Posts from the “Video” Category

Cutting Cable? 1 Million did in 2011

Are you considering cutting cable?  If so, there are plenty of resources to make the process as painless as possible; I did it and do just fine.  With options like Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon Instant, YouTube and more cutting the expensive cord and gaining a little more control of how you watch television can be a simple process.  Cable prices are on the rise, along with everything else in this country.  So, why continue to pay for premium channels when 9 times out of 10 your favorite programming is either getting interrupted by commercials or you are being forced to watch a certain program at an odd hour?

Using these media streaming services gives you complete control of your entertainment.  Honestly, that is the way that it should be, especially if you are paying for it.  For example, if you miss House at the regular scheduled time on Fox, so what?  Turn on your media connected tv to HuluPlus one day later and watch it at your convenience.  That is the power that an internet connected tv could give you.  On the other hand, if your HD tv does not come with any services built in try a set top box such as Roku, Boxee, or even the AppleTV (limited, but works well if you have an Apple-centric household) .  These set top boxes can connect you to the following:

  • Netflix (Roku, Boxee, AppleTV)
  • HuluPlus (Roku)
  • Amazon Instant (Roku)
  • YouTube (Roku, Boxee, AppleTV)
  • Pandora and more

The prices of these devices and based upon what suits your needs you could pay as little as $59.99 for the Roku, which is the best bang for your buck.

Bottom line:  When it comes to media content; you’ve got options.  Do not feel the need to stay tied down to your cable company.

Torrents do NOT hurt box office

According to a study by the University of Minnesota, piracy in the form of BitTorrent does NOT hurt the box office here in the US.  However, the same cannot be said for overseas releases; partially because of the dates and cycles in which they are released.

So, with all of the SOPA and PIPA bills floating around, for there to be no significant drop in revenue for U.S. box offices destroys the MPAA argument.  On the other hand, releases abroad saw a decline of 7% in revenue due to piracy because titles were not available as fast.

Bottom line:  The industry is all about money; it seems that they will do whatever it takes to rake in as much money as possible.  However, with so many wealthy “big-wigs” in Hollywood is destroying the internet really worth it?

Set top boxes…worth it?

There are several set top boxes that an enthusiast can choose from.  Some may want to completely cut the cord, as I did, or some might want to simply enhance their entertainment experience.  Below are just a few:

  • Roku (what I currently own)
  • Apple TV
  • Google TV
  • Boxee Box

I am a firm believer that a set top box can help you significantly lower or even eliminate a pesky cable bill.  Why?  The answer was simple to me, the only thing I need from my already expensive cable company is the internet.  I will use a quote I once heard, “If I can’t stream it, I don’t watch it.”  This definitely holds true to me as my daily television consists of YouTube vidoes, Netflix, and HuluPlus.  When living a typical work lifestyle it is difficult to put down everything and watch a network show when your cable company tells you to.  So, why not have access to tv shows and movies when you are ready?  The cost of a set top box is a one time fee that will lead you to media freedom later; you really pay for exactly what you want.  All I want is Netflix and Hulu, so $15 per month is nothing compared to $100 plus for  dozens of channels I wouldn’t waste a second on.

Bottom line:  Cable is done and providers know it; don’t get locked in.  This investment will prepare you for the future and with all of the options to choose from; there is a box right for everyone.  Happy picking!

Qwikster – Dead before it was Born

Subscribers were outraged at the Netflix price hike.  Yet, they were just puzzled and confused about the DVD separation that became known as “Qwikster.”  Netflix proposed Qwikster as a  good idea because the streaming-only and dvd services had different needs.  However, the customers were not too fond of potentially having two log ins.  Now, Netflix has listened.

Thankfully, when Netflix decided to split the services I decided to be a streaming-only customer.

Bottom-line: Qwikster should’ve been a quick thought; in one ear and out the other.

Netflix….Price shifts?

The popular video streaming service Netflix has made some announcements that might cause backlash from their large subscription base.

Rising prices and plan changes.

Netflix has had combined services that packaged unlimited streaming with 1, 2 or 3 DVDs out at a time.  Unfortunately, myself as well as other subscribers have received notices of an inherit price increase due to the separation of the streaming and DVD delivery services.  Honestly, a one dollar price change wouldn’t have been that bad; however, when the total price of your plan could potentially rise by five dollars, there will be some raised eyebrows.  For this reason, as of yesterday I chose the streaming only option, which happened to be the main service that I used anyway.  The DVDs that I did get sent would get watched and then proceed to sit on my DVD shelf for around a month, so this option was second nature for me.

But what about the other users?  Will everyone follow the same path I chose?  Netflix has a great service, but when a price spike comes along from nowhere you can expect nothing more than to see consumers raging.

Bottom line: I didn’t get mad or upset.  In addition, I didn’t call Netflix customer service demanding answers.  I simply subscribed to Hulu Plus, now I will have the largest streaming library of greatness coming straight to my TV.  Netflix is still an excellent service with an unmatched library of instant-stream options at an unbelievable price, ditching it now would be a mistake, especially since they are expanding with help from NBC Universal.