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Old 08-16-09, 02:21 PM   #1
ragejg
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Default ~ Official "I watch TV on my PC" thread ~



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


Boxee


Joost


YouTube XL


... 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
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Old 08-16-09, 02:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: ~ Official "I watch TV on my PC" thread ~

I do the same thing.

TV is a waste of money for someone like me, and I'm paying the cable bill, so we're strictly using cable internet. No TV at all.

Pretty much anything I want to watch I can find online one way or another and I don't have to waste 1/3rd of my TV-time watching commercials.

The sooner we can get any TV show online (with short ads) for free, the better off we'll be.

Can you imagine if everyone, everywhere suddenly had an extra hour (or more) of free time in the evenings because their shows had minimal commercials? Most hour long shows are only 41 minutes long. Half hour shows are around 21. That's a ridiculous amount of wasted time...
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Old 08-16-09, 03:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: ~ Official "I watch TV on my PC" thread ~

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Originally Posted by CaptNKILL View Post

Can you imagine if everyone, everywhere suddenly had an extra hour (or more) of free time in the evenings because their shows had minimal commercials? Most hour long shows are only 41 minutes long. Half hour shows are around 21. That's a ridiculous amount of wasted time...
That's what they make DVRs for Capt.
Step into the future

Have any of you guys watching tv on your computer tried one of those usb digital tv tuners like Pinnacle makes? I bought one at Best Buy last year because it was on sale really cheap and it works great picking up local digital channels. The software lets you record shows like a virtual DVR. The HD looks great from it too.
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Old 08-16-09, 03:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: ~ Official "I watch TV on my PC" thread ~

DVR's are great, but having $60 extra per month plus not having to deal with commercials really makes the new content delivery systems attractive to a lot of people.

If I can't find a way to get NFL games at least within a day or so after the initial broadcast, I may invest in a USB tuner so I can at least view them on an over-the air digital channel.

And yeah, that's another downfall of life with Hulu/Joost etc... no real access to live sports.
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Old 08-16-09, 03:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: ~ Official "I watch TV on my PC" thread ~

If I watched tv on a smaller computer monitor all the time I probably wouldn't mind too much watching shows off the internet (I don't think my wife would go for it though). We watch tv on our 52 inch Mits HDTV and I really don't think I'd be very happy with the video quality coming from the streaming media from those sites as compared to the HD from Directv. Plus I hate how my tv does when I hook a computer up to it. It window boxes the screen by placing black bars on all 4 sides.
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Old 08-16-09, 04:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: ~ Official "I watch TV on my PC" thread ~

i haven't turn on the "TV" in over a year.
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Old 08-16-09, 04:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: ~ Official "I watch TV on my PC" thread ~

I've found that the only thing I REALLY care about video quality is movies. TV shows... I don't care if they're SD, really. They take up 22 or 41 minutes of my time, and if they're good they're committed to my memory.
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Old 08-16-09, 04:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: ~ Official "I watch TV on my PC" thread ~

I watch a lot of shows, but I have both my systems at home setup for Hulu, Joost and streaming shows from the comedy central, ABC and NBC sites, and South Park
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Old 08-16-09, 07:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: ~ Official "I watch TV on my PC" thread ~

I download all of my TV shows and TV needs, then watch them via XBMC on my HDTV. If it weren't for the wife wanting Lifetime (random cheesy movies) and the fact that we can't get a good OTA signal, I would never have signed up for DirecTV last summer.

Just wish I could take advantage of my Digital TV Tuner card and record HD channels on my DirecTV unit.
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Old 08-16-09, 08:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: ~ Official "I watch TV on my PC" thread ~

I just found Sopcast and TVAnts... thru the following URL.. http://www.sportsfaction.com/2006/11...nfl-game-free/

I'm testing it out watching an MLB game right now. It's legal and free.
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Old 08-17-09, 12:13 AM   #11
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Default Re: ~ Official "I watch TV on my PC" thread ~

Quote:
Originally Posted by betterdan View Post
Have any of you guys watching tv on your computer tried one of those usb digital tv tuners like Pinnacle makes? I bought one at Best Buy last year because it was on sale really cheap and it works great picking up local digital channels. The software lets you record shows like a virtual DVR. The HD looks great from it too.
Pickup up the PCI Pinnacle 800i version today at bestbuy, due to couldn't get the hauppauge 1600 to pickup any Clear QAM channel, even when the box say it clearly supports QAM. Reflash firmware on the pinnnacle tuner and now pickup every single QAM channel including Discovery and Tru-tv and so forth only channel I don't get is HBO, but I can get that tru my DVR. "I got to say that the best tuner I ever bought, beat out my ATI 650 that is now dead reason why it got it replaced" And the HD channel look better then that ATI 650 for $84 is better then that $109 dollar 1600 that didn't pickup jack, even with wintv.

If you are going to get a tuner go with the Pinnacle or saberview e1 , they pickup the most channels alot of good reviews, and cheap.
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Old 08-17-09, 01:01 AM   #12
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Default Re: ~ Official "I watch TV on my PC" thread ~

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Originally Posted by ragejg View Post
I just found Sopcast and TVAnts... thru the following URL.. http://www.sportsfaction.com/2006/11...nfl-game-free/

I'm testing it out watching an MLB game right now. It's legal and free.
It may be free but I'm pretty sure it isn't legal most of the time.

The feeds also tend to be absolutely horrible since multiple people will be streaming video from someone else's PC.
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