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Television PC (ie. Boxee/Hulu), looking for feedbackFollow

#1 May 07 2009 at 8:31 AM Rating: Good
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I'm seriously considering building myself a Micro-ITX home theater PC to handle online streaming television shows instead of paying for cable. Digital Cable television has just gotten too expensive, and in area's like where I am, we're restricted to a sole service provider (ie. Comcast) which makes it hard to get any type of competitive pricing on packages. My questions are these:

1) What I would build would be HDMI 1080 HD compatible obviously, but is the streaming quality of the content worthy? For instance, do you get odd streaming issues that affect the visual clarity? Digital, for instance, tends to have odd pixelated moments where the image and/or audio goes bonkers for a few minutes without any type of pause, affecting the continuity of the show.

2) With Boxee and/or Hulu, are the variety of shows large? Medium? Small? Growing? I have two primary concerns. I can't get my wife on board unless a certain channel is available. That channel is CW Network. I also would like to know if some other stations (ie. Nick/Noggin/Nick Jr.) are available because we have a toddler.

3) Can you get live broadcasts? Or is everything pre-recorded and on a delay to be able to watch? For example, if I wanted to watch the morning news, would I have to wait until the afternoon for it to be viewable? Or do the networks actually stream the live content through the service?

4) Are there any alternatives better than Boxee and/or Hulu?

I've seen people recently talk about how they have internet television, wondering if anyone here does and can comment.
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#2 May 07 2009 at 3:20 PM Rating: Decent
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First, let's differentiate terms, Hulu is a web site, Boxee is a media center, big difference.

Hulu streams at 480p for me just fine over Fios, I'm not sure what the minimum bandwidth would be to avoid buffering. As for the wife thing, make an antenna.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQhlmJTMzw

Done it, works great for me, but I'm in a city. Your millage may vary.

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#3 May 08 2009 at 3:19 AM Rating: Good
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Ah, ok. I thought I read somewhere (Maximum PC?) that Boxee/XBMC had script/plugin's to stream Hulu content through the softwares media player. I'll have to look into a little more, it seems. Thanks
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#4 May 09 2009 at 6:02 AM Rating: Excellent
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You can find pretty much anything anywhere on the internet streaming... however, especially when talking about an HD set and media pc, I think the streaming quality is generally just too poor to make me (personally) consider switching. I don't really have many options either... it's basically comcast or directv/dishnetwork and all are roughly the same price. Also, with the "big" sites everything is pre-recorded and then streamed (and the selection can leave some to be desired also) so you're not going to see a live feed normally. Lots of individual TV stations HAVE started doing live streaming of some of their news though, through their own website of course. I know of the bigger (local) morning shows here does it, but not sure about any prime-time news.
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