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Television

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Watch TV In 2012? 479

Posted by Soulskill
from the does-not-involve-3d-glasses dept.
zaba writes "Once again, I can hear the tell-tale signs of a hard drive dying. This time, it's in the DVR for one of our TVs. In the U.S., are we at a point where, with a little technical savvy, 'cutting the cord' makes sense? If so, what are the best options? Does a refurb Roku (anywhere from 60-80 USD) make the most sense? Does building a mythbox or some such device make sense? For my family of four (ages 36, 30, 13 and 4), we are paying ~100 USD/month for two receivers (one with a DVR). What, in your opinion, is the best option to have TV service in two rooms of the house? Kid's shows could be in one room and adult shows in another. Or, all of it could be on one server (I have computers lying around) that could go to multiple rooms. We like the DVR for the instant access, but saving a hundred bucks a month would be nice as well. I can drop CAT-5 as needed, but Wi-Fi would be preferred. For programming, we currently have 'standard' cable and mostly watch the major networks. I would love to have ESPN, but can get my sports fix (mostly college football) through other means, I'm sure. How do you all watch TV? What have you found to be the best way to get what you want?"
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Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Watch TV In 2012?

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  • The best way (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @07:35PM (#40460257) Journal

    You should have a home file server where everyone keeps everything. RAID 6 it. That way you never have to worry about dying hard drives.

    Put RTorrent on it with a watch directory. Sign up to a private TV torrent tracker with an RSS feed. Download the torrents linked to by those feeds into your watch directory. Share the torrent directory via Samba.

    Put a PC with XBMC anywhere you want to watch TV. Add your samba share as a source. You're done.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @07:39PM (#40460317) Homepage Journal

    you could [run Netflix] with a computer as well. Biggest pain would be using a keyboard and mouse

    That's what a tray table is for. You put the wireless keyboard and trackball on the tray while picking a show, and once the show starts, you put them away to make room for your microwave dinner.

  • by Paul Slocum (598127) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @07:39PM (#40460323) Homepage Journal
    I spent a long time without cable watching everything off a hard drive or Netflix, but I'm back to cable + a DVR. I really just love flipping through channels, and having everything instantly on in HD. I felt like watching TV only off Netflix and my hard drive had me making too many of the choices, and I got into a rut. I admit I have weird taste in TV and so maybe it's not for everyone, but cable + DVR is definitely my preference.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @07:46PM (#40460407)

    Am I the only person that thinks it's absurd that I can purchase a 100 megabit downstream link from my cable provider but can't watch a particular TV show without being forced to purchase a 70 dollar/month (with 2 year commitment) bundled package? (From the same company)

    I have a connection to a network where I can grab data from anywhere on the planet, but TV shows come via an obsolete channel switched bitstream on a schedule designed to extract advertising dollars in exchange for my valuable time.

    The media companies have spoken, and they aren't interested in selling me content. So I don't buy it. The few shows worth watching are available at the usual places and you can watch them at your leisure. Paying for content sends the wrong message. When you pay, you're buying 20 minutes of advertising. When you pay, you're telling them you're willing to sit there in front of the TV when they tell you to.

    Given the exploitative nature of traditional TV packaging, they should be paying you to watch. Not the other way around.

  • Re:Roku or AppleTV (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @07:50PM (#40460463) Journal
    Thirded.

    I gave up on cable about five years ago, and have yet to regret it. I can get full seasons, commercial free, from NetFlix within a year of their original airing.

    I seriously wonder why I ever paid over $1200/year for something I can get for a tenth that, and without the single biggest nuisance associated with live TV - The one that people pay more for devices to extract - Commercials.


    Cut the cord, dude! You'll never regret it.
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @07:52PM (#40460483) Homepage Journal

    Im so tired of this.

    I leaned a new lick watching peter frampton last week. Was that a waste?
    My kids and I had a discussion regarding quantum physics because of something we watched on TV. Was that a waste?
    My kids no more about our solar system then most kids their age because of some of the television we watch. Is that bad?
    My kids want to build things over the summer because of something they say on TV. Is that bad?
    My daughter likes doing experiments because of mythbusters. Is that bad?

    I have used TV tio teach my kids about advertising shenanigans. Was that bad?

    I could list a 1000 ways TV is good.
    Is there stuff on TV that is horrible drivel and nonsense? yes. But to dismiss all of TV because of that is no different then burning down all the library's because they have a copy of twilight.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @07:55PM (#40460529)

    No it sucks. Used to be there were so many shows* I couldn't keep-up. (I had to tape them and catchup during Christmas hiatus and summer break.) Now the channels are mostly filled with reality crap, even the National Geographic (!) and Syfy Channel (building cars == fantasy or sci-fi??). I often flip through the cable when on business trips, and wonder why anyone would pay for it.

    *
    * The 90s; Just off the top of my head:
    Seinfeld, Friends, Quantum Leap, Star Trek TNG, Babylon 5, DS9, Voyager, Twilight Zone, X-Files, Sliders, Buffy, Angel, Xena, Hercules, Timetrax, Ren & Stimpy..........

  • by BrainRam (939611) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:12PM (#40460717)

    I agree. There's no CNN, no Fox News, no MSNBC, no 24 hour live news at all.

    It's absolutely FANTASTIC!

  • Re:The best way (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:32PM (#40461555) Journal

    I maintain enough upload credit to download anything I want again.

  • by msauve (701917) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:36PM (#40461597)
    Sure, it's the counterpoint to MS-NBC.

    The thing is, each seems to be watched by people who only want reinforcement of their own worldviews. That's no way to develop an intelligent, informed opinion.
  • No, why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:43PM (#40461673) Homepage Journal

    Don't like it use the remote buddy. Very simple.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:11PM (#40461997)

    Not even close to equivalent. Fox-apologists just like to trot out that comparison to make their propaganda machine seem like just another biased source.

    All 24-hour news is ratings-driven crap, but Fox takes it to a level that would make Pravda editors blush.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @12:46AM (#40463429)

    I thought Fox was counterpoint to "Trotsky Daily" and the official "Democratic Republic of North Korea Thuthiness Network!".

    Alternatively, I thought it an entertainment channel.

    I couldn't quite decide.

  • by Tomster (5075) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @09:19AM (#40466291) Homepage Journal

    Oh, come on. Look at what the other networks did with the Zimmerman/Martin case just for one example. Then there was the "exploding truck" case from a while back. And then....

    They are all biased and ratings-driven crap. Fox News appears to look worse to most people just because it is the only MSM voice that is right-wing instead of left-wing. It's a crowd of people on one side hollering "blue", one guy over there hollering "red". Who stands out?

    Thomas

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor

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