Ditching your cable television provider doesn't mean giving up your favorite shows or newly released movies. I cancelled my $123.89 a month Dish service when they started removing channels from the America's Top 250 package without reducing the monthly bill.
NetFlix and Blockbuster offered competitive pricing packages but having dealt with them in the past I sought out other options and found Vudu. It offers you instant streaming as well as cloud storage of purchases. There is no monthly fee; you only pay for what you choose to view. In addition to movies there are television series like 'Shark Week', 'Mad Men' and 'Game of Thrones' as well as HBO documentaries and a 99 cent 'movie of the day' pick.
You can view your selections on your television through a Blu-ray player or gaming consoles like X-Box and Playstation 3. You also have the option to view on most of the newer version iPad handheld devices. Access the portal directly from your gaming console and the app allows for up-to-the-minute selection choices. You can purchase a Vudu steaming player for direct hook-up to a television; the most reasonable ones start at about $45.00 but they're not a necessity if you have a Blu-ray player or gaming console.
The price of your rental or purchase will depend on the quality you choose; HD formats cost more than SD. Most movies are in the $1.99 to $3.99 range. One of the biggest benefits to Vudu is that there's no disc to return to a store or RedBox kiosk. You do have to have a steady internet connection for the best delivery; broadband quality will work if there's no system congestion.
Right now I spend about $25.00 a month on Vudu. They have a vast library to rent or purchase but there are some television shows that I do miss. I'd rather spend the money on the boxed DVD sets than to have a $123.89 a month cable television monkey on my back.
*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.