I dumped cable TV, and still have loads to watch

Jeff-66 wrote:

Roku does not have Hulu. At least not yet.

Ah - thanks. So now I'm really puzzled as to why Roku gets so much love...Ok, it's cheap, but I can stream all the same stuff that Roku can via some Blu-Ray players, TVs or any console, can't I? Or is there some Roku secret sauce that I'm missing?

Jeff-66 wrote:
Chaz wrote:

There's also rumors that the 360 is getting a Hulu app thing soon too.

I'm hoping to see this announced at E3 tomorrow.

It's certainly very likely something will change around the existing consoles this week...maybe it will make my decision easier.

Cod wrote:
Jeff-66 wrote:

Roku does not have Hulu. At least not yet.

Ah - thanks. So now I'm really puzzled as to why Roku gets so much love...Ok, it's cheap, but I can stream all the same stuff that Roku can via some Blu-Ray players, TVs or any console, can't I? Or is there some Roku secret sauce that I'm missing?

Jeff-66 wrote:
Chaz wrote:

There's also rumors that the 360 is getting a Hulu app thing soon too.

I'm hoping to see this announced at E3 tomorrow.

It's certainly very likely something will change around the existing consoles this week...maybe it will make my decision easier.

\

As far as I can tell, it's the cheap, and the timing. Roku did it before a lot of the other options on the market, but that advantage has dried up.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I have DirecTV because of NFL Sunday Ticket. If I look at it that way, then NFL Sunday Ticket is really, really expensive. You know what? It's worth it. I can watch every football game while sitting in the comfort of the basement. If I could get all the NFL games live online, I'd drop DirecTV. I can't, so I'll suck it up.

This. I could live without DirecTV. I have plenty to watch on Hulu and Netflix, and I would get an EeeBox and have a badass Boxee setup on my main TV (I plan to do this sometime anyway).

But I have to be able to watch my Jaguars games.

Sunday Ticket is supposed to be made available online for non-DTV subscribers by 2012. When that day comes, I begin the battle of weaning my wife from broadcast TV. It's gonna be tough...

Cod wrote:

I've been keeping an eye on this thread for a while now & I think we're going to cut the cable too. I'm planning on mainly doing streaming Netflix, renting Blu-Rays and I don't have any of the hardware yet* There are a few things that I'm not sure about & would appreciate any thoughts.
* Including the HDTV, so a web-enabled TV is even an option

All the ads in OTA HDTV without a DVR will probably drive us nuts, so a DVR would be useful, though maybe not essential. To get spousal acceptance, using a PC as the only media center is out. I can't seem to find a one-box solution, though Tivo, Roku and Sony all seem close, so I'm inclined to drop the DVR requirement to a future upgrade...

It seems then to boil down to RokuHD+dedicated Blu-Ray player or a PS3. As far as I can see, the trade off is...
PS3 gives me everything that Roku/player does, plus games, minus Hulu
Roku/player gives me everything that PS3 does, plus Hulu, minus games
Am I missing something here...Unless I really want Hulu, am I best off just going with a PS3?

Any other options I've missed?

I'm not sure why you are anti media center pc with a nice tv. Build a nice looking box and then you have dvr, (win 7 media center or the linux equivalent, I don't know it but I know it is out there.) hulu, netflix, youtube, and more. You can get a remote so you don't need a keyboard and mouse if you want too. I believe some of the low powered ION systems can power a 1080p tv with out a problem as long as you don't want to play games.

Tanglebones wrote:
Cod wrote:
Jeff-66 wrote:

Roku does not have Hulu. At least not yet.

Ah - thanks. So now I'm really puzzled as to why Roku gets so much love...Ok, it's cheap, but I can stream all the same stuff that Roku can via some Blu-Ray players, TVs or any console, can't I? Or is there some Roku secret sauce that I'm missing?

As far as I can tell, it's the cheap, and the timing. Roku did it before a lot of the other options on the market, but that advantage has dried up.

Exactly. My TV doesn't stream, I don't have a console, and I haven't jumped to Blu-Ray yet. So for only a Benjamin, Roku gave me Netflix and Amazon.com's Video On Demand, plus a bunch of other stuff.

MonoCheli wrote:
Cod wrote:

All the ads in OTA HDTV without a DVR will probably drive us nuts, so a DVR would be useful, though maybe not essential. To get spousal acceptance, using a PC as the only media center is out. I can't seem to find a one-box solution, though Tivo, Roku and Sony all seem close, so I'm inclined to drop the DVR requirement to a future upgrade...

