hulu http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11399/all en-US How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tv-watching-5088725-small.jpg" alt="tv" title="tv" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Cutting the cord&quot; was something only doctors and new fathers used to do. But thanks to the explosion of online streaming content services like Hulu and Netflix, more and more people are saying sayonara to their cable bill.</p> <p>As I learned when I <a target="_blank" href="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/your-cable-bill-is-a-convenience-bill/">tried to cut the cord myself</a>, the big advantage to paying for cable doesn't have anything to do with paying less or accessing only the shows you want to watch. It's <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-convenience-is-screwing-your-finances">about convenience</a>. With cable, you turn your TV on and all the shows you know and love are a button press away &mdash; right there on your big screen. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a>)</p> <p>Once you move into the world of online streaming, people start to get a little worried. The question I've heard most often is: Will I have to watch on my computer screen? What do I need to watch on my TV? Is it going to be complicated?</p> <p>And I'm here to tell you that no &mdash; when it comes to services like Hulu and Netfix, there are so many options that you'll inevitably find one that works with your current setup so you can enjoy your shows where they're meant to be seen: on your TV.</p> <h2>Start With the Official Sites</h2> <p>It might be overwhelming at first, but what you'll want to do first is check out the device lists for both <a target="_blank" href="https://signup.netflix.com/watch">Netflix</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10932227?sid=976320">Hulu</a>. There are a LOT of TVs, video game systems, and other devices listed that can help you play streaming content on your TV set. Odds are you'll find something you already own on the list. In fact, most people are <a target="_blank" href="http://allthingsd.com/20121204/watching-netflix-on-a-big-screen-youre-probably-on-a-ps3/">already watching Netflix streaming content on their PS3s</a> over their actual computers!</p> <p>If you don't already own a Wii, XBox, Wi-Fi enabled TV or DVD player, or a streaming device like a Roku &mdash; then you'll have to buy one. Or, if worse comes to worst, you can always just hook up your laptop or PC to your TV <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/80-for-an-hdmi-cable-give-me-a-break">via an HDMI cable</a> and watch your shows that way.</p> <h2>Choose a Device</h2> <p>If you don't own any of the supported devices, then you'll have to make a decision on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-money-on-ipads-iphones-and-macs">which one you want to buy</a>.</p> <p>But if you do want buy a device, first ask yourself if you'll be buying a new TV soon. Most of the new TVs are &quot;smart,&quot; which means they'll automatically connect to your Wi-Fi network and be able to stream Netflix and Hulu, plus content from a lot of other services. That way you don't have to have another &quot;thing&quot; in your TV cabinet &mdash; the TV can do it automatically.</p> <p>Luckily, Hulu and Netflix (and especially Netflix) have been at the forefront of this move to online streaming of content, so they've made sure they are compatible with as wide a range of devices as possible.</p> <p>All you have to do now is login to your account via whichever device you've chosen and &mdash; viola &mdash; you're ready to go!</p> <h2>Tweak Your Signal</h2> <p>All of this sounds easy enough, right? But there's one more thing you need to double check &mdash; how good your Internet connection is going to be wherever your TV and streaming device is in your place.</p> <p>If you have a device that can connect to an actual hard line (an Ethernet cable), then by all means do that; it'll give you the fastest connection you can get.</p> <p>If not, you'll need to rely on your Wi-Fi connection, which means the closer your Roku/Wii/TV is to your router, the better the connection will be. And the better your connection, the smoother your streaming experience is going to be.</p> <p>For tips on improving your Wi-Fi connection, check out <a target="_blank" href="http://lifehacker.com/306436/top-10-wi+fi-boosts-tweaks-and-apps">Lifehacker's Top 10 Wi-Fi Boosts, Tweaks, and Apps</a>.&nbsp;Because let's face it...no one wants to watch a show with a big BUFFERING icon spinning away in the middle of a nail-biting scene.</p> <p>Once you've got your device connected to your account and have it playing smoothly on your TV, sit back and enjoy watching TV in the post-Cable world!</p> <p><em>Have you &quot;cut the cord?&quot; Was the switch to streaming Internet video easier &mdash; or more difficult &mdash; than you expected?