Stop by either TBGoods location, and you’ll see that, on top of our already amazing prices, we are running a sale on all televisions! Great time to upgrade, huh? But what to watch…
First of all, a bit of a caveat: this topic is personal for me right now. I just got my cable bill.
<cue shocking music>
Yeah, it was that scary. Another increase in my cable bill for 100+ channels that I hardly watch…so I figure it would be a good time to take a look a little deeper into why this is, and what alternatives are out there. It’s a big scary wild world with a slew of choices…some of them good, some of them not-so-good….are you ready?
Before we tell the Cable TV company sayanora, let’s ask this:
Why Can’t I Just Get The Channels I Want?
This is a popular question. 100+ channels, and maybe 12 or so that actually get watched…why is that? The short and simple answer has to do with how the channels are packaged by the distributor to the cable provider. Just like at the store when you buy in bulk you generally save more, the channels are marketed the same way. Several cable TV providers have tried a more selective, a la carte-style, but the prices wound up being more on average than what their customers were paying for the multi-channel packaging.
Recently, some channels (HBO, Showtime, and others) have tried marketing their programs on their own, streaming and marketing either on-demand through third parties, or online. This is a great alternative if there is just one show in particular that you are a fan of (Game of Thrones or True Blood, anyone?) but don’t want to shell out for a cable package plus the extra for what are usually considered premium channels.
So that’s what the internet is for!
If you haven’t heard of Netflix, then go look it up real quick….(just kidding! I’m sure if you are reading a blog post, you’ve heard of Netflix). What started out as a DVD delivery service blossomed into one of the largest streaming video services on the ‘net…(I say ‘one of the largest’ because that crown is currently being worn by YouTube). They do still report that new movies are added weekly, and their selection of movies and shows is quite large compared to any of their competition, but there are some other services that are coming up in the field….Hulu and Amazon Prime are two good examples. Hulu tends to specialize in streaming on-demand current television shows for it’s viewers, and Amazon Prime’s video service shares the benefits of being an Amazon Prime member (chief of which is probably free shipping at Amazon).
One of the newer entries into the field is Redbox. What started as those funny little red DVD kiosks out in front of fast-food places & drugstores is now an up-and-coming streaming video service as well…and since it offers memberships that include their streaming service as well as overnight rentals from their kiosks, it’s definitely something that I would consider looking into.
As for how to get these streaming services to your TV, check some of our earlier blog posts about Smart TVs and streaming devices. Not only do many Blu-ray players have streaming apps built in for Netflix, Hulu & others, but there are newer, smaller devices, such as Google’s Chromecast or AppleTV that let you stream from a laptop or device directly to your TV.
…but…but those all cost MONEY!
Okay, okay…while there’s no such thing as a free lunch, there are some pretty-close-to-free options for viewing, too. Remember we mentioned YouTube? Well, believe it or not, it’s a great place for movies and shows as well…yes, and cat videos…Another site, while not nearly the behemoth that is YouTube, is Vimeo, which is comparable to changing the channel to see what else is on.
Probably the best and most cost-effective option, of course, is using an antenna to get over-the-air (OTA) local channels. We’ve covered this before a few times in previous blog posts, but I think it’s always great to remind everyone. Not only are you getting local new, local programming and local weather, most of the time you are getting a digital signal, sometimes in hi-definition, and there’s no monthly bill. Pretty hard to beat that option, huh?
Whichever option you go with, be sure to stop by TBGoods and talk to an associate. We can help you plan out the best set up for you and get you a great deal on any upgrades for your perfect home watching experience!