Help Me Understand U-verse & Roku

Updated on June 25, 2013
L.B. asks from Aubrey, TX
5 answers

We currently have DirecTV. I keep getting letters from AT&T about their bundle package to include U-verse. Can you comment on your experience with U-verse?

Also, what about Roku? What is it and what is your experience with it?

The only show I would really want to keep watching and would need any new service to provide is Dancing with the Stars. Do these services provide that program?

We also get the Football packge with DirecTV so that my husband can watch the Steelers games. It's $300 a year and I feel like that is so expensive. With all this internet TV, I feel like we should be able to get those games cheaper.

Finally, we still have an old TV. (One of those that weighs a metric ton and takes ages to break.) Would we have to upgrade our TV to get any of these services?

Thank you for your comments to help me undertand all this new TV technology!

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answers from Seattle on

Cable got to be so crazy! So we got rid of it and got a digital antenna for local channels - ABC, NBC, CBS plus a few bonuses and got a Roku.

Basically Roku plays anything you'd find on the internet TV-wise on your tv. It's about $50 - for the device, but has no cost to use. So, through there we watch our netflix streaming ($8 per month) and Hulu plus ($8 per month I think) which allows you to watch other tv shows online. If I have a certain show I really want to watch like Mad Men which is not available in these formats, then I buy it from Amazon for $1 per episode and that comes through on Roku also.
Roku also has a PBS kids channel, regular PBS, a Music channel. It has tons of "extras"
You'd probably have to get a new tv if yours is 15 yrs old. But I know some new tv's have a Roku program build right in. Anyway, cable is crazy. This was the right set-up for us!



answers from Dallas on

U-Verse does not provide the NFL Sunday Ticket (yet) so your husband would not be able to subscribe to it if your switched providers.


answers from St. Louis on

Uverse is cable, just brought in a different way. My brother used to have DirectTV and switched to Uverse because when you start adding stuff on, like football, it is cheaper.

It does not have coax out but if you have stereo inputs for the TV you should be fine.



answers from Albuquerque on

OK, so I can't help you with the u-verse or sports stuff but I can help you with the Roku. We've been cable free for years and finally purchased a Roku a few months ago. We have Netflix and Hulu Plus. Roku has free channels and channels you can add so maybe you can find the sports stuff there, you can browse the channels on You don't have to buy a new TV, you just need the basic Roku box for yours. Just talk to the people at Best Buy or any electronic store.
If you're looking to get rid of cable you need to get a converter box and an HD antenna (rabbit ears) and then you have access to local channels where you can find Dancing with the Stars. If you want to watch it after it airs it "may" be on Hulu plus but I can't say for sure. They don't have Survivor or Bachelorette available. You can always watch it on too.
Good luck!



answers from Tyler on

As the others have said, "Uverse" is just another cable provider. you need to do some research comparing your current package with your other packages to see if you want to switch (be sure you understand any penalties if you cancel your current provider).

If you want to get a Roku device, you still need to have internet coming into your house. I had a Roku about 4 years ago (2009) so it was an older model than what they have now. I hooked it up to my older tv (tv was bought in 2004 and so is definitely not a flat screen). I used those red, white, and yellow cables to connect it up. When I first got the Roku device, I was living in a rental situation and had my computer and my tv in the same room and so I just hooked up the roku directly to the computer and to the tv. This allowed me to have internet and tv on one thing (I know you can get tv through your computer, but my tv screen was a lot bigger than my computer screen). However, when I moved into my house, I wanted to connect the Roku wirelessly. I did that and it worked for a little while (wirelessly to the internet, it was still directly connected to the tv) and then it quit. I did some research on the problem and a LOT of people had that problem with the roku device. So, I did not purchase another one. Instead, I purchased a Sony Digital Media device which I love. It has lots of "channels" - including Netflix (which I pay the $8.00 a month for, and hulu, and Amazon, and exercise channels, etc.). I don't use all of the channels, but I defnitely use Amazon. I am an Amazon Prime member, so I can stream some movies/shows for free.

When you are deciding what to buy, read the specs on the digital media device and see how it is connected. I bought this Sony one specifically because you did NOT have to have an HDMI cable. I have it connected to my old tv with the red, white, and yellow cables. And, it works wirelessly with my router.

Also, just FYI, I did buy a "Vizio Smart tv" for my exercise room. Basically, I wanted a flat screen I could mount on the wall, get tv and the internet features. So, it has a menu screen for netflicks and amazon - without having to buy the digital media device. I'm very happy with that set up as well.

Oh, and one more thing you should know, most BluRay players now have the internet features built into them. So, if you are looking into upgrading your tv or dvd player, if you get a blu-ray player, you DO NOT NEED a separate digital media device. I was slightly annoyed to learn this because I ended up buying a bluRay player for the exercise room so my kids would have an alternate location to watch videos and it turns out it had all the internet connection features- so I did not really need the "smart" part of the tv afterall. Ugh.

Oh, and when you research your digital device, the specs should say what it works with (Amazon, netflicks, etc). If you go to Amazon, I believe you can research there and see which digital devices are compatible with Amazon.

(also, just another FYI, my parents have a more current version of Roku and are 100% happy with it).

Another thing to consider is to just get a tablet. You can snuggle up in a corner and watch anything you want (netflicks, dancing with the stars) (amazon would be contingent upon which tablet you got). No football extra stuff on the tablet.

So, do your research!

Good luck,

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