Sue writes:

I have really had it with my TV provider- Time Warner. I just purchased my own modem, and am thinking of going a different route with TV. Any suggestions for my viewing which is the basic network channels and HGTV. I also like to DVR so I don’t have to be home, and can bypass the commercials. Does TIVO make sense? Any suggestions for an older, non geek woman?

It sounds like you are ready to cut the cord, so I won’t suggest checking with other cable and satellite TV providers. They will often offer a discount if you let them know you are thinking about switching from another provider.

You don’t say if you get your Internet from Time Warner as well, but many Internet Service Providers also offer television bundles, so that is something you may want to check into to find out if the price is right.

Without cable or satellite, I’d question whether you really need a  separate DVR at all, because likely you’d switch to watching your programs on demand. The major networks do offer free online viewing of some shows, but often times that is only available for people who are paying for cable and satellite services. For network shows and HGTV, you’ll probably want to consider a service like Hulu Plus. 


Hulu Plus starts at $7.99 per month.  You can view it online or on your TV with a streaming box or streaming stick that plugs into the HDMI port of your television. Streaming boxes are available in the $60 to $100 range and streaming sticks cost even less. You can get a FireTV stick with remote for $39, a Chromecast stick for $35 and a Roku stick for  $49.99. 



These devices give you access to apps like Hulu Plus, YouTube and more that allow you to stream programs right to your television on demand.  If you have an Amazon Prime account, you should look into Fire TV, which allows access to that service and other apps like Hulu.  You will have to pay the subscription fees for the programming services you choose.


Popular streaming services include Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Before choosing a streaming service, check out what programs it offers. To have access to all the programming you want, you may have to subscribe to more than one service. Before choosing a streaming device, make sure that it supports the service you wish to subscribe to. If all of your favorite shows will be available on Hulu, make sure the device you purchase has an app for Hulu included.  If you already have a game console such as an Xbox or Playstation in your home, those devices also support streaming.

What you won’t be able to watch via streaming is local news. For that you can choose an antenna or to watch the news content online.  Tivo does offer a DVR with a streaming media player that will record from an HD Antenna and does stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and more for $149. But that does require an extra subscription to the TiVo service of $12.50 per month on top of the subscriptions to the streaming services. There are separate DVRs available to record from antennas, but they can be pricey.

You’ll want to find the service that carries the programs you enjoy and then find a device that supports that service.  Even if you end up subscribing to multiple services, it could still be cheaper than paying for cable.

~ Cynthia