Cable originated in the late 1940’s and since then has evolved into a household name providing television, movies and internet to millions of customers. Cable now only provides DVR and channels that most people never watch. How many times have you flipped through hundreds of channels and said “There is nothing to watch!”? Don’t forget about the fact that you have to rent a “new” box for every room you want cable in and pay service fees monthly. Yet, you are paying for it. How much extra does this cost a month? A year? That’s extra money that could be going to enhancing your living space.
Money is not something people want to give away freely but that’s what is happening now with cable companies. Why spend so much money on cable, when you can get all you want and more for way less? There are many services that can provide you with more “Have it your way” options.
There are two main ways to cut the cord of cable in your life and save a lot of money doing it. A set top box is a device that helps the digital media receiver access videos, audio, photos and other content from Internet-connected apps, think of it like a smart cable box. Internet –connected apps or entertainment apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, ESPN, Fox, Food, etc are also a way to cut cable costs dramatically.
Here are some examples of some set-top boxes that do online streaming for less than cable:
TiVo: TiVo replaces your cable box with a system that connects different entertainment apps (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc) and channels with one device. It can also be connected to your current cable service (if you want to ween yourself off of their service). You can watch it on any media device and adding other T.V’s. Also you can skip commercials and it is compatible with 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD). With a free first year subscription, you can’t go wrong. The biggest advantage Tivo posses is the ability to connect an antenna that allows you to harvest completely free uncompressed local broadcasts. This gives you local channel for news, sports, and your favorite network shows. You can search and record these broadcasts and watch them on your own time.
Apple TV: Apps and games can be played on Apple TV. The app store and iTunes can be accessed as well. With a touch remote or voice activated Siri, you can find shows easier. There are two versions which vary in price.
Roku: Stream movies and TV shows from entertainment apps, sporting events, music, and news stations. There are four different technical/financial options from a streaming stick to a Roku Television.
Xbox One/PS4: These gaming systems now have a large emphasis on internet based apps; including the ability to record and stream gameplay, the ability to work with a set-top box to watch cable or satellite TV through the console with an actual controller and voice control.
Apps have changed everything, even television, forever. Apps have taken over our daily lives, You can’t wake up without an alarm app, or workout app trainer, or a for dinner app? Apps have taken over the way we view cable subscriptions. They allow you to choose what you want to watch and when you want to watch it. Apps like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, FXNOW, Skype etc are making our TV’s, phones, and tablets even more amazing.
Here are a few Apps to begin:
Netflix: Takes popular television shows and movies and stream them instantly. Also Netflix allows shipping DVD’s of recent shows, and great options for kids with kids only choices.
Hulu: Stream movies and television shows on your TV to your cell phone. It can be used on majority boxes, smart T.Vs, or game consoles and it has separate age appropriate content.They are the only media service that streams currently airing show.
Amazon Prime: has a library rivaling Netflix’s but include HBO Go, a few others and free 2- day shipping on anything you buy from amazon.
HBOGO: allows HBO subscribers to stream video selections of HBO content, including current and past series, films, specials, and sporting events.
SLING TV: Streams live TV channels over the Internet. This is more for people who are not quite ready yet to cut the cord. Sling TV allows subscribers to watch a collection of cable TV channels on their TVs, computers or mobile devices.
There are so many options on how to get the shows, movies and channels you want for better prices than Cable companies. Look at our graph and compare prices and apps available and see what works best for you. Mixing different apps can give you more than cable ever could: a cheaper bill and a happier you. No more channel surfing necessary! No matter what you choose just remember, The Sound Vision can install any of these media streaming devices and set it up for you!
Check out this video overview of what Apple TV is and why we love it so much.