About 6 weeks ago I bought a new 42 inch LCD TV. I got a great deal and spent all the money I got for my birthday and Christmas last year. I’m super happy about my decision. Now I’m trying to decide what to do next. Sara and I have had cable/satellite for less than 2 years of our 10 year marriage. Although I really like it, I’m just not convinced that I need it anymore with everything available online. So, I did buy my TV with the intention that almost all content shown on it would be through DVD and streamed from the internet someway. I already have a DVD player I bought last year that I really like. Here are the options available.
Option 1: Roku Player. It’s a $100 device that plays Netflix movies through your TV. I think it has a few other channels now too, but it’s primarily a Netflix streaming box.
Option 2: Mac Mini. This is what I’d actually been leaning towards the most. I was going to buy a used Mac Mini for about $350 and get a bluetooth keyboard/mouse for another $150. This would essentially turn my 42 inch TV into another computer that I can brows the web, facebook, watch DVD’s, stream netflix, hulu or anything else that can be delivered from a website.
Option 3: BluRay Player. (I hadn’t really considered this until last week) I’ve not been convinced the need for a BluRay player; however, the $140 Samsung players stream Netflix and Pandora wirelessly and it’s likely through firmware updates, more functionality will be added to BluRay. Plus, if I ever get a BluRay disc, I’ll be able to play it along with regular DVDs.
For the time being, I’ll often plug my laptop into the TV and I use an app on my iPhone that acts like a remote control.
So here’s where I’m stuck. The Roku player isn’t really an option as both option 2 and 3 allow me to watch Netflix and do a lot more. However, I have an opportunity to get the BluRay for free or for very little (maybe $50). With just the BluRay, I can do everything but Hulu (does anyone know if Hulu is ever going to cooperate with desktop boxes?). The problem is that I do watch Hulu a lot… probably even more than Netflix. But the advantage of going with the BluRay is that I don’t have to spend hardly any money and I can get some new wireless bluetooth headphones to watch the TV loud without disturbing Sara. I’ll also have the cash for some other gadgets I might be interested in. Going the MacMini option will give me access to anything available online. I can watch Hulu, Netflix or whatever I want. The downside is that it will cost me about $500 for all of that. That’s all the extra cash I have right now and will be all the cash I get for my birthday next month.
Even if I had all the money in hand right now to do either, I’m not sure I’d do the MacMini. I’m just not sure what I want to do.
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