As many of you know, consumers now have more options than ever before with regards to watching television-like content on their PC's. Some of us have our PC's hooked up to our living-room TV's, and furthermore, some of us have disconnected our cable TV service and now use online services for all entertainment content.
On my living room media/gaming PC, I've used the following:
Hulu Desktop Client
... and of course, Windows Media Center.
I do not have a cable TV connection, and my system is not equipped with a TV tuner. So I rely on my (reasonably fast) internet connection for all content delivery.
I prefer having the content streamed from the 'net; especially with the slick interfaces that Hulu, Boxee and the like offer.
At this point (August 2009), I'd have to say that I'm 75% weaned off cable TV, with a few notable exceptions:
Discovery Channel - I'm a big fan of the Discovery Channel, and now, the only thing I can get that's close to that is clips from the website, or clips and also-rans from the National Geographic Channel and other similar sources.
Children's Programming - My kids don't watch anime, so just about the only things available to them on Hulu and Joost is He-Man, Ren & Stimpy and Sesame Street. Sure, that's better than nothing, but the real catch is that there's no easy way to arrange a playlist with some variety for them. My 5-year old doesn't know how to navigate Hulu, so this portion of Life Without Cable TV is a little more difficult than it used to be.
News - Hulu has some NBC News clips, but I'd like to get some other news sources streaming to my TV screen that give me some more diversity and choice.
I may add a new angle to my experience using Netflix or BlockBuster on demand, but that's not TV, it's movies. However, it's reasonable to assume that I may be renting some TV series content, so this may round out my experience a little bit. Plus, I believe that Boxee supports NetFlix, so IF I chose Netflix, I'd be able to use Boxee as the portal (as soon as Boxee has a release that supports x64).
Overall, I'd say that my family is pleased with the switch to a more on-demand content-delivery system. I'm sure there are some programs and resources that I have yet to use that would make things even easier. Please share your thoughts/information on this subject. More links to more content sources would be appreciated.
- John Grabski, August 16, 2009