Cable and Satellite TV bills can cost more than half your other utility bills combined and although its nice watching a movie you’ve seen 20 times or some reality show thats kinda lame but its the only new thing on all 147 stations you are paying for gets to be a bit much.
The really sad thing is every new television out there is able to play HD video and your cable provider has required you to upgrade to a digital box for each Television in your home. This was all because of the government FCC rules a few years ago.
But even when a local network TV or a cable only station provides their signal in HD Quality to your cable company that signal is downgraded to 480p which is what old CRT Televisions use to use. They actually degrade the signal they send to you unless you pay another $50 a month for HD Service and then pay another $5 or more a month to upgrade all of your boxes.
Even if you are willing to buy the basic level of service to get about 100 tv stations after about a month you realize that 60% of the stations you pay for you absolutely never watch and probably another 20% you only watch one show once a week if nothing else is on.
In the end you end up paying over $100 for maybe 10 stations that you watch once or more a week on top of a cable internet bill which can cost anywhere from $40 to $100 a month.
This is just way too much money to be spending for nothing.
How do you Cancel your TV Bill and Still Watch TV?
The easiest way is to just install an antenna and get over the air digital broadcasts. Unfortunately not everyone who use to get analog tv reception is within distance to get digital television.
If you use to pickup 5 to 10 television stations that were 50 to 100 miles away over analog and you got poor to decent reception the signals from digital broadcasts may not be strong enough to get to your home. The reason for this is that Digital Broadcasts require a minimum level of signal to be converted to video. If you have really really good reception in your area the quality won’t be any better than if you have that minimal amount of signal. If you have below that minimal level you will get no reception at all.
There are services on the net that will approximate your reception and then there are user forms that you can read and ask questions from people in your area hopefully that have already gone through what you are trying to do.
The best thing to do is hit one of theses sites and put in your location and they will spit out a bunch of stations that you can possibly receive in your area with different size antennas.
You may need a simple wire off the back of your TV to a small antenna that will let you pickup local broadcasts or you may need to install something as big as a 50 foot tall tower and a powered antenna that can be rotated to pick up different stations.
Once you find out what your options are with over the air television you may want to look at video streaming.
Video Streaming for Television Viewing
Everyone loves using video on their computer but there are ways that you can get the same selection on your television.
The choice you will have to make is if you will go with a propitiatory device like a Google Chromecast, Roku or other box solution or setup your own media center computer that you control.
Unfortunately the propitiatory devices like Chromecast or Roku do not allow you to easily stream videos from your computer directly to your television. So if you like to take your own movies or if you downloaded some videos it can get difficult to watch them on your TV.
Media Players are slightly better if you want to play your own videos because many have the option to connect to an external USB Drive. If you are able to purchase an enclosure for your external drive that has network capabilities you could transfer the files from your computer to the external drive and then play them on your television using the remote control.
Media Center Computers are even better at playing high definition video on your Television because basically you are connecting a fully capable computer to your TV that has internet access.
Internet Access for Streaming Television
It is not necessary to have internet access to play videos on your television but if you do have broadband internet at your home you can connect your tv to the devices described above and play content from a variety of different sources.
You will need minimum of 1.5 Mbps for standard definition television and 3.0 Mbps for HD content. This means every television viewing different content will need that level of availability.
If you are in the living room and your teenager is up stairs watching youtube videos and someone else is downloading software to their computer or phone over wifi you can easily end up battling for bandwidth on a lower end internet connection.
Most devices like Chromecast or Roku do not have a dvr option to download your favorite tv show and let you watch it later. Either you watch it now and deal with the buffering problems or you find another way.
There are many options that can either supplement your current entertainment or let you completely get rid of your Cable or Satellite TV Bill but no matter how well your solution you will find there are times you miss a few shows you use to like.
With Hulu, Amazon, Netflix and other services you can often watch old tv shows for free or the most recent episodes a week or so after they air.
If you are a sports fan you can subscribe to online access to your sports games although that does cost a bit of money. You might want to do that a couple months a year.
In the future we will be covering all of the options described above and many more as it is our plan to eventually give up that cable bill and find a way to get decent television programming and other entertainment to replace it.
At the very least we might end up paying for the unadvertised tier of minimal local tv stations through our Cable TV company for about $15 a month that will give us access to the major networks. Unfortunately we live just outside the reach of most TV Broadcast towers so everyone in our area either goes with Dishes or Cable and neither is fun to pay for but a $60 bill is better than a $120 bill any month.