Friday, May 5, 2017

The Best Way to Watch US TV in Costa Rica

During the first year living in Costa Rica, our family watched CableTica and it was pretty good. The best part was the Music section, with over 50 different included music channels offered, it was not great, but it was good for about $60 per month, way too much. Only some of the US channels were in English, but we needed the practice so it worked for the first year. When we moved, we signed a contract with Claro for about $30 per month. Claro offered a DVR, which we did not opt for, but the remote included an Audio button, which was great! Most of the channels offered either a Spanish or English audio and allowed perfect closed captioning, allowing us to read the Spanish CC while hearing the movie or show in English. This was awesome! The down side with Claro is that the commercials were very twice as loud as the program and in Spanish which is irritating because you are constantly holding the volume button to turn it up or down. We were able to watch Animal Planet and NatGeo, our favorites and learn Spanish at the same time. We also love Graham Norton on BBC. 
We never even knew about Graham Norton in the states because we were so consumed with abundance and news, we forgot to ever check BBC for the news or best new funny guy.

Now we are in our 5th year and we are using USTVNow. We love it. We can stream it from the computer, tablet or laptop and from our smartTVs, which are old Vizios, but work like a charm. It is only about $20 per month and the basic package offers all the regular channels like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS, plus the news channels like CNN, and Fox News. In addition, you get Discovery, Animal Planet, National Geographic and the History Channel to name a few. 

Since we watch Netflix, DVDs and Amazon for most of our movies, we really do not need the premium HD service or DVR. We are very happy to be able to stream from all of our old smart televisions though. When we moved here we shipped our stuff, including 2 large televisions. We were positive thinkers saying, maybe we will not watch TV anymore, but let's face it, we have 3 kids and it rains 6 months out of the year in Costa Rica, so we watch some TV. Before USTV Now, it was guesswork, but now we can take a look at the TV Guide and pick something to watch together instead of endless browsing through crap and commercials. We are more focused. We also moved the large TV out of our living room and created a TV room, helping a lot. We spend less time in front of the TV now, but it is more quality time since we peak at the nifty TV Guide and pick a show and time, just like back in the day at Grandma's house. Before you can watch, you need to order the Roku device, which is about $50, a streaming device. If you do not have a TV yet, I recommend the Roku television, eliminating the need for the box. Especially if you are an expat or travel the world, take your Roku TV or Roku box with you to be able to constantly stream. Just plug it in and pick a show or movie! Now that we have good internet options and fiber optic in some places, Costa Rica can be a great place to stream HD! Pura Vida!

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