In search of free TV – join the majority of cord cutters.

Start with the premise there is no free TV that is reliable and dependable. There are however, options that are almost there. A friend asked me what is needed and it took some time to sort out my advice. As I just muddle about as a hobby to pass some down time, don’t take this as the only approach. An excellent resource is troypoint.com.

First and foremost you need an adequate internet speed. DSL is not adequate. Many will say a minimum download speed is 15 megs and I agree. You can get by with 10 but there will be frustration.

Next you need an Android box (there are other options, but IMO an Android box is the way to go). Don’t go cheap. You can get a $100 box but eventually you will want to upgrade. There are a number of good options at $150. If you want the best of the best get a Nvidia Shield TV at $250 (ish).

Next you will need the necessary applications which permit viewing videos. Start with well known application Kodi. (Free). By itself Kodi does not display TV or movies and is an excellent stand-alone home theatre application. By installing ‘addons’ to Kodi you can stream TV and movies. At this point you may have stepped outside the legal arena, but that is still a grey area. Kodi is an excellent product and as a home server is perfect for displaying your home videos, photos, etc.

One can bypass Kodi and obtain free programs (known as APK) which will work very well to stream or download movies and TV.

You now have the ability to watch almost any TV series ever made and almost every movie ever made. Current TV programs are available one day after they are broadcast.

To avoid buffering and get access to the fastest and most complete streams you will need a real-debrid account. This will cost 4€ a month and worth every cent.

Finally, install a VPN. This will mask your activity behind a proxy server and protect your privacy. A VPN masks your activity and if your ISP has a policy of throttling bandwidth for streaming, a VPN will shelter you from their policy. There are numerous free VPN products but the general consensus in the cord cutting community is buy a subscription to a paid service. Nord VPN and Private Internet Access are two products that receive positive reviews. Cost is $5 (ish) a month.

A final cord cutting option that many use is IPTV. IPTV has a cost. Figure $15-20 US for approximately 750-1,000 English speaking channels. If you are multilingual there are thousands of channels. IPTV is NOT cable TV reliability. One issue is buffering which can change from day to day or channel to channel. IPTV includes all of the usual live channels \ networks as well as premium channels and events. Think of IPTV as the alternative to live TV from cable or satellite. Most IPTV is provided by resellers who are providing access to Epic Streams TV. Two of the best seem to be Vader Streams (Canadian) and Durex TV.