10 devices to help you ditch your cable box

10 devices to help you ditch your cable box

Summary: Looking to break away from your outdated cable box set up? These devices can help.


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  • Cable television, as popular as it is, hasn't changed all that much in the last twenty years. New technology has come and gone, but the basic structure of a cable box attached to a TV has remained the same. 

    Fortunately, the Internet offers a way out: Streaming services, led by companies like Netflix, have disrupted the notion that television as a linear thing fed to viewers by networks in specified order. Instead, the power is shifting in favor of users, who is now able to dictate when and where they want to watch content. 

    This, too: Cable television is expensive, and offers a majority of the time stuff that viewers rarely watch our outright don't want. The solution, then, is clear: leave the cable box behind. These devices can make it happen. 

    (Photo credit: Samsung)

  • Microsoft has been making a big push as of late to make the Xbox far more than just a game console, and video, predictably, is a big part of that.

    In addition to Microsoft's Zune market, the Xbox 360 offers support for Crackle, Epix, Hulu Plus, SyFy, and, of course, Netflix. Verizon Fios subscribers can also link up their accounts to the console, allowing them to view select channels like CBS, TNT, and HBO. 

    (Photo credit: Microsoft)

Topics: Telcos, Hardware, Mobility, Networking

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  • Where's My ESPN?

    When I can get all the ESPN channels, then I'll think about it. Yes, I know I can get ESPN360 on my PC, but why put a strain on my wireless network. Plus the video just is not as good as live TV.
  • Don't Forget Smartphones

    I can stream or download videos to my smartphone and then feed them to my TV with an MHL-HDMI adapter.
  • RE: 10 devices to help you ditch your cable box

    My only complaint in this whole article is NETFLIX. I am a customer of NETFLIX and the only thing about NETFLIX that frustrates me is that they DO NOT ALLOW streaming of ALL of the content available on NETFLIX. Many of the items in their catalog are marked DISC as opposed to PLAY. If they ever get enough cohunah's to get it all on PLAY, it would be well worth the price you pay for the service.
  • RE: 10 devices to help you ditch your cable box

    My concern isn't "ditching the cable box", it's getting connected to the internet without the cable company.
  • You mentioned Computers & Roku

    You can always connect a computer to your HDTV through HDMI or even VGA. Then you don't have to miss those shows on HULU Plus that are not streamed for the TV set-top boxes.

    I use a Roku system and they have a heap of free channels that have old public domain shows and movies. Some nights, I spend more time looking for something to watch than actually watching content.

  • TV is always on

    One great thing about TV is although there is a lot of crap on, there is always *something* on. This is like radio, while you may not always like it, there is music playing that you don't have to choose (except the station or channel). Online music downloads and online video/movie downloads are still not freindly to the browsing or lazy (about what you want to watch) market. In my experience I would only watch shows online that I have missed an episode of on TV (avid watcher of a particular show) or to watch a movie that I have not been able to find elsewhere.

    Also, you may find downloading movies from netflix or similar services in the U.S. but here in New Zealand the market is too small for these services. There are a few providers but their library is small and around the same price as a new release from a video shop - would rather go and rent the BluRay version to enjoy uncompressed sound and picture without having to wait 20 minutes for it to download too.
  • RE: 10 devices to help you ditch your cable box

    Don't neglect Western Digital's set top boxes. I've got a couple of WDTV Live boxes (the new ones with built-in WiFi) and a Western Digital Mybook World 1TB NAS device. With the WDTV Live boxes not only can I watch my HULU+ shows, as well as listen to Pandora and a bunch of ther services, but I can also effortlessly stream any one of the 300 or so moveis I've ripped to my NAS. So far I've got a box in the bedroom and the living room and soon I'll be adding one to the guest room.
  • RE: 10 devices to help you ditch your cable box

    I use computer for all my infotainment purposes, hooking to an HDTV, that's all, no gimmick.
  • RE: 10 devices to help you ditch your cable box

    I'd love to do this, but if you have any desire to watch weeknight sports and follow local Pro teams, forget it.