by Dan O’Halloran for Techlicious
Is It Time to Cut the Cable?
Americans across the country—probably even some of your friends and family—have been cutting the cord to cable television (and other pay-TV providers). The why comes down to some pretty simple facts: cable television is pricey, packed with advertisements and, even with the help of TiVo and other DVRs, it’s sometimes still inconvenient to watch our favorite shows when we want to watch them.
However, as cord-cutters have found out, it’s possible to watch a lot of great television right in our living rooms or on the go without paying nearly as much as you might for traditional pay-TV services. All you need is some equipment—which you might have already!—and the know-how to find your favorite shows.
But is it time to cut the cord? Let’s talk over your options to help you come to the right decision for your household.
What Can (& Can’t) I Watch Without Having Cable?
You may be surprised at how much many of your favorite shows can easily be found online for free—or at least for less than you pay for cable. All of the broadcast networks—ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, and PBS—offer online streaming of most of their shows, though typically shows are only put online the day after they’ve aired on television.
All you need to do in order to watch is fire up your browser, point it to the network’s webpage, and enjoy your favorite shows, whenever you’d like. New episodes are typically available only a few weeks after their original air date on the official sites.
Big live events, like the Oscars and the Super Bowl, can be hit or miss. The Super Bowl was streamed live this year, but the Oscars weren’t. So if you couldn’t hook up an antenna to pull in the over-the-air broadcast, you were out of luck.
A number of cable networks provide limited online access to their shows, without offering options to stream or buy new content. Most notable among these are premium networks like HBO and Showtime, neither of which offer shows in digital format until well after their original air date. But they’re hardly the only holdouts: family-favorite HGTV offers no online programming and the Discovery Channel only offers a mixed bag of programming online.
This excerpt appears with the permission of Techlicious.