DVR

How to Survive Without a DVR as a Cord Cutter

How to Survive Without a DVR as a Cord Cutter

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Whether you aren’t home when your favorite show airs or you just don’t have time to sit down and watch TV until the kids go to bed, the good old DVR has become a necessity in today’s fast-paced world. When considering the life of a Cord Cutter you may be freaking out because no cable box means no DVR! Rest assured, there are plenty of ways to binge your favorite sitcom without paying for high priced cable. As a cord cutter, you need to shift your thinking from DVRs to On-Demand. Instead of having to schedule, update, and delete recordings for your favorite shows, there are services out there that publish the episodes as they air for you to stream, from the cloud, whenever you want. Here are some of my top ways for cord cutters to watch shows on-demand, without a DVR, after they air.

You can watch major network shows the day after they air with a few different subscription services.

The most popular option you may have heard of is Hulu, which carries shows from NBC, FOX, and ABC in addition to other networks as well as some original content. For $7.99 per month, you can watch new episodes the day after they air with advertisements or commercials. For ad-free viewing, you can add the “No Commercials Ad-On” for an extra $4. The Hulu subscription also includes past seasons of shows for your binging pleasure.

CBS does its own thing separate from Hulu. They offer their service, CBS All Access, for $5.99 per month. With your subscription to CBS All Access, you can watch new episodes of CBS shows the next day after they air and you get access to complete past seasons as well. There is also a commercial free subscription for $9.99.

Both the Hulu and CBS All Access services have apps for Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

If you don’t mind waiting a few days after a show airs, there are a few free and cheap ways to watch.

From your computer’s internet browser, you can watch shows on Yahoo View (which is a collection of what’s available on the NBC, FOX and ABC websites). New episodes are made available about a week after they air and usually the last 4 episodes are able to be streamed. It’s completely free to watch, but you will have to sit through the occasional advertisement or commercial.

If you’re after shows that are broadcast on CBS, then head over to CBS.com to see episodes for free with similar availability and viewing terms.

Most people aren’t fond of sitting in front of the computer screen and prefer a more “TV friendly” way to watch the free shows available on the network websites. If that sounds like you, then try out PlayOn. For a one-time fee of $59.99 (or less, they run sales often!) you can download their software which runs on a Windows PC. You add what they call “channels”, which are essentially links to the websites of NBC, FOX, ABC and CBS, and then the software on your computer “casts” the videos from those channels to the PlayOn app on your Roku or Fire TV. It works really well and the PlayOn app lets you navigate the websites through menu options, so it’s really easy to find the latest episode of your favorite show.

You can even watch shows on premium stations after they air if you subscribe to one of the over-the-top streaming services.

If the shows you like to watch are part of your Sling TV subscription, then check out their own On-Demand selection right in the app. You can do this by selecting a station in the app, pressing the down button and then selecting the show you want to watch. Sling usually carries the most recent season or two and you can even catch episodes right after they air.

PlayStation Vue also has a few ways to catch up on your favorite shows. In addition to the On-demand content offered by Vue, you also have a 28 day DVR built into the service that lets you “save” your favorite show to view at a later time.

If after all these options you still don’t think you can survive without a DVR, then you can always buy your own Over-The-Air DVR.

The Tablo DVR is one of the best OTA DVR’s on the market today. You buy the DVR box, plus a USB hard drive, connect your HD antenna to the back and login to your home WiFi. The Tablo DVR then records shows from any channel that you can receive over-the-air and when you are ready to watch, you stream the show from the DVR through an app on your Roku or Fire TV. The shows are saved on your hard drive for as long as you like. If you’re interested, you can learn more on Tablo’s website.

I suggest trying out all the options above for yourself to see which one fits you the best. They even offer free trial periods so you don’t have anything to lose.

So, do you think you can survive without your DVR? Which of the ways to watch sounds like the best option for you?

 

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Posted by Dan in Amazon Fire TV, DVR, Roku, Streaming, TV, 4 comments