When you set up a cable, satellite or U-Verse plan you will almost always be asked a very important question. How many TV’s do you have in your home? The reason you are asked this is because renting additional cable boxes is a great upsell for service providers and it is almost disguised as a
necessity. After all, if you have more than one TV you want to be able to watch your content on it right? The answer is usually yes and in turn, people will pay an extra cost per box adding a potential extra bill to their package. That being said, a number of people who have pay TV services through a cable or satellite services could benefit from a great deal of savings by using streaming set-top boxes in place of additional cable boxes.
One of the “hidden” charges that people regularly pay is an upcharge for an additional TV box. In my area, the cable provider is Time Warner Cable. The company charges 11.75 per cable box including the initial box required to access the service. The cost is the same for any other full cable box used in the household. So do the math 11.75 x (your TV’s) = the cost of box rental. Sorry for the math but an understanding of what you are really paying for is important in gauging your overall expense.
So how does streaming help me save money on Cable TV?
For a number of years, the pay TV industry has been developing apps that allow users to access channels via wireless devices from phones, tablets, set-top boxes and even computers. One of the most popular “TV everywhere” options is Watch ESPN. The streaming service, which is available to users with a participating provider, and there are a vast number of them, can access full live streams of any ESPN channel that they receive via the app. This could be a perfect way to get ESPN to a man cave without using another cable box. Another popular sports option is Fox Sports 1.
Roku, a company known for its streaming set-top boxes has an entire category of TV everywhere channels that give users a ton of streaming options for a number of channels. They include live channels like watch ESPN and others along with on-demand content channels like HBO Go, which is
free for HBO subscribers. Apple TV and Fire TV also have a number of TV Everywhere options and for the most part, the major players like ESPN and HBO are available across all major platforms.
Do these apps have a monthly charge
No there is no extra monthly charge to use a TV everywhere app aside from the price of any given premium service like HBO or Showtime etc. The streaming boxes also do not have monthly charges and can add a number of other services to any existing TV. Acess to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon video and so many other sources, thousands in fact.
Depending on your provider there may be multiple options that allow users to access their full lineup of Pay TV channels via apps. This can include full live TV channels including local affiliate networks. In some cases the apps require a user to be in the vicinity of a receiver or modem from the provider. How that works for you will depend on your provider.
Take your TV with you
If you utilize tablets and phones a number of the TV everywhere apps (the channel specific ones) are available anywhere you have an Internet connection.
Is it more expensive to buy separate equipment or rent the boxes?
No matter how much you pay for a separate set-top box if you will be using a pay TV provider every year it will more than pay off over time. Some options can be had for as little as $50.00. And you will have the monthly satisfaction of watching the bill go down.