You may be considering canceling your television subscription for a while. Because why would you need such a subscription when you have so many streaming services at your disposal? What do you mean cut the wire?

We are spending less and less time on traditional live television. There is a marked decline, especially among young people. They watch movies, series and TV shows more often at their own chosen time and without being bothered by annoying commercials. The average time spent by Dutch people to broadcast on television channels is therefore decreasing. Also read: 18 tips for your Chromecast.

Maybe it’s worth it to get rid of the television subscription. What technical implications will this have, and to what extent can (free) alternatives fill this gap?

Cost reducing

If you don’t watch a lot of television, you may want to consider canceling your television subscription. That way you have more time for other things and of course a nice monthly cost savings. For example, the cheapest subscription with cable provider Ziggo costs around 28 euros per month. For this money you have about fifty channels, four of which are HD quality channels. In the case of a wider selection of channels, Ziggo will charge extra for the television connection, which means many people can save more money (because they don’t currently have the cheapest subscription). With providers such as KPN, Tele2 and, the television subscription always comes with an internet connection. You save money by canceling the television episode with your provider.

Ziggo charges EUR 19.95 per month for the cheapest cable connection.

Cancel cable TV

It is not wise to randomly cancel your television subscription. Before sending the cancellation letter, you should understand the consequences. Most cable providers do not provide internet connectivity without purchasing analogue television. For example, if you buy television and internet from Ziggo, you must cancel the full subscription. In this case, you will have to switch to an ADSL/VDSL or fiber optic provider. Fiber optic guarantees a very high internet speed, but by no means all households are connected to the fiber optic network.

The only remaining alternative is adsl/vdsl, which allows a maximum download speed of 100 Mbit/s. This is much lower than Ziggo’s promised download speed. This cable provider guarantees 1000Mbit/s download speed, provided you buy the most expensive package including analog television. If you’re planning to get rid of cable television, first consider whether you’re willing to replace your high-speed cable Internet connection with ADSL/VDSL or possibly fiber optic. In particular, ADSL/VDSL subscriptions are very economical, so you can significantly save on costs when switching. You can find out more about the difference between fiber optic, ADSL/VDSL and cable here. You can check which internet subscriptions are available at your address through various comparison sites.

Mandatory purchase of analog television

Many people prefer a fast internet connection over cable, but at the same time, the obligatory purchase of analog television causes bad blood. While Ziggo and its partners pass these costs on to their customers, you may not expect this at all. Why is it mandatory to buy analogue television with every subscription? The reason is simple. With a cable connection, the internet and television work over the same cable. When a cable provider decides not to transmit an analog signal, this applies to almost all customers. There are many people watching analog television, especially in the bedroom. That’s why cable providers are very reluctant to cut the analog signal, even if they are gradually reducing the number of channels. So when you disconnect the internet through a cable provider, you will receive analog television as a ‘gift’ for the time being. Only regional cable operator Caiway no longer offers analogue TV.

Many people still watch analog television, for example, in the bedroom.

cancel your adsl/vdsl subscription

If you receive both television and internet over copper wire (adsl/vdsl), you can easily cancel your television subscription from your provider. In this case, the internet connection remains active without the need to switch to another provider. If you bought a subscription with a contract term of one or two years, you may need to pay for the remaining months of the full package first. You can find out the remaining contract period by logging into the personal account page of your provider.

cancel internet subscription

Would it be an idea to give up your internet connection in addition to your television subscription? For example, when you cancel a cable subscription, you can of course give it a try. If you want to watch a TV show, there are plenty of Wi-Fi hotspots in every city. It sounds better than it actually is. From a practical point of view, not having your own internet connection at home is of course inconvenient, and besides, the speed of WiFi hotspots is often low. Not to mention the lousy security of public links.

Alternatively, you can share an internet connection with neighbors. You agree on a fixed amount per month and in return receive the Wi-Fi key from the neighbors. Check beforehand that the coverage in your home is adequate. You can also decide to use your mobile internet subscription only for watching television. The speed is high enough for streaming video especially with 4G signal. You can easily transfer the mobile internet connection to a computer or laptop via the tethering function on iOS or Android. One downside is that you always have to deal with data limits. If you watch TV regularly, a mobile internet subscription is an expensive business.

live streams

There is one significant downside to canceling a television subscription. Dealing with the lack of commercial live television is difficult. It’s okay to look back, but after Voetbal Inside’s livestream, The Voice of Holland or GTST becomes problematic. An alternative method is to capture the streams via (illegal) add-ons in the Kodi media program. With the open-source video player, you can watch live television thanks to a variety of add-ons, but unlike Netflix for example, you have to set up a few things yourself before you start, and looking for good add-ons can sometimes feel good. needle in a haystack. The reception is also a bit unstable at times, but with a little bit of art and flight work you’ll get it working. We will update you about Kodi in another post.

