Last week we told you that CBS and Time Warner Cable were trying to come to an agreement over how much to charge you for stuff CBS gives away for free. Currently, their disagreement on how to take you, the consumer, for a ride in the long term has become a method of taking you, the consumer, for a ride in the short term, by Time Warner Cable yanking everything CBS-related, from the broadcast network to Showtime, off the air.
Unfortunately for both parties, modern technology means we can dodge their little hissy fit. Here’s how to do it.
Buy An Antenna
Yes, they still make antennas. Yes, you can still install them on your TV. Yes, they’re cheap, surprisingly so, actually; I have a TV antenna that ran me thirty bucks, that I found with five minutes in a local electronics store. CBS isn’t ceasing all broadcasts, it’s just not running their signal on cable; if you have to watch Acronyms Fighting Crime, or niche programming like sports, an antenna, while annoying at times, will work.
Use A Proxy Server To Watch Shows On CBS.Com
In the usual dickery that accompanies this kind of thing, CBS is blocking Time Warner Cable subscribers from watching their shows online. Of course, CBS is hoping you’re dumb enough not to realize that this is fairly easy to spoof.
Essentially, all you need to do is tell CBS.com you’re not a Time Warner Cable subscriber, which you can do in less time than it takes to read this sentence. Granted, streaming through a proxy server isn’t the smoothest solution, but it’s a workable one.
Buy Shows From Amazon Instant Video
If you don’t care about seeing something the day it’s broadcast, you can just start buying episodes off of Amazon Instant Video. If you’re a Prime subscriber, you’ll be able to stream shows like Under The Dome, as well.
If You’re In New York, Use Aereo
Unfortunately, Aereo only covers New York, Boston, and Atlanta right now, so a lot of markets are essentially out of luck. But if you’re looking to get TV in New York without paying through the nose, Aereo might work not least because it’s an antenna and you even get a DVR.
Just Cut The Cord Completely
Yeah, I know, sports or American Idol or whatever, but this is not the first time a major market has been blacked out over disputes like this. More importantly, it’s not going to be the last. As TV networks view retransmission fees cable companies pay as a growing source of revenue, this is going to happen more frequently, last longer and longer, and when it ends, your net result is a higher cable bill. Cable companies don’t care about you, they just care about retransmission fees eating into their profits.
So if you’re sick of this already, it’s time to go. Because they’re only going to make streaming video more tempting.