Breaking away from cable TV
- Posted on [April 13, 2009 ] @ 11:03 pm
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Since starting business school and not having a regular paycheck, I’ve cut back on my unnecessary expenses. One of the first things to go was my monthly cable service. I figured that it would be a distraction and also save me $60 a month.
After going cold turkey with no cable for the last two months, I’ve started to find the selection of online video a pretty good substitute for cable.
The two biggest game changers for me have been Netflix and Boxee Boxee is a software app that allows me to browse the majority of internet video from a single interface. It’s great because now I don’t have to jump from website to website looking for video. Boxee also has integration with Netflix, so while I get a new DVD in the mail each week from Netflix, I can also use Boxee to browse the Netflix selection of streaming movies. Plus now I can watch Boxee from the comfort of my sofa, since they have an iPhone app that works as a remote control. It’s by far the best all-in-one video application I’ve come across, providing access to Hulu, YouTube, Comedy Central, Netflix, and more.
My only frustration with not having cable is that it’s now difficult for me to watch ESPN, HBO (for Entourage) and Showtime (for Dexter). In fact, I sometimes think of subscribing to cable just for these channels, but it feels like I’d be overpaying for all the other stuff I don’t watch.
I’ve found a couple of online sites that have most of the Dexter and Entourage episodes (such as http://watch-entourage.com and http://www.watchdexternow.com/) but the quality is really poor (Dexter has Korean subtitles) and I question the legality of both sites.
Sports is another area where the online streaming isn’t that great. MLB.tv“”: charges $80 a year for streaming all games, except it blacks out local games (I can’t watch the Yankees because I live in NY), so that’s not worth it to me. And ESPN 360 only streams a handful of games per week, but haven’t been integrated into Boxee yet.
Some things I’d love to see from Boxee to make it the ideal solution:
- integration with MLB.tv (with no blackout restrictions)
- integration with ESPN 360 (and ESPN in general)
- subscription options for premium cable channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) I would pay $20 a month for HBO.