Let’s Bundle Up

We have had DSL with our phone company for the last 9 years and I’ve been very happy with it but it is just getting too expensive for me to have to keep paying for.  The phone services weren’t that bad but when they charge you $10 for making a couple 411 calls then it’s bad.

I was paying about $75 a month for phone and DSL and I am paying $117 a month for our cable.  The cable company has a bundle special which is $115 for all 3 services, although we’re not canceling all of our cable services so that price is just a bit higher.  Our new cable bill will be $150 a month which is about $40 less than I pay now for the cable and phone bill together.

The Bright House technician came to the house today and installed the phone and the internet.  Before he left everything was working but then Darrin went to make a phone call and the phone was buzzing.  No good!  I tried plugging the cable modem into the router and I didn’t have any wi-fi NO GOOD!

I went to walk the dog and there was a man standing on our lawn with a clipboard and he freaked me out at first until I realized he was from Bright House.  He was a supervisor checking up on the work the technician did and he said it wasn’t good.  He had the tech come back out and fix some things that weren’t right and got everything back to normal.

It took forever to get the wi-fi working, he refused to help me with it because he was afraid I would blame him if something went wrong with my router lol.  Ok I don’t blame him I guess but I mean, what good is getting cable internet if I can only go online with my desktop?

He had to put a new cable in from the pole to the house and that is what made the wi-fi work.  Although, I was having issues with my Chromebook losing connection at least 4 times tonight after that.  I had really high security settings so I had to bring it down a notch and then it was ok.  Another couple of issues and it’s fine (I hope I didn’t jinx it).

It’s supposed to be really fast.  Our DSL was only 4mbps but our cable internet is now 7mbps so that’s a bit faster than before.  It’s something I guess.

I don’t know if the upload speed is good though.  You tell me!  I don’t really upload too many things, I just tweet and blog that’s all lol.  The grade is C- and it says it’s slower than 59% of the rest of the united states which sucks hard but like I said, I was on 4mbps and it’s faster than before so bite me.  I’m very happy with what we have, I’m especially happy about our jump in speed.

Roku 2

Roku has finally come out with a next-gen version of the Roku internet tv streamer and it is smaller than before.

Now let me see if I can remember how it was before because they don’t have their older models on their site anymore.  The cheaper one did not have HD at all, it was for older model tv’s.  The 2nd one was XD and the 3rd one was XS.  I remember that much.  The XD and XS were the only 2 that had HD in them.  I bought 2 of the XD’s because the only difference between the XD and XS were that the XS had a USB on it so you could hook up a USB drive for looking at external images and/or videos.  I forget what else but it wasn’t that much else.

They have added many more features to the XS now which makes me want it more than the XD.  Like the old XD had wired and wifi internet connection and now only the XS has that.  Well, when I bought the 2 XD’s in January, I had so much trouble with the wifi that I had to plug it in to the router with the wire.

I have several blog posts about the Roku.  The first one was about the Roku and about how I was going to buy it.  Internet TV.  Then We are officially switching our cable and I remember how excited I was that I was going to be saving SO much money every month by not having to pay for cable.  I was mislead into thinking that even though everything else was going to be like DVR where I’d have to find what to watch, just like I do on the internet, I’d also get live news.  (Roku didn’t mislead me, Chips family member did.)  Well, that wasn’t right and Darrin didn’t like that very much so we kept our cable.

Then I said I won’t miss my shows but I found out that was a total lie because there were only a few shows on Hulu Plus that they allowed you to watch on your TV.  In fact, I would end up having to watch 95% of my shows on the computer anyway.

Just before we got our Roku boxes I was starting to question my decision; Is getting the Roku was worth it.  Then the next day they came and I posted this: Our Roku Boxes Arrived Today… They’re Going Back Tomorrow.

The main issue that I had with the Roku boxes was getting them connected.  It took a long time to get them online with my wifi and when I finally did they were only on for 30 minutes before disconnecting.  I had spent several hours on the phone getting them turned on, even changing my router settings and everything and still nothing but problems.

