Simply Saving Saturday - Alternatives to Cable and Satellite T.V.

Our satellite t.v. provider sent us a notice that our bill is going to increase $5 per month starting in February. That's an extra $60 per year! We have considered switching to a basic cable plan, but we are pretty sure we will eventually have the same problem with increasing rates, so this week I did a little research on alternatives to cable and satellite t.v. and here are the options that we are considering:

1.  Buy an HDMI cable.

Pros:  The cable would allow us to stream video from our computer to our t.v and we would be able to take advantage of the many free shows available online from Hulu,,, etc.  This is also one of the least expensive options; the cable costs around $12.

Cons:  We wouldn't be able to watch any local programming and would not be able to watch our beloved Patriots football games.  Also, the free programming available online is shown a day after it airs.

2.  HDMI cable + antenna.

Pros:  We would be able to pick up local programming with the antenna (and, hopefully the football games) along with the free programming we could watch with on our t.v. with the cable.

Cons:  My husband went online and found that we would need to mount the antenna on our roof in order to get a strong enough signal and we're not sure how many channels we would be able to get. The cost of these antennas, I believe, is somewhere around $100 depending on what you need for your location.

3.  Antenna + Roku.

Pros: A Roku is a device for streaming wirelessly to a t.v. and offers many shows for free. There are other options for streaming wirelessly, but this seems to be the best and least expensive option for us.

Cons:  A Roku costs between $50 and $100 depending on which version you buy.  There are a few sports networks available through the Roku for a fee (MLB, NHL), but football isn't available.  The free version of Hulu does not work on the Roku.

Some things to consider before disconnecting:

*Early termination fees (if under contract)
*Internet connection speed needs to be high enough to be able to stream movies without interruption.
*Make sure the internet package does not include bandwidth caps.  Extra fees will be charged for usage beyond the cap.

Have you disconnected from cable or satellite t.v.?  What has worked for you as an alternative?

[photo credit: frankie-8/]