Is Getting a Roku Worth It?

Our Roku boxes are supposed to be coming today and I’m starting to freak out a little bit. I mean on one hand I have nothing to worry about because we can try the Roku boxes for 30 days and if we aren’t satisfied with the service then we can return them for a full refund. I’m not freaking out about the Roku box and what channels they provide but more about what Hulu Plus doesn’t provide.

I wish that I had done all of this research 100% before I bought the boxes but I was so gung-ho on getting them to get the $20 New Years Eve discount that I just wanted to buy them before that sale was over. This is what I’m finding out about Hulu Plus.

If you visit the Hulu Plus page they show all these pictures of their shows but if you click “alphabetical” then check the box that says “currently airing” you will notice the list shrinks.

This is the main reason I bought this box. I thought I was going to be able to watch all of my shows that are on Hulu (in my TV page) but as it turns out, I’m only going to be able to see my fox cartoons minus the Simpsons, the event and that’s it. Why would I pay Hulu $7.99 a month to watch 4 shows? I’m gonna end up having to watch the majority of my shows on my laptop which is not what I thought I was signing up for.

The reason Hulu Plus doesn’t have all of the shows they have on their regular Hulu service is because they can’t legally stream everything to your TV, they aren’t licensed for that. So why bother showing a few shows at all if they can’t stream them all? I mean, Chuck and The Event are both on NBC and Hulu is owned by NBC. What confuses me about that is they can stream The Event but not Chuck? That doesn’t make any sense. And they have all those Fox shows but no Simpsons? What?

I also signed up for a month of free Netflix and they have a lot of shows I can stream through my Roku box but they aren’t current seasons. They probably can’t stream those until the very end of the season, in the summer time. I don’t want to have to wait until summer to watch my shows.

Ok so another thing I found last night was this program that you install on your PC but run the app or channel through the Roku is PlayOn. That gives you a 14 day free trial then it’s $39 for 1 year then I believe it said $20 a year after that. So it’s only a couple of bucks per month and it allows you to stream regular Hulu, Netflix, CBS, Fox News, TBS etc through your Roku box (or other devices).

I’m really hoping this works out for me because I need for it to work. I don’t want to feel like I have wasted my money on the Roku boxes so I can just get Netflix. The trouble with PlayOn is that I have to use my desktop as a server which means I can’t use it for anything else while we’re watching it on the Roku. That’s fine because I’m using the CR-48 laptop now primarily but I do use the desktop for TweetDeck. Unfortunately, it says my CPU is Low when it does the tests which means we’re probably not going to get a very good stream. But we won’t know until we get the Roku boxes in the mail.

Ok so I’m still waiting for the box to come with my mail, I checked the tracking and it is here in Bakersfield at my local post office so it looks like I will get it.

Our cables next billing cycle begins on Thursday so we have 3 days to try the Roku box to see if we are happy with it. If not they are so going back and we are going to keep cable. I’m just hoping they refund the money right away but I have a feeling it will take them awhile to send us the refund.

When the package has come and I have everything hooked up and have played around with it then I will come back and give more feedback.

I Won’t Miss My Shows!

Since we’re getting our Roku box tomorrow and we’re canceling our $110 a month cable on Thursday, I’ve been kind of worried because not all of my shows are on Hulu and Netflix.

True Blood is one major reason why we have HBO. If I cancel our cable and I lose HBO then what am I going to do? I’m going to miss True Blood when it comes on. I really am not too keen on downloading it with P2P but what else could I do? Well, I just found out that Amazon Video On Demand will have it for only $2.09 an episode. WHEW! What a weight.

That’s not all though because even though Hulu has a BBC America page, they don’t have my BBC America shows on there like Doctor Who and Primeval. Last night was the season premiere of Primeval and this morning BBC America tweeted that the episode is available on iTunes and Amazon Video On Demand. Ok so I’m gonna have to pay $1.99 to buy (not rent) the episodes, fine, I don’t care as long as I get to see them. When Doctor Who comes back I will be way more than happy to buy each episode for $2.

There are certain shows that I will be missing that I have mentioned like Smallville, Supernatural and Vampire Diaries because CBS (who owns CW) refuses to get on the Hulu bandwagon. Well, luckily they have those shows on the CW website so I’m good there. They also have them for sale on iTunes and Amazon VOD but I refuse to pay for something that I can see for free on the CW website. If it’s a network show then why should I have to pay to watch it? If it’s a premium channel like HBO then I certainly don’t mind paying for it. Even BBC America, I’m good paying for it.