They said I had 30 days to return them and of course they went to the post office the next day.

I was really sad because I really thought it was going to be such a cool thing but it turned out to be really disappointing to us.  Darrin likes to watch the news as it happens, not as it happened yesterday.  And with the Casey Anthony trial, he wanted to see all of that unfold as it happened.

So I was getting the Roku for the wrong reasons.  I was getting it so that I could save money on my cable bill because I was paying $110 for it every month and if I switched to Roku I’d only have to pay $8 for Netflix and $8 for Hulu Plus.  Well, the Netflix was a good thing but the Hulu Plus wasn’t.  The Roku has hundreds of channels (or websites) to choose from but the issue is still the same, no live anything.  If I cancel my cable I need to have something that is live, even if it’s streaming live tv from the net, I don’t care.  Roku doesn’t work that way.

I do recommend the Roku 2 only if you do not plan on canceling your cable.  It is not a cable replacement but an addition to your cable.  That is ok.  You can choose the different boxes that they have.

If I were to buy this again, which I am seriously thinking about, I would go with the XS version only because I really need to know that if my WiFi doesn’t connect, at least I can plug it in to my router.  Also, check it out, they’ve added games to it.  I also like that USB port.  My tv has an SD card but not USB so that would be cool to add.

If I didn’t care about the cable (wire, not cable tv) so much, I would buy the HD because it has everything else I need minus the 1080p which doesn’t really matter to me because most everything that is on the internet is not 1080p anyway, even Hulu+ and Netflix.  So the middle box doesn’t really make sense to me.

I am not so jaded by my past experience with Roku that I would slam them and say they have a horrible service because the problem I had was a minor technical problem with the wifi.  The service they provide is awesome.

I think the Roku is such an awesome piece of technology and I say go for it, buy it.  It works great and if really have to have Hulu then you can also do the PlayOn thing which means your desktop computer has to be super fast and you won’t be able to use it anymore since it is now your tv’s server lol.  I can’t do that because my computer isn’t fast enough.

I’m seriously thinking about it but that is off in the future because I’m too broke right now.  Maybe I will wait until Christmas when I might have the money.  But until then, I can hook my CR-48 up to my tv to watch videos, which is what I have been doing.  It’s not great but it’s something at least for now.

If I were to rate the Roku I would give them 5 stars.

OnLive Cloud Gaming System

I watched this yesterday on Attack of the Show and wanted to blog about it but I really didn’t know much about it at the time to really blog about it.  After looking at their website though I discovered that it’s a pretty cool service.

When you play video games how long do you play them before you stop playing it FOREVER?  And how much do you want to kick yourself because you couldn’t afford to spend $80 on a new game every time one comes out that you want?  Isn’t that just the most frustrating?

You could rent them with GameFly but then you have to wait for the next one to come in the mail 2 days after you’ve shipped out the previous one.  OnLive is a GameFly killer!

You get the little OnLive box that is the size of your hand and plug it into your network.  I don’t know if it has WiFi but if it’s anything like the Roku then you’re probably better off just plugging it into the router anyway.  Start up your service and you are on your way to playing as many cool new video games as you like.

Here is that Gadget Pron video from Attack of the Show via Hulu:

http://www.hulu.com/embed/XHi-t64QEBl67tCDWxwG2Q

Trust me, if I had $100 for the box, I would definitely buy this.  There are so many games out there that I want to try but can’t because I just don’t have the money for the gaming system and even if i had the system, I still couldn’t afford the games.  So this will be a great way for anyone to try out any game that is available to users to see if it’s worth the sometimes $80 cost of the game.

The game controller looks very sleek and shiny and Kevin said you’re better off using another game controller from another system and if the controller that comes with it sucks then great, do that if you have one.  If you don’t then go to Game Stop and buy a refurbished one for an x-box or PS3 or whichever one is compatible.

They only give this a 3 out of 5 but considering it will probably save you thousands of dollars on games that you buy and never play again I’m going to give it a 5 out of 5 just for the money you will be saving.