How to Get TV Shows Without Cable

By Leonard Dozier

According to SNL Kagan, the average cost of monthly cable in 2007 was $98.75. Life without cable television is hard to imagine if you are addicted to sports or popular prime-time television shows. But you can continue watching these shows without cable. With alternatives such as digital TV, free, legal online video services, video streaming, and X-box 360, you can cancel your cable subscription and begin to save money.

Things You'll Need

  • X-Box 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii
  • Library card


Step 1

Download PlayOn software to your computer from Make sure your computer meets the minimum requirements. Turn on your X-box 360, Nintedo Wii or Playstation 3 and locate the PlayOn media server.

Step 2

Check the network connection for your PlayOn device (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii). Make sure it is connected to the same router as your PlayOn personal computer.

Step 3

Install Flash, Windows Media Player or DIVX. Find "Channels" on the video streaming websites (Hulu, Netflix, and search under the categories (e.g. "Action and Adventure,"Horror," "Comedy" etc.)

Step 4

Subscribe to online video streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix,, YouTube, Comedy Central, HGTV, ESPN, Food Network, and the websites of your favorite sports leagues to get well-rounded television coverage.

Step 5

Plug in your usernames and passwords for the video streaming sites on the PlayOn "Settings" window on your computer.

Step 6

On the Playstation 3, locate "Media Server Connection" under "Settings." Find the PlayOn media player by searching under "XrossMediaBar," then "Video."

Step 7

On the Xbox 360, search under "Dashboard" and click on "My Xbox" followed by "Video Library." On the Nintendo Wii, open the Internet Channel and press the "WWW" button and enter "" Turn off the "Screen Burn-In Reduction" to avoid interruption of your video programming.

Step 8

Watch your programs to ensure that they play without interruption or error before adding to your console.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can get a library card from your local library and borrow many of your favorite television shows on DVD.
  • PlayOn offers a free trial for 14 days.
  • Look into other online video streaming services such as,, and
  • Satellite dish services are also a popular alternative to cable television, offering packages as low as under $30 per month. However, these services require contractual agreements.
  • If you have a built-in tuner and an antenna, you already have access to television shows, but only network shows. If you have a regular TV, you will need a digital converter box.