Alternatives to Cable TelevisionSo you tried to put up with the insanity that is cable TV, only to find that most of the content offered is either of little interest, requires the additional expense of a DVR to enjoy it, or worse, has been canceled and is no longer available. It’s a frustration that I think can get the best of most of  us. But what I have found interesting is that so many people continue to put up with the madness. By no means am I claiming that you’re going to find all of the content you seek on other sources, but most of the time you can find 95% of it!

Netflix

Easily the best money I’ve ever spent on TV programming. The best part is that the TV content making an appearance on Netflix is often keeping close pace with what you’d find with iTunes or Amazon. Sometimes it’s a little behind, but it’s surely the most friendly in price: flat rate, all you can watch TV. The navigation really depends on which set-top box you happen to go with. Since I’m a Linux guy myself, I’ve found that the Roku box more than meets my needs. And if that wasn’t enough, we also have our Apple TV (v2) box as a fall back. Both devices provide smooth access to Netflix.

What I love most about Netflix is that it offers me simple, flat rate access to the kind of content I enjoy. Priced right, with a decent selection that continues to grow, I’d say that Netflix is my first choice when looking to catch up on an individual TV series.

Hulu (Plus)

I know a lot of people have been on the fence about watching Hulu and Hulu Plus. After all, it comes with commercials. Having enjoyed the various TV series on Netflix without this hassle, it’s easy to see why some folks might be put off with the Hulu approach. On the other side of the coin, however, I would suggest that Hulu has more timely content. In addition to a lot of older TV shows, brand new programming appears on Hulu long before it does on Netflix. As to which is better, I leave that to the viewer to decide.

Amazon/iTunes

When it comes to video on demand content, for a price, both Amazon VOD and iTunes are about tied in my opinion. In my living room, we have Amazon VOD on my Roku box and iTunes TV content via my Apple TV. I’ve found both quality and quantity to be about on par on either side of the street. Some will argue that Apple’s content “looks better,” but to us mere mortals it’s a wash overall. The one singular difference I found between the two services however is when one is unable to provide a full HD experience due to an issue on its end, a credit is issued. As it stands today, I have over $50 of free VOD credit with Amazon. Take a wild guess who’s going to get my business in the future?