We Quit Cable & Satellite Dish Services
It can be done! About 5 years ago or so, I wondered why we were paying for satellite dish service when there was absolutely nothing decent to watch on it. The bill was outrageous...and for nothing!
I wondered why I couldn't watch movies and shows on the TV though the computer. At the time, the TV set we owned didn't have the right connection. You need an HDMI port on the TV to run the HDMI cable from the computer to it. We bought a nice plasma flat screen with the correct ports. I then purchased a computer which I dedicated ONLY to TV watching and some casual web surfing. NO GAMES OR DOWNLOADS. I wanted it to stay fast and not bogged down with junk. After a few years...we needed the computer for the kids home school work...so I ended up getting a Roku box...which is NOT as fast and spiffy as using a computer...but way cheaper...$79.00 for it, vs. $350 or so for a computer. You can decide which suits you best. (For the occasional movie, I will hook up the laptop if I can't access it via Roku.
Heres how to do it with a computer: Make sure you have a HDMI cord, hook it up from a computer (laptop will work), get a wireless mouse and keyboard...and you can surf for shows from the couch! Just be sure to keep your virus protection up.
We signed up for Hulu.com to watch TV shows that are pretty current, and if you want the lastest episodes right after they air...you can pay $7.99/month for HuluPlus.com...we also love YouTube for cheap entertainment. We also use Amazon streaming for movie rentals. Roku has tons of movie channels as well. If you get the box, you can scroll through them and set the ones you like on your home screen for easy access.
We also signed up for Netflix streaming for $7.99 I think. In addition to those...you can access the Discovery Channel, History Channel...any one with a website.. However, they do not post full episodes right away. If you are hooked on something you might have to live without it for a while.
For HBO/Showtime movies and series, as well as a ton of other shows...I watch them after they air, like the next day...at http://www.cokeandpopcorn.ch/tvsection.php It's a little tricky...they have a million pop ups and tricky ways to get you to click on ads. If you want the inside skinny on how to get around on the site...message me on FB and I will try to walk you through it. But we have watched all the Game of Thrones episodes, Dexters, Downtown Abby's etc. You CAN NOT access it though Roku though...only a computer.
My thinking...Roku is the way to go. They are getting better and better with their channel selections too. Music channels are awesome on there as well. Some things are free, some are by subscription...you just need to pay attention.
Your TV is probably new enough that it has a digital antennae, which is going to pick up local networks for news etc.