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CBS blackout? 4 tips and tricks to get your fix

The CBS headquarters seen on August 2, 2013 in New York City.

CBS and Time Warner Cable are still fighting over money, which means no CBS or Showtime again tonight for Time Warner customers in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and other major cities. CBS is even blocking access to its web episodes if you have Time Warner Internet.

But, if all you want to do is watch "Under the Dome" tonight, here are a few work-arounds:

  1. Time Warner and CBS may have betrayed you but your TV signal is still there waiting for you -- traveling magically through the air. In science they call this “physics,” but whatever name it goes by the power of radio waves mean you can watch network TV, for free -- all you need is an antenna to harness those waves.
  2. Not clamoring to climb your roof to install an antenna? Or just plain intimidated by such old school tech? Check out Amazon’s streaming video service. The website has an agreement with CBS to sell some of its shows. The network even has its own page on the site. Downside -- episodes aren't available until about a week later.
  3. Find a friend! Time to call that bestie with DISH service. But they may eventually get tired of you hogging their couch and you may want more than just one or two shows. So now may be the time to consider one of the cable alternatives like satellite TV or Verizon FIOS. But buyer beware: they've been known to get into spats with content providers too and later, down the line, you could end up back where you started.
  4. There’s also AEREO, which uses a special signal to bring broadcast to the web. However, it costs $8 a month. If you’re a cable subscriber you may be inclined to pay more for something that wait, aren't you already paying for? Plus, AEREO has its own problems -- a protracted legal battle with the broadcasters so who knows how long it will be around.

Bottom line, there aren't a lot of options, but at least the fight between CBS and Time Warner Cable is providing some kind of drama to follow while your set is blank.

About the author

Sally Herships is a regular contributor to Marketplace.

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