I have been happy with my high-speed internet from my service provider – Comcast for my internet. I pay for and get very high speeds up and down and get a lot of bandwidth.
I am not however, happy with being butt raped for the cost of my TV services. Recently, after three years my TV services portion of my bill went up $75.00 (U.S)!! Above the $80.00 I was already paying to begin with.
So time to end that!
Obviously I am a techy, so I have watched TV via my computers through the use of TV Cards and streaming services etc. for over a decade. Both on my computer monitors and ‘piped’ to the TV. And in the past few years there have been so many awesome services for watching movies and TV shows that saying goodbye to cable/satellite TV services has never been easier.
To watch streamlining media on your PC or TV you can use an HTPC (home theater PC as I’ve written about before connected to your TV or use many of the ‘set top’ boxes available to ‘stream’ movies and shows from different providers. Heck even some new Blu-ray players and TVs are set up for using these services [Hulu, NetFlix, Amazon Prime etc.]
To be able to ‘stream’ video content from the Internet you will still need a high-speed internet service provider with sufficient speeds and bandwidth allotments. Cable, FiOS and the top level DSL services will usually suffice. For me I’m still stuck with Comcast but I am OK with that, their internet, for me so far, has been great.
Services and devices I use.
Amazon prime is great for streaming TV, movies and music and my top pick.
I already pay for Amazon Prime ($79.00/year see here to insure I almost never pay any shipping charges and get 2 day shipping on most items ( buy hundreds of items a year and the savings in shipping alone is well worth it!), but this is just great!
With Amazon Prime you also get to watch thousands of movies and TV shows, included with your Amazon Prime membership at no additional cost!!
Here is some information. And if it isn’t available for free on Prime you can still find it for ‘rent’.
Amazon Prime members will still pay $79/year to access those 9,000 movies and TV shows, but now even non-Prime subscribers will have access to purchase or rent titles from the entire library. New release movies will cost $3.99, and new TV episodes will stream the day after they air for $.99.
Another plus for Amazon is that you can stream your music too! I posted an article about getting loads of free storage from Amazon; you can read that here. You can purchase AND upload your music to your ‘cloud storage’! Effectively providing you with the ability to stream you music to any device that can access Amazon’s sites!
Netflix is another service that has been fairly good but has recently seen about 1 million uses leave because of some pricing and service shenanigans. They are still a good service and if you already have them you might as well keep them.
Just know that a month ago, Netflix raised the prices of its subscription plans by almost 60%, effectively signaling that it would be charging customers separately for DVD plans vs. streaming plans.
AND Netflix Inc is separating its movie streaming business and its DVD by mail service, which will be called Qwikster, Chief Executive Reed Hastings said in a company blog post on September 09, 2011.
Still, Netflix’s on-demand, unlimited streaming for one price subscription model can’t yet be beat by Amazon’s pay-as-you-go system, although Amazon’s on demand options now dwarf Netflix’s streaming catalogue.
Now for some devices.
If you don’t already have an HTPC as I mentioned above you can always get a ‘set top’ box for accessing TV/Movie and other media content.
I am now a huge fan of the Roku box! This thing is amazing! Simple, easy to operate and able to get virtually everything I need.
With this device you can access pretty much any service such as Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, news shows, TV networks (CBS, NBC and so on), Network streaming services like History Channel, SyFy etc.. AND as with any of these devices – YOU OWN THEM! No rental fee for a box to the cable company. NO monthly fee for TV channels etc.
Here is a short, but by no means complete, list of the most popular devices around.
Google TV http://www.google.com/tv/getit.html
Boxee Box http://www.boxee.tv/
Xbox 360 http://www.xbox.com/
PlayStation 3 http://us.playstation.com/
So there you go. I hope that some of you will check them out and I hope you are able to break free and truly watch what you want when you want and where you want it.