As bills continue to rise and more alternatives are becoming available, more and more people are cutting the cable TV cord.
With the average bill running at about $100 a month –$1,200 annually – Americans are turning to new and even old technologies to watch TV, according to the Washington Post.
- HDTV antenna
A throwback to the old “rabbit ears” antenna, an indoor HDTV antenna is designed to pick up today’s high definition television signals over the air – for free. Since 2007, all US TV stations are required to broadcast in digital, high definition. These new antennas are nothing like the rabbit ears of old. Most are sleek and can actually blend in with your room’s décor.
The indoor antennas are perfect if you live within 80-miles or so from the broadcast tower. If you’re on the fringe or in an area with high terrain or surrounded by buildings or trees, buy an antenna with an amplifier. This will give the antenna a boost to pick up the signals. Most of these antennas cost less than $100.
These antennas, however, are susceptible to interference such as windy conditions that cause trees to sway. This can affect the incoming signal and scramble the TV picture. You may have to reposition the antenna to get a clear signal during such conditions.
A roof mounted antenna is the best. It typically can pick up distance signals and is less prone to interference.
- HDMI connection
Newer televisions have HDMI connections where you can plug in an HDMI cord from your computer to watch shows from network websites.
- Smart TV
Many of today’s TVs are internet-ready with such apps as Netflix and Hulu where you can stream shows through the internet.
- Streaming services
There are several streaming services such as Amazon Prime ($99 annually); Hulu ($8 monthly); Google Chromecast ($35-$70 a month); Netflix ($8-$12 monthly); Apple TV ($149-$199 a month); Roku ($29-$121 monthly). There are others. Check them all out to see what shows interest you.
As you can see, there are alternatives to cable TV – thanks to the digital age!