There are some really useful comments on yesterday’s post about dropping DirecTV or dumping cable — so I thought I’d collocate them here for you guys, in case you’re considering taking that step. Keep commenting with suggestions and I’ll keep adding them here! 🙂
Freevo, for the techies
- Jonathan recommends: “As far as DVR’s check out http://freevo.sourceforge.net/“
Plex and Playon
I haven’t personally tried these services, but here:
- Turken suggests: “If you want to watch internet-only video on your TV and your computer can handle the processing load, you might want to check out www.playon.tv — basically a program that will capture various web feeds and then push them out to whatever supported device (wii, xbox, ps3, tablet, roku, and lots more) you have hooked up to your TV.”
- Charlotte follows up: “I’d go with Plex before Playon. Plex is free, though a bit cumbersome in my eyes. You can “plex it!” from your browser bar, similar to pinterest with their Pin it! link. Though if you need a Roku, they have two deals with Playon Lifetime and a free Roku ($70 and $90 + $10 in S&H).” And an update: “The only drawback of Plex is that it is freeware and the designers of it is having a hard time getting CBS to work”
Watch for Roku deals on Amazon, and it also shows up on sale on the daily deal sites.
- A heads up from Charlotte: “A note on the Roku. If you like subtitles, get the Roku 2. Roku 1 does not support it.”
- Also from Charlotte: “Also, the Roku has access to a channel called US TV which lets you watch local channels for free (though we’re limited to the east coast here in Chicago).”
- Jen C comments on US TV: “Found it. It’s not a default channel in the store, so you have to manually add it online. http://www.ustvnow.com/oc/faq.php?q=38“
- Crystal also recommends Roku: “We dropped cable over a year ago….I only pay for internet. We purchased a Roku earlier this year and got Netflix and Hulu. So for $16 a month we are doing pretty good. The Roku was definitely worth the $99 and feel that it has paid for itself. We talked about an antennae but just haven’t gotten around to getting one. Between what we watch on the Roku and finding most of the current shows online the next day who needs cable. I don’t even need a DVR since I can right to the channels website and watch it whenever I want. I’ve even found ways to watch the “movie channel” shows that I love for free. My kids hated it at first but now they see that they aren’t missing anything at all.”
Turken points out: “One thing you might want to point out to readers — for local channels you’ll pretty much *always* get a better HD picture from an over-the-air antenna than you will from satellite OR cable, because the individual stations have more bandwidth to work with. Cable and satellite are so obsessed with giving the customers so many different channels that each channel has to be compressed significantly before it goes “in the pipe” whereas the local station broadcasts can send an uncompressed (or only slightly compressed) signal.”
This is true — our over-the-air HD channels are GORGEOUS.
- VB asked about multiple TVs with an antenna. I asked MashupDad since he is my tech support. He says you would need an HD RF splitter to split the signal between two TVs. If your TV has a built in tuner he says that is all you would need to allow it to receive signals from the antenna. If your TV does not have a built in tuner, you would also have to add a tuner. Here are a couple of examples of splitters on Amazon: Example one and Example two.