A Time. I almost abandoned that one because they went in another direction, but I’m sticking with it. Gotham is still a very good show. I love Lucifer. Last Man on Earth is just too hilarious. Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, The Simpson’s, The Orville which is currently filming their next season is hilarious, Will & Grace, is that over already? And, will it be back? Then of course Saturday Night Live.

Then there are Hulu shows not currently airing such as Rick & Morty, Future Man, The Exorcist was good, The Gifted, Inhumans, Midnight, Texas, Ghosted was hilarious. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is one I have in my queue, but haven’t started watching because I’m overwhelmed as it is, but I’m curious, so it’s there waiting. Those are the only Hulu shows and they aren’t on my DVR which means I have to be sure I keep up with them because I think they only keep the last 4 episodes on their site and then delete them, so if I stop watching, I lose out on them. I haven’t seen the last Lucifer or the last 2 Once Upon A Time, but I’m still catching up lol.

I stopped watching all but one Bravo show. I stopped watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, OC, New York, New Jersey, I never really watching Miami or the other 2, I forget where they are, but I do watch Dallas ONLY because of LeeAnne Locken and D’Andra Simmons and her mother. If it wasn’t for them, I’d stop watching. I liked Tiffany Hendra, but she wasn’t on the 2nd season. I CANNOT stand the rest of those biatches on that show AND their husbands. I also stopped watching Lisa Vanderpump’s show Vanderpump Rules because it’s the same thing every year. A bunch of spoiled waiters and waitresses who can’t stop drinking, sleeping with EVERYTHING THAT MOVES (Jax) and tattling on each other. Ugh! Talk about psychological. It’s more psychological for me. I stopped watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills specifically because of Lisa Rinna. All she does is start trouble and then tells people stuff that are bold face lies, then she sips her drinks and watches them all yell at each other while she basically laughs at the chaos she started. Um Lisa, this isn’t one of your soap operas, this is real… scripted… I’m sure. Whatever, I’m over it because of her.

See? I told you I had a LOT of shows to watch. Too many on my DVR, then quite a few on Hulu. I don’t want to abandon the entire idea of watching TV like one person I know who said TV was TOO addicting and she literally got rid of it because it was taking over her life. I feel like it is starting to take over, but at the same time that’s why I have a DVR and why I watch the rest of my shows on Hulu. It would be nice to stop cold turkey, but how will I know how all my shows ended?

Anyway, I took a break from watching my shows to type this and now I have to go back and edit, then I can go back and take some more shows off the DVR or my Hulu Queue lol. UGH!

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation-Vue

I am very interested in a new feature that PlayStation has to offer called PlayStation Vue. It’s a new live streaming service on your PlayStation device that allows you to watch TV at a cheaper rate than cable.

This is what we have at our house. We have a bundle with Bright House with TV, Internet and Phone. I know that our cable internet is around $15 a month and our phone isn’t too much more expensive than that. Including the cable box in the living room which is $8 a month and the DVR cable box in my bedroom which is also $8 a month, our cable comes to $130 a month.  That’s a bit much for cable, but that’s how it is. They charge more for HDTV and we had to have certain packages because we have HDTV’s in both rooms.

With PlayStation Vue, I would have to use my PlayStation 4 to watch TV, which isn’t a bad thing because I use my PS4 all day long anyway with game play and watching Netflix and Hulu Plus, so to have another service keeping my PS4 running is convenient considering I have to grab the TV remote control to change from HDMI 1 for the PS4 to HDMI 2 for the cable. I wouldn’t have to go through that if I had PlayStation Vue.

They have a DVR function so that you can record ALL of your shows with NO conflicts, and you don’t have to worry about it recording on your PlayStation, it stays in the cloud for up to 28 days. As it is right now, if I want to record something, fine, I get to watch it when I want to, but my partner doesn’t have that option since he has a regular cable box. If he wants to record something, he has to watch it in my room.

My concern with switching from cable to PlayStation Vue is that we have 2 TV’s, and only 1 PS4. PlayStation has another device called PlayStation TV which allows you to play PlayStation Vita games with a PS3 controller, but PlayStation Vue is not available for that. If my partner wants to watch TV, he would have to use his iPad since there is an iPad app, but he wouldn’t be able to watch it on his TV. He has a Google Chromecast, but I’m not sure if that works with his iPad since we haven’t hooked it up yet. And even if it does work, will it work with PlayStation Vue? Also, would he be able to use his iPad while PlayStation Vue is streaming on his TV? Questions! Concerns!

