If you're asking yourself "Why am I paying so much for cable TV or satellite TV?" you're not alone. Millions of people are cutting the cord for that very reason and moving to streaming internet video.
There are loads of reasons to start streaming right now. For starters, with a streaming media player or stick (starting at a one-time cost ranging between $35-$200), you can watch hundreds of channels with thousands of TV shows, news programs and movies for very little cost. Sites like Netflix and Hulu make it simple.
Another big upside is that shows are available to watch when you want. You don't have to rearrange your schedule to catch the latest episode. And you can often binge watch a series or season straight through from beginning to end. However, that can also be a downside.
You turn on your TV and your streaming media player, and then you scroll through dozens of menus and hundreds of options for your next TV show or movie to watch. The number of choices can be overwhelming. It might make you miss the days of TV where you could just turn it on and watch whatever was available.
An increasing number of streaming TV networks understand that feeling, which is why you're starting to see streaming networks offering "live TV" options, many for free. The way it works is, you find a streaming network, as you normally do. But, instead of clicking on an on-demand show, you choose "live TV," then sit back and enjoy.
As you might expect, 24-hour news networks are streaming live TV. But so are entertainment networks, sports networks, home and garden networks, and many more. Here are five streaming networks with live TV options you should check out. (Note: Keep reading for a bonus tip to watch your favorite TV channels in high-definition for free.)
1. Tubi TV
If you're like many people, you love watching TV. These days, there's no shame in admitting that. In fact, the days when TV was called a "vast wasteland" are long gone.
Now, TV has some of the best content out there, even more so than movies. You can find highly produced shows like "The Walking Dead" and "Fargo" that have complex story lines, multi-dimensional characters, and casts carrying armfuls of Emmy awards.
If you're streaming TV shows, you may be watching award-winners like Netflix's "House of Cards" or Amazon Instant Video's "Transparent." Another streaming platform, Tubi TV, is free and has 40,000 titles, including movies and TV shows from studios (and Tubi TV investors), MGM and Lionsgate.
Tubi TV also offers something streaming platforms like Netflix don't: live TV. On some streaming media players, like Roku, you can choose the Live TV option. Instead of scrolling around, trying to find something to watch, the ad-supported Tubi TV streams TV shows, with one leading into another. So, put down the remote control and relax.
Watching news on-demand doesn't make much sense unless it's a program like "60 Minutes," which is more about in-depth profiles than breaking news.
This is why CBS News created the 24-hour streaming network, CBSN, with hosts like Elaine Quijano. Turn it on, and you're watching its live news desk, or whichever news program is on air, like "CBS News Sunday Morning."
CBSN is free, it's live, and it's available on almost every streaming media player.
3. Sky News
On TV, when it comes to finding in-depth newscasts, with journalists taking their time to report a story, good luck finding more than a half-hour here or there. You can find newscasts that do that, like "CBS Evening News," but you won't find many others.
Worse, the 24-hour news networks that used to break news stories around the clock have turned into reality TV networks or platforms for political pundits to shout at each other. There is an alternative, and it's free and streaming live.
Sky News, which is headquartered in London and has bureaus in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C., is live 24 hours a day. Its focus is on international news. You're as likely to watch a report on President Trump's latest actions as you are to see breaking news and in-depth reports from Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Australia.
Sky News launched in 1989 with a focus on airing on every platform available, not just TV. Today, its focus is the same, on being the first to report a news story, and letting you watch it wherever and whenever you want, whether it's streaming on your TV set, your laptop, or your smartphone.
Like news, sports is best viewed live. After all, with sports, the excitement of watching it is not knowing how it'll end.
This is why ESPN created the free streaming WatchESPN. Turn it on for live events, like "Monday Night Football," NBA basketball games, Major League Baseball games, professional golf and tennis tournaments, and college sports.
It's an app that you can add to your Android or iOS device, or on streaming media devices like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, the Xbox game console, and others. You can also watch it on your computer or tablet on WatchESPN.com.
Note: WatchESPN, like some other streaming networks, such as Food Network and HGTV, requires you to have a pay TV subscription. If so, call your cable provider. Ask them if they have a streaming TV plan; some do, and they often cost a fraction of what you're currently paying for cable TV or satellite TV.
If you think about TV in past decades, what do you think of? You turn on a TV set and watch a show with some commercials mixed in.
Today, you turn on your smartphone and do the same thing. With the app, Go90, you can watch live concerts, live sports, TV shows, and video clips. Plus, more content is being added all the time.
It has a heavy focus on young adults, including making it easy to share clips on social media platforms. But, many of its shows, like Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and its upcoming original comedy-drama, "Relationship Status," should appeal to everyone.
For now, Go90 is available only on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Go90 is owned by the cellphone provider Verizon, but it's free for everyone, not just its subscribers.
Bonus: Watch your favorite TV channels in HD for free
If you're paying $50, $100, or more each month to watch TV, you're paying way too much. If you remember the days when TV was truly free, albeit with just a handful of TV channels, good news. Those days are back, but with loads of channels.
If you pay for a streaming service like Netflix for about $10 a month and pay nothing or very little for the options listed above, you can watch thousands of live TV shows, newscasts, sports events and movies for a fraction of what you're paying now.
Plus, you can watch your favorite TV channels and TV networks in high-definition for free. With the Komando Indoor Amplified HD Antenna in the Komando Shop, you pay a modest, one-time cost for a razor-thin antenna that you attach to your wall or window (see photo).
The Komando Indoor Amplified HD Antenna picks up your local TV stations' high-definition signals, so you won't miss any local news or network TV shows. Note: Click here to see the HD channels available where you live.