The Many Ways to “Watch TV”

Most people think there are only a few options for “watching TV”.

I want to briefly explain some of the uncommon ways to watch TV – free and legal. This is a broad overview, more info can be found in the web.

1. Cable TV

Cable TV is probably the most popular, or well known way of watching TV. Along came Ted Turner and soon, almost every home would have a coax cable going into it. Through this cable, consumers can get TV, Internet and phone service. In some very lucky areas like Kansas, fiber optic ‘cable’ is replacing the copper coax and offers much faster data speeds!

2. Free, Over-The-Air Broadcast

Remember back in June 2009 when there was the whole transition to “Digital TV”? Well, that happened, and for the vast majority, this did not effect most TV viewers. The people who needed that converter box the government was subsidizing, were those who had television sets made prior to 2007 and watch TV via free-over-the-air broadcast. All TVs made after March 2007 likely have a built-in digital tuner as well as an analog tuner for some cable systems and low power analog TV broadcasts. If THECOOLTV is broadcasting in your city, you should be able to receive the signal using an antenna and the digital tuner in your TV – or an antenna and a digital TV converter box. If you happen to live in a location that is down in a valley, receiving the over the air signal may be more difficult.

The first two are the most commonly used and known about. But what are the other options, what do you get and at what cost?

3. Satellite Subscribers

The two big dogs are DIRECTV© and Dish Network©. You pay for the packages just like you do with cable. The broadcast is received via a satellite dish mounted outside your home on the southern sky. The biggest complaint is that the weather can affect the signal. Poor or no reception when it is snowing or raining. But for the most part, watching TV via satellite vs. watching TV using a cable system can be much the same.

4. Free-To-Air Satellite Broadcast

Free-To-Air broadcast viewers also use a satellite dish installed outside of the home. The difference is there is no subscription fee paid to the service like with DIRECTV© and Dish©. These satellite dishes will not pick-up the channels offered by the subscription services, but they do pick-up all primary network broadcasts from ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and THECOOLTV. Many other networks are also available, in standard definition (SD) and High Definition (HD) via free-to-air satellite. Check out the $125 satellite dishes and tuners/DVRs and other accessories.

5. OTT (Over The Top)

OTT boxes like Roku, AppleTV etc. are web connected devices that receive the “broadcast” or content over the Internet. All OTT boxes have subscription based services like Netflix and Hulu along with other options, both free and subscription, for both audio and video content.

6. IPTV (Internet Protocol Television)

IPTV is perhaps the smallest and newest emerging option for consumption of content. “Smart TVs” from manufacturers like Samsung and Sony are connected to the Internet via a fast broadband Internet connection and have applications like Netflix, Hulu and hundreds of other “Channels”.

There are lots of ways to consume you favorite shows, surf TV and watch movies. All this talk about “cord-cutting” is more like “cord-moving”. People are still watching TV, just doing it many different ways, using different technologies and filtering what, when and where and how they consume content. The definition of “watching TV” needs to be redefined because people are watching and producing more content than ever before; and there are also a lot more options for broadcast and consumption than ever before.

I actually use all these methods depending what I want to watch, when and where I want to watch and also on what device I want to watch on. Luckily, I can watch THECOOLTV on most of these and the others will be available very soon from THECOOLTV.


* Watch THECOOLTV on smart phones and tablets simply by navigating to on the device and click “YES” or “OK” to watch the stream. No app needs to be installed. In addition, watch from desktops and laptops here:


How do you “watch TV” and THECOOLTV?


3 Responses to “The Many Ways to “Watch TV””

  1. For those of you who have lost THECOOLTV, we are finding a new home in each city we lost our carriage. When we do find a new home, it will be on a different channel than it was on before. DTV viewers, be sure to rescan your TVs to find THECOOLTV on a new channel. Use THECOOLTV Channel Finder here:

  2. Pittsburgh really misses you 😦

  3. “The Many Ways to Watch TV THECOOLTV” ended up being a very
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