Ok so it’s New Years. You might be thinking of joining a gym or even more important leaving behind smoking or something that will improve your overall health. If that’s the case much luck to you, your family will appreciate your journey. But we are not a health site, so we don’t have anything helpful to tell you about that. This is about quitting something that does not have a chemical enhanced hold on you. Cable. For the past 10 years millions of people have been walking away from cable packages and jumping into their own sort of crafted TV experiences based more on needs and tastes than what ever bloated package is being offered in their area by the monopoly that essentially owns their region. These people known to the TV industry as Cord Cutters do so for a number of reasons from time to changing tastes but for many the reason is math. Bills ad up and soothing has to go and people are crossing paying too much for TV off their list. I don’t know how much your cable package costs but you do. So look at your last monthly bill. Is your combined Internet and Cable bill (oh land don’t forget the phone you don’t use) 200 dollars or more? If you are not in a trial period it probably is. If you have made it this far into the story lets discuss ways to get more of your money working for you.
I used to work with a sort of sleazy salesmen at an electronics store. His pitch to customers when trying to up sell them on something like product insurance was to say “oh so you don’t like money”. This was to get a knee jerk reaction that led to a logic circle of if you like money you will spend a little to save a lot when you break your phone bc we all know you are an irresponsible jerk. And that my friends is one reason Radio Shack is out of business. But in a real sense you should ask yourself just how much of your income do you want to spend on TV in 2019. If it is legitimately about 2,000 dollars, then you just keep on keeping on. But if you think maybe you could find something nice to do with an extra 1,000 or so maybe cutting back on TV spending is a move you should look into.
There have never been more ways to watch TV than there are now. When I was in college there was one way to watch TV. Sit in front of a TV set at an appointed time and watch. Therefore I missed the entire run of Battle Star Galactica, (The reboot), I’m not that old…Chris. If you have not thought about how you can watch TV shows these days its time to consider things. First of all, there are free ways to watch every major network show on TV after they air on TV. Via apps for set-top streaming devices, Websites, tablets and phones. Things can vary depending on your platform. For instance CBS only allows users to see full episodes of current shows on a computer which is kind of a bummer. To watch episodes on a TV connected device or mobile device one will need a pay service called CBS All Access. NBC, ABC, Fox and even the CW have free apps that you can access from every streaming platform. Ironically the majority of shows that people tune into the most on a daily basis are shows that come on free network TV.
Antennas have gotten very good in the past 10 years. And the amount of programming that is available via an antenna has outright exploded. The give and take with antennas though is that what you can bring in with them is still dependent on how far away you live from broadcast transmitters. Go to Antenna Web and you will see how many TV stations you can get here. If you have not been paying attention to this space you will probably be surprised to know that there are now free over the air networks that fit multiple genres. There is a free 24 hour a. day sports network called stadium with a sports center clone show every night at 11. There is a 24 hour comedy channel, a 24 hour a day science fiction channel, and so on. These kinds of option are only going to grow as more people purchase antennas and the broadcast standards move forward with ATSC 3.0 will bring a great deal of new innovation.
Cable Replacement Services
Are you someone who just wished that they could find their favorite cable channels cheaper than they are from their cable or satellite company? Over the last 4 years an entire segment of the TV market has emerged to fit your needs. There are 5 or more companies built around providing cable channels without contracts at lower monthly rates than the traditional competitors. Again there is give and take here. The services are based on Internet access. If you can get high speed internet without a data cap you are good to go. If you can’t then you have to be more selective in how you watch TV. But there are a number of options to work with. Some companies to look into include Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu, FuboTV, YouTube TV, and for those of you who want a very affordable option that eschews sports there is even Philo.
Premium Channel Streaming
Maybe you don’t care much for sports and reality TV is not your thing. If that’s the case you may be able to cross most cable channels off your list of needs. But you will just never live it down if you miss the last season of Game of Thrones. No problem. HBO is one of many formally cable exclusive premium services that you can get at as an app. HBO Now costs $15.00 per month and gives you all of HBO’s programing on demand. And when we say on demand we mean 5 minutes after a show starts on TV you can start streaming it. Showtime is also available for even less, Stars and EPIX can be had without cable too. So don’t use movie channels as an excuse to keep shelling out.
The Explosion Of TV Streaming Devices
Streaming boxes and streaming sticks are changing the way we think of TV boxes. They are basically small computers made to bring the Internet to your TV in a perfect little package. They not only provide users with the kinds of options discussed above but there is so much more. Just like the endless array of websites on any topic, there is a streaming app with programming on most anything you might look for from conspiracies and aliens, to 24 hour news, children’s programming, sports, old movies etc. These boxes set you up with easy to use interfaces, voice controlled TV remotes, app stores to find what you want and many other options. There are even a host of music streaming services that basically replace radios in the home. Competition in this space has led the big players which include Amazon, Roku, Apple and Google to constantly improve on their systems. This space will only get more innovative going forward.
If you want to switch up how you watch TV but don’t want to exchange one box for another you may already have an option to do so in your home. Your current TV. Most large screen HD and 4k TV on the market are smart TV’s which means that they ship with apps built into them. And if you are looking to buy a new TV anyway you almost can’t get one that does not come with services built in. Depending on your brand you may not have as many options as you can find on others but there may be enough solid services to get you started. It all depends on what you actually like to watch on TV. Any smart TV is going to have a Netflix streaming app, Hulu, most of the time YouTube and so on. The problem is that the older your TV the more likely it is that apps might have ceased to get updates. If you are going for newer TV’s look for TVS that utilize the platforms mentioned already. There are TV’s with Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV OS, And Googles Android TV built into the system that are sure to have regular updates so that your experience does not get too dated. LG and Samsung keep up with the cutting edge as well. A good smart TV will allow you to integrate an antenna and streaming options together pretty seamlessly and get rolling. And the prices are falling as the market matures.