Whether you are a TV addict or just love having it on for the company, you may not want to pay a hefty cable bill every month. Good news for you; you can easily cut the cord with your cable company and still have all the local TV you wish to watch!
The methods are actually quite simple, and you may be surprised at how convenient your viewing experience becomes with them. Of course, you may have to make some investments, but they would be a steal compared to what you are probably shelling out for cable in a year.
Consider the options below and see which one suits you the best. The best ones do not come for free, but they do their part in upping your savings.
An HD Antenna
Watch local TV the old-fashioned way by picking up signals with a trusty HD antenna. If you have never used such a thing or even heard of one, start looking into it now. Just because something is unfamiliar to you does not mean it can’t be of great use.
Don’t get fooled by the cartoonish portrayal of antennas being huge, bulky lightning rods. Get one of the modern models like the Mohu Leaf. It is easy to install and use and does not require much of an investment. It comes with a coaxial cable that plugs into the wall. The antenna would then go on top of the TV or shelf above it.
In case you don’t have access to a specific antenna, a simple one would do. If it works in a directional manner, it can pick up all the broadcasts that come from one direction. This is all you need if you’re in a major city.
In fact, in large cities, an indoor antenna works just fine! You may have to be quite close to the broadcast towers, though. Use Antenna Web to find out the strongest broadcast signals in your vicinity, and your viewing experience would be a cinch.
If you don’t have access to the city broadcasts, you may have to deal with multiple locations. In such a case, get an omnidirectional antenna. This would get you the strongest signals in the area and hopefully the clearest picture. If you're in a rural area, be sure to get an outdoor antenna.
Why fiddle with wires and a television when you have a perfectly good computer on hand? Many modern computer models now come with a large screen that’s just perfect for viewing shows. You may not get that cinematic experience, but it’s great for those cozy nights in.
You may not realize this if you’ve been too dependent on television, but just about any show or network can be viewed on your monitor with services like Netflix and Hulu.
You may even watch an episode straight from the network’s website. NBC is among the best of the lot, with Superstore and The Blacklist episodes available just a day after their original airdate. Did we mention that this viewing is completely free?
If you do want the experience of watching shows on a television screen, you may be able to connect your computer to your television. If both devices are DLNA-certified, this would become much easier. In fact, you may even be able to use your smartphone as a remote control for the most convenient viewing! An HDMI cable may be the next best option.
Watching from your computer does provide some flexibility. You can watch shows directly on your computer or connect it to your TV to amplify the video. All you need is an HDMI cord, and you can watch it on the big screen with no problem.
If you’re fine with watching shows on a relatively tiny screen, go ahead and pull up those episodes on your phone. This could be a great way to utilize your viewing time by walking, strolling, or on a cycling machine. The hours would fly by and you’d have exercised instead of lounging around watching TV shows all day.
The way to best accomplish this is to download apps for local TV stations. If you live in a large enough city, this becomes a lot easier and gives you a wide range of choices. You may have to conduct a trial for some of these apps, however, since they may limit your viewing or require a paid subscription.
Can you hold onto your beloved DVR when you no longer have cable? Of course, you can! There’s such a thing as a standalone DVR, also known as OTA (Over the Air) DVR. This allows for recording from the aforementioned antenna. No more missing shows or having to wait for them to be uploaded online!
However, such a DVR may not be able to help you with recording from streaming services. It’s a good thing the latter usually have their own recorded shows and the storage to keep them on.
If you do spring for this option, be prepared to open your wallet. A good standalone DVR can cost you at least $250. It could also require a token monthly payment, around $5. However, that additional payment is only when you need the guide.
Gone are the days when everyone had to have some cable boxes taking up room and costing them a bundle. It’s always possible to trim your watching experience and make the most of it in this day and age. It would save your money and time and make your home seem neater, more modern, and in with the times.
The great aspect of being cable-free is that you really don’t miss it! The new methods may take some getting used to, but they’re usually not an issue for those who’ve taken the jump. What’s stopping you from being next?