Now is the time to cut off the cable or satellite TV cable. Instead of paying $ 100 a month for a bloated channel bundle, you can replace it with streaming TV services – and possibly a TV antenna – at a fraction of the cost.
Browsing these new options is not always easy. Especially if you are not technically savvy. While cable has made everything easy, cutting the cable requires a dozen different hardware options and many more online video services that are not all compatible with each other. Adding an over-the-air TV antenna creates even more headaches.
I've been a lace maker for over a decade, writing a weekly column on the subject since 201
Shall I cut the cord?
Before we sever like the string, let's take a step back and think about whether you should at all. Consider the following:
Pay at least $ 50 a month for the television service Most live TV streaming services start at $ 40- $ 45 a month, so you get cable TV may not save much provider gives you a lot. It is possible to spend less with cheaper services like Netflix, but not without using a lot of cables.
Do you already have internet connection? When You Pay for Internet and Use In many cases, cutting cables is likely to make economic sense. However, adding a home Internet service just to cut cable TV is likely to be a wash. I do not recommend using your phone's mobile hotspot for Internet service if you cut the cable.
Are you tired of the cable? Some arguments for cutting cables do not necessarily strictly save money. It's also a way to see fewer ads, rearrange your living room, set up TVs throughout the house, and avoid the annual haggling rivet for lower rates.
Are you ready to be flexible Despite Its Many Virtues Cutting cables is not a magic solution that offers you the same experience as cables for less money. You need to understand the use of new technologies or new apps, and maintaining all the channels you have over the cable can limit your ability to save money. The more you are ready to adapt, the better your experience will be.
Basically, cutting the cable requires several elements:
: You certainly need a home Internet service to disconnect the cable with a wireless router so your streaming devices can go online from any part of the house. As a rule of thumb, the speed of Internet Internet access should be at least 15 Mbps (megabits per second) for each device you want to run concurrently. If you tend to use three TVs at the same time, ideally you have an Internet speed of at least 45 Mbps. With DSL or satellite services, this is difficult to achieve, so you may need to stay with your cable operator for broadband services (unless you're lucky enough to have access to fiber broadband or a similar fat pipe).
Streaming Services: To replace your TV service, subscribe to one or more online video services. These include on-demand video services such as Netflix or a bundle of live TV channels such as YouTube TV. There are also many free sources of streaming video that you can use to top up your subscriptions.
Streaming Devices: If you have subscribed to some streaming services, you can access them by downloading their apps on a streaming device such as Roku's Streaming Stick or Amazon's Fire TV stick. These devices connect to the HDMI port on your TV and connect to the Internet through your home Wi-Fi network, and they work even if you do not have a Smart TV that connects to the Internet.
If you have a Smart TV, you can use it instead of a separate streaming device if contains all the apps and services you want. (TVs that are more than a few years old are unlikely to do so, especially if they are not working with Roku's software.) But to be clear, you do not need a Smart TV to connect the cable to sever . 19659002] One more thing: Each TV must have its own stream whether it's a streaming device or a Smart TV. If you have four TVs and only two have up-to-date Smart TV software, you will need to buy two additional streaming devices. The good news is that, unlike your cable box for devices like Roku and Fire TV, there are no ongoing rentals, so you only have to pay the initial cost.
(Optional) One antenna: With an over-the-air antenna and good reception, you can broadcast radio channels such as ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and PBS for free, as well as some lesser-known subnets such as MeTV and Comet look at. Most modern televisions have an input for your antenna's coaxial cable, so you can simply plug in the cable, do a channel scan, and start up without a separate tuner box or other additional hardware. You can also buy a DVR to record channels from an antenna. Later more.
My short and sweet recommendation
Now that we've laid the groundwork and you ask me the simplest and easiest way to cut the cable, I'd probably tell you to sign up for YouTube TV and Netflix (my favorite live) and on-demand streaming services), buy a Roku Streaming Stick + (my favorite low-cost device that supports both services) and get it done.
But as we know, television is not one size fits all. If so, we would all just hold on to the cable and catch the ever more expensive prices. Being able to choose is what makes cutting cables great. The trade-off is that it takes some work to get there. Let us tackle this now.
Streaming Services: Choose your path
If you can find out which streaming services you need before you can cut the cable, there are two possible ways you can go.
One of them requires you to keep most or all of the channels you are currently viewing with cable. You will need a live TV streaming service such as Sling TV, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV. These services essentially replicate the cable bundle by offering dozens of live channels along with familiar features like DVR and a channel guide. Depending on where you live, you may also see most or all local broadcasters. You can not maximize your savings with these services, which usually cost more than $ 40 a month, but you do not have to make many sacrifices.
The other way is that compiles your own TV plan through on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, free video sources like Pluto TV and maybe an antenna over the air. If you choose this route, you will have to do without traditional cable channels like ESPN, regional sports networks and CNN, but you can save a lot more money.
These two approaches allow for some overlap. For example, you can combine a YouTube TV subscription with Netflix, or add an antenna to Sling TV. Unfortunately, cable cutting offers no middle ground in the form of cable channels à la carte. For a variety of complex reasons, you can not easily lose 80 percent of your cable channels and pay 20 percent of the price. Instead, you can trim the edges with a live TV streaming service or blow up the package with alternative services like Netflix.
How to Select a Live TV Streaming Service
If You Choose a Live TV Streaming Service Seven options are currently available in the US: Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, FuboTV, Philo and AT & T Watch. Each of these services has a different channel layout, so you should first exclude those who are missing your favorite channels.
Here are some resources that may help:
- You Can Tap Using Streamable's Channel Finder Tool In the channels, shows, and sports teams you want, you'll see a list of matching services based on your zip code. It's very easy to use, though I've noticed that YouTube TV is sometimes not listed in the top favorites, even if this is the cheapest option. (See the website's selection to see how each live TV service, including YouTube TV, is stacked.)
- Guess. TV offers a similar channel search service, and it does not look that smooth He offers some additional tools to refine your search. For example, you can restrict services based on the supported streaming devices, or how many screens you can view a specific service at one time.
- If you only want to see a large list of channels and which services you support, our own live TV streaming guide has you covered.