Presto! Instant TV for Free!

UK_MyChannelsWith season four of Game of Thrones right around the corner, I began thinking about how much my television viewing habits have changed over the last few years. I used to be a news junkie and would glom the cable news channels throughout the day to see what was going on in the world. I am still a news junkie, but I get most of my news fix from the internet these days. The television has been relegated to movie binges and series television show marathons.

I blame that on getting my Roku. Several years ago, my husband and I were trying to figure out how to play YouTube and Amazon Prime videos on our OLD television set. The newer televisions had built-in HDMI hookups. Sadly, ours did not and I looked everywhere for a connector that would hook up my laptop to the television AND produce sound.

During my internet search, I ran across the Roku and decided this would make a great Christmas present for my husband. For those not familiar with the Roku, it is a streaming player that runs off WiFi and allows you to access Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Amazon Prime, HBO Go and hundreds of other channels, many of which are free to use.

With the wide variety of channels available, almost any movie or series can be found. On HBO Go, I can watch every season of Game of Thrones and True Blood. On Netflix, there are Breaking Bad, Being Human, Mad Men and Bomb Girls. PBS is also included among the Roku channels and Downton Abbey, The Paradise, Mr. Selfridge and more Masterpiece Theatre shows are available to watch whenever you like. I no longer have to go out and spend $50 on a DVD set of my favorite series.  They are all just a click away. The Roku itself is free. If you already have a Netflix, Hulu or Crackle account, you just sign up using your account information.  If HBO is part of your cable package, then it is free on the Roku. This Christmas I gave my youngest daughter her very own Roku to use while in college since she does not have cable.  Presto, Chango, instant TV for free!!

While I did watch many of the television series that have proliferated over the past ten years, unless I remembered to tape them, I was a slave to the show times set by the networks. New technology has changed all of that and now I watch what I want at my own leisure.  I can also surf the different channels and watch a little bit of this show and a little of that show to discover the gems that were hidden from me before technology changed my world.  How has technology changed your television viewing habits?

– Mary AAR

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