In today’s economy, everybody is looking for a way to save money. Your cable or satellite bill is a good place to start. What? You can’t give up your TV? You don’t have to. Some of you are suddenly having flashbacks to when there were only three channels in black-and-white, or thinking about that cheap uncle with the worn out old TV and bent rabbit ears with tinfoil on them that only gets one channel in purple and green. Modern free TV offers so much more.
Over The Air
With today’s digital and high definition broadcasting, for a one-time cost of $25-75 – less than your monthly cable bill – you can buy an easy to install and connect indoor or outdoor antenna that will let you receive dozens of channels, in most cases a far better quality picture than your present cable or satellite offers, and all for free. If your television is fairly new, it will already be equipped to receive the antenna signal. Just hook it up and let the TV search for channels. Look in the on-screen setup menu or look for your owner’s manual for more info. If your TV is older and you are not ready to replace it yet, you can get a digital tuner (often called a “converter box”) for around $50 that will pull in the digital signal and display it on your analog television.
If that is not enough for you, or if you miss some of your favorite cable shows, you can buy a cord for another few dollars that will connect your computer to your television and open up a whole world of viewing choices from the internet. There you’ll find TV shows, both current and vintage, movies, news, sports, and more. Most is absolutely free for the watching, and usually with few if any commercials. If you have a nice enough computer monitor, you might be able to get rid of the TV set entirely and just watch all your television online on your desktop or laptop computer.
With all that online content you’ll need a way to find what you want to watch and discover new content. That’s where a new breed of website comes in – the television aggregators. These sites find all the video content scattered around the internet and organize it all on a single easy to navigate site. There are variations in the approach of each site, but they all offer the ability to browse by genre and title and to search. Reviews and user forums are also available. You can filter content by provider, parental rating, and more. Sites I like are Clicker.com, Sidereel, CastTV, and if you like British TV, try SeeSaw.
As if that’s not enough, remember that you can still buy or rent movies and complete TV series on DVD, as well as download or stream from online sites like NetFlix (monthly subscription) or Amazon and iTunes (a la carte).
So Much For So Little
With all the television entertainment available over the air and on the internet for free or very little, you’ll wonder why you used to pay so much for so little with satellite or cable!