You’ve likely been hearing it more and more lately – people are canceling their cable TV due to the incredible increase of new, more affordable options to still watch your favorite shows. I’ve personally been off cable for years now – first just going without TV completely, and now I get my House of Cards fix from a smart TV and a Netflix subscription. Those who watch sports or like to mindlessly channel-surf (the worst waste of your life ever – watch TED Talks instead!!) may not be ready to take the plunge, but I promise you if you choose to save money and go without – you won’t miss it.
I purchased a Samsung smartTV, and it was an incredible purchase. I just use wi-fi to get access to everything from Netflix ($9/month), HBO go, every single movie on demand and even Pandora (for when I’m cleaning the house and need some Drake motivation).
Get a box
The main companies offering streaming services are Apple TV ($69), Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Apple TV is obviously the only option that gives you access to your iTunes purchases, and will be the only way to get HBO without a cable subscription this April. Roku has one of the biggest selections with over 1800 channels including PBS, YouTube, Netflix and Spotify. If you already pay for Amazon Prime ($99/year), Amazon Fire TV gives you lots of free instant video.
…Or a streaming stick
A streaming stick looks like a USB drive and plugs into your TV, making it a smart TV. They use Wi-Fi, so the downside is that if your signal isn’t the greatest, you may have longer load times. The sticks made my Roku and Amazon connect you to the majority of what’s on their streaming boxes for about half the price.
You can still watch it live!
The one thing I do miss about cable are award shows. Fortunately, digital antennas like the Winegard FlatWave ($21 at WalMart) will allow you to catch shows on network television. Just check tvfool.com before you buy to find out which local channels you’ll have access to based on where you live.