If you’re paying for cable TV, you’re paying a very high monthly price. The cost of cable TV has gotten so expensive in recent years that more and more people are getting rid of the service entirely. In the first months of 2017, the cable industry lost over 400,000 subscribers. And even more subscribers have continued to turn their backs on cable since. Why pay $100 or more each month for cable TV when you have other options? That’s right: there are ways to enjoy your favorite TV channels without spending much at all. In fact, there are ways to get cable TV for free. Here are four ways you can eliminate your cable bill and start watching your favorite channels without spending a single cent.
1. Get an HDTV Antenna
A TV antenna might sound outdated – after all, today’s TVs don’t really need or use antennas. However, swapping your cable TV package for a simple antenna can give you a selection of channels for free.
And TV antennas are really becoming a popular alternative to cable. Research shows that 20 percent of broadband homes in the U.S. have installed digital antennas since 2017.
These new antennas are actually HDTV antennas, which offer excellent broadcast signals and give you access to a number of local channels. If you live in a pretty populated area or city, you could get over 100 channels for free with one of these antennas.
To make an HDTV antenna work for you, you just need to figure out which type of antenna will work best for your home and location. You can search online to figure out which type of antenna is best, and which will get you the highest number of channels for free.
There is a small cost involved in purchasing an HDTV antenna. But once your antenna is installed, you won’t have to pay anything at all to access local channels.
2. Sign Up for a Free Video Streaming Service
You’ve likely heard of streaming services – services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ that allow you to stream your favorite TV shows and movies on demand, any time. Unfortunately, those streaming services charge monthly fees to access their content. But there are also alternatives available online that give you that same capability for free.
With the right video streaming service, you can watch all kinds of TV shows and plenty of movies without spending anything at all. You just need to look for 100 percent free video streaming services.
These services may or may not require an account to start streaming. But they’re all completely free – and completely legal. One great option is Crackle TV. You can watch both TV shows and movies for free any time, as long as you have an internet connection. There’s no catch – you’ll just have to watch a few ads while streaming.
3. Stream Cable TV Online Yourself
If you’re hesitant to give up your favorite cable TV channels and shows, you aren’t alone. But thanks to the popularity of streaming and watching TV online, there are ways to actually watch cable TV online.
Most people are already paying for high-speed internet. So, why not take advantage of your internet and use it to watch cable TV for free?
You just need to search for free TV services online. There are plenty available today, including:
- TV.com: A website dedicated to TV programming, where you can watch your favorite TV shows for free.
- Network Websites: The popular cable networks (like ABC, NBC, and FOX) have their own websites. And they actually let you watch their programs the same day their air. You can also watch previous seasons and old episodes.
- Classic Television Online: This website lets you watch classic TV shows for free. You can watch daytime TV shows, old prime-time specials, and even late-night shows.
- Roku Devices: For a small investment, you can buy a Roku device and tune in to plenty of TV for free. Roku offers past and current TV show episodes from many different channels.
- YouTube TV: A newcomer online, YouTube TV gives you the opportunity to watch TV shows from popular cable networks right online.
4. Consider Sharing a Video Streaming Service Account
If you want easy – and free – access to all of your favorite cable TV content, streaming services are the best option. But they do come with monthly fees.
However, you can get around those fees if you’re able to share someone else’s account. Many streaming services allow for multiple users. You just need the login information.
Ask your friends and family if they’re willing to let you use their streaming subscriptions. If they’re already paying for these services and haven’t maxed out their available users (many allow between two to four), see if you can become one. Then, you can browse all of the titles available on Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, and so many more without paying anything at all.
If you’re worried that sharing a streaming account isn’t legal or fair, don’t worry too much. It’s incredibly common, and companies expect this. Approximately one-fifth of young adults share streaming service logins, and Netflix’s CEO even said that sharing passwords is “par for the course.”
Remember to Try to Negotiate Your Cable Bill
There are so many opportunities to save money on cable TV today. As consumers become increasingly frustrated with cable’s high prices, they’re looking for alternatives. And these free options give you the chance to cut the cord and leave cable TV behind without sacrificing anything at all.
However, if you’re still interested in keeping cable TV, you can also try one other way to get a cheaper price. You can negotiate your cable bill.
Often, customers who threaten to cancel will be given a lower price or special offer. Although this method won’t get you free TV, it can dramatically reduce your bill. Calling your cable company and telling them you plan to cancel may get you an introductory price well below what you’re currently paying. It may also get you more features and perks at a more affordable price.
Give your cable TV company a chance – and be prepared to cancel if the price doesn’t work for you. With so many free options, you can afford to leave cable behind.