The Golden Age of Television – Just in Time for Your Retirement

Category: Home and Garden

February 18, 2017 — Winter’s silver lining is that being trapped indoors much of the time gives you the leisure to experience what we think is the golden age of TV. There has never been the quality and the range of programs that is available right now. Cable and streaming television has become such an exciting place to work that many of the best creative people – actors, directors, producers – are moving to television where they have more opportunities and control than in the movies or network TV. In fact there are so many quality programs to watch that even if you did nothing else you couldn’t keep up. You can try though, as one of the the great things about being retired is that you can stay up as late or get up as early as you want!

The Options
One of the hardest parts of deciding what programs to enjoy is deciding where and how to watch them. There are so many options, and they are changing so fast, it is hard to stay current.

Let’s look at the where to watch first, and the choices are endless. Besides the major networks, you have hundreds of cable TV stations, some of which like AMC and FX offer outstanding programs. Most are free with basic cable, others like Showtime, Starz, Epix, HBO, Sling, Itunes, Youtube, etc. are an extra on your cable bill. Then there are the streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, etc. Although the video rental business has pretty much evaporated, there are some left, in addition to hundreds of movies and TV shows available for free at your local library.


How to watch keeps changing. You can get local channels for free with a digital equivalent of rabbit ears, if you live in an urban area. Subscribe to cable and the choices become staggering, depending on how much you want to pay. You can subscribe to the DVD service at Netflix and get almost any TV show you want, although generally not the current season. The streaming services like Netflix, Hulu have gotten pretty easy – you pay a small amount per month and get a lifetime’s worth of programs. With Amazon Prime you pay an annual fee and get to watch an unbelievable amount of content, plus get free shipping on all your Amazon orders.

Smart TVs will let you access these services almost as easily as if you were choosing a TV channel. Or if you don’t have a smart TV, a Blue Ray DVD player does the same thing. Another option is to play the program on your computer, smart phone, or Ipad. You can subscribe to services like HBO Direct TV now and get access to all those cable programs, without paying a cable TV bill. If those screens are too small you can beam the program to your big TV by an HDMI cord or wireless device like Apple TV. For example, if you connect this little device from Apple to an HDMI cable it lets you see what’s on your Iphone on your TV (the Belkin device you see is the HDMI cable).

What to watch
This is the fun part – everybody’s taste is different. One thing we have learned is that with so many choices, you have to be discriminate. Even if your best friend tells you that the show is wonderful, if you are not blown away after 2-3 episodes, move on to the next. There is so much good quality available that you don’t can’t waste it on mediocrity!

The streaming services will recommend shows to you based on what you have watched and how you rated those shows. Generally their recos are pretty good. Your friends are a great source of program ideas. Ask them what they like and within a short time you will get an idea if your tastes are similar. Read the newspaper and online reviews, and watch award shows. With so many shows coming out so fast, even reviewers can’t keep up.

Several online platforms rate television shows. Some that we know of are:
TV Worth Watching with David Biancoulli. This blog has lots of ideas and quality opinion to give you ideas.

Alexander Samuel – TV for Every Occasion. She has an interesting approach to watching TV, by breaking it down into 4 categories:
Dedicated, Multi-tasking, Workout TV, and Family Viewing.

Topretirements has a Pinterest board with some of our favorite Shows for Baby Boomers. Also see our other Pinterest boards while you’re there!

Our top 10 shows (but ask us tomorrow and it might be a different list). Remember, what TV shows you like is highly personal! Experiment and you might find a fabulous show that none of your friends even know about. (put the names of these shows into a search engine to find out how to watch).
The Wire (HBO). Drug trafficking in the slums of Baltimore. The actors from this show did such a great job you see them everywhere in other shows. Tremendous.
The Sopranos (” “). A Mafia man faces “family” issues at home.
Breaking Bad (AMC). High school chemistry teacher makes the best meth on the planet.
Narcos (Netflix). The life of Columbia’s most famous drug trafficker, Pablo Escobar, pitted against American agents and set in beautiful Columbia.

Happy Valley (Netflix). Likeable and very human British detective tracks down a ruthless kidnapper.
The Fall (Netflix). Gillian Anderson (X Files) is slowly burning detective in pursuit of a seriously bad serial killer. The sex roles are reversed here in this fine dramatic portrayal.
The Crown (Netflix), Wow, this is great. Queen Elizabeth as a young woman coming to power.
The Americans (FX). An unbelievable good show. You think you have problems juggling multiple priorities – these KGB agents are inserted into America in the 60s, and then they have an almost normal American family.
Downton Abbey (PBS). “Upstairs Downstairs” updated with better costumes, scenery, and plots.
Mad Men (AMC). Jon Hamm (as Don Draper) and the rest of this series re-incarnate the crazy world of 1960s and early 70’s. Your editor was part of that world – but he never had as much fun as Don Draper (thank heavens!)
Homeland (Showtime). President Obama likes this show and so do we do. Great plots and lots of excitement, plus some excellent acting.

