Tag Archives: hulu plus

Fanhattan iPad App Aggregates Movies and TV Shows from Netflix, Hulu Plus and iTunes

The future can be annoying as hell sometimes. With an array of choices from Netflix and Hulu to iTunes, Amazon and more, finding a particular series or movie is increasingly more confusing and fragmented. The process of finding and watching on-demand entertainment is exhausting, not entertaining.

Fanhattan is a new entertainment discovery service and they’ve set out to help simplify (and beautify – the interface is slick and elegant) the process of navigating various digital content sources. See the sizzle video below or watch Walt Mossberg’s video review for the gist of Fanhattan’s magic.

As of this post, Fanhattan is only available for the iPad, but they plan to branch out with a web and TV app in the near future.

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Everything You Need To Know About Roku

In short, the Roku is a streaming entertainment device for your TV. With a Roku box you can instantly stream tons of programming over the internet right to your TV – watch movies and TV shows from Netflix and Hulu Plus or Amazon Instant Video, listen to music through Pandora or even catch the ballgame through NBA League Pass or MLB.tv.

Roku XD streaming entertainment device

Roku XD will stream TV shows, music and movies over the internet to your TV.

Content on the Roku comes in the form of “channels.” Each separate channel supports content from a different partner. These channels come in both free and pay form. Some of the most popular free channels are Pandora, Revision3 and Roku Newscaster which connects the free podcasts from CBS, CNN, FOX, ESPN and more into one neat little channel. Premium pay channels include Hulu Plus, Netflix, MLB.tv along with a few others.

There are currently three versions of the Roku player – HD, XD, XD|S. The main distinguishing factors among the three models are the quality of the picture (all get high-definition, but the HD only receives 720p, while the other versions are capable of 1080p), the speed of their wireless connection and the addition of a USB port on the XD|S. Models range in price from $60 – $100, require no extra computer to work and incur no additional monthly bills outside of your existing subscriptions (like Netflix, Hulu Plus or MLB.tv). In my experience, you can get a Roku up and running in about 10-15 minutes – you simply plug it in, add it to your home network and you’re ready to roll.

I have a Roku XD and I really like it. It’s small, light weight and takes up very little space. It simply just works. The only draw back for me is the integration with iTunes. I haven’t been able to figure out how to stream my library to my Roku (if you have an answer, let me know in the comments below). Depending on the programming you watch, the Roku could be a great setup for your living room, bedroom or kids room. They’re cheap and powerful.

You can find Roku at retailers like Best Buy and Radioshack or numerous places online. They come with a 30-day money back guarantee.

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Connecting Your iPad, iPhone or iPod to your HDTV

The iPad 2 was released Friday and with it came  lots of hype around a slimmer design, faster chips and included cameras. But, being a cord-cutter, I was much more interested in a small accessory that was demoed at the keynote.

Connect your iPad to your HDTV

Apple Digital AV Adapter is $39

When Steve Jobs showed off the Apple Digital AV Adapter ($39), I got giddy like a school girl. This little adapter would make it possible for you to mirror whatever is on your iPad, iPhone 4 or iPod Touch screen — apps, presentations, websites, videos and more — all on on your HDTV or HDMI-compatible display and up to 1080p HD (movies play at up to 720p). Everyone can sees what’s on your display — even when you rotate iPad from portrait to landscape or zoom in and out. Video mirroring is built into iOS so it’s very smooth and polished. No settings to tinker with or configuration needed.

The Digital AV Adapter also comes with a second 30-pin connecter that gives you the option to charge your device at the same time. No need to worry about running out of juice in the middle of your juicy slideshow.

I created a video to show you mirroring of a movie, Hulu Plus app and the PBS app. In my experience, it worked very smooth although you may want to adjust the settings of your TV for a few of the apps. Time will tell if apps could potentially block this feature in the future.

Note: Only the iPad 2 supports 1080p mirroring for apps. The original iPad, iPhone 4, and iPod Touch 4th gen will only support 720p mirroring. Video on all devices displays at 720p. For more information, check out the product page.

 

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How-to: Watch TV And Movies On Your PS3

The Playstation 3 goes beyond a gaming device, but can also double as a powerful home entertainment hub. It’s an integral part of my setup and I’d like to show you how I watch TV and movies over the internet through my PS3.

Before you begin, make sure that your Playstation is connected to the Internet either wirelessly or with an ethernet cord. I prefer to hard-wire my PS3 with an ethernet cord because I’ve found more consistent performance from streaming. Also make sure that you have created a Playstation Network account for access to the Playstation store.

Note: In order to keep this post concise and to the point, I will provide the most common ways to watch TV on the PS3 with links and screenshots for additional information. If you have tips or tricks, tell us in the comments below.