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits">Cutting the Cable Cord Has More Than Financial Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-online-services-are-worth-paying-for">Which Online Services Are Worth Paying For?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-quick-remote-control-hacks-to-save-you-time-and-money">5 Quick Remote Control Hacks to Save You Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cable-tv-is-here-to-stayfor-now">Cable TV Is Here to Stay...for Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Technology hulu netflix streaming video tv Mon, 03 Jun 2013 10:24:36 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 976320 at http://www.wisebread.com Which Online Services Are Worth Paying For? http://www.wisebread.com/which-online-services-are-worth-paying-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/which-online-services-are-worth-paying-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6976099786_d53bee7252_z.jpg" alt="Woman at a computer" title="Woman at a computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="163" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The internet has a bevy of entertainment and information, mostly for free. The majority of websites offer a small amount of entertainment at no cost, and more for a nominal fee. And although the record industry and television industry seem to be suffering for it, we consumers are coming out on top. Below is a list of consumer-driven websites like Hulu and Spotify, as well as content-driven websites like Vimeo and Flickr. The question for each website is simple &mdash; is paying for online content worth it? I've detailed the pluses and minuses so you can figure out what's worthwhile for you. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-ways-to-listen-to-music-for-free-or-cheap">New Ways to Listen to Music for Free or Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>1. Hulu</h2> <p>Since <a href="http://www.hulu.com/">Hulu</a> launched, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits">I haven&rsquo;t paid for cable</a>. There&rsquo;s no point &mdash; almost everything I want to watch is on there, and most is free. <a href="http://www.hulu.com/plus">Hulu</a><a href="http://www.hulu.com/plus"> Plus</a> was introduced two years ago, and its content boasts old-school television shows and feature films. Thanks to Hulu Plus, I&rsquo;ve spent the last week revisiting my favorite television shows like &quot;3rd Rock From the Sun&quot; and &quot;Doogie Howser.&quot; Unfortunately, their movie selection is scarce. They claim to have deals with Miramax and the Criterion collection, but most movies offered are terrible, one-star films that never made it to the big screen. Their television shows are better, but still not as good as Netflix&rsquo;s selection. Hulu Plus has a lot of Korean and Spanish-language programs too, but Netflix has more of an instant selection, and it costs the same. Also, even with Hulu Plus, there is still advertising, and with Netflix there is none. But don&rsquo;t forget &mdash; Netflix has yesterday&rsquo;s television shows; Hulu has today&rsquo;s.</p> <p>Hulu Plus: $7.99/month</p> <h2>2. Spotify</h2> <p>If you haven&rsquo;t heard of <a href="http://www.spotify.com/us/">Spotify</a>&nbsp;and are only annoyed by the constant Facebook updates, you&rsquo;re actually missing a whole world of awesome music, for free. Spotify is a desktop application with occasional ads between songs. However, if you want unlimited music no matter where you are, even when you're without an internet connection, that&rsquo;ll cost you money. Out of their two options, the <a href="http://www.spotify.com/us/get-spotify/unlimited/">unlimited</a> account is cheaper, featuring unlimited music without ads. The <a href="http://www.spotify.com/us/get-spotify/premium/">premium</a> account, however, is the clincher &mdash; on top of no advertising, you can play music on your mobile phone and offline. There is also advanced sound quality (320 kbps) and the ability to play music <a href="http://www.spotify.com/us/about/features/around-the-house/">anywhere in the house</a>. Overall, Spotify Premium is worth it if you have a smartphone.</p> <p>Spotify Unlimited: $4.99/month<br /> Spotify Premium: $9.99/month</p> <h2>3. Pandora</h2> <p>Where Spotify is perfect for finally listening to that band that your ex-boyfriend gushed about for your entire relationship, <a href="http://www.pandora.com/">Pandora</a> is good for listening to the bands that sound like your favorite bands. Pandora has far more commercials, but their upgraded account is far cheaper. What <a href="http://www.pandora.com/one">Pandora</a><a href="http://www.pandora.com/one">One</a> promises: no ads, higher-quality audio (but at 192kbps, still not as good as Spotify Premium), a desktop application, and the ability to listen for five hours straight without interruption. Pandora&rsquo;s free set-up makes you click on occasion to prove you&rsquo;re still there. Pandora One is perfect for playing in businesses &mdash; there is variety instantly built in.