What do you like?
This is the best part of the article. Please tell us your favorite shows and where you found them in the Comments section below.

More ideas on how and what to watch:
Best TV Streaming Services




Posted by Admin on February 18th, 2017

34 Comments »

  1. House of Cards and Grace & Frankie.

    by Elizabeth — February 19, 2017

  2. GAME OF THRONES. Bought 6 years of episodes on DVD for $50. Much cheaper than subscribing to HBO.

    by mary11 — February 19, 2017

  3. Can someone give instructions on how to hook up an Apple phone to a TV? I see in the picture there is a Belkin cord attached to a toggle to plug into your Apple phone. Where do you plug the Belkin cord into the TV? Would like to know actual part numbers for the Belkin and Apple toggle plug. I have some episodes from the History Channel that I would like to watch on TV rather than my computer or phone. I have the episodes on my phone now but have never watched them. This would be great!

    Note from editor:
    This is the link to the Apple iPhone 6 adapter. Be sure you order the correct one for your phone (the connectors vary by model). Other phone manufacturers require different adapters
    http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MD826AM/A/lightning-digital-av-adapter?fnode=e8fc0422abe7b57978f88a815dbfaf0f7da5aae5ff007418550578857332eb633b446a27505ddf317326a4edf83d11d184aafd2deb15067fd69dc831cd89b123081fe5b4f6d667ca7c022a94251f0f62bb9eca0ca0461858a49c9953d4fc1d57

    The Belkin is a cable with HDMI plugs at either end. It plugs into one of the HDMI outlets on your TV. There are other brands available.

    by Louise — February 19, 2017

  4. I forgot to say I have Netflix and it is awesome! The price went up a little but is only a little over $10 a month. I bought a Blue Ray player for the Hub for his retirement and we play DVD’s sometimes and of course watch Netflix with it. In a strange way, I still miss the VCR! It was fun going to the local video store and looking for movies. We always rented way too many movies though and had to bring them back unwatched many times! Like kids in a candy store! We use the DVR from our cable provider and that is one of the best things ever to fast forward through the commercials.

    by Louise — February 19, 2017

  5. I have to admit that I’m a sucker for buying full series of my old favorite tv shows. I have a bookcase dedicated to them, and plan to enjoy them when I retire. I have everything from Murder She Wrote, The Man from Uncle, Magnum PI, Rumpole of the Bailey, all of the Star Trek series, Babylon 5, Wild Wild West, McGyver, West Wing, Northern Exposure and more…my collection is pretty darn cool, if I say so myself LOL. I’m just keeping an eye on DVD players though…I’m starting to get nervous that the technology will disappear before I retire, like VCRs. I could need to sweep in and have to buy one or two to put away if that happens. If I don’t enjoy the collection as much as I think I will, I suspect a 55+ community library might enjoy them someday.

    by Kate — February 20, 2017

  6. Kate, buy yourself a Blu Ray player. It plays DVD’s and you can subscribe to Netflix, Hulu or other things. It is pretty easy to set up, I did it myself and I am not a ‘lectrical engineer’. However I have wished many times I had a teenager to hook this stuff up for us!

    Great on your collection of DVD’s! We also love the original MacGyver show and are now watching the remake which I refused to watch for a while because I just didn’t think they could replace Richard Dean Anderson. To me it isn’t as good but it is pretty entertaining and I give it a thumbs up! Also, one of my dogs names is MacGyver named after the show! LOL!

    I have purchased some DVD’s on ebay and I plan to resell them on ebay when I am finished with them. Good idea to donate them. I have offered a friend some of mine but her tastes are not mine so she rejected them! LOL!

    by Louise — February 20, 2017

  7. I will agree completely with Mary11 — one of the best shows ever produced is “Game of Thrones” on HBO. But not at all for those prudish about sex or violence.

    As for the article, I find it amazing the Directv was mentioned barely in passing. The whole arena of audio, video and home theater has been a major passtime for me for more that 20 years. I admit to having spent a huge amount of time, research and significant equipment investment to achieve the best this “hobby” offers. Without getting bogged in the depths, I’ll share some of the hazards as it relates to retirement planning.

