Save Money By Cutting The Cable

You like to watch TV. I understand that; I really do, but the cost of cable television can really add up over time. Consider this: If your monthly cable bill is $50 (which quite often its higher), you are throwing $600 a year away on something you could be getting free. "Free?" you say. Yes, free. Read on, I'll tell you how and it's not by using "bunny ears".

Ok, so I lied. Many local news sites publish their content online, but if you want to see your local news on your TV you may have to have to use an antenna. . However, much like televisions have advanced since the days of its invention so have the antennas that attach to them. Bunny ears are still available and work just fine, but there are new designs that do a better job at picking up reflected signals in densely populated urban areas and the suburbs and some that are made to tune a signal that was previously unattainable in rural country areas. The best part is all of these antennas--even your old rabbit ears--will pick up HD programming as long as you have an HDTV.

A cheaper subscription to entertainment. Movies rentals are a great way to forget about that nasty cable service, but they too can be expensive at just over $5 per movie. That's where Netflix comes in. Netflix is an online DVD rental service. You create a list of movies you wish to see on your computer and Netflix starts from the top and ships the DVDs to your home. In addition to their catalog of over 100,000 movies Netflix also offers TV shows on DVD. You can keep them as long as you wish (no late fees!) and when you return the disc they ship the next one on your list. Subscriptions start at $8.99 a month for unlimited DVDs. That's not all though! Members can use their site to watch streaming movies and TV shows the day after they air.

Blockbuster offers a competing service that also allows you to exchange movies in-store for an extra fee.

The rise of internet programming. A large percentage of broadcast and cable television is available online now. A good portion of that is supported by advertising and is free. Let's take a look at all the different sources.

YouTube Movies & TV Shows - The largest online streaming service on the web was a little late to the party when it comes to television shows, but they have an admirable collection. Video quality is great, however, the quality of the titles in their collection can leave a lot to be desired.They have a rather large collection of anime and public domain film.

Hulu - This is by far the largest online publisher of streaming major television shows and it should be considering it was created by the top television networks. Hulu is host to shows from ABC, NBC, Fox, USA and others. They also host some movies, though most of them are older. Shows are usually added to the roster within days of their initial airing and the catalog of episodes available from each show spans the five most recent episodes. Shows are supported by ads but there are significantly less than in their traditional counterparts. They also have web-exclusive content. - This site is a bit different from the others in that it contains original content in the form of previews, reviews and news blurbs. Its lineup overlaps Hulu's on occassion, covering shows from ABC, NBC, Fox and most notably CBS. As the name implies movies are not featured on this site.

Fancast - Another network whose programming overlaps with Hulu's. Much like, Fancast has features, but they are downplayed compared to the prior.

Joost - Here you'll find a more niche selection of content, including Marvel comics and plenty of anime. They have a section exclusivly devoted to music videos.

Or go straight to the source. Some of these sites may not syndicate their properties through one of the sites listed earlier and may host web-exclusive series or web-exclusive content that compliments a show. Be warned that a few of them require you to download proprietary codecs to watch entire shows.
ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Comedy Central, TBS, TNT, USA, HGTV, MTV, ABC Family, VH1, CW, Adult Swim, Showtime, Discovery Channel, A&E, History Channel, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Syfy, Oxygen, Lifetime

Closing thoughts. Using this plan you could potentially save thousands of dollars that could be used for anything from purchasing a new vehicle to vacationing at an island getaway. You could also try turning that $50 saved into something more with a little investing. The choice is yours. At the very least, you'll be saving a poor tree from becoming a cable bill.

So, what do you think? Did I miss your favorite channel? Let me know in the comments.
Image of the old TV provided courtesy of avlxyz.

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