The September issue of WIRED magazine had an article Hosted by Joel McHale, it was all about ditching cable or satellite in exchange for streaming media via the internet. First off, let me say there are many ways to do this, in this post I plan on discussing the way I did it.

It started 2001 on September 11, I ended my TV silence by climbing up on my roof and installed an old antenna I had in the backyard, the world was coming to an end around me and I needed to know what was going on. In 2008 we were having a baby, and I wanted to have some more kid friendly channels for my little boy to watch so we signed up for DirecTV at their introductory offer, nice for a year then it more then doubled. Now in an effort to save money like everyone else in these sucky times we are cutting back.

This December our DirecTV contract was coming to an end, and I really didn’t want to pay as much as I was for the few shows that were on that I actually watched. The DVR was nice, but with this new set up you won’t need one. For starters, I purchased a BluRay player, I was a little deceived by the articles I had read about the box, reviewers had said it would support Hulu+, which it didn’t, so I took it back and spent $59.99 on a Roku HD box. The Roku is wireless enabled; it streams video from Netflix, Hulu+ and AmazON Demand, the three services I really wanted. The Roku also has a number of other channels offering content from original content creators and many other services including Pandora. When it comes to internet speed, it won’t require much for Standard Definition. We had DSL at 1.5mbs and it was fine for what we were watching, but you couldn’t do anything else on the net while watching, so we are increasing our service (I will have a breakdown of costs at the bottom). We also purchased a Digital Converter box, since we don’t have a HD tv yet, we needed the box to get over the air free tv. This allows us to get our local channels and news. I was able to use our existing antenna and the Coax cable run for the DirecTV.

There are several other devices I have had recommended to me and have looked into. My main goal was cost effectiveness. I could have gotten a XBOX 360 or PlayStation 3, some of the Sony, LG, and Samsung Bluray players and TV’s have the ability to stream Netflix and other services, but they were all out of my price range.

About the services, Netflix is fantastic, I used to use my Wii to stream Netflix movies and it got me HOOKED. It’s so nice to have an ever expanding library of movies to watch when ever I’m in the mood. Hulu+ (Hulu Plus) is still in it’s infancy, there are many shows that it does not have just yet, but I think it will continue to expand into something a lot more useful. Hulu’s selection of movies is pretty much crap right now. That’s why there is AmazON Demand, that’s right Amazon, we rented “Sorcerers Apprentice” on a free credit from Amazon then rented “Inception” on another free credit for tweeting about the service. It worked great and the quality was fantastic. Pandora is a music service that offers 40 free hours a month of your own customized radio stations, or you can pay for unlimited service at $36.00 a year.

Ok you made it this far, time for my cost analysis.
Before the change:
DirecTV – $75.77 Service (Choice Package) plus Equipment Lease
Netflix – $14.99
AT&T DSL – $23.00
Monthly Total : $113.76
Yearly Total : $1365.12

The Change
Roku HD – $59.99
Digital Converter – $40.00
Netflix – $14.99
Hulu+ – $7.99
Pandora – Free Or $36.00 for a year
Time Warner Cable Internet – $29.99 (for 6mbs)

First Month (With Startup Costs, First month of Hulu+ is free) – $144.97
Second Month – $52.97
Yearly Total – $635.64without startup costs
Savings – $729.48without startup costs

Lets say you want to watch some shows that are not on Hulu, like discovery shows well you can get them on AmazON Demand for $1.99 per show not bad eh? If you were to watch one show each day of the week not weekends you pay an extra $23.88 $39.80 a month.

Movies on Amazon are pretty awesome, they have daily specials on rentals often for $.99 so follow them on twitter.

Links
Roku – http://roku.tellapal.com/a/clk/nx4vb – Use this link and get a free month of Netflix
Digital Converter – Coby ATSC Standard-Definition Converter Box
Netflix – http://Netflix.com
Pandora – http://Pandora.com
Hulu+ – http://hulu.com/r/56-dSg

Originally posted at MatthewWorley.com