So, as you may have heard… I’ve cancelled my cable service from my longtime cable TV provider. Instead, I’m now streaming my cable channels via the YouTube TV app for $40/month using my Apple TV in the family room.
I’ve joined the Dark Side.
Or perhaps I’ve finally left the Dark Side.
Either way, I loved this disruptive tech moment in my life.
I told my story to a work colleague, and he congratulated me and then commented how ‘freeing’ it must feel.
It certainly does.
Next, it was time to bring the freedom back to my older HDTV in my home office….
My Bat TV will Rise Again
Once designed as a compact media screen on the left side of my Batcave-like IKEA desk console, this little Sony TV has sat mostly dark over the past couple of years. It lost its cable box companion in the Lester Cable-Plan Purge of ’16.
(Yes, I’ve been on this path for a while now.)
In an attempt to keep feeding my Bat-TV a signal, I attached a Roku streaming puck to bring in a few streaming cable channel apps that I could still access via the existing cable subscription.
But it was a limited solution…
Find the Right Streaming Solution for You
Now, with the glow of YouTube TV permeating the Lester household… I was eager to activate another streaming device with no additional Google charge and no extra cable box to rent.
(You can actually run three simultaneous YouTube TV streams!)
So, it was time to get my home-office TV back in the game!
Unfortunately, my old Roku wasn’t built to run the YouTube TV app… so I needed to buy a newer streaming box.
Another Apple TV would certainly fit the bill, but the price tag is close to two hundred bucks. What about a new Roku?
You can debate the larger issue of the value of an Apple TV vs. a Roku.
But all of the Roku streaming players are so much cheaper than an Apple TV!
For this little secondary TV, a new Roku was the easy choice. The final question was which one…
I decided on the Roku Ultra and picked up one on Black Friday for 50% off at Amazon for $49.99. I saw on Facebook that my old school friend Matt also took advantage of the same offer for some holiday gifts!
(Well done, Matt!)
I connected my new Roku Ultra to my Sony TV using its HDMI cable. Then, I used the Roku remote to guide my Roku towards my home Wi-Fi network. Finally, I downloaded the YouTube TV app… signed in… and BAM!
Future-Proof Where Possible
No, I didn’t need the top-of-the-line Roku model for my barely-HD HDTV. But I figured it will help to future-proof my purchase if I want to attach this Roku to a 4K TV one day.
Even without a discount, you can still pick up one of the other Roku models for $50 or less.
(The base 1080 HD-only “Roku Express” is thirty bucks!)
The Cost to Stream
I know Roku isn’t the only low-cost streaming solution out there, but for me it’s that darn brand-loyalty thing again.
(My old Roku puck got me hooked.)
Whichever brand you choose, the fact remains that adding streaming capability to your TV costs almost nothing. And if you own a smart TV that can stream all by itself, then this conversation gets even easier!
Easy Access Matters
Now, I’ve got YouTube TV on my…
- Apple TV in the family room
- Roku Ultra in my home-office Batcave
- and the iPhone in my pocket
Now, that feels like real freedom to me!