* Hulu Plus ($7/month), covers about 80% of what my wife watches. We have a Plus account as some shows keep all episodes available under this package. House, Lie To Me etc. That takes the pressure off having to keep up weekly with watching. Not all shows do this archiving though.
I'm considering getting Hulu Plus just to have access to ALL of their archived TV episodes. But they still provide recently aired episodes for free, right? This hasn't been a major source of content for me yet. I'm trying to make the access to what my wife wants to watch as easy and as similar to a "cable-box" DVR as possible for my wife. She doesn't want to root thru a website searching for a particular episode, she wants to just go "click" once and have it come on.
* Netflix USA ($7/month). We watch tv series on here - Battle Star Galatica etc and some movies/docs.
We already have this. Kids like it a lot, but the wife isn't very impressed with their online selection.
. I've setup a tv homepage to make life easy getting to videos outside hulu and netflix. CBS doesn't have vids on Hulu so we go to the site directly for some stuff. There is also some good stuff on Discovery and History. PBS also has a bunch of stuff to fill the "specialty" niche when you've had enough of the blood and guts on primetime hehe. The VPN section we have to use Overplay as they don't work with usvideo. HGTV has a ton of videos online, pretty much their whole catalog. +1 for the wife factor here...
Looks interesting, but I haven't had a chance to try it out just yet. An "anti-cable" website - DisableMyCable.com
- has a similar "internet remote."
But don't think my dear wife would care for it. Maybe after she buys into the whole "cutting the cable" idea, but not right off the bat. Her biggest stated objection so far has been not wanting to have to click thru a bunch of menus to get at her shows.
* Boxee. We have this running on the macMini. It gets minimal use these days, it's actually been easier to just use the website to launch directly to the sites as needed.
I'm still experimenting with the Boxee (on PC). It still looks like it could tip the "convenience argument" in favor of cable-cutting by aggregating all content in one spot. I'm still "tweaking" to get everything the wife will want on here.
* Controlling macMini. We use an app on the iPad called Mobile Mouse. Very handy! It actually shows your mac Menu Bar making it easy to launch and kill apps. We also remote in from a macBook when more fine control is needed. You can also get mini bluetooth keyboards/track balls but we haven't had to get one of those yet.
Just downloaded the "Boxee Remote" onto my son's I-Pod Touch. Seems like an okay TV-type remote. Could help the "convenience argument" again due to it's familiar operation and the fact that it could go on my wife's I-Phone (which is always near to her!).
* Bonus content. We have an OTA antenna setup and jacked into our mac via eyeTV. The antenna is only in the house right now, not on the roof. We use it to record off CTV which luckily they carry a lot of CBS shows (that's aren't in Hulu). We use the native eyeTV app to watch the shows allowing for quick fast forwarding and rewinding. If eyeTV is running on another mac in the house you can get at it via UpNp but as you may know fast forwarding over UpNp is not as tight.
I'm considering buying a USB or Express Card TV tuner for the Toshiba Satellite that's currently hooked up to the TV (for the Boxee) in order to record OTA broadcasts. But that doesn't seem to be a major concern right now. I've been able to get quite a few episodes (of shows not on the Boxee) using the Torrent Episode Downloader (TED) and uTorrent - they show up listed in the Boxee (again, helping with the single location "convenience factor"). A lot of them seem to be available within a few hours of the original episode airing, in plenty of time for my wife.
But for local live TV, we can get all of the OTA broadcasts (45 total, including the subchannels) for our "market area" (Orlando-Daytona Beach) with a simple "Stealth Hawk" antenna hidden in the attic. So that's covered already.
I'm something of a sports fan myself. But down here in Central Florida, there's still quite a few games still broadcast in OTA. So I'm still satisfied. But more of it is shifting over to specialty cable channels. However, if there's a game on cable that I just HAVE TO see (rare), then I'll just go around the corner to Beef O'Brady's (a US "Family-Sports-Pub" chain) and have some Buffalo wings & a beer along with the game. Out-of-market NFL games are my biggest "want," but I refuse to pay for Direct TV just to get the overpriced "Sunday Ticket." I have a feeling that the NFL will be streaming games online in the next year or two anyway with a much more reasonable "ala carte" price structure.
* Wife Factor. It's really not too bad, biggest part is showing the potential of Hulu, how it auto queues etc. If they tend to spend a lot of time on specialty channels we've got your HGTV covered. TLC not so much yet but I'm watching them and will report back.
I'm still struggling with getting my wife to even sit down and seriously look at it. Her "solution" is to simply switch from our current Bright House (Time Warner) Cable-Internet-Phone bundle to a similar but slightly cheaper At&T U-Verse bundle (with a 2-year contract).
* If anyone needs a video to help "convince" let me know, I'll put one up on youTube showing it's use.
This would be immensely helpful. Actually seeing the ease of use would go a long way in convincing my wife to give up that expensive cable bill.