Watching TV without Cable

October 2020

Many, unwilling to give up their cable programming, have found a new way to watch television.  They have cut the cable cord for convenience and to save money.

Today’s high-speed internet access allows for the bypassing of cable and satellite services for television programming.  Urban condo dwellers frequently have the fastest available access to the internet and are better able to watch television over the internet.

Unlike television, which requires a monitor connected to a cable outlet, streaming allows any internet-connected device to access and display programming.

Streaming is a way to watch television programming without purchasing cable.  It uses the internet in place of traditional cable technology to deliver channels and programs.  Some are available at no cost.  Others require a monthly subscription fee.

Streaming allows video and sound transfer over the internet to a viewing device which may be a television, computer, tablet, smartphone, Xbox, PlayStation or other internet-connected device.  Netflix is one of numerous streaming services that rely on the internet to deliver programming to your internet-connected device.  Others are Prime (Amazon), Crave, ESPN+ and Disney+.  To make using multiple streaming services easier, some choose to connect a streaming device.  Chromecast, from Google, is one of many at a cost of $50 to $100.  Mac, iPad and iPhone users may prefer the pricier Apple TV which sells for $200+.  Some streaming devices include voice control features and connect to home systems such as Alexa.

Streaming services aggregate channels and programming making it easier to find and watch what you want.  The most popular of these services, Netflix, began by showing reruns and old movies.  Many cable programs will appear on streaming services sometime after original airing.  Today streaming services also offer original programming.

Streaming requires both speed and bandwidth.  A fast internet connection must provide a high quality video image for every household member at the same time.  In technical terms, a minimum speed of 25 megabits per second is desirable.  Bandwidth, or amount of data, needs to accommodate large files transferred over the internet to your viewing device along with your other internet activities.  Unlimited data plans are now available from many internet service providers.