CNET to the Rescue: Cutting the Cord

Sick of those high cable or satellite TV bills? CNET's David Katzmaier explains how he replaced his TV service with a patchwork of hardware and streaming Internet content.

It's time to cut the cord: to dump your expensive cable or satellite connection and replace it with over-the-air or Internet services, or lower-priced, possibly, or a la carte streaming. We have a special guest today, CNET's David Katzmaier from the New York office, who's been doing exactly this, and writing up his experiences in his ongoing feature, "Diary of a cord cutter."

If you have a tech question for CNET to the Rescue, e-mail or call us to get on the next show: 877-438-6688. No question is too basic.



Episode 27: Cutting the cord

David's hands-on experience

David's diary: Day 1; Week 1; Week 2.

Why cut the cord?

What did you do?

Discuss the Spousal Acceptance Factor. Discuss ease of use vs. a cable box.

Equipment needed, and what you recommend.

How fragile is the setup?

Content. And what about sports?

Is it worth it?

Talk about these options: Game consoles, Boxee, Google TV, Apple TV, Roku.

Discuss these content sources: Hulu, Vudu, Amazon, Netflix. Useful story: Lifehacker's guide to online TV shows.

Your questions answered

Richard: Do I need networkability in my TV?


Vernon Parker in Japan: Long-time listener and I love your podcast. Been listening to it for the last few years in various countries as I am in the Navy. My question is about NAS Storage. Can I connect an external hard drive to my Apple Time Machine and use it to stream all my media files to all my computers hooked up to it?


Adam Jakowenko: I was wondering if you can explain the whole CableCARD technology which is supposedly on its way out, vs "AllVid" adapter that is supposedly the next big thing (although I hear that's debatable). I know there was an FCC rule recently passed that is supposed to be more fair to people who use CableCARD but that seems to not take effect until mid 2011.


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