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How to watch digital TV without cable?

Cancel the cable/satellite service...and bill

How to Watch All the TV You

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Ever click through all 700 HD channels on your cable or satellite service channel lineup only to announce, "Nothing's on..." with a long sigh? Maybe you subscribe to a streaming service such as Netflix, Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime to get more shows when you want them, but you also want to see them on your big TV screen. Or maybe you want to cut the cable cord entirely to watch live TV and just use video streaming but are worried about missing live sports from the NFL and MLB or news?

Officially termed SVOD (subscription video-on-demand) and OTT (over-the-top) TV-watching, online streaming services like these add more options to the traditional TV channel lineup from a paid cable or satellite provider. Digital TV Research projected the number of worldwide households using SVOD would grow from 21 million in 2010 to 83 million in 2014 and 199 million in 2020. Almost half (46%) of households in the U.S. have streaming service as of July, according to Nielsen. That percentage jumps to 62% among Millennials.

What's more, new consumer research from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. found that some 83% of all households nationwide subscribe to some form of pay-TV service, a drop from the 87% that did so in 2010. That may be because cable is so expensive, and cost-conscious consumers who have options to get programming that more directly meets their desires spend their dollars more precisely.

This is all part of the changing tide - less bland and general cable, more targeted on-damand. In fact, as TheStreet, when Disney announced that ESPN had "modest subscriber losses" in its second quarter, shares tumbled 9.2% earlier this year. This is indicative of the future.

With an array of choices, this consumer consideration is the ultimate personal finance decision for your homelife leisure - how to get the maximum quality entertainment tailored to your tastes for the lowest price. We'll teach you how to watch your favorite TV shows, live news and sports without an expensive cable or satellite TV service. First, you'll need a device to connect online streaming video to your TV, then you can subscribe to some inexpensive streaming services and, finally, you can find local TV programming and sports to complete your package.

With SVOD apps using a streaming device connecting your TV to the Internet, there is now the option of cutting out the paid cable subscription service (and bill) entirely, but there is a learning curve and you'll need a major attitude adjustment. Once you've learned to watch TV this new way, you'll be getting so much more from your TV while paying much less.

Cord-cutting is all the rage. The cable industry shrank at a rate of 0.5% in the 12 months ending in May, according to media industry research firm MoffettNathanson. That's at least in part due to cost. If you've been paying for cable or satellite TV, you paid an average of $86 per month in 2011, according to The NPD Group. Rising to a 2015 prediction of $123 per month, you could be spending $1, 476 per year, just for pay-TV programming. As a result, the U.S. in 2014 lost 176, 000 subscribers to cable TV, satellite or fiber services, according to research firm SNL Kagan - the second straight year of decline.

Could you use that extra $100 elsewhere in your budget? If so, simply call up your provider and cancel your service. Be prepared for the provider to offer to reduce your rate or try to get you to bundle up and pay even more. Once the cable or satellite box is gone, you'll need to reconfigure your TV for streaming yours shows online.


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