Perhaps you're tired of paying over $70 for cable each month, especially when most of the time the only thing you see are pesky commercials.
There was a time when no ads showed up at all. Back then, cable services weren't quite in vogue, and to get customers to pay, the promise was watching premium content without having to watch ads again, ever.
Times have changed. Ads are all over cable now for some reason, and as a result, more and more people are looking for ways to discard it from their lives, entirely. Ditching cable would have been an egregious suggestion 10 years ago — but now, people can get content from so many different venues, and for a lot less than what cable companies are asking.
If like many you're feeling sick of shelling out nearly a hundred bucks for what's essentially several minutes of programming liberally sprinkled with ads, you might consider cutting the cord — the act of ditching cable and looking for alternatives to watch content. The term also refers to an increasing community of cable-ditchers who have successfully transitioned to streaming or other forms of getting their content. Below is a guide to get you started.
Cord-Cutting: A Beginner's Guide
The first question you should ask yourself is, "How much money will I save by cutting the cord?" Cord-cutting begins when you subscribe to an internet service but refuse the cable add-on, which is usually bundled as two-for-one packages. But because cord-cutting has become so popular, many companies have begun offering their own packages with internet and a few cable channels for less. In such a scenario, you might not get rid of cable completely, especially if no other company in your area is offering just internet.
In that regard, cutting the cord can still mean sticking with your cable company. If this is the case, the next best thing is to look at the contract requirements and extra fees. Note things such as if you have to purchase an extra TV box for each TV, which can rack up the total subscription fee pretty fast.
As much as possible, if you can find a home internet service that is standalone and not part of a TV bundle, go for it.
Streaming Hardware And Streaming Services
There are a lot of ways to get content other than cable. You can use an antenna to get programs, you can use screen mirroring, or you can even watch certain programs online. But the most popular option is streaming.
We won't beat around the bush here — streaming is perhaps the most important aspect of cutting the cord, and although it's not required to transition into cord-cutting, you'll likely have a worse experience if you don't jump into it.
The first thing you should have is a streaming device. If you're not planning to watch anywhere other than your computer, you're practically good to go. But if you intend to watch content on your big-screen TV, a smart TV is a great option. If you don't have the budget for a smart TV, you can purchase streaming sticks or streaming boxes. They add a bunch of features to your non-smart TV, particularly the ability to cast content, for cheap.
Here's a list of streaming sticks or set-top boxes you can get. Ignore this if you already have a smart TV or plan to watch content exclusively on your computer.
• Roku — cheap streaming sticks that get the job done.
• Google Chromecast — also cheap streaming sticks that get the job done.
• Amazon Fire TV — again, another line of cheap streaming sticks.
• Apple TV — a bit more on the pricier side; recommended if you primarily use Apple devices.
• Android TV — a version of Android that's been optimized to provide a more leanback experience. The Shield TV is a great option.
• Game Consoles — some game consoles support a lot of streaming apps, and since they're already hooked up to your TV, there's minimal setup required.
Here's a list of streaming services you can subscribe to. Each will require a monthly fee. You don't have to subscribe to every single one — otherwise you'll be paying more than when you had cable. Pick three or four and you're good to go. Some are even satisfied with just one.
• CBS All Access
• Fubo TV
• Hulu with Live TV
• Sling TV
How Can I Watch Content?
As explained, above, you'll likely going to need a streaming stick or set-top box if you plan on watching on your TV. Technically, though, you can cut the cord just by ditching your cable, subscribing to Netflix, and watching content on your laptop.
If you don't have a smart TV or can't afford streaming devices, you can always download streaming apps on your smartphone or tablet and start from there. The point is, If you have a fairly modern device, you'll be able to cut the cord.
If you're still on the fence about cord-cutting, check out Cord Cutting Report's guide on how to get the best internet package without subscribing to cable. Start from there. In no time, you'll be saving a lot of money. Not only that, but you'll also have the freedom to watch only the things you want to watch, and at your own time and pace.