Cutting The Cable – Resource and Show Guide

Cutting the cable can be one of the most gratifying decisions consumers can make. As many as 251,000 pay-television subscribers in the US made that decision last year. This post outlines MY solution and system for cutting the cable without missing out on quality entertainment. I include over 100 links and resources, including direct links to watch the most popular TV shows free online. You might want to bookmark this post for future reference.

I’ve been in a tug and war contest with my wife on cutting the cable for months. I cancelled our Comcast cable months ago only to give in a little, settling on a basic cable package. At a glance it might look like I caved in but, no worries, I’m a master at influence and soon we’ll cut the cable again and my wife will think it was her idea. [insert evil laugh].

My solution but not the only solution

As I mentioned, this is my solution and there are other alternatives so find what works best for you. For example, I’m subscribed to Netflix but there are other streaming services such as Hulu Plus‎ and Amazon Prime/Amazon Instant Video. I use Android while others might like iOS, BlackBerry, or Windows. I use Google Chromecast but there are alternatives such as Roku or Apple TV (Aff. links).

Watching TV without cable

TV antennaThe first step, obviously, should be to take advantage of the free local tv channels available in most areas free fr the taking. That simply requires an digital antenna (and converter box for older television sets). I’d love to recommend a great quality external TV attentia but I haven’t found one worth recommending. I’m in a rural area and I’ve all but given up on a quality air signal. I’ve gone through three separate antennas without luck.

I have a long list of fantastic shows I watch and, thanks to this fall’s latest lineup, it’s becoming quite the challenge to keep up. We no longer have a DVR since that was returned when I cut our Comcast cable the first time. Many of my shows overlap so I have to learn to adapt. I certainly don’t want to get another DVR and set us spiraling back into cable dependency. Here’s how I cope:

Watching TV Streamed from your computer or mobile device

We have a smart TV in the livingroom but, even if you don’t, you don’t need one to watch your favorite TV shows on your computer, tablet, or phone. Grab yourself a cheap (about $35) Google Chromecast (aff link) that lets you send what you’re viewing (and hearing) from your computer, smartphone, or tablet to your TV via wifi.

I have Chromecast on all of my computers, cell phones and tablets. I have an old Galaxy S3 left over from my latest upgrade to a S5. I call that old S3, “My multimedia phone“. You don’t have to have a separate device like that, I just have another year of the contract so… why not, right? Anyway, I stream from any device but usually from my old S3 straight to our TV. The visual and sound quality are as good as the old DVR we had, in my opinion.

Google Cast Ready Apps: Chrome/Google Cast has a pretty cool resource page that lists Google Cast Ready apps for TV & Movies, Music & Audio, Games, Sports, Photos & Video, and more. Check it out here.

Network series from the source

On Mondays I have to watch The Originals, which is on The CW at 8pm my time. At 9pm I switch to CBS to watch Scorpion. The problem is, I want to watch Gotham, which also comes on at 8pm, but on Fox. My wife wants to watch 2 Broke Girls, which is on CBS at 8pm as well. This is only monday, so things complicate further as the week grows.

I won’t bore you with the details but I will list my favorite  TV shows, among others, with links to the network page that streams it for you free of charge. You can find dozens of those links below.

NOTE: Keep in mind, you can not get too far behind with this system because only the last 3 to 5 shows are available  and you can’t watch them until a day or three after the original airing, depending on the network. Some premium shows may require third-party access such as Comcast Xfinity to watch on-demand.

Bookmark the major networks

TV Networks

Watch your favorite TV series, news, movies, specials, events by bookmarking the major network websites. You can even watch live in many cases.

Other Network links of interest:

Now I’ll move on to the shows and the networks that stream them free for you. I tried to list what I believe are some of the most popular shows that have the latest full episode available, separated by network. Each show has a direct link to that specific page.

(★) My favorite shows that I try to never miss.
(✓) Shows I like but won’t get upset if I miss.

Popular shows on ABC

Popular shows on The CW

Popular shows on Fox

Popular shows on CBS

CBS shows that don’t seem to offer full episodes

Popular shows on NBC

Paid On-Demand Movies

Every now and then we want to watch a movie at home without renting a DVD or Blu Ray. There are several resources that allow you to rent or buy movies on-demand. I’ve rented several movies on YouTube. Of course I recommend you make certain you don’t have free access (or already paid such as Netflix) before renting or buying online. I’ve found Can I Stream.It very handy for finding the right resource.

For example, you can see from the screenshot below, if I wanted to watch The Boondock Saints II, Can I Stream.It shows me where to rent or purchase it. I’ve rented movies on YouTube, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play‎, and Vudu.

Can I Stream.It screenshot

Android smartphone apps

Pandora Music App

I use Android for my smartphone of choice so I’ve listed a few apps to help your entertainment enjoyment whether you’ve cut the cable or not.

Network apps

Android apps that enhance your digital pleasure

Music apps I Use

Misc entertainment apps I use

Thank you

I hope this resource guide helps you decide if cutting the cable s a good idea but I believe the fact that most cable content we consume is now available on demand (we watch what we want, when we want it) is even more powerful an argument than the cost savings.

Do you pay for cable? Is your cable bundled into your internet and/or phone service? How much would you save if you canceled your cable, increased your internet speed, and picked just one digital streaming media service like Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime? Is it worth learning a new solution? Have you already cut the cable? I’d love your comments, stories, suggestions or questions in the comment section below.

Written by Brian D. Hawkins
Blogging superhero by day and internet super villain by night. Blogger, future online millionaire and all around great guy. Married and from Michigan.