Save $1,600 a year... while sticking it to your local cable monopolist

News you can use: The New York Times explains how to get a roughly equivalent TV experience (with technological headaches) without forking over $1,600 a year to your local cable monopoly:

Our only expense is $9 a month to stream Netflix videos from the Web and the $30 a month that we always spent on an Internet connection. O.K., maybe that’s not completely accurate. When the wireless keyboard died a few weeks ago I was forced to spend another $4 for two new AA batteries. We’ve not yet recovered from that financial loss.

We still come home from work and watch any number of shows, just like the people who continue to pay for cable. We just do it a little differently, starting the computer and then using services like Hulu, Boxee, iTunes and Joost. Another interesting twist to this experience is that we’re no longer limited to consuming traditional programming. With these applications we can spend an entire evening flicking through videos from YouTube, CollegeHumor or Web-only programs.

The article mentions two caveats:

It’s a lot less work to just click a button up or down on a standard remote control. And it can be difficult to explain how to use this unfamiliar toolbox of buttons, programs and devices.

And

The sports and technology enthusiasts don’t often mix, but if you’re one of the few people who live in both of those worlds you might have to look for other options.

I might just give this a try after the NFL playoffs. (Perhaps I can start saving sooner because my beloved Patriots won’t even make the playoffs if they can’t end their unprecedented “losing streak.”)

Posted by James on Friday, December 11, 2009