The average cable customer spends around $100.00 a month on cable TV! That’s $1,200.00 per year for the rest of your life, or about $60,000.00 in your lifetime. Why pay when you can watch many of the same shows for much less or free? People are dropping cable in record numbers (about a million people per year according to a recent estimate). Why not figure out how to watch Hi-Def TV without paying for cable starting right now?
The solution to the ridiculous cost of cable TV is to switch to FREE broadcast digital TV using an antenna for the network shows (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, etc.). If you want to stream movies and TV shows from the Internet, you can connect your TV to a device like Google Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV box.
Free Broadcast Digital TV
Did you know that people in or near big cities can receive the major network channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW), plus PBS and local stations in Hi-Def for free? It’s called broadcast digital TV.
If you have a modern flat-panel TV (the kind that you can hang on a wall), all you need is an antenna to get these channels, and you’ll be getting most of them in high-definition, mostly in better picture quality than you got with cable!
If you have an old analog tube TV, you’ll need to get a converter box in order to use an antenna.
Other Alternatives to Cable and Satellite TV
A great source of free TV programming comes from the Internet. Most of the major TV networks have websites with FREE full recent episodes you can watch. The main catch is that you can only watch them on a desktop or laptop computer. Most of these sites don’t work on a tablet or on any set-top boxes.
If you are willing to pay a little, there are a plethora of set-top boxes and services that offer on-demand programming from the Internet. Examples include the Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast. These devices connect to the Internet through your WiFi or Ethernet cable and stream movies and shows to your TV. It’s like having a movie rental store in your home. If you have a gaming console (Wii, XBOX, Playstation), you already have what you need.
Once you have one of these boxes, you can also stream programs from pay-per-show sites like Amazon, iTunes, and others. Or, you can subscribe to a service like Netflix or Hulu Plus and stream unlimited shows for a fixed monthly fee.
If you want to watch all of the free video from the Internet on your TV, you can connect your computer directly to your TV, bypassing the need for a set-top box. Most modern flat-screen TV’s have a computer input. If you have an old computer lying around, why not try it? If your TV doesn’t have a computer input, you can still do this if you get a video output card or USB interface for your computer.
Don’t forget about borrowing DVDs from friends and family, and from your local library!
How to Save Money If You Want to Keep Cable
If you love to watch sports in real time, played by teams that are not in your local area, cable/satellite might be the only viable options for you (although this is slowly changing). If you live in a remote area, far from digital TV transmitters, you might not be able to get good broadcast reception. If you don’t want to deal with antennas, websites, set-top boxes, and the like, or if you simply enjoy surfing through lots of channels without putting much thought into what you want to watch, cable is for you.
Here are three ways to save a little money if you want to keep cable
Negotiate with your cable company.
Call them up and tell them you want to cancel cable because it’s too expensive. When I did this, they immediately offered me a $15 discount off of my $57.00 / month cable bill if I agreed to a one year contract. This is an unpublished rate. That still wasn’t worth it for me, so I passed on it, but it’s there if you ask for it.
Cut the extras.
Take a look at your bill and see if you’re really using all of the services you’re paying for. If you cut a movie channel package, for example, would the money saved by cancelling it pay for a Netflix account that would give you greater satisfaction? Cutting down to basic cable has another nice advantage outlined next.
Ditch the cable TV box and remote.
If you just want basic cable, you might not need to use the cable TV box – you can try hooking the cable right into your TV (if it is a modern flat-screen LCD/Plasma/LED). The cable TV companies let you believe that you need a cable box to get high-definition. You often don’t. In fact, you’ll probably get better picture quality by hooking your cable directly to your TV instead of going through the cable box. The difference can be tremendous. Ditch the cable box and remote control “rental fees” (plus, you’ll save $10 to $30 per year in electricity costs – those set-top boxes really use a lot of power!).
Need assistance? Contact TeCHS today! (800) 669-2022
Your Digital Life Simplified!