Ways to Watch Cable TV on Your Computer

With a personal computer by your side, you have access to several sources of entertainment – right from music to games. The lengthy list of activities that you can do on your computer has just got better with the inclusion of Cable TV-on-PC option. With the facility to watch cable TV on your personal computer, you can enjoy all your favorite TV shows which you were not able to see due to some or the other reason; and that too in real time.

Requirements

In order to watch cable television on your computer, you will require a TV tuner card or a software, an updated computer and high speed Internet access. If your computer is considerably old, you will have to check with your cable operator for compatibility issues. Even though it is possible to watch TV on your PC using a DSL connection, the speed is likely to cause frequent interruption of services. On the contrary, using broadband Internet will ensure that you get uninterrupted services, and enhance your cable TV experience.

How to Watch Cable TV on Computer?

Basically, there are two methods by which you can pull of this task – in the first, you can use simple hardware to gain access to the cable service, and in the second, you have to download a particular software for the same. While the term ‘hardware’ here refers to the TV tuners, the term ‘software’ refers to programs which facilitate the use of computer to watch cable TV in real time. As far as convenience is concerned, it is easy to execute both the methods by following some simple guidelines given in the user manual. Given below are the further details of each of these two methods.

Using TV Tuner Card
If you intend to resort to a TV Tuner, which is slightly more convenient than the software downloading method, you will be able to buy one from the electronics store in your neighborhood. Basically, there exist two types of TV tuners for PC – internal TV tuner (which comes in form of a PCI card) and external TV tuner (which comes in form of a USB device.) While the TV tuner card (internal TV tuner) has to be plugged onto the motherboard of the computer, the external device can be plugged into the USB port. The TV tuners available today receive feed from cable service provider through the broadband network, and hence the picture quality is at par excellence even on the PC.

Both have their own pros and cons – while an internal card is relatively inexpensive, you are likely to have a tough time installing it on the motherboard. Similarly, the external device may be easy to connect, but the fact that it comes for some extra amount may make you give it a second thought. Depending on which of these two options you would prefer to go with, you will have to shell out something between US$50-$150. Brands like Hauppauge and AverMedia boast of some of the best USB TV tuners, which are priced in the range of US$100-$150.

Downloading Software
If you are not keen on buying TV tuner, you can resort to software applications which facilitate live streaming of cable TV channels on the computer. This method will require a high-speed broadband connection, or else distorted picture quality and ruin your experience. You can inquire with your cable TV operator for the details of downloading the right software program for your PC. The entire process of downloading this software will take less than half an hour, and you will get access to thousands of TV channels on your computer or laptop. Though this method is not considered to be at par with TV tuners, the fact that it saves you the trouble of going through the technicalities of the hardware makes it ideal for some people.

With computers becoming an integral part of each and every American household, it isn’t surprising that we now have the option of watching the television on our desktops today. Once you have installed the TV tuner or downloaded the required software, you can just sit back and watch your favorite shows with no disturbance whatsoever. At the same time, you would also get added benefits of recording live TV shows or watching previously recorded shows on your computer.

Tips on Saving Money on Your Cable Bill

Life without a cable connection is unimaginable. We are simply addicted to television, but fail to realize that this addiction comes with a hefty price tag. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), basic cable prices have increased by 122% between 1995 and 2008. You may be surprised looking at this figure, and might wonder why these numbers are skyrocketing. It is simply because media companies are charging enormous fees to cable companies, and they, in turn, are passing the charge down to their customers.

The problem we face is that, we are tempted to add all the ‘attractive features’ to the package without giving them a second thought, just because they are available and are something new in the world of entertainment. Do we really need HD? We don’t. We don’t need all the ‘added features’ to watch our cherished TV shows. Buzzle will let you in on some tips to slash your cable bill, and still enjoy watching your favorite programs.

Track Your TV-watching Pattern

From today onwards, start keeping a track of the TV-watching pattern of the entire family. Do it religiously for one week. Maintain a diary if required. At the end of the week, if you realize that you only watch some specific shows, and very rarely sit down to watch a movie, then it’s time you review your cable bill. You will note that for a long time you have been paying a price for something you didn’t even use. After you recover from your realization, it’s time to act! You can knock off the channels that you and your family aren’t very interested in. Saving money is not easy, but at the end of the month, you’ll be happy with a little extra cushioning in your wallet.

Check Your Cable Bill Thoroughly

Month after month, you just grumble about the ‘amount-to-be-paid’ printed on the bill, and pay it without even giving a second glance at the finer print. This time, when you receive your cable bill, look at it closely. Start from the first sentence and read till the end. You may even come across a charge that has been put on your bill by mistake. For example, let’s take into account an action movie that you didn’t order. If you are sure that the levied charge is wrong, and you never used the service, go ahead, pick up the phone, and ask the provider to get the amount removed.

Remove Extra Features

First of all, when you read your bill carefully, you will realize the amount of money you pay for bells and whistles. It would be pointless to keep on paying an extra $10 for just one show on HBO or Showtime, when there are many other options available to watch the same show for half the price. Removal of premium channels can slash the bill by almost $50. For movies, rent from Redbox kiosks. For shows, stream them through Hulu or Roku.

