There are lots of ways to ditch cable and still enjoy your favorite shows.
The struggling economy and rising costs of living are prompting many people to look for ways to trim monthly expenses. One casualty of America’s new frugality is cable television. Even though the savings from doing without cable TV can be $1200 a year or more, cutting cable may seem drastic. It really isn’t. There are a number of options for people looking to cut the cord.
HD TV antenna: Now that all TV signals have gone digital, there are many HD antennae on the market, some strong enough to capture signals up to forty miles away. You’ll get all of your local channels, and in some cases a few extra, with a picture that rivals any of the cable hi-def packages.
Netflix: For $10 a month you can stream Netflix to your PC, smartphone, iPad, iPod touch or TV. To stream to your TV you’ll need either a Roku receiver, Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or one of a variety of Blu-ray players, DVR’s or home theatre systems. You’ll find a wide range of movies, documentaries and TV shows available to stream and you can still get DVD’s sent to your home.
Roku receiver: For under a $100 you can hook a Roku receiver up to your HD TV and stream Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand and a host of other sites, some free, some subscription. You can also stream radio stations through your Roku.
Free online TV: Hulu is one option for streaming free shows and movies, many channels have websites that air shows a day or two after they’ve aired on regular TV. Check sites such as channelsurfing.net, tv.blinkx.com or sharetv.org for more online shows. Keep in mind that these sites are largely directories and you’ll have to make sure any sites where you view content is providing it legally. For $8 a month, you can access greater content on Hulu Premium and stream it to your Roku. An HMDI cable adapter will allow you to hook your PC to your TV and stream online shows.
Web TV: There is a growing movement in free web shows, some of which are quite good. Minglemediatv.com is one place to start searching for good web content and there are many more.
Some people, who currently have bundled cable services, where their cable provider is also their internet service provider, are finding that cutting the cord on cable TV results in drastically higher internet access fees and strict usage limits. The solution for this is to switch to one of the growing number of 4G internet service providers, such as Clear or Virgin Mobile, who offer excellent prices for 4G internet coverage, featuring blazing speeds, unlimited usage and contract free options. Both Clear and Virgin Mobile offer portable internet access as well, allowing you to create your own secure wi-fi bubble to take with you wherever you go. No more searching for wi-fi hotspots. If you’re paying for a 3G or 4G internet plan for your phone, chances are you can connect your laptop or PC to it and get online. You’ll need to download an application to get it to work, but I was surprised to find I had this option and didn’t know it. Best of all: the app was free.
Now you can not only cut the cord on cable and save money, you can take your favorite shows with you.
Published in: Home