    When you are planning your retirement location, do pay careful attention to the internet speeds available and the programming services available for that location. The problem for retirees who may seek some level of remote living, is that many of the services identified in this article may not be readily available away from population centers. Do you want to live in the NC mountains, AZ deserts, or CA wilderness away from a significant town? Your only option may be satellite — as in Directv or Dish. For cable, you may have GREAT difficulty finding the high speed internet service which is needed to use those vast streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime, etc. I live just outside one of the most technologically advanced centers in the world (RTP — Research Triangle Park, NC) and yet my fastest internet service is constrained to less than 2.5Mbps. Streaming HD video requires at least 20Mbps. We have never been able to use streaming services.

    When it comes to the quality of the video offerings there are many contrasting reports. You will have to sort your way through, but I have read significant complaints from users of all the services. If you have multiple options, be sure to check with users in your area. Do NOT rely on the advertising fluff from the services themselves. Users in one city may see far different picture quality in other cities even within the same state. I feel I can confidently rely on Directv — but their cost is typically somewhat higher and you should know that satellite service, while almost as reliable as cable, may be interrupted during major storms. We have no other option other than one competitor and we have stayed with Directv for 24 years. We get outstanding HD service.

    That brings up video quality. HD video is the standard today (1080p) and is provided by all services. SD (think old analog tv) may be available from most services at significantly slower internet speeds. My neighbor makes do with SD and is able to stream video with only minimal pauses for buffering despite our slow internet. The newest tvs being sold today almost all have UHD (Ultra-HD, 4K or 2160P) and they may not handle SD well. If you want that quality of video, the UHD level, streaming is virtually non-existent unless you have internet speeds in excess of 100Mbps. You will be limited to using UHD Bluray discs with a UHD Bluray player, the minimal Directv 4K service or Netflix, etc. streaming services also have some UHD offerings.

    Thinking to the future (from today forward), if you are buying a new tv, unless you KNOW that you will NEVER have use for UHD/4K, don’t even consider buying a tv that is not UHD/4K capable — and ensure that it provides HDR. We are currently at a crossover point in video technology. Older HD (1080p) tvs remain on the market and will continue to provide good video image quality. But from 2017 onward, we will be seeing the new video capabilities that have been introduced in the past two years which provide UHD/4K with HDR. You will want that and by 2020, we are likely to see a complete changeover to these new video capabilities including over the air (antenna) broadcast. Just as SD video still persists (think Andy Griffith reruns), HDTV will persist for many years. Similar to the way you should think of a 30-year retirement, if you are thinking at all that you will be watching TV for more than 5 years, it is time to be aware of and consider moving to UHD/4K with HDR for your next tv purchase. Prices for this tv capability in 2017 will drop below $1000 (and such tvs are already available today).

    For those interested, I recommend a huge, rather complex and inestimably valuable audio/video resource: AVSForum (avsforum.com). Take a little time to know the layout and find the forums you are interested in and, whether beginner or lifetime experienced professional, you can find information and help on anything you want — equipment, reviews, theory and setup included. (Warning: Delving into AVSForum is known to be a potential financial hazard — please exercise restraint in your spending. :<)

    by Rich — February 20, 2017

  8. Here’s something else to consider, especially if you have a large library of DVDs: Plex. It takes a bit of work to rip all the DVDs to a format usable by Plex, but once you’re done, you can access it all via a Roku or other streaming device. And you’re retired, right? You’ve got nothing but time. 🙂

    I’ve converted all my DVDs so I can watch them through Plex. You can easily browse through the different seasons of TV shows and get a synopsis of each episode, so if you’re looking for a specific one, you can find it a lot easier than shuffling discs in and out of the DVD player.

    A search for “convert DVD to plex” will give you all the instructions you need. It can all be done with free software (including Plex itself), so all it takes is time.

    It’s like having your own personal DVR.

    by Chuck — February 20, 2017

  9. Kate, you can be pretty sure that players capable of handling DVDs will not disappear in at least the next 5 – 10 years. All players today — both Bluray and UHD Bluray — are required to be backward compatible to handle DVDs. But if you don’t already have a player (or are replacing one) be sure you do NOT buy a “DVD” player. They cannot play any of the new Bluray discs. Personally I would suggest waiting at least a year (if you don’t require one now) and consider buying one of the new UHD Bluray players. These have only been available for 1 year MAX, so it is still too early to jump in if you can avoid it. Costs are fairly high as with any new tech, but the original Samsung K8500 (not the best quality) is now available for less than $200 though it started around $500.