Netflix

Netflix allows you to instantly stream thousands of movies and tv shows directly to your PS3 for about $8/month. It’s probably best that you set up a Netflix account prior to doing the steps below. Sign up for Netflix here. Once your all ready to go:

  1. Power on your Playstation and choose your account.

    Playstation 3 controller

    Photo by wlodi via Flickr

  2. Scroll horizontally over to the PlayStation Network Menu and then down to the What’s New section. Hit X to get inside the menu.
  3. You should see the Netflix app (if this has changed, you can always browse the Playstation Store for it). Highlight it and click X.
  4. You’ll be directed to the Netflix app page within the Playstation Store. Click download to add it to your cart.
  5. Give it a minute and once the app is downloaded and installed you can back out of the store and into the PS3 home screen. Look under Video and you should see the Netflix logo. Click it to begin watching.

You’ll only need to install the Netflix app one time. In the future, just go directly to the Video portion of the home screen to watch your favorite shows and movies.

If you’re not an avid movie watcher, the Playstation store also offers Vudu which allows you to pay for only what you watch. Vudu has movie releases the same day as they are available on DVD and you can rent a movie for as low as $2 for 2 nights. Here’s how to get started with Vudu on the PS3.

Hulu Plus

Hulu Plus installed on the PS3

Hulu Plus installed on the PS3

Hulu Plus is the big brother premium service to Hulu. With Hulu Plus you can enjoy the entire season of your favorite shows (rather than the past 3 with regular Hulu). The other added bonus of Hulu Plus is you can stream episodes instantly to your computer, gaming or mobile device. For this setup, you’re going to have to spring the $8/month for a Hulu Plus subscription.

Many of the same directions apply when downloading and installing Hulu Plus as they did with Netflix. Follow the directions above, but this time you’re looking for the neon green Hulu logo.

Stream TV and movies from your computer

PS3 Media Server running on a Mac

PS3 Media Server running on a Mac

To stream content from a computer on your home network, I highly recommend PS3 Media Server. This free software essentially talks to your PS3 and streams any music or videos you have to your gaming device. PS3 Media Server is ready to launch out of the box. There’s no need to worry about installing codecs, setting up folders or making sure you’re files are in the correct format. PS3 Media Server supports virtually every popular video and audio file format. Click here to download and get started.

PlayOn Setup

PlayOn TV streams TV to any number of devices

For more content and a similar experience, check out PlayOn. PlayOn runs on your PC and automagically grabs your favorite content from the web and pushes it to your PS3 through your broadband connection. PlayOn supports Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, ESPN 3, CNN and many more. You can demo PlayOn for free for the first 14 days, buy it outright for $80 or choose a less expensive annual subscription. Go here to get started  with PlayOn or watch this demo video.

Like I mentioned above, there are a handful of other ways to access TV and movies through your Playstation 3. Do you have a tip or idea? If so, share it in the comments below.

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Interview With Cord Cutters – Tiffany and Tom

Tiffany and Tom got rid of cable

Tiffany and Tom cut the cord on cable in March 2010.

Meet Tiffany and Tom. They’ve been cable-free for nearly a year now. Initially they cut the cord to save money for their first home, but the experiment seems to have stuck.

We were spending about $85/month on deluxe digital cable and VOD (video-on-demand). We currently spend $18/month on Netflix and Hulu Plus.

The savings are really amazing. We now pay a fifth of what we were paying for cable, and that money goes a long way.

Tiffany will admit that the transition was a little rough. The first 4 months, they went without any TV whatsoever – not even an antenna. For someone who has subscribed to cable her entire life, she missed her favorite shows like 30 Rock, Psych and Leverage.

Shortly thereafter, they subscribed to Netflix and streamed their favorite television shows and movies through their Wii console. They also have a computer hooked up to their TV for Hulu Plus. These knights in shining armor saved the day and let them catch up on back episodes of programming they missed as well as watch shows that they never got around to exploring.

On top of the big savings, they feel more free to watch what they want and when they want it without the nagging feeling that they’re missing out.

For any first time cord cutters, they suggest doing your research.

If someone cuts the cord and picks up Netflix, then I would suggest taking a few minutes to do some searching to see everything that Netflix has to offer. If they are going to completely cut the cord, then they should make a list of activities that they can do that don’t involve television. If they have a computer with high-speed Internet, there are still plenty of shows that can be watched on Hulu for free.

Asked if they will ever go back to their old ways and Tiffany replies, “Maybe, If I become a millionaire.”

Have you cut the cord or are you considering it? If so, tell us your story in the comments below or see our post on what you need to know before cutting the cord.

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