My Poor Man’s Media Center

I bought a Kindle Fire HD 8.9 a few months ago.  They’re about $270 now, but you can find refurbs and used ones for $200,  which is what I did.  While the ads that Amazon pushes at you when you first start the device are annoying, the display quality is wonderful, it is thin and light, and the battery lasts long enough to be useful.  I’ve been using it mostly to read Kindle books.

When I decided that spending $1000/year for satellite TV was becoming absurd, I killed the satellite TV connection.  That left me with no easy way to feed a TV signal to my TV (watching YouTube on my PC remained easy to do).  For under $10 I purchased a special HDMI cable that connects my Kindle to my HD TV.  I can now watch YouTube videos on my TV easily, direct from my Kindle, either streamed or from files.

I usually download the YouTube videos, rather than streaming them, both so that I can watch them again later, but also to ensure high quality playback.  I can download the videos onto my PC and then stream those downloaded files directly to the Kindle over WiFi.  I walk the Kindle over to the TV, plug into the TV, and away I go.  The cable is long enough that I can run the TV with the Kindle on my lap.

You can try to stream current TV shows on the Kindle, but Hulu is only licensed to stream to a PC, not an Android device, for many shows; some networks also restrict streaming to phones and Android devices.  There are plugins for the FireFox browser which allow you to tell Hulu that you are running on a PC, even though you are running on a Kindle (one is called “Phony” for example).  That should allow me to stream more TV content straight to the Kindle, and then to my TV

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3 Responses to “My Poor Man’s Media Center”

  1. satjiwan Says:

    and last i checked (a while ago), Hulu works with Linux machines(Mint 11.x) (but netflix does not).

  2. satjiwan Says:

    and how much does your satellite internet cost? (we’ve been doing TV (on laptops and sometimes on a projector and stereo for movie night) via internet for several years now.

  3. jonbondy Says:

    I no longer use satellite for broadband: I use a wireless solution that is ground based. Still only 3 Mb/sec max. Costs about $30/month. The issue is that it is a bit of a shared resource, so bandwidth can degrade between 6:00 and 10:00.

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