Sunday, November 11, 2012

Internet Entertainment (TV and Movies)

In my Nix the Cable post of a few weeks ago, I mentioned how purchasing a digital antennae along with streaming television shows and movies through my laptop (attached to my TV) had provided me with a much cheaper alternative to purchasing cable or satellite. I recently made another purchase to further distance myself from the cost of cable and satellite television, a Roku Streaming Player.

About the size of a man’s wallet, the Roku Streaming Player is a nice piece of entertainment technology. It has wireless capabilities and attaches to your television via an A/V cable RCA to 3.5mm (included) or HDMI cable (not included). The web site advertises 600 channels and counting; however, not all the channels are free. Hulu Plus and Netflix are $7.99 a month (each) which is still a heck of alot cheaper than paying a monthly cable or satellite bill. Amazon Prime, another alternative to watching your favorite shows, is only $79 a year.

The only issue I’ve experienced using the Roku Streaming Player are the sheer number of channels to choose from when looking for something to watch, finding channels that suit me. Thankfully, you can “Add Channels” with the click of a remote, sort of like bookmarking your favorite web sites in a browser, which will allow you to return to your favorites easily.

To date, I’ve watched documentaries about poets, prehistoric snakes, Abraham Lincoln, a concert of Verdi’s Requiem, several cooking shows, along with programs I enjoy that are currently on cable (Fringe, Modern Family, Parks and Recreations, Arrow and more). If you don't want to burn gas to pickup a movie to watch, bypass the video store or Redbox and stream a movie from via your Roku Streaming Player. You can rent a movie from Amazon Instant Video for two to four dollars (depending on the movie) for 24 hours.

Thankfully, networks streaming their programs and movies over the Internet makes Roku a cheaper, viable option for entertainment. Fortunately, Roku and the consumer benefit from this streaming Internet technology.

I’m a huge fan of Japanese hibachi chicken or steak. Here’s a Japanese white sauce recipe that I enjoy using whenever I grill steak or chicken at home.

Japanese White Sauce

20 tablespoons Mayo
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1  Tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika  
dash Cayenne pepper

And finally, a tanka for you to ponder.

from the onset
of the first G-chord
an Alzheimer's patient
lifts her head
to sing

red lights, vol. 1, no. 2, June 2005


  1. Curtis,

    I recently purchased an Xfinity bundle (internet, cable and voice) because it provided a modest savings over DirecTV - mostly by consolidating my internet and cable bills with the same provider. Since then my monthly bill has increased to beyond what I was paying for DirecTV and Comcast Cable combined. Add to this the fact that Mary and I use our cells phones exclusively and don't really need the land line, and I'm ready to look at alternatives myself.

    I assume you still need a good internet provider, but putting the channel selection and programming under one's own control has great appeal to me. Thank you for the timely post!


    1. It's a nice piece of hardware, Paul. Under the hood, I'm fairly sure it's powered by a flavor of Linux. Nice, eh?

      Don't forget to purchase a spare HDMI cable if you decide to connect (assuming you have an HDMI port on your TV) by that option.

      Kick back and enjoy the savings! :)