Ditch cable for hulu? Can I stream it on the TV with WiFi? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I've read that many families have gone cable free but still like to indulge in certain tv shows via Hulu. When our contract is up in a few months I'd love to ditch cable & only watch what we want. Does Hulu have everything? We only watch tv at night for a couple hours, just the shows that we love. We have WiFi & I've heard that you can stream it right to the tv with WiFi, so that you don't have to watch the computer. Also what about netflix? I know that they have the instant movies, can those also be put directly onto the tv? Please explain how this all works & how to do it so it! DH is pretty good at this stuff if you can provide instructions! TIA

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#2 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 09:18 AM
 
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I can't comment on streaming to your TV (we just use our laptop), but between hulu and Netflix we can always find something interesting to watch. But, look around on Hulu and check to see if the shows you want are available. Not all are. How flexible are you in what you watch and when?

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#3 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 09:39 AM
 
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I am SO far behind the times, when I read this thread title I saw "double dutch or hula?" I thought you were trying to choose between party games.

Good luck, though. Dh is trying to get me to have a conversation with him about this.
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#4 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 10:53 AM
 
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To stream direct to your TV, your TV will have to have WIFI capability and a browser program that supports their video programing. Just having WIFI won't work without a supported browser. For example, the Wii has Opera as a browser but that is not supported by Hulu so you still can't stream directly to your Wii (and then to your TV) from Hulu. You will have to use a secondary program (Playon.tv). Hulu is not like cable, they don't have close to everything as cable. We stream Hulu to our TV via Playon and our Wii console but we don't really watch much TV, only two shows...for Netflix, you need the same thing, a supported browser but we stream Netflix via the Wii as Netflix have a disk to do so.

Playon is a pretty cheap program, $20 for a lifetime license but you do have to have a computer on the network to run the program for you Wii or PS3

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#5 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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As someone said above, Hulu is mainly broadcast television and off-the-air shows. Like we watched Dead Like Me over Hulu for the first time years after it went off the air.

One thing to check is what over-the-air broadcast strength is like in your area. With the digital conversion, the distance that the over-the-air programming can travel has expanded greatly. We've 55 miles out of our major broadcast market (Chicago) and since the digital conversion get all over-the-air channels in crystal-clear quality with a very small antenna. We couldn't pick up the analog signals out of Chicago at all a few years back.

And that was the primary reason we canceled cable. We set up our antenna, we were getting the networks in BETTER quality over the antenna than over the cable, and we realized that 99% of what we watch is network tv and we were spending $60 to watch 2 shows.
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#6 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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We don't have cable and mostly use netflix and hulu. But Hulu doesn't have everything. We do have an Xbox so we can stream netflix through that. Between those and the few local channels, we have plenty to watch. And it's all free, except the $9 a month for Netflix.
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#7 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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We don't have cable and mostly use netflix and hulu. But Hulu doesn't have everything. We do have an Xbox so we can stream netflix through that. Between those and the few local channels, we have plenty to watch. And it's all free, except the $9 a month for Netflix.
We do this as well. We have the $9/month Netflix. It's unlimited instant watching and one DVD at a time (which I've found really impressive in terms of DVD condition & speed). We have the Netflix disc for Wii, so we can watch Netflix on our computer or on our TV via Wii.

We also use Hulu. We stream to our television through my laptop because our TV doesn't have the capability. DH set it up. We bought a cord for about $10.

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#8 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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we stream netflix over the wii, and love it.

haven't tried streaming hulu. i had the thought the other day that we could play it on the wii browser, but i see where a PP says it's not supported.

eventually we'll get a flat screen tv, which will have an hdmi port, so we can connect my laptop via its hdmi port, but it won't be wireless.

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#9 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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We also have Playon, it was $19.99 and we can stream our Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and a whole bunch of other things on our TV.
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#10 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 12:23 PM
 
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We have a newer TV and it has a VGA port so we can hook up the computer right into the TV like a monitor. We have stopped watching regular broadcast TV and just watch Streaming Video. I like that I can watch it when I want to... We have netflix and watch hulu Some shows have a delay (FOX does this, 8 day delay for shows like House) we are usually so far behind that it doesn't matter . Everything runs fine on a Windows setup...if you try to run a linux based system it is more of a headache but not impossible.

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#11 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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We do a little of this, but not full scale yet. We have a newer TV with the ports and have an old PowerBook G4 (6+ years old) hooked up to the TV directly. When we had a major flood last year, while the walls and ceiling were open, DH & my dad ran a CAT6 cable from the incoming cable internet located in the family office upstairs down to the living room. A direct line is so much faster than wireless (WiFi)! (Not necessary, but really nice. I wouldn't tear things up to get it, but doing it when we did was cheap and relatively easy.)

