I cut the cord years ago. My wife sat across from me on the sofa and finally convinced me that paying well over $100 a month for the privilege of a bunch of random cable channels wasn't worth it. We could save money, learn to live lower to the ground, read more, and watch TV shows and movies on demand. Netflix, Hulu Plus, and iTunes. I agreed. With apprehension.
A common complaint I get via e-mail or in comments on other articles involves a picture that breaks up into what look like little blocks.
Often, people incorrectly refer to these as "pixels," or blame their TV settings.
In fact, this artifact is in the source, and unfortunately, there's not much you can do about it.… Read more
The Aereo app on Roku boxes just became a much more potent alternative to traditional cable TV.
Aereo -- the Barry Diller-backed online video startup that streams local TV channels to multiple devices for a monthly fee -- had previously been available on Roku boxes, but it required an iPhone or iPad to use as a remote. But the updated app, which went live on Roku earlier this week, allows viewers to use an onscreen navigation with the standard Roku clicker.Disclosure: CBS, the parent corporation of CNET, is currently in active litigation with Aereo as to the legality of … Read more
LAS VEGAS--The Roku box will soon be able to double as a cable box for Time Warner Cable customers.
By April, the free TWC TV app will be added to Roku's increasingly robust app store. The app -- which is already available on iOS, Android, and PCs and Macs -- allows current Time Warner Cable subscribers to receive up to 300 live TV channels at no extra charge. That means subscribers could add a de facto cable box to any TV within range of a Wi-Fi signal, rather than having to having to make an appointment with the cable … Read more
Ever-higher subscription fees for satellite and cable are a fact of life, and DirecTV confirmed as much by announcing rate increases yesterday that will take effect in February 2013.
The average subscriber's bill will go up about 4.5 percent, although the individual increases vary quite a bit. The entry-level Choice package goes up a buck from $63.99 to $64.99, while the top-end Premiere package goes from $119.99 to $124.99. An HBO subscription goes from $15.99 to $17.99.
Here's the full rate card with the new pricing.
DirecTV claims that its own … Read more
CNET Reader R. Savoy asks:I recently purchased a 60-inch plasma and used your recommended picture settings. Question: I have my picture settings set to Screen Fit instead of 16:9 and on some stations when they go from hi-def to 4:3 I get a white flickering line right above the top of the picture. This problem doesn't present itself on the 16:9 settings, please advise, thank you.
Good question. Annoying answer, sadly.… Read more
After the 2010 World Cup, major sporting events broadcast in 3D have been few and far between. NBC and Panasonic aim to change that by offering a new dedicated channel delivering a massive 242 hours of coverage in the third dimension.
More important, chances are you'll actually have access to it. NBC says the channel will be available to nearly 80 percent of U.S. households, which includes nearly every major cable provider as well as Verizon's Fios TV and satellite provider DirecTV. Notable absentee from the list so far is Dish Network. … Read more
The TiVo IP set-top box (yes, that's what it's being called for now) works as an extender for a TiVo Premiere Q DVR. Connect the box to a secondary TV and to your home network, and you'll have access to live and recorded TV, video-on-demand services, or other broadband-delivered content through the main DVR.
Presumably it'll tie up one of the Q's tuners to access live TV, but with four tuners in the Q, you should be able to hook up multiple IP set-top boxes throughout your home. … Read more
CNET reader Will asks:
When considering acquiring a second HDTV, I discovered that my satellite box cannot send such a signal over the house cable system. In fact, the box has only one HDMI port, so a new distribution system is required to get the HD signal throughout the house.
What are the best options for distributing HD signal from a provider's receiver? Should we just rent multiple boxes or buy a new system?A complex question, but multiple easy answers.… Read more
When people ask me if they should "cut the cord" and cancel their cable subscription, I tend to focus on negatives. You're going to miss a lot of sports, reality TV, and live TV events -- even if you get free, over-the-air TV using an antenna.
That's all true, but it's easy to forget that sometimes the cord-cutting experience is just flat-out better than having cable. I was reminded of this after reading a quote by former NBC executive Jeff Gaspin at the end of Bill Carter's recent story about declining TV ratings in The New York Times:… Read more