Getting Closer to Cutting the Cord

I’ve been trying for some time now to cut the cable TV cord at home and the satellite link at the cottage and while I’m not quite there yet, I’ve recently come a lot closer.

For a while now I’ve been downloading the TV shows that I want to watch from Usenet via NNTP. At least for me, this has several advantages over using torrents:

  1. Screaming fast download speeds without having to share anything out from my internal network.
  2. ISPs tend not to care as much about NNTP traffic as they do torrent traffic. Even if they did, most of the commercial providers now offer SSL connections so my ISP couldn’t inspect my traffic even if they wanted to do so.
  3. I’ve been using Usenet for more years than I care to admit so I’m very comfortable with it.

I recently came across a couple of pieces of free software that have improved my experience with getting TV from Usenet tremendously. By using a combination of SABnzd+ and Sick Beard I’ve now completely automated the download of TV shows from Usenet.

Some people that I’ve mentioned this to recently have asked me for instructions on how to set this all up, so I’ve chosen this topic to kick off my new blog (who knows, maybe I’ll actually keep this blog updated).

In addition to SABnzd+ and Sick Beard, you’ll also need an account at an NZB indexing web site, and it will need to be supported by both SABnzd+ and Sick Beard. I use nzb matrix which is great and incredibly cheap for the VIP membership. Finally you’ll need an account with a commercial Usenet provider. I use Giganews but there are lots of other one out there.

To put it all together I followed these two guides:

While both of these guides are for Ubuntu I was able to use them to get up and running on Windows with no problems. Well, okay, one small one. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 both have the IPv4 localhost entry in the hosts file commented out which caused me some problems but that’s an easy fix.

Well, that’s it for now, if you have any questions, let me know.

EDIT: I should have mentioned that I have this all running on my Windows Home Server which means that they are instantly available to stream through either my Xbox 360 or my Asus O!Play.

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3 Responses to Getting Closer to Cutting the Cord

  1. Great pic for the header. Also, thanks for the instructions. I still haven’t decided to go with an automated solution, but I am reallty loving the ability to download my shows. I have not been impacted by the loss of FX on my Dish because of it. Sons of Anarchy is still available to me.

  2. pkadare says:

    Thanks for the comment on the header, I thought that was a good choice and it fit quite nicely as well. The automation is really easy to do and you can even configure SABnzd+ to send you email when a download completes.

  3. daemox says:

    Hey Pkadare,

    I’m glad my guides were helpful. If I may make a suggestion, I would next give XBMC and Ubuntu a try for your HTPC needs.

    Take care,

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