First Person: New TV Tech for a Tiny Budget

Yahoo Contributor Network

No cable? That saves our budget $20-$120 a month, depending on the service.

After six years without cable, the Summer 2012 Olympics offered a giant temptation to get a subscription to basic cable ($19.99 a month for about 15 channels from AT&T), but we pushed through and used other methods, instead.

Although Netflix is in our budget, other services provide what we need for free. Here is a sampling of the services we utilize instead of signing a cable contract.

Network Apps for iPad: Free

In order to keep up with my favorite television shows, I downloaded and installed the apps for ABC and CBS. Even without an iPad, viewers can navigate to network websites and watch shows (usually the most recent four episodes) for free. The most current show becomes available the day after it airs.

Apple TV: $100

The Apple TV device allows streaming of those lovely free apps to our television. If we are not satisfied watching on our iPad or computer screens, we can transmit the shows to the tv. This makes it really feel like we have cable! The Apple TV device costs as much as one month of premium cable service.

Streaming with Friends: Priceless

Our family and friends do subscribe to cable, and when they visit our home, they expect television. Luckily, their service comes with free online access. We have been able to view the Olympics online thanks to the generosity of family and friends. Not only do we get to watch the Olympics, but we also get to socialize!

Roving Websites on Google: Free

My husband is a huge college football fan, and every Saturday in the fall, we do an extensive Google search for the latest website to stream a football game (they change weekly). We have been able to enjoy the games played by our alma maters thanks to online feeds and an HDMI connection from a laptop to the television.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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