Streamline Your Tech By Ditching Cable and Satellite TV

APRIL 2013: If you don’t like to pay for something you could get for free, you can now leap away from expensive cable and satellite bills forever!

As long as you have a high-speed Internet connection, three smart TV options are ready for prime time and integrate with devices you’re probably already using. And you don’t have to be a tech genius to make the switch — millions have already done it.

Here’s how to get your TV through a little box you purchase once rather than paying the cable or satellite TV company every month:

Apple TV, Roku or Google TV are the three big names competing for your Internet TV business.
They provide an amazing selection of programming options delivered over the Internet. A lot of the programming is free, some channels are by subscription, and others are pay-per-view (but usually cheaper than what you may have been used to with cable and satellite).

Apple TV boxes cost $99 for the box and comes with free shows, pay shows, movies, live sports, news and more. Roku boxes start at $49 (compare models here) and include most of Apple TVs offerings plus a lot more, like Pandora, HBO GO and Amazon Instant Video. Both Apple TV and Roku offer access to Netflix and Hulu Plus, subscription services that start at $7.99 a month and have tons of streaming content. For added features, Apple TV’s AirPlay also lets you play content from your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or mirror what you see on your devices (including apps and games) on your TV screen while Roku’s app lets you turn your iPhone or Android smartphone into a “command center,” which is kind of like a remote control with a brain.
Google TV is a little different. And a little complicated. Google has partnered with LG, Sony, Hisense, Asus and Vizio to develop different ways for you to get your Google TV — through a “buddy box” for $99 or pre-installed on some TVs. Full screen web browsing is a big feature and so is search (no surprise there), and you can control Google TV from your Android smartphone or tablet. Phandroid reviews some options here.

One key fact while considering ditching cable for smart TV: you need a High Definition TV (HDTV). Standard definition gets you standard monthly cable or satellite bills.

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