I'm not sure why you are anti media center pc with a nice tv. Build a nice looking box and then you have dvr, (win 7 media center or the linux equivalent, I don't know it but I know it is out there.) hulu, netflix, youtube, and more. You can get a remote so you don't need a keyboard and mouse if you want too. I believe some of the low powered ION systems can power a 1080p tv with out a problem as long as you don't want to play games.

I agree an HTPC certainly could certainly provide all the functionality I want in a single box & that is a potential longer-term upgrade. The problem is that I'd like to do this in the next month or so, and need to make the system easily accessible to a non-geek. i.e. hit button then start watching within a few seconds. Opening up a computer-type interface to play a DVD or watch TV would probably be a deal-killer. When I looked at repurposing my old gaming rig last year, it seemed as though the software was clunky & would need a lot of work to get it easy-to-use, but I'll take another look - maybe it's improved now.

*Legion* wrote:
MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I have DirecTV because of NFL Sunday Ticket. If I look at it that way, then NFL Sunday Ticket is really, really expensive. You know what? It's worth it. I can watch every football game while sitting in the comfort of the basement. If I could get all the NFL games live online, I'd drop DirecTV. I can't, so I'll suck it up.

This. I could live without DirecTV. I have plenty to watch on Hulu and Netflix, and I would get an EeeBox and have a badass Boxee setup on my main TV (I plan to do this sometime anyway).

But I have to be able to watch my Jaguars games.

Sunday Ticket is supposed to be made available online for non-DTV subscribers by 2012. When that day comes, I begin the battle of weaning my wife from broadcast TV. It's gonna be tough...

If this happens I will drop DirecTV in about five minutes. I don't watch that much TV, really, but I keep DirecTV for Sunday Ticket. It's ludicrously expensive if I think about the year-long DirecTV costs, but I don't care. It's worth it. If I can get Sunday Ticket online and run that through my TV, I'll drop my satellite service in a heartbeat.

Cod wrote:

I agree an HTPC certainly could certainly provide all the functionality I want in a single box & that is a potential longer-term upgrade. The problem is that I'd like to do this in the next month or so, and need to make the system easily accessible to a non-geek. i.e. hit button then start watching within a few seconds. Opening up a computer-type interface to play a DVD or watch TV would probably be a deal-killer. When I looked at repurposing my old gaming rig last year, it seemed as though the software was clunky & would need a lot of work to get it easy-to-use, but I'll take another look - maybe it's improved now.

If simple and easy-to-use are top on your list, I'd give another nod towards the Roku. Just plug it in, connect it to your network, and fill your Netflix queue. They've dramatically upgraded the interface about two weeks ago, so now you can not only access your Instant Watch queue from your TV, but you can also browse new releases, categories, and even search for movies and programs.

ESPN coming to Xbox 360, free with gold accounts.

Hm, guess that could help with those of us hanging on for certain sports.

Stele wrote:

Hm, guess that could help with those of us hanging on for certain sports.

Exactly. I thought of this thread when that was announced. And it seems like a full slate of sports coming, 3500 games accessible.

Btw, back to the Roku. One small advantage it may have, is that it's got built in wireless, and not all bluray players with Netflix are going to have that. Also the Roku is very small. So the size and wireless networking may be a plus for some folks.

I am right on the edge of just ditching the cable TV all together.

Right now I use it mainly to get local channels in HD because I have yet to find an antenna that works in my house for OTA DTV. I think I can safely trim out the "expanded channels" and just pay 20 bucks a month for the locals, which I can record on my HTPC via a Silicondust HDHomerun. If ever do find an antenna that works, good bye cable. And with the Hulu desktop software, most of the local channel shows, like Family Guy and Glee, can be seen there, so that might be a reason to just dump cable TV.

I already ditched their internet service for DSL because the cable company kept raising rates. Sure the DSL does not have the speed of cable, but it's cheaper.

I will miss Stewart and Colbert, but everything else I can get with little trouble, even if it means just renting TV show DVDs via Netflix. As for the Comedy Central stuff, I guess I can check out the website for content, just not via Windows Media Center.

What an interesting time it is to be a nerd.

You all inspired me. I am now completely cable and internet free (except for my smartphone)....... I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do tonight....

