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Posted: 1:35 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Roku makes getting Internet content on TV easy

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By Clark Howard


Many of us are cutting the cord to pay TV. I've got some ideas for you to make it easy to watch free or cheap programming on your TV using your Internet connection.

Today, roughly four in 10 of us have an Internet-connected TV. As a result, the number of folks who have disconnected from pay TV has risen by quite a bit in the U.S. through the economic slump. The exact numbers differ depending who you ask, but as many as 12% or 15% of households have gone to rabbit ears for their local networks and Internet-only TV for more extensive programming options.

The earliest pioneers who cut the cord did so because they were very tech-savvy people. But it's getting easier for dummies like me to go Internet-TV only.

I've been testing the second generation Roku. This device sells for anywhere from $50 to $80. It hooks up to your TV in just a few minutes and can get the Internet either wirelessly or via a hard wire to your high-speed connection. And bam just like that you're up and running!

Roku becomes easy to use as a simple TV system that gives you a massive choice in online programming.  I was stunned by how easy Roku was to hook up and use. Paired with a digital antennae to pick up your local channels, Roku will give you more TV to consume than you could possibly want or need.

My associate producer Joel is getting ready to pair his Roku with PlayOn.tv, which has additional programming it streams from your TV. Hopefully Joel will go on the air once he gets up and running to report back to you on how that's going.

My point is Roku gives you such a wide variety of choice. With it you can cobble together your own pay TV service with Hulu Plus or Netflix that costs $20 or less vs. the typical pay TV bill of somewhere close to $90 each month.

It truly is internet TV for dummies like me who just want things to be easy!

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