There has been some big news this month when it comes to over the top (OTT) devices being available on certain streaming services. Last week it was announced that Sling TV will be available on the new Apple TV. This has been a long time coming, and has been seen as a bit of a issue for both Sling and Apple TV. Cord-cutters that are dependent on Apple TV for streaming will finally have a solution for live streaming networks like AMC, TBS, ESPN, and more.
In bigger news this week, Roku has added a PlayStation Vue channel. The live streaming service will also be expanding to Android next week. I’ve previously chose the Roku 4 in my Roku vs Apple TV comparison. Apple TV merely keeping pace this year has done little to alter my opinion. The addition of Vue, makes Roku one of the most versatile OTT devices on the market today. It now supports every major streaming service, with the one notable exception being Apple’s proprietary iTunes.
This allows the Roku users to create a cable-like package over the internet with services like Sling TV and Vue or go more a la carte by directly purchasing content from Vudu or Amazon Instant Video. For example, one could purchase a TV antenna to cover all their network TV from ABC, FOX, CBS, NBC, etc. and then purchase the current season of shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Preacher” directly from Amazon Instant Videos.
If you only watch a handful of shows on cable, purchasing directly from Amazon can be quite affordable. The broadcast networks are free. With current seasons of shows available for around $25 a piece, you would only have to pay around $10 per month to follow 5 shows a year. Add that to the cost of your internet connection and your paying less than $70 per month for your internet and TV watching. I cover this very viable solution in more detail in my guide to watching TV without cable.
Roku gives users the flexibility to cut the cord on a budget as I described, or go all out and create themselves a streaming arsenal that provides most all the bells and whistles of cable with better On-Demand and improved picture quality.
Roku has had quite a year so far. The company recently crossed the 10 million active monthly users threshold. Prior to that they struck a deal with Comcast that will allow Roku to be used in place of a cable box at some point in the future. While cord cutters couldn’t care any less about Comcast, it does show that Roku is positioning itself to handle all comers when it comes to streaming video. This should be a comfort to Roku owners without cable as it adds stability to the Roku brand. In other words, Roku devices will be around for years to come.
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