So you’ve decided to cut cable? Good for you! But you have some hesitations. I understand that. But let me tell you how we do it here in the Banks household and see if you are convinced.
- Get a Computer Without a Monitor – We have a small Dell that has no monitor. Instead, we hook it up to our TV as a monitor. Under our TV is our DVD player, the computer, and the computer keyboard.
- Get a Wireless Mouse – This will now be your remote. And just like all technology, these just keep dropping in price. And you can even buy one that looks like it emerged from a futuristic planet (easily amused).
- Set up a mini Antenna or Bunny Ears – I have no idea how to point you toward which one, but we got a midrange antenna at Radio Shack way back when we first set up ours (it was about $30). Which one you need will depend a lot on the geography of your area and your proximity to the broadcasting towers. This also gives you sub-channels that aren’t available through cable or satellite. We have France 24 news in our area!
- Stream, baby, Stream! – When you’re watching Hulu on a computer, the service is free (though there are limits to when shows are available and for how long). Netflix has raised its prices to $9.99 a month, but you can always buy discounted Target gift cards on Raise.com and then use those to purchase Netflix gift cards at Target! Also, sharing Netflix accounts is totally okay. Also, remember that you have a full computer with full internet access, so anything on network websites or YouTube is also fair game.
- Set up a DVR – For events like the Olympics, this is totally awesome. You can purchase a USB TV tuner with video capture. Your recording limit is based entirely on your computer’s hard drive! Mr. T and I have been recording all 8-10 hours of daily Olympic coverage on basic NBC (which is free through the antenna) and then watching it all in about 4 hours in the evening! This set-up is also great for awards shows (so many commercials!) or anything you think to record ahead of time so you can watch it commercial-free!
- Worried about Sports Events? – I admit, Mr. T and I only care about the Olympics when it comes to sports, but if you don’t want to miss a game, check out these resources on how to cut the cord and not miss a game here and here.
- Want to Watch Foreign TV? (I’m obsessed with British TV and need Doctor Who as soon as it airs) – Use a VPN! This reroutes your internet traffic through another country so it thinks you are watching locally. I’ve found that free VPNs are available, but they are entirely hit and miss. But there are several options of paid ones and they aren’t that expensive either.
Now that I’ve told you our system, I’ve got all of yesterday’s Olympic coverage to catch up on…