Enjoy Your TVs While You Can (They’re Almost Obsolete)!
Ask yourself one question. How much TV do you really watch? Now look at your cable (or satellite) bill. Do you consume enough to warrant paying what you’re paying right now? No? I thought so.
What should you do about it?
Sell your TV! No, seriously. About five million households in the United States are currently what research company Nielsen denotes as “zero TV” households. That number is more than double the two million zero TV households Nielsen discovered in 2007.
Of course, the Internet and mobile devices are what make this possible. I’m not an expert on the subject, but it seems that several television networks have found out that they can earn a good bit of advertising revenue by making their shows available online and splicing ads between segments of the episode.
Networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, and others like Fox, CNN, and even A&E now have apps (at least for the iPhone and iPad) that will allow you to watch their shows about a day after they air on television – for free! For some of these apps, you have to choose a valid cable or satellite service provider and log in with the email address and password of an active account. If you don’t have one but you know someone who does, you’re in the game! Others allow you to completely skip this step.
I know what you’re thinking. How about sports? Live sporting events and such, how can I get those to my computer or mobile device? It’s simple.
Watch for events that are featured online, like on TNT OverTime for the NBA. You can watch these games on your mobile device for no charge, just use your regular browser. Beyond that, there’s FirstRowSports – which, by the way, can be viewed on mobile devices as long as you have a Flash-enabled browser. Hint: Apple user? Try Puffin.
You can also use Flash browsers to watch network programming if that network hasn’t yet created an app and only plays its shows on its websites.
Of course, there’s also Netflix and Hulu and even Crackle to show you plenty of seasons and episodes of your favorite shows. That and Apple TV and streaming options pretty much make televisions less than worthwhile.
Advantages of going off the grid for your entertainment programming include no monthly bill, choosing exactly what you want to watch, and watching it when you want.
Disadvantages of this approach include watching most current episodes at least a day late, lack of local news programming (most of them don’t stream their full news broadcasts), and inability to entertain (unless your friends don’t mind crowding in front of your smartphone).
Could you live without your TV?