The Internet is great for many reasons. One of the most prominent reasons I say this, if Open Source, or FREE software.
I recently changed operating systems on my new computer from Windows 7, to Ubuntu Linux. One of the first programs I downloaded, is called BOXEE. With this program, I may never find a need for cable, or satellite television.
Once you set up an account, (again, for free), you have access to tens of thousands of saved television programs, and thousands of live television broadcasts.
Being new to this software, it does take some time to get used to. It's one of those programs that is 'too easy, its hard'.
Once I installed Boxee, I quickly found my way around it, watching many of the different programs from the many different repositories available inside. Television shows from the beginning of time, it seemed. All the way back to the 1950's, to the most recent episode of FRINGE, or even the latest broadcast from CNN.
There are also different 'APPS' in the repositories that give you access to live streaming channel feeds. The user will also have access to watch free On-Demand, or Pay-Per-View programs, (though I'm not endorsing that).
All-in-all, I highly recommend this program. It's available for download at: http://www.boxee.tv/