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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,551
Registered: ‎02-07-2011

Cable/satellite alternatives

We live in a condo in Chicago.  I'm looking for an alternative to our cable service.  Can't install an antenna.  Don't understand how Hulu, etc. works.  Any info/advice on how to "cut the cable" would be appreciated.  TIA!!!

 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 22,249
Registered: ‎05-22-2016

Re: Cable/satellite alternatives

[ Edited ]

Sounds like you need to view your TV shows via internet (streaming). If you search for internet TV providers then this should help you start with that. But the first thing you will need is a wifi connection. Everything is based on wifi  so make sure it is a good one, preferably what they call fiber optic wifi.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 46,149
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Cable/satellite alternatives

So many people have posed the same question, that I've now filed my experience and will copy it for you.

 

I eliminated my Direct tv bill by getting an Amazon Fire Stick to stream movies.  I already had movies on Amazon Video with my Prime membership but I also signed up for Netflix which I believe is $7.95/mo.  I picked out a package on Sling with my favorite cable channels which is about $39.00/mo. I bough a Roku Express, $29.99, for my second TV just to compare to Fire Stick.  I like the Fire Stick with Alexa voice control much better.  All the programs I signed up for on the Fire Stick also show up on the Roku except for Amazon Videos.  All these devices are easy to install and use.

 

Then I shopped Amazon and found an inexpensive interior antenna for $14.   I bought one for each of my TVs and now get all the local channels, dozens of them, crystal clear.  I get QVC, Q2, HSN and JTV which are on UHF.  I get local and national news on NBC, ABC, CBS and I get our PBS channels.  I can also get all the shopping channels on YouTube for free.  I'm paying less than half of what I paid for my satellite service and feel that I'm missing nothing plus I can always find something interesting to watch in the middle of the night

 

Here is the interior antenna I got from Amazon; you order according to your distance from your area transmitters.

 

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New Mexico☀️Land Of Enchantment
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,379
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Cable/satellite alternatives

You have to have internet & a device for your TV to "stream" the shows through.

Either a smart TV, a cd player with the ability to stream, a Firestick or a Roku.

They just allow your TV to receive the internet information.

Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Amazon Prime, etc they all are different, but the same.

Think of them as NBC, CBS & ABC. 

You can watch shows on any of them, but not the same shows. Although there may be some over lap on the internet options.

I haven't had cable/satellite for 2 years & I miss it greatly. I miss those DVRs so much.

I can watch shows on my Amazon, Hulu & Netflix, but it's more work & takes more time to get to what I want.

I do not miss the satellite bill.

I pay $24.95 for my internet. $12.78 a month for Hulu (I have the version with mostly no commercials. There are a few shows that you have one at the end & the beginning of a show.) & I paid $99 a year for Amazon Prime.

I watch off of my daughter's Netflix every now & then.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,105
Registered: ‎08-18-2016

Re: Cable/satellite alternatives

[ Edited ]

castlenv, I am referring (below) to a small, inexpensive antenna that plugs in to the back of the TV, not those big, roof mount ariels everyone used to have 50 years ago.

I watch broadcast television the old fashioned way, with an antenna. No cable, no satellite.
In my area of the Great Lakes region, I get over 60 stations, although I really only watch about 25-30 of them.

This is clear, digital TV, and most programs are broadcast in HD. Doesn't cost me a penny. If I were inclined to pay to watch TV, I'd look into some of what Kachina624 has recommended.
The question is when it comes to television, what do you require?

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,402
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Cable/satellite alternatives

[ Edited ]

@castlenv wrote:

We live in a condo in Chicago.  I'm looking for an alternative to our cable service.  Can't install an antenna.  Don't understand how Hulu, etc. works.  Any info/advice on how to "cut the cable" would be appreciated.  TIA!!!

 

 


Use an interior antenna.  Since you're located in a large city, you should be able to get multiple over the air broadcasts. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,551
Registered: ‎02-07-2011

Re: Cable/satellite alternatives

Thanks to you all.  I wasn't notified that I had gotten responses and so appreciate your info.  The interior antenna sounds like an option.

 

 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,900
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Cable/satellite alternatives

Thanks for the antenna information.  I just ordered one to see how it works for me.

 

 

===================================
QVC Shopper - 1993

# IAMTEAMWEN
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,105
Registered: ‎08-18-2016

Re: Cable/satellite alternatives

@VaBelle35, the results you get with an antenna will all depend on where you live. I'm in a metropolitan area with 8 TVstations. Each broadcasts programs on multiple digital channels, giving me about 20 channels. 4 other surrounding counties, ranging 10 to 50 miles from me, also have cities with broadcasters more than powerful enough for me to receive their transmissions on multiple digital channels. They make up the other 40+ channels I pickup. About 50% of what I watch comes from the surrounding counties.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,900
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Cable/satellite alternatives

@Hedge  I'm in the suburbs of DC in a townhouse.  I plan to use it on the top floor so I'm hoping to get all available tv stations as well, but I'll be happy with just a few.

 

I'll let you know what the final station count is once I hook it up.  It hasn't shipped yet.  

===================================
QVC Shopper - 1993

# IAMTEAMWEN