Just the other day I was visiting Best Buy to pick up a Wii game for my daughter when a gentleman from Direct TV approach me about their service. Little did the salesman know that I walked away from traditional cable providers well over six months ago and I have never turned back. Anyhow I let the sales rep throw out his sales pitch and once he finished I asked a very simple question. I asked him why should I pay Direct TV any amount of money for a service that I can easily locate for free or even for a small fee from streaming media providers. The look on his face initially was one of confusion. A few seconds later he began pitching the sports packages and I quickly pointed out that my Apple TV has me covered when it comes to Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. Next he began talking about the wide variety of movies and I quickly pointed out that NetFlix has me covered, not to mention the movie database over at YouTube. From this point I even explained that as a PlayOn consumer I can stream media across devices in my home as well as my mobile devices. At this point the representative gave up and said should I ever change my mind that I should reconsider Direct TV. I can honestly say that will never happen!
Stop for a moment and think about how much you’re paying that traditional cable provider. The average consumer pays close to $75 a month and others may pay $100 or more depending upon all the additional programming choices. Is it really worth $900 to $1,200 annually to watch that ball game or your favorite reality television show? Have you ever considered alternatives? Do you know what these alternatives are? More importantly what can you get at will it cost you the $75 – $100 a month? You may be surprised at the answer.
Hardware and Software
PlayOn makes it easy for you to watch your favorite videos, shows, and movies from websites such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and more on your TV using your Wii, Xbox 360, or Playstation 3 over your home internet connection. PlayOn also works on your iPhone or Android phone.
There are three different license options and they range from $4.99 a month, $39.99 annually, to a one-time fee of $79.99 which is the option I selected. You can even kick the tires with a free 14 day trial to see if it works in your situation.
Out of the box you have access to Hulu, NetFlix, CBS, spike, and many more. This just to start and with plugins you can pull in a variety of content from many other party site to include:
- Channel 9
- Discovery Channel
- Food Network
- South Park Studios
I have PlayOn installed on both my Android device and iPad for mobile viewing. You can even use a number of DLNA/UPnP media devices such as the LG Network Blu-ray Player. Bottom line for a fee of less than a monthly cable bill you have access to the media of your choosing.
The Apple TV is a simple mechanism for getting iTunes content from computers to TVs as well as first run movies, sporting events, radio, NetFlix and so much more. There is more than 15,000 streaming movies and television shows for as little as $8.95 per month. It can also handle content from YouTube, MobileMe, Flickr, and a large variety of streaming radio stations, as well as accessing your favorite podcast.
The beauty of this device is the average consumer can just plug in the Apple TV, connect to their iTunes or Netflix account and in no time media is streaming. It is that easy! On top of the ease of use the device itself comes in a just under $100 and can be purchased from Amazon at $99.00.
Roku XDS treaming Player
Roku coming in at $99.00 for the XDS or $79.99 for the XD is a little box that allows you to instantly stream tons of entertainment on your TV. Watch over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus and more. Listen to music on Pandora, or listen to your own iTunes playlists. Watch major sports, news, or original Internet programming. It’s all available whenever you want it.
The all-new, top-of-the-line Roku XDS sets a new standard with 1080p streaming video, the latest wireless technology, and Instant Replay. All for under $100. Works with any TV—up to 1080p*. The XDS delivers the biggest and best streaming video experience you can get and it’s really easy. Be up and running in 5 minutes and best of all Roku works with any TV.
Boxee coming in at $193.66 gives you the freedom to watch what you want. It’s thousands of TV shows ready to watch, instantly. It’s tons of free movies, Hollywood blockbusters, and critically acclaimed films. It’s web-only videos from Funny or Die or College Humor. It’s your videos, your Pandora and Facebook feeds somewhere they’ve never been before – your HDTV: organized, simplified and enjoyed from the comfort of your couch in 1080p. No keyboard or mouse required. For serious!!
Get tons of free stuff, and pay for the premium content you want.
No monthly bill.
No more paying for stuff you never watch. No biggie. Finally, TV gets it.
Streaming Web Sites
Amazon Instant Video
With Amazon Instant Video, you can watch thousands of movies and TV shows on a compatible handheld video player commercial-free, using the Unbox application. You also can’t share your Instant Videos benefit with the rest of the family — while a Prime membership. For more information on Amazon Instant Video, visit getting started.
Crackle is the place to experience pure entertainment: full-length movies, TV shows, and original series from genres that embody cool — all uncut, uncensored, and unbelievably free. Crackle is one of the fastest growing entertainment destinations today, featuring only the genres you love — comedy, action, drama, sci-fi, horror — anywhere you are. Crackle’s vast distribution network ensures that you have access to Crackle everywhere: on your favorite video site, your television and your mobile device. Learn more about where you can find Crackle on the distribution page.
Hulu brings together a large selection of videos from over 260 content companies, including FOX, NBCUniversal, ABC, Criterion, A&E Networks, Lionsgate, Endemol, MGM, MTV Networks, Comedy Central, National Geographic, Digital Rights Group, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., TED and more. Users can choose from current primetime TV hits such as The Simpsons, 30 Rock, Modern Family, Glee, The Office, Jersey Shore, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report; classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The A-Team and Alfred Hitchcock Presents; full episodes and clips from Saturday Night Live; and original videos like The LXD and The Confession. Hulu also offers a wide array of acclaimed movies and documentaries, including hundreds of titles from the renowned Criterion Collection.
YouTube movies allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. If you’re looking for a current movie or one from 5, 10, or even 20 years ago then YouTube has you covered.
I hope that you have begun to see a trend here. These devices are easy on the wallet, easily installed, and user friendly and depending upon the hardware you settle on and how much your traditional cable bill runs a month you may find that within 30 – 90 days you’re no longer throwing away you hard earned cash.
If you have dumped your traditional provider leave a comment sharing your experience and what you have in place to watch you favorite television shows an movies. If your on the fence and have questions, feel free to ask and we will see if we cannot help you make this move.