The Hidden Mystery Behind Roku Cable Tv And Streaming
Discover some of today's best streaming secrets for cable cutters.
The Future of Media Streaming
Cable companies like to paint a happy picture that everything is fine with the status quo in their industry. Streaming and cable cutters have not affected them and in fact they are still gaining customers.
Depending on which study you read. Conflicting reports state the opposite is in fact true. More customers than ever are leaving cable to either stream their content, or sign up with competing satellite providers.
Will the Cable Industry Ever Wake Up?
As cable prices continue to increase, consumers will continue looking for cheaper streaming alternatives. Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu Plus will continue to see future growth as consumer dissatisfaction with the mega cable monopolies continues to fester. Unless consumers put up a united front and make their voices heard the large cable corporations will do everything in their power to make streaming more expensive and things will remain as they always have.
This will once again increase online pirating of content which has actually slowed down as more people started getting their content online from affordable streaming TV services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Hopefully at some point, Cable Network Execs wake up and actually realize they can compete with streaming services by offering local channel packages that can be streamed at an affordable monthly rate. This may actually be possible now that some of the larger cable providers are switching to an all digital network. This greatly increased their bandwidth and will allow them more programming options in the future.
Still have Cable? Get ready to pay more!
Once your cable provider goes all digital they will require a rented box for each TV in your home. If you have 3 televisions, this can add an additional $24 to your bill. The days of using a splitter and hooking up as many TVs as you want will soon be over.
This also means unencrypted QAM channels will also be gone forcing many people to sign up for expensive cable or satellite packages if they want to continue watching local television channels.
Unless you live in an area where you can get good reception you may be out of luck. Before you sign up with another provider, try getting yourself an HD antenna. Either a small indoor model like the Mohu Leaf, or if your live further away a larger antenna for the attic or roof may be required. The best part is you will be able to get basic network channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and PBS for free. Check out our Antenna page for some great options.
For those located in an fringe areas beyond the signals of Free TV, both Dish and DirecTV offer some great promotional deals for new customers.
XBMC Streamers - Popular for a Reason
Many people have chosen XBMC enabled media streamers like the excellent GBOX Midnight MX2. The main reason, there is so much great content available for this platform. To get an idea of what's out there, check out the Top 4 Add-Ons for XBMC. This platform will continue to grow and with the new GBOX, complicated XBMC setups are eliminated. It's almost plug and play right out of the box with many popular add-ons already installed.
Roku Brought Streaming to the Masses
If there is one company that can take credit for taking media streaming mainstream, it's Roku. Even edging out much larger players like Apple and Western Digital who had a head start. Roku has built up their Roku Channel List to one of the largest currently available. Latest reports indicate that more people use Roku to watch content from Amazon and Netflix then any other media streamer. Their next venture will eliminate the box all together and imbed their software directly into Smart TVs. A few years from now, we may turn on our small 120" paper thin televisions and be greeted by the familiar warm and fuzzy Roku logo.
Will This be the Year We See a New Apple TV?
If you are patiently waiting for an Apple Television, it probably won't happen this year or maybe never.
Until Apple can come up with enough content to have their own streaming service there is no real advantage for them. They have been trying to negotiate with broadcast networks although have not yet been able to put any kind of deal together.
At best, we may see a new Apple TV streamer that may be the size of Google's Chromecast and be able to play games. This could happen any day now and may provide a nice boost in sales for Apple. Will it be enough to take the lead away from Roku? We will have to wait and see as Roku may have a super secret Roku 4 Streaming Stick up their sleeves just waiting to be released.
Amazon the Wildcard
Firetube has long been rumored to be the name of Amazon's device based on patent fillings in the fall of 2013. Click here to read the article by The Streaming Advisor.
It remains to be seen if Amazon can put a dent in Roku and Apple TV sales. One way they could do so is by offering customers who buy their new Firetube streamer a discounted Amazon Instant subscription.
Amazon recently devoted an entire section of their website to media players and streamers.
Cut the Cord 101 helps those new to streaming learn more and will help more people get off of their expensive cable subscriptions.
Update: Amazon's long awaited streamer is out click here for details...
Mohu Channels - Online TV and Netflix in one Device
Imagine watching over the air TV channels right alongside Netflix and Hulu Plus without ever needing to switch inputs on your television. Mohu has been making small high quality HD antennas and is coming out with a new device this summer with an integrated guide that will soon make this a reality.
Picture a Roku with an Antenna port, although it will not nearly have the channels or content available on Roku.
This is something we have been suggesting Roku do for quite a while except take it a step further. In addition to adding an antenna port to their Roku box, why not also include a flash card port for recording live over the air TV. Plus, be sure to include commercial skip like their previous company had on their old ReplayTV units. This could be the ultimate cable cutting device and undoubtedly end up being the next top seller. Roku, hope you're listening...