</p> <p>Pandora One: $36/year, $3.99/month</p> <h2>4. Vimeo</h2> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/">Vimeo</a> is the go-to for all aspiring (and a ton of accomplished) filmmakers. Better than YouTube, it gives users a chance to really connect with other users, rather than just uploading a cat video and getting a pop record out of it. The disadvantages of a regular Vimeo account aren&rsquo;t terrible; after uploading the video, your video is &ldquo;queued&rdquo; to convert and you have uploading limits in regards to size and quality. But with <a href="https://vimeo.com/plus">Vimeo Plus</a>, you jump ahead of the line, straight to converting. You also have the ability to upload as many HD videos as you want; create an unlimited amount of groups, channels, and albums; get discounts for products, and more. Simply put, if you&rsquo;re someone who likes producing high-quality video, Vimeo Plus is for you, but if you&rsquo;re there for the community, stick to a regular account.</p> <p>Vimeo Plus: $59.95/year</p> <h2>5. Flickr</h2> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/">Flickr</a> has been my picture sharing service of choice since Yahoo was popular. Once I started traveling, I started paying for their Pro account. Now, Google&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0CGIQFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fpicasa.google.com%2F&amp;ei=3v_sT8KOIoOs8QTOpaSIDQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNHHrKCEwrKaKrze1K3hvtv5sDtBsw&amp;sig2=8DmNKhhHKtZuxlzj2huc6g">Picasa</a> exists, and Facebook has expanded their upload limits, but I still pay for the Pro account. Why? Truthfully, I&rsquo;m not sure. Perhaps it&rsquo;s laziness. Flickr doesn&rsquo;t make it easy to upload and sort pictures, where Picasa has a desktop application that helps you edit pictures on your computer, which is easier than uploading then sorting. Also, Picasa is free for up to 1GB of storage, but the additional storage prices <a href="http://support.google.com/picasa/bin/answer.py?hl=en-GB&amp;answer=39567">vary</a>. To me, <a href="http://www.advancedphotography.net/flickr-picasa-web-albums/">the</a><a href="http://www.advancedphotography.net/flickr-picasa-web-albums/"> main difference between the two</a> is the same as the difference between Vimeo and YouTube (also owned by Google) &mdash; Picasa reaches a broader audience, whereas Flickr is for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies">professional photographers</a> (or those who think they are, like me).</p> <p>Flickr Pro: $24.95/year</p> <h2>6. LinkedIn</h2> <p>Unless you&rsquo;re a photographer or filmmaker, <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/">LinkedIn</a> might be the best way to advance your career. LinkedIn is a great way to put yourself out there, but connecting options are limited. You can send messages to some, but <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/mnyfe/subscriptionv2?displayProducts=&amp;family=general&amp;commpare_acct=">upgraded accounts</a> give you more search results, expanded profiles, and more. If you&rsquo;re recruiting, there are special packages for your company as well. It works the same as personal accounts, but instead of finding potential employers, you&rsquo;re able to find potential employees. Although I haven&rsquo;t personally <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/standout-stuff-to-put-on-your-resume">used LinkedIn to advance my career</a>, I do have friends who use it for work functions and networking, and after looking it over more, I'll be doing the same.</p> <p>Premium prices vary</p> <p><em>What do you think? Is it worth it to pay for online content?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-online-services-are-worth-paying-for">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv">How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits">Cutting the Cable Cord Has More Than Financial Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/more-free-television-online-hulu-com">More Free Television Online - Hulu.com - UPDATE: Invites Available for Wise Bread Readers!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-choose-traditional-books-over-e-books">5 Reasons to Choose Traditional Books Over E-Books</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Technology hulu LinkedIn online content photography spotify television Fri, 29 Jun 2012 23:48:08 +0000 Jennifer Holder 937047 at http://www.wisebread.com Cutting the Cable Cord Has More Than Financial Benefits http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5443077918_225b1a730e_z.jpg" alt="watching TV" title="watching TV" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cutting the cable TV cord has benefits that go beyond the financial. Sure, you're saving $50 or so a month by going without cable. But there are other good things that happen when you go without cable, many which may not come to mind when you first start thinking about making the move because you're focused on saving money. