Television alternatives

Well the world is changing so much and my Tivo subscription is expiring, so it is good to look at where we are and what we use in priority order:

  1. Comcast for HD Content. We mainly use this to watch Glee (of course!), HGTV and other documentary channels like Discovery Channel in HD. We use the Tivo to record and then also to transfer to other Tivos to watch on multiple TVs. Total cost is $120 for a triple play vs. $50/month for internet only and $30/month for voice, so the HD video cost is imputed at $40/month. So it would be very nice to get rid of that if we can find a good source for amazing shows like Sons of Guns and Househunter.
  2. Tivos. Plus $100/year/Tivo that gets it (you can Tivos without subscriptions that just get the transferred Tivo files). That’s a minimum of $13/month for a single box on the renewal. They have raised prices substantially in other words. $13×12 = $150/year. At a minimum getting to a single Tivo makes sense which records alot.
  3. Local Video store. We actually use this one quite a bit because it is a quick way to get Blu-ray and recent movies fast. It is about $5/video and probably spend about $80 a year for it.
  4. Netflix. This is the system that I should be using the most but because the movies are pretty old and at least in our house, the feed isn’t very regular good and the movies aren’t that great. We used to use the Tivo to view, but the PS3 applicaiton seems much better. $15/month

So what can we do about this:

  1. Homerun Prime HD. I haven’t gotten this working yet, but this box takes Comcast and streams it out on your local network to iOS Devices and also to your Windows 7 PC or hopefully MythTV running on a Mac Mini. This is a potential replacement for Tivo. And also a way to watch things.
  2. Internet streaming. Many of these shows now have free streaming off the Internet. So this would mean putting a Mac in front of each TV so that you can watch it. 
  3. Amazon Prime. They keep loading it up, so for $80/year, you get 2-day shipping, the right to check out a book a month and also free streaming of 6000 movies that they have (vs. 20,000 on Netflix). Need to check out their content.
  4. Hulu and Hulu Plus. Hulu is free with ads and Hulu Plus is $8/month with ads but at least you get current season shows. Hule lets you watch the last three episodes whereas Hulu Plus let’s you view HD, the full season, more movies and lots of mobile devices in addition to your PC.
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