I am very proud to say that my wife and I have never paid for Cable or Satellite TV!
With the digital switch earlier this year, the cable and satellite providers have been pushing their services harder than ever, spinning the idea that your TV will completely stop working if you don’t have cable, regardless of if you have a digital antenna or newer TV with built in digital tuner.
But let me tell you, if you haven’t figured this out already and still haven’t caved in and gotten cable or satellite (the switch was finalized in mid June, 2009), your TV can still function or better yet can peacefully rest in blissful obsolescence.
What I am talking about is that there are plenty of alternatives floating around on the internet to get your prime time cable shows directly on your computer. There are even options out there for you to be able to pipe that internet fed show stream to your TV in various fashions.
Some of the options out there that you surely have heard of by now are Hulu.com and YouTube.com. Hulu had a really big push during the football season last year, premiering all the Superbowl commercials online as well as showing a couple commercials of their own during the Superbowl.
YouTube has been around for quite some time and it is definitely the old timer on the internet video front. It was purchased by Google some time ago and is a great, reliable source for community created videos as well as TV shows.
Another option for you it NetFlix. NetFlix was once a pioneer in its field, though not the first to offer snail mail delivered videos. But now they offer even more features including the ability to view certain movies online in rather good quality right from your account page on their website. This option obviously comes with a price, with the cheapest plan running $8.99, allowing the traditional DVD in the Mail feature plus the online viewable movies.
There is actually a website out there that facilitates searching and finding the best place to watch all your favorite TV shows called CancelCable.com that has a directory of TV shows and lists the available options for you to watch the show online.
These are certainly not your only options. If you have a Digital TV converter or a TV built after March 2007 (the year TV’s were required to include a digital tuner to receive over the air digital broadcasts) your TV will still receive digital over the air broadcasts local to your neighborhood. Because they are digital broadcasts, you can say goodbye to salt and pepper wars forever as the picture is very clear.
And the option I chose, which my wife and I love but is a bit too much (geeky) for some, is I built a computer with a TV tuner, internet connection and DVR (digital video recorder) software in it that acts as a media center for our home. We can use it to watch online shows, play all our DVDs or our music, record and edit over the air broadcasts and even view pictures all using our old tube TV!
I would be happy to go into greater detail on my setup and even write a walk-through if anyone is interested. Just leave a comment letting me know.
Use this calculator to see exactly what you could be saving, ditch that bill and start living a freer life without the chains of cable television.
Tags: cable or satellite, digital antenna, digital switch, digital tuner, football season, google, mail feature, obsolescence, old timer, pioneer, prime time, satellite providers, satellite tv, snail mail, superbowl, superbowl commercials, time cable, video front, youtube