Public channels are partially financed with tax money and can therefore be followed online via free live broadcasts. You can easily switch between NPO 1, 2 and 3 on this website. Additional channels are also available, such as NPO News, Cultura, and Politics. You can also open live streams from the NPO app on your tablet or smartphone. Also, most regional TV stations offer live streaming, such as RTV Noord-Holland, AT5, RTV Rijnmond and L1.

NPO live streams are available at a maximum resolution of 576p.

DVB-T Receiver

If the general channels are sufficient, you may want to consider purchasing a DVB-T tuner. Many modern televisions also have a built-in DVB-T tuner, so you only need to connect one antenna. These are available in various forms. Geniatech is a company that offers good dvb-t products under the name of eyetv. You can even buy devices with antennas made specifically for your iPad or Mac.

A module receives free so-called channels from the airwaves. Unlike commercial channels, these channels are not encrypted and therefore can be received by anyone without a smart card. If your television or computer is connected to a dvb-t module, you can watch NPO 1, 2 and 3 digitally free of charge and access a regional channel. Which regional channels these are depends on your location. You can also receive radio stations. Previously you could also receive some channels in Belgium via dvb-t, but this is no longer possible as of December 2020.

There are also providers that offer paid subscriptions via dvb-t. You cannot receive Dutch channels with dvb-t abroad.

The dvb-t receiver uses the same network as the Digitenne. The quality of digital terrestrial television is not as good as you might be used to from cable or internet television.

With a simple DVB-T receiver, you can search for free television channels on the air.

missed services

The services you missed after canceling your television subscription are, of course, your best friend from now on. You can watch almost anything back so you don’t have to miss anything. Both NPO Gemist, RTL XL and KIJK are available on multiple platforms so you can admire TV shows on different devices. The image quality of NPO Missed is unfortunately slightly lower than its commercial competitors. Especially old releases are disappointing. Last summer, this service bumped the resolution up to 576p, so the final episodes are of reasonable quality. Since 2014, RTL XL offers HD quality broadcasts for you to enjoy clear video images. The downside is that you cannot play videos without an account. There is also the necessary advertising. KIJK includes SBS6, Veronica, and Net5 programs that also contain advertisements. However, it is not necessary to create an account.

Best streaming apps

There are so many apps for streaming movies and series that you may not see the wood for the trees. That is why we have listed the best streaming apps for you.

The image quality of the RTL XL is good on any device.

Download TV Shows

If you are not a fan of streaming TV shows, you can always download them. However, this requires more action. For example, you can use the MissedDownloader program. Also, many TV shows are available on controversial download networks like Usenet and Bittorrent, but downloading from these sources is illegal.


NLziet is a joint venture of NPO, RTL and SBS. This package has a missed service fee of 7.95 Euros per month. Why pay when television companies also offer free catch-up services? NLziet offers some advantages. For example, NPO channels have much better picture quality and you can watch episodes for longer. Streams are ‘streamed’ in full HD. If you wish, you can watch live or watch previously broadcast programs. The latter can take at least a year, sometimes even longer. Movies and the like can also be watched this way.

Another nice advantage: endless ad breaks are missing. Meanwhile, if we do some math, the NL Zich is the most budget-friendly solution when it comes to watching TV (as they claim) in 2021. If we have one thing to complain about, it’s that you can’t ‘get’ channels like Discovery. Or famous German and Flemish neighbors, for example. Maybe it will come back one day – preferably without a price increase.

The common missed service is available for Android, iOS, Google Chromecast, web and some smart TVs.

NLziet gives you access to all ad-free TV programs in one interface.


Do you dare to definitively ‘cut’ the TV cable and thus save money? Definitely, because the discussed (free) alternatives ensure you don’t have to miss a single TV show. Commercial live television only is a problem, but you can find these streams pretty quickly once they’re aired on RTL XL or KIJK. If you prefer to watch live channels like RTL4, SBS6 or Veronica, you may want to consider an affordable online television subscription. Also consider which internet connection you want to stream TV shows and strike a balance between cable (including the mandatory purchase of analogue television), ADSL/VDSL and possibly fiber optic.

Source: Computer Totaal

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