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Toaster Ovens and Other Electronic Thingies
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Mar 4th 2009 edited

I'm always coming here to ask questions or otherwise discuss the latest and greatest in electronics. I never know where to post so I decided to start a new place where we can talk about rumors and give & receive advice regarding our electronics, be they gadgets or serious big ticket purchases.

That being said I'm looking for alternatives to Cable TV. Does anybody use Netflix to instantly stream the network shows? There's this Roku player that costs only $99. With it you can stream unlimited videos from Netflix with just an $8.99 subscription plan. You can also use an xbox or a few different BD models. It also streams from Amazon without a subscription plan but I think you pay for each video just like with the Apple TV.

I pay about $15 a month now for my Blockbuster plan and my Cable bill is about $195. I would just need to keep my internet and basic cable for the local channels. That'll bring my cable bill down to around $60 + $9 for Netflix as opposed to the current $195 + $15 for Blockbuster. I'll still be able to get DVD's in the mail with the plan.

I'll be giving up some things like the DVR but I can still watch the programs I want (like The Office) just a day later and commercial-free. I also won't have to pay iTunes for each episode either.

Even if I try it and I don't like it I don't think I'll be set back by the purchase because I'll be saving more than that in one month by downgrading my cable service.

Anybody else doing something like this or contemplating it?

Mar 4th 2009 edited

i challenge you geek squad!
a techie throw down
meet me at buy more and bring your manuals
bring your thickest-spectacled friends
and their manuals
set your speed dials for that guy
who’s speed dial’s set for gates or jobs
no... gates and jobs
bring that one who’s so proud of his worm
and don’t forget that one who should be ashamed of his virus
don’t forget your double-encrypted passwords
to enter your double-secret forums
don’t forget anything
but remember one thing...

i’ll be bringing a toaster oven
and you will be toast

or am i confusing wired with techie? are you more wired than techie, *to?*

Mar 4th 2009

Just a question here. Should the word thingy's in the title of this thread have an apostrophe?

Mar 4th 2009

VG seems to be channeling Anque in the latter's absence.

Mar 4th 2009

I'd suggest thingies, myself.

Mar 4th 2009

I was going to suggest that spelling, but figured I was sticking my nose in enough by asking about the punctuation.

Mar 4th 2009

I guess we could wait for KarenM to mosie on over here and give it to us straight.

Mar 4th 2009

Shouldn't it be thingies?

Mar 4th 2009

Thingy's or thingies - I hope we can keep our thingies straight in here.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand, TWSS.

Mar 4th 2009 edited

I'm pretty sure it's "thingies."

Mar 4th 2009

It's pretty funny how a lengthy and detailed opening post was met with a spelling tangent about a made-up word. I vote for thingies.

As to the question at hand, that Roku player looks mighty nifty, though it wouldn't really address my problem. That is that I love my DVR, but I watch fewer than 10 channels with any kind of regularity. My cable bill is padded with so much crap that I can't cancel without giving up the few things I actually want.

Mar 4th 2009

My cable bill is padded with so much crap that I can't cancel without giving up the few things I actually want.

Me, too. I keep paring it down, but it's still ridiculous.

Mar 5th 2009

My cable bill is padded with so much crap that I can't cancel without giving up the few things I actually want.

That's because all cable companies are run by some sort of organized crime outfit.

Mar 5th 2009 edited

I'm pissed right now because I had a lengthy post, stepped away to take a phone call and then lost everything when I was inadvertently logged out due to inactivity. Sometimes I copy my post just in case that happens but I didn't think I was away long enough.

Anyway, I'm going to chastise whichever mod changed my title without asking me first. That was invasive, obtrusive and tantamount to rape as I feel so violated!!!! J/K. :)

Actually before I started this thread I was going to put it as "thingies" but then I Googled it and found a bunch of stuff under "thingy's" so I went with that. If it makes you guys happy to see "Thingies" instead of "Thingy's" then go for it.

Anyhoo, CGB and DftF thanks for addressing my issue. I also have a padded cable bill, that's why I pay $195 a month. The $195 includes a lot of specials that will expire tomorrow so that's why I'm on this now. Sure I'll have to give up some stuff but that's what cutting back is about.

For the past month I've been trying out this phone service for my home called "Magicjack." You order it at magicjack.com. It's only one charge of $59 for 5 years of unlimited local and long distance within the U.S. I can afford an average rate of $1 a month for my home phone. The service is clear as a bell. The setup took only a couple of minutes. You just plug this little thingy into a USB port of your computer, then open a couple of ports in the firewall, and that's it. I figure even if they go out of business, and I use the service for even 2 months I have my money worth out of it. :)

Mar 5th 2009

That's funny, my $196 bill includes some kind of 12-month promo that expires in May, I think. It also includes my phone and Internet, which there's no wiggle room to cut back short of cutting either entirely. But I have all these movie channels I never watch. I just want the original HBO and the first 60 or so channels, which I think they call extended basic cable. I also want my DVR, but that requires the digital premiere something or other package. Cutting movie channels and on demand from that doesn't save much.