Second thing to do is to decide if you really need the DVR taping function. Is it really that necessary to record live TV to watch it later, when you can just ‘watch it later’, without even paying half as much as you are paying for the DVR? Third, take a decision about the HD programming feature. You used to watch TV before HD came into existence… right? So why not now? If you switch your HD cable box for a Non-HD one, your bill will reduce by almost $20.

Next on the list, high-speed Internet connection. If you are only sending emails and doing some casual browsing, then I would recommend you to use only basic speed services. If you are paying extra for the maximum bandwidth available, downsize right away. After all ‘saving money’ is the aim… isn’t it?

Do Some Research

Before you pick up that phone and negotiate with your cable provider, do some research. You have to search for rates that other cable providers are offering. You can tap the power of the Internet to find the locations of some of the cable providers. Browse through their websites, call, or visit their store. Gather all the information you would require as leverage when you call your service provider.

You can also ask your friends, family, or people in the neighborhood, about their cable bills. If you realize that you are paying more than others, you can use that information as leverage again, to haggle with your cable provider. After you gather all the information, set a realistic goal for yourself. You have to be sure of what is it that you exactly want. A 15% reduction in the bill or the removal of extra features, or simply wanting to stop the services! Decide before calling.

Call Your Cable Provider

This is the main step towards lowering your bill. Keep all your information ready and call your provider. You don’t have to sound irate at all, in fact, you may have to indulge in a little bit of flattery. Start by informing them about the duration you have been with them. You could say that you were going through the yearly budget, and found that cable services are very pricey, and that you are going through a financially-strapped situation.

Tell them that the services that they provide are good but not affordable, so you are being forced to quit and opt for a cheaper option. Once you drop the ‘switch provider’ word, most of the time, it happens that out of the fear of losing a customer, they will offer a better deal or add some perks into your package. If removal of the extra features is your point, tell it upfront, and get them off your bill as soon as possible. Finally, if you do not get any positive results, be ready to switch providers.

Alternatives for a Cable Connection

If you can wait until your favorite show comes on the data-streaming websites, then you could save a major chunk on your bill. An alternative way to find all the ‘made-for-TV’ shows and movies, is on sites like Hulu. For a comparatively lesser charge, you can get them on Xbox, Wii, PS3, Roku, or AppleTV. You can also tap into Netflix and Amazon’s library of movies and TV shows, with paid memberships of around $10 – $15 per month. All of these require an Internet connection for data streaming.

You can also try to find a local video store in your locality, and hire the entire season of family-dramas and sitcoms as soon as they are out. The idea is, if you can pay and get the entire season of an exact favorite show or movie, why pay for the complete channel subscription.

So, if your cable bill is making you break into a sweat, follow these suggestions, and enjoy your favorite movies and shows on a shoestring budget.

Tips on Making an Effective Television Advertisement

According to researches, an average American watches television for about four hours everyday! This in itself points out to the huge potential this medium holds for advertising a company’s products and reaching the target customers. Increasing product sales and awareness about a company is indeed possible through television commercials, provided they are catchy, simple, creative and short while keeping the below given tips on enhancing TV advertising effectiveness in mind.

Tips for Making an Effective Television Advertisement

Keep it Short and Crisp
The success of any advertisement depends to a large extent on how well its script has been written. An effective way to write the script for a television commercial is to keep the language simple and the sentences short and hard-hitting. The script should be written in accordance to the air time that has been bought. The main motive of the script is to put across the message to the possible customers in the stipulated time. So, make sure that your script is able to deliver the same.

Make an Emotional Appeal
Researches have shown that an emotional appeal any day works much more than a rational appeal. So, through the television commercial, touch the heart of your target customers. Putting people in the advertisement as opposed to just the products that you are selling, will have a greater impact. Make the advertisements seem real, by having the people in the advertisement use the product or carry on any other activity, rather than just coming in front of the camera and smiling!

Tell a Story
Shoot the video for the television commercial as if you are telling a story. Do not end up taking a number of shots and then putting them together randomly, just because you want to display as many company products as possible! Instead, tell a story, both visually as well as verbally, so that the audience gets a clear idea of what message you are trying to convey, even if they are in the other room and are only able to hear that advertisement or if they are simply watching the advertisement on a muted television! Also, the video of the television commercial should totally match the script.

Call to Action
Remember to include the “call to action” in your commercial. In simple words, “call to action” means providing proper contact information to your potential customers, through the advertisement, so that they know where to place an order for the product or visit the company’s website or to call up, in case they want some additional information on the company as well as the product that is advertised. Thus, a good advertisement should contain the address of the website, phone number and physical address of the business.

Get Professional Help
To enhance your TV advertising effectiveness, hire a production company to script, write, shoot and edit the advertisement in a professional manner. Visit various television production companies, see their past work, negotiate for the best prices and then choose the one which fits your requirements. However, even if you hire a production company, remain involved in the whole process of creating an advertisement and give your inputs whenever needed.

