In recent years, more and more alternatives to cable have become available and easily accessible to the general public. At first, ditching the cable may seem complicated and overwhelming as choices abound, but don’t let that stop you from making the switch! Here’s what you need to know before you get rid of cable:
– You’ll need fast internet service. If you’re investigating your cable-cutting options, you probably already have internet speeds that can handle streaming. If not, make a quick call to your home internet provider to ensure that you already have or can upgrade to 5Mbps (Megabits per second). If you’ll have multiple users using it at the same time, you’ll want to upgrade to an even higher speed.
– Next you’ll need an HD Antenna. And yes, if you’re picturing these to look like bunny ears, you’re pretty close. Depending on your location and proximity, your HD-ready TV may be able to pick up some local broadcast channels without needing an antenna, but to get all of your local channels for news and sports you’ll most likely need an HD Antenna. The good news is that they are inexpensive and even a top-of-the-line one will only cost you $50.
– Find a streaming device, if necessary. If your TV has been purchased within the past few years, it probably already has streaming capabilities. If not, you’ll want to purchase a device such as Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick or Apple TV. Do your research on these devices because costs and capabilities differ greatly. If you’re wanting to save money initially, you can also plug your computer into your TV, but that can become inconvenient to do it on a daily basis.
– Lastly, you’ll want to determine what you want to watch. You have thousands of choices from a myriad of sources. Some TV networks like Fox and the CW will allow you to stream shows from their website for free. Others, like CBS, offer limited streaming and a paid option for their full library of shows. Here are some of the paid options available; you’ll most likely need to pick and choose from several of the below in order to get everything that you want:
– Sling TV – Includes live streaming of ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Disney Channel, ABC Family and CNN.
– CBS All Access – Includes live and on-demand streaming of CBS Content.
– HBO Now – Includes streaming of current and past HBO Series.
– Netflix – Includes TV shows, movies and original series.
– Hulu – Includes ad-free TV shows from ABC, Fox and NBC along with some cable programs, movies and original series.
– Amazon Prime – Includes TV shows, movies, original series for both kids and adults. (Amazon Prime also includes other benefits like free two-day shipping and e-book checkouts.)
– Sports – Various packages from NFL Game Rewind, Choice NBA League Pass, MLB.tv and NHL GameCenter are available.
In the end, cutting the cable cord should depend on what you want to watch, when you want to watch it and how much you want to spend. Have you cut the cable cord yet?