Using a Tablet instead of a Roku?

This is post #4 in my transition off of Cable TV.

So I needed – well wanted – something more than just the blue ray player with it’s outdated apps for Netflix and Pandora on the second TV. I thought about getting a second Chromecast, but then I stumbled across this article on CNET, “How to turn your Kindle Fire HD into the ultimate Roku box“. And in talking to a relative, it turns out this is exactly what he is doing in his man cave, and urged me to try it. Naturally, that was all of the urging I needed to go ahead and try it. I went out and bought  a 15 foot micro-HDMI to HDMI cable, as well as a 15 foot micro-USB cable (to keep the tablet charged during a movie marathon if necessary), and set it up.

Setting up and using the Kindle Fire was even less painless than the Chromecast was. The only performance issue I had was every once in a while, Pandora would rotate 90 degrees on the TV, and the app would go completely black on the tablet. I still haven’t figured out what that was about.

I have to be honest though, overall I don’t like it for two reasons. First, I don’t like it because I had 15 feet of cable strung across the floor between the television and the end of the bed, creating what I feared would become an expensive accident when someone eventually tripped on it, and either pulled the TV down off the dresser, or put the tablet into flight, damaging it somehow. The second reason I don’t like it is I lose the use of my Kindle Fire if someone wants to watch something on that TV.

So I was getting ready to order a second Chromecast at this point, when I saw that Roku is slated to release their own HDMI “stick” (see CNET’s article “Roku’s new Streaming Stick takes on Chromecast: $50, HDMI-compatible, 1200 apps (hands-on)”. Very interesting! I think I’m going to hold off until it’s released, and get one, and see if I like it better than the Chromecast. As a side note, my kids absolutely LOVE the Chromecast, and using it has become second nature for them.

 

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