Saturday, March 20, 2010

Internet T.V.

The past few days I’ve been consumed with a new idea. This is usually how things get done around here. I stumble across an idea and it has this nuclear explosion effect in my brain and I have to get it done because it’s such an amazing idea.

This week’s idea is “Why are we still paying for satellite t.v.?” I was on CouponMom and read a post in the forum about one family ditching their cable/satellite. They explained exactly how they did it and it was in simple everyday language. Sometimes when people are talking technical stuff I feel like Patrick from SpongeBob Squarepants.

The process is really simple. Find out who has free internet t.v., they made a list, and sign up for Netflix. I signed up for $8.99 per month and I get this month free to make sure I like it. This service lets you watch things instantly so it’s not the order a movie and wait for it in the mail, although I can do that in addition. I also get unlimited viewing. I was really surprised with the variety they have. Of course there’s a million movies but also documentaries and some t.v. series.

Now the technical part. Getting it hooked up to the t.v. I am usually on the netbook which makes things really tiny. Jace has a monitor cable plugged into the t.v. which plugs into the laptop or netbook. Finally I right click on the screen and choose graphic options and choose “monitor” and it magically appears on the t.v. Jace also has speakers that plug into the netbook so the sound is not this tiny netbook sound.

This is the beginner’s route to cutting the cord to cable/satellite. I can’t use the computer while it’s being used with the t.v. So here’s a couple of ways to get around that. First, there’s some new devices made by Roku. These are magic boxes that work with your Netflix subscription and something called the Channel Store. These start at $79.99. I read a review on them and they are simple to use and it frees up your computer for the cost of one month of cable or satellite t.v. Not bad. However, Jace says it’s kind of like buying a game console in that that’s all it can be used for. So the second option is to buy another computer that can be dedicated for the t.v. but you can also use it as a computer. Just remember you don’t need to buy a computer with a monitor. Lastly, you’ll want to check your router to make sure it’s up to speed and can manage all the devices you’re running. We need a new router.

In conclusion, my argument for getting rid of the satellite t.v. is that we don’t watch enough different channels for the cost. We’re paying $80 a month when we could be paying $8.99. We don’t even watch sports! We’re not even sports fans in any way possible. O.k. except the Olympics, but that’s only me. So why are we paying for 20 different sports channels? In fact we seem to have something like 800 channels of repetitive bull. Yesterday Jace called up our dear Directv and asked them about their $29.99 promo on their website. They told him that wasn’t really what the channel list was…So it’s just a pretend list?

Well I’m off to go watch a documentary on China and 20 episodes of SpongeBob. March Madness? Whatev.

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