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</a>)</p> <p>There's the obvious satisfaction of &quot;sticking it to The Man&quot; and not having to support a business that won't let you pay for only the stations you want to watch. Other benefits, however, may not be so obvious. But before I get into those, it's worth pointing out that the expected financial savings might not be as good as you might think.</p> <h3>The Somewhat Surprising Reality of Living Without Cable</h3> <p>My family cut cable at our house in early June, mainly as a test run during the slow summer TV season to see if we could live without it. We also wanted to save some money, which I'm quickly realizing is being eaten up by other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cable-tv-is-here-to-stayfor-now">costs that Wise Bread has covered</a>. While our cable bill dropped by $50 a month, we still pay for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">alternatives</a> that don't look like a lot by themselves, but add up.</p> <p>Here are some of them, some of which are one-time expenses and others monthly:</p> <ul> <li>Netflix streaming at $8 per month.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hulu&nbsp;Plus at $8 per month. We don't have this yet, but I can see it coming in handy in the fall.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Occasional TV series purchase such as &quot;Curb Your Enthusiasm,&quot; about $20 a month.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Redbox movie rentals at $1.20 or more each, for maybe five movies a month at $6 total.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Roku box to watch shows, a one-time cost of $100.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Antenna for TV, a one-time cost of $25, though much more can be spent.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>HDMI cable and adapter to hook up computer to TV so online shows can be viewed. A one-time cost of $50.</li> </ul> <p>After spending about $42 a month on shows, I'm only spending $8 less each month than I did with cable. (It's worth noting that we had Netflix streaming when we had cable, and I'm not including our monthly Internet fee because it's an expense we'd have with or without a TV.) Add in the $175 for equipment, and the $8 monthly savings will take almost 22 months (two years!) to pay for it. Then I'll really start saving money.</p> <h3>Benefits of Cutting Cable</h3> <p>Since I'm not saving any money for two years, what do I gain by not having cable TV? A lot, in my view. Here are some benefits.</p> <p><strong>Less Channel Surfing</strong></p> <p>Since we no longer have hundreds of channels to scan, there's less mindless channel surfing and wasting time looking for something to watch. There's something hypnotic about scrolling through channels that's sort of relaxing, but it's also a waste of time that leaves you wondering why you're paying for cable TV if there's nothing on.</p> <p><strong>Paying for What You Want to Watch</strong></p> <p>There's plenty of extra stuff on Netflix and elsewhere in the non-cable world, but it's nice knowing that I'm not paying for a channel that I'll never watch and can instead buy a season of a show I really want to watch. I may not come across a great show by accident, but I'll take that chance.</p> <p><strong>Free Time</strong></p> <p>If we don't know ahead of time what we're going to watch, we're unlikely to turn the TV on. I don't want to make it sound like my family has turned Amish and we're not watching TV at all, or that we've discovered more family time and are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/play-on-5-great-card-and-board-games">playing more board games</a> together and reading more books. But we are finding time to do other things, and my library card is being used more.</p> <p>These are things you can't put a price on, though I suspect that even these may not be enough to prevent us from calling the cable company back in six months when we get tired of missing pro sports.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv">How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cable-tv-is-here-to-stayfor-now">Cable TV Is Here to Stay...for Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-online-services-are-worth-paying-for">Which Online Services Are Worth Paying For?