As other posters have said you don't get actual channels through the Roku, but access to content on demand. I get both hulu plus and Netflix to give me more variety. Since basic cable is part of my rent I only pay $16 a month for all of my television. There are only a few shows that I miss that I used to watch, but having hulu plus and Netflix give me plenty of alternatives. Even if I didn't get basic cable included in rent I would probably still pay for it if for no other reason to watch sports during the season. But basic cable with hulu plus and netflix is still much cheaper than for me to have digital cable and a DVR. As far as hooking it up I just ordered it off of Amazon and hooked it up myself within a couple of minutes after opening the box. The regular cables came with it, but I got an HDMI cable to use with it instead so I can watch things in high definition.