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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

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Sir Big Spur

 
Member Since: Oct 21, 2010
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Good day to everyone!

I'm considering cancelling my cable television and try out streaming through the computer (Hulu, Netflix, etc). I currently have an early 2008 13'' Macbook. Does the type of computer effect streaming through my television? If it does, I can probably convince my that getting a Macbook Pro would be a good trade-off for cancelling the cable. But whether it does or not, my biggest concern is giving up the HD quality. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks in advance!
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chscag

 
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I have the same MacBook as you do and while I don't necessarily use it for streaming video or games, I do know that it's not suited for doing so. It works, but the performance is not that good.

Also, you probably should not cancel your cable contract before testing whether or not streaming TV shows is satisfactory for you. Otherwise you may have to pay for hooking it up again. BTW, the Mac Mini is a good performer for streaming video and even has an HDMI output.
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EndlessMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Big Spur View Post
But whether it does or not, my biggest concern is giving up the HD quality. Does anyone have any experience with this?
If HD is a concern for you then you might not want to be so quick about giving up cable. Not all streaming sites provide HD videos and even if they do you have to make sure your internet speeds can handle it.

You can buy non-streaming HD videos from iTunes etc. This means you don't have to deal with streaming issues, but if you are buying a lot of content then it might actually cost more doing it this way. A subscription service like Netflix is the way to go if you watch a lot of content.

I stream quite a bit of stuff from the internet but I still don't think I'm quite ready to give up TV just yet. By the way your computer's performance does effect streaming content especially if the site you are getting it from uses Flash. The best way to find out is to try it...There are plenty of free streaming sites such as Hulu and the network's websites.
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Sir Big Spur

 
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Thanks for the advice guys! I'm still not comitted to cancelling my cable yet, but just looking at the options. I just pay so much for a handful of channels that I actually watch, most of them local. I could go with no cable and get the fastest internet service U-Verse offers and stream....or that's my thinking anyway.
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I'm thinking of dropping my TV cable connection too. I'll keep the internet connection of course.

I wrote down the shows I want to keep up with and the available legal internet sources for them. Many are on Hulu, some are on the network's websites, some are on iTunes and a few aren't available. I'm told Netflex doesn't carry current seasons.

CBS is a weird network. Some of their stuff is available on their web site and some is not. For the stuff that is not on the web site, it might be available on iTunes, but only for purchase, not rental.

I started watching Rubicon on AMC. It is available on their website, but their player is totally useless.

The Hulu player is a pig on the Mac. The fans in my MBP have to wind up quite a bit to keep it cool. This is one of those Flash annoyances that you may see with other online content providers.

I figure if I was to rent the shows that I regularly watch, it would equal the cost of keeping the TV cable. Purchasing those few that I would even consider buying from the iTunes store would be just as costly. So, to really save money, the web sites with their ads would be the only legal option. Oh, by using DVR capabilities, I can save about 4 hours a week by skipping the ads. Hmm.

I'm looking at building a fractal antenna for my EyeTV. I live in a bit of signal whole so currently can't tune any of the over the air digital channels. If I can get that to work then combined with Hulu I can watch most things I'm interested in.

If a show ins't available over the air or via the net legally, then I'll just it up. It's just cheap entertainment that I spend too much time with anyway. I know I could cheat and use Bittorrent, but I shouldn't have to go there.

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bobtomay

 
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I have a full blown HTPC. Thus far have only been able to reduce the satellite bill from $160 to $100 a month. During the same time our expenditures to iTunes and Amazon have risen by about the same amount - but, now I own those shows instead of watching them from the DVR and deleting them to record something else.

I've been trying to drop the satellite for over a year now, and it's just not happening, unless we want to wait for several series to come out on disc.

Some of the stuff that is not available for rental as xstep pointed out, unless you have the new Apple TV or iPad - another slick way to sell more hardware. Although, I'm sure this came from the distributors to prevent it from ever touching a hard drive where some might figure out how to crack the watching period and keep the videos.

Another device to look at seriously is the new Logitech Revue - just out - could be a suitable device for some folks.

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I tried "cutting the cable" twice. It failed both times. Why? Sports. I am addicted to Sunday Ticket like the Hoff is addicted to the sauce.
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I agree. Cable or Satellite is like an addiction. Once you get hooked, it's awful hard to break the habit. Like bobtomay, I sure wish there were some way I could reduce my Verizon bill.. goodness knows I've tried. But like him, reducing it on one end just seems to induce spending more for what I reduced in the first place. You can't win. I'm hooked.
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To reduce costs simply cancel the channels you don't use.
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I didn't have cable for like 4 years, got it again this summer, dropped it again a few weeks back.

Super fast internet, Netflix, Hulu, and a few apps on my iPad are all I really need. So much is available for free or very low cost online, it's just not worth it to pay for cable unless you're really really really into sports and have no friends whom you can mooch off of to watch them.

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Originally Posted by GinoLicious View Post
To reduce costs simply cancel the channels you don't use.
Doesn't really work that way, channels aren't sold a la carte.

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SweetCosmicPope

 
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We've been off twice, now. Once for about a year, and we've been going strong for about 6 months, now.

May be getting it back, though. My son can't seem to shake this potty training thing, and can't go back to preschool until he does (he's 3), and my wife wants him to improve his verbal skills a little more, so she wants the educational stuff for him.

Don't have time for cable, myself. Too much homework. Nothing good is on besides Three Sheets, Bourdain, and Bizarre World, anyway.

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schweb

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetCosmicPope View Post
and my wife wants him to improve his verbal skills a little more, so she wants the educational stuff for him.
Get an OTA antenna and have him watch PBS shows, much better than the garbage on the cable channels. Or stream the shows from PBS.com.

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Get an OTA antenna and have him watch PBS shows, much better than the garbage on the cable channels. Or stream the shows from PBS.com.
How dare you! How would they watch Swamp People? It is a VERY educational program. I am only kidding. OK it is kind of entertaining watching people chase after alligators, snakes, and frogs.
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comovartia

 
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I cut the cable about a year ago and do not miss it. I bought a refurb mac mini and a mini dvi-hdmi cable and plugged it into my tv. Right now I run an ethernet cable into my office which is a pain but my mini is g not n. I will soon be running the cable through the attic and down through the wall. Even at N speeds it is better to be wired especially for HD streaming.
Almost every show I watch is online by 7:00 the next morning.
Already made back the cost of the mini with the cable savings.
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