If you’re looking to save money on TV entertainment, then you’ve come to the right place. With a few pieces of equipment and a streaming service, you can save nearly a thousand dollars per year. In this post, I’ll walk you through all the steps you need to set up.
- Make sure you have high speed internet – AT&T, Verizon, HughesNet, Frontier, Spectrum, CenturyLink, Xfinity
- Choose a streaming device – Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, Nvidia Shield
- Setup an antenna
- Choose a live TV streaming service – Sling, Fubo TV, Philo, ESPN+, Hulu, Youtube TV, AT&T TV Now
- Choose an on-demand streaming service – Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, HBO Now
- Check out some free streaming services – Tubi, Hoopla, Kanopy, Pluto TV
What Equipment Do I Need to Cut the Cord?
If you’re going to cancel your cable subscription and start as a cord cutter, your home internet connection has to do the most of the work. Streaming devices and services will depend on your home internet to deliver your entertainment. If your internet connection isn’t ready for this kind of work, your code cutting experience will be a crappy one with a lot of buffering.
Choosing the best internet service for you depends on what’s available near you, what speed you need, monthly data cap, what type of connection and how much you want to spend.
To start finding internet service providers available near you, we’d recommend typing in your ZIP code at these sites:
Every streaming service requires different speed requirements for the seamless viewing experience, but FCC recommends 3-4Mbps speed for standard definition videos (SD), 5-8Mbps for high definition videos(HD) and 25Mbps for 4K videos.
Please be aware that streaming can eat up a lot of data. According to Netflix, “Watching TV shows or movies on Netflix uses about 1 GB of data per hour for each stream of standard definition video, and up to 3 GB per hour for each stream of HD video. ” So make sure to check data cap when you’re choosing your internet plan.
If it’s available in your area, we recommend switching to a fiber optic or cable internet provider for the best experience.
As a cord-cutter, you’ll need a reliable option for streaming video onto your TV. There are many streaming media devices available on the market today. Smart TVs and gaming consoles also do the task, but streaming devices have more apps, better search, simpler remotes and frequent updates than them. The top selling devices are Roku, Fire TV, Google Chromecast, NVIDIA Shield and Apple TV.
How Do I Connect Streaming Device to My TV?
- Connect the device to an HDMI cable and then plug that cable into an unused HDMI port on your TV.
- Connect your media device to the included AC adapter.
- Connect it to the internet via ethernet cable or WIFI
To watch local channels over the air (OTA) for free, you’ll need either an indoor or outdoor digital antenna. Most areas of the U.S. have access to between 50 and 100 OTA channels for free.
To check which channels are available in your area, head over to TV Fool and enter your house address in the search box. It’ll return you a chart about the signals for TV channels where strongest signals are at the top and weakest at the bottom.
Live TV Streaming Services
After you’ve gotten rid of your cable contract, you can still watch live TV channels with a monthly subscription for a much less cost. Some provide different plans, which include more channels, and they all have add-on packages for extra content such as live sports, comedy, or International.
On-demand Streaming Services
There are a lot of on-demand streaming services available in the market with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu dominate the discussions. And there are niche-specific streaming services too if you’re a horror or anime fan.
Free Streaming Services
With the overwhelming amount of paid TV streaming options currently on the market, there are several free ad-supported services too.
- IMDb TV
- Pluto TV
- The Roku Channel
- Tubi TV
Cutting Cable Cost
According to Leichtman Research Group, the average monthly spending on TV in the U.S. is $107 per month. So still, the potential for savings is enormous. Let’s look at a cord-cutting package for an average user. (We don’t include the cost of internet because the majority of users have internet service even with cable TV.)
- Netflix ($12/mo.)
- Hulu ($6/mo.)
- Sling TV ($30/mo.)
After the upfront cost of the streaming device and TV antenna, you’d be paying $48 per month on all of your TV subscriptions – less than half what the average American is currently paying. And remember, there are no long term commitments.
If you already own plenty of Movies, TV Shows or Music digitally or on DVD or Blu-ray and you don’t want to pay extra for a streaming service such as Netflix, Hulu or Spotify; check this beginners guide to Plex.