I love my Xbox 360.

I really love this machine.  I got the Red Ring of Death, and I went out and bought another.  I didn’t hesitate, I didn’t overthink it … I just bought another.  I couldn’t imagine being without it for more than a night.  What would I do for entertainment?  How would I pass the hours of boredom?

And if the title didn’t give it away … Call of Duty nor Halo are in my disc drive.

I gave up cable in December of 2009.  It started out as just an experiment.  I needed to cut back my television watching and I thought the amount of money I was paying for the 4 shows I actually watched was stupid.  Additionally, I invested in a networked mess of machinery for my entertainment needs.  A central computer stored months worth of movies and television shows.  My Xbox 360 & Modified Xbox Original provided easy ways to get shows from the computer  to my TV.  In any bedroom, and in HD, I had access to years of great programming.  Cable seemed … pointless.

And at that point in time … my Xbox 360 became the center of all my entertainment needs.

I signed up for Netflix, and after waiting well over a year, I signed up for Hulu Plus when it came out.  I continued to download movies, I continued to get my DVDs in the mail, and I continued to spit on Comcast (television at least … I still needed internet).

I soon found I wasn’t the only one.  Coming to school there were many who had given up on monthly cable bills.  We didn’t have time to watch TV anyway, so what was the point when old seasons of “The Office” and “Parks & Recreation” could entertain us.  I still got the bare minimums from Comcast (Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC) and in HD.  With years of streaming content at my fingertips now, what more do I need?

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how little had changed since I had cable tv.  When I had cable, all I watched was my DVR.  I set a bunch of shows that I liked and I watched them when I wanted to watch TV.  TV usually sucks … so no point in channel surfing.  Might as well stick with the list of shows I love and will watch anytime of day.

So … the point of all this …

The Xbox 360

Before I had this machine, there was a lot of work I put in to getting shows and keeping content.  A 2 TB (really really big) hard drive stored my movies & shows.  Scouring sites of questionable legality got me seasons of South Park & The Simpsons.  Movies could be viewed on any TV … but after a few hours of downloading.  Lastly, it was hard to get good HD content … making the process all the more annoying.

Now, I don’t need to know anything to have it all.  Netflix and Hulu have tons of shows and movies.  The movie selection has degraded a lot since my home set up, but the lack of work is refreshing.  And if I really did want to see a recent box office movie … I can rent instantly through the movie market.

On Demand Cable Free television is available to the masses.  Game consoles, while great at playing games, are even better at bringing internet television to the masses.

Looking for a cheaper option with no games, look to Roku.  $60 gets you in.

– Damien Peters