However, it is pretty great considering that in the same menu we can listen to Pandora, browse through Netflix, play everything we've recorded from over-the-air HD, and browse through whatever movies are on our external hardrive. That's right-we are networked!
Thus we are eliminating DirecTV from our lives. Yes this means no T.V. in our bedroom, but we've got a fix in mind for that. We'll network our
It cost us about $230 to get this up and running. We had an extra computer, but it needed a better video card, so we upgraded that. We had to buy an HD antenna. And we needed to get a T.V. tuner. But considering that we've eliminated $80 from our monthly budget, I think the initial cost is worth it.
However, the only downside, and it's a minor one, is that we don't have the Disney Channel or Nick Jr. anymore. But we get PBS in HD and I am recording a few of their better shows (Word World, Sid the Science Kid, & Super Why) for the kids. And they love them. They have only asked for Disney once. We will miss Phineas and Ferb, but we can buy the episodes from iTunes, and then play them on our T.V.! Seriously, I am loving this.
Now to be fair we have two systems running: Boxee, which has a Hulu plug-in and Pandora. It's a great interface for those. Windows Media Center doesn't have a Hulu plug-in, and the Pandora is just average. So with Boxee we get a great interface and while the music is playing it's got a great graphic. Netflix has a plug-in for both WMC and Boxee.
We also subscribed to Netflix for $8 a month. Well worth it in my opinion. We get unlimited streaming and one video a week. The unlimited streaming is invaluable. I watched "Julie and Julia" today and the girls watched a Veggie Tales movie and also "Bolt". Yeah, I know, we watch a lot. But it's new so it's fun. Don't judge me! :)
And if you or someone you know is interested, yes, Tech Monkeys will build and install a Windows Media Center. Let me know if you're interested and we'll talk turkey! :)