So now that I have this knowledge that I won’t miss them I am very pleased with our decision to cancel our cable.

YouTube Movies and TV Shows

I’m a bit behind in the news.  I know that YouTube has movies and TV Shows or they just added that recently.  Yesterday I watched “The Blue Lagoon”.  I never saw it.  It came out in 1980 and I was 10 at the time so I wasn’t able to see it for obvious reasons.  It’s rated R.  Not only that but I’d have to be an adult to really get it.  So I watched it and really understood it.  Such a sad and happy ending.

Anyway, they don’t have a whole lot of movies and TV shows yet because they just started but I’m sure they will have every movie and TV show ever made available for all to see.

I usually watch TV shows on Hulu because they have them like the very next day usually after airing on TV.  Sometimes I have to wait a few days after the show airs on TV but it’s not too long.  And you can subscribe to TV shows on Hulu so they email you to let you know a show is on their website so you don’t miss it.

This will certainly put Netflix out of business if people are able to just watch their movies right from YouTube.  Netflix is going to have to think fast and lower their prices and offer unlimited viewing through their website to compete.

The movies and tv shows you watch on YouTube do have commercials.  I was thinking that perhaps watching YouTube movies is like stealing from the actors and the production companies but the commercials probably make up for that.  The Blue Lagoon had like 10 commercials, it was all the same commercial just played every 10 minutes or so.  So that probably pays for it all so YouTube can continue showing them for free.

It’s the same thing as watching regular TV, you still have to watch commercials, but only 1 commercial, not 2 minutes worth of commercials.  More like 1 30 second commercial.  I think that I can handle being interrupted every 10 or so minutes by a 30 second commercial and be able to watch it for free than have to wait for the movies to come in the mail via Netflix and have it scratched and unplayable or have it come to me broken or never even receive it at all.  Which has happened to me by the way.  But that’s another blog post for another time.

All in all I give YouTube a big thumbs up for making it available for free.

New Joss Whedon Show – Dollhouse

I recently heard about a new show on Fox called Dollhouse which is created by Joss Whedon starring Eliza Dushku.  I liked her as Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I didn’t watch her other show but apparently it didn’t last long because she is now in Dollhouse.

I tried watching the first episode of Dollhouse on Hulu but I wasn’t really that into it.  I mean, if I really wanted to watch it I’ve had the last few days to try since I first heard about it and I haven’t tried to watch it again.

It’s about Echo who is an “Active” for this illegal underground organization called Dollhouse.  They use these women as pawns to do certain tasks for them then they erase their memory.  These women can never have a real life outside of the Dollhouse.

I’ll try to watch it again.

Tune in to Fox on Friday’s at 9/8C for Dollhouse.

No Energy Today

I was woken up by the doorbell today at like 10 something am cause this guy wanted to mow our lawn since we have let it go lol.  I had already planned on mowing it today and so Darrin told him we were going to do it today.  I got in the shower to wake up then sat and watched TV for maybe 20 minutes and decided OK, I’m going to go mow the lawn.

I did our tenants lawn then I did the front of our lawn but not the side, I filled 1 green can with just all the cut grass but I really didn’t feel like I had enough energy to finish.  Besides that the lawn mower kept stopping and it won’t turn back on now so I’m going to leave that to deal with tomorrow.  The green cans go out tomorrow night so I have a full 24 hours to get it done (git-r-done hehe).

I went to the kitchen to make a ham sandwich for lunch and I got all the dishes from yesterday that I had no energy to do plus there is a dryer full of t-shirts that I have to fold and a washer with whites I need to dry.  I really need to get some energy.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I just feel very lazy today.

You know how when it’s a crappy gray day outside with storm clouds and you tend to feel depressed and it makes you lazy?  That’s how I feel but the sun is shining and it’s nice outside.  I don’t know why I’m feeling this way.

I also want to read but don’t feel like it and I have to watch the first 3 episodes of Dollhouse on Hulu so I can talk about that.

Maybe I’ll go make a latte.  I’ll have to go to Albertson’s on my bike to get some creamer because a latte isn’t a latte with just milk, it tastes so much better with flavor.  Yeah, I’ll go do that, I bet you then I will have so much energy I won’t know what to do with myself.