The Ultimate Cord Cutting Guide And Best Cable Alternatives

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Video Streaming on TVIs your cable/satellite bill getting out of hand? Video streaming your favorite shows and movies may be a less expensive alternative. Before cutting the cord officially, make sure you have the technology and devices set up in your home to make the transition a breeze.

Our Guide To Video Streaming

Why Switch From Cable To Video Streaming?

You can save a lot of money by dropping your traditional TV package and purchasing video streaming subscriptions instead. There are no monthly equipment fees or leasing charges with video streaming. You pay for the equipment (most likely a smart TV or a streaming media device) one time when you purchase it from the store. And the total amount you save in one month alone could pay for the new equipment.

There will be adjustments at first to the new consumption habits (adjusting to peak hours for internet, how you browse channels, etc.) but like any new behavior, you’ll quickly adapt (and it will be worth it thanks to all the money you’re saving).

What To Do Before Switching From Cable To Streaming Video

Video streaming lets you watch new and old shows, movies and more on demand while saving hundreds of dollars (and not being tied down to a coPerson watching TVntract). But, before you get snip-happy, do these things first to avoid headaches down the road.

First, take inventory of your shows (literally write them down), of your family’s current consumption habits, services and what each is used for.

  • Who watches what? Is there a die-hard sports fan in your house?
  • Are you willing to wait to watch reality shows a day after they air?Bill
  • Are you really watching all 200+ channels you pay for?

Next, add up your current monthly cost for cable including how much you’re paying for any leased equipment. Throw in taxes, fees and other charges, and it’s probably super high, right?Contract

You’ll also need to find out if you’re tied into any contracts. If so, there could be a financial penalty to leave. You’ll need to consider the cost of breaking your contract into your overall equation.

ChatingOnce you get an idea of your monthly costs and exit strategy, have a discussion with others in your household about what they’re willing to compromise or let go of before you pull the plug. It’s critical to get on the same page to make decisions and set expectations ahead of time. Luckily streaming services let you watch whatever, whenever, on any device, so you don’t have to fight for the one TV with a cable box or DVR.

How To Stream Video: Cable TV Alternatives

streaming media deviceMore than likely you are already using and/or paying for streaming media services like Netflix (checkout our comparison of the top streaming providers).

But did you know that there are devices that can stream the content on your TV? These streaming media players basically turn your TV into one big tablet with various streaming services (i.e., Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, etc.) and even basic cable channels (i.e., CBS, ABC, PBS) have their own apps.

 digital media receiversLearn more about streaming media devices and how they work in our FAQ, then check out our review of the best streaming media devices. We bring you pros, cons, discounts and user feedback.

When using these alternatives to cable, you’re not always watching a live broadcast. Sometimes, it’s a recording posted the next day, so consider that when looking for an alternative.

Is there a reason you haven’t cut the cord?

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Sadie has a bachelor’s in communications and minor in business from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been writing about, researching and a user of security and smart home technology since 2012. As an early adapter and avid user of gadgets, she’s not only well-versed in how to use them but also passionate about helping others integrate them into their lives and homes. Having lived in various urban neighborhoods in major cities like Dallas, Austin, Winston-Salem and currently Washington DC, Sadie has experienced her share of property crimes over the years; from car break-ins to stolen bikes. As a result, she’s extra cautious when it comes to protecting herself and her property. Sadie attends conferences, events and webinars to stay up-to-date on cybersecurity and technology. She loves traveling the world and is a self-proclaimed Apple junkie.

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John M
I’m holding