    What is likely to eventually displace all these players will be something totally new or the currently expanding streaming services. Although with streaming you couldn’t play the library of discs you already have, you can probably find all of those somewhere on Netflix or some other streaming service. (BTW, even the Samsung I mentioned above can play all your DVDs, all Bluray and all UHD Bluray discs — at least to date. But UHD Bluray is currently “bleeding edge” consumer technology. I was fortunate to win a top end UHD Bluray player in a contest, yet even that has it’s issues which are actively being worked.)

    by Rich — February 20, 2017

  10. I find it a bit disturbing that of your four highest-rated shows, three relate directly to the drug trade and the fourth relates to the mafia (which is also heavily into the drug trade). What does it say about our societal and personal values, that in our leisure time we derive the greatest pleasure and satisfaction from watching drug lords and mafia figures? I am not prudish at all about watching TV shows which reveal the dark underbelly of our society. I just don’t understand why, after working 35 years, anyone would want to spend their precious remaining time immersed in the life of drug dealers.

    Editor’s Comment: Thank you for your opinion Cecil, in which you raise some interesting points. All I can say is this: De gustibus non est disputandum. (In matters of taste there is no dispute. Or, everyone is entitled to his own taste). On a different note, my wife is a mystery writer, Lucy Burdette. I often overhear her and her author friends (all in the cozy mystery genre of Agatha Christie) getting into the fine details on how to “off” somebody. I always say, what would people think if they overheard you guys, a group of middle aged ladies apparently desperate to kill some soul. It’s fiction, thank heavens.

    by Cecil Wingfield — February 22, 2017

  11. We enjoyed Goliath on Amazon and are just getting into the first season of Billions that runs on Showtime.

    by Debra — February 22, 2017

  12. I loved Breaking Bad, Frankie and Grace, Game of Thrones, and House of Cards. Of course House of Cards was outrageous politics and it now seems tame compared to real life.

    by Debra — February 23, 2017

  13. We’re binging Mad Men. Love the way it portrays a time in history not that long ago.

    by Sandie — February 23, 2017

  14. I’m an Asian TV fanatic. Tremendous amount of watching. China alone produces 56,000 tv episodes a year! Subtitles get to be normal viewing but gets monotonous sometimes in representing a concept or figure of speech. Humor is something often loss to one degree or another. Also they do not have season 1-3 except very very very good shows. They often to the same story 3 different way from 3 different countries.
    Compared to the “good shows and actors” in the above list of violence and drug themed offerings, Asian shows offer a wide variety of story lines and good actors. Most shows last 20 episodes while some Chinese shows could go for 50 on same story.
    Streaming apps are cheap compared to Netflix. Check it out by downloading Viki(global TV) and Dramafever.

    by Mark — February 23, 2017

  15. Has anyone used SLING TV? We plan to retire and re-locate within the next 12 months and husband is thinking we should give up the cable, get an antenna and go the “Sling” route which we have seen advertised by Danny Trejo, on tv now. Just wondering if it works as well.

    We currently have Comcast with On-Demand (which I like), Netlfix, Hulu and Crunchy Roll with a ROKU device.

    by Holly — February 24, 2017

  16. I suggest you buy a roku for $100. It has sling and many other channels. You will need your TV to have at least 2 HDMI slots. I would try it now with your normal cable so you can get use to it. While many people talk about cutting the cord, I think the best want start is to purchase the lowest price service that cable provides (say 20 channels) and include Internet. Most municipalities require cables companies to have a very basic service for low income households. I am not a big fan of just using roku (which includes sling) and then getting your local channels from the air. Yes it works, but it’s not as simple as you are use to and the convenience is with something to us. I like roku because it has all of the services you will want and is good at getting the newest ones.

    by Robert — February 25, 2017

  17. Hi Holly

    I use an HD Antenna that covers a fifty mile radius and here in DC it works like a charm. I am not paying Comcast for channels I do not watch or care to watch. I get fifty channels and block a few of the Spanish channels simply because I do not speak Spanish. I still have an old movie channel, all the PBS channels including the British one (BBC) and all the local ones for news QVC, HSN, and a few retro ones thrown in. I enjoy that I have what I need and if a storm comes up I won’t lose my TV Service—plus what a great picture on my TV. The cable channels get a poorer picture quality because of all the programs they jam through the cables. I was furious with myself for paying for cable to transmit programs that I could have been getting for free. I have not used HULU or Sling TV but I will be investigating it in the future.

