Sunday, December 26, 2010

Online Content Is Exciting

By Ramin Vaziri Dec. 25, 2010, 12:01am PDT 2 Comments

What is it like to cut the cord from pay TV? What’s working, what’s missing, and what kind of equipment does the best job replacing the cable box? In our new weekend series, we’re asking cord cutters to tell us about their experiences. This week’s featured cord cutter is Ramin Vaziri, who uses not one, but two laptops to bring video to his TV.

Two years ago, I began supplementing my cable service with online video by hooking my laptop up to my 32″ LG flat screen with a VGA cord and stereo speakers. I began watching more and more online content, and four months ago I cut the cord entirely. I cut the cord partly to save money but mostly because my favorite content exists only on the Internet.

I now have two different hookups:

Laptop number one.
Wired Connected Laptop. After using my HP laptop for five years, I decided to buy a new laptop. This left me with a spare laptop. So I keep my extra laptop (HP Pavilion) connected to my LG 32″ LCD TV.

I’m using a VGA cord for the video and laptop speakers with subwoofer for audio. I keep an Ethernet connection plugged in to this laptop so the Internet speed is better than I can get wirelessly. I use a wireless Logitech mouse to control the laptop from across the room.

Wireless Connected Laptop. The new laptop I purchased was a Toshiba Satellite E205 with the Netgear Push2TV Wireless Display adapter. The Netgear adapter is connected to the TV via HDMI.

Laptop number 2.
The HDMI is great because it transmits my audio and video, so the audio plays right through my TV speakers. This hookup lets me stream whatever is on my laptop screen wirelessly to my TV so I can browse on my laptop, select a video and stream it to watch on my TV. I love having access to a browser and 100% of all online content.

There is definitely no shortage of content. I can find my favorite cable broadcast shows streaming online; I bought the NBA League Pass; and I have a Netflix subscription for movies. But what gets me most excited about online video are the new Internet-only content creators. The Young Turks, VBS.TV, MaxBoxing – The Next Round, ThisWeekIn, Wine Library TV, and The Real News Network are some of my favorites.

I also rely on curators like Music Video Jam, Gawker TV, Guyism and Huffington Post to suggest videos. ChannelStack helps me navigate between these favorite bookmarked sites. I think as people discover the great online content creators and curators, they will find that their traditional broadcast/cable programming is replaceable and be tempted them to cut the cord.

Ramin Vaziri is the founder of ChannelStack, a site that aims to be something like the Netvibes of online video. You can find his personal ChannelStack page here.

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