Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Xbox as your Cable DVR Box

I have been working on the ultimate home media theater experience. So using my XBOX 360 as a dvr is just the start of a lot of posts regarding what I consider to be am awesome home theater. PB and I are looking into ways to cut the cord if you will. For him this means getting rid of cable all together. His only road block is, his wife is addicted to the OWN network and she basically watches too often for him to get rid of cable. In my case I watch to much mindless tv like the travel channel and discovery channel. Stuff that you just cant torrent, plus I like background noise.

So my alternative is finding ways to save money on the actual cable bill. I'm not getting rid of internet. I have cut out any pay movie channels. NO HBO, Skin O Mac, showtime Stars and whatever else they have now. No extra sports packages. Sorry MLB network. Instead I'm a Blockbuster mail guy. I used to be a Netflix guy but thats an entire blog onto itself. So thats where I get my movies. I will buy the MLB package but for the apple tv, so that I can enjoy it on all my apple devices, such as Apple Tv, LG Smart Tv, Iphone, IPad. Talk about bang for your buck.

When I was moving into my new place I asked PB who his cable provider was, and he sold me hard on Att. I checked into it and it turns out it was offered in my area. So I went with them. I had previously been with Cox and Time Warner Cable and had a year stint with Comcast when I lived in the mid west and was really excited to try something new. But something even more exciting happened. I was surfing att's website and stumbled upon a tiny section that said they were working with Microsoft to use the Xbox 360 as an alternative to a dvr box.

What was really exciting was the fact that you wouldn't have to pay a monthly fee. Att gives you 1 dvr box for free. I can use my Xbox 360 as my second box for no additional charge and have the ability to watch tv through it. Score!!! That saves me at least 10 bucks a month if not 15 bucks a month. The only downside is that Att charges you a $99 dollar fee to use the Xbox as your cable box. This includes setup by a tech (which I did myself once it was activated), a XBOX remote and installation disc.  http://www.att.com/u-verse/explore/xbox-receiver.jsp#fbid=LcQm83M8_bi

What is even more exciting is that Att basically sent me $200 dollars worth of thank you for signing up with att visa credit cards. Which means basically I got the first month free and I basically got my money back on the Xbox 360 installation.

I can't lie there is a downside to this. Getting to Att Uverse on the Xbox can be complicated to the point that your significant other is not happy. You do have to go to your MY APPS tab on the 360 interface and choose my apps. From there Choose Att Uverse. This takes away from just turing on the Tv and basically watching it. There is some thinking involved. Also ATT and Microsoft  both say you need an Xbox Live Gold account to view programming. Thats an extra $60 dollars a year. But you get a lot of benefits out of Xbox Live Gold account so you can basically add another benefit to the list. However, ATT did send out a letter saying they would take the cost of a live account off of my next bill. That being said, I never bought a live account, I never connected my Att account to my Xbox account and I can still watch tv for now.

If your not a Uverse subscriber hold on. Verizon and Comcast are jumping on the platform or already on board, as far as Cox and Time Warner they arent on board but only time will tell. Plus there are other options like Tuner cards that I will talk about in a future posts.

After all is said and done, if you looking to save some some especially on additional expensive DVR cable boxes which could range up to 10-15 dollars extra a month just on cable bills why not pay an upfront cost. You'll be saving all kinds of scratch in the end.

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