5 Alternatives to Cable T.V.

by Traci K. on July 26, 2010

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Cable and satellite T.V. Prices have become astronomical in the last 2-3 years. I think my parents have changed Satellite T.V. providers multiple times during this time span to try and take advantage of special pricing and yet still can’t get their T.V. bill below $75 a month in order to get local channels included. Granted, they are in a very rural area where cable isn’t available and neither is any version of high speed Internet. For most of us in a more urban and suburban environment with DSL and Broadband cable there are a few better alternatives to shelling out for expensive T.V. Services that can reduce our monthly costs to anywhere from free to about $20 a month, depending on your viewing needs.

  1. Purchase a subscription to Netflix (or a similar service): My husband and I have the lowest Netflix at about $8.98 per month. This allows us unlimited streaming of whatever is available to stream, and one DVD out at a time. We stream almost everything, and cycle through the DVD’s at our own pace without worrying about late fees. We hook our T.V. Up to the desktop computer for family viewing, but we also use our computers individually if we want to watch different things.
  2. Switch to using an Antenna with a Digital Converter Box (if needed): If you can get signal with an antenna, you can get your local channels and news, a few basic channels (like ABC and CW) and PBS, plus a few more depending on your locality. I am amazed at how many shows I like are on the free channels, and how much I don’t notice that I don’t have more channels available.
  3. Use online free streaming T.V. : You can stream T.V. shows and some movies through sites like Hulu.com, CBS.com, cwtv.com and more. You can catch up on shows you miss and other shows you don’t get with an antenna. Best of all, it’s sort of like DVR. It doesn’t matter if I miss my regular show, I can stream it whenever I have time to watch! Who needs cable T.V. with the advent of decent (if sometimes stuttering) streaming T.V.? This is a great alternative to cable T.V.. Between Hulu and Netflix I have all the T.V. goodness I can stand.
  4. If you don’t spend much time watching T.V. to begin with or you want to see a New Release, Rent from a Redbox: Redbox can be a great and cheap alternative for the occasional movie urge as long as you return it on time. Although generally Netflix has the same new releases as Redbox available within 1-2 days, with a few exceptions.
  5. Visit your Public Library: Not only are libraries great places to get a book, read a magazine, and surf the web, but many libraries have a collection of DVD’s available also. It may not be the most up to date collection, but it’s free to borrow! It really doesn’t get much better than free.
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Dan November 19, 2010 at 1:53 pm

My wife and I recently made the decision to drop our premium cable channels and just go with basic cable and internet service. We are saving $100 a month without missing a thing and kicking ourselves for not doing it sooner! The kids can still watch their favorite shows on Netflix and PBS and I get my sports fix with ESPN on Xbox 360. Why don’t more people do this?

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