    by Jennifer — February 25, 2017

  18. I have a roku that you can buy for way less than $100. I have the acorn channel for $4.95 per month. It has all the British programs. I also get Amazon prime so am able to watch their videos on my tv as well. In addition I have an old tv that doesn’t have ports. I was able to buy a new roku last week that came with both the port pllug and the 3 prong multi color plugs

    by Stacey — February 26, 2017

  19. Jennifer do you get the cable news stations as well?
    Thanks! Betsy

    by Betsy — February 27, 2017

  20. I get RT and CTTV which are equal to cable CNBC, CNN and FOX Cable. Since I do not have cable, I do not get channels which are exclusively cable. I get anything allowed on the free (mandated by Congress) HD (high definition)
    channels, and there are many of them. I was amazed at what I could get for free. I get all the PBS channels including the British one which includes BBC news–this channel was one that I really wanted. I watch all the local channels as well in High Definition. If my Internet goes down or if for some reason Comcast goes down, it does not affect my television reception. In the past, when I had cable with Internet and phone services combined, if it went down due to weather–I lost all my connections. Now I still have TV due to the antennaand my phone (since I use Republic Wireless). As for my Internet service, I would love RCN, but Comcast will not allow them to use their equipment to transmit a signal so I am a captive to Comcast internet. I had Verizon in the past and will not go back to them.

    by Jennifer — February 28, 2017

  21. Hi Betsy,,

    Here is a link for the Channels on Roku:

    https://channelstore.roku.com/browse

    Generally, the more popular channels requires a small monthly subscription unless you subscribe to cable and get it in that package. For instance, if you get HBO or CNN or ESPN in your cable package, then the app checks this and gives you access. Yes, there are many free channels that you might enjoy browsing. We mainly use Roku for Acorn, Amazon, Netflix, and PBS and use our cable for everything else.

    Stacey is correct about the over the air antenna, but your success and enjoyment will be dictated by your location. Also, if you like to use your DVR like we do, you will have to find an alternative to you cable DVR. We we have found is that we like to DVR stuff and use Roku. Keep in mind that if you watch on demand channels on Roku for popular network shows (say NCIS, Bull, Elementary etc) on CBS you will be forced to have their embedded commercials play – fast forward is disabled.

    Some of my friends who have looked at getting rid of their cable bill have complained about the remaining cost of the internet. I know this will come down over time, but I guess depending on where you live, this can be a little frustrating.

    I have a retired friend in Florida and he got Roku last year and reduced his cable to the lowest monthly price and kept his DVR and internet. He seems pleased with this concept. It meets his and his wife’s needs. She doesn’t like going into the TVs input settings to switch to Roku and its channels so when he isn’t there she has easy to watch TV available.

    Certainly the internet options are worth checking out. The reason I chose the $100 Roku vs. the cheaper one was the buffering speed. The $100 newer option just loads quicker and seems to be better for our household. I am sure the Roku sticks work fine, but we have had Roku for about 4 years and upgraded to a new one last year vs. the 1st one and we do see quite of bit of performance difference. All the rest of Roku is the same.

    Finally – Roku is nothing more than a small box the size of 2 cell phones and a small remote (The Roku stick looks like a flash drive you that you would plug into your computer). The small box plugs into your TV and also a power outlet. It works really nicely and you will be surprised how many different types of entertainment are on it. Many you have never heard of but many you have. Good luck in your search…

    by Robert — February 28, 2017

  22. Robert, can you explain the difference between Blu Ray and Roku? I have Blu Ray and I also subscribe to Netflix and tried HULU but didn’t like it.

    by Louise — February 28, 2017

  23. I like that Hulu now offers most free commercials programming. I tested out the Playstation streaming network and liked it alot….it offers a dvr option too ranging around $40 monthly.

    by mary11 — February 28, 2017

  24. I don’t have a BlueRay so I won’t be as knowledgeable about it.

    Blue ray is a device that allows you to watch your DVDs and also has some features for getting certain internet offerings like netflix and Hulu. The main difference in my opinion is that quantity of the additional offerings and the ease of seeing what is available. Roku is a service that literally partners with content providers and creates the channels on their equipment for you to watch. Blue Ray equipment has a more limited offering.

    An example:
    I have a smart TV and purchased it for the streaming potential. It has HULU and Netflix and some others, but it doesn’t have Acorn Media or Amazon, where ad Roku has pretty much everything. Knowing what I do today, I wouldn’t have spent the extra money on the smart TV and just purchased a Roku.

