A lot of people seem to want the Roku to enable to cut out their cable provider. If you are getting your internet access from your cable provider, you are still going to be tied. I have not explored the Roku thoroughly yet however what I have seen I like, for the most part.
I am somewhat dismayed that accessing the Slingbox still necessitates use of a computer or portable device in addition to the Roku. That dismayed was enhanced geometrically when I tried to make the Roku and the Slingbox talk to each other. Neither Sling or Roku point out the small symbol on the Slingbox Android app that initiates the process. I was not able to find that on either site but I did find a YouTube video where the user pointed out the appropriate little symbol and Voila! connection. So thank you to YouTube and no thanks to Roku or Sling for their poor documentation.
Once I was able to connect, the beaming of the Slingbox and resultant content from my TV was relatively easy. I say relative due to it sometimes necessitates rebooting one or the other to make connection.
Adding channels to the Roku is quite simple. There are a fair number of free channels and more TV programming that I hope to never ever watch. There are ties to Vudu, and Hula, Redbox, Netflix and many many more. With HBO being unbundled, I hope to see HBO on there with out the current restriction that you must have HBO on your cable provider.
The remote has a headphone port which is very handy! Neither my TV or my surround sound has a head phone port so watching after others go to bed becomes problematic. The Roku remote works great for that and if you have a Slingbox you can watch your normal channels through the Roku using the remote for your wireless headphone. It works pretty darn slickly.
Cat videos will now be easily viewed on my big screen instead of my computer due to the YouTube channel on Roku. (I have grandkids and thusly grandcats.)
I am sure there will be many more things to do with the Roku but it my principal reason was to use it with the Slingbox and easily access my programming when I am traveling. It does it, not without some trial and error but it does work. Sling you and Roku should work out your differences and provide a Sling channel then I won' t have to tie up my tablet to use my Roku with you.
From The Vendor:
Faster and more powerful. With up to 1080p HD video* and extended-range, dual-band wireless performance for increased speed
Amazing remote with headphone jack. Use the included in-ear headphones to crank up that late-night flick while the kids (or parents) sleep
One-stop search. Find your favorite movies and TV shows all from one place from top
TV and Movie services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or Hulu Plus.1500+ channels and growing. The best selection of streaming out there.
Free iOS and Android device app. Use it like a remote. Browse and add new channels.
Even stream your music and photos from your phone or tablet to your HDTV
A Roku account is free. However, payment information is required during setup to provide the convenience of making purchases from the Roku Channel Store on your TV. You will only be charged if you choose to make a purchase.