TAMPA - Alicia Dodd figures her family is saving more than $100 a month and there's still plenty to watch on TV, even though she no longer pays for cable.
Best Buy's Melvin Gonzales says more and more customers are turning to technology to slash their entertainment costs. “A lot of people are coming in to get Rokus, Apple TVs or just blue ray players that allows them access to a bunch of shows and movies,” he said.
There are several smart boxes on the market that will allow you to pull in shows, movies, even sports, as long as you have internet service. The $80 Roku box ranks as one of Best Buy’s best sellers.
From the small box, you can pull in Netflix and Hulu apps at $8 a month each, with access to movies and TV shows. Roku also offers apps for Major League Baseball, along with professional football and hockey, all subscription-based.
The Boxee Box at $150 also connects to your television and comes with the ability to pull in movies and shows. Unlike Roku, though, the Boxee Box also enables users to surf the web with their big screen via a keyboard.
And for the Mac and iPad faithful, there's the $100 Apple TV. It will play anything you've downloaded to your iPad 2, iPad 3, iPhone 4 or iTunes account. And you can stream movies and shows right from TV network and cable station websites.
None of these black boxes will pull in local television programming. To do that, you need a $25 antenna. The Dodd family pulls in 30 stations crystal clear with a $15 antenna that sits right next to the TV.
Now if you want to start out simple, all you need is an HDMI cord. Run it from your computer to your TV. Any network, show or movie you can download to your computer will play on your big screen, free of charge.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.