If we were to switch from cable to PlayStation Vue, we would be saving $60 a month, that is if I chose the Elite package, which I would considering Logo isn’t available on the other 2 packages. They mention at E3 that you would be able to choose which channels you want, so if that is true then I would consider their less expensive Access or Core packages. Money is always tight, and I hate spending so much money on cable that I very rarely even watch. I don’t NOT watch TV, in fact, I have a huge list of shows that I watch, but I don’t watch TV all day long. It also concerns me that they don’t have every channel that is available, like for example where is ABC? And how will I watch Salem without WGN? What about The CW? Most of my shows are on The CW.

This new service is only available in certain zip codes anyway, and we are not in any of those zip codes since we are in Bakersfield, CA, but I’m sure the day will come when we will be able to use this service. I’m sure by then those channels MAY become available, but who knows for sure.

I told my partner about this new service and he just looked at me, like don’t even think about it lol. We were going to go cable free several years ago when we bought 2 Roku boxes, but realized there was no live TV, so if he wanted to watch his live news shows, he would be out of luck. They also didn’t have every episode of his news channel, they only had clips. He doesn’t want clips, he wants to watch entire episodes, and preferably live. Well, with PlayStation Vue he can see live TV, but he just doesn’t want to take the leap because it is too complicated, and he prefers things that are easy. And again, he doesn’t have a PlayStation, nor does he want to have to stream live TV from his iPad to the Google Chromecast, if that would even work. If it doesn’t work, then he doesn’t want to have to watch TV from his iPad and not be able to do anything else with it. It’s just too much of a hassle for him, and I understand. But perhaps if they made it available on PlayStation TV, and gave him a remote control instead of a PS3 controller, then he may consider it, but until then, he just wants to keep things simple.

So, I’m excited about it, but him not so much. But I think this is something that would be easier for someone who lives alone with 1 TV anyway. Unless every TV in the house has a PlayStation, this isn’t going to work for couples or a family unless they can make this service available on the PlayStation TV, which if you think about it is probably the best device for PlayStation Vue. I don’t know, tell me what you think in the comments.

PS4 for Christmas

ps4

My partner saw a commercial for Xbox One and asked if that’s what I want for Christmas. I told him I don’t want you to buy me an Xbox because they are way too expensive. He asked if I would play it and I said hell yes, but I don’t want you to buy it for me.

Up until that point it never even occurred to me that I might want a video game system for my TV. I mean, I’ve thought about it every now and then, but when I saw how expensive they were, the thoughts faded away. But now I can’t stop thinking about it.

This weekend is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They are at least 23% off, but even still, they are way too expensive for me. The regular price of a PS4 is $520 and right now they are on sale for $400. That’s a lot of money to save, but $400 is also a lot of money to spend.

And I settled on PlayStation 4 because I already have PSP and they have much different selection than Xbox. For example Xbox doesn’t have Little Big Planet. I have some games that I love for my PSP that they don’t have anywhere else, like Jak and Daxter & Ratchet and Clank. It’s a brand, like Nintendo has Mario and Zelda and you can’t play those anywhere else. This particular game system has the Little Big Planet and Lego Batman 3. I mean don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE either Xbox One or PS4. I would be more than happy with either one of them.

Another reason I settled on the PS4 rather than Xbox One is because of the camera. I checked and the Xbox Kinect is $100 to $200. The PS4 camera is only $40. Huge difference in price. The only reason I would want the camera is so that I could use it for the dance games, which burn calories because it is cardio exercise. The Xbox One Kinect is more than just for exercise, in fact you can control your TV from what I understand, but I would probably never use that. In fact, if I did have that, every time I talked, Chip would ask me who I was talking to, so it’s better that I don’t have a game to talk to lol.

It’s a nice thing to think about, and I even created a Amazon wishlist for PS4, but I highly doubt I will ever be able to buy anything from that wishlist. Maybe one day, but probably not this day, or any time soon. If Santa “made” one for me, and it happened to be under the tree on Christmas morning, then I would be the happiest 44 year-old child the world has ever seen, but I highly doubt that would happen.

Naked Reality Shows

What’s going on with all these naked reality shows? Naked and Afraid, Naked Dating, Naked Real Estate and Naked Castaway are shows that I have been hearing a lot about recently.

I am a huge fan of the nude body because we are all born naked and we all bathe naked. There is nothing to be ashamed of because it’s just skin. The body is covered in skin, so the skin on your arm is no different from the skin on your breast or your flute, so to me it’s all the same. I’m basically saying I am all for these naked shows. I don’t personally have an issue with anything.

When people watch these shows, do you suppose they strip down to nothing because they feel overdressed? I mean, I was tempted, but it would have become awkward when I was the only naked person in the room.

When the male contestants first show up, do you suppose they are worried about getting an erection since they probably don’t walk around naked all the time. I mean, I haven’t actually seen a real live naked person besides myself in years, I’m almost positive that if I was naked and someone else was standing there naked, I would be at full salute. Seriously! If I knew I was going to be naked in front of cameras, I would probably be naked for a month just to get used to the idea of being naked in front of strangers. Anyone who came to the house would have to remove their clothes to not make things awkward. You know I’d be ordering pizza’s and calling the cable company to fix things, oh and the plumber, he was cute.

