smart spending

Save money by watching Internet television

4 ways to stop 'bill creep'
By Jean Chatzky

Fed up with paying on average $80 to $100 a month for cable or satellite TV? Tired of ordering your life around their schedule?

Cut the cable and instead watch your favorite shows for free via the Internet 24/7 on your home computer, laptop or even your smartphone.

Copyright laws have made it a little more limited, but you can still watch movies and shows for free on YouTube and Hulu.

Additionally, online portals from the three major U.S. networks feature many couch-potato favorites just hours after they air in prime time, as well as vintage TV dating back to the black-and-white days.

Get your weekly dose of "Scandal" and "Dancing with the Stars" at ABC.com. Over at NBC.com, they're serving "About a Boy" and "Grimm," as well as classics like "The A-Team" and "Miami Vice." (Nice suit, Tubbs!)

Networks are responding to online viewers and enhancing the experience by offering previews, interviews, behind-the-scenes documentaries, games and more.

On CBS.com, for example, viewers can "connect" with the staff of shows like "Elementary" to chat and ask questions. CBS also offers a feature called "My CBS" that allows viewers to use their computer or download an app and build a customized playlist of shows and movies.

Crazy for cable content? You also can pull up cable originals at MTV.com, TBS.com and TNTdrama.com and vintage reruns at TVLand.com.

"There are now two prime times: the normal prime time and noontime, when you catch up with your shows," said Elroy Jopling, former research director for consumer services for Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner Inc., an information technology research company. "It's actually expanding the amount of time that people spend watching TV."

The revolution is being televised

In fact, Jopling said, free online TV content is just one of several technological innovations leading a revolution in the way we receive and manipulate televised content.

Fiber-optic Internet protocol television, or IPTV, through AT&T's U-verse and Verizon's FiOS TV services has already vastly expanded both our viewing options and the ways in which advertisers will be able to use our viewing habits to pitch their products.

Now, with the ultrahigh-definition smart TVs, your home will likely be alive with interconnectivity, enabling your TV to talk to your computer and your cellphone in exciting new ways. This generation of smart technology offers Web browsing, social media interaction and streaming video.

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
REFINANCE HOME EQUITY AUTO CDs CREDIT CARDS
Product Rate Change Last week
30 year fixed refi 4.08%  0.04 4.12%
15 year fixed refi 3.18%  0.03 3.21%
10 year fixed refi 3.21%  0.04 3.25%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
30K FICO-based HELOC 4.30%  0.03 4.27%
50K FICO-based HELOC 3.96%  0.01 3.97%
100K FICO-based HELOC 3.81%  0.01 3.82%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
60 month used car loan 2.75%  0.10 2.85%
48 month used car loan 2.99%  0.07 3.06%
60 month new car loan 3.20%  0.05 3.25%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
1 Year CD 0.99%  0.01 0.98%
2 Year CD 1.22%  0.02 1.20%
5 Year CD 1.87%  0.04 1.83%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 15.76%  0.01 15.77%
Cash Back Cards 16.44%  0.04 16.48%
Low Interest Cards 11.04% --0.00 11.04%
 
Next
advertisement
FRUGAL NEWSLETTER

Discover new ways to cut costs and save more every day. Reduce your spending, not life’s pleasures. Delivered weekly.

advertisement
Partner Center
advertisement

Connect with us