Cut the Cord: 6 Steps to Life Without Cable
If you’ve been dreaming of never paying a cable bill again, but just haven’t figured out what it takes to cut the cord, you’re in luck. It’s easier than ever before to rid yourself of the colossal bill you pay for too many bad television stations and only a handful of good ones that you actually watch on a regular basis. Follow these six simple steps to embrace life without cable and a fatter savings account!
HOW TO CUT THE CORD:
Make Your List: The first thing you need to do is identify what television channels you can’t live without if you cut the cord. Are you a sports nut? Have you watched every single episode of The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones? Is the Hallmark Channel a must-have? All you need to do is identify which stations you must-have in order to function – for some, that might be Fox News or CNN and others might only need their local networks. Whatever your list is, make sure you don’t leave anything out!
Do Your Research: Now it’s time to get online to do a little research about how to view the stations you want, after you cut the cord. Most networks now have apps associated with subscription services for streaming. Additionally, your local networks can be viewed with the purchase of a long-distance, whole-house antenna that is easily mounted and connected to all of the TVs in your house. There are many options available for streaming TV. Your choice may vary depending on the type of stations you watch the most. For instance, if you are a sports fanatic, you’ll want to take a look at Sling TV, a monthly subscription service that lets you stream stations like CNN, HGTV, ESPN, Food Network and even Cartoon Network for the kiddos. For $20/month, you’ll have access to approximately 30 channels from any computer or device with an internet connection. Netflix is also a popular streaming service with incredibly popular original shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. It also has popular mainstream TV series and movies for less than $10/month. In addition, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, then you already have access to Prime Video which has its own exclusive TV shows and movies for members. Amazon also gives you Prime Music which is similar to Pandora but absolutely no ads. Before moving to the next step, find the right streaming service that matches the stations and shows you love to watch.
Choose Your Antenna Device: So at this point you know what stations you want and what streaming services will give them to you. Your major networks do not need to be paid for. You can get ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS and more in High Def for absolutely free. Two things to look for in your antenna are 1) The distance it covers; and 2) The number of TVs it can be hooked up to. After all, you don’t want to have to buy an antenna for every room of the house, right? We suggest you consider the Marathon Long-Distance, Whole-House, HDTV Antenna by Free Signal TV. You can find it here or on Amazon. You can see what local stations you’ll receive by putting in your zip code on their reception map. Click here to give it a try: Find Your Stations.
Choose Your Viewing Device: Okay, let’s regroup. You have your list of stations, your list of streaming services, you’ve bought your antenna and hooked it up for your local stations. Now it’s time to figure out how you’re going to sit stretch out on the couch and watch all of these great shows and movies. If you have a Smart TV, awesome! You’re done and ready to log into your streaming services and watch to your heart’s content. If you don’t have a smart TV, and don’t want to buy one, there are a few options available. The two most popular are AppleTV and the Amazon Firestick. Both are good choice with cool features like voice remote. Remember though, if you buy a streaming device, you’ll need one for each television that isn’t a smart TV.
Call the Cable Company: This is our favorite step. Though it may feel like cutting the cord is actually costing you money at this point, relax. Because now it’s time to rake in the savings. In September of 2015, it was reported by Yahoo Finance that the average cable bill had hit a record of $99. That’s almost $1200/year for dozens of TV stations you never turn on! Call your cable provider and tell them you are cutting the cord and no longer need their expensive service!! Just remember, if they are your internet provider you'll still need that so cancel only your cable subscription.
Calculate Your Savings: This is fun, fun, fun! So let’s take a look at what you have in so far:
Streaming: 1 or 2 services. Let’s say Sling and Netflix for less than $30/month
Antenna: One-time purchase of about $160
Streaming Device: One time purchase of about $100
With savings like that, who can deny that cutting-the-cord is the way to go? And with mainstream media reporting that the cost of satellite and cable TV is on the rise again, there’s no better time than now to cut-the-cord and be done with it altogether!