20 February 2009

Dear John.

Hulu - so this is it. I had hope for our relationship. 
Sure, I was skeptical at first, but you started to win me over.  I started to believe in you, but it was too good to be true. 
Now this. 
You aren't the boy I thought you were. You let yourself be pushed around by the big mean dumb kid.  You didn't stand up for yourself OR your friends and now your lunch money is handed over every day (their's too). And I want to keep my lunch money.

You totally sold out (and I really should have seen it coming).

Definitely not the knight in shining armor, loyal friend, hero to all.  No "braveheart" here, that's for sure.

So I've moved on. It was hard, but I did it. He's a little more "bad boy", can't really bring him home to mom, but you know what? He stands up for what he believes in.  

Anyway, I'm sorry for the way things worked out, but just thought you should know. What? His name?  I'm sure you've heard of him - BitTorrent.

16 February 2009

Money Changes Everything.

Something C&E Girl has been mulling over lately - extraneous costs. 
Specifically, cable costs. 
Specifically, $150 - $170 a month. 
Multiply by 12, add in Netflix subscription and a random movie on demand and it comes to a nice $2000 a year. For content that is essentially FREE.

A quick inventory of what this tidy sum brings me: 1000+ useless channels, 2 "premium channels", a HD DVR box that records content to watch on demand....except the same content is already offered FREE/minimal cost from other sources.  Um, maybe a phone line, more likely, not, as mobile works just fine. And of course, Internet access (which, all by it's lonesome via Time Warner is $40/month). We have been brainwashed into paying for something that exists FOR FREE. Sort of like bottled water (that's for another time). 

Apartment Therapy had a nice little discussion on TV or no TV today, but no one really talked about specific alternatives...so C&E Girl has decided to her vast knowledge resource to educate the masses:
1. Assume your news will be more current from online sources than broadcast. Goodbye to Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric (will we really miss her?) and Entertainment Tonight. And assume that almost any network will have your favorite programming online within 24 hours, so you will never miss a minute of The View, Oprah Jon Stewart. Factor in access to Joost, Hulu, Miro and there's no excuse. 

2. Did I mention that you can connect your video iPod/iPhone and/or your laptop to your TV? No? Now you know. Ask the nice man at the electronics store for the right cable, switch your TV to the right input source, and voila.  Eliminate DRM restrictions on the content you already own/have paid for (iTunes has already started) and off you go. 

3. Hmmm, what about the evil (and fave) Bit Torrent sites? Just Google "Bit Torrent", and remember that C&E Girl never promotes any illicit activity, theft or piracy of copyrighted material.  

4. If you can't give it all up, get basic cable, a Netflix subscription and a Roku box

5. Add AppleTV to the mix. Not perfect - C&E Girl prefers streaming to storing - and it isn't up to it's true potential yet, but hey, even if you add in the initial cost of the box and 3-4 "season passes", you will still come in waaay under the $2000/yr you are paying to the thieves who provide cable service TimeWarner, Comcast, CableVision, etc. 

5. Boxee. Sigh. Where to begin? FREE FREE FREE. My newest obsession and crush. It holds a solid little place in my evil heart.  Add it to your to your laptop (Mac OSX or Linux) or Mac Mini and you open up a whole new world that adds social media to your viewing pleasure.  

6. Plex also does a lovely job, without the social media aspect and again, for Mac or Linux OS's.  Especially like their Valentine's Day Card to media companies. Obviously, true Cheap and Evil's at heart. 

7. Boxee+Apple TV and your already fabulous world grows exponentially (and so does your Apple TV functionality).  Throw in a Netflix subscription/Roku box and..."huh, cable? what's that?".

So my fave Cheap and Evils, why pay for what you can get for (relatively) free? $2000 can easily a round trip ticket to Rio :)