Cord Cutters: The Gift Guide for Cable-Free Holidays


Devices like the Apple (s AAPL) TV, the Roku Box or the Boxee Box are definitely some of the hottest items this holiday season – but which one is the right present for your parents, your geeky cousin or even yourself? Which ones can help cut the cord, and which ones aren’t really a replacement for pay TV? Check out our suggestions in the first ever Cord Cutters holiday gift guide:

The good news is that there are plenty of options for different budgets, with Roku’s hardware starting at $60 and the Boxee Box selling for $200. There are even cool accessories, like a Homeplug-compatible networking set that makes it possible to stream video straight to your TV, Blu-ray player or set-top box via your house’s power lines.

Want to know more about one of the products mentioned? Check out the previous episodes of Cord Cutters, reply in the comments or shoot us a question via email or on Twitter, where we’re tweeting @cordcutters.

Ep. 01: Cord Cutters: NewTeeVee’s First Web Series!

Ep. 02: Is the Xbox 360 a Good Cord-Cutting Device?

Ep. 03: Logitech Revue: Not Cutting It For Cord Cutters

Ep. 04: Wanna Try Cord Cutting? Buy A $12 Antenna

Ep. 05: Cord Cutters: NewTeeVee Live Edition, Cord-Cutting Activism

Ep. 06: Cord Cutters: Is The Boxee Box the Solution for You?

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I did just that recently. I axed my att u-200 package at about $80/mo and am keeping my existing PS3 but with the new streaming only Netflix at $8/mo, Hulu at $8/mo, and I’d I want to watch a newish movie on bluray, there’s Redbox at $1.50/night. Luckily I don’t watch sports, so ESPN and the such I won’t miss. I bought a digital HD antenna and PalER (Dish network) which isn’t the fanciest, but I can dvr my fave programs which are on local air anyway. The only shows ill miss are walking dead on AMC and xplay on G4. But thy aren’t worth the extra $67.

On a side note, I already had the ps3 and fast internet anyway which is the only thing ATT I have left. I cancelled mobile to get the EVO with Sprint, cancelled home phone cause I don’t even use it, and now I cancelled cable. At $55/mo for 18mbps, ATT has the best deal I could find for a reliable internet connection.


I love my PS3 – you sort of missed something in the video (I know, it was short) but when you combine Netflix, Hulu+, Vudu, and something like TVersity, PlayOn, or PS3MediaServer from a computer, you open up a TON more content (regular Hulu, ESPN, CNN, Comedy Central, Amazon VOD, etc). Basically everything you can get on AppleTV or Roku, (plus a 3D BluRay player and a gaming device). I think for $300, it easily bests the Revue and if you had to pick between Xbox 360 or PS3, PS3 takes the cake.


My wife and I dropped our premium channels and just have basic cable and internet service via Comcast. We’re saving $100 a month and not missing a thing. The kids can watch their favorite shows on PBS and Netflix and I can get ESPN on my Xbox 360.

We still have cable because we don’t want the hassle of making a OTA antenna work. Also for $2 more we have basic cable because it is bundled with our high speed internet. I can live with $24 a year instead of dealing with installing the antenna. Why don’t more people do this?


I got the Boxee box because I wanted to cut the cord. It worked great for one day. The next day I went to boot it up and the damn thing wouldn’t boot past the loading screen.

After an hour on the phone with D-link they said it was a dud and I should return it. I sent it back to Amazon for a full refund.

Since then I bought a $200 nettop with a wireless mouse and keyboard. Great for web surfing and streaming HD video. I can even watch files stored on my iMac using Samba. Much better value, and much more control than a boxee imo.


Sorry guys but I did not like the format of this episode. I enjoy the in depth demonstrations on each product, not a quick generic overview of a bunch of products in a single segment.

Also you have already covered most of these devices in depth but you failed to even mention some of the other devices. I noticed you had a Netgear Push2TV device but did not mention it. I think these wireless display devices are the ultimate solution for cord cutters. These are the only devices that can offer true limitless internet video. No walled garden of apps, no imitation web browser that ultimately will control what you access, no new hardware controls to learn – just the full internet on the television. I would like to see some reviews of all the different wireless display products and a demo of that power line solution.

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