Where to get Content?
There are websites that will allow you to watch all kinds of movies and TV shows. I've know people who setup a computer to their TV and browse to these sites (illegal???) and open it. They may even have a wireless mouse and keyboard on the other side of the living room. Me… I like using a remote control. I'll write a post about remote controls some other time.
The type of media you stream will depend on the media center you use. Not all content providers support all devices or programs.
|Windows 7 Media Center||Yes||Yes||3rd Party Plugin||Download & Play||No|
|Windows 8 Media Center (Pro Pack)||Yes||Yes||3rd Party Plugin||Download & Play||No|
|Boxee Box||2nd Gen||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|XBMC||3rd Party Software||No||3rd Party Plugin||3rd Party Plugin||No|
|Western Digital TV Live||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Fancy Blueray Player||Maybe||Maybe||Maybe||Maybe||Maybe|
As you can see there is no all-in-one solution. This can be frustrating. The device manufacturers rely on the content providers to create the software to run on their device.Since each device is different the content providers can get overwhelmed with supporting all these devices. Sure you might find a Smart TV that can access it all but TV manufacturers have a habit of not supporting their equipment after a year or so. Then you do not get the software update to fix a problem because the content provider changed something.
Netflix (4/5 Stars)
This is the best all around. You get unlimited TV and movies and it works on just about everything. TV shows are usually a year old at least. Movies are lacking. If you have kids then you will love all the Disney movies.
Hulu (3/5 Stars)
They have new TV shows. But they also have commercials.
Amazon (3/5 Stars)
Doesn't work on very much. Has about the same content as Netflix.
Vudu (2/5 Stars)
These guys are expensive for a 24 hour rental. I can go to RedBox and rent a DVD for $1.29 and keep it 24 hours. Vudu wants $4.99 for standard and $5.99 for HD. It's cheaper to burn the gas and drive to RedBox. They sell DVDs too. But they are priced at expensive shopping mall prices. They should at least try to compete with Walmart. But if you do not feel like going out, I guess $4.99 is okay to watch video on demand. That's about a cable company will charge you, and they are making a killing.
Antenna (4/5 Stars)
You get your local stations. Depending on your device, you can set it to record your shows and watch them later. (Windows Media Center & 2nd Generation Boxx). I like watching the local news so an antenna is a must. News on demand is not news.