Sunday, July 13, 2014

Antenna TV, Roku, Netfix, and closed captioning

Cliff's brother gave us a television he no longer needed, and I intended to play around with it using the four-dollar antenna I bought on Ebay.  I believe the television is HD, but it turns out HD isn't enough.  I would have had to buy a converter box in order to use the rabbit ears.  My son told me, "You can buy a new TV at Walmart for $100."  

So that's what I did.  

I also wanted to experiment with Roku and all the possibilities there:  Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu Plus.  See, with the way inflation is going, I'm thinking eventually that $60-plus a month we pay a satellite company might be needed for groceries.  I could lower the Direct TV bill by doing away with the DVR, but that's the main thing we love about Direct TV, that ability to record our favorite shows and watch them at our convenience, sans commercials.  

I mentioned on Facebook that I wanted to experiment with Roku, and a friend said he happened to have a Roku 1 he would give me.  So I can use a 30-day free trial from Amazon, Netfix, and Hulu, one at a time, and actually have the ability to watch my favorite shows free for three months.  In the bedroom, on a teeny-tiny television, but still!  We're talking about something that costs $8.99 a month, as compared to over $60.  

No, I won't be using it much.  As I said, I'm learning, so when the time comes, I will be prepared.  One of the first things I checked was whether I could get closed captions.  I found out I do get them on local stations via antenna, but not with Netflix, so I came to the computer to find out what I needed to do.  I did a Google search and found out the original version of Roku doesn't allow closed captions, but the later versions do.  Not a big deal, since this is my learning tool, not something Cliff will be using at the present time.  If we decide to switch to Roku in the future, I will purchase a newer model.  He can't make out anything on TV without captions.  

As for the antenna, it brings in a bunch of channels:  A couple of them broadcast old TV shows from many years ago (Leave it to Beaver, etc.); I might watch some of those occasionally.  There are a bunch of religious channels and home shopping channels, neither of which I watch.  

The truth is, I don't watch that much TV these days.  My favorite shows, Modern Family and The Good Wife, are on network TV for free, if I could put up with all the commercials.  If I understand correctly, there are no commercials, or very few, watching TV shows via Netflix or Hulu; so that $8 a month would take care of the commercial problem, and also let me watch episodes at my convenience, like the DVR does.  

I'm tied to a contract again with Direct TV, since I dickered with them on what I would have to pay for our recent move.  But when I think about how little television we actually watch, and how many books are available to me electronically from the local library, I can foresee us bidding satellite television a fond farewell in the future.


Traci DeSheles said...

We get over the air channels with an antenna that Lou installed on the old Dish stand outside. We get a decent amount of channels. We also get Netflix. Netflix has its limitations. I had been working my way through Doc Martin and was on season 3. The next day I went to watch the next episode. All they had on there was season5! I was not happy! My sister told me that they will pop back up at random.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

My kids got me a Roku box for Christmas. I do enjoy net flex. Rising costs are changing a lot of things in my life too.

Angela said...

The only thing we use in addition to the antenna is Netflix which is great... to a point. The one thing I grumble about is the very thing Traci mentioned.

Even so, I'm with you in that there are other things I prefer to spend money on.

Lori said...

There are commercials with Hulu; the newer the show, the more commercials. No commercials with Netflix, though. We use both and I have done a trial with Amazon Prime, but don't want to spend that kind of money right now. I have a feeling, though, that we'll eventually do away with cable, add Amazon Prime to our Netflix and Hulu, with the occasional iTune movie or TV show thrown in for good measure.


We're thinking of ditching our cable tv. We bought the Amazon Fire-Tv. haven't tried out all the features, yet.

Leilani Lee said...

Best thing we ever did was drop Direct TV and use the internet for viewing. Everything we like is on PBS (for free) or Acorn TV (for a fraction of the cost.)