The Search for Internet TV….on my extenders

I’m a cheapskate; I’ll be the first to admit it. With that said, I am always looking for ways to save money. I currently have cable TV at my house with only the most basic channels + free HD. What I would really like, however, is the ability to stream internet videos directly to my TV so I can limit the dependence on my cable company and so I can browse and pick shows any time I want (on demand).

It’s no secret that I currently use Windows Media Center to stream and watch content on all of my household TVs. This includes any videos on my PC, live TV, recorded TV, music, etc..

The missing piece is solid internet TV integration. I would love to have access to Hulu, CBS, NBC, ESPN, Netflix, Fox, etc.. content on demand via one slick Media Center interface. There really isn’t a solid streaming solution yet, however. Some options for the Media Center include vmcNetflix, which is only for Netflix videos, and SecondRun.tv, which does not stream to extenders (this is a big must for me). There are a few other options out there, but they all suffer the same limitations when streaming to the extender device.

To the good news. It appears that the author of vmcNetflix, Eric Luttmann, is looking to change the world (slight exaggeration). Based on a recent post on The Green Button, Eric is working on providing an interface to PlayOn, a media server product that has been around for some time and provides access to some solid internet content. Eric noted that his first release will work with extenders. That is music to my ears.

I know that the author of SecondRun.tv, Yaggs, also has extender support on his roadmap. It’s a race to a finish and I’m pulling for them both. Even if I don’t cancel my cable, it’s still a slick solution and, what I view, a step towards what is inevitably the way we all watch TV.

– Keith

PS: Both SecondRun.tv and vmcNetflix are free products (PlayOn has a one time, and reasonable, fee). Both authors do accept donations. I currently do not use either product, but once I gain access to the desired content via my extenders, I will be right there with a check in hand ready to donate. I encourage you to donate as well:

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