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Author Topic: Logitech vs Roku television  (Read 1209 times)
cariad
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What's past is prologue

« on: September 18, 2011, 07:26:06 PM »

I thought I would put this up so that anyone considering ditching cable/satellite television would know what they were getting into. We have had both of these systems for about a month, ever since I rang up AT&T and told them what they could do with their U-verse. We still have our phone and internet through them, and our bill has gone from $183/month to $60/month. (This is after a $10/month discount that they gave us for all of the trouble we've had with their television service, and the special price will last a year.)

We have two CRT televisions and one flat panel, LED screen in the great room. The flat panel HD television was already Internet enabled and came with widgets for limited content over the Internet. Plus, we have the Wii set up on this television, so that allows you to stream NetFlix. We put the Logitech in that room. The Logitech comes with a few apps, but other than that, it basically turns your television into a computer screen and you can go directly to web pages to stream content. The kids know how to go to PBSKidsGo to watch some of their favourite programs. Unfortunately, some pages block their content from being shown on a television, and both Colbert and Daily Show do this. However, we have subscribed to HuluPlus which offers the most recent 7 episodes of Daily Show and Colbert. This is around $8/month. We have cancelled our NetFlix dvd service and are just using the streaming service, which is now also $8/month. We can stream MSNBC live for free with the logitech, which is fabulous, although it requires going to a third party site. The logitech will stream Amazon Prime content (much of that is free with a prime membership, approximately $80/year, which we already had paid for before getting the television boxes). The only thing Gwyn lacked was his rugby, but he found a site where he can watch all rugby games around the world for $15/year. So, if you're keeping track, we pay about $24/month for content and get everything we want on our televisions.

The Roku is much easier to use, but only uses channels with limited content. No browser capabilities, so if they do not offer the channel, we cannot watch it on that television. We have the Roku in the bedroom. The Roku offers NetFlix, Amazon Prime, and HuluPlus for channels, so we get all of the paid content (except the rugby). Rachel Maddow is one of the shows offered on the NBC channel, although not every show is available for some reason. Some shows only provide audio, which is strange but do I need to see Chris Matthews? Probably not. TED is one of the channels, and those talks are great fun. There is also a university lecture channel, and I watched a lecture on Tennessee Williams. Did not learn anything that I did not already know, but it was cool to be able to sit in on the talk. There are sport channels on the Roku, but I think all of them require extra payment. No rugby, but just about every other sport (Surfing? Skateboarding??) We bought the older Roku, the newer one comes with a free Angry Birds game, but I detest video games and had heard that it uses so much memory that it makes the video content skip. The price for the older and newer system were about the same, I just don't give a flying flip about that game. No YouTube over the Roku, which makes no difference to me, but I know is important to many. YouTube is an App on the Logitech. Then there is a whole new concern about how well it displays your own content, but we are not bothered about that so I would not know how capable each system is. We have few problems with skipping, and our Internet connection delivers roughly 6MB/S. We get unlimited Internet access for one price in the US, but I know most countries do not offer that luxury, so this probably would have little appeal outside of the States.

Personally, I am glad we have both. Each was $100, and each has different strengths and weaknesses. I love the fact that the kids cannot just turn on the television and have content blaring at them, they really have to think about what they want to watch. They are not exposed to all of these adverts anymore, so I wont be pestered to buy them cheap crap that they are convinced they will DIE without. I do not have to lunge at the television in order to mute the sound on one of those offensive, wretched adverts for the latest 'Loser Teenage Males Objectifying Women' film. In another month, both systems will have paid for themselves. The Logitech will supposedly be adding apps, but some people fear that Google will be giving up on the system altogether. Either way, if I had to buy just one, I think I would still buy the Logitech as it allows for live streaming where the Roku won't. When we want to watch a Rachel Maddow in the bedroom, we wait anywhere from one to twelve hours for the show to be put up on Roku, and sometimes it is not put up at all. So long as content is not blocked from being displayed over a television, we can watch anything accessible on the web using the Logitech. For blocked content, we can watch some of it via the paid services. We have put our little kitchen CRT television away and just have the laptop set up permanently downstairs, where we can watch anything at all over the internet. Yes, it requires a touch more effort, but since we only watch a handful of programs regularly, I love the system we have cobbled together.
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