Great Reasons for Mint TV

Resist the Dark Side

Gain control over media that you have every right to enjoy in your home and minimize hassles!

Protect Your Privacy

No one but you needs to know what you watch, when you watch it, or how you watch it.

Save a Ton of Money

It's crazy to pay more than you have to or for content that is free and legal to have -- so why do it?

Sounds Good But What Exactly is Mint TV?

Before we can answer that we need to take a walk down memory lane. Prior to 1976 just about everyone got television programming over the air (OTA). Most people received for free ABC, CBS, NBC and a couple of public stations just by hooking up an antenna to their TV. But then cable and satellite television services started making their way into the market. That brought some new channels like TBS, CNN, FOX, and HBO. Over the years channel after channel started filling up our tuners and DVRs with all manner of programming while at the same time video rental stores (first tape then DVD) popped up in virtually every American neighborhood. And finally -- well sort of finally -- broadband, high-speed, reasonably reliable Internet became a reality and stations could distribute their content via an Internet connection as well as on demand programming packagers like Netflix, Hulu, and SlingTV.

Meanwhile, over the air (OTA) broadcasting has been improving in terms of signal quality, picture quality, and increased programming. In fact, in the Lewiston, Idaho area, it's a snap to receive for free over 20 channels all for the price of a cheap antenna that will cost you less than $20.

Click HERE for a listing of over the air (OTA) channels and programming in the Lewiston, Idaho area.

Note: If you are not in the Lewiston, Idaho area, you can just change the zip code to check out what's available in your area.

Cutting the Cord

Despite all the competition the price of cable and satellite television programming just seems to climb and climb. Customers are forced to pay for all sorts of channels they never really watch just to get the handful of hannels they do watch. As a result, there is a growing movement of people that are canceling their satellite and cable television subscriptions. It's known as cutting the cord.

Cord cutters, as they are called, rely on over the air (OTA) broadcasting for much of their media needs. Most cutters tend to supplement OTA media by getting additional free content over the Internet directly from a channel's website, subscribing to Internet only channel packagers, as well as buying DVDs of their favorite movies. Cutters can legally get all the programming they want without paying for cable and satellite television.

Becoming Hassle Free With Mint TV

If you just have one television in your home, then cutting the cord is pretty straightforward. However, if you have many devices in your home -- TVs, desktops, laptops, pads, phones, etc. -- then it can get a bit
complicated. Also, many of us have become accustomed to watching content on demand and-or with our DVRs. We've just become accustomed to watching whatever show we want at whatever time we want, which adds a second layer of complexity.

Thankfully there are several ways to bring most of the complexity together and Mint TV is just one of them. Here is the basic hardware setup:

  • An antenna;
  • One centralized tuner (i.e. HDHomeRun);
  • One centralized server running the Linux Mint operating system for DVR purposes;
  • Televisions or devices (like an XBOX, PS4, etc.) that can connect to the server.

And Here Is A Modern Dad That Outlines The Whole Setup

 
"It took me awhile. It's not the easiest thing in the world, but it can be done."

-ModernDad on DVR recording of Over the Air broadcasts.

Hassle Free Mint TV

As explained there are quite a few steps involved in getting your home squared away. However, once you do get everything configured Mint TV is really slick. As you may have noticed though, our friendly Youtuber didn't mention setting up a Linux Mint server. Instead he mentioned just having a device to store recordings such as an Network Attached Storage (NAS) or any computer. So, why do we recommend Linux Mint specifically? Well we got tons of Great Reasons to suggest it but we'll try to keep it short.

  • As we understand it: Linux Mint is not partnered with -- or intimidated by -- the Movie Studios and Television Networks and that's a really good thing. You may have heard that Microsoft, Google, and Apple all track your media and information, but you may not know that they work as a team to prevent people from enjoying media unless it is done in accordance to the Movie Studios and Television Networks polices (as opposed to simply not being involved in lawbreaking). Linux Mint complies with law, and does not involve itself with enforcing Big Media's policies.
  • The Linux Mint operating system is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) which means you can get it for free, copy it, put it on every computer you damn well please, give it away, inspect the source code, change the source code, etc. Plus, it is well-maintained, highly secure, it doesn't spy on you like Microsoft, Google, and Apple and all the updates are free now and in the future. The Internet pretty much runs on Linux. Banks, manufacturers, technology companies, and probably each and every Fortune 500 company is running applications on Linux and other FOSS because the security and reliability is often better than what you can get from Microsoft, Google, and Apple. You don't need to take our word for it though, look it up and you'll see that Linux is the operating system of the Internet and big business.
  • Linux Mint is a desktop version of Linux that is incredibly easy-to-use and comes with some of the best Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) out there including but not limited to LibreOffice, Mozilla Firefox Web Browser, Mozilla Thunderbird Email, Rythmbox, Pidgin Instant Messenger, VLC Media Player, GIMP (a Photoshop replacement), and lots of other software installed and there are tons of other applications you can easily install such as Inkscape (an Adobe Illustrator replacement), MySQL database server, PostgreSQL database server, Blender for 3D animation and video editing. The list of high quality software just goes on and on and it's all free and it all runs great on Linux Mint.
  • And finally, Linux Mint not only can serve your television, you can use it as a music server, as a computer file server to feed data to other Linux, Mac, and Windows machines. Heck, if you want you can set it up to host websites in your own home. We do all of those things with our Linux server and you can too. Linux Mint works great on older and-or inexpensive machines where Windows 10 and Mac OS X cannot. Even the Great Reasons website was created on a Linux Mint machine!

Windows 10 vs Linux Mint 18

This next video is done by a Youtuber comparing Windows 10 to Linux Mint 18. We prefer Linux Mint 18
experience. The Youtuber prefers Windows 10, but his comparison is reasonably accurate and thorough.

Facts regarding Linux Mint:

Wikipedia: Linux Mint strives to be a "modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use."

According to Distrowatch's reader supplied reviews Linux Mint scored an average rating 8.9 out of 10 from 262 review(s) (as of 9/12/2017).

Summary:

  • A lot of people are under the misconception that Linux systems are harder to use than Windows and that is simply not the truth... for the most part the average user will never have to learn or use the command prompt in Linux.
  • Unless you have a niche need, you can easily find good quality, virus-free software that is a snap to install.
  • Unlike Windows, Linux Mint respects your privacy.
  • Linux Mint is consumer friendly in terms of respecting the consumer's decisions whereas Windows 10 is rather persistent in forcing its and its partners software and services upon you.
  • Unlike Windows 10, Linux Mint let's you configure and use your computer however you want to.
  • A good chunk of your software that runs on Windows will also run on Linux Mint (a lot of software is cross-platform nowadays meaning that it can run on either Windows, Mac OS, and Linux; or you can use a Windows compatibility layer called WINE; or you can install Windows and Windows software under Linux itself.)