November 13, 2009, 08:21 AM —
Yesterday was a big day for anyone considering canceling their cable service in favor of viewing television and movie content via the web. Several unrelated announcements should help make internet TV a more viable alternative to paying the high cost of cable.
First, let’s talk about YouTube. Yesterday they announced that they’ll start offering full 1080P HD streams; better than your cable company can offer. This new option will be available within the next few days. YouTube says it stores all content in its native resolution, so any 1080P content that has been uploaded to the service in the past will only need to be re-encoded (by YouTube) in order to be available in its high-def glory. For more details, check out CNET’s story.
Next, Boxee, the application that gathers web-based content and delivers it via a remote-friendly portal, had a big day. It announced a “Boxee Box” will be coming soon. One of the obstacles to using Boxee (for average users) is getting the content off your computer and onto the TV in your living room. The Boxee Box should make that easier. We’ll learn more about this device on December 7th when Boxee holds its “Boxee Beta Unveiling” event in Brooklyn, NY.
If a dedicated Boxee Box doesn’t sound appealing, Dell has you covered. Yesterday they launched their Inspiron Zino HD. This is an 8″ x 8″ PC running Windows 7 (with an option for Ubuntu) that you certainly could use as a desktop machine, but the form factor just screams “Hook me up to your TV!” via its HDMI port. The most basic model lists for a mere $229 (though in all honesty you’ll want to add some options to beef it up a little). Wired has a nice look at the Zino, calling it a ‘Candy-colored Mac Mini Killer‘.
So say you skip the Boxee Box and go with the Zino. One of the frustrations of internet TV is finding what you want, when you want it. This show is only on Hulu, that show is only on the network’s portal, and you’re on the web…what do you care which network produced what show? Can’t someone else keep track of that?
Well another launch yesterday was Clicker, a programming guide for internet TV. What’s nice about Clicker is that it only offers full episodes of content, so you won’t get dozens of hits that lead to 15 second clips. Clicker catalogs content from both free and paid sources, such as Netflix Instant Streaming and Amazon Video-on-Demand, but it marks paid content clearly so you can skip over it if you wish. You can set up Playlists, and Clicker also offers some social features, such as Trends and connecting your Clicker account to your Facebook account.
With each passing month it seems like cutting the cable cord becomes a more viable alternative, but yesterday in particular seemed to be a Big Day for internet TV (most of these launches were probably due to the NewTeeVee event that took place in San Francisco, CA). So are you ready to ditch cable? Or have you already? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
Muy, muy interesante.