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news from around the web from people addicted to tech

TV plus internet equals love (and savings)

by Savan Thongvanh August 24, 2010

Today I was forward a news story from Yahoo News about the up and coming trend of leaving the cable tv world (and bill) behind and doing strictly online for content.  This might not be for you but I’ve been doing this for about a year and and I’ll describe our setup for you to possibly help you in your decision.

As I said We’ve been doing this for many months now.  Our cable bill went from almost $150/mo to about $60/mo.  The entertainment package, after some tweaking, ended up being internet($60/month) + netflix($10+$2 for blueray subscription) (+redbox if we REALLY have to have a movie).  Still our tv centric entertainment cost is 1/2 what it was before.  Also, we do everything described here on a 12mb down connection.

How did we accomplish this feat you ask?

Well, we have three TVs.  We have TVs in our living room (aka main tv), bedroom, and our downstairs living room.  Our bedroom and the downstairs are just using the over the air HD and standard definition channels.  It’s about 40 channels of broadcast tv and public access, mostly junk but isn’t cable the same?

On the living room tv we have a computer, in our case a MacMini, hooked up to the tv via DVI (computer) to HDMI (tv).  This affords us all the standard channels plus the unbridled internet for content.  We of course have our blueray player hooked up there too.

Downstairs we have an XBox 360 that also is an access point for netflix if we choose to watch downstairs.  But, then again we rarely watch tv down there.

In our bedroom we basically just watch news before bed and in the morning so broadcast channels are ok in there.  Sometimes if we really want to watch a particular program before bed we’ll grab a laptop and a beer or glass of wine and watch it on there.

An additional perk is that our cable provider gets us access to which is streaming sports.  I believe most major providers get you this access.  It lets you watch an insane amount of sports live and post humus, like, EVERY, SINGLE, World Cup match and EVERY, SINGLE, Wimbledon match, or golf, or basically anything espn or abc sports.

I listen to 2+ hrs of npr broadcasts per day, NYT front page headlines, and about 45 minutes of AC360 podcast (which is just the show distributed online after the fact).  I also listen to 2 or 3 hours of tech specific news broadcasts.  I get plenty of news.  This doesn’t really speak to online tv watching but moreso to a tv alternative for news.

For baseball fans for $35 a year you can get the premium subscription to, you probably already know about this.  But, for fans of other sports there are similar options, all of which will probably keep your monthly bill lower than it is now.

Don’t even get me started on boxee and hulu…

I can’t promote the act but I also hear that there are ways to get any episode of pretty much any show online.  Try searching watching tv online on lifehacker.  Your mileage may vary in terms of video quality for this option but such is life.

If there are *must have* cable shows well, then you’re stuck but needless to say, I’m a proponent of ditching cable tv and going online for content.

Have you done it?  What’s your setup?  Anyone waiting for Google TV??

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