Cheap Cable Alternatives
In the past I have talked about ways to really save when it comes to your internet and cable bills and following those easy steps are a great way to reduce your utility bills during the school year. But my blog is here to take saving another step further and so I’ve decided to throw a list together of all of the cheap cable alternatives out there that can save you even more money and really reduce your utility bills.
Out of all of my suggestions this is the one I use the most (the Netflix Canad version anyways). Netflix has lead to some serious time loss for me because of it’s ability to so quickly change from one episode to the next. They have a variety of TV shows and some exclusive content as well including the newest season of Arrested Development, Hemlock Grove, House of Cards and a new original series called Orange is the New Black. I have to say I personally don’t love the movie selection on Netflix and tend to just watch tv shows instead.
Verdict: Netflix Canada isn’t too bad, but of course it just isn’t as good as it’s American version. I’m considering using one of the various ways to get US Netflix while in Canada, but haven’t really done my research yet. Youtube and various websites have tutorials on how you do it so you can give it a try and get access to even better content than what we have here. Overall I really enjoy Netflix and it’s relatively inexpensive. One thing to keep in mind is that you’re very likely to begin using more bandwidth when you get Netflix so you may have to adjust your internet package when getting rid of cable entirely.
Cost of Netflix: $8.99/month
Now let’s make this clear right off the bat, torrent downloading isn’t legal but it is an entirely free option where you can download complete seasons/series of TV shows or movies. There are a variety of websites that you can find torrents to be downloaded including Isohunt, and The Pirate Bay. In order to download these you need a torrent downloader like Bit Torrent, or uTorrent and then you’re all set.
Verdict: Obviously cheap (it’s free) torrent downloading does use up quite a bit of your bandwidth all at once versus streaming an episode each week online so that’s something definitely to watch out for. If you and your friends like to swap shows and movies you will definitely get much more use out of downloading the file itself than streaming. Always remember torrent downloading isn’t legal so you run that risk.
Cost of Torrent Downloading: $0
Buy Episodes/Movies Off of iTunes
As another alternative (which I haven’t personally done) you can purchase single episodes/seasons/movies off of iTunes instead of buying the DVD box sets that used to be so popular.
You can try out the following where you can download TV shows off of iTunes
Verdict: Although I’m not a huge fan of buying things if I don’t have to, the quality that you tend to get on iTunes and other paid-download sites is that the quality will be HD/Blue Ray which will be a more enjoyable viewing experience especially if you want to put it on a larger screen TV at some point.
Cost: Varies depending on purchases
Overall I think students should avoid paying for cable altogether. We don’t have time to sit and watch cable tv, and watch commercials let alone pay for the service. I’ve spent way too many hours wasted on watching cable TV and for the most part it really wasn’t what I even wanted to watch. Check out some of the cheap cable alternatives above and at the beginning of the semester this year make sure to ditch the cable, up your internet plan with more bandwidth and save some money while watching the content you really want to watch.