As you may have heard, the nascent TV-streaming service was just handed the equivalent
of the death sentence by no less than the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled the company
violated copyright laws.
That's a pretty big blow to cord-cutters, folks trying to eschew hefty cable bills in favor
of Internet-powered television. Aereo helped solve a big piece of that puzzle, delivering
local channels to your TV or mobile device and letting you record them, DVR-style, for
So what now? You probably know that a pair of rabbit ears will let you tune in local
channels, but what about recording them? What about slinging them to phones, tablets,
Roku boxes, and the like?
Have no fear: There are other options. A new breed of DVRs caters expressly to the
antenna crowd, giving you a home for those sweet, sweet over-the-air TV signals. Here's
an overview of three relatively new products.
Lately, more and more people have been asking me about "cutting the cord." No, this has nothing to do with childbirth; it's about ditching pricey cable TV--the "cord"--in favor of Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and other digital options.
Much as I'm a fan of those inexpensive alternatives, there are times when I want to watch--and record--live TV. A simple antenna connected to my TV's digital tuner takes care of the "watch" part, as I can tune in most of the major networks via over-the-air signals.
But what about recording? For that, I rely on a spare desktop PC (though a laptop would do as well), an inexpensive accessory, and Windows 7. Combined, they make a fantastic DVR for watching and recording digital, high-definition broadcasts.
Talk about irony: Modern HDTVs dazzle the eyes with their gorgeous colors and razor-sharp images, but disappoint the ears with their crap-tacular speakers.
Alas, it's the nature of the flat-panel design. Today's supermodel-thin TVs just don't have room for big, beefy cones. For some reason, though, few people bother to investigate alternatives to those built-in speakers--or perhaps just don't know there are alternatives.
Prepare to be enlightened! You can vastly improve your TV's audio quality by adding an external speaker system. And you don't have to spend a fortune on one.
I'm a huge fan of Sonos audio gear, which lets you stream all your
favorite music (playlists, Pandora, Spotify, etc.) to wireless
But, ho, it's some expensive gear, with even the most basic
package starting at $300. My cheapskate nature won't allow me to
spend that kind of money on what is essentially a fancy
Especially when there are such inexpensive alternatives. For
example, with my smartphone or tablet and a simple Bluetooth
receiver, which can plug into any stereo or speaker I already own,
I can fashion a system that's nearly identical to a Sonos--for a
fraction of the price.
The key ingredient: the Bluetooth receiver.
Hello?! Hello, McFly! This is Darth Vader, come from the planet Vulcan, commanding you to read on! You'd better make like a tree…and take a look at what ThinkGeek has got in their sale bin this week, straight from 1985 and heading for a future near you. I almost can't believe my eyes, but yes, it's true--Dr. Emmet Brown's Flux Capacitor (sigh, a replica only) is on sale and available for purchase.
I'm not sure if it's worth $250 just to have an excuse for going 88mph…or is it??