Well, it's Friday, again, which means it's almost the weekend - time to find something fun to do.
Those who have been reading this blog for a while know that I'm a bit of a cheapskate about...well, almost everything. If I see a less expensive way to do something with the same amount of satisfaction, I'm going to give it a try.
So, I've been looking at my movie-watching habits, needs, and expenditures, and have been trying to find ways to trim the expenses a little. I've been reading that a lot of people have either partially or completely dumped their cable TV and replaced it with live streaming video over the web, using their home gaming devices like the Wii, Sony Play Station 3, or XBox 360. The problem is that I'm really not that into gaming, and those devices start at around $300, plus all of the equipment....which, of course, I would buy, because if I spent that much money on gaming software I would undoubtedly become a gamer.
This week I found something that I believe might work for me. It's called a Western Digital TV Live Media Player. This device is around $100, and Best Buy has it with a 3-month Hulu premium subscription included. It will work with just about any TV, and all you do is hook it up to your TV and to your internet modem or wireless router, and follow the instructions, and voila! You have at your fingertips access to most of the major video streaming services like NetFlix , Hulu Premium Blockbuster, and a few other paid services, plus free ones such as YouTube, Facebook and Flickr. The overall cost depends on exactly which services you decide to pay for monthly, but for me, this option is much cheaper than any of the others I've looked at. The pay-per-view movies through the cable company no longer have any appeal; I'm going to be able to downgrade my cable TV package, and resist the temptation (I think) to visit the movie theater every other week or so, while catching up on some of the movies I've been wanting to see. This is a significant savings for me, but would be even greater for a family of four or more avid movie-watchers.
Of course, if you already own one or more internet-enabled TVs and/or gaming devices, this extra device is not necessary. However, if you're like me and don't own any of these gadgets, and if you have been wanting to take advantage of the cost-savings of live-streaming video without wearing out your computer or mobile device - this option might be worth considering.