How to save money by canceling cable TV?
We haven’t paid for cable TV since February of this year! After missing an episode of one of our favorite TV shows because we forgot to set up the DVR, we started scouring the web to find it. With all the major networks streaming their popular shows online, it didn’t take us long.
With ABC.com, CBS.com (TV.com), FOX.com, and NBC.com, most major sitcoms are posted online within days, if not hours of airing on TV. . You can also search CWTV.com, Hulu.com, and various other sites. Just google “watch tv online” or “watch movies online” and you’ll be surprised at the number of sites out there. By doing so, you will see this software downloaded for “x” amount of dollars, but we don’t pay to download any of it. Just using Google, we found everything we needed. If you can’t find it for free, you can always pay to “rent” or download a movie or an entire season of a TV show from sites like Amazon and iTunes or pay a nominal fee to subscribe to Netflix. With these options, a lot of TV is available at the click of a mouse!
And, just like the benefit of having a DVR or TiVo device, you don’t waste a lot of time on commercials. Most online streaming sources have very few short commercials: watching them takes about the same amount of time as fast-forwarding through the many commercials on regular TV.
One downside we found was watching live sports games, but even that is getting better. You can watch all your favorite baseball games by subscribing to MLB.TV for less than you’d spend on cable. CBSSports.com also broadcast every NCAA game last year. For this year’s tennis and golf open, we were also able to see them on their main related pages.
You say it’s great, you can get all this great content on your computer, but how do you get it on your TV? Good question. We just pulled our Mac mini off our desk, bought a DVI to HDMI cable, and plugged it into the back of our wall-mounted LCD screen. Many newer computers have HDMI outputs on their video cards. We also added a separate RCA cable to the audio outputs on the Mac mini for sound.
If your home computer is too big or cumbersome to use, several companies have developed streaming media receivers like the ROKU, which is only $99! That’s still far less than what we’re saving by eliminating cable TV. You can do the same thing with an Apple TV, too, and Apple just dropped the price of the Apple TV. Even gaming devices like PS3 Slim and Xbox 360 allow you to stream media from the Internet.
As for HD content, we found that the HD content on NBC.com and FOX.com was almost better than the equivalent HD channels on our old cable box. Many sites also offer HQ or high-quality streaming.