Saving Money in a Tight Economy – Media Streaming Boxes

saving money, ROKU, entertainment, getting rid of cable, economic collapse

saving money, ROKU, entertainment, getting rid of cable, economic collapse

This post is for anyone – but especially with preppers in mind. With the economic troubles that are effecting so many – where pennies are spent is becoming more and more important. As many of us are trying to spend the few dollars we have on preps – funds going in the direction of “entertainment” such as cable, satellite, and going to the movies is becoming tight. The purpose of this post is to discuss one possible way of reducing monthly expenses by eliminating cable or satellite – and going the way of the Internet and a Media Streaming Box.

So – what is a media streaming box? Generally speaking – it is a small device which connects to your TV and Internet service. This device pulls content off the Internet and displays it on your TV. This content  comes from a variety of sources – many of which are totally free.

What kind of content can you get? Services such as Amazon Instant Video Netflix and VUDU are the hallmark of these devices. Netflix is my favorite and provides literally thousands of movies, TV shows and documentaries for less than $10.00 per month. Amazon Instant Video offers a competitive selection of content to Netflix – though Netflix still out performs Amazon by a fair margin. If you are an Amazon Prime member there are thousands of Amazon Instant videos that are available to watch totally free. VUDO is a service which allows you to rent the latest new release movies as well as older flicks. These movies are streamed through your media streaming box.

How much does it cost? There are many media streaming devices available from $39.00 to $100.00. Which one to pick depends on what you are wanting. Most will stream High Definition video and some will even host a variety of “apps” like games. Beyond the initial cost of the device – next is the cost of the Internet service. It is worthwhile to pay for the fastest Internet service you can afford.  If all you have is dial up this technology is not for you. Lastly – as stated previously there is a lot of content that is available for free or for just a few dollars.

Which devices?  Different device price levels brings different features. Roku is the main brand of media streaming devices. RCA and Sony also make a variety of models.

Here are a few choices – follow the links for more information:

Roku LT Steaming Player

The Roku LT Media Streaming box is under $50.00 (I have this one).

  • 300+ channels with movies, TV shows, music, sports & more
  • High-definition streaming up to 720p HD
  • Works with virtually any TV
  • Built-in wireless (Wi-Fi b/g/n)
  • Smaller and more energy-efficient than any other streaming device

Roku 2 XD Streaming Player
Roku 2 XD Streaming Player

The Roku 2 XD Media Streaming box cost around $79.00:

The tiny, powerful Roku 2 XD makes it a snap to stream over 350 entertainment choices to your TV instantly—in up to 1080p HD quality.

350 channels and counting: Features the top sources, like Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, and Amazon Instant Video

High-definition streaming: Up to 1080p HD

Small footprint: The size of a hockey puck, Roku 2 uses less power than a night-light.

Easy setup: Works with virtually any TV, includes built-in wireless, and sets up in minutes.


Roku 3100AB 1080p Media Streaming Player with Angry Birds game

The Roku 3100AB Media Streaming box is top of the line and costs a tad over $100:

  • 300+ channels with movies, TV shows, music, sports & more
  • High-definition streaming up to 1080p HD
  • Works with virtually any TV
  • Enhanced remote with motion control for playing games
  • Built-in wireless (Wi-Fi b/g/n) and wired Internet connectivity

So – what is the catch? Why isn’t everyone killing their cable bills and switching to the Internet? There are a couple of reasons:

First – there are many channels that you may watch that are not available via media streaming devices and the Internet. Local stations with local news – likely to not see it ever again.

Second – It requires Internet service and online content that is getting streamed is not instant. If you are watching a FoxNews report- it is not live…..ever. There will be a delay of at least a few seconds.

Third – Change. Cable has been around for a long time. People mail in that $100 bucks or so every month and then often watch just a handful of channels. To actually go and cancel the cable which they are comfortable with and switch – it can be intimidating.

In summary – why is there a post about high-tech and EMP-vulnerable media streaming devices on a survival and preparedness blog? Pretty simple – saving money. Part of surviving today in this economy involves cost reduction and living frugal. These devices can help live more frugal without feeling like you are.

Take care all –





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