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Summary:

Ramin Vaziri uses not one but two laptops to get video content straight from his web browser to the TV in his living room – and he shares with us why some of the web-exclusive shows he’s found online are the most exciting aspect of coed cutting.

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What is it like to cut the cord from pay TV? What’s working, what’s missing, and what kind of equipment does the best job replacing the cable box? In our new weekend series, we’re asking cord cutters to tell us about their experiences. This week’s featured cord cutter is Ramin Vaziri, who uses not one, but two laptops to bring video to his TV.

Two years ago, I began supplementing my cable service with online video by hooking my laptop up to my 32″ LG flat screen with a VGA cord and stereo speakers. I began watching more and more online content, and four months ago I cut the cord entirely. I cut the cord partly to save money but mostly because my favorite content exists only on the Internet.

I now have two different hookups:

Laptop number one.

Wired Connected Laptop. After using my HP laptop for five years, I decided to buy a new laptop. This left me with a spare laptop. So I keep my extra laptop (HP Pavilion) connected to my LG 32″ LCD TV.

I’m using a VGA cord for the video and laptop speakers with subwoofer for audio. I keep an Ethernet connection plugged in to this laptop so the Internet speed is better than I can get wirelessly. I use a wireless Logitech mouse to control the laptop from across the room.

Wireless Connected Laptop. The new laptop I purchased was a Toshiba Satellite E205 with the Netgear Push2TV Wireless Display adapter. The Netgear adapter is connected to the TV via HDMI.

Laptop number 2.

The HDMI is great because it transmits my audio and video, so the audio plays right through my TV speakers. This hookup lets me stream whatever is on my laptop screen wirelessly to my TV so I can browse on my laptop, select a video and stream it to watch on my TV. I love having access to a browser and 100% of all online content.

There is definitely no shortage of content. I can find my favorite cable broadcast shows streaming online; I bought the NBA League Pass; and I have a Netflix subscription for movies. But what gets me most excited about online video are the new Internet-only content creators. The Young Turks, VBS.TV, MaxBoxing – The Next Round, ThisWeekIn, Wine Library TV, and The Real News Network are some of my favorites.

I also rely on curators like Music Video Jam, Gawker TV, Guyism and Huffington Post to suggest videos. ChannelStack helps me navigate between these favorite bookmarked sites. I think as people discover the great online content creators and curators, they will find that their traditional broadcast/cable programming is replaceable and be tempted them to cut the cord.

Ramin Vaziri is the founder of ChannelStack, a site that aims to be something like the Netvibes of online video. You can find his personal ChannelStack page here.

Have a question for Ramin? Then fire away in the comments! Also, please send in your own Cord Cutters Survival Story (email to cordcutters@gigaom.com), and check out the most recent episode of our weekly web series Cord Cutters below:

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  1. Agreed, online video content curation and personalized aggregation are unique attributes that enable the OTT experience to create a distinctive value-add benefit.

    That said, it’s just a matter of time that traditional pay-TV service providers offer something beyond their legacy channel-tier centric user experience.

    Legacy pay-TV service providers will soon have the delivery infrastructure in place that provides them the full flexibility to innovate (a 21st century UI) in a meaningful way.

    Replacing the EPG-based content selection approach is long overdue. The “single channel” model is the future — the one that’s compiled for our own eclectic individual interests.

    1. BTW, I believe the evolution is long overdue because I described a forward-looking user experience four years ago — for the Cisco Connected Life contest
      http://sites.google.com/site/dhdeans/digitallifescapes

  2. Can you please provide more details about how to watch live/recorded NBA games online? I’m a cord cutter myself, and I’m reeling from the lack of legal NBA content

    1. It’s called NBA League Pass http://www.nba.com/leaguepass/index.html
      Read the fine print about blackouts etc. before signing on though. I have been very happy with it, really good quality video. You can watch the games live or replayed.

      NBA.com also has a pretty deep video section of highlights.
      http://www.nba.com/video/

      You can also watch the Inside The NBA shows with Barkley and Kenny Smith.
      http://www.nba.com/insidethenba/

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