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Cord-Cutting 101-A Beginners Guide

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Many people in the US are fed up by the over expensive cable fees, the fancy contract and have cut the cord to save money.

Cutting the cord means to cancel the cable connection or satellite TV and opting for a more affordable alternative.

Streaming over the internet has become very popular and now there are a lot of cable Tv alternatives available in the market, so you don’t need to keep paying more than $100 each month for cable.

But a lot of options available in the market have confused the new cord-cutters as it had boggled me when I had cut the cord 2 years back.

This guide is to help the people who have either recently cut the cord but don’t know where to start or for people unsure whether they should cut the cord or not.

Do You Need to Cut the Cord?

Before we talk about how you can cut the cord, you should first be clear if you need to cut the cord or not. Consider the following questions carefully.

“Have you been Paying More Than or Equal to $50 a Month for Cable?” :

If you have been paying $50 per month for cable, then it’s not a bad deal because most of the good Live Tv streaming services charge $50 to $55.

But if you only watch TV for entertainment and local channels then cord cutting will save you money. Investing in a good antenna would get you the local channels and on-demand services like Netflix will suffice for entertainment at a much cheaper price.

Do you have Internet Service at Home?

Can you Adapt?

Cutting the cord and getting a new service such as live streaming service demands flexibility, as the user interface would be new, and you might not get all the content you previously watched on cable.

How Fast is your Internet Service?

The one problem with Live TV streaming is buffering and loading and you will need a high speed internet to not go through that exasperating experience.

The one problem with Live TV streaming is buffering and loading and you will need a highspeed internet to not go through that exasperating experience.

Netflix and many other streaming services recommend at least 15Mbps for HD streaming, but if more than one person is watching the TV on different devices than even that would not be enough. So before cutting the cord, you need to make sure you have high-speed internet.

What you will Need to Cut the Cord

  • Before you cut the cord, it is necessary to do a survey of what the alternate options available are and what they will be providing.

  • You can get the cable channels via over the air free broadcast by an antenna (OT) or over the top broadcast through live streaming services and on-demand streaming services.

  • An HD Antenna

    When you decide to cut the cord, investing in a good HD antenna should be the first on your list, as it will get you local channels in good quality for free.

    In urban areas, a good indoor HD antenna can provide you with the major channels like Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC and other minor local channels in good resolution.

    But people living at the outskirts or in rural areas would need an outdoor antenna. So, before looking for the live streaming services you should get an antenna and find out what channels you can get with it.

    A Live Tv Streaming Service

    Live Tv streaming services are the new trend these days.

    You can either subscribe to a live streaming service that provides a bunch of channels like cable Tv alternatives such as YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling TV etc. or an on-demand streaming service like Netflix that offers specific content.

     To stream these services, you would need a working high-speed internet connection.

    A Streaming Device

    Smart TV’s and recent TVs have in-built apps and functionalities that let you stream the Live streaming services by connecting to the internet.

    But if your TV is an old one (even TV’s bought 2 to 3 years back)., then you would need a streaming device to access the streaming service by downloading their app.

    These devices are plugged into the Tv through the HDMI port and stream by connecting to the WIFI.

     But worry not these streaming devices are not that expensive and there are a lot of them available in the market, such as Roku, Amazon Fire Tv, Chromecast etc.

    But if you have a gaming device such as PlayStation, XBOX than you won’t need a streaming device as you can connect this to the TV and enjoy your favorite shows. 

    Benefits of Cutting the Cord

    Save Money

    The first and foremost reason to cut the cord is to save money. We cut the cord 2 years ago and have saved nearly $50 a month.

    This money could be used for much more important needs such as debt paying, healthcare, travelling etc.

    Month to Month Subscription

    Unlike Cable or satellite Tv, you don’t have to sign a fancy yearly contract for Live streaming services.

    They have an easy month to month subscription plan, where you pay for a month and can cancel anytime without any repercussions. This way if you don’t like what the streaming service is offering you can try another one the next month.

    Customization

    One of the key features of cord-cutting that people like a lot is being able to choose and pick what you want to watch.

    With cable, you get a lot of channels that you don’t even watch and have to pay for. But when you opt for a live streaming service you can customize what you want to watch by considering the channel lineup of different services and by even subscribing to separate channels for a low cost such as HBO Now. 

    Portability

    Some people cut the cord for the ease of use and the ability to watch their favorite shows wherever they want, whenever they want then for saving money.

    The live streaming services are compatible with handheld devices like smartphone and tablets allowing you to watch your shows anywhere.

    Drawbacks of Cutting the Cord

    It is important to consider the drawbacks of cutting the cord before deciding about it, so you won’t regret it later on.

    You May Not Save Money

    If you opt for a live streaming service that starts with $50 such as AT&T tv Now, YouTube TV and add a variety of Add-Ons such as HBO Now, SHOWTIME, then you might not save much money or even pay a bill that rivals the old cable bill.

    A High-speed Internet is Required

    You may have to upgrade your internet connection to stream without interruption.

    15 Mbps speed is recommended for streaming at one device and if you have more than one TV connected to the service than you would need more.

    More speed means more money to pay. So, you need to consider the cost of the internet before cutting the cord.

    Final Thoughts

    Cutting the cord is no spur of the moment decision, you need to plan and decide carefully by calculating the expenditure if it’s beneficial for you or not.

    Daily news, entertainment, sports and cartoons are an important component of the daily American life but so is being cost-effective. The most used cable Tv alternative is the use of HD antenna along with a live streaming service. Therefore, check all the options available and then decide.

    My Name is Hazel. I like to write about Tech, Software's & more. Other then that i love football & travelling new places.