Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/185217/cutting-the-cord-can-buying-episodes-and-watching-tv-online-be-cheaper-than-cable/
Cable TV is an outdated concept. You pay an ever-increasing bill every month for thousands of shows you’ll never watch. When you do want to watch, you have to organize your life around the TV schedule or set up your own DVR.
If there's one thing that really irks me these days it's cable TV! The shallow content and relentless commercials on network/cable TV have done us in. All I want is local news and local Pro-Sports like MLB, and NHL. Is there a way to get this? My wife would gladly buy Netfix, etc., as she likes movies and some TV series, I could maybe even find some science & outdoors programming on something like Netflix for me to watch. I just want to get rid of all that other junk on cable/Direct TV. Any suggestions??
I have to take a little bit of exception with the comment that you should probably stick with cable if you watch a lot of shows. My wife and I watch about 15 currently in production shows throughout the course of the year and with a combination of using Hulu Plus, iTunes (for the shows I want to keep), & Amazon we are saving about $900 a year. We have been cord cutting since November and after tracking it closely it appears that my projections are going to pan out. With that being said if 9 of the shows weren't available with Hulu Plus subscription and we have to be individually that would certainly throw me a lot closer to the break even pile.
You could also cut your costs a lot more by airplaying to an AppleTV (if you are in a mac environment) but I have chosen the purchase method primarily to accommodate the spousal unit's ease of use criteria.
We are sports fans and like to watch baseball (Go Giants!), basketball (Go Warriors!), and football (Go 49'ers!). When a game isn't live, all the excitement is gone. Who doesn't like to pretend their jumping up and down and swearing isn't helping their team? Can I get that on my big screen - who wants to watch it on a little computer screen. When I can do that, I'll be ready to cut the cable.
What about toddler shows where can get that on the Internet if I wanted to cut cable
It would be good to mention free alternative ways to watch live TV. If someone only watches basic
TV channels like ABC,NBC, WB, etc., depending where you live, you can get those channels in HD over the air with a High quality HD antenna like, Antennas Direct ClearStream 2-V (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007RH5GZI/ref=oh_details_o06_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1).This costs around $70-$80, works really well, and over the air HD signal will give you the clearest HD picture out there.
Going this route could also give someone a fun "techy" DIY project. They can then setup their HD antenna to HDHomerun (http://www.silicondust.com/) and configure all of their PCs or Macs to watch Live TV or become a free DVR.
If you want to kick it up a notch, as Emeril Lagasse would say to spice up his recipes, you can then setup a free app called InstaTV to work with HDHomerun. This will give you the ability of turning a Windows PC into a free alternative
to a SlingBox (http://www.slingbox.com/). You would then have the ability to watch live TV on your mobile device (android and iOS friendly) for free.
This project cost me a total of $180 and now I have the ability to watch TV for free at home and on the go.
I love how OTA antennas are now an "alternative" to cable.
@wilsontp Not sure if you noticed, but there was a shoutout to you for inspiring the article
I know, I find it amazing that a lot of people forget that your can still get TV OTA. When I was setting this up my financee was giving me a look as if I was hacking the gibson...
Modern TV's can be hooked to a modern PC with HDMI and DVI. I have a PC hooked up to my 46" widescreen. I also have a projector for when I want a really big screen.
I just finished reading the article. Thanks
Buying TV? Never heard of torrents and RSS Feeds?
Hulu for kids has lots of stuff for kids.
Why anyone would pay for any TV programming is beyond me. We cut the cord over a year and a half ago, and there is nothing you can't find on the internet, for free, with a little creative searching.
Why are you buying episodes and seasons? Example; you can watch 5 seasons (63 episodes) of Breaking Bad for free, and this is the same for all other TV programs. (Great for watching missed episodes.) Sites like Watch Series Online and Prime Wire, have hundreds of TV programs and thousands of movies, including movies just released, and loads of links. Why pay iTunes, e.g., for music when it can be had for free from MyFreeMp3.eu, and can easily be downloaded to any device. Our only monthly cost is our ISP ($39.15, which hasn't increased in 6 years) and Netflix ($7.99)
Set up your own schedule of programs you want to watch and bookmark it. Every TV show, and movie ever made, including the latest movies, can be streamed, and again, for free. And, best of all, no ads or commercials.
