Making the switch to Internet TV

Based on your viewing habits, Internet TV might not be cheaper, but it will be more complicated

You may have pondered the notion of dropping your cable TV service in favor of obtaining all of your TV through Internet-based services.

It seems pretty attractive, particularly when you see subscription fees for some services running around $8 to $10 a month, and your cable TV bill is at $60 to 80 a month -- more if you like premium services. But what exactly is involved in cutting the cable? Is it really going to deliver the same TV experience you want with a real savings in your pocketbook?

This experience is something that I recently walked through with my own household. Based on what I learned, here are steps to take to see if cutting the cable is right for you.

Determine your viewing habits
Let the veg-a-thon beginflickr/puuikibeach
Let the veg-a-thon begin

Researching your viewing is going to help you in two ways: first, it will help you determine which Internet services offer the shows you want. Second, it will let you figure out the cost of an Internet-based offering and figure out just how much money you will spend.

Are you someone who enjoys movies and longer forms of entertainment? Then you should have no problems with making the switch. Many of the service providers offer a wide variety of movies, and it's usually easy to find an old favorite or something new to watch.

If you're an avid sports watcher, you may have more bumps to endure. In the US, professional baseball, football, basketball, and hockey all have subscription-based seasonal passes, but unfortunately blackout rules can apply, so if you live in-market for a particular team, you could find your viewing blocked. There is also the very real problem that not all of these services are available on every device on the market, and you may have to watch games on a computer. Other sports, such as NASCAR, golf, or soccer, may have to be viewed via broadcast TV or (for larger events) with a web browser.

Somewhere in between are those viewers who watch their favorite TV shows, with perhaps the occasional foray watching a premiering show or a show that their friends have recommended. Internet television is well-suited for this type of user, too, with only the occasional set of episodes unavailable for immediate viewing.

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