This Old Nerd
October 7, 2010

05: Cutting cable TV

Today, we try to say goodbye to cable television using a simple combo of Hulu, an HTPC, and an over-the-air antenna. How did it go? Not according to plan. Expect another attempt at an over-the-top solution soon.

Download: HD (mp4) | HD (M4V) | SD (mp4)


  • Pingback: Tweets that mention 05: Cutting cable TV » This Old Nerd -- Topsy.com()

  • Matt Burley

    Great show. Cutting cable is the way to go. Online services like Hulu and the BBC iPlayer are especially great because it means you don’t have to watch it live or remember to record it again. Not sure how the P.A.R works with online streaming TV though, I think the usability of these services has a way to come along until it’s as easy to use as a DVR, plus picture quality isn’t as good as broadcast (here in the UK – unsure what the streaming is like for you guys in the US).

    Again, great show. Keep up the great work!

    (BTW, what’s the difference between the M4V and MP4 HD feeds? I want the best picture quality and file size isn’t an issue. Which one should I use?)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks. In the follow up ep, I’ll focus on the PAR a bit more. Considering this solution didn’t work at all, it is obviously an impossible sell right now.

      I’ve watched the M4V and MP4 versions and I think they are almost identical – I’m sure there are some differences, but I don’t notice any. I created the M4V version really for TiVo usage – if for some reason people watch us there. If I had to pick one – stick to the MP4 unless you watch on a TiVo.

      Lower-res versions will also be available starting next week. 320 x 240. Teeny, tiny, files.

  • Anonymous

    I’m in the middle of a similar project here and am using a TiVo Premiere on our main HDTV, an Xbox 360 on another and Roku boxes for bedrooms. The TiVo picks up all the local OTA stations fine here and also has Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster, and shortly, Hulu Plus. With both Roku and the Xbox are also getting Hulu Plus, I think we will be covered for everything but some live sports. Since I’m an MLB and NFL fan (mostly), I think we will be fine.BTW, your new M4V file works great on Roku (even SD) via Mediafly (the others don’t). Thanks for making the show available in a stream-friendly format.

    • Anonymous

      Glad to know the M4V works well. I’m working on a follow up episode to this one very soon.

  • Unclebigbad

    iYaz,
    Excellent show and thanks for keeping it so real world. I have a few suggestions. 1) use Playon media server as it will make your life easier!! we have been using it since beta and its a dream. ( http://www.playon.tv/playon) 2) i would think getting a card tv tuner would be better than the lame USB stuff but who knows. Finally I use my PS3 as my media server as it accesses the network well, unifies the interface and make everything work on my TV. Great job yet again !

    Unclebigbad

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for watching. I have PlayOn and will be featuring it later. I’m trying another solution for the tuner – you’ll see what we picked soon. We’ll be featuring the PS3 and 360 as front-ends in yet another ep! Thanks for all the suggestions – they are very much appreciated.

  • This Norwegian Nerd

    Hey.

    Like your show. Watching it here in Norway. Been trying this and that in mediacenter software the last souple of years, and not yet found anything that has any good WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor). What I’m now using is a PS3 which streams video from my Windows Home Server. I’m using PS3mediaserver to transcode the media to PS3 compatibel format. Going to give my HTPC another try with Boxee or XBMC.
    I just wanted to say that you should really but the signal amplifier as close as possible to the antenna. If you pick up interference on the way to the amplifier, it wil also get amplified. Shit in – shit out :) Actually you could probably have your mediaserver in the attic and stream the media down you your livingroom, alternatively run an hdmi cable straight down to your TV. That way you would not need an amplifier.
    Well, I can see that you an I are a lot alike. I am also an old nerd….

    • This Norwegian Nerd

      OK, after sending my comment I see the typos 😛 I’ll have to blame it on being late. Good night.
      P.S. Feel free to change an s to a c, and add a d :) My english is a bit rusty…

    • Anonymous

      Yep, the amp should be closer to the antenna – I’ve changed that and things are a better now. Stay tuned, we’ll have a follow up. Thanks for watching the show and keep those ideas coming!

  • Newsjunkie99

    Can’t wait for part two because, to be honest, part 1 was not very smooth but that’s part of the charm of the show.

    • Anonymous

      Same here – even though everything didn’t work, I wanted to keep that in the show because that’s what happens in real life. If something flops, I think I should show the audience. That being said, we’ve upgraded a couple of things and the result will be definitely be better than part 1.

    • Anonymous

      Same here – even though everything didn’t work, I wanted to keep that in the show because that’s what happens in real life. If something flops, I think I should show the audience. That being said, we’ve upgraded a couple of things and the result will be definitely be better than part 1.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with a lot of the above comments regarding the failures adding to the style of the show. Right now, we have an older macbook connected to our computer and just have both hulu desktop and xbmc in our dock. It’s not the most seamless option, but it works well enough until we find a better solution. Looking forward to the next segment!

  • Pingback: Special: Cutting Cable TV Parts I and II » This Old Nerd()

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnDrach John Drach

    I think the problem is your using a PC lol. 

Search this site :

About This Show

"This Old Nerd" shows you how you can have the most tech-forward house and life possible if you're willing to do it yourself. Watch. Learn. Build.

New episodes are released every Thursday. Find out more.

Subscribe & More

Sponsor the Show

tip jar

The Store (powered by Amazon)