Adhering to a budget is the name of the game during tough economic times like these and many Americans are looking for ways to cut bills. One popular way has been eliminating ye olde cable bill from your life.
By pulling the plug on cable and satellite television, consumers may be saving more than $1,500 a year. There are many popular options out there such as plugging in your computer to the TV to watch Hulu, a Apple TV/Boxxee box or Roku, but for many, purchasing more equipment defeats the purpose of a budget.
Streaming television on a video game system is becoming a popular method for those looking to save some cash and since many Americans already have a gaming device, it’s really just a natural progression. Though it’s possible to use a Playstation 3 or Nintendo Wii for streaming TV, we’ll focus on Xbox 360 as there seems to be more content capabilities.
Xbox 360 Streaming in the UK
If you live in Great Britain, using Xbox 360 to stream content over a broadband internet connection will be pretty easy and best of all, it’s supported. Sky, one of England’s most popular channels for sitcoms, sports and movies offers Sky Player, a premium online service that can be used on your PC or Xbox 360. As Satellite TV Guru says
"a downer in this is that there is no current streaming of HD since English broadband speeds are not fast enough".
The non HD service will enable residents to watch their Manchester United or any show through Sky Player’s “on demand” features. Think Hulu only with dry humor. Sadly this capability is restricted to viewers inside the friendly confines of Great Britain so Yanks are out of luck.
Or are they?
U.S Viewers & Xbox 360 Streaming – PlayOn
PlayOn, a console application from MediaMall, can be loaded on your Xbox 360 and through the application, viewers can access streams from Hulu, YouTube, CBS, ESPN, CNN and Netflix to bring you some of the best internet video content.
Also if you live in or near a major city and have a standard local antenna, you can also have access to digital signals so visibility to local channels is also possible. Through Hulu, viewers can watch popular programming from ABC, NBC and select shows from Fox. The content provider, brought to you by said networks, has become a popular alternative to cable.
PlayOn is available for a free 14-day full-featured trial and after that it is a one-time $39.99 fee to purchase a license. Considering what viewers can potentially save from having cable, the savings is incredible.
Configuration isn’t a big deal. Enter in your Netflix and Hulu account information and PlayOn can access your account settings or stream information from those sites. You don’t need an account for Hulu but by signing up you can quickly gain access to saved content without having to skip through multiple pages.
PlayOn also features Amazon VOD, which offers rentals and some pre-theatrical releases along with television shows. While the service is paid, the content is not. Amazon makes purchasing content easy by using your existing Amazon account and credit card on file.
Some things to consider if you’re using your Xbox360 is your internet connection and resolution on your TV. Streaming content does take a massive amount of bandwidth so if you don’t have a solid connection, viewers may run into never-ending buffering issues.
Also, if you have a HDTV, don’t expect HD content or the resolution to appear as it did with Cable or Satellite TV. Those are just aspects to consider if you’re planning on cutting the cord.
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