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-for-a-better-netflix-experience">6 Tricks for a Better Netflix Experience</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Technology cutting cable hulu netflix sports Thu, 21 Jun 2012 10:36:11 +0000 Aaron Crowe 935252 at http://www.wisebread.com How Will The Comcast/NBC Merger Really Affect You? http://www.wisebread.com/how-will-the-comcastnbc-merger-really-affect-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-will-the-comcastnbc-merger-really-affect-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Picture 8.png" alt="Comcast NBC Universal logo" title="Artist&#039;s rendering of Comcast/NBC Universal logo" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="179" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s a deal that has been in the works for over a year, and it&rsquo;s finally going ahead. The FCC has approved the merger of NBC Universal with Comcast, meaning that the cable giant will now own 51% of NBC, and have stakes in CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, and <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10932227">Hulu</a>.</p> <p>When anyone sees news like this, they immediately starting thinking of a monopoly. &ldquo;This business is too big, and that&rsquo;s a bad thing&rdquo; is what I&rsquo;m hearing from many people around me. And as I work in the cable industry, I hear it a lot.</p> <p>But is this really something to lose sleep over? It&rsquo;s time to take a quick look at the questions people have, the facts, and the speculation, to see what this merger actually means to the general public. After all, AOL and Time Warner merged in 2000 and the world kept turning. But since then the Internet has become something of a necessity and this deal does impact that to some extent.</p> <h3>1. Will Prices Go Up?</h3> <p>That&rsquo;s the most common concern I hear, and it seems that it&rsquo;s the most common one floating around on the Internet. With a merger comes a giant company controlling costs and sticking it to all of us. And Comcast has not exactly had the best feedback when it comes to prices and raising rates. But the bottom line is that the FCC is ensuring that Comcast does not withhold any of its networks from other providers, such as Dish Network or DirecTV. It must also offer these networks at a reasonable cost.</p> <p>Plus, Comcast has stated that six out of every seven networks on its cable systems will have absolutely no affiliation with Comcast. What that means is that, for the time being, Comcast is not going to start pushing prices up on you because it could risk losing you to one of those other providers. That goes for the Internet, too. I see rates going up by the usual annual amount, but I do not see your bills doubling overnight. The fear of &ldquo;cord cutting&rdquo; and &ldquo;cord shaving&rdquo; (which means cutting complete or partial cable services) will keep everyone's prices in line. Well, for now at least.</p> <h3>2. Will Internet Access Be Affected?</h3> <p>I don&rsquo;t see it happening just yet, although Senator Al Franken and many others predict this is the end of net neutrality. Basically, the FCC has not given Comcast/NBC the kind of power to take control of the Internet, although who knows what could happen in the future. Yes, Comcast now owns <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10932227">Hulu</a>, but that was already becoming a pay-service with the advent of <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10932227">Hulu Plus</a>, which is home to many of the shows you want to watch anyway. I went to watch <em>V</em> online recently, but I missed the first episode of the new series, and it wasn&rsquo;t available on ABC&rsquo;s site. Comcast had nothing to do with that decision; it&rsquo;s just something that the networks themselves decide. In short, the FCC has stipulated that this merger must not result in unfair market prices. Even better, the merger means that Comcast must now offer affordable, stand-alone Internet access so that we, the viewers, can access videos without having to purchase cable TV. And that is a good thing.</p> <h3>3. Will Sports Channels Be Cheaper?</h3> <p>I don&rsquo;t care that much for sports channels, but I know millions of Americans do. And now the Comcast/NBC corporation can go up against Disney&rsquo;s ESPN, which has a monopoly on most sports, and bring prices down. It&rsquo;s very possible that you could see the cost of your sports packages taking a nose dive over the next year.</p> <h3>4. Will Only Comcast Subscribers Get NBC Shows?</h3> <p>You really shouldn&rsquo;t worry about missing <em>The Office</em>, <em>30 Rock</em>, <em>SNL</em>, <em>Biggest Loser,</em> or any of your other favorite NBC shows. Once again, the FCC has made it quite clear that Comcast must provide reasonable access to its shows for distribution by other providers. You will not see NBC disappear from your local channel lineup if you have Dish Network or DirecTV.</p> <h3>5. Will Comcast Subscribers Have a Hard Time Finding Non-NBC Shows?