Ode to Roku 2 XS

Recently I came into contact with a little device that resulted in simultaneous excitement and frustration- the Roku 2 XS. For those of you who don’t know,  a Roku is a tiny box that allows you to stream HD content from the internet directly into your TV. It is great if you have wi-fi but don’t have a smart TV.

First, the excitement. The Roku renewed my interest in Netflix, which my wife and I had dumped due to their price hike. Also, I just plain like gadgets. Additionally I love having access to a ton of my favorite sitcoms, movies, etc. Also, there was the excitement of finally dumping cable/satellite as we had found a way to stream to our TV’s without tying up our laptops. (I am aware that many Blu-Ray players stream content, but I never watch DVD’s, so why upgrade to a Blu-Ray player when the Roku is half the price?)

Second, the frustration. The frustration for me came it trying to cut the cord from DirecTV. I wasn’t actually able to, I had to rely on my wife for that one. She finally cancelled our subscription and, for the first time in my life, I am without cable/satellite.

Take a moment to let that sink in. First time ever. I’m not sure if that is a sad commentary on modernity or simply a sad commentary on my life. But my frustration with losing came nowhere close to my wife’s frustration of nearly gaining.

When we first got the Roku my wife and I decided that we were going to try to get over the air signals with an antenna. $130 bucks, two antennae, and 50ft of coaxial cable later my wife was holding our most recently purchased antenna, balanced at an oblique angle, on her tippy toes and leaning over our couch in an attempt to get ONE channel to come in. I had given up roughly 24 hours before and resigned myself to the inevitability of purchasing HuluPlus (since we already have Netflix). However, with Univision being the only channel we could get, even my wife had to throw in the towel.

We were hoping to get the best of both worlds. The channels we momentarily received over the air were crystal clear HD and local. With the Roku, we have access to a bunch of cool movies through Netflix and HuluPlus. However, the combo proved too powerful for the universe to allow us to have. Maybe one day we’ll move to a city where cheap-assess are rewarded. For now, we will just have to enjoy the $70 a month that DirecTV won’t be getting.

Thanks for the read,



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