As the millions of regular readers of my blog know all too well, I cut the cord and got rid of cable way back in 2009. Wow, has it really been seven years already? It seems like just yesterday that I got sick of watching reality shows about meter maids and little people who bake cakes, and took the box back to the cable company.
Since then I've been making do with a digital antenna and whatever over the air shows it can pull in. And the internet of course.
All I have to say about the Roku is WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL IT WAS SO FREAKIN' AWESOME??!!?
With my Roku I now have access to thousands, nay, millions of hours of entertainment, and the vast majority of it's FREE! Plus I no longer have to park my ass on the couch and a predetermined time to catch a movie or TV show. With a Roku I can watch what I want when it's convenient for me! Take that, cable companies!
All you need is an internet connection and a wifi router, and you're ready to go. It took all of about five minutes to hook it up, and I was off and running. You don't even need a high speed internet connection. My Roku works just fine with my home's blazing fast internet that's comparable in speed to 1990s era dial-up.
Full disclosure— I also have a subscription to Amazon Prime, which opens up their vast library of movies and TV shows to watch on my Roku unit. You don't absolutely need Prime to enjoy a Roku, as there's plenty of stuff on the many other channels available. But it helps, and it's an option.
There are currently three other similar products out there right now— Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Apple TV. I wasn't sure which one to buy, so I googled which was best, and most sites gave Roku their blessing, as it has the best and most content (ironic that I found this out using Google, eh?). That was good enough for me.
I know I sound like a commercial, but it's an awesome product that for once lives up to the hype. If you've ever considered cutting the cable cord, DO IT! Do it and get a Roku. You won't regret it.
One caveat: I don't watch any sports on TV, so I don't know how the Roku scores with that sort of content. I haven't ever checked, but I have a feeling the Roku doesn't carry as many sporting events as cable does. So if you're a sports fan who likes to watch twenty or thirty games every weekend, Roku might no be for you.
If I was the president of a cable company, or heck, even the head of one of the major networks, I think I'd be soiling myself right about now. This is the future of TV, guys. Viewers like having choices. Adapt to it or die.
By the way, in case you're wondering about the name, "Roku" means "six" in Japanese. Supposedly Roku is the sixth company started by founder Anthony Wood.
Now if I could just figure out what those purple canvas tags are for...