I had been toying with the idea for some time. As I sat on my bed, reading my cable bill line by line, the anger and frustration seem to rise like lava in a raging volcano. When I saw the “set-top box fee,” it erupted. On top of the more than $20 in fees and surcharges, I was being charged $5 per month for a box Charter said was necessary to receive service, even though my television was cable-ready! I was done.
The next day, I cancelled my cable service. I took the $100 Best Buy card I received for Christmas and bought a Roku. I had weighed the pros and cons and found the amount of money I would be saving was worth more than my NFL fandom. (Little did I know, this decision would later serve my eventual distaste for the NFL hypocrisy.) Immediately, I took advantage of the 3 free months Hulu offered to try them out. It was a pleasant surprise to see how many movies and network shows were accessible through this service. However, I was quite disappointed in what Hulu offered in the family friendly department.
One of the items on my cons list of cord cutting was lack of access to channels like the UP Network and Hallmark; though Hallmark’s record of diverse programming leaves much to be desired. I looked to these networks regularly for inspirational movies and shows free of highly sexual content, minimal vulgar language and if I’m lucky, a good message. This is not to say I exclude all shows that may drop an F-bomb. We do live in a real world and hey…What do you think Peter really said to that soldier when he cut his ear off? Sometimes, however, your spiritual eyes need a cleansing break.
I will set no wicked thing before my eyes… Psalm 101:3
So, when Hulu did not provide an adequate selection of family friendly content, I decided to explore the religious channels available on my Roku. Though literally, hundreds of channels were available, most were from churches who stream their services, like The Potter’s House and Elevation Church which I added. Others were from well known speakers like Joyce Meyer and Charles Stanley. I added those too. These choices were nice but did not satisfy my desire to be entertained with good storytelling. So, like any cord cutter, I went to the internet.
I googled Roku and faith based films to find better options. My search led me to a variety of channels available with a subscription and a few free options as well. Most offered a 30-day trial. I decided to stagger my selections. A channel called Dove was the most recommended for its enormous amount of content. Next was Pure Flix created by the production company of the same name. However, with a $10.99 per month price tag, I am very hesitant to pay more for a service I may watch occasionally versus Netflix which I watch almost daily for $3 less.
Honestly, I am always a bit skeptical regarding faith based content. The low production quality, incomplete storytelling and to say it nicely, sub-par acting tends to turn me off. Sometimes, I am pleasantly surprised but I generally approach this type of content with low expectations. This should not be the case when it comes to anything that represents Christ. We serve an excellent God so what we present to the world should be excellent. I will try the various options available on Roku.
As I watch, I will make note and review. This will hopefully provide valuable information about what is available to Christian audiences seeking alternatives. I also hope to challenge the industry standard of excellence when producing faith based content.