Picture this. You just came home from a long, honest day’s work. You’ve had a nice dinner, grab a cold one from the fridge, plop down on the couch, and pick up the TV remote. At your fingertips rests the portal to new experiences, an escape from the 9-5 grind. You relax to the sights and sounds of your favorite shows, but one fact continues to swirl around in your head.“Why does my cable package cost so much?”
We all know that the greedy heads of the cable companies across the nation are guilty of forcibly taking our hard-earned money for their so-called “discounted” cable packages, especially for all those “bonus” channels that we don’t even watch. There has to be a solution.
We live in a world of rapidly-evolving technology. Every day, scientists seem to come up with something new. Something that can improve your health, make life easier, or save some money. Some are better, such as the ones we’re going to show you today. Some, not so much. I’m talking about you, guy who invented virtual bubble wrap.
At the same time, cable companies are becoming more greedy, doing anything they can to take your money. Luckily, there have been a few huge leaps in technology that can solve the problem of determining what is the cheapest way to watch TV.
These solutions represent the best way to watch TV without cable. We will also be giving an easy-to-follow guide on the best way to watch TV online.
Here at DFY Daily, we want to help you enjoy your home entertainment experience, all at a fraction of what it normally costs. We’ll start with a guide on the best way to watch TV online, and then take a quick lesson on streaming (remember, this will all be on the exam at the end of the article). Without further ado, let’s dive in to the cheapest ways to watch TV!
What is the Best Way to Watch TV Online?
Since cable fees are forever increasing, many are turning to the internet to get their TV fix. There are many different streaming options, and with more options than ever before, many people are trying to figure out the best way to watch TV online.
One thing we do not recommend is downloading things illegally. First, “YOU WOULDN’T STEAL A CAR”— those commercials were probably as effective as being sent to the “Scared Straight” program. Second, it’s easy to get a virus or spyware, meaning your data could be lost or stolen. It’s not like it used to be, especially in the bad old days of Napster and Limewire. You’re not likely to hear the dreaded “My fellow Americans...” speech anymore, but malware nowadays, including ransomware, can steal your credit card information or essentially kidnap your computer. Before you go all Liam Neeson on some poor sap, it’d be better to think twice about downloading illegally. Ensuring your download was correct is also a problem. I’ve heard plenty of stories where someone accidentally downloaded the first 4 seasons of the Simpsons entirely in Spanish or when songs were mislabeled intentionally just to troll people (Rickrolling before YouTube, anyone?)
When it comes to watching TV online, there aren’t really many options. As we mentioned, besides guaranteeing you’ll be waking up to a stocking full of coal on December 25th, it’s illegal and unreliable to pirate television. So, the best way to watch TV online would probably be through streaming services. There are many different options depending on where you live and how much you’re willing to pay. We’ll go over some of these options in a later section, but generally, there are very few requirements to watch TV online. If you’re new to streaming or you’re pulling that new computer out of the box for the first time, we’ll introduce you to what streaming TV is and how it works in the next section. But if you stream, you could save yourself a lot of money and get a few other benefits along the way.
What is Streaming TV and How Does it Work?
Streaming TV is a relatively new innovation that has steadily gained popularity. Streaming TV is using a website or service to watch a show as if it was live. This is done by simultaneously downloading and watching the video at the same time. If all goes smoothly, the picture should be clear and there should be no pauses or buffering. This means you don’t have to download the entire file before you watch it (think about trying to download all 30+ seasons of The Simpsons at once; superfan or not, no one should be that crazy).
One of the first pioneers was YouTube, the site that popularized streaming, online video. Back then, videos were short and made by people just like us. You could tell by the unique charm of it all. Now, the entire notion of streaming has evolved; short clips are gone, replaced with full TV programs available to watch online. Now, there’s no need to wait until Wednesday night to catch that sitcom that you love; you can binge all 9 seasons of The Office (even the dreaded “Scott’s Tots” episode) whenever you want. Most significantly, many streaming services will allow you to watch wherever you want, as well. If you have access to the internet, you can watch your shows from a friend’s house, waiting in line, or on the bus. Imagine watching The Office at...the office (also not recommended).
Do you Need Internet to Stream TV?
The unfortunate answer to this question is yes, you do need internet to stream TV. But, since you need internet access to read this article – and you’re currently reading it – congratulations! You can stream TV!
However, streaming TV shows online is not that easy. We’ve optimized our page loading times, so the blog you’re reading right now appears quickly, especially since it’s mostly text and a few pictures. Sometimes, you may have Wi-Fi connection problems, which means YouTube videos won’t play properly. We all know that feeling. You may remember a time when you wanted to watch a cute cat video that your friend sent, or that tutorial video on how to fix a leaky pipe (while your kitchen slowly filled up with water). Your daily dose of cuteness and catitude, or your desperate need to avoid drowning, could have been ruined by a lousy Wi-Fi connection.