Anyway, we use that computer with the TV in other ways (DVD player, watching UTube, picture slideshows, home videos before burning to DVD) very successfully. We have watched a few shows through hulu (and abc.com) with this set up. However, that specific computer is not really capable of streaming video very well. It is very jumpy, which gets annoying for more than one must-see show on a random basis. (LOST is the only one I consider a must-see and it is ending forever really soon.) My MacBook is the first one with the Intel-based processor and we don't have the correct cables for it to connect to the TV. DH has a MacBook Pro that is 3 years old and it can use the same cable as the PowerBook to connect to the TV, but requires a different power adapter. We use his laptop when we want to stream something and drape the power cord across the living room. Not ideal, but doable on a random basis.

ETA: The reason the old PowerBook cannot stream well is a combination of processor speed and graphics capability. DH's MacBook Pro is the best computer we've got in terms of these functions. Age is only relevant in terms of how much technology has changed in that timeframe.

Once LOST is off the air, I wouldn't care if we had cable or not. DH does watch other shows, though. I consider the TV a really nice digital photo frame and an extension of the Wii. (Our TV is nice to us, but is nothing compared to most flat-screen TVs we see in other homes.) We'd have to upgrade something (physical) in order to ditch cable TV and still be able to watch the handful of shows DH likes. It isn't my decision at this point. He is thinking about it with the most optimism I've seen to date. Our internet is also through the cable company, so we'd still be paying them for entertainment and the internet portion of the bill is much higher than the cable TV portion (bill is $58/mo with internet ~$41 and basic cable ~$14 and the rest is fees). We can afford it, so the incentive isn't quite there yet...

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#12 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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I don't know about hulu specifically, but we don't have cable and can find any show we want to watch if we wait until the next day after it airs. Someone, somewhere uploads it online. DH has been able to stream important things live (like football games), but for the most part we wait until the next day to watch stuff that's on Showtime, or whatever.

As for getting it onto your TV, it depends on how new your TV is, if you have wifi capabilities, or can find another way to connect. We've used a laptop/netbook and a computer monitor cord to get shows on our LCD TV. It has PC settings, though, but it's not automatically connecting to the internet as is. Netflix now streams through the wii, but the day we got the DVD in the mail to set it up, our wii stopped reading discs. So, until we get it fixed or replaced, we have to connect a computer to the TV to watch on the big screen.

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#13 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 02:50 PM
 
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Hulu has indicated they are going to begin charging for programs later this year. I don't know the extent, but you'd best do some research on that.

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#14 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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Hulu has indicated they are going to begin charging for programs later this year. I don't know the extent, but you'd best do some research on that.
From what I've read on the reputable sites (yahoo, etc), Hulu will charge people $10 a month to have access to more than the 5 most recent episodes of a program. They will all still have advertising, paying or not. Personally, I think it's a bad idea. Now, if they offered an advertisement free version for pay, I think it would be more popular.

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#15 of 21 Old 04-30-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by carfreemama View Post
I am SO far behind the times, when I read this thread title I saw "double dutch or hula?" I thought you were trying to choose between party games.

Good luck, though. Dh is trying to get me to have a conversation with him about this.
lol!

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#16 of 21 Old 05-01-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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we physically connect our computer to the Tv with a VGA to S-video converter. It's still wifi from the internet modem to computer, but computer is hard wired to TV. (Old desktop that just stays connected at all times.)
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#17 of 21 Old 05-01-2010, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok thanks Mamas!!! I'll have DH read all of this & see what he can do!

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#18 of 21 Old 05-01-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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we physically connect our computer to the Tv with a VGA to S-video converter. It's still wifi from the internet modem to computer, but computer is hard wired to TV. (Old desktop that just stays connected at all times.)
although i have the desktop hard wired (max speed over wifi can be way less than your actual speed which will slow everything down) and wifi to my laptop.

i have an older desktop hooked up to the tv. now i'm sure if its the AGE of the computer (probably an older graphics card) or the fact that the tv is a 32" and most computer monitors are 15" or so but anytime i watch Hulu with the picture as big as the tv its really jumpy.

also i would try going to best buy with pics of the ports on your tv and asking "what do i need to do xyz with this tv?" then take names of products and maybe pictures and then try searching the net for cheaper products.
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#19 of 21 Old 05-02-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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I only see mention of hulu and netflix when you really need to check a number of sources. Check the network site that airs your show, most of the networks also stream the show from there website although there's sometimes an 8 day delay between TV airing and the net. Some people like fancast, surfthechannel.com is another.

Seriously?
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#20 of 21 Old 05-03-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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#21 of 21 Old 05-03-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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We have an old comp directly hooked up as we got tired of connecting and unconnecting the laptop. We use hulu or ABC or CBS. The picture isn't perfect but works well enough. We don't watch tv a lot though and don't use that very often at all.

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