Time to cut the cord

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Something Stella and I have been talking about for a long time is cutting out cable TV. It’s expensive, and honestly, we don’t need it. With technology and some clever, here is how we are going about getting rid of the TV portion of our cable bill.

  1. Most of the shows that we watch are on Hulu
  2. The shows that aren’t on Hulu are available through Amazon for $1.89 an episode
  3. Over-the-air TV is pretty good in our area, or so we have heard.

Of course, all of this is made possible by the Roku box that quietly lives in our entertainment center. While it’s not as slick or matching-with-the-rest-of-our-Apple-gear as an Apple TV, it’s not horrible looking, fits nicely in the rack and has a good feature set. It has HDMI out as you would expect. It also has digital audio, which comes in handy for the audio channels available (like SOMAFM, Pandora and others).

While I would love to have an AppleTV, the cost of media through the iTunes store makes it less than attractive. To be able to use it as iTunes for the entertainment system isn’t that attractive either since we have a Roku Soundbridge that will play damned near anything we want.

Ideally, I would like to add a new Mac Mini to this system with a Thunderbolt drive attached. That would give access to the web as normal like YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr and everything else we use, plus iTunes and Hulu for those shows that are still **web only**. With Boxee or Plex installed, a Mini would be pretty rad. It’s a pretty low priority item, so the spend can’t be justified at this time, but hopefully one day soon.

Step 1 will be adding an external antenna to see what kind of over-the-air performance we actually get. Luckily they are cheap no matter where you go. Stay tuned as I will be documenting the entire process.

By Don

Lead bottle washer at donburnside.com, host at whiteroofradio.com and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

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