If you’re worried that your Wi-Fi signal isn’t very strong, or if your house is too large for your router to reach every room, consider getting a Wi-Fi booster or signal repeater to ensure that your streaming signal remains uninterrupted. This is especially useful if you’re moving from room to room. You could be enjoying your favorite episode of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” in your living room, only to have it all come to a grinding halt when you go and try to watch it from your bedroom.
No matter what streaming service that you decide to go with, a lousy internet connection can ruin it.
What is the Best Streaming Service?
Now that you’ve learned more about streaming and maybe even beefed up your Wi-Fi signal, we can now compare some of the different streaming services available to see what works best for you.
Netflix is often one of the first services to come to mind; over 135 million people around the world have a Netflix subscription. If you have a solid internet connection and $7.99 in your pocket, you will have access to an almost unlimited catalogue of content, from the funniest shows to the sappiest dramas that would make me, the manliest of men, cry harder than I did during Wilson’s tragic death in “Castaway.” This is one of the best ways to watch TV without cable, and with its growing userbase, they’re pumping more money into making the product even better. However, depending on where you live, you may get different shows. It’s a great service if you’re in the United States, but other countries may not have as robust of a selection. Users in Canada have reported using VPN software to fake their location to make it look like they’re in the US to get their favorite shows. They must be desperate to get all 5 seasons of “Breaking Bad,” eh?
Another US-only option is Hulu, affordable at only $7.99 per month. If you pay a bit more, you can get live TV, on-demand channels and/or unlimited devices. These, however, come at a higher cost. The point of this article was to learn how to save money, not spend it! If you’re looking for TV on a budget, the lower-tier plan will be enough. If you need additional features, you’ll have to pay for them, but it’s still be cheaper than handing your paycheck to the cable companies.
Sling TV is another option. At $20, it’s pricier than Netflix or Hulu, but you can get 25 channels for that price. The more you pay, the more channels you get. As much as this sounds like cable, you won’t pay nearly as much. Industry estimates say that on average, cable costs $85 per month; a 50-channel package with Sling TV is less than half of that. However, you won’t be able to enjoy live TV or get much in terms of sports. If you’re going to miss watching your favorite football or basketball teams, you’re out of luck.
One more option you have is Amazon Prime Video. If you enjoy buying stuff online so much that you have an Amazon Prime subscription, this video service is most cost-effective way to watch TV online for you because it comes free with the Prime subscription. If not, the streaming service is only $8.99, which is nearly 10x less than your normal cable package.
What is the Best Alternative to Cable?
When it comes to entertainment, the cheapest way to watch TV may not actually be through cable. People just like us are looking to save money in any way possible and have recently made great strides in doing so while still enjoying all the shows they love. Two recent innovations have recently discovered by engineers that could be the best way to watch TV without cable and can save you money! Those brainiacs that got picked on in high school? You better start kissing up to them real fast!
The first was the portable wall antenna. Based on previously-unreleased military technology, portable wall antennas are a one-time purchase that can easily pick up signals that are broadcast for free over the air. All cable companies are legally obligated to broadcast over-the-air signals, which can be picked up for free with antenna. Years ago, you may remember a pair of rabbit-ears on top of your TV set or a large antenna on your rooftop. Now, you don’t have to fumble with adjusting rabbit ears or do something dangerous like climb on your roof to get free TV. This may just be the cheapest way to watch TV.
The TV antennas are great; some are even compatible with special amplifiers that extend their signal, giving you more channels or greater picture quality. These amplifiers come at a modest cost but provide a bonus that pays for itself.
However, the efficacy of TV antennas are based on size; small, portable antennas, although super-powerful, may not be the best option. A more recent advancement may be even more interesting.
Engineers have recently discovered that there are miles of wiring that wrap around your entire house (or apartment). What’s so special about this wiring? It’s made of a material that’s perfect for picking up signals. These engineers found that by simply tapping into that wiring and connecting it to your TV, you can get even more channels for free. All you need is a wall-plug adapter that you can plug into your TV’s antenna port. This was recently developed, and early adopters have been raving about the number of channels and picture quality.
This one-time purchase may be the cheapest way to watch TV. If you’re looking for an alternative to cable and endless fees, an antenna – especially one that uses your entire house as a signal conductor – is the best option.
Now you have info on the best ways to watch TV online and use live TV antennas, natural steps continue to watch the shows you love while cutting expensive cable bills. Cheers to your new cord-cutting life.