The naked real estate, naked and afraid and naked castaway are all no big deal, but I have a concern about the naked dating one. I watched it tonight for the first time, the image above is the episode that I watched. They were only naked on the dates. When they all came together at the pool, they had their clothes on. They all got in the pool and eventually they were all naked again. Well, you know that’s fine, no big deal. I mean, it’s not like they haven’t seen each other naked, right? Well, at the end of the evening, there were 2 people left. They were naked and making out in the pool. No big deal right? I mean cause it’s not like they had sex in the pool.

This is where I have a concern. Okay, it’s straight people so no one will EVER question it. But… what if the show were all gay men, or all gay women? How many people are going to be all up in arms because there are 6 gay men or 6 gay women in the pool. They can be as innocent as can be not doing anything sexual, heck, they can all have their clothes on and you know someone out there is going to say that gay people are throwing their sexuality in their faces and God forbid a gay person does the same exact thing that straight people do. I mean seriously, you know that that would happen. You know it.

Straight people doing something objectionable is fine because they are the normal ones. They can get married and get a divorce and they can be married multiple times. Kim Kardashian for example. No big deal, it’s a straight person. But as soon as a gay person does something, the walls of society are crumbling with complete hyperbole.

I just had to say my peace. By all means resume your nude programming. No, seriously. I love seeing straight guys unblurred bums on TV lol.

#OppositeWorlds on SyFy #TeamEpoch!

team epoch

Have you ever been so addicted to a show that all you want to do is talk about it?  To everyone?  Yeah, this is one of those shows.

Before the show even aired I just knew I wasn’t going to like it because all I could think was how there are too many reality shows and I really don’t care for reality shows.  I mean, I do get attached to some, but only because the people suck me in lol.  Well, even though I had already decided I wasn’t going to like it, I wanted to make sure I still had that opinion after the first episode.  It’s like how you say you hate zucchini before you even try it, you have to try it to be sure you hate it.  Well, I was hooked in the first 5 minutes.

Of course I didn’t have a team when it started, but I had my mind set on Epoch after the first half hour of getting to know the people.  I don’t know what it was about them at first, I just knew I was going to really like them.

The first team challenge was lost and Team Epoch was stuck in the past for a week.  The second team challenge a week later, you guessed it, they lost.  Tonight after 21 days of living in the past, Team Epoch won a challenge and they have finally made it to the future.  YAY!

Can you imagine not being able to take a shower for 21 days?  I mean, you think your arm pits smell after a couple of hours in the gym, just imagine the stench of not just your own arm pits, but the other members of your team.  Not just arm pit stench, but… well… yeah I won’t go there, but you know what I’m talking about lol.

I was very sad when Team Epoch lost Wyatt because he and JR were my two favorite people in the game.  They just seemed like brothers to me.  They connected on a certain level that you just can’t break, but then they picked him to play in the elimination challenge and he didn’t want to do it, and he didn’t leave on a very nice note.  I feel bad that he left and I don’t hold his “bird” against him because I understand, he wanted to stay.  It is what it is I guess.  I still miss him though.

I didn’t like some of the Team Chronos players because they seemed arrogant to me.  And rightly so because they had toilets and showers and beds and food.  Who wants to live in the past?

When Mercy came into the game and Team Chronos sort of wanted to give the future to Team Epoch only because they were starting to feel sorry for them, Mercy gave a speech that made her sound like a jerk.  Team Chronos was trying to do the right thing for Team Epoch because they knew they had it bad and I think that was when I really started to like Chronos, especially Jesse, Frank and Lisette.  Those three have really grown on me.

I’ve always liked Jeffry and I’m sorry he was chosen as America’s most hated player twice.  Sorry guy, that wasn’t because of me.  I never voted you to be least favorite.  I wish he were on Team Epoch, but he was put on the wrong team.  I think he would have been better with Epoch in the past.  He fed JR and I hope JR reciprocates.  I know Jeffry will do well in the past because he seems like he is a survivor to me.  His first punishment was no food for 24 hours and now he was isolated for 24 hours.  It’s really sad that America keeps voting against him.  I really hope things turn around for him soon.

I really like Team Epoch because they seem more like a family to me than Team Chronos.  They call themselves the wolf pack and they do a thing with their hands while they are saying “woo woo woo woo” lol.  It’s just awesome and fun to watch.  I get this vibe from them like they will be best friends from now until the end of time.  They just make me want to love them, you know?  I really wish there was a live feed like they do with Big Brother on Showtime.  I would watch that.

Anyway, this is getting too wordy.  I’m just saying I like the show lol.