At the beginning of my career, I made a pact with myself that after two raises as a full-time, professional, I’d splurge on basic cable. I made the plunge a couple years into my professional career and signed up for a cable subscription. A year hadn’t passed before the relationship cable and I shared ended by default as a result of an out of state relocation. Cable, along with the accompanying DVR, cost about $75 a month. That price didn’t even include any premium channels. It was fun while it lasted, but I’ve since found more cost effective ways to enjoy motion picture. Over the next few days, I’d like to share several cable alternatives with you. After addressing your fears, I hope you’ll find that not only can you cut cable costs, but you can also cut them out.
Fear – “The picture quality on my television is low without cable.”
Solution – “Watch television on your computer.”
You can stream many network television shows directly onto your computer for free. NBC is currently testing a feature that allows you to download certain shows so that you can watch them even when you aren’t connected to the Internet. I admit I’d rather watch The Office on a 48″ high definition television. But, when you can’t find a friend so generous as to let you use up valuable space on their DVR (or their couch), you do what you have to.
You can browse/surf television shows and movies across numerous networks on websites like Hulu and Fancast. There is no cost to view content on either of these sites.
I blame Netflix for my rabid addiction to Dexter and Weeds. Although Netflix charges a nominal fee for unlimited instant downloads, it’s a lot cheaper than paying for the privilege of premium cable channels.
Originally posted May 5, 2009