CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.
Want to catch up on "Mr. Robot"? How about some classic episodes of "Robot Chicken"? And, hey, when was the last time you watched "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"?
You can stream all that and tons more -- provided you know where to look. Indeed, half the challenge for any cable-TV cord-cutter is figuring out where and how to watch various shows and movies. What's more, when you ditch cable in favor of fully on-demand viewing, you lose out on the fun of channel-surfing.
Enter SelectTV, a relatively new offshoot of web-content aggregator FreeCast. The service provides an attractive front end for accessing a wealth of streaming video, the idea being to make it easier to find -- or discover -- things to watch.
A one-year subscription normally runs $36, but for a limited time you can get a year of SelectTV for just $19. You also have the option of choosing three years for $49.
Unlike PlayOn, which serves primarily to record streaming videos for offline viewing, SelectTV gives you a one-stop web portal for those videos. It's divided into five main areas: On-demand, Channels, Music, Events and Games.
Hit up On-demand, for example, and you'll find subcategories like Primetime, Movies, Web and Kids. Head to Channels > News for live streams from the likes of CNN and MSNBC.
So, yeah, lots and lots of content, all of it searchable, much of it free. (There's a toggle switch that lets you view all available content or only the free stuff.) If you have subscriptions to the likes of, say, CBS All Access or Hulu Plus, you can sign in to make that content accessible here as well. And SelectTV offers something akin to CanIStreamIt, meaning if you search for something not immediately available through the service, you'll see where it is available.
Want to watch on your TV? That's where it gets a little complicated. You can run an HDMI cable from your laptop or watch wirelessly via a Google Chromecast. Alas, there's no Roku channel or the like. What's more, although SelectTV has mobile apps in the works, the Android version is still a couple weeks out, and there's "no firm timetable yet" for iOS.
If you're already relying on your PC as a cord-cutting tool, SelectTV offers a nice way to aggregate everything under one roof. Just this morning I happened upon "Robot Chicken," a show I haven't watched in years, and enjoyed 10 solid minutes of belly laughs. That kind of "opportunity watching" almost never happens in my otherwise on-demand lifestyle.
Bonus deal: One of my all-time favorite bookshelf speakers is on sale for the lowest price ever. For a limited time, you can get the Fluance Fi30 Bluetooth wood speaker for $69.97 shipped. (That's the black model; it's available in white/bamboo for the same price.) Last time I ran this deal, it was $99.96. If you want the full skinny, read David Carnoy's review -- keeping in mind it was based on the original $150 price.
Bonus deal 2: Daily Steals continues to offer what I consider one of the most underrated laptop/tablet hybrids around: the refurbished HP Spectre x2 for $429.99 shipped. It's a 12-inch Windows tablet that includes a detachable keyboard, along with a 128GB SSD, 1,920x1,080-pixel display and optional Verizon 4G LTE. And it's HP-certified with a 90-day warranty. Just an insanely good deal at this price. Don't miss it.