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 the DVR, we started searching the web to find it. With all of 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 of the mainstream sitcoms are posted online in days, if not within hours of airing on Television. You can also look at CWTV.com, Hulu.com, and several other sites. Just Google “watch TV online” or “watch movies online” and you will be amazed at the number of sites that are out there. In doing so, you are going to see download this software for “x” number of dollars, but we didn’t pay to download any of them. By simply 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, there is plenty of TV available at the click of your mouse!
And, just like the benefit of having a DVR or TiVo device, you don’t lose much time on commercials. Most online streaming sources have very few, short commercials – to watch them takes the same time as it does to fast forward through the numerous commercials on regular TV.
One downfall we found was watching live sports games, but even that is getting better. You can catch all of your favorite baseball games by subscribing to MLB.TV for less than what you would spend on cable. CBSSports.com also aired all of the NCAA games last year. For the Tennis and Golf Opens this year, we were able to view them on their related main pages as well.
You say that is fantastic, you can get all this great content on your computer, but how do you get it on your TV? Good question. We simply took our Mac mini off of our desk, purchased a DVI to HDMI cable, and plugged it into the back of our wall mounted LCD. Many new computers have HDMI outs on their video cards. We also added a separate RCA cable to the Audio outs on the Mac mini for sound.
If your home computer is just too large or inconvenient to use, several companies have developed media streaming receivers like the ROKU which costs only $99! That is still far less than what we are saving by eliminating cable TV. You can also do the same with an Apple TV, and Apple just lowered the price for the Apple TV. Even gaming devices like the PS3 Slim and Xbox 360 allow you to stream media from the internet.
As far as High Definition content, we found that the HD content on NBC.com and FOX.com were almost better than the HD equivalent channels from our old cable box. Many sites are also offering HQ or High Quality streaming.