1. Call your provider and ask for the cheapest package that gives you access to the channels you must have. If you're not a sports fan, Comcast's Blast Plus service may do the trick: Comedy Central, CNN and other basic channels plus high-speed Internet service for $79.95. (Alternative: Tell the company you're considering switching and want a discount on your present package. The company wants to keep you as a customer, so odds are good it'll to offer you a deal.)
2. Dump premium channels and instead sign up for Netflix or Hulu Plus. If you have a device such as a Roku, Apple TV, Xbox or Wii box connected to your TV, you can watch either of the services on the big screen. (Apple TV and Roku compared here.)
3. Dump the monthly fees for TiVo or the cable company's DVR and instead get a USB TV tuner adapter that'll let you record over-the-air HD signals onto your computer's hard drive.
* EyeTV offers an app that'll stream live or recorded EyeTV shows to an iPhone or iPad.
* If you also have a Roku box: The free Nowhere DVR channel for Roku lets you stream shows from a Mac running EyeTV software to your Roku.)
What suggestions for cheaper, better TV experiences can you share? Comments, please.