The Internet is now more than ever a viable replacement for cable television.
On-demand TV services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu have thousands of TV shows and movies that can be streamed on demand. Live TV streaming is available from Sling TV and DirecTV Now, as well as from YouTube and Hulu itself.
And "TV on the Internet" – and the declining popularity of cable – is just beginning. 2019will launch new streaming TV services to compete against Netflix. Meanwhile, traditional cable and satellite services continue to lose subscribers.
What does all this mean? Maybe it's time to cut the cable and cancel your cable TV subscription.
But just because the grass you're cutting is greener does not mean it's better. With even more options than ever, giving up cable television still means one or three victims to most people.
Before you make this fateful last call to your cable provider, you should be aware of the following.
(Please note CNET is owned by CBS, a compensated broadcaster for all cable, satellite and online TV services that offer CBS channels, including Showtime, Pop, CBS Sports and The CW, and owns and operates its own online services Web Sites Service, CBS All Access, which is mentioned below.)
How much is "Internet only" and is there a data limit?
Chances are that you already have an Internet Internet service as part of a bundle, possibly including telephone service. Usually, your cable company is the same that provides your Internet connection, and since they do not want you to quit the TV program, the Internet is charged proportionately more for the Internet only.
If your package is $ 130 per month, this may be the case, you only need to pay $ 60 for the internet. Cutting cable TV can save you $ 70. If you have subscribed to one or two new TV services, you will quickly invest in these savings.
And if your ISP has a monthly data limit, streaming TV will eat it faster than anything else. We recommend strong streamers to get a plan with unlimited data, if available, that can cost more than plans with limited data.
Can you negotiate a better price for television by threatening to cut the cable?
Remember that the price is $ 130? Maybe the cable company is willing to negotiate if you call them and tell them you want to cancel the TV service. If the monthly package price has dropped by $ 10 or $ 20, cutting cables may be less attractive.
When you do the calculations, you must be aware of the savings if you do not pay the cable company a monthly fee for renting their equipment. And if you get "just internet" from another provider in your area, it's worth checking the price and using it for negotiation.
Keep in mind these low prices (which may include "free HBO"). Typically, they only last a few months and often jump back to full amount without warning – at this point, you must retake the negotiation to lower your bill again.
Which programs and channels do you currently see?
Now is the time to find out about your current TV must-haves. Your cable and satellite subscription, along with Netflix and perhaps Amazon Prime Video, will provide the best setting for any show you and your family need. If you cancel this subscription, you must obtain those shows from another service.
Make a list of what you actually see, find out how to get it, and find out how much it costs.
In addition to Netflix ($ 8 / month) and Amazon ($ 99 / year for a Prime) subscription), Hulu ($ 8 / month or $ 12 without advertising) and CBS All Access ($ 6 or $ 10 without advertising ) offer many great TV shows, which you will normally find via cable. You do not have to subscribe to all, but most cable cutters use at least one or two.
The downside of these services is that they (apart from their own original series) have no live or current season shows on call. Want the latest episode of The Walking Dead, The Rookie or The Real Housewives of Atlanta, either live or nearby when it airs?
One option is a live multichannel TV streaming service, such as ($ 35 at AT & T Wireless) YouTube TV . ($ 40 on Google Store) or ($ 40 each). Each has specific channels and features, such as cloud DVRs, which replace all cable television. Another option, at least for network shows (on ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC), is a radio antenna (see below).(from $ 25 / month) or DirecTV Now
For premium shows, HBO ($ 15 / month), Showtime ($ 11) and Starz ($ 9) also have standalone services.
The best thing about any of the above services? Unlike cables, you can cancel the service at any time and restart without any penalties or penalties. For example, you can subscribe to a particular program and then cancel after the finale.
Do you have the right device?
You do not need this cable box anymore, but you need a device to see the above services. The app may be integrated with your Smart TV, possibly in your game console, or you may need to buy a new streaming device, such as a Roku or Apple TV. At least they are relatively cheap (US $ 30 or more) and you do not have to pay the cable company every month to rent one. And with most services, you can also watch TV on your phone, tablet or computer.
Do your family watch a lot of live TV?
If the answer is yes, one of these live TV services is worth considering. One catch, however, is that each service sets a limit on the number of streams that you can view at the same time.
With the Sling Orange Sling TV service, you can only watch one stream at a time, which means another person in the account. If you watch a different TV (or your phone) at the same time, one of the streams will not work. Sling's Blue Service ($ 25 / month) has three streams, DirecTV Now Two, YouTube TV Three and PlayStation Vue Five. With Hulu Live TV, you get two streams at the base price or unlimited streams for an additional $ 15. Services like Netflix also load more for multiple concurrent streams.
What do you think about using an antenna?
Virtually every TV (with the notable exception of Vizios with SmartCast from 2016) has a built-in radio tuner so you can connect to an antenna watch broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS. However, the reception varies greatly depending on your place of residence. Unless you purchase an antenna DVR such as theor you can also [Live Live] many live TV streaming services Streams of local stations at and even there they lack PBS and many other local networks. 19659017] Can you replace the DVR with On-Demand?
The live TV streamers all have a "cloud DVR" that is not as powerful as a TiVo or the DVR of your cable company. They often have smaller memory limits, shows that run after a certain amount of time, restrictions on which channels can be recorded, and even force you to watch commercials.
Thanks to on-demand, you may not miss your DVR. Netflix, Hulu and the rest are almost all on demand so you can watch their shows anytime. And the live TV services like Sling also offer many on-demand shows, and you can often interrupt or even skip commercials. On the other hand, not every episode of each show may be available.
Would you like to see sports?
Sports fans will have the hardest time cutting off the cable. Many channels intended for baseball and basketball teams are only available to cable subscribers, and streaming packages such as MLB.TV reflect the local games. Some streaming TV services, in particular Fubo TV, DirecTV Now and YouTube TV, add more regional sports networks, but vary greatly. Further information can be found on the relevant websites.
NFL Pro football matches are usually played on local networks, but you typically require an antenna, a live streaming TV service, or CBS All Access (for CBS games only). An exception? Amazon Streams 2017 Thursday night NFL games for free, including compatible TVs.
Are you dependent on someone else's logins?
The dirty little not-so-secret to save money on TV? Steal login information, er, share. Many people without cables are watching over the Internet with apps like HBO Go and FX Now. The credentials (username and password) are borrowed from other people like their parents.
Even if your parents give you permission to do so, it can cause problems. For example, this conflicts with service provider terms, and services can track multiple logins and potentially restrict access by location. That said, the savings are significant, so many cable cutters do it anyway.
On the other hand, cutting cables with each new option becomes easier and cheaper that hits the market. Besides the savings, you have the freedom to choose the service you want – and drop it like a hot potato when you do not like it anymore, your show ends, or something new comes along.
Cutting cables is a matter of choice and can work well for you and your family as long as you know what you are going to give up.
This article was originally published on December 7, 2016 and has been completely updated