About 10 percent of American TV viewers have abandoned the use of cable television to cut household expenses. And statistics show that the number of such people doubles every year. If you are tired of constantly switching hundreds of channels and from a high subscription fee, take a look at how you are currently using the TV, buy a streaming device and use the media stream on your TV or computer.
Evaluate your preferences
1. Make a list of programs that you regularly watch. Do this for each family member, so you can make sure that abandoning the cable will be painless for you.
2. Check that your favorite shows are available online. Look at findinternettv.com for a list of popular shows that people usually can watch on cable channels. Many channels post new releases of popular shows on their websites. Also check on Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and Amazon Video On Demand which shows are available when using these services. Most shows with HBO, Showtime, AMC and similar channels can be bought with releases or entire seasons on iTunes and Amazon. You can find 90 percent of shows from ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox channels on the Internet.
3. Decide whether you are ready to wait for those shows that are currently unavailable online. In most cases, you have to wait from six months to a year for the full season of the show on Netflix at no extra cost. Some shows (often some of the most popular episodes) do not grant the right to broadcast on Netflix. In this case, you will have to purchase such shows on Amazon, iTunes or other services.
You can watch new movies with the help of game consoles, Amazon and iTunes, if they are not available by your subscription to Netflix.
4. Find out how much you pay for the Internet. Cable TV users often combine cable and Internet services together. Call your cable provider and ask how much the Internet will cost without cable television, and find out what other Internet service providers there are in your area. In some cases, you will not be able to save money by abandoning cable television. You should estimate how many services you need to subscribe to, and compare their cost with the cost of cable television minus the cost of the Internet.
Choose a device
1. Purchase an Internet TV device. Before buying any new device, check whether your TV is able to receive Internet stream through the main interface. If you have an Internet TV, you can watch movies and TV shows on Netflix and Hulu Plus, although this will not apply to other TVs and specialized channels. If you buy a new TV, you can also buy Internet TV at the same time in order to have access to movies and TV programs using these services.
2. Buy a Roku player. If you have a high-quality wireless network, then Roku streaming device is the cheapest and easiest way to set up a video stream using regular TVs. The price depends on the required signal that processes speed. Buy Roku if you want to receive sports channels. Apple TV and Roku are the first devices with support for receiving sports and movie channels. If you have more than one TV at home, you can buy Roku for each of them. Often the price of a Roku player is equal to or even less than the monthly fee for cable television.
Roku is the best option for those who do not want to use a computer or some other device to receive a video stream. Older viewers can make sure that Roku does not require a lot of settings and a long training on how to use it. If you just want to use Netflix and Hulu Plus to watch shows and movies, then this is the cheapest option with very simple settings. Another device similar to Roku is WD TV Play, produced by Western Digital.
3. Buy Apple TV if you already have several Apple devices. Although Apple TV connects to TV in the same way as Roku, it works with your Apple ID to ensure the stream is available on all your Apple devices. If you have an iPad, iPod or Apple computer, then Apple TV is the best choice.
4. Buy Google Chromecast digital media player. If you are accustomed to streaming content on your computer, you can simply connect it to your TV. It connects directly to your HDTV via the HDMI port. As soon as you connect this device to a wireless network with Internet access, you will be able to watch online broadcasts on your TV. Unlike Roku and Apple TV, which use “channels” to work with Hulu, Netflix and other services, Chromecast simply uses your computer as a controller. This may be the best solution for teens and students who already have access to television and movies using a computer. Chromecast has advantages for sports fans. You can watch game broadcasts when you subscribe to the service on the corresponding website.
5. Use the game console. If you have Xbox, PlayStation or Wii, then you can use this device to watch main TV channels and movies. If you have one of the above models, you can access streaming television through the appropriate interface. Ask to download TV “channels” and movie channels from the online store of this device. Then you can attach an icon to your account. PlayStation 3 is the best game console for sports fans who are willing to pay for access to NHL, NBA or MLB games.