As much fun as it is getting your hands on new tech, sometimes it's worthwhile to step back and take a look at the growing mounds of electronics and wiring you've accumulated. Sometimes you've gotta trim the fat and just pare down to the bare essentials. So get rid of the extraneous gear in your life and downsize your tech!
Go Without Cable
When your cable bill is $100 or more and you're having to rent several cable boxes, it might be time to cut the cord. Just because you're going without cable doesn't mean you can't get your favorite television programs and movies. With services such as Netflix, Hulu (Plus), Amazon Instant Video, and iTunes, you've got a bevy of much cheaper alternatives to cable, at a fraction of the cost.
• Weighing the Pros & Cons of Cutting Cable
• When You've Cut the Cable (But Still Love TV): Roku 2 XS
• Three Cable TV Alternatives
Merge Your Devices
With the huge amount of media available, your desk or entertainment center can get swamped with devices. If you've got a cable box, video game console, computer, sound system and more, that's a whole lot of redundant hardware. Take your video game console: it can access online video content, play your music, surf the web, and of course play games. If you're not a video/audio/whateverphile, then it might be time to streamline and trim out the unnecessary tech that's taking up space (and making a mess no doubt with all the cables), draining your electric bill, making lots of noise, and generally gathering dust in your home.
• How to: Stream Any Type of Video To Your Playstation 3
• Sony PS3 Plans To Be Your Official Internet TV Box
• First Impressions: Netflix Instant Streaming on the PS3
• PS3 Media Server: A Great Tversity Alternative
• PlayTV: Turning Your PS3 Into A Digital Video Recorder
Get a Universal Remote... NOW!
If you haven't already, go out and get yourself a universal remote right now. It doesn't have to be a super complicated and fancy model — the inexpensive ones will serve you well also. One remote to control your TV, sound system, cable box, DVD/Blu-ray player, etc. Toss out the many many extra remotes and think of all the batteries you'll save. Well, don't toss them out, but you can put them in storage and clear up the clutter.
• Logitech Remotes In Harmony: A Comparison Guide
• Three Ways to Ditch the Traditional Universal Remote
Share Your Devices
Why waste money on extra hard drives, printers and other devices when they can be shared across your family network? Network attached storage (NAS) offers flexibility and ease of access to store and share files. No need to buy every kid their own printer when a networked (go wireless while you're at it!) printer will do.
• All In the Family: Storing Data As a Family
• 5 Easy Network Attached Storage Solutions For Your Home
Go To The Cloud
Why even bother with physical storage and devices when you can store everything online in the cloud? Free yourself from hardware and have access to all of your content anywhere you have internet access.
• The Pros & Cons of Life in the Cloud
• Cloud Storage 101
• The Cloud Storage Showdown: iCloud vs Dropbox
• Amazon Cloud: Pros, Cons & What It Means for You
Ditch the Computer? No way! Hm Wait, Maybe...
Granted, computers have their place in the home, but for a growing number of us their use is pretty much limited to internet browsing. And with the tablet market just growing and growing, there's often times not much of a reason to need to get on a full fledged PC. This isn't for everyone of course, but chances are a tablet can handle quite a bit of what you casually do on the computer, and from the comfort of your couch, or bed, or plane, or car… you get the picture!
• Tablets on Apartment Therapy
• Android on Apartment Therapy
• iPad on Apartment Therapy
Get a Lower Data / Internet Plan
As much as we complain about the lack/expense of unlimited data plans or slow internet speeds, If we really analyzed our usage we might find that we don't always need everything anyway. It's the concept of wanting everything supersized, no matter if we drink the whole thing thing or not, we just want it. Spend a moment to look at your data usage and find out if you really need unlimited bandwidth or that pricey top speed internet connection after all.
• Do We Really Need Unlimited Cellphone Data Plans?
(Images: as linked above)