These days, you don't have to pay an extravagant cable bill in order to watch the best television shows. Find out how.
The number of cable subscribers has fallen dramatically, according to Fortune, which reports that the top 8 cable companies lost 463,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2015. Why? To put it plain and simply, there are now other, better ways that consumers—especially people in their 20’s and 30’s—are consuming content. The options are almost endless: from Periscope and YouTube to Netflix and Hulu and Amazon.
Why Cut the Cable Cord?
First and foremost, many people are cancelling their cable subscription because it just costs too much. The average cable bill is well over $100 per month which can mean spending more than $1,000 per year on cable costs. Most of the time, that $100 per month will get you hundreds of channels you don’t want. Plus, it may not include the channels you actually do watch (inflexibility at its finest). Cable has become unwieldy and bloated when compared to their internet-based competitors like YouTube and Netflix.
Saving thousands of dollars a year with a single phone call is why so many people have been cancelling their cable subscription. It’s an easy line item to remove from a household budget, especially when there are other alternatives.
Just in the last year alone there have been huge increases in unique content by Netflix, which is starting a new trend in the market. In short, Netflix realized how much money it was spending on licensing TV shows from other networks and studios and came to the conclusion that it would be cheaper for them to produce their own content to drive people their service.
And it’s worked. Have you heard of Stranger Things, House of Cards, and Orange is the New Black? These are extremely popular shows created by Netflix; they are not available on any other platform. Personally, it's an easy choice between an $8 per month subscription to Netflix to a $100+ cable subscription. Reports have even showed that Netflix and other streaming services are now as popular as cable TV.
Plus many households now have Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Video, and Apple TV for other content. Between all of these services, there are tons of TV shows, movies, and documentaries to watch, all for a fraction of the price of traditional cable.
How to Get Started
You may still be wondering how you get one of these services on your TV. And the answer is tha there are several options and methods.
If you have a Smart TV, then many of these service will have applications built in, such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and many others. If you don’t have a smart TV, there are a ton of devices that will support these applications. One of my favorite and easiest to setup devices is called the Rokul; for a flat fee of $60, it allows you to stream content from virtually any internet streaming service, and plugs into the HDMI port of your TV.
If you cancel your cable subscription, you can easily buy a Roku device with the savings from your first monthly payment that would normally go to your cable provider. I’ve also outlined a bunch of these TV screaming devices.
I personally have an old computer hooked up to my TV with a wireless keyboard. I use the TV screen as the monitor, and it allows me to use my TV just as I would my normal computer. I can show pictures from a memory card, I can watch YouTube or read any normal websites. I can run programs and anything else you would expect I could do on a normal computer. Now this isn’t very difficult to setup so if you have an old computer or laptop laying around you might want to give it a try.
Can You Watch Live Sports?
Now one big problem that many people have is that you typically can't watch live sports online.