Canceling Your Cable – Part 1: A First Look at We’ve all thought about it, the money we could save by canceling cable and just streaming our favorite shows on demand. Of course big media does it’s best to keep us down, such as the case with NBC and News Corp funded Hulu ordeal going on with Boxee. Luckily at about the same time Boxee was coming up (and subsequently being crushed) a number of Media Center plug-ins were released to harness the power of streaming television.

Let's take a look at the first in a series of options for bringing in free television to your Media Center: This handy little plug-in provides a ten-foot interface to some of the leading content providers of streaming media including Hulu, CBS, Fox, ABC, NBC among just a few.


The interface is fairly well thought out providing multiple views including sorting by station, title, trailers and only displaying full movies. Recent versions have even included the ability to add favorites, though it’s not immediately clear how to use them for a first time user (and the lack of any instruction to be found doesn’t help).

Most of the interface is adorned with images relevant to the selected display. Channel logos, Series posters and even fan art for some of the series’ is immediately available without any extra work for the end user. There are still a few gaps however, though these can be remedied by the developer without the need for an update.


That also includes the ability to add new stations and shows to the program without the need for an update to the code. This feature certainly gives it a leg up on some of the other options available. The ability was also used recently to alter the code to switch Hulu to full-screen automatically during maintenance to the Hulu site. On-the-fly updates without end-user work is certainly something to rejoice over.


It isn’t all glitter and gold for though, the plug-in still has a number of glitches in the code. At the time of this article the installer still requires the Orca Fix to even run on Windows 7. There are also several portions of the content provided that will cause the plug-in to crash or stop responding. Other problems range from the inability to stop or pause content from the remote to sound continuing after leaving the show and broken full screen on certain content.


The developer, Yaggs, does seem intent on squashing the problems that do arise at this point with new versions coming fairly frequently. is certainly worth a try even if not quite ready for full time use by the whole family. This is definitely a plug-in to consider when you’re looking to supplement or even replace your current cable or satellite provider.

Check out Part 2 of Canceling Your Cable for another great plug-in for streaming TV into your Media Center

Update: now supports Media Center remotes which can be used to set favorites using the 1, 2 and 3 buttons. It can also be used to control functions such as fullscreen. The latest versions no longer require the Orca fix to be installed. Enjoy!

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