Netflix, Roku and Cut Cable, Oh My!, Part 1

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Netflix.  They’re the online video rental shop that will mail you DVDs from a queue you create.  For many years, I wrote them off as not worth it.  After all, I reasoned, we didn’t rent movies all that often so why pay $16.99 a month when we might rent only one movie that month.  Tis better, I thought, to pay $5 to rent the new release in the local big name video chain.  Boy was I wrong. » Read more

Revision3’s Release Results In Roku Rumors

Yesterday, Revision3 announced that they will have a "channel" on Roku boxes. If you don’t already know, Roku is a small, $99 set top box that can play Netflix Instant Queue movies, Amazon VOD movies and even Major League Baseball games. Roku had promised 10 new channels announced by the end of the year. MLB was one of them. Blip.TV was a second. Revision3 becomes the third. However, during the video demonstration of Revision3 on Roku, I noticed something odd. Here’s a screen capture, tell me if you notice it too.  (Click the image to enlarge it.)

Did you notice the Pandora and Flickr channels?  If these are released, then you might soon be able to listen to your Pandora music and browse photos by family and friends via the Roku.  These would be channels four and five.  Add in a rumored YouTube channel and we might have six.  It remains to be seen what other channels will come up, but I for one am excited at the future prospects of Roku!

Cutting The Cable Cord

With the economy the way it is, everyone is looking for ways to save money. For awhile now, I’ve thought about how much our cable TV costs us per month and whether/how we would do without it. We currently have Time Warner Cable’s All-In-One package (Internet, Phone and Cable) with two boxes. One is a DVR and one is a plain cable box. The phone line and Internet we would need to keep. (Ok, technically we could cut our land line and go cell phone only, but that’s a thought experiment for another day.) Switching to Time Warner’s “Surf & Talk” plan would save us about $65 per month.

Of course, our cable TV doesn’t go unwatched every day. NHL and JSL watch it. B watches it. I watch it. So we can’t just rip out the cable line and pocket the monthly savings. Some kind of entertainment is going to need to replace the cable TV loss at or below the cost of cable TV. In doing research on this, here are some of the options I’ve come up with:

» Read more

1 2 3