These days, you don’t need a flat-screen TV and pricey cable package to watch your favorite shows. There are a growing number of new technologies shaking up the “TV status quo.”

  • For example: A company called Aereo now streams live signals from all the major TV networks over the Internet, including NBC, CBS, and FOX. But where cable companies charge an average of $43 dollars a month, just for “basic” cable, Aereo only charges $8 dollars a month.

  • And there’s a new device called Dyle, which is basically a tiny antenna that plugs into your smartphone or tablet. It turns any device into a portable TV, no internet connection required.

Experts say the new technology is a response to the fact that many of us are cancelling cable, and going “TV-free.” In the past 5-years, TV-free households have grown by 67-percent.

But there’s one big hitch to the TV-free trend: Most TV networks don’t want us to have these new live-TV streaming gadgets. That’s because the networks charge cable providers a fee to transmit their programming, fees which add up to more than $3 billion dollars a year for some channels. 

So, if all of us started streaming live TV shows, without paying a cable bill, the networks would lose money. That’s why CBS, for example, recently sued Aereo for copyright infringement.

But know this: There’s new legislation in the works that may force cable companies to let us only buy the TV channels we want to watch, instead of making us spend thousands of dollars on channels we don’t watch.

We’ll keep you posted on the progress.