Television Service Providers allow customers to access televised media, generally for a contracted monthly fee. Although anyone can watch local network channels for free with an antenna and DTV box, many prefer to opt for premium content as well. Once upon a time, premium content was only available through cable hookups and satellite dishes, but nowadays the Internet has become a popular means of transmission as well.

These are the services offered locally:

Cable

Satellite

DSL

Alternatives to Traditional TV

There are a growing number of alternatives to standard television services, usually involving streaming shows over the Internet. If you're using data on your cell phone, this can burn through a capped data plan in no time flat. For a normal internet connection, however, it's very feasible. Note that most of the streaming services can be enjoyed through various internet-connected media devices, ranging from Blu-Ray Players to video game systems to smart phones to internet-connected TVs.

  • Netflix - good selection of older shows, mediocre on current programs. Streaming is $8/mo; you can also get DVDs and/or Blu-Rays by mail for $8+/mo
  • Hulu Plus - Hulu's basic service isn't stellar, but their paid Hulu Plus has a good selection of current programs. Unfortunately, streaming continues to be ad-supported for the premium subscription, which runs around $8/mo. Stuff more than a few seasons old tends to get phased out as well.
  • Amazon - Free streaming of select videos and TV shows is included with an Amazon Prime membership (does this include Student memberships? Nope, paid Prime only.). The selection is limited but growing. There are also streaming video rentals and outright purchases available for most new releases of movies and recently aired television episodes.
  • HBOGo - HBO's streaming service. It is only available with a subscription to HBO through your television service. HBO has some absolutely spectacular series which put most television (and most movies, for that matter) to shame. It ain't cheap, though.