How to get free TV for the cost of an internet connection

Aug 8, 2012, 9:23 a.m.

Remember the good ol' days when you had to wait all week for your favorite TV show? The not-so-good part of that was that if you happened to miss it, you had to rely on someone to fill you in on what you'd missed. And then along came VCRs. If you were tech-savvy enough, you could program it to record anything you liked, but you still had to wait until the day it aired.

Today, things are much different. For the cost of an internet connection, you can get access to just about anything you've ever wanted to watch using websites like YouTube, Hulu, or through online services like Amazon and Netflix.

With media becoming more versatile and easier to access online, there's almost no need for cable anymore -- but who wants to sit in front of the computer to watch TV programs? Fortunately, you don't have to, as long as you have an HDTV and a computer. Here are some tips to show you how you can see it all for the cost of internet connectivity.

  1. First, ensure that your TV and computer both have HDMI ports. These days, most laptops, desktop computers, and even many mobile devices -- such as tablet computers -- have HDMI ports. Your HDTV will also have one.
  2. Decide where you would like everything set up. It can be a pain to walk across the room to pause your show or adjust the volume, but you might not want the computer sitting right next to you either. In that case, a wireless keyboard and mouse might be what you need. Depending on the device you're using, you might even be able to get a remote control.
  3. Buy an HDMI cable and connect your computer or mobile device to your HDTV. You may have to fiddle with the settings on one or the other to get it to work, but it's a relatively simple setup. If you still need help, simply perform a quick online search for detailed instructions. For example, if you're hooking up your laptop to your HDTV, search "How to hook a laptop to an HDTV."
  4. Once the connection is made, the videos playing on your computer or mobile device will be watchable through your HDTV.

It may seem intimidating at first, but connecting your computer or mobile device to your HDTV is a lot easier than programming a VCR. If you're looking to cut expenses and you have to choose between the cost of internet or the cost of cable, go with internet. You'll get more bang for your buck.

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