WebTV Ending: Need Technical Advice

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Ernest Primeau, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. I am a long time subscriber to WebTV, and was very satisfied with their
    service and it worked so well for me.

    I know there are some who mock it and ridicule it, but for me it was very
    reliable, fast and space-saving. (One monitor that did both Television and
    computer...how cool is that?).
    I live in a very small "house" and I don't have a lot of room.

    But let me get to the point. They are going to pull the plug on my beloved
    WebTv subscription next month (bastards!).

    For the more technically minded, is there anything out there that works just
    like WebTV? The more similar the better. Ernie
    Ernest Primeau, Aug 9, 2013
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  2. Ernest Primeau


    Dear Dr. Primeau,

    Thank you for your question. It's your lucky day! The Commodore 64
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    Colonel Edmund J. (Pleasance) Burke
    THE COLONEL, Aug 9, 2013
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  3. Ernest Primeau

    Paul Guest

    The short answer is "No".

    We can only make something approximately the same.
    Not exactly the same.


    A laptop isn't much bigger than a keyboard, and as far
    as I know, WebTV had a keyboard too. A laptop is the
    nearest thing to being portable. And it can be placed
    in a desk drawer when not being used, which can't be
    said for a few of the older computer solutions.

    Don't underestimate that part. The ability to fold it up and
    put it away is important. I didn't realize this at first,
    until I tried some other ideas, and saw how much they sucked.

    Get yourself a regular laptop, and you're all set for just about
    anything. No matter what OS you use, you can get a free web
    browser, a free mail tool, and the laptop resolution is
    much sharper than the old analog TV sets.

    If you get a TV tuner for the laptop, you can "make" a TV
    set out of the laptop, and have it perform the two functions.
    And the laptop can be stuffed into a desk drawer when you're
    finished. I do this kind of thing (watch TV on the computer,
    rabbit ears reception), but my setup is more complicated
    than this simple thing.

    $25 gets you ATSC (digital TV on rabbit ears) or ClearQAM (unencrypted
    cable channels, not many of them left). These have no provision
    for a "cable card" though. Works with a Windows OS, amongst others.
    With the signal from some of the cable companies, this would be
    nearly useless (as some of them, you need a cable card to decode
    the signal).


    So a laptop could be the "center of your digital universe", and
    you can select one as large or as small as you want. Measure
    the dimensions of your desk drawer, take the dimensions to
    Best Buy, and see what they've got that will fit in the drawer.


    An alternate form factor, is the all-in-one computer. But after
    playing with one, the laptop is still superior. At the end of
    a session, you need to put the keyboard and mouse in a drawer,
    and the display just sits there. At least a laptop, the lid
    closes to form a shell around the thing. You can carry a laptop
    in a backpack.



    If money is a problem, look at a ChromeBook. It's a laptop
    with a weak computer inside, which runs a web browser. So it
    looks mainly like a browser. Unlike a real computer, this may
    have limitations on expansion (such as adding a TV tuner dongle).
    But it would be cheaper. This one is $250 and the screen is tiny.

    SAMSUNG XE303C12-A01US 11.6-inch Chromebook Wi-Fi Silver


    This is a slightly nicer ChromeBook, at $300. While the processor
    is still as gutless as the previous one, the design isn't quite
    as dead end. One reason a gutless processor helps, is it extends
    battery life when you're roaming. Like, sitting in McDonalds
    and using their Wifi for free to surf the web, while you
    drink your coffee. I'd rather have this one than the previous one.

    HP Pavilion 14-c050nr Intel Celeron 4GB Memory 16GB SSD 14" Notebook Chrome OS



    I always get a kick out of WebTV questions - because I "see"
    people out there living in a parallel universe, and it's
    almost impossible to convince then to change what they're doing... :)
    No matter how I try, I can never construct a replacement
    device, which is close enough to their WebTV, to fool them.

    No matter what you get, there will be a period of adjustment.

    You can view that HP Chromebook at BestBuy. Get the salesman
    to show you a "Windows Laptop", then a "Chromebook". Give
    the HP Chromebook a try, and see if the interface on the Chromebook
    is more to your liking. Don't forget to check out the
    surfing speed - if it's too slow, then forget it and go
    back to the "hard-to-fathom" Windows laptop.

    If you work on this immediately, you may be able to
    set up some kind of email solution, before your WebTV one
    is gone. Don't underestimate how long it will take. When
    I first transitioned to broadband Internet, it took almost
    three weeks to get the damn thing installed (it's faster now).
    I finally found a person at the telephone company, who could
    "make things happen", and it went a lot faster after that :)

    Paul, Aug 9, 2013
  4. Ernest Primeau

    jim Guest

    That's a fully unhelpful post.

    Ernest, what do you like most about it? Could you get a small form
    factor PC (microATX motherboard), a bluetooth keyboard with trackball,
    and perhaps an IR receiver for a remote? It may cost a little in initial
    hardware and I'm not sure how webTV worked, so I don't know if you have a
    separate ISP or if you you'd need to get another.

    jim, Aug 13, 2013
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