Draft Design v1 – TV/Visual Media Viewing 2011 Project

For better or worse….I think this is what I going with as the design for my TV/Visual Media Viewing 2011 Project:

-Drop Time Warner Cable – saving $68/month (I hadn’t realized how high it had gone in the last year)
-Add Hulu Plus – costing $10/month
Roku is adding Hulu Plus soon (so I would use mostly Netflix Streaming, Hulu Plus  and Pandora Streaming)
===>>> Next savings of $58/month ~ $700/year

Office Setup
-move existing small TV (that is digital TV ready) to bedroom
-no TV for this room
-Mac Mini w/ 1 Terrabyte Raid 1
-w/Elgato Eye TV software and USB fob
-w/iTunes, ReplayAV, Skype
-w/Browser for Netflix Watch Instantly, Hulu Plus and other “content”
-w/DVD reader/writer
-add Digital OTA TV antenna/booster
-add as second display 17″ (or larger) HD display
-throwout failing DVD/VCR Combo device

-replace old (18 years?) Panasonic TV with newer TV (that is already digital TV ready) from the office
-add Digital OTA TV antenna/booster
-add Wireless Speakers to be placed near/on bed’s headboard bookshelf
-Move family room older-model Roku (Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora Music Streaming) to bedroom
-throwout failing DVD/VCR Combo device
-throwout failing VCR device

Family Room
-re-purpose/donate/inventory old (18 year?) CRT style TV
-Purchase new TV with HDTV – 36″ or better – 1080p – 4+ HDMI ports
-add Digital OTA TV antenna/booster/splitter
Channel Master OTA DVR (dual tuner)
-purchase new Roku HD/S (mostly for Netflix streaming, Hulu Plus, Pandora Music Streaming)
-purchase Boxee Box (mostly for internet based content and stuff from my Mac)
-keep last existing combo DVD/VCR unit (for playing DVDs, for playing existing VCR tapes) [How to hook up?]
-Deploy (existing in my inventory) Wi-Fi 802.11N Bridge
-FUTURE: if the Channel Master DVR doesn’t work out, I will try the Sezmi Basic service
-FUTURE: replace eventually old combo DVD/VCR unit with Blueray DVD/VCR writer/reader

Any recommendations or anti-recommendation on HDTVs? I am checking here.

Time for Leave It To Beaver

30 Responses

  1. I think I am likely to go with the Sezmi server OTA DVR for $5/month over the Channelmaster DVR….

  2. I think this is the TV I am going to get:

    LG 42LE5400 42-Inch 1080p 120 Hz LED HDTV with Internet Applications


  3. Play On coming to Roku:


    Roku has added a new PlayOn channel, enabling streaming of Hulu (Plus not required), Comedy Central, Spike, PBS, ESPN, CBS, ESPN3, Nick, TBS, and more. The PlayOn service streams video from your PC to the Roku Player over a wired or wireless network, and costs $39.99 for the first year (additional years are $19.99).




  4. It would about $10/month…but I could go with a Tivo connected to my digital attena.

    So…it would be:

    OTA + TIVO
    Roku (Netflix + Hulu Plus + Pandora Music Streaming + Podcast )
    Boxee Box (other content fro the internet and from my iTunes)

    $20.month vs $68.

    Tivo OTA LInk:

  5. I should get get an awesome universal remote as well – one of those fancy logitech one. And a plastic bin to hold the rest.

    Here’s the remotes:

    Logitech Harmony One

    Logitech Harmony 900 – If I need to go through cabinets

  6. 1. My Cable TV is gong up another $5.

    2. I could also do a Tivo w/ OTA Antenna instead of Sezmi.

  7. Hulu is not on Roku yet.

    Boxee Box is out. It will have Hulu Plus and Netflix and Pandora. SO, I may just buy a Boxee Box instead of Boxee Box + Roku.

    I have identified 3 Digital OTA VCRs.

    When Boxee gets Netflix and Hulu, I will move my existing Roku to my Bedroom.

    I need to detail out draft v2.

  8. Boxee Review…not positive

    Alternative? Small NetTop PC with Boxee or XBMC software.
    Hey…how about a used Mac Mini or the prior version of the Apple TV?


  9. I ordered 2 Digital OTA VCR/DVD Recorders to drop in and replace as is my current failing VCR.

    I will use them in Draft Design v2 instead of a DVR.

  10. Ted…I could not find your review.

    I am liking my Roku.

    I use it mainly for Netflix Streaming. I am trying out Hulu plus on it. I also use it for AMazon VoD (once), Revision 3 TV 0 Tekzilla and Unboxing Porn), Pandora for Music and for Streaming Radio stations.

