In the past 4 years, I have become disillusioned of cable/satellite television subscriptions (though we have DirecTV at the house), and I have discovered five things about my television habits:
|Option 1: Acer Aspire Revo AR3700-U3002
Option 2: Acer Aspire Revo 100
|The Home Screen to Windows Media Center|
For online-streaming needs, I can use WMC to watch Netflix instant-streaming video, online content from network television web sites (Spike, ABC, CW, MSNBC, etc.) and online-exclusive programs (Revision3, The Engadget Show, etc.), and through the use of 3rd party plug-ins I can seamlessly access and watch videos through Hulu (after installing the Hulu Desktop program), Vudu (though the 3rd party Boxee app and program), YouTube, DailyMotion, ESPN3.com (live and archive games), and more. Plus since the HTPC is, well, a PC, I can still access any of these online-streaming video services via a web browser (Google Chrome is my personal preference). While most of the content is free, some will come with a subscription price. Hulu is free (but limited), yet its Hulu Plus premium service is $7.99/mo.; Netflix’s instant streaming service is also $7.99/mo.; Vudu’s service is free, but to watch movies and television you’d pay $0.99 to $5.99 per rental and $9.99-$19.99 per digital purchase.
|Money, money, money, monnnnn-ey!!|
All in all, aside from the one time cost of the HTPC, I would be spending most of my money on the high-speed internet connection ($30-$50/month) and the premium subscription services like Hulu Plus and Netflix would cost an additonal $7.99/each/month, however I’d be using the internet and those services on a myriad of devices: the HTPC, my laptop, my online-enabled video game systems (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation Portable), and my phone. Also, if I wanted to access and watch my HTPC content in another room, I can purchase an old Xbox 360 (for $50-$80) from a pawn shop and use the 360’s WMC Extender function to do so. In the end, by ditching and totally avoiding subscribing to cable/satellite, I’d be saving $55-$90/month ($660-$1080/year). Hooray for my soon-to-be obese wallet!!