Jeff-66 wrote:
Stele wrote:

Hm, guess that could help with those of us hanging on for certain sports.

Exactly. I thought of this thread when that was announced. And it seems like a full slate of sports coming, 3500 games accessible.

Btw, back to the Roku. One small advantage it may have, is that it's got built in wireless, and not all bluray players with Netflix are going to have that. Also the Roku is very small. So the size and wireless networking may be a plus for some folks.

I've watched a buch of Kansas games on ESPN 360. Bringing it in HD to the 360 is a HUGE plus for me. Unless, of course, the quality sucks. Becasue ESPN 360 didn't even look good in full screen on my monitor.

Jayhawker wrote:

I've watched a buch of Kansas games on ESPN 360. Bringing it in HD to the 360 is a HUGE plus for me. Unless, of course, the quality sucks. Becasue ESPN 360 didn't even look good in full screen on my monitor.

They were saying that a lot of the ESPN/360 content would be HD quality. We'll see.

Jeff-66 wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

I've watched a buch of Kansas games on ESPN 360. Bringing it in HD to the 360 is a HUGE plus for me. Unless, of course, the quality sucks. Becasue ESPN 360 didn't even look good in full screen on my monitor.

They were saying that a lot of the ESPN/360 content would be HD quality. We'll see.

Reading that again, it now makes sense to me why ESPN rebranded the service as ESPN.3. They were probably working a deal and wanted to differentiate the web service from the the XBL service.

Cod wrote:

I agree an HTPC certainly could certainly provide all the functionality I want in a single box & that is a potential longer-term upgrade. The problem is that I'd like to do this in the next month or so, and need to make the system easily accessible to a non-geek. i.e. hit button then start watching within a few seconds. Opening up a computer-type interface to play a DVD or watch TV would probably be a deal-killer. When I looked at repurposing my old gaming rig last year, it seemed as though the software was clunky & would need a lot of work to get it easy-to-use, but I'll take another look - maybe it's improved now.

It defiantly takes a little bit to get a HTPC all setup. I built one that has a media center remote and have it boot right into media center when powered on so my wife has no fiddling with a keyboard or mouse. I have also gotten the Hulu Desktop shortcut into the media center dashboard so she can get to netflix, hulu and our stored videos from media center with the remote and nothing else. It works well and she has no complaints. I do all of the back end work and got everything setup. I have also showed he how to add her shows to hulu on her laptop and then how to play her cue on the HTPC.

I've been watching all my TV on my PC for years... Thank God for TVTorrent sites. I work odd hours so it is nice to be able to set up a RSS feed and automatically download new episodes, and as a nice perk the subbed anime is available from the same source.
Before that TiVo was my best friend, I wasn't paying for it so I've no clue what it ran a month; the service was nice.

Well I'm testing out the "no cable" for a few days... mostly because I don't have a tv. The movers packed it up today and we should be meeting them in Florida this weekend.

Just got my laptop and a stack of DVDs to entertain myself for a few days. At least I get ESPN3 and can still watch the world cup.

Cod wrote:

I agree an HTPC certainly could certainly provide all the functionality I want in a single box & that is a potential longer-term upgrade. The problem is that I'd like to do this in the next month or so, and need to make the system easily accessible to a non-geek. i.e. hit button then start watching within a few seconds. Opening up a computer-type interface to play a DVD or watch TV would probably be a deal-killer. When I looked at repurposing my old gaming rig last year, it seemed as though the software was clunky & would need a lot of work to get it easy-to-use, but I'll take another look - maybe it's improved now.

Set up the HTPC to automatically boot to the media center application, and it does what you want. Windows 7 Media Center is great. The DVR interface is second to none. I've got 4 HD tuners going (2 over the air ATSC, 2 clear QAM cable for locals that I can't pick up OTA), so I never have any problems recording anything I want to that I can receive locally. (I'm probably going to swap some of those tuners out for a CableCARD tuner when the 4 tuner MOCUR card is released shortly, but that's kind of outside the discussion of this thread).

If you want Hulu desktop to function, you'll have to set up a way for you to be able to use the remote control to switch to the Hulu desktop application. That can be done with a couple of plug ins.

I even have all my old DVDs ripped to my server and mapped to media center so that they show up in the Movies section and I can play them (menus and all) any time I want without the DVD in a drive.

And the Netflix interface in Windows Media Center is actually better for me than the Xbox interface. It has search, which the Xbox up until now hasn't.