    I have to post v2. I am testing out the Boxee Box right now with mixed results. I swapped out my small bedroom TV for a 22-inch LED LCD that is awesome and has 4 HDMI inputs besides RF. I found and ordered some VCS that have integrated digital and analog tuners. I have narrowed down the TV for the big room.

    GIven how the Boxee Box test goes, I may still end up also buying an Apple TV for $99 if for nothing else to integrate the TV nicely with my iTunes.

    I plan to drop cable TV in January.

  11. http://www.milwaukeehdtv.org/forums/showthread.php?t=9197

    My parents have TWC basic cable package without a cable box and just purchased an HDTV. My father mentioned the local affiliate HD channels said something like “Weak signal” when he tried to set up the television. I told him to call the company and ask them to look at the lines outside of the house or to test the signal strength. TWC is telling them that they have to have a digital box in order to receive CBS, NBC, PBS, and ABC in HD even though these are the local affiliates.
    I’m wondering if you guys can tell me if TWC is telling them an accurate statement or just trying to get them to upgrade. My grandmother lives in the same area and has an HDTV, no cable box, and says she gets those channels in HD….
    …Time Warner Cable is flat out lying to them. The affiliate networks like ABC, CBS, NBC are all ClearQAM channels. Any TV with a built-in ClearQAM tuner should be able to receive them just fine (read: any HDTV made in the past several years).

  12. http://www.jsonline.com/business/112456429.html

    Broadcast TV woos homes with growing channels, HD…

  13. If I got a PS3 for games and as a BlueRay player, I could run PLay ON on my Mac in a virtual PC window to get content:


  14. I am really only using BOXEE for YouTube viewing. TV show is broken on the Boxee and they show little interest in fixing it.

    I will most likely get an Apple TV.

  15. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Andy_in_Tucson/cutting-the-cord—the-hi_b_2121999_205685814.html


    How about this: get a $599 Mac Mini and the $70 SuperDrive if you have a DVD collection. (Or keep your old DVD player and make sure your new TV has analog inputs, which they mostly do.) Get a $90 eyeTV One for your OTA broadcast (and recording of same). Now you DON’T need a DVD player or an Apple TV or a Roku or TiVo or Google TV or any of the other crap.

    Our 38″ TV ($450 Toshiba) has four HDMI inputs, two analog inputs and an antenna input. We use exactly one HDMI input: from the Mac mini.

    The Mac is our DVD and CD player as well as the Hulu/Netflix/iTunes set-up. If a new streaming service goes online, the Mini will work with it. No need to hope that a firmware update will come out for some box!”

  16. LED LCD TV (47″ to 55″) + sound bar + game player + vcr/dvd
    + mac mini
    w/ EyeTV (theApp) http://www.elgato.com/elgato/na/mainmenu/products/software-apps.en.html
    w/ Elgato EyeTV Hybrid TV Tuner for Mac (can have more then one)? or HDHomeRun® TECH Dual Digital TV Tuner
    w/ DAS (1 terrabyte? More?)
    w/ DVR –> elgato http://www.amazon.com/Elgato-EyeTV-Hybrid-Tuner-10021020/dp/B003UATR3I/ref=pd_sim_e_1
    w/ plex –> Webscraping (front end can also be Roku or some LG TVs
    w/ amazon on demand
    w/ Hulu and Hulu+
    w/ Netflix
    w/ Web (aka tv.com and other web servbg stuff)
    w/ Bttorrent clent?
    w/ VLC/Handbreak to play media
    w/ mac-equivalent version of ReplayAV
    or Re3play AV + Parallels Desktop

    HDHomeRun® TECH Dual Digital TV Tuner





    dgital cable dvr


    Stream HD/SD movie and TV shows from websites like Hulu.com via Safari.

    Stream audio from any computer on my home network via iTunes.

    Play physical DVDs & CDs via the Mini’s built-in optical drive







    plex + lg


    “It sounds crazy, but my TV remote. I spent so many years with multiple remotes and universal remotes that were too complicated for anyone but me to use, and then I found the Harmony series of remotes. I’ve got a bunch of stuff hooked up to the entertainment system: cable, AppleTV, Xbox, Wii, Sonos, a Mac Mini, NAS devices for storage. Anyone who has ever had to maintain a system like that will tell you it’s a house of cards. Even the technically challenged grandparent generation can come to my house and, with only a couple of pointers, figure out how to use the television. That’s a huge victory.”

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