Sometime last month, I started to get really angry every time I saw a DirecTV advertisement, be it in the paper or on TV. You know… the ones that promise you the moon and stars for negative money. I was angry because, as a loyal customer for 4 years, we don’t qualify. If we wanted new boxes so we could have a whole home DVR, it would cost us $600 to upgrade our system. If we wanted a new dish that wouldn’t freeze up our broadcasts, it would cost us $250 plus the hourly house call costs. And a lower monthly payment? Ha! You silly silly loyal customer, you. We’re going to keep raising your costs and giving you less, so that we can offer insane deals to the newbies.
So I launched a devious plan (encouraged by all the lovely folks who seem to do these things daily over on FatWallet and other deal forums), to cancel our service that was in Mr. M’s name and then resubscribe under MY name for all of the goodies and promotions and deals. But then something happened. Mr. M called DirecTV to cancel and, well, he didn’t exactly have the loveliest of conversations with their customer service representatives. And at that point he decided that we should purge our home of anything DirecTV related. And that’s what we’ve done.
But what are TV junkies to do when you want to still consume the media but loathe the people that deliver it to you? Well, I can tell you what we did: we cut out the middle man and bought ourselves one of these guys.
Meet Roku 2 XS.
He fits in the palm of my hand, eats up barely any electricity, gives us 1080p HD viewing and so far provides us with pretty much everything we want to consume on TV via HULU Plus and instant NetFlix.
As people who rarely channel surf, and instead eat up most of our time watching our DVR, HuluPlus ($7.99/month) is pretty much way better than any other option for us. You can subscribe to shows, so that they pop in your “queue” when they’re ready to watch. The only disadvantage is that you won’t get them until a day later, but it’s rare that we ever got to them the day of anyhow. It’s also great because you get to watch shows that you may have missed back from Episode 1 of this season. Like Revenge. We (well… Mr. M mostly) watched all 19 episodes in a week’s time to catch up with the season. I have a feeling this will come in handy when summer arrives and we will still have “so much to watch” on TV.
If you’re a baseball or soccer or NBA fan, you can subscribe to watch those games live through the deluxe sports plans. And if they decide not to add NFL Sunday Ticket to Roku in the fall, then we’ll probably just subscribe through PlayStation Network and get it live that way. Same price – and we don’t have to pay for having DirecTV too!
We’ve subscribed to instant NetFlix for awhile now, and it’s handy to have it both upstairs and down (on Playstation/XBox 360) now. And if we decide to hop on the AmazonPlus bandwagon, we’ve got that too! As for network TV… we’ll be researching our antennae options shortly, because this lady seriously can’t go without her Olympics this summer. (any antennae tips are greatly welcome!!!)
So our monthly costs for April’s TV watching: $7.99 for Hulu Plus + $7.99 for instant NetFlix = $15.98. That’s $100 less than our DirecTV bill from March, so I’m pretty much happy with that for now!
Now… will we stick to our “no cable/satellite” plan for the long haul? I guess this is all an experiment to find out. And I’m sure the fall football calendar will dictate some of the answers to that question. But for now, this little system works quite well for us and absorbing our TV.