It was on Christmas Eve, more than a week ago when we were told by Darrin’s family members that we should cancel our cable to get an Xbox to watch Hulu and Netflix instead. I researched my options and found Roku. I researched to find out if it was worth it and when I thought it would be, I rushed Darrin into making the decision to buy some Roku boxes, 1 for each TV in the house so that we would get a $10 discount per box.
I waited on pins and needles all weekend until they finally arrived this afternoon with the regular mail and was like a kid opening up his Christmas presents.
I opened one of the Roku boxes and connected it to the living room TV because I wanted the living room to be the first room that was connected with the Roku so Darrin would have it to watch when he got home. Problem… it wouldn’t connect to our network.
I brought it into the bedroom so that I could at least connect it with the network cable because I figured that maybe it needed to be connected with the wire first, then I could get it connected wirelessly. I get it connected and updated and all seemed fine but when I tried to get it to connect with the wi-fi, it just wouldn’t work.
So I got on the Roku website on the laptop and go to the help page to chat with a technician who can help me figure it out. We’re chatting for maybe 1 hour and 45 minutes and I lose the connection to the internet which means I lose the chat with “Sam”. I reconnected the laptop to the Verizon 3G network because I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t get disconnected again. I had to wait 20 minutes to talk to another person, I told them I was talking to Sam but he was already with someone else so that person tried helping me.
Another 45 minutes later and I finally figured it out, got it online then went into the living room and hooked the other one up to the tv and it connected without much trouble at all. I say thanks and goodbye to the person I was chatting with and I think I had a good 30 minutes to play with it when all of a sudden my internet goes out.
The problem is, “Sam” had me change my network name, the channel it was connected with,change it from WPA2 to WEP, change the password and everything. Now, nothing will connect. I spend the next 2 hours by myself trying to get it all back online.
This just isn’t working out so I unplugged both Roku boxes, roll up the AC wires, tie them up with the twist ties and put everything back in their boxes and spend another hour trying to get the network to work again and it did. I tried going back to my original settings but it just didn’t want to connect.
How I got the Roku boxes connected is with the mac address. I had to force the network to only accept the devices with their mac address. I’ve never had to do that before. I have connected my PSP, Nook, Chips computer and the CR-48 Laptop to the network and have never once had an issue with the mac address so why would I ever think that the Roku boxes would need me to do that?
So the Roku boxes go back tomorrow. We have to call the phone number and tell them that it just didn’t work out for us and we’re returning them. They give us a 30 day money back guarantee minus the shipping charges.
You know, I got to thinking, I can’t live without live TV. We need to be able to see the news or weather alerts that scroll on the top of the screen. It’s just not for us, we like it the way it is, no need to change it. Someone wise said to me on Twitter today “*whistles the old familiar tune* Why fix what ain’t done broke…..*snorts*”. It’s so true. And our system of watching TV on cable wasn’t broken, switching to the Roku only, now that’s broken.
I looked at Hulu plus and they only had maybe 10% of the shows that I watch. I installed PlayOn.tv and it ran so slow on the Roku because my processor wasn’t fast enough. It would’ve been ok for me if that worked but it didn’t.
I am not saying the Roku is a bad product but it just doesn’t work for me. It most certainly doesn’t work with my network but getting rid of cable and going with internet tv is just not what I want now. I still can’t afford $110 cable but we’re going to look into thinning out some of our services to make things easier on me.
I am not going to keep Hulu Plus after my 30 day trial is over nor am I keeping Netflix because I just can’t afford to have this additional expense on top of my cable. I will continue to use regular free Hulu if I miss a show but Hulu can’t replace cable for me.
Who knows, maybe one day I might get an Xbox or a PS3 or even a Blu-ray that will connect to Hulu and/or Netflix. If that day comes then it will be a nice addition but not replacement.