Info & Answers
Cheaper Alternatives to Cable/Satellite TV
Live without cable or satellite TV? There are options, if you dare.
April 03, 2009 by Chuck McKenney

At one time or another, we’ve all complained about our cable or satellite bill. But for most of us, it’s become a necessity like car insurance - something that gets squeezed into the budget.

According to the FCC, the average monthly home cable bill is about $85. That might be a fair deal, if you had the time or desire to watch the 200 channels in your package.

If haggling customer service reps at Comcast or DirecTV isn’t working and money is getting too tight, there are other ways to get your prime-time fix minus the $1,000 annual tab.

OTA (Over the Air)
That’s right - get an antenna. You” title=“get HDTV for free”>get HDTV for free. And you don’t need to install a giant antenna on your roof to get it. Check with for channel availability and tower proximity in your area.

Quick story for the doubters: I used a $70 indoor antenna to get great OTA HD on a small TV in order to watch a Celtics playoff game which coincided with a family birthday party held in a condo clubhouse. Needless to say, I was more excited than my wife.

Network Web Sites
All four major networks (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC) offer most of their programming online. Some even provide HD. For more details like what each network offers and how its offered, check out our” title=“Complete Guide to Watching Your Favorite Shows Online”>Complete Guide to Watching Your Favorite Shows Online.

Hulu is a completely free to use, advertising-supported, video streaming site which allows you to watch/download films and TV episodes on your computer. I visited the Hulu site for the first time while researching this article. Within two minutes, I was watching an episode of “Celebrity Apprentice.” It’s that easy. Here’s what you get with Hulu:

Hulu brings together a large selection of videos from more than 130 content providers, including FOX, NBC Universal, MGM, Sony Pictures Television, Warner Bros. and more. Users can choose from more than 1000 current primetime TV hits such as The Simpsons, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Office the morning after they air, classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The A Team, Airwolf and Married…with Children, movies like Men in Black, Ghostbusters, and The Karate Kid, and clips from Saturday Night Live, Friends and other popular TV shows and movies.

Other sites such as Joost and Fancast offer similiar services. You can also rent from Amazon on Demand and iTunes.

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