Do you use streaming video services?

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Nerd on the Range

Welcome to the third edition of the West River Eagle’s blog and column, “Nerd on the Range.” When NOTR doesn’t get sidetracked by awesome brocolli salad and  impromptu family birthday parties, NOTR is published on Monday’s on www.westrivereagle.com and subsequently printed in the newspaper. Find us on WRE’s Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube and submit your questions. 

In my opinion, I have no idea why people would pay for cable or satellite, when they could utilize various streaming video services and the devices that support them.

Unless you love the DIY Channel. But, I digress.

Streaming video services allow you to watch popular movies and TV shows at a fraction of the cost that cable or satellite services cost.

All you need is good Internet service and one of the many devices that support them.

My favorite streaming service is Amazon Prime. With this cost of about $75 once a year, not only do I get selected free shipping when shopping on Amazon, but also access to a library of streaming video, usually akin to what one finds on Netflix. While I use Netflix, as well, I enjoy Amazon’s iPhone app for watching on my phone.

Hulu Plus also offers a myriad of television shows and though we have used this service our most favorite television shows aren’t there or are available on the station websites.

If you want local news and weather, you will have to go to your newspaper (oh, darn) or the radio, but for national tv and movies out on DVD, including documentaries and music stations like Pandora, syncing one or two streaming video services with an iPhone, iPad, Wii, Xbox or a tv-specific player like Roku is an excellent way to save money.

While there used to be a serious lagtime between a show being on-air whether it is a tv station or cable channel, now some shows are premiering on network TV mere days before showing up on Amazon Prime.

Case in point: Steven King’s new mystery/horror TV mini-series, “Under the Dome.”

I actually am not a fan of horror, but I do enjoy suspense and science fiction, and have gotten a kick out of this Lost-esque show. I am told that this series won’t be dragged out ad nauseum like the Lost series was, though, so I’m excited about being a fan.

The show comes out with new episodes right now weekly on CBS and then streams on Amazon Prime every Friday night.

Like I mentioned earlier, we watch our streaming video on a Roku. In the last year or so, Wal-Mart now carries Roku, but I ordered ours from the Rokue website back in 2010. It was a little over $100, and the kick with Roku?

Once you pay your money, no more fees, except for your Amazon Prime membership or Netflix, etc. The box itself doesn’t cost money to keep going outside your regular Internet bill, since it uses your Internet, usually wireless now, (so for newer models you may need a wireless router if you don’t have one already).

We need to buy a new Roku, since our old one doesn’t support the brand new PBS and PBSKids channels. I say channel, but they are really catalogs of available shows that you choose to watch whenever youw ant.

The only downside is it might slow your Internet a bit.

Still totally worth it.

Happy web trails,

Nerd on the Range

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