Time for a new Roku

Let me introduce myself…I’m Mrs. CancelCable.com.  Thought I’d try my hand at adding to our blog! Here’s the latest….

In late December, we had some bad weather and our Roku unit’s power adapter was fried during a lightning storm. This was a pretty big deal since we (including our kids) have been relying on it to watch just about all our tv and movies for the past couple of years (Netflix and Hulu Plus for free shows and movies, and Amazon on Demand for current release pay per view movies).

The timing of the power surge was unfortunate because the whole family was all set for movie night.  My husband descended into the basement and hastily searched through his big bag of transformers and what-not that he’s saved from every appliance we’ve ever owned. Luckily, he found a power adapter that worked, even though it wasn’t an exact match. To the delight of the kids, and myself, movie night continued.

This was a couple of months ago, and instead of calling for a new power adapter, we continued to use the temporary fix. The only problem was that it was causing the Roku to need rebooting every couple of days, which it never needed before.  My husband appointed our 7 year-old to be in charge of this, and that actually worked pretty well until now.

Technically, the Roku unit’s still working, but I think using the wrong power adapter has taken its toll on it, so we’ve finally decided to buy a new one.  The good news is it looks like they are cheaper than the $99 one we bought several years ago.  The bad news is there are now three different units to choose from, so we’ll need to do some research. To be continued…

11 thoughts on “Time for a new Roku

  1. First of all, thank you so much for posting all this info! It’s motivated us to explore the option of giving up cable 🙂 I’m so sorry your Roku broke!

    That brings me to my question…do you run into any streaming issues with the roku? I’m a little unclear on how it works (despite exploring their website and reviews!).

    We’ve been trying to watch Hulu and Netflix on our LCD tv through our computer and it’s a little choppy and drives me nuts. I don’t know anyone with a Roku and would love to know if this helps with the choppiness of the video!

    Thanks so much!

  2. Hi Sandy. I got a Roku back in November (the top-of-the-line XDS model, specifically), and it works great.

    In using both Hulu+ and Netflix on there (as well as Amazon VOD), I have had only a couple of momentary issues. About 2-3 times a month, a stream will be going along great, and then will just stop playing (or won’t have started at all), and I’ll have to restart the stream from where it stopped. It’s a minor annoyance, but it hardly makes me second-guess my plans.

    Framerates are consistent and never an issue on my Roku experience. The problem I find with viewing on a computer is that it’s usually multitasking, where Roku is doing one thing (streaming video). That, or it’s just Flash being such a resource hog!

    I hope this answers your question, but I’ll check back if you have anything else. You can also reach me on Twitter (linked on my name) if you prefer. Good luck in your quest!

  3. We’ve been testing out a Roku box, preparatory to canceling our cable.

    We got the Roku that uses dual band wireless, and picked up a new router that also supports dual band wireless. Our outgoing connection is RoadRunner, so we’ve got plenty of bandwidth.

    We’ve successfully had a movie going on the Roku, and one on an iPad, at the same time with no choppy parts.

    Another time, we had just one movie going, and had some choppy parts (probably due to congestion between us and Netflix). But that was an isolated problem that hasn’t cropped up again.

    Overall, we’re convinced that Roku is the way to go, and are going to call to cancel our cable very soon.

  4. Jenn, there is some Disney & Nick programming available through Netflix streaming, and current stuff is on Amazon VOD for purchase. There isn’t a live channel for the either Disney or Nick, which is true for almost any other channel you might be interested in. One of the trickier things with cutting the cable is being aware of everything that you or your kids watch.

    I would recommend that you work with your kids and draw up a list of your shows. Then, check on Netflix and Amazon to see what’s available, and if it’s enough to satisfy everyone. Also compare the costs of buying on Amazon VOD with your monthly cable bill, and see what the better deal is. Cancelling cable isn’t necessarily the most cost-effective solution for all, but it is for many.

  5. @Sandy – Thanks for your comment! We’ve been using the original Roku with WIFI and haven’t really encountered any streaming issues when watching movies. Every once in a while (maybe once a month), a movie will stop for about 20 seconds while the Roku adjusts to the slower speed and buffers more of the movie. This usually only happens once for the rest of the day, with no more interruptions.

    @Jason,@Jay – Thanks for sharing your experiences. Glad to hear that your set ups are working well for you!

    @Jay Great to hear that using dual band wireless lets you watch two movies at the same time using your Roku and Ipad.

    @Wizard – Thanks for the UPS suggestions. We’ll be sure to get one and do that with our next one!

    Mrs. CancelCable

  6. I LOVE Roku! I have turned off my cable tv but kept my Roadrunner. Roku is the only reason I did not go insane after turning off cable.

    At first i used the wireless option to connect Roku to my rounter. This worked but I also had the Roku stop once in a while to buffer the movie. Once i changed to a wired connection I have never had a buffer issue.

    I like to listen to the internet radio channels using the “TuneIn” channel on Roku but did not want to keep my tv on all the time. What I did was buy cheap RCA splitters from Walmart and split the red and white Roku connectors, one goes to the tv while the other (for each color (red, white)) goes to my stereo. Now I can get the music going on the tv then turn off the tv and listen to the music on my stereo.

    Hope this helps.

  7. Any choppiness on Roku feeds is going to be due to the speed of your Internet service. We found that changing from an “up to 1500 Mbps” service from the 384 Mbps service (which actually came through about 500 Mbps) made a lot of difference.

    We also run a Vonage VOIP phone. When we add a second Roku box for the bedroom TV, we may jump to the “up to 3000 Mbps” service.

  8. Hi,
    The fine people at Roku also sell replacement power supplies. I think they are about $15 shipped. Before discarding the old Roku box you should try a new power supply. In the worst case, you would have a back-up power supply for the new Roku box.

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