Be Honest and Original
When making an advertisement, there are two things that you should steer clear of. First is making false claims about what your product can deliver and the second is making an advertisement similar to your competitor. In short, to enhance TV advertising effectiveness, be honest, unique and creative. Also, maintain some sort of consistency in your advertisements so that people start recognizing it. For this, you can either keep the jingle same or use the same colors or employ any other method which you feel will grab and keep the attention of your possible customers.

Time it Right
Once the advertisement is made, schedule it properly, so that your target customers are able to see it. So, choose the television stations as well as programs for displaying your advertisement, which your potential customers are most likely to watch.

With these TV advertising tips, any company can make good, effective television commercials, which can contribute a lot towards enhancing its sales and profits. When it comes to television advertisements, simplicity, emotional appeal, a good story, creative shooting and sharp editing is the key to success!

Finding Best Game Shows to Play Online

Family Feud, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Sound familiar? Yes folks, these are some of the most talked about and popular game shows. Even though some of the shows have gone off the air, they are still one of the favorite shows for many. I remember when I was little, I used to watch Family Feud with my grandmother. She used to try so hard to get the first word on the board. Seeing that game on television, I would always cry in front of my parents and ask them to take me on it someday. But, as luck would have it, it didn’t really go as I had planned. Even some of my childhood friends were crazy about it, and that gave us an idea of making our own Family Feud version. We would play that game for hours together and win pretend prizes. Well, all that was in the past and those games are long gone. After watching them on TV and hoping to one day go on these shows, you can definitely play them right from your home. So the other day as I was searching for some online games, guess what? I actually found some games. The point is, if you’ve missed out on playing these games back then, you can certainly play them now.

I really couldn’t believe my eyes that these long-forgotten games are available to play on the Internet. Of course, there are other games out there, but what fun would they be when you have these amazing games right at your fingertips. So what I did after that is probably not a mystery to anyone (considering I was rambling here about how I always wanted to play them for real). I turned my laptop on, searched for these game shows, and immediately started playing them. It was probably like more than 2 hours later that I got up from my place and (tried) to get back to work. But it was the most fun I had in a very long time, and these games brought back some forgotten memories from my past. Perhaps you too loved these actual games and are searching the online versions of them. Well, in this article, we will tell you which games are available online, what are they all about, how it is played, and where to find them.

Play the Games Online

The best thing about these games is that some are given as free trials and some you have to purchase. You get to play them and not just watch. And that too, for me it is a great bargain. The games are extremely fun, great for passing time when bored, and very, very addictive (trust me). So turn your laptops/computers and prepare yourselves for some fun.

Family Feud
If you have seen this game on television, then you know what kind of questions are asked. For example, the questions could be like “Name the loudest animal in the zoo”, “Name something a woman might leave a lipstick mark on”, or “Name a country that begins with the letter S.”

Of course, there are many possible answers to these questions and to find the top response will get you the maximum points. Just remember how the game used to be on television and follow the game likewise. So to play this game online, all you have to do is go to any website that caters these games, register (only if you’re 18 and over), and play for free, without any downloads. The only downfall is that there are too many casino ads coming in-between games that ruins the mood.

Wheel of Fortune
Are you feeling lucky? If you’ve never seen this game (quite unlikely), then let’s get you up to speed. This game boils down to your luck and nothing else. Turn the wheel and see what your luck can strike. To play this game, you don’t even have to register. But make sure you have Windows and Internet Explorer before you begin. Otherwise, you would’ve gotten excited for no reason. In addition to the online version, you can also purchase its mobile version to play.

Weakest Link
You remember this British game show, don’t you? I’ve always wanted to hear the catch phrase in the show. I remember it specifically for the hostess, Anne Robinson. Her very famous line on the show “You are the weakest link…goodbye” still echoes in my head. And since this is the British version, your online game will consist of pound sterling and not dollars (although you don’t actually win anything, it’s fictitious). But we’re not here to play for money; we’re here to play and have some fun. The goal of this game is to answer as many questions as you can correctly and reach the 1000 pound mark in the allotted time. Make the chain with 9 correct answers; but if you give 1 wrong answer, you will break the chain and have to start all over again.

Jeopardy
Do you love trivia games? If your answer is “Yes”, then this game is for you. As you may remember, Jeopardy used to be so much fun to watch with family and friends, and try to see who came up with the right answer faster than others. This game has intelligent trivia questions on history and geography, arts and literature, science, sports, pop culture, and so much more. To play the game, you can download the 60 minute trial version first. You can purchase the mobile version as well.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Let’s Play Who Wants to be a Millionaire? To play this game, you get 30 seconds to answer the questions given and move further up the scoreboard. You won’t get any actual prizes, but it’s definitely fun to pretend. Similar to the original game, you will get 3 lifelines: 50/50, Phone a Friend, and Ask the Audience. Get ready to answer some awesome questions.

You can also include your family, along with kids to play these games. It’s really exciting when you have so many people to play with. It can actually make your boring and lazy afternoons or days into fun and frolic. As they have no adult content and are safe for kids, they make perfect choices for kids. So what are you waiting for? Get online and start playing.