Sunday, November 21, 2010

How to use podcasts to replace your premium cable TV channels

In addition to giving up televised sports, I gave up a lot of niche programming that I really enjoyed. I loved watching the Food Network and the Travel Channel as well as Discovery and G4TV for my science and video games fix. When my wife and I gave up our premium channels we found another way to get this niche programming we enjoyed. Podcasts.

You can think of podcasts as radio or TV shows on a particular subject. Most are provided free of charge as they are supported by advertising. If you can think of anything, there is probably a podcast for it. The only trouble with podcasts is that there are so many out there, how would you know which ones are any good. I leverage iTunes from Apple to help download and manage my podcasts. What is great about iTunes is that the podcasts usually have ratings from people who have downloaded them. You can also use iTunes to subscribe to your favorites as soon as they are available. This way you can always get the latest episode of your favorite podcast without having to click to download. You don't have to have an iPod or iPhone to use iTunes and it is free.

If you've read my other posts, you now have the basics on how to save money on your cable TV bill. Assuming you have fast enough internet service and a reasonable cap on your bandwidth usage all you need to do is pick out a set top box, get it on your home network and connect it to your TV. You can subscribe to Netflix for about $9 a month to gain access to their library of movies to rent or watch instantly. You can use iTunes to discover podcasts to fill the void of your niche programming. If you have a xbox 360 or a playstation 3 you can access sports, high definition movies and movies as well as stream content from your computer to your TV.

In my next post I will walk you through how to use those game consoles to get at content on your home computer. This way you won't have to move files around on flash drives to watch them on your TV.


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