Apple TV (2nd Gen) vs. Roku LT vs. Online TV

We’ve dropped the cable (Uverse, technically) but I’m not sure we’re even missing it all that much. It’s been great. We hang out with each other more. Kids are reading and playing outside more. And it’s nice not having that bill at the end of the month. It wasn’t all that big of a deal. We still are able to catch most of the shows we want to see anyway, thank you, online content.

I remember those days of snowing images and tin foil around the antenna. OTA (Over-The-Air) HD is nowhere near that bad these days as long as you are in range of a local television. We get all the local channels very clear with a simple HD antennae. We don’t watch a lot of television like this – live sporting events, weather – but it’s there and “free” after you have the antenna. COST: $20-40 for HD antenna.

We have 2 Apple TVs.

The 1st Generation model is white, big, noisy, and runs hot. I got mine on ebay for $40. It also has a 40 GB hard drive you can store movies, music, photos, or television shows on through iTunes. You can watch YouTube through it but it does NOT have Vimeo or Netflix. We jailbroke it – legal – and now it can pull media off of our family iMac.

The 2nd Generation model of Apple TV is the small, black box. It pretty much is a small box of awesomeness. Netflix, Vimeo, YouTube, – all great but the coolest thing is AirPlay. If you have an iPhone or an iPad – pretty much anything you can get on your phone will “AirPlay” on the television. In the 3rd Gen model, there is a mirror mode with the iPad. We have one up at the church – what an incredible teaching tool. I can zoom up maps or pictures or video from an iPad to the whole room. $99 retail.

Roku LT
It’s pretty cool. It’s basically a clumsy Apple TV. It’s got Netflix, Pandora, and Northpoint church has a channel. And Life Church and Granger Community. Pretty awesome. It’s also got Plex and Playon that allows you to stream a lot of online TV stations and whatever else you have on you computer.

It’s cool but takes a while to setup. Have to go back and forth from computer to TV. Not well laid out but it works. $40-90 depending what model you get.

Overall, we haven’t missed it all that much.

American Boredom

I watched some American Idol tonight with my son.

I tried to watch it would be a better description.

I realize that half of America watches this show. I realize that some of you are addicted to it. I also know that Lost is watched by this same half – another show I gave up on after 3 episodes.

But I was bored. I mean the singers weren’t awful. They weren’t incredible. It was like watching people sing on the cruise except without the alcohol. I don’t get the craze behind the show. Ryan Seacrest is annoying. Simon is a jerk. Paula is from another planet. Randy is the only decent one but he calls everyone ‘dog.’

Oh well…back to Burn Notice…the best show on television.

Rejoining Humanity

At least it feels like it… we finally have internet and TV service at the house. It’s a small taste of normalcy in two months of life that has been nothing but normal.

It’s funny that we really haven’t missed the TV as much as the internet. I guess that’s because we stay connected through email, facebook, and the blog. For Amy and the kids, it means the return of some Webkinz as well. (And paying bills online.)

[Sigh of contentment]

It’s especially nice to have these things today as it takes the sting out of saying goodbye to two dear friends as they head back to Colorado. What a great weekend of late night talks, cards (the guys dominated the gals), laughter, and fun. It was way too short and we’re already looking forward to seeing them as well as the rest of the Pinecrest family next month.