</h3> <p>This one&rsquo;s even more bizarre. Some people think that Comcast will favor its NBC shows and programming over shows not owned by Comcast. Well, imagine how many people would cancel Comcast if that happened? If you suddenly have a hard time finding your favorite shows because Comcast has buried them or made them tough to access, you&rsquo;ll leave. But just to make sure, rules have been put in place to ensure Comcast does not discriminate against video programming that it does not own. For the time being, your lineup should not be affected.</p> <p>Of course, I&nbsp;am not privy to the dealing going on inside the boardrooms of these huge companies, but I think it's a little too early to panic just yet.</p> <p><em>How do you feel about the merger? Worried? Are you cutting the cable anyway? Let us know.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-will-the-comcastnbc-merger-really-affect-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-finally-canceled-comcast-cable-before-it-hurt-more-than-my-wallet">I Finally Canceled Comcast Cableā€¦Before It Hurt More Than My Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv">How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cracking-the-infamous-mcdonalds-monopoly-game">Cracking the Infamous McDonalds Monopoly Game</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-sports-without-cable-tv">How to Watch Sports Without Cable TV</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Entertainment Financial News cable tv Comcast hulu Internet Monopoly Sat, 22 Jan 2011 02:31:40 +0000 Paul Michael 474632 at http://www.wisebread.com More Free Television Online - Hulu.com - UPDATE: Invites Available for Wise Bread Readers! http://www.wisebread.com/more-free-television-online-hulu-com <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/more-free-television-online-hulu-com" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hulu.jpg" alt="hulu" title="hulu" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently many TV networks have been showing their current shows online with limited commercial interruption. Every network seems to have their own streaming and ad system with varying amounts of content and quality. Hulu.com is a combined effort of NBC and Fox and it currently has hundreds of episodes and clips from the two networks and many shows from Sony Entertainment and other networks. Today I took it for a spin.</p> <p>The site has a very clean interface and once you sign in you can choose to add any amount of shows and clips to your playlist. Then you can play them all by clicking &quot;Play&quot; in the &quot;Your playlist&quot; dropdown. You can search shows by name or category and there is a good selection of old and new shows. Some old shows have full seasons online, and I started watching the quirky Fox comedy called Arrested Development.</p> <p>The quality of the player is quite good compared to some of the other network players. The resolution is not high definition, but it is better than YouTube. The sound quality is above average and never stalled on my connection. Each episode of the 22 minute comedy I was watching had three very short commercials and I barely noticed them. One of the commercials was at the end of the show so it did not even interrupt my show. So overall the viewing experience is great. After you finish watching a show you have the option to buy it, but I think the purchasing option is not functional right now.</p> <p>The best part about Hulu is that it has many cable shows for free. For example, select episodes of my favorite obsessive compulsive detective Monk are available! There are also a few old movies available. In addition to Arrested Development, I have added the entire series of Firefly and the classic Battlestar Galatica to my list. I think I will be glued to this site for many hours to come.</p> <p>Right now Hulu is still in beta and you need an invite to join. When you sign up you will get ten more invites to send out so I started <a href="/forums/deals-coupons/official-hulu-invite-thread-1219.html" target="_blank">this thread in the forums</a> so that we can share our invites. Unfortunately, it is only available to those in the United States right now, but hopefully in the future the videos will stream in other nations, too. Have fun watching!</p> <p>Update: Gerritt Hoekman from Hulu was nice enough to provide Wise Bread with 500 invites for our readers!&nbsp; <a href="http://www.hulu.com/beta/wisebread" target="_blank">Click here</a> to get your free invites.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/more-free-television-online-hulu-com">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-online-services-are-worth-paying-for">Which Online Services Are Worth Paying For?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv">How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits">Cutting the Cable Cord Has More Than Financial Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology Art and Leisure free tv hulu shows television Sat, 23 Feb 2008 08:01:35 +0000 Xin Lu 1833 at http://www.wisebread.com