Save Thousands of Dollars While Watching the TV Shows You Love

Last updated: October 25, 2017 at 13:27 pm by Brian Shim

I’d like to help you save money by canceling cable TV and replacing it with free and cheap alternatives. It’s called “cord cutting” and everything I present in this site is completely legal!

The average cable customer spends $100 a month on cable. That’s $1,200 per year for the rest of your life, or about $60,000 in your lifetime! Why pay when you can watch many of the same shows for much less or free? People are dropping cable in record numbers (about a million people per year according to one estimate). Why not learn how to watch high-definition TV without paying full price for cable or satellite?

The solution to the ridiculous cost of cable and satellite TV is to switch to FREE broadcast digital TV using an antenna like one of the ones below. If you live near or in a decent-sized metropolitan area, this can get you the network channels (ABC, CBS, NBS, Fox, WB) plus PBS and local stations with an inexpensive indoor antenna.

TV Antennas

Some of the TV antennas I have tested

If you have an Internet connection, you can connect your TV to a device like Google Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV box to get additional free and subscription TV and movie services. I explain all of this on DisableMyCable™.

Start with Free Broadcast Digital TV

Did you know that people in or near big cities can receive the major network channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW), plus PBS and local stations in Hi-Def for free? It’s called broadcast digital TV. I was able to get thirty channels total in Providence, RI and over 100 in Los Angeles, CA. It takes a little leg work to set it up, but I’ll guide you through it.

To see which channels YOU can get using an antenna, click the big Station Finder button below and enter your zip code.

You will see a map of your area. Wait a few seconds for the colored list of stations to appear on the left. You should be able to pick up the green and yellow channels with a good indoor flat antenna. The ones in orange will probably require an outdoor antenna. The list is not exact, but will give you a ballpark idea of the number of channels you should be able to get.

Station Finder Map

If the stations you want are available, then keep going! If not, skip down to other options.

Test Your TV’s Reception Now – No Antenna Required!

If you have a modern flat-panel TV (the kind that you can hang on a wall), all you need is an antenna to get these channels, and you’ll be getting most of them in high-definition, with better picture quality than you got with cable!

If you don’t have an antenna right now, here is a quick-and-dirty way to test your TV to see if it will work:

For detailed instructions on how to hook up your antenna and configure your TV, go to the antenna setup page on this site!

If You Have an Old Analog Tube TV

If you have an old analog tube TV, you’ll need to get a converter box in order to use an antenna.

Tube TV

My Two Favorite Indoor TV Antennas

I’ve done extensive testing and come up with my top two favorite indoor TV antennas – the ones which bring in the most channels reliably in my testing. Hint – they are both flat! Read more about the TV antennas I chose!

Mohu Leaf and Cable Cutter Aerowave

How to Record Broadcast TV Shows

Many people ask me if they can record the shows on free broadcast TV.  The answer is a resounding “yes”!

Tablo

Tablo recorder

My two favorite broadcast TV DVR’s are the Channel Master DVR+ if you have one TV, and the Tablo if you have multiple TVs, or want to watch TV on your computer, phone or tablet.  Both devices record shows onto USB hard drives or internal storage.

For more information, go to my DVR page.

How to Get Cable TV Channels Without Cable/Satellite

Using an antenna is great for getting your local stations plus the major networks and PBS. But what if you need certain cable TV channels like AMC, ESPN, or HGTV?

Happily, there are now more than a few companies offering live cable-TV-like streaming services over the Internet. Cost is a lot less than cable or satellite, and you can watch the shows on your computer, tablet, or phone, or on your TV using a streaming device.

One of my recommended streaming services is Sling TV, which has two plans, orange for $20/month and blue for $25/month. Some of the channels Sling TV offers are below (note the color below the logo to see which plan offers the channel):

Some of the channels offered by Sling TV

Some of the channels offered by Sling TV

So, if you can get the networks using an antenna, then add in Sling TV for $20/month, you have an impressive package of channels for a fraction of the cost of cable! And there is no contract, and no dealing with the cable company!

If you can’t get the networks using an antenna, don’t fret, there are services for you. For more information on all of the options, check out my page on streaming services.

My Favorite Way to Watch Shows From the Internet on My TV

If you want to watch content from the Internet on your TV (such as video from Sling TV), you’ll need to get a streaming media device. This connects to your TV and requires and Internet connection.

Roku

Roku

There are many streaming devices available, including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast. But the one that I am recommending for most people is Roku. It offers the most channels, voice search across many content providers, and headphone output, all at a reasonable price. Read my full review here.

Watch TV and Movies on Your Computer for FREE

Free Internet Video LInksPeople have asked me for an easy way to watch their favorite TV shows on the Internet. Here it is: your Free Internet Video Links! I’ve assembled the best sources of free TV on the Internet and put them on one easy-to-use page . To get it for free, click the image and bookmark it!

Note, these sites mostly work on desktop and laptop computers, not phones or tablets. 🙁

My Story

I was a loyal cable TV customer for all of my adult life, paying about $34/month for basic cable (which sounds ludicrously cheap now). Then I moved to a different city where the cost was $52/month for basic cable. I paid it and figured, “well, that’s just the cost of getting TV”. More and more, however, I realized that I wasn’t getting good TV. I was just surfing through the channels over and over looking for good TV. Then, my 6-month “introductory cable rate” ended and my cable bill went up to $57/month. Sure, it was only a few dollars more, but that was the last straw. After a few months of putting up with the higher cost and lack of good shows, I decided to “Disable My Cable” and try broadcast digital TV. The first thing I tried was an old rabbit-ear antenna that I had from the pre-digital TV days… Read the rest of my story here.

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