When Netflix goes down: streaming video alternatives

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Netflix’s streaming service went down about midday Christmas Eve, depriving thousands of their Christmas (or anything-but-Christmas) video fix for about 20 hours. Our Christmas gift to you: our latest video-streaming tips, tricks, and alternatives, so you’ll be ready the next time this happens.

Find the best Yule logs on Apple TV.

You don't need a Mac to have Apple TV. The latest improvements to Apple TV include the ability to subscribe to non-iTunes content such as to Hulu Plus, as well as Netflix. Other improvements include better customization of the increasingly crowded interface, and an app for turning an iOS device into a remote control for Apple TV. And just in time for the holidays, we found the best ways to create a digital Yule log with your Apple TV.

Other box-based Netflix alternatives: You can use Roku to stream your music and personal video with a new Plex app, as well as access Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime users who also own a Xbox 360 can use the Amazon Instant Video App to stream media through their game console.

Find your favorite holiday specials online.

Some holiday specials are meant to be watched over and over and over again. David Daw searched high and low for favorite holiday specials and Christmas episodes online and found the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas along with more recent favorites, like The Office and a Mythbusters episode that looks into the truth (or not) behind holiday traditions.

Creating a DVD backup of a favorite movie or show (legally, of course) means you won’t be caught out if your online service dies again. Here are some tips for streaming video to DVD. You can also upgrade your entertainment experience with third-party clients, system or software tweaks, and other handy streaming video tips for power users.

Was this the last straw for you and Netflix? Beta testing recently began in New york for NimbleTV. This new service is like Slingbox, but with no box. It can stream cable or satellite TV to any Internet-connected device. Other Netflix competitors gearing up: Vimeo recently previewed a pay-to-rent movie-streaming service, and Hulu launched a major makeover late in the summer.

Streaming media is evolving so quickly, there’s always a competitor waiting to catch your eye. Even if you weren't stuck without Netflix on Christmas Eve, this could be a good time to review what’s out there and improve the quality or variety of your choices.

This story, "When Netflix goes down: streaming video alternatives" was originally published by PCWorld.

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