    Don’t know if this helps, but its my general understanding of the difference.

    by Robert — February 28, 2017

  25. I’ve not seen this inquiry & I’ve wondering if folks have suggestions. My husband wears a hearing aid & has a difficult time understanding on a lan phone (not so bad he needs a captel or ones that show conversation) especially if the person has an accent. We need to keep our lan phone & not go total cell thus am looking for what is available at a good price. It would need to have an answering machine & have at least one extra phone. In checking them out the price seems to be all over the board. I should add that we have turned up the vol. to max but doesn’t seem to help him. Thanks..

    by Sue M — March 1, 2017

  26. My understanding is that blue ray is an upgraded DVD player that provides better picture quality than a “regular” player. Coincidentally I just purchased a refurbished Samsung blue ray DVD player from Amazon for 40 bucks. This one is Wifi enabled. Haven’t received it yet so will see how it goes.

    by Jim C — March 1, 2017

  27. Jim C, I have Blu Ray and pay for Netflix. It is awesome, however, we do have a lot of favorite regular TV shows which doesn’t leave a lot of time for movies. We watch Netflix occassionally and wish we watched it more. We watched all of the Lost series on Netflix and I was possessed! We kept saying ‘one more episode’ which led to more and more! My Hub was ready run down the road screaming! He could only take so much! LOL! I think we watched every episode in about a weeks time. I looked at the link that Robert provided for Roku and the offerings are unbelievable! However, not sure how much all the add ons would cost. Guess you’d have to figure out what your interests are and focus on that. The nice thing is that if you hate it or get tired of it you can cancel and move onto other things that Roku offers.

    by Louise — March 1, 2017

  28. I have a question regarding Roku. Right now I have Blu Ray and I subscribe to Netflix. If I were to buy a Roku would my Netflix service just continue or do I have to call Netflix to reset the service with them to work with Roku? Thanks!

    by Louise — March 1, 2017

  29. Louise, you can use your Netflix with the roku. When you sign into it you just need to put in your user name and password

    by Stacey — March 1, 2017

  30. Great Stacey! I am investigating Roku and wish I had known about it sooner and I would have bought it instead of the Blu Ray.

    by Louise — March 1, 2017

  31. For me the big advantage of Roku is the operating system/software that enables you to go from Netflix to Amazon Prime to You Tube and 100’s of other streaming web sites. You can also go to your cable box, DVD or digital antenna easily. I have a Roku TV rather than just the box or stick.

    by Jim C — March 1, 2017

  32. Jim C. Thanks for mentioning the Roku TV! I must come out of the stone age one of these days! I never knew Roku TV existed but I looked it up and it looks fantastic! This is going to be on my wish list! Showed Hub too and he is less inclined than me to move onto new technology but he thought it was really awesome! When we first got the DVR I was the one recording things. I finally showed him how to do it and have not touched it in probably two years now! He learns quicky!

    by Louise — March 2, 2017

  33. One thing I like about buying a ROKU box vs. the TV is that after purchasing a smart TV I feel the technology was locked in. I will easily keep this TV 10 more years and have had it probably 6 now. I personally feel being able to just upgrade the ROKU box to new versions is a cheaper solution. Also, since most people have more than one TV what we did was when we upgraded to a newer Roku Box (more memory and faster loading) we moved the old Roku to our bedroom. I can’t predict where technology is going and what better options we will have so I like just adding the Roku Box and figure they will probably be apart of it.

    As for the cost of channels on Roku or any of the similar services like Apple TV or Google Chrome, Yes some charge a nominal fee and some don’t. That is one reason I kind of like just keeping the lowest price cable TV channel package. It will get your local channels and also most likely have CNN and others. Plus you can DVR some things which isn’t important to everyone, but we like it for the shows we watch the most, since we can skip the commercials. I have to believe longer term that more Rocku type channels will offer a free option with ads and a subscription option with no ads. For most of people wanting to reduce costs this would be a great option. As I said, the network channels on Roku or in your cable on-demand do this now, so this model is out there.

    Finally, why I like Roku over Apple TV and Google Chrome is that both the latter services have a more closed network vs. Roku. What I mean is that where Roku wants as much content as they can get, I think Apple and Google wants to drive you to their content when possible so channels like Acorn TV aren’t available – or they weren’t a year ago.

    by Robert — March 2, 2017

  34. I like Roku, and I also have a Amazon firestick on 2 TV’s. Both work great. I believe they both have the same content.

    by dakota — March 2, 2017

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