Are you spending too much on cable and not getting enough out of it? I’m not talking about all the premium channels. If you really watch a lot of those, then you can skip the rest of this article. This is for people who watch occasional TV as well as enjoy movies and series. You CAN get rid of cable without missing much, while gaining even more. I can assure you that this approach works great because we have done it.
What’s the secret? The secret is the Internet. These days there is a tidal wave of material available online, much of it free, including many of the shows you watch on TV. On top of that, there is still good old broadcast television, available by adding an antenna to your TV set. The trick here is to know how to get the Internet-hosted programs to show on the big-screen TV in your living room.
Where the programs are There are literally hundreds of websites that provide programming over the Internet. One of the best known is Hulu, which has a huge selection of TV shows and movies. For movies there are Netflix, Amazon and Vudu, to name a few. Beyond these there are lots of special interest “channels” including MLB TV (baseball), Snag Films (indie movies), TED (TED talks), Wall Street Journal, AccuWeather and YouTube.
How to do it. To play Internet content on your television, you need a way to connect the two. There are multiple options: Newer TV sets can connect directly to the Internet, making this process really easy. For older sets, you can add a device that does this. Several of these are available and cost around $100 or so. Roku is one of the best known, as are Apple TV and Google TV. Some game consoles such as XBox 360 and Playstation 3 can also serve this purpose. Another solution is that newer DVD players have built-in Internet. If you have an old computer lying around, you can even connect it to your TV. In order to be able to watch broadcast TV, add an antenna. Today’s antennas are small and discreet, not like the rabbit ears of your youth. Nowadays with all-digital television, there is no such thing as a bad signal, snow or ghosting. Television shows look just like DVDs.
What’s the next step? If eliminating the cost and hassle of cable interests you, you should be able to make the switch easily if you are comfortable with electronics and can follow badly-written instructions. If not, call an expert for help in deciding how to go about doing it and then to install things in your house.