Okay, so I finally got my Boxee Box w/ Live TV working just the way I want it (using the Time Warner NYC coax built into my apt)
One of my New Years Resolutions from 2011 was to "Quit Cable and help as many people as possible do the same". It's been working out pretty well so far :)
My solution last year was to buy a Mac Mini, install the "Boxee for Mac" software for media playing/streaming and buy an Eye TV USB dongle for watching live TV. It worked pretty well and I went from paying Time Warner $170/mo (cable + internet) to $50/mo (just internet). I don't miss cable one bit and you can find just about anything you want to watch on the internet anyway. And with my EyeTV I was getting 12 live TV channels, enough for watching the Superbowl, Oscars, etc. ((You can read more about that setup here)
However, the biggest pain about that setup was having to switch back and forth between different apps for different things - Boxee for movies/sreaming, Eye TV for live TV. It doesn't sound like a huge pain in the ass, but having a keyboard and mouse on the coffee table is a drag (and it was confusing for my girlfriend, visiting friends / parents, etc)
So, behold the Boxee Box ($150), the 1.5 software upgrade and the long-awaited TV Tuner attachment, which I just spent time setting up today ($50, ships in Feb - I got an early beta from my pals at Boxee). It'a awesome because it's much simpler than the Mac Mini as I no longer have to switch between different apps to do different things. So if you've been waning to "Cut The Cord", this is the setup to go with. (I still have my Mac Mini for playing DVDs btw - no DVD player in Boxee Box)
My only gripe is that the setup for the Boxee's "Live TV" feature is a little wonky. In NYC, if you connect your TIme Warner coax cable to the USB dongle, you'll get about 75 channels, most of which are crap. So if you like to flip channels, you're going to be flipping thru a bunch of home shopping networks, 24/7 infomercial channels, Spanish channels, and NYC community access shows.
The good thing is that Boxee let's you edit these channel listings, so you can "hide" the channels you don't want and get your "guide" down from 75 channels to 15 or so. You can also change the names of the channels (so it doesn't appear as "54.115" as your flip around). Both these changes make a huge difference, so I spent some time going thru all the channels today (the pics above is of Boxee's UX for editing/hiding channels).
If you're in NYC and have a Boxee Box and a TV Tuner, here's a quick cheatsheet:
Channels I kept:
2.1 -- CBS 2 HD
4.1 -- NBC 4 HD
5.1 -- FOX 5 HD
7.1 -- ABC 7 HD
11.1 -- PIX 11 HD
13.1 -- PBS 13 HD
27.450 -- TBS HD
30.468 -- NY1 HD <-- surprised to get this in HD!
48.4 -- ION
48.11 -- NYCTV.LIFE <-- these NYCTV channels actually look promising
48.12 -- NYCTV.GOV
48.14 -- NYCTV.DRIVE (Times Square Cam) <-- yes, awesome
49.4 -- Fashion News Network <-- @chelsa loves it!
64.1 -- WOR My9
69.81 -- Seems to be all soccer all the time ??? (in Spanish)
111.339 -- Al Jazeera <-- awesome surprise!
And channels you prob won't want (but maybe this will help someone somewhere)
1.4 -- (plays old movies all day long?)
7.2 -- LWN / Living Well Network
11.3 -- This TV <-- this channel should be here but I couldn't get it to work
13.2 -- Kids 13
30.470 -- TV Guide Network
48.7 -- CSPAN2
48.9 -- CSPAN
48.10 -- NYCTV.WORLD <-- basically 24/7 of OTB horse racing
48.13 -- CUNY
125.1 -- MNN 1 (Manhattan News Network)
125.2 -- MNN 2
125.3 -- MNN 3
125.4 -- MNN 4
125.5 -- WLNY TV 10/55
So that's it. Lemme know if you find any other tricks or if I missed any channels along the way.