And you can use any Xbox you have to "extend" media center to other rooms. So if you put an Xbox in the bedroom, you can watch anything recorded on the main box, even resuming exactly where you stopped on the HTPC (or any other Xbox extender).

MannishBoy wrote:

I even have all my old DVDs ripped to my server and mapped to media center so that they show up in the Movies section and I can play them (menus and all) any time I want without the DVD in a drive.

Are you using Media Browser? It is — bar none — my favorite plugin for WMC. With the release of a good x64 Haali splitter than can read TrueHD and DTS-MA (FINALLY!!!) and the FFDshow SVNs, I can watch the .mkv files I've created of all my blu-rays and DVDs within it's way-slicker-than-WMC interface. Highly, highly recommend it.

Minarchist wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:

I even have all my old DVDs ripped to my server and mapped to media center so that they show up in the Movies section and I can play them (menus and all) any time I want without the DVD in a drive.

Are you using Media Browser? It is — bar none — my favorite plugin for WMC. With the release of a good x64 Haali splitter than can read TrueHD and DTS-MA (FINALLY!!!) and the FFDshow SVNs, I can watch the .mkv files I've created of all my blu-rays and DVDs within it's way-slicker-than-WMC interface. Highly, highly recommend it.

Yep. Had it for awhile. Pisses me off everytime it autoupdates and forgets which podcasts I've already watched, though

I do keep thinking about converting my folder structure DVD rips to wtv files so that they'll be more extender friendly, but the desire to do so hasn't overcome my inherent laziness quite yet.

EDIT: Crap, I forgot one of the best things about Media Center. I've got ShowAnalyzer and DVRMSToolbox set up to automatically skip TV commercials. It's not perfect, but it's pretty good.

MannishBoy wrote:
Cod wrote:

I agree an HTPC certainly could certainly provide all the functionality I want in a single box & that is a potential longer-term upgrade. The problem is that I'd like to do this in the next month or so, and need to make the system easily accessible to a non-geek. i.e. hit button then start watching within a few seconds. Opening up a computer-type interface to play a DVD or watch TV would probably be a deal-killer. When I looked at repurposing my old gaming rig last year, it seemed as though the software was clunky & would need a lot of work to get it easy-to-use, but I'll take another look - maybe it's improved now.

Set up the HTPC to automatically boot to the media center application, and it does what you want. Windows 7 Media Center is great. The DVR interface is second to none. I've got 4 HD tuners going (2 over the air ATSC, 2 clear QAM cable for locals that I can't pick up OTA), so I never have any problems recording anything I want to that I can receive locally. (I'm probably going to swap some of those tuners out for a CableCARD tuner when the 4 tuner MOCUR card is released shortly, but that's kind of outside the discussion of this thread).

If you want Hulu desktop to function, you'll have to set up a way for you to be able to use the remote control to switch to the Hulu desktop application. That can be done with a couple of plug ins.

I even have all my old DVDs ripped to my server and mapped to media center so that they show up in the Movies section and I can play them (menus and all) any time I want without the DVD in a drive.

And the Netflix interface in Windows Media Center is actually better for me than the Xbox interface. It has search, which the Xbox up until now hasn't.

And you can use any Xbox you have to "extend" media center to other rooms. So if you put an Xbox in the bedroom, you can watch anything recorded on the main box, even resuming exactly where you stopped on the HTPC (or any other Xbox extender).

This is very similar to what I have going with my setup. I have a WHS (Windows Home Server) running the back end and it is great.

With an upcoming move I plan on taking a stab at the no cable TV route. With ESPN.3 and the OTA network channels I'm hoping I"ll get enough sports. Outside of that we really just watch Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, and Food Network. Comedy and Cartoon are mainly just re-runs that we can replace with Netflix. But how do we replace the Food Network?

I managed to sell my girlfriend on a 30 day trial but I'm worried the lack of a good Food Network alternative will drive us back to the $60 a month unwieldy beast.

Elliottx wrote:

With an upcoming move I plan on taking a stab at the no cable TV route. With ESPN.3 and the OTA network channels I'm hoping I"ll get enough sports. Outside of that we really just watch Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, and Food Network. Comedy and Cartoon are mainly just re-runs that we can replace with Netflix. But how do we replace the Food Network?

I managed to sell my girlfriend on a 30 day trial but I'm worried the lack of a good Food Network alternative will drive us back to the $60 a month unwieldy beast.

