For years, many of us have often felt like prisoners of cable networks, who have dominated the home television experience. We've found ourselves paying for a large percentage of content that we don't really want or need. But we don't have to feel this way for much longer. The entertainment media landscape is rapidly changing, and new alternative media services offer a simple, more efficient digital option that may be the solution you've been looking for. Here's how to say goodbye to cable and hello to streaming media to continue watching your favorite programs.
Prepare for a Cable-Free Life
Getting rid of the cable subscription in favor of a TV stream will save you money, but will also require a little creativity and know-how to gain easy access to your favorite shows. You'll need some new hardware to replace the old cable box. The easiest option is to buy a smart TV that allows you to download video apps. Alternatively, you can buy media players, such as an Apple TV or Chromecast, that allow you to watch videos online or stored on your computer on your TV.
TV Shows and Movies
Thanks to services like Hulu, Netflix, Crackle, and Amazon Prime, you can access the most popular television shows and recent movies. A streaming media player or smart HDTV also lets you watch TV clips and episodes from popular networks including Comedy Central, ESPN, and Cartoon Network. You can often watch last night's episode online for free with a network app or Hulu.
News and Sports
If you are a big sports fan, you probably already know that watching live sports or news events is a bit more challenging without a cable subscription, but – fear not – there are a few ways to find a TV stream of live sports and news content. The easiest method is to install an HDTV antenna to take advantage of news and sports events airing on broadcast networks. You can even purchase a compatible TiVo or Channel Master DVR to record live television and access in-depth channel guides.
Okay, so many cable staples like CNN and ESPN don't offer streams of their complete programming yet, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy the same content. Check online for subscription services, such as MLB.TV, to watch your favorite sports leagues throughout the season. Also, a number of news outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, offer curated video reports daily.
While searching for ways to get the shows that you want, try exploring all the free, original content available through sites such as YouTube, Vine and Vimeo. Millions of independent videos created by professional vloggers are uploaded each day. In addition, many organizations, such as the BBC, also publish content on YouTube for free.
If you feel like you're spending too much every month on your cable company, don’t despair! These days, there are plenty of ways to get the shows and movies that you love. You may even discover a new favorite along the way.