Most colleges will have some kind of cable for each room, but some of them don’t and if you want to have it in your room you will have to pay for cable. Some colleges only offer basic cable channels and if you want to get other packages like for movie channels, you will have to pay for that yourself. Before you decide to do this, you should ask yourself if it’s really worth it. A college dorm building generally has a common area that includes a TV with cable so you can always watch something there, and make it a social event so you’re not watching in your room by yourself or just with your roommate.
There are also other ways of watching TV shows and movies and at way cheaper prices than buying an expensive cable package that you rarely use. I found that while I was in college, especially freshmen year, I was too busy to watch that much TV, so if I didn’t need the cable TV in my room, I was mostly just using my DVD player.
Netflix is a website that allows you to stream movies and TV shows online straight to your computer or other devices. Not all movies and series allows this, but most of them do. You can start a free trial with Netflix at anytime, and if you don’t feel like paying the small price of $7.99 a month, you simply cancel your free trial before it ends. Netflix has many popular TV series and movies and is constantly adding more to keep up with popular demand. It’s a great way to catch up on all the shows everyone’s talking about, even if it doesn’t have the current season of a TV show, there are so many other options that you can watch while you wait.
If you are looking for a service that streams current seasons, you can just check out Hulu. Hulu is a free site that streams your favorite television shows and movies, although while using Hulu you have ads to watch. If you have an .edu email, you can have a free two-week trial of Hulu Plus, which will grant you access to even more shows and movies than if you just use Hulu. Like Netflix, it’s only $7.99 a month, a much cheaper option than paying to have cable, and watch only one or two shows.
Another great option for renting movies is Redbox. Many grocery or pharmacy store now have Redbox Kiosks, which is basically a vending machine full of movies or video games. Rent movies for $1.20 a night, or video games for $2. You’ll get charged daily for your rental until you either return it or after 25 days, you now own the movie or video game. As long as you return your rental in a reasonable time frame, this is a very inexpensive option.
And it doesn’t matter which kiosk you return it to, meaning you can rent it from one place and return it to another. Redbox also now has Redbox instant, which gives you 4 credits at the kisosks and unlimited streaming of movies for only $8 a month. You can always start off with a free trial for a month to see if you like, but this once again seems like a money-saving option as compared to cable.
What’s good about all three of these options is that they can stream through your video game consoles, DVD players, or computers. You can even stream things from your smartphones. This gives you the option of watching whatever you want, whenever you want. As long as you have access to the internet, you can stream your movie or television show.
So, should you pay for cable?
So, before you decide on the cable bill, think about whether or not you’re really going to use it. Sure it’s nice to watch the show as it’s happening live so the next day you won’t be out of the loop, but between classes, school work, any sports or clubs you might be in, and finding time to be social and hang out with friends, are you going to have time to sit around and watch a TV show in a specific time slot? Wouldn’t it just be easier to choose when and where you wanted to watch something?
For those of you who are planning to pay for cable in your room, depending on what cable your college already uses, there are a couple of good cable providers that you can use, and get cash back from Studentrate.
Verizon FIOS is a well-known cable provider that has many options for you to choose from if you’re looking to get cable for your room or just add on to what the dorm has already given you. And, you’ll get $25 cash back when you order a subscription with Studentrate.
DirectTV is another popular provider and if your order it you also get free installation and handling, and there aren’t any start up costs. Plus, you’ll get $50 cash back when you purchase a DirectTV subscription with Studentrate.