Cutting the Cord: How to Get Content
We talked about available content in this article, where we reassured you that you can still watch The Real Housewives and Jersey Shore without cable, but now you need to know how you go about getting it.
Use An Antenna To Receive TV Over-the-Air
Use An Antenna To Receive TV Over-the-Air
It's a completely crazy concept that most people never think about, but many of those major stations that we watch – Fox, NBC, CBS – are available free, over the air (OTA) and in high definition. Let us put it this way – 30 Rock is free!

What is this madness, you speak of!? A simple antenna will get you all of the major networks plus other regional channels and in many cases, extra channels from the same station. What does that mean to you? Most sporting events and every network TV show. There is a catch of course – your reception will depend on how close you are to a TV tower and whether or not there is anything in the way. To find the best antenna for your location (an outdoor antenna that receives both UHF and VHF is best but indoor antennas work well too) visit antennaweb.org and type in your address. They’ll tell you where the nearest tower is, what channels you’re most likely to receive, and which antenna choice would be best for you. In general, all TVs have TV tuners built in, you just have to plug the antennae into the coax connector on the set.

Connected Set-Top Boxes
The connected boxes are a great way to get your television fix over the internet. They have a wide range of prices, from the $50 Roku LT to the $180 Boxee Box. Some, like the WD Live, have a USB connection so you can watch local content; other, like the Boxee Box, have incorporated social media quite heavily into their UI; and all of them offer much, much more content options than any gaming console, Smart TV or Blu-ray player. It's important to note that neither Apple TV nor Boxee offer Hulu Plus, which could be a big issue for some users. iTunes is only compatible with Apple TV and vice-versa.
Smart TVs May Cost More but Are Simpler
The latest trend in HDTVs is to market them as “smart” and connect them to Netflix, Hulu, or Pandora. If you were to attach an antenna to receive network and local channels then these become very viable alternatives to cable or connected set-top boxes. There’s no denying that they are easy to use, everything is right there in one place – one remote for internet and television.

The problem with “smart” TVs is that they can be more expensive than their “dumb” TV equivalent, usually about $100 more expensive. With that extra hundred dollars you can buy any one of a number of connected set-top boxes that offer more content options. Not to mention that Smart TVs, Blu-ray players and gaming consoles may not get firmware updates as often or as thoroughly as the connected boxes on the other hand, there is also something to be said for having the streaming gear built into the TV so you can use the same remote and not have to worry about hooking anything up.

Blu-ray Players Can Also Stream Content
Many of the new Blu-ray players now come with full versions of Netflix, Hulu, or Flickr. They may have the same problems as Smart TVs in terms of regular, consistent updates but the good thing about Blu-ray player is that they are the device many people are likely to have. You’re probably not going to buy one just because it has Netflix, but it is a nice bonus.
Gaming Consoles
Console manufacturers are pushing for content streaming in a big way. Nintendo announced an upcoming partnership with Hulu, and they already have one with Netflix, but the Wii has no HDMI capability. With an Xbox and an Xbox Live Gold membership ($5/mo) you can get Crackle, ESPN, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Syfy, and TMZ. PS3s are a bit more sports oriented, you have access to Netflix, Hulu Plus, MLB.TV(prices aren’t up for 2012 season but 2011 was $120), Cinema Now (Pay-Per-View), and NHL Gamecenter ($120).
Equipment Costs














$200 + $5/mo Gold Membership


$100 + $20/MO





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I got Apple TV for my Apple devices.

I got Apple TV for my Apple devices. It was initially annoying finding out about Apple TV's limitations, i.e. only native formats (MP4/MOV/M4V) can be airplayed. But with IOS5.0, I was able to take advantage of Airplay Mirroring and play videos from my Ipad using other formats and Gplayer.


Another option is just to go with a PC in your living room. I've got a full tower, but they do make small, specialty HTPCs. It's great because I've got Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, whatever other website I can stream from... if the proxies are warm and the wind is blowing just right, I've got BBC iplayer. Also, whatever files may have found their way to your hard drive*. One thing I've found aggravating, though, is Vudu. Vudu will not stream HD to PCs. Only consoles, set-top boxes, bluray players and Smart TVs. So I can't watch all those brand new movies in hi-def, which means I won't watch them at all through Vudu based in principle.

*I do not condone the illegal downloading or torrenting of content but cannot really find the harm if it isn't available through any legal means, e.g. programs not available in your country or not out on DVD. Would Viacom rather I freely download an old Nicktoon series that will never see retail or pay some pirate for a crappy bootleg at a comic convention?

Logitech Revue

You have a great list of equipment for streaming stuff to your TV but skipped the Logitech Revue, which connects to your TV HDMI and your home WiFi or Ethernet. It has all the features you described for others plus a lot more. It's Android based and has acess to Android apps. It has a Chrome browser for showing anything from the internet on your TV. Plus it connects with your network storage to show your own videos and photos and play your own music. Since they dropped the price to $100, it's competeitve with all the other boxs and does a lot more. Check it out!