Mar 5th 2009

"Thingy's" would be correct in a sentence using the possessive: I keep losing that thingy's power cord so I end up having to purchase new thingies about once a month.

I have very little cable, although our bill is still about $100 a month for TV, phone, and Internet. I don't want to ditch the land line, but I've considered ditching the television part. Husband likes to channel surf, though, and none of his shows ever show up online (like the sports stuff). We have a crappy long distance plan, but I am getting better about making long distance calls from my cell phone now that I have a decent one.

The streaming Netflix stuff sounds cool, and I would just like to point out that there are lots of ways to watch TV shows even that evening without buying them from iTunes if you look around. There are varying levels of quality, but I can make a nice little list of the gray areas where other people do the recording and uploading so you can just stream later. It helps, TO, that you are on the Pacific Coast; once in a while I'll see a show online that hasn't even aired yet in my time zone; just about everything appears before it would on the network websites. You are up late, so that's a benefit; usually I'll just catch the show the next day, but if it's a show that appears on, let's say, HBO, there's no way I'm going to get it.

And that's just streaming. No downloading required.

I really would ditch cable altogether if it weren't for those sports shows.

Mar 5th 2009

"Thingy's" would be correct in a sentence using the possessive: I keep losing that thingy's power cord so I end up having to purchase new thingies about once a month.

Thanks for clarifying KarenM.

The audio and picture quality are important to me. I don't watch anything that isn't in HD because our screen's so big. I notice that even 50" screens lose that crisp picture on the standard channels. I love my home theatre, I just don't want to pay so much every month to enjoy it.

If anybody has some ideas for streaming or cheaply downloading HD stuff I'd appreciate you sharing. I like the quality of the HD stuff from AppleTV. The downside is that you have to purchase the current TV episodes to get them and I don't want to purchase or waste hard drive space on everything I might choose to watch.

I tried Boxee but Hulu has dropped them and the quality is so-so on most stuff. I can't complain because I hacked my AppleTV (shh...don't tell Mr. Jobs) so I could watch video from Boxee on the big screen so whatever it gives me is a plus.

Mar 5th 2009

I notice that even 50" screens lose that crisp picture on the standard channels.

So do 40" HD screens.

Mar 5th 2009

Cheaply downloading stuff as in free? You can download all kinds of stuff for free, in high-def or otherwise. It's got that tricky copyright/digital rights/ethics stuff attached to the experience, though. I have some moral workarounds for it. I've stopped downloading recently because I am afraid of punishment in the form of a more expensive service plan from my cable provider, though.

Mar 5th 2009

I just want a legal alternative that will give me high quality audio and video. I need to get the current shows in HD at least by the next day.

If nobody knows of anything better or cheaper than that Netflix Roku thing I'm going to give it a go.

I don't really mind hacking something if that's what it takes but I don't want anything that can get me in big trouble. There was a lady in the newspaper that was fined something like $150,000 for downloading music and sharing it with others. I don't need that.

Mar 5th 2009

Oh, and there is a rumor circulating the net that a new iPhone is due out around June. It will be available up to 32g and have a 2megapixel camera. There also might be an improvement to the GPS. I don't think any of those improvements can be added to my 3G iPhone simply by downloading an update. Figures.

Mar 5th 2009

Sweet! I told Tiger if a new iPhone comes out I'm going to get it and he can have this one. We'll probably have to pay the full price though, right, since we don't get the new customer discount anymore. I think when the upgrade from the iPhone to the iPhone 3G happened, they gave you $100 so you could put it towards the upgrade. Maybe they'll do that again.

Mar 5th 2009

Does anyone have a Blackberry instead of an iPhone, or have thoghts on pros and cons of each one?

Mar 5th 2009

I think when the upgrade from the iPhone to the iPhone 3G happened, they gave you $100 so you could put it towards the upgrade.

I remember that and it pretty generous of them but I'm sure they really did it to avoid the battle cry and rake in some good PR.

I guess I will wait until I'm eligible for a discount again. I'm not giving Mr. TO mine because if you have an iPhone you have to get the plan with the $30 extra for the internet. He'll never use the internet. He thinks EBay is the whole internet. It's funny how opposite we are. I want the latest and the greatest gadgets while he wants the simplest phone there is. He just wants big, easy to see numbers to make phone calls, nothing else. I got him this phone with big numbers that's actually for elderly or handicapped people and he's all happy with it.

Mar 5th 2009 edited

Does anyone have a Blackberry instead of an iPhone, or have thoghts on pros and cons of each one?

I considered the Blackberry Storm when it first came out. I was at Verizon for the debut. The initial reviews told of some problems with it but most of them are supposed to get worked out via updates.

Mar 5th 2009

TO, your knowledge of all things techie just amazes me.

Mar 5th 2009

TO, your knowledge of all things techie just amazes me.

It's more of an obsession.

Mar 5th 2009

I still think it's amazing. You are a very smart humanoid.

Mar 5th 2009

TO, your knowledge of all things techie just amazes me.

The wheel: wave of the future or just a fad?

Mar 5th 2009

The wheel: wave of the future or just a fad?

Let's see...it can probably take us somewhere if we add a little horsepower. Maybe three or four of those guys will do.

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