Be strong. I'd say Food Network is a hard pill to swallow. We really loved it as well.

I'd suggest checking out your PBS affiliate for America's Test Kitchen. I'm not saying it replaces Food Network, but you will find that PBS really does have a few shows that scratch the itch, and are free. America's Test Kitchen and their spin-off Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen are darn good shows that provide recipes with a nice dose of knowledge. There are few other decent shows, as well.

But I agree that there is a lot of really good programming on Food Network. But we survived without it pretty well. It is much easier to adapt than you think.

Good luck on the sports, because that just sucks. There are some nice options if you are a fan of out of town teams. But the options for local teams are not good. So ESPN.3 gets me a nice dose of Jayhawk basketball, but I am SOL when it comes to the Blues and Cardinals. Hopefully the NFL will get a good online presence so I can get all of the Chiefs games. But if they start winning, they will get broadcast in St. Louis anyway.

Stele wrote:

Well I'm testing out the "no cable" for a few days... mostly because I don't have a tv. The movers packed it up today and we should be meeting them in Florida this weekend.

Just got my laptop and a stack of DVDs to entertain myself for a few days. At least I get ESPN3 and can still watch the world cup. :D

Still no TV. Stupid movers.

But I did watch Daily Show and Colbert on comedycentral.com tonight. 1-2 commercials at the normal break spots, so shorter than watching on tv, not so bad really.

Missing my daily dose of ESPN shows (Around the Horn and PTI), but I could care less about baseball, so I'm just missing the world cup and college conference discussion probably. And I've seen the world cup games on ESPN3. I think PTI did have a free podcast at one point as well, so maybe I should check itunes and see if it is still there.

Wife has been slammed with her new job and could care less about tv at this point. Any free time we've had we went to the beach, since that is new for us.

Still when the tv gets here, the cable is already free and hooked up in this apartment. So we won't be giving up free stuff for a while.

Elliottx wrote:

With an upcoming move I plan on taking a stab at the no cable TV route. With ESPN.3 and the OTA network channels I'm hoping I"ll get enough sports. Outside of that we really just watch Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, and Food Network. Comedy and Cartoon are mainly just re-runs that we can replace with Netflix. But how do we replace the Food Network?

I managed to sell my girlfriend on a 30 day trial but I'm worried the lack of a good Food Network alternative will drive us back to the $60 a month unwieldy beast.

I'm assuming you're unwilling to go the TED route? You know, with its ... questionable ... legality?

Reviving this thread as I am seriously considering dropping my cable as I don't watch it at all and my wife only watches food network and HGTV for the most part which both appear to be on Hulu. Are there any suggestions for devices? I looked at a Roku player, but I would like to be able to stream stuff from my itunes account which I don't see as an option. Though on the Apple TV side, there is no mention of Hulu. Any device that does Hulu, Netflix, and itunes?

obirano wrote:

Reviving this thread as I am seriously considering dropping my cable as I don't watch it at all and my wife only watches food network and HGTV for the most part which both appear to be on Hulu. Are there any suggestions for devices? I looked at a Roku player, but I would like to be able to stream stuff from my itunes account which I don't see as an option. Though on the Apple TV side, there is no mention of Hulu. Any device that does Hulu, Netflix, and itunes?

I am not (and never plan to be) in the Apple ecosystem, but my girlfriend and I cancelled the DISH network about 6 months ago for a Roku box, and we are quite happy with it. Our most used "channels" are Hulu, Pandora, Netflix, TWiT, Revision 3, and Whiskey Media (Giant Bomb).

MeatMan wrote:
obirano wrote:

Reviving this thread as I am seriously considering dropping my cable as I don't watch it at all and my wife only watches food network and HGTV for the most part which both appear to be on Hulu. Are there any suggestions for devices? I looked at a Roku player, but I would like to be able to stream stuff from my itunes account which I don't see as an option. Though on the Apple TV side, there is no mention of Hulu. Any device that does Hulu, Netflix, and itunes?

I am not (and never plan to be) in the Apple ecosystem, but my girlfriend and I cancelled the DISH network about 6 months ago for a Roku box, and we are quite happy with it. Our most used "channels" are Hulu, Pandora, Netflix, TWiT, Revision 3, and Whiskey Media (Giant Bomb).

While I do use itunes for my Doctor Who fix, I did realize that I could get it from the Zune store just as well on my 360.