Cut your cable: life without television

Can you do without a TV subscription? Streaming services probably already offer enough fun, but you can't escape the fact that you want to watch a TV program every now and then. Do you want to cancel your jetv subscription to reduce costs?

We spend less and less time on traditional live television. There is a clear decrease, especially among young people. They watch films, series and TV programs more often at a time of their choosing and without being bothered by disturbing advertisements. The average viewing time that the Dutch spend on broadcasts via television channels is therefore steadily decreasing. Also read: 18 tips for your Chromecast.

Perhaps it is also worth it for you to get rid of the television subscription. What technical consequences will this have and to what extent can (free) alternatives fill this gap?

Cost reduction

If you don't watch much television, you can consider canceling the television subscription. This way you have more time for other things and of course it provides a nice monthly cost saving. The cheapest subscription with cable provider Ziggo, for example, costs 19.95 euros per month. For that money you have about fifty channels, five of which are channels in HD quality. In the case of a larger number of channels, Ziggo will charge extra money for the television connection, which means that many people can save more money (because they do not currently have the cheapest subscription). With providers such as KPN, Tele2 and, the television subscription is always in combination with an internet connection. By canceling the television part with your provider, you save money.

Cancel cable TV

It is unwise to randomly cancel your television subscription. Before you post the cancellation letter, you must first understand the consequences. Most cable providers do not provide an internet connection without purchasing analog television. For example, if you purchase television and internet from Ziggo, you must cancel the full subscription. In that case, you are forced to switch to an ADSL/VDSL or fiber optic provider. Optical fiber guarantees a very high internet speed, but by no means all households are connected to the optical fiber network.

The only remaining alternative is then adsl/vdsl, which allows a maximum download speed of 100 Mbit/s. That is a lot lower than Ziggo's promised download speed. This cable provider guarantees a download speed of 1000Mbit/s, provided you purchase 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 the high-speed cable Internet connection with ADSL/VDSL or possibly fiber optics. ADSL/VDSL subscriptions in particular are very affordable, so that you can save considerably in costs when switching. More about the difference between fiber optic, ADSL/VDSL and cable can be found here. You can check which internet subscriptions are available at your address via various comparison sites.

Mandatory purchase of analogue television

Many people prefer a fast internet connection via cable, but at the same time the mandatory purchase of analogue television is causing bad blood. Ziggo and its associates pass these costs on to their customers, while you may not be waiting for this at all. Why is the purchase of analogue television mandatory with every subscription? The reason for this is simple. With the cable connection, Internet and television run over the same cable. When a cable provider decides not to transmit an analog signal, this immediately applies to all customers. There are still many people who watch analogue television, especially in the bedroom. For that reason, cable providers are very reluctant to cut the analog signal, although they are slowly reducing the number of channels. So when you take out the internet via a cable provider, you will receive analogue television as a 'gift' for the time being. Only the regional cable operator Caiway no longer offers analog TV.

Cancel Adsl/vdsl subscription

If you receive both television and internet via copper wire (adsl/vdsl), you can easily cancel the television subscription with your provider. In that case, the internet connection remains active, without it being necessary to switch to another provider. If you have taken out a subscription with a contract duration of one or two years, you may first have to pay for the remaining months of the full package. You can find the remaining contract duration by logging in to the personal account page at your provider.

Cancel internet subscription

Would it be an idea to give up your internet connection in addition to your television subscription? When you cancel a cable subscription, for example, you could of course try it out. If you want to watch a TV program, there are numerous Wi-Fi hotspots available in every city. That sounds nicer than it actually is. From a practical point of view, it is of course inconvenient not to have your own internet connection at home and, moreover, the speed of Wi-Fi hotspots is often low. Not to mention the lousy security of public connections.

Alternatively, you could share an internet connection with the neighbors. You agree on a fixed monthly amount and in return you receive the Wi-Fi key from the neighbors. Check in advance whether the coverage in your home is sufficient. You can also decide to only use your mobile internet subscription for watching television. Especially with a 4G signal, the speed is high enough to stream videos. You can easily transfer the mobile internet connection to a computer or laptop via the tethering function in iOS or Android. A disadvantage is that you always have to deal with data limits. If you regularly watch television, a mobile internet subscription is an expensive affair.

live streams

Canceling a television subscription has an important disadvantage. The lack of commercial live television is difficult to cope with. Looking back is not a problem, but following a live broadcast of Voetbal Inside, The Voice of Holland or GTST becomes problematic. An alternative method is to capture the streams via (illegal) plug-ins in Kodi media program. The reception is sometimes somewhat unstable, but with a little art and flying work you do get it to work. The public channels are partly financed with tax money and can therefore be followed via free live streams on the internet. On this website you can easily switch between NPO 1, 2 and 3. Additional channels such as NPO News, Cultura and Politics are also available. You can also open live streams from the NPO app on your tablet or smartphone. Furthermore, most regional TV stations offer a live stream, such as RTV Noord-Holland, AT5, RTV Rijnmond and L1.

DVB-T Receiver

If the public channels are enough, you can consider purchasing a DVB-T tuner. Many modern televisions also have a DVB-T tuner built in so that you only have to connect an antenna. This module picks up the so-called free-to-air channels from the ether. Unlike commercial channels, these channels are not encrypted and can therefore 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 for free. You also have access to a regional channel and Belgian broadcasters. The dvb-t receiver uses the same network as Digitenne for this. The quality of digital terrestrial television is not as good as you may be used to from cable or internet television.

Missed services

After canceling your television subscription, the missed services are of course your best friend from now on. You can watch almost everything back, so you don't have to miss anything. Both NPO Missed, RTL XL and KIJK are available on multiple platforms, so you can admire TV programs on different devices. The image quality of NPO Missed is unfortunately slightly less compared to its commercial competitors. Older broadcasts are especially disappointing. Last summer, that service increased the resolution to 576p, so recent episodes are of reasonable quality. Since 2014, RTL XL has been offering broadcasts in HD quality, so you can enjoy sharp video images. A disadvantage is that you cannot play videos without an account. There is also the necessary advertising. For an amount of 3.99 euros per month you are freed from all commercials and you can watch TV programs ahead. KIJK contains programs from SBS6, Veronica and Net5, which also contain commercials. However, creating an account is not required.

Download TV Shows

If you're not a fan of streaming TV shows, you can always download them. However, this requires more actions. For example, you can use the program MissedDownloader. In addition, many TV programs are available on controversial download networks such as Usenet and Bittorrent, although downloading from these sources is illegal.


NLziet is a joint initiative of the NPO, RTL and SBS. This bundled missed service costs 7.95 euros per month. Why pay when the television companies also offer free catch-up services? NLziet offers some advantages. For example, the image quality of the NPO channels is a lot better and you can watch episodes longer. In addition, there is no advertising anywhere. This joint missed service is available for Android, iOS, Google Chromecast, the web and some smart TVs.


Do you dare to 'cut' the TV cable permanently and thus save money? Certainly, because the discussed (free) alternatives ensure that you do not have to miss a single TV program. Only commercial live television is a problem, although you can find these broadcasts fairly quickly after the broadcast on RTL XL or KIJK. If you prefer to watch live channels such as RTL4, SBS6 or Veronica, you can consider an affordable online television subscription. Also consider through which internet connection you want to stream TV programs and make a trade-off between cable (including the obligatory purchase of analogue television), ADSL/VDSL and possibly fiber optics.

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