Top positive review
The best option for Spectrum cable subscribers
Reviewed in the United States on April 19, 2018
I often try to buy refurbished and have rarely been disappointed. This item was no exception. Out of the box, everything appears new and the item's performance was exactly what it should have been. I love the Roku app on my phone that serves as a remote control. This gives you, in certain circumstances, the ability to type while searching rather than relying on the arrow-driven hunt and peck method. Also, if you plug in headphones to your phone it mutes the TV and broadcasts the sound through your phone, a nice touch that can be useful for late-night viewers or those preferring a true surround sound.
This is the first external streaming device I've ever purchased. I bit the bullet because of Spectrum's switch to all digital signals, which renders old fashioned coaxial cable obsolete -- unless you give Spectrum an additional $11 per month, per TV set, for a converter box. The more affordable option is to buy this item and watch TV via the Spectrum app. My impressions:
1) Cost savings. This item will pay for itself in little over two months given Spectrum's rental fee for a converter box. The rest of the Pros on my list would also be the case if you were renting the box, but the cost savings make them even more satisfying.
2) Possible increased channel selection. If, like me, you're adding this to a secondary TV that never had a converter box, you will now be able to receive all of the channels you're paying for, instead of just the basic 60-70 channels that co-ax was giving me. Looking back, I should have done this a couple years ago.
3) Increased HD availability.
4) Program information and schedules on your TV.
1) Navigability can be an issue. Specifically I'm referring to the fact that you have to open a channel guide and scroll to whatever channel you'd like to watch. If I'm using the Spectrum app on my tablet to watch TV it's not a big deal because with a swipe of the screen, it rockets up and down the channel guide. On your TV, you've got to use the arrow buttons to scroll and it can take time to move from, say, channel 44 to channel 401. I'd like to see Spectrum somehow incorporate a means of entering digits on screen to speed up this process.
2) Not really a con, per se, but you may need to purchase a new router or even pay for faster internet. I was told at the Spectrum outlet that my existing router would be too slow. They wanted to give me a newer router, which would of course cost me an additional $5 a month, but I went online and bought one myself. Nonetheless, before that item could arrive I used my existing $15 router and experienced no buffering issues at all. Even with three devices streaming at the same time. Still, when the new router came, I hooked it up to make sure I had the speed to handle multiple TVs.
If you're looking to avoid Spectrum's price gouging, this is just about the only way to go. Fortunately, it does a great job. I have the sneaking feeling that within a year or two, as I find more and more Roku apps to fit my tastes, this device may be what leads me to finally cut the cord.