About 3 years ago, my husband came to me with a “radical” suggestion – to get rid of our cable television. Here’s some of what went through my head: “No cable? With two kids under the age of 5? I love TV! He must be out of his mind!!!”
After the initial shock wore off, we took a look at the facts. We were spending over $70 just for basic cable. That’s over $800 a year! No premium channels, no DVR. Our kids watched only a handful of TV shows on the same two channels. I primarily used the television for background noise while cooking dinner. While I love TV, it had been years since I’d been able to keep up with the current prime time TV schedule. And as a couple, we would sit together and watch maybe an hour or two per week, tops.
Our conclusion? That we were throwing away a ton of money every month and getting very little in return.
My husband told me about this thing called Roku. I’d never heard of it, but I checked with a girlfriend’s tech savvy husband, who spoke highly of it. So I agreed, albeit somewhat reluctantly, to give it a try for 6 months. And my husband agreed that if the kids and/or I were unhappy with the decision, then we would switch back to traditional cable.
So how did it turn out? It’s been three years, and we’ve never considered going back to regular cable. We love our Rokus! We now have two Roku HD Streaming Players, a Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p, and a brand new Roku 3 Streaming Player, which Roku has asked Madame Deals to review.
Here’s how it works: Roku streams programming from the internet directly to your television. You can choose from over 750 channels, from premium services (for a fee) like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video, to FREE channels like YouTube, Pandora, and Crackle. Roku also provides access to a selection of free or very reasonably priced video games that you can play right on your television screen.
My kids love to play Angry Birds and search for their favorite cartoons and videos on YouTube. And we all love Netflix! The kids can watch their favorite TV shows (Dora the Explorer and Phineas and Ferb), movies (Tangled and Pocahontas), and discover new shows (Eliot Kid and Bonnie Bear). And I’ve been able to watch great shows that I missed during their original run, like Lost and Friday Night Lights. My husband and I have found a number of shows to watch together – and now instead of listening to the TV while we cook, we listen to our customized stations on Pandora! We watch the news on the CNN International channel, and my husband loves to explore more obscure news outlets and channels.
So you already know that I love Roku. But what makes the Roku 3 different or better?
- The interface is fantastic – easy to use and intuitive.
- Roku has made it even easier to search for channels on this latest model.
- The remote control is similar to the sleek, simple remote for the Roku 2, only this one comes with a built-in headphone jack. Just plug in your headphones and listen privately. Love this. In-ear headphones are included with the device.
- The remote also has motion control – I’m not very tech savvy, but I’m told that this is an important feature for playing video games.
- Speaking of video games, Roku 3 comes with Angry Birds Space.
- There is a free app for Android and iOS devices that will turn your phone or tablet into a remote control for your Roku 3.
And here are some specs for those of you who are more technologically inclined:
- Dual-band wireless (Wi-Fi a/b/g/n compatible)
- Ethernet and USB ports, plus MicroSD slot for adding extra storage
- Up to 1080p HD
Here’s the coolest part. The Roku 3 has a suggested retail price of $99.99. So instead of paying $70 or more EVERY MONTH for cable or satellite TV, you have a one-time cost of $99.99 for your Roku 3…and unlimited options! (Remember, you will need high speed internet access in order to use any Roku device.)
Take it from this Roku convert – you will love the new Roku 3, whether you use it to replace your cable service or to supplement it.
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And now one lucky reader will have the chance to win a Roku 3!
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Topic: Roku 3 Review Giveaway