old-tv-set2Okay, I’ve really been going back and forth on this one and I’m not sure what to do. Let me throw out all the variables and maybe you can help me decide where I want to go from here.

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.

Any thoughts?