Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kicking Cable TV and The Dish: Part Four

You've got your computer set up and connected to your TV, and you're watching your favorite programs via HULU or Fancast, or maybe streaming a movie from VEOH.

One of my favorite oddball sites for online TV is a place called Joost.

Then the thought comes to you, "I'd really like to have a copy of that show."

All you need is a plugin for your web browser. Personally, I use Firefox as my browser. Hundreds of add-ons can be located here that increase the security, versatility and functionality of Firefox.

When I've decided that I want to save a particular program, I just have to click a button at the top of my browser. I'm using Sothink Web Video Downloader. I'm able to save the program on my hard drive and either view it later, or burn it to a video CD or DVD. You can also easily convert the video to fit on your iPhone, iPod, PSP, or other mobile device.

There are also other general video download programs like Download Helper, and some specialty programs like the "one-click" Ultimate YouTube Downloader, which allows you to save a video file directly from YouTube's site as either a .FLV (Flash Media), .MP4 (MPEG - 4) and .3GP (3GPP File Format - Generally used by mobile devices like cell phones).

The bonus is the above add-ons, plugins, and browsers are free.

If you'd like something with more functionality (features), then you might want to check into a program like RipTiger. The full RipTiger Media Suite is about $60.00 but just about everything you need to save, convert, and burn your files is in one package. The other nice thing about this package is that it maintains the original file quality. Some other downloaders will not always maintain the same quality as the original streamed file. When you play the file back, it may look slightly out of focus or lack sharpness or definition.

Now that you have a media server set up for yourself, you can add drive space as your budget allows to store additional content as you find and save programs for yourself.

The other nice thing about having this set up is that you can easily download "podcasts" from places like PodCastAlley as well as internet radio and other streamed audio content.

If you subscribe to NetFlix, you have the option to stream movies and TV shows directly from their servers. Up until now, you had to go out and get a clunky box called a Roku if you didn't already own an X-Box 360, a PS -3, TiVo, or one of the newer network enabled Blu-ray players.

Not anymore. You can download an application called Boxee from Boxee.TV. Install it on your new media server, and away you go. It's free...

Now the trick is, not everything is available at all sites. You'll need to make a list of the programs you want to watch and then look for them on the various sites. Once you find them, create a bookmark for them in your browser. That way you'll just have to go there to "change the channel" so to speak to get to your program.

So, now you can kick cable TV and Dish to the curb, use your highspeed internet to fill the gap, and save yourself some dough in the process!


HermitJim said...

Hey, thanks for the links, buddy! Some of these I haven't used before...

Good stuff, Maynard!

Anonymous said...

CATMAN , THANK YOU ! I mean , this is absolutely GREAT of you to find and give us all of this info . I am like a kid in a candy store at this point, all of this info had escaped me prior to this post series .
GOD BLESS YOU CATMAN ! Yes, I really do appreciate this !


Unknown said...

I had a good time reading your post. It was comprehensive and I detected a good understanding of watching dish TV online.


Catman said...


I'm always trying to find stuff that people may find useful, glad you found some of it useful!


Nothing like trying to get in some free advertising. Usually I delete stuff like this, but I visited your link, and it might be useful to others.


No, thank you! For coming by and visiting! Hopefully this will help some folks looking to save some money. I know there are many bare bones prepper types out there, but sometimes you have to balance things when you have a family.



Dish Network said...

All the links you provide are great and also very useful. I haven't tried many of them.

chankansin said...

Links are unheard of but i'll try to check out how Satellite TV can be connected to PC. Great idea...