comcast, it's you, not me...goodbye
By Contributing Editor, GuyverV
it's a right of passage to hate certain entities as we grow older. some people hate the IRS, some people hate telcos, some hate the music industry. my particular disdain leans toward telcos and cable companies. i'll save my ire of telcos for another discussion.
when i moved into my new place, i decided to try an experiment called cutting the cord. unsurprisingly, it involves getting your media from sources other than comcast, dish network, etc. i'm fortunate enough to be in a situation where i already have some media hardware that made this process fairly painless. i have a netbook (asus 1015pn) and an xbox 360. while i use my xbox to stream my media (music, movies, pictures) and netflix to my television, the star of the show is my netbook and a program called boxee.
i've connected my netbook to the television via an hdmi cable which sends the image and sound from my computer to my television that i control with my phone (samsung captivate, if you're curious). the best analogy that i can give for boxee in appearance and function is that of an ipad on your television. you find apps in a library and the content from those apps is streamed to your television. for instance, if i want to watch BBC world news or CNN, i bring up an app called justin.tv and it shows me those two stations among a sea of other news stations as well as live sports. if you want music, fire up the pandora app and go. there's also an app called vudu which allows me to rent or buy movies instead of having to find a god awful red box. i don't know what it is about those things. they irk me...
so, i've covered movies, sport, news & local channels can be grabbed through an antenna. the one glaring omission is basic cable shows. and though i don't like the service and refuse to pay for the premium version for reasons that are too numerous to go into here, hulu can fill the void. with content such as the daily show i'm good. but i'm sure you'll want more...because you're greedy. and that's ok, you deserve it. hulu has content partners such as amc, bravo, usa E! and more. i can simply watch their shows through my web browser (which remember, is hooked into the television.)
thus far, the experiment is going well. my bank account is certainly smiling and i don't really miss cable. if you have the means, i highly recommend it. there will be headaches, of course. mine was a day and a half battle with the HDMI cable (for the love of god, please make sure your audio drivers are up to date, ugh). you only live once, right? give it a whirl. you might actually like it.