Aug 16, 2013

What are the must haves when you cut the cord and leave cable behind?

I am cancelling cable and was wondering what services people thought were “must haves” and what the best way to get them to the TV is. Obviously Netflix. But I don’t want to just hook up my laptop to my TV. I know there are lots of choices: Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, etc. What would be a good quick and easy.....and hopefully affordable...set-up of services and hardware to replace cable?

I vote for iTunes and Netflix. Plenty of content available on both of those services. If you need a device and want to stay in Apple's ecosystem, then the Apple TV is a good choice. But you want other choices then another device might be a better bet.

Just to add to what John said, the original Wii makes a pretty good multimedia “box”, with Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and a YouTube Channel all available, and because they are being pushed aside in favor of the Wii U, they are pretty cheap (or even better, you may have one gathering dust somewhere). You can also control YouTube through an Android smartphone or tablet, pretty much like Chromecast, although YouTube performance has been less than optimal over the past few months. It has gotten better though. The only real drawback to using the Wii is output is limited to 480p, but if you don’t mind that, it works great.


If you have a few i-Devices and just want to buy something and be done: Apple TV


If you are thinking about a Roku check into PlayOn and Plex, they greatly enhance what a Roku can do.


If you want a system that can do just about everything but requires some set up go with a HTPC running XBMC. XBMC can do amazing things if your willing to put the time in. (OTA DVR,ALL major streaming services, 1 click DVD ripping, etc)


Last but not least an Ouya. Ouya Runs android apps so you can run XBMC, Plex, Netflix, etc. with the added benefit of games.


Chromecast strikes me as fairly unimpressive.

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