APPLETV ET AL
So, the update in 2016 is Amazon fire stick w/ voice operated remote or AppleTV also w/ voice activated remote.
Kinda the same deal. You download apps (which are basically Network channels) and pick your shows from there. So its basically like having On-Demand separated by Network (the networks are the apps you'll be downloading). You download the apps once - then you have access to that network like the Syfy app, A&E app, ABC app, CBS app etc. You get the picture.
What is somewhat exasperating is... in order to watch all the shows, or full episodes or the live stream of that channel you have to ALREADY HAVE CABLE! So these devices don't really save you money if you're interested in watching what you want when you want.
Of course you can make use of what you CAN get for free - and there is a lot if you're not set on a certain show. I've found some GREAT shows and TV series.
The work-around is simply to ask a buddy for their cable provider and use their username and password! When you download an app, and open it, it will most likely ask you to "activate" it by going to a website - usually > tv channel.com/activate
specify your (or your friend's!) provider
then log in to their cable provider by typing in the username and password.
Then you're granted access to all the shows on that app/channel/network.
The oice activation feature was pretty awesome cause u no longer have to keep track of where to get to your favorite shows. ... so much... it doesn't search EVERY app but it helps....
Some of my favorite apps to get you started:
Here's a great resource. Just type in your show of choice and it will tell you which apps carry your show:
I broke down and paid for HULU and my sister gave me her Netflix pass so with those 2 paid apps and your friends cable login (fyi - its doenst affect their cable or cost in ANY way whatsoever) you can pretty much catch everything you could want to watch.
If you can't afford appleTV - the Amazon Firestick for about $25 now with voice activated remote is about the most inexpensive gateway to free streaming you can get. It doens't offer ALL the apps but if you're trying to spend as little as possible this is your biggest bang for the buck and it has some exclusive shows, like Catastrophe, that are super if you're an Amazon prime member. Likewise, Hulu and Netlifx also have exclusive shows.
In short you don't need to spend any money on subscriptions or subscribe to paid apps to get some great shows. Get the firestick and ur good to go. Your willingness to forego certain shows will determine how low your cost can be. The more money you're willing to spend the more you'll get.
As of 6.23.16:
$10 per month for HD, $8 for not HD
$8 per month, very limited commercials, for $12 per month you can watch with no commercials
$8.95 per month as it turns out. It is a one-time (not monthly) cost of $99. This also includes free shipping on tons of items on Amazon.
I'm an Anglophile so when the Feeln app offered up a subscription for $2 a month I signed on. Even though it sounds like a porn channel it is actually Hallmark movies. They happen to have a rather large collection of British shows. Who knew?