By Tye Taylor, CCCSOK.org contributor
In today’s day and age the internet is faster than ever before. Companies like Google are transmitting data through fiber optic cables at speeds of one gigabit per second, which is roughly 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to. Why is this important? It’s never been easier to stream data over the internet – more specifically TV shows and movies. Not only that, but streaming digital entertainment allows a user so much more flexibility over what they are watching than traditional options such as cable and satellite. This begs the question, why are people paying over $100 a month for cable and upgraded packages just so they can get that one channel that they really care about? If you’re frustrated with your current cable provider or just a budget oriented individual looking for a cheaper option, say enough and cut the cord! You may just find it’s easier to live without cable than you think. Out of the tons of streaming choices available, I’m going to tell you about the most popular options you may want to focus in on.
The primary method of streaming digital entertainment is through a streaming service like Netflix ($8.99 a month), Hulu ($7.99 a month), or Amazon Prime ($99 a year which equates to $8.25 a month). As long as you have access to the internet, these services allow you to watch TV and movies through electronic devices such as a laptop, iPad, or phone. Hulu even lets you have access to a smaller portion of their library for free. In addition, most broadcasting companies like NBC or ABC stream all the latest episodes of their shows for free on their website the day after they air. With a little patience and dedication, you can find almost any show or movie you want to watch just by visiting whichever site contains what you’re looking for. You may be thinking, that seems like an awful lot of work. I want all my tv shows in one spot. One option is SlingTV which, for $29.99 a month, allows you to pick and choose the cable channels you actually want. This service is so cheap because you are limited on the number of channels you have, however, what’s the point in having 1000+ channels if you really only watch 10 of them anyway? That’s the motive behind SlingTV’s service.
Maybe you consider yourself technologically inept and think iPads? laptops? What is this blasphemy? If you still want to watch television on – you know – a television, you’re going to need a streaming media device to connect to your TV. You should focus your research on the big three: Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. While these are not the only choices on the market, they are by far the most popular and provide the most flexibility in what you are able to stream to your TV. These streaming devices use ‘apps’ to stream media from the internet to your television. The streaming services mentioned earlier in this article all have apps that let you watch them on a streaming device. This provides you a lot of flexibility in what you are watching and this is how. Let’s say for example, you have Netflix and Hulu. You can switch between both apps as much as you want all on the same device. On top of that, many of the apps you can find on these streaming devices are free so you can increase your total number of viewing options without having to reach for your wallet. Don’t get tied down by a cord. Cut it and free yourself now! You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
Want to access free tv? Like Channels 4,5,9 and OETA? Buy an antennae (about $35 at places like Wal-Mart) for HD quality free programming.