Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Great TV Experiment Part 2

Since we got rid of DirecTV, Keith has been trying to get everything set up digitally. He's been moving computers and monitors hither and thither to experiment with Hulu, Boxee, and all manner of ways to watch TV without actually having any kind of TV service.

The other week, he stole the monitor from my desktop computer upstairs. I found it very disconcerting to walk into the study and see the empty desk. I couldn't help but think of my computer as being "headless." Although, technically speaking, I guess the brain is in the CPU anyway? But it did make it challenging to do anything on the computer at all. He was using the laptop to work on, plus the monitor from the upstairs computer to interface with a different computer running some other program ..... all I know is, I just want to write my blog and plan lessons!

I think that it's been more of a challenge to get everything set up than he had anticipated. The technology fervor has died down somewhat. We haven't watched many shows lately, and when we have, it's just been on the laptop. (We got the laptop as a second home computer, so it is rather large and unwieldy, with a 17-inch widescreen, so that's not as ridiculous as it sounds.)

Once last week, Eleanor went down for her nap and I needed something to distract me while folding diapers. So I opened up the laptop, went to Hulu, and watched an episode of "Bones." It was a little jumpy, but overall I enjoyed it. And I really just needed it for background, so it didn't bother me to miss a word here or there.

I think we gave up DirecTV at the end of August, so it's been almost a month sans a multitude of TV channels. So far, so good. I honestly feel like I don't notice it very much. I'm fine with watching every once in a while on the laptop. Maybe I'll feel differently once the fall TV season is in full swing, though....


Amy said...

Spotted on Lifehacker:

160GB Apple TV Drops to $229, Making Boxee Setups Easier

Apple's killed off the 40GB Apple TV model and dropped in the 160GB model at the $229 price mark. Whether it heralds a new line of Apple TVs on the way or a last call for the "hobbyist" device, it makes for some pretty cheap storage and a super-easy way to cut your cable and stream your media with Boxee. No more DIY hard drive upgrades needed, just an Apple TV, free Boxee software, an HDMI cable and a 4GB USB drive—oh, and the high-definition TV, of course. [Apple Store via Gizmodo]

Jennifer said...

We watched the first two episodes of Glee on Hulu. Mark connected his laptop to the tv using an HDMI cable. It was only slightly stuttery a few times but I noticed that Fox has their own player that they tout that it won't have buffering issues. Haven't tried it yet. Before I had a DVR and could only record to a VCR, there were shows I would watch online via the network. The 30 sec commercial breaks are almost preferable to fast-forwarding on the DVR.

I could get rid of cable fairly easily if I could watch my favorite shows on Showtime and HBO via the internet (through legal sources). I guess I could wait until they came out of DVD and rent from the library but that is very time consuming. One day I really hope there will be an a la cart option and you can buy the channels you want vs getting what you get.

M. Lubbers said...

Thanks, Amy. Keith started salivating when he saw your comment ;)

Jenn: I concur that the small commercial breaks online are better than fast-forwarding TV commercials. We had the same problem (like many, I guess) that we only watched a handful of the hundreds of channels we had. Someday they will have to offer a la carte to compete with the internet, right?