January 12, 2018

Watching Free TV

We recently had a financial set-back and decided we needed to cut out cable and paid for TV entirely, at least for a while.  We wondered what we'd be able to watch.  We don't have a digital antenna, and where we live I doubt we'd get many if any channels anyhow.  Which is annoying because we used to get at least a dozen.  And so began the adventure of finding something to watch for free.

First thing we did was connect the old DVD player, and pull out our DVDs, not many, but a start.  We also plan to check out our local library to see what have to offer.  We may also ask friends if there's something specific we want to see.

I also pulled out an old laptop computer (it needed replaced because it was overheating, and the screen would cut out if at the wrong angle, but was fine sitting on a cooling rack next to the TV).  Then began the search to find free, safe, and legal things to watch off the computer. I found if I cooked up a wireless mouse, I can sit on the couch and still control the computer (pause to talk, close windows, etc.)
  • First thing we stumbled on was that at the CBS website you can watch like the last 5 episodes of all current shows, as well as a few of classic shows.  You have to watch commercials, but it's kind of like going back to broadcast TV...but on your schedule!  This may also be true of other networks, but we mainly watch CBS shows.
  • Then, of course, we headed to YouTube.  I'm still trying to find what all it has to offer. For comedy we like to watch Studio C skits and those who like to watch late night comedy shows will find many clips of them on their YouTube channels. For a cross between comedy and making us think Blimey Cow  is fun.  We also enjoy watching historical things, and found Periscope Films that has a lot of newsreels and old info films. Plus, there are live-streams...maybe not something to just sit and watch, but when I'm working on my blogs in the evenings, I like to check in on Horseshoe Curve.  I'm sure there's lots of other great stuff, but it'll take some time to find it!
  • We plan to do free trials of Hulu, Sling, Netflix, etc. one at a time as needed to see specific things or pad out our other watching options.
  • Sports is what we'll really miss as we're a sports fan family!  How we hope to still keep up with some of that is:
    • I believe Hulu and Sling have some sports, so during those trials we'd have some.
    • While whole games are not available on YouTube (well...there are some, but I'm pretty sure they break the rules about distributing the games broadcast by a network), but I found there are some highlights.  For instance The Big Ten Network Channel currently has 2-5 minute highlight videos of basket ball games and what appears to be much of wrestling competitions.
    • During MLB season, Yahoo often has a free game of the day or week you can watch.  
    •  I just saw a post on Southern Savers about a Yahoo app offering free NFL playoffs, but I haven't figured out how to hook that up to our TV yet, but I know there's a way.
So, I'd love to hear, how have you found to watch TV for free?

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