Billeater: Stop Paying for Cable and Satellite with Streaming TV

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Most homes today have both broadband Internet access and cable or satellite television. Combined, the monthly services can take a big bite out of a budget. But there are ways to eliminate the cable or satellite bill while still being able to watch all of your family’s favorite TV shows and movies. How? Well, you’re looking at it right now. The Web. The Internet’s power and convenience is merging with television and soon they will be one and the same. Today, some networks promote Internet-only episodes of their top series. Recently, the recent TV series “Person’s Unknown” broadcast an episode exclusively on the Internet while all the remaining episodes were first run on TV. Today, all the Web can be on your TV. Eventually all TV will be on the Web, displaying on your TV screen.

But your family does not have to let that nice new big screen TV in the living room stay dark while everyone huddles around a computer monitor. Newer televisions are already set up to stream Internet content directly to the set. All you need is a wireless router or an Ethernet cable. Many Blu-Ray players are also equipped to stream Internet content directly to a TV. Your Wii can stream Netflix , too.  Or you could invest in a Roku player to stream content from several dozen free and premium channels as well as Netflix on Demand.

Most of the television networks let you see the latest episodes of their hit series as soon as the day after they are premiered on network television. So instead of watching your favorite show on Thursday night, you can watch it Friday night (or morning for that matter) as it is streamed to your TV from the network’s website over a high-speed Internet connection.

You still have to watch commercials, but that’s no different than watching regular network television, unless you are using a DVR and can advance past them. The good news is that the Internet ads shorter and often more interesting than the ads on TV.

Netflix charges a monthly fee that is a fraction of what a basic cable bill costs and you can watch instant content as well as have rental DVD movies sent through the mail with a prepaid return envelope. For most areas of the United States, it takes a day to receive the DVD rentals by mail while their Internet shows and movies are available instantly 24-hours a day.

Hulu Plus is available for a monthly fee as well, offering current episodes and a full catalog of previous seasons of many favorite television shows. Want to watch that new TV favorite from the beginning without renting or buying previous season DVD sets? Hulu Plus is the answer for many top TV shows.

Google TV has not yet entered the market, but promises to transform your TV into a gigantic Android phone, running apps, television and Web pages, letting you share them with everyone else on the big screen. No more calling everyone over to your laptop for a YouTube video. Just push the picture to the big screen using your Android phone.

Anyone with a laptop can connect to even older television sets in a variety of ways to bring everything from YouTube to paid services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus to a TV, needing only a couple of cables that cost less than fifty dollars. Many may already have the needed cables if they have purchased DVD players or VCRs in the past.

We once complained about “57 Channels and Nothing On.” Then the channels exploded to hundreds, but still nothing on. The Internet is changing all that. All you have to do is ditch the cable or satellite and hook your TV up to the Web, saving yourself $60 – $150 a month!

Jessica Bosari writes for the money-saving site, Billeater.com. The site is devoted to helping people reduce expenses, save money and find great deals. Pay Billeater a visit for more money-saving tips !

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  1. iwerner

    4 years ago

    Great post. I totally agree. We don’t have a cable tv or satellite and we can only watch local channels on our TV (which is more then enough for me). I have couple of evening shows that I watch and my daughter is only watching PBS kids in the morning and they have great educational programs for kids. If you need more there is always internet, but if you have some extra free time spend it with family and friends.

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  2. savingtools.com

    4 years ago

    You sound like me! The kids are watching a few cartoons, the hubby and I are on Discovery Channel. There’s not that much else going on for us, so the Web just makes more sense. Even if you just drop premium channels, you can save a lot.

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