This subject can be for house dwellers as well as full time RVers. These days, it seems like to get the specific few channels we want to watch, it requires getting a cable or satellite package that is expensive for one, and secondly has way more channels than we are interested in. There are some providers that offer smaller packages, claiming you can pick your own channels, but they all come with some “fluff” that we don’t want.
We found that even with a booster for our regular TV antenna, it would still depend on the weather whether or not the channels would show up. We’ve been Amazon Prime members for a few years, so I bought the Fire Stick to go on our RV TV. It opens up a whole new world of television.
Click the link above to check one out. They are not expensive, and if you’re already Prime members, you have many free TV show and movie choices. If you’re not a Prime member, it’s $119 for the year. (Look at that not only in terms of free two day shipping, but in the aspect of the MONTHLY cost of a cable bill. If you have certain channels that are your absolute favorites that you don’t want to miss out on, try one of their APPS. We have the history and animal planet apps added. The down side to that is if you don’t have a cable provider to enter a password for, some programs won’t be available on those apps as soon as they air on TV. But you can still watch them on the app at a later date (which we choose to do). It’s kind of like how Netflix waits a year to catch you up on a series. Although, with these apps, you don’t wait a year to catch up.
You can also add on Hulu or Netflix for what you pay for them normally. There are free TV apps galore. Some of them are better than others. I tried Philo for the 7 day free trail, but even with good internet, it was still way to slow. So, we opted not to pay the $20 a month they wanted for what I call the “fun’ channels. This app had all the channels I was missing, but if it’s not good quality, I’m not paying for it to watch the little circle spin. Our free TV app of choice is Pluto. They don’t have the Sundance channel or WEtv, but they have lots of things that are similar. If you like the Escape channel or Discovery ID, Pluto has a 24/7 crime network, a Forensic Files channel, and a Cold Case Files Channels. They have Spike TV, Travel and Adventure channels, many sports and news channels. It’s the best one that’s 100% free that we’ve found so far.
Ok, so you have your fire stick and Amazon Prime. Now, to make sure you have good WiFi to get all the capabilities. We have a repeater and router and an external WiFi antenna on our camper. So far we’ve been lucky to be able to use it everywhere we’ve camped. Some places will block you if they find out you have a repeater. I’m not really sure why if they have free WiFi available. You can also use your phone as a hotspot if you have unlimited data on your phone network. We have done this in storms when the WiFi was out, and it works great. (We have Verizon).
If you want to get sophisticated with it, you can get your own regular hotspot and pay a monthly fee for ever how much data you think you will use watching TV. We started out with the Verizon Hotspot as prepaid, but we found that even just using it for our blog took up more data than we thought, so having a phone with that capability and unlimited data on our bill is much easier.
So, Fire Stick, Prime, Wifi, check. Picked out apps to use, check. What if you still want more? Try getting the latest version of the Fire Stick with voice control remote and an Echo Dot (Alexa) for fun. The dot starts out around $25 and goes up as “her” capabilities increase. It’s great for listening to music, and audio books. The audio books is a fee in itself, but if you have a Kindle, you’re already familiar with that. The point is, there are endless possibilities and ways to cut the cable cord.
It all depends on how much you want to spend to watch TV. It can be as cheap as completely free per month (with the initial cost of the fire stick and yearly Prime). or between $10 to $50, depending on what movie apps and other “channel” apps you decide you need/want. It’s all still cheaper than $60-$160 a month for cable of satellite. Have fun with it and explore all the free options before purchasing apps. There is a LOT of free watching to do!
So, for those rainy, cold days when you can’t get out an explore, stay in the RV and veg out on your favorites for free, rather than paying out the wazoo for it. We hope this was helpful to you. If you have any question about any apps or equipment that we have, shoot us a message or comment. Thank you for your support. Happy watching.