Apple TV with Hulu, Netflix, ?.

User Forum Topic
Submitted by Doofrat on September 28, 2012 - 10:58pm

I know this topic has come up before, but has anybody lately had any luck using services like Hulu+ and Netflix and/or any other services to replace their cable? A co-worker just got the new Apple TV and is using Netflix/Hulu to stream television shows, but he has also kept the cable channels.
We don't watch a lot of TV, maybe 30 mins a day on average, and would also hate to miss out on our favorite shows.
For example, I like Walking Dead, and Hulu has Walking Dead Webisodes (what the heck is a Webisode?), but it says on their site that they don't have a license to display it on a TV. Would I be able to watch it on another service, or would I have to wait 6 months to watch it on Hulu or Netflix?!?
I have never used Hulu or Netflix, so that's where I'm coming from.

Thanks!
Doofrat

Submitted by Downtowner on September 29, 2012 - 6:30am.

I cut the cord about 2 years ago. I have an outdoor antenna that gets me all the locals in HD - and yes the HD over the air is not compressed, so its a better picture. I live at the top of a downtown building, so you definitely need to check your reception. One note: if you still get you internet from a cable provider they still have to deliver the local channels over your cable, so for Cox channels 1005 - 1011 are all the locals in HD, so technically you don't need an antenna

I use a media center PC (with 2 TV tuners) for my main TV, so I can record and watch at the same time. I also can surf the web and stream anything I can find interesting (Amazon VOD, all the cable networks have free content on their websites). I get my internet service from Cox, The cool thing about still getting internet from Cox is that you can get any of the content from ESPN3 for free because you are still a subscriber. I also have a Hulu+ subscription ($8/month) so I can get most all of the cable shows that I want (Daily Show - Comedy central).

For my 2nd TV I have a Tivo which also has 2 tuners and is web enabled to get Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, and Hulu+. So if you don't want to go with a full PC a Tivo is not a bad option. Yes, what you can watch on Hulu+ is dependent upon the device you are using, so on my media center PC I have access to all content because it just thinks I'm delivering it to a PC screen. On the Tivo (or Roku, AppleTV, GoogleTV, etc...) some of the content is limited. So my suggestion is to go with a PC and you don't have to spend a lot of $$. If you have an old laptop or PC you can add a TV tuner pretty cheaply and it will probably work just fine. Oh, and unless you are an Apple user I would recommend a Roku or WD TV live device, they are cheaper and have more services than the AppleTV.

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Submitted by ocrenter on September 29, 2012 - 7:43am.

agree with most everything downtowner said.

however, you do not need Hulu+ to get the Daily Show or a large amount of regular TV.

We went to just cable modem few years ago as well. just like downtowner, we use the PC windows media center to record shows. for the media extender, we purchased couple of used xbox 360 at cowboom.

if you download PlayOn on your computer, you can use xbox to watch Hulu and a bunch of shows.

we are not avid TV watchers, averaging 1-2 hour per day, so the free hulu content is already quite overwhelming. for serious TV viewers, perhaps it is worth the cost of hulu+.

like downtowner mentioned, PC with a tuner remain the best option. we got Roku for cheap to try and it was a piece of junk.

Submitted by mike92104 on September 29, 2012 - 9:41am.

I like my Roku, otherwise I agree with everything said. A good internet provider combined with your favorite streaming device, a media center computer (I use a mac mini),HD tv tuner (or2), antenna, and good DVR software I'm using mythtv, but Windows Media Center has really good reviews) will get you just about everything you could get on cable. One other advantage worth mentioning is that you won't be constantly bombarded with ads nearly as much as cable tv.

Also, FYI for those with HOA's, federal law allows you to put up a TV antenna regardless of the HOA rules.

Submitted by outtamojo on September 30, 2012 - 12:52am.

For series, go here
http://series-cravings.info/

Submitted by cvmom on October 1, 2012 - 1:03pm.

We also use PlayOn with a Wii to stream to TV. Getting along without cable just fine.

Anyone care to share more about the TV tuner with a PC option? Where do you buy such a TV tuner, and how hard to install?

Submitted by CardiffBaseball on October 1, 2012 - 11:24pm.

Plex has been pretty nice, I've been experimenting with that lately.

Plex is a media server you setup on a pc and you subscribe to the Plex channel with your Roku (or Apple). I don't use Itunes much so I really didn't bother looking at the Apple TV since Roku has what I need. I am sure it's fine.

I can't cut yet because of sports. That and the only shows I do watch (Dexter, Homeland, etc. ) are on the pay channels. Those I can get elsewhere but I just can't put up with the whining and crying. Maybe when the kids are out I can cut the cord.

Submitted by Jazzman on October 2, 2012 - 12:59pm.

I have been using apple TV and Netlix for two years. The user interface in much easier to use than cable, making selective watching better. Since it's all on demand, TV viewing is more flexible. However, Netflix has not been updating online movies frequently so regular watchers can run out of good new movies quickly. Overall it's a much better system than cable, which suffers from quantity at the expense of quality, and a clumsy interface, but it loses out on live coverage such as news. There used to be good news podcasts but they've nearly all gone. Hulu doesn't offer much in my view. Apple iTunes has a good selection of new movies. There's tons of radio stations, and you can stream photos and music.

Submitted by treehugger on October 2, 2012 - 5:09pm.

We have basic cable with Netflix and Hulu run through roku and apple TV, pretty much hate the apple TV, roku is way easier to use.

We also have a "media room" with the kids wii hooked up to run everything through, that works pretty well, but I don't really know how to operate, kids are more tech savvy than I am!

Guess that could be the problem with the apple TV as well, roku just seems simpler to the techie challenged.

Submitted by mike92104 on October 2, 2012 - 8:37pm.

cvmom wrote:
We also use PlayOn with a Wii to stream to TV. Getting along without cable just fine.

Anyone care to share more about the TV tuner with a PC option? Where do you buy such a TV tuner, and how hard to install?

Here's something to get you started. Eye tv has good reviews. A lot of the functionality of a TV tuner depends on the DVR software you get.

http://www.elgato.com/elgato/na/mainmenu...

Submitted by mike92104 on October 2, 2012 - 8:41pm.

CardiffBaseball wrote:
Plex has been pretty nice, I've been experimenting with that lately.

Plex is a media server you setup on a pc and you subscribe to the Plex channel with your Roku (or Apple). I don't use Itunes much so I really didn't bother looking at the Apple TV since Roku has what I need. I am sure it's fine.

I can't cut yet because of sports. That and the only shows I do watch (Dexter, Homeland, etc. ) are on the pay channels. Those I can get elsewhere but I just can't put up with the whining and crying. Maybe when the kids are out I can cut the cord.

Plex is fantastic. It also allows sharing of all your media files (pictures, music, DVR, movies etc.) to any other computer in the house, or with a minimal amount of setup, any computer anywhere along with your tablet or phone. I use it to stream the stuff my TV tuner card and DVR software record. As mentioned, there is a Roku "channel" that uses it, and for those using a PS3, it will find the Plex server without any setup. For those that REALLY want to geek out, take a look at XBMC.

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