I absolutely love ‘marathoning’ entire seasons of my favorite shows on Netflix. I love inviting friends over to watch the our favorite series. I love being able to play my online games without lag as well.
What I don’t like is having to pay an arm and a leg for these services.
Just recently I had a chat with my mom and was absolutely stunned to hear she is paying nearly $200 each month for her cable. To me that’s absolutely ridiculous in terms of entertainment per dollar value especially due to the fact that they don’t really watch a whole lot of programming or go online too frequently.
I decided I was going to bring my mom up to speed with what I knew about maximizing entertainment while keeping it in a respectable budget.
These are bits of wisdom I had shared with them:
Part 1: Get a better service
TV, phone, and Internet. This is generally what you’re looking for because cable providers give discounts. After doing my own comparison research I found it does hold up (even if you decide not to use the phone that comes along with it).
What you really want to look for is:
- Price (a given considering you want to stick to a respectable budget)
- Company (look into the reviews and service they provide)
- Options (how many channels do you get? How fast is the net? Can you upgrade?)
When you have a great service everything else falls into place. You’ll have the channels you want and the net speed you need to do all the good streaming stuff (explained in the next two parts).
I would recommend cutting the costs even more by using a promo code to get a discounted Verizon bundle which will set you up with a couple of options (all of which come with various options but fits the criteria of good pricing, good company, and good options).
Part 2: Streaming and a la carte programming
I had mentioned Netflix because it’s pretty much the center of my entertainment (when I’m not busy playing video games or catching some hockey games).
There are a few items and services available that can widen your scope of entertainment – like:
- Set top boxes like the Roku, AppleTV, or Kindle Fire TV can hook up to your TV and give it “smart” options like web browsing, access to apps, and much, much more.
- Services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime are very inexpensive and can give you access to thousands of shows and movies.
If you are willing to get technical you can also use this guide to getting around blocked content which further expands your access to awesome entertainment that’s usually only available in certain parts of the World. Mixing theses online services with your traditional TV setup will create one incredible center of entertainment for the household (and on the cheap, too).
Part 3: Life outside the cable box
T.V. is there for us when we get home after a hard day’s work. It’s easy to plop down with a snack and start watching our favorite shows. But there is a whole World of incredible entertainment online that’s not just lists of funny cat pictures or parody videos on YouTube.
When you have great Internet speeds you can really start to widen your entertainment options:
- You could relax and watch the World through streaming web cams from places like Times Square, Chicago, Tokyo, Instanbul, and more on a site like EarthCam.
- You could, for the gamer-types, wait until one of the big Steam sales to find a ton of great deals on PC games that will quickly build up a collection and give you thousands of hours of possible game play.
- You could put your mind to work by finding entertainment in learning through free online colleges and tutorial websites (they’re called MOOC’s).
- You could also appeal to your crafting side (see a few examples) through sites like New Nostalgia and many others!
Basically – you don’t have to sit on the couch in the afternoon to find entertainment. There’s a big, wide World out there on the Web. Start digging around and you may find a ton of new stuff you’ll really enjoy. The best part? Almost all of it is free!
Photo Credit: www.simmworksfamily.com