As for watching blocked sites, try the free app 'Hola'. It's an unblocker. Will save you the cost of a VPN and it works great.
I really appreciate the answers you people contributed!
For sure, I'm gonna get one of them HD antennas. If I can get local programming and actually see and hear it I'll be on the way to shet-canning Cable TV.
I 'spose I should try Netflix right away to see if we like it.
I do know how to cast TV from my computer to my big-screen and I have a Chromecast dongle but where to find all the good stuff on the internet has eluded me. I guess I could try MLB on the computer and cast it to the big-screen. I'll look into that.
I must reiterate that my gripe is the b/s commercials that riddle any news programming or other channels I like. I'd gladly pay $20 per month more to get rid of that if it was offered to me. I'm not trying to watch TV for free by stealing it from someone. Enough with the attorneys and car salesmen and viagaro(sp?) commercials already!
Short version: those sites are criminal. Distributing Copyrighted material on the Internet without a license to do so can be Criminal Copyright infringement, and it's a Federal crime. (I'm not trying to turn this in to a "is downloading okay" thread, so let's not go there. It is, however, a crime to post the content.)
What I hate is when news programs are commercials. I remember watching a news broadcast recently that was at least half filled with things like the American Idol results and interviews with the stars of some new movie coming out... aside from the sports, the actual news of the day got a total of 10 minutes out of the 44 minute hour.
I've been willing to cut the cable for years now, but my wife still wants the cable (as she does a landline ... for 911). My teenage kids don't watch cable and are masters at finding whatever they want over the internet (sometimes I just look the other way ...).
We watch very little live except College football. Everything cable gets DVRed through a Ceton InfiniTV 4 Quad-tuner Card installed in an HTPC (AMD A10 based DIY, Windows 8 pro w/ Media Center) and displayed on our family room LCD TV. Anything recorded can also be played on any PC in the house (via wifi N, just about all are Windows 7 with Media Centers) and on another HTPC + LCD TV upstairs in our guestroom (which has its own cablecard DVR).
If I could set up or find an interface that works like Windows Media Center where all one has to do is remote one's way to one's show of choice on Netflix/CBS/NBC/ABC/Hallmark/Food Channel/etc, it would be a lot easier to skip cable. Until that happens we stay invested in cable and I keep trying out new open source media servers (lately, Universal Media Server). I can't see the younger generation using cable, but us middle aged (or older) folks still want the convenience of a simple uniform interface to get at everything.
Well, of course its cheaper - I mean netflix is great, and for most stuff that isn't on netflix, there is always the pirate bay (Warning: I do not use this, or recommend using this, Its very illegal, and very naughty!)
On a more serious note, thanks for the article - was always thinking about dropping Sky in the UK, as its really expensive - its really useful
Did I say I was downloading? I specified streaming, but having said that, I would remind you that your US laws do not have any relevance in Canada, where I happen to live.
Excerpt from Bill C-11, which is a law in this country, states that; "Canadians will be able to record television, radio and Internet programming in order to enjoy it at a later time, with no restrictions as to the device or medium they wish to use."
Suggest you get a copy of this Bill and read it, and don't assume everyone commenting on this site is subject to US laws.
I cut the cord years ago. There is no way I will pay to watch commercials, for drivel that is poor quality, of questionable value by any measure, and (chose your own personal complaint). No, cable, no local broadcast TV, and I still manage to be fully occupied in the evenings, I do occasionally watch a internet movie (not Hulu plus or whatever the paid '*service' is called. If, and that is a big IF, I could get the two or three programs that I would be interested in, I might subscribe, but I will be darned if I will pay for 47 channles of excrement, to watch 3 or 4 programs. The internet rebroadcasts cover it.
I use a prepaid phone card too. ;^)
Europe and Asia have much better options than we have here in the U.S. Serves U.S. right!
next page →