Alternatives to Cable & Satellite TV?


Been spending a lot of time on here!
Mar 26, 2010
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South central PA
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Hi folks-

I'm moving into a new place next week and started rethinking how much of a cable package I really need. I really enjoy OnDemand, DVR, etc but with options such as Netflix streaming and Hulu, I'm rethinking how much cable I really need. Most channels put up their shows on their website as well. Have any of you cut the cable/ satellite umbilical cord and gone with an alternative (and legal) option? I did some number crunching and if I go with high speed internet, Netflix streaming and Hulu the monthly cost is still almost 1/3 the price than internet/ cable package.

Ideas? Thoughts?
I know some folks that have done this. There's a lot of places to get streaming content but you're going to lose the convenience of having everything consolidated onto one settop box. As you mentioned, there's the networks website, Netflix, and Hulu. Amazon Prime is another good source of both free and premium content. You could get a Roku or even an XBox 360 to serve as a psuedo-settop box (there's actually quite a bit of content available on the XBox).

Another option is to build, or buy, a Windows Media Center PC. I have one hooked up to my 52" LCD and A/V receiver in the living room and it has replaced our cable box. We've got a Windows Media Center remote control and honestly you'd never even know that you're watching TV on a PC. There's a lot of free streaming content available on Windows Media Center, and since it's a PC you can also easily stream from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and the network's website. I do still have a cable service though, and I have an HD Home Run Prime with a CableCard from my local cable provider. This allows me to watch all of my premium cable content on Windows Media Center, and basically turns Media Center into a DVR so you can watch, pause, and record live TV. The HD Home Run Prime has 3 tuners so we can watch live TV, in HD, on 3 devices simultaneously. So for example my wife can watch HBO on the Media Center PC connected to the big screen in the living room, my kids can watch Nickelodeon on the XBox upstairs, and I can walk around the house watching live TV on Media Center on my laptop. And everything is streaming through the HD Home Run Prime. It's a sweet setup.
Hulu+ & Netflix

80% cheaper than satellite or cable.
Try an old-fashioned antenna.

I watch about 5 hours of TV a week, most of that is the evening news. Other than that, I'm at work or wasting time on intertube forums.
I've also thought of ditching cable, but we don't watch much TV other than sports, F1, and a couple of British comedies. Not a lot Hulu and Netflix can do for that. Nothing else on TV worth watching. We have Amazon prime, which is pretty good for movies.
Thanks for the replies. I just happened to be in Best Buy and saw a section that had something called smart set TV boxes. It's like a universal hub for internet channels without having to be hooked to your actual computer. So, not only can I stream Netflix and Hulu through that box but also several hundred other channels. Anyone familiar with this?

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