As the weekend approaches, I will be further exploring what the various Hulu options might be able to provide. And with the news that Hulu has no intention of charging its users as expected, at least not as seriously as once thought, I am more ready than ever to drop my monthly TV bill.
Thankfully, I own a Samsung TV that provides both HD goodness with a VGA connection to it. So as you might imagine, connecting a computer to this TV is a real breeze. In my case, I have a tower running Ubuntu 9.04 with Hulu Desktop installed and Boxee‘s latest alpha. Despite being limited to testing both options during lunch, I was able to quickly determine the following.
- Either rely on a physical tuner w/amp for your audio or use decent 2.1 computer speakers. In either instance, the audio is as good as you want it to be.
- Yes, Hulu by itself is totally all the TV we really need. All the shows my wife and I enjoy are listed. And with the lack of “junk” to surf around to as easily, I suspect we will lead more productive lives with less television as well. Just enjoying the shows we want to watch – nothing more.
- Cable and satellite are just not worth it. Never had good experiences with cable or Dish Network, but DirecTV provides the best overall. Sadly, its price represents money I would rather put elsewhere. Paying $80 per month for HD-DVR, etc. is just not happening for me. I can afford it fine, but I would rather not throw the money away any longer.
- Hulu Desktop’s picture quality is crap compared to Boxee’s. It’s the same data, but the way the desktop app presents it on such a large screen provides for lots of lagging and tearing. Even when set to the lowest picture quality, it sucks. On Boxee using the high def standard, I honestly thought I was watching HD satellite — it was amazing. It using Mozilla’s browser back-end likely explains why this works so well. I used to do the same with Firefox on my laptop to the TV directly. Always looked great. Clearly, Boxee is where it’s at. Did I mention my iPhone remote control for Boxee? Yeah, I control it wirelessly!
So am I honestly ready to cancel my TV as I know it? Based on the content provided with Hulu over the past year, watching how it handles show availability, along with my Roku box and Netflix subscription… yes, I can honestly say that I am ready. Best part is that I do not feel like I am losing out! I cannot speak for everyone out there, but mark my words, if you have access to Boxee w/Hulu (the other content channels are mostly crap), try connecting things to your LCD/Plasma TV set – you might just surprise yourself. Assuming you own a decent set and connect things right, you may very well save yourself some serious cash over time. Try it!