It only seems like yesterday when everyone was excited about cable TV. Personally, I remember my grandma getting it before even my parents got it, which meant I’d go down there every Sunday without fail to watch new episodes of The Simpsons. What a time to be alive.
That was an age before digital TV, streaming, as well as the ability to record shows and watch them later.
Things are different now. In 2019, more and more people are ‘cutting the cord’ on cable TV and searching out cheaper, better alternatives. In this article, we take a look at how you can do it too.
When To Cut The Cord
There are at least 3 signs that it’s high time to cut the cord:
- You’re bored of cable and its selection of channels, programs and ads
- You’re paying through the nose each month for your cable TV service ($50 or more)
- You’ve got the internet at home
How To Cut The Cord
Cutting the cord requires you to do a few, very basic and inexpensive things. And you don’t need to get rid of your current television.
First, you need to have access to the internet at home, and it needs to be fairly fast (15Mbps at least).
Then, you’ll need to subscribe to an online video service. There are plenty to choose from these days, and your choices include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube TV. More are being added all the time and each service offers a different variety of TV shows, movies, documentaries and more.
You can, of course, watch YouTube for free on the internet, but both Amazon Video and Netflix require a monthly subscription fee.
You may also require a streaming device of some sort, depending on where you plan to watch your programs (you can stream on your laptop, mobile device, iPad – or you can keep it old school and stream through your television). Streaming devices include the Amazon Fire Stick and Roku’s Streaming Stick.
Alternatively, you can just buy a Smart TV, which allows you to stream all kinds of services without the need for a streaming device.
The Easiest Way To Cut The Cord
Cutting the cord is pretty simple but the simplest of simple ways is to purchase a Roku Streaming Stick and subscribe to Netflix and YouTube TV.
Amazon Prime Video also has a good selection of movies and shows, but Netflix stands out for its exceptional original shows and movies, such as the Oscar nominated Roma and the excellent Stranger Things.
How To Keep Your Cable TV Channels
If you’re worried about cutting the cord and losing all your current favourite cable TV channels, the good news is that you can cut the cord and hold onto them.
To do so, you need to subscribe to a live TV streaming service like Hulu with Live TV or YouTube TV. Both of these offer the same channels as regular cable, and they also give you access to a channel guide. Netflix, on the other hand, offers nothing like this.
That said, if the reason you’re ditching cable is to save money, holding onto your cable channels probably won’t save you much – if anything at all.
Before taking the plunge, make sure to do your research first and work out the monthly costs. Make sure to pick a streaming service that suits you and your family, and watch out for any long-term contracts that lock you in without you realising it.