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Cuckoo for Roku

I’m not a huge fan of TV. I can’t binge watch anything unless it’s mindless. I won’t catch up on missed episodes of a show. In fact, I will likely abandon the program altogether, but I will watch hours of guilty pleasures like Lockup and Hoarders. I’m not a huge fan of TV, but a little purple stick is changing that.


I wasn’t exactly sure what it did or why we needed one, but the premise seemed cool. Our old flat screen has two full HDMI ports, so a trip to the electronics store was in order. I asked if they had something that could increase the number of ports, but when I asked this same question years before, there was no such thing. Until now.

There was an HDMI splitter and an HDMI selector. They sold me a splitter, but somehow I knew I needed the selector. After a failed installation, I was correct. I exchanged the device, smug in my knowledge that I knew something that the kids in the store got wrong. My smugness wore off as I realized I needed to purchase a $70 part (plus another HDMI cable) in order to use a $40 streaming stick.


Once home and properly configured, it was magic. While my spouse added about four horror channels and Mutant Sorority Pictures (a channel devoted to B movies), I chose A&E, History, and CBS News 24/7. Roku has the greatest channel ever, Documentary Depot. I love documentaries, and I love that I can add watchlists to A&E and History (not so with Amazon’s streaming device).

About a week before we acquired the Roku, we bought an Amazon Fire TV Stick. It was great at first, until we got the Roku. The Firestick lacks the content we enjoy compared to the Roku. The Firestick is good for Amazon Prime members, it’s easy to locate free programs through it. (We are still in the free 30-day trial period of Amazon Prime, which we intend to keep after the free trial is over. We held off for a long time, but the increasing minimum purchase for free shipping and access to the lending library for Kindle made the leap a no brainer).


It’s not possible to switch between different Amazon accounts on the Firestick, unless you deactivate to sign into another account. Unfortunately, deactivating means that everything that was saved to the stick will be deleted. Instead of returning the Amazon streaming stick, I use it for Prime shows, and I am able to watch my Netflix and You Tube accounts on it, while hubby has his separate Netflix and You Tube accounts on the Roku. It does save us the hassle of having to login to our separate accounts.

Who knew our dumb TV could be turned into a smart TV? Had I known, I would have splurged on these devices sooner. Another advantage of the Roku over the Firestick is the remote. The Roku’s remote uses alkaline batteries, while the Firestick uses the sometimes harder to find button cell batteries. However, there are apps to control both units with a smartphone, which is handy in the event of a misplaced remote (or dead batteries).

I would love to get these streaming sticks for the bedroom TV, but that TV has no HDMI inputs. It’s a 12 year old 32” Sony HDTV, an early high definition unit that has a tube, and not a flat screen. It was our family room TV until the Sharp Aquos came along. The Sony is a hefty 200 pounds, does anyone want to help me move it?


5 thoughts on “Cuckoo for Roku

  1. Good question! Depending on your interests, many people dump, or at least reduce, their cable bill. There are many free channels while others require a subscription, like HBO Now. Because we already have HBO through cable, HBO Go was free to add to the Roku. To activate channels like Starz and Showtime, you have to log into your cable provider’s website (if you already subscribe to these channels to get them to work on the Roku). Cinemax’s channel is not available on the Roku. I’ve heard that some basic channels (3, 6, and 10) require a fee to watch live, but I haven’t checked on that. I think it’s worth the $40 for all the free stuff. I also like that I can mirror my laptop, tablet, and phone to the tv using the Roku. Hope this helps!

  2. Hi Loretta. We have Roku and tried to stream a movie through Vudu at a $3.00 charge. The movie, Darjeeling Limited, kept stopping when we tried to watch it. There’s nothing wrong with our network or computer. Have you experienced this? I’m jonesing to see the rest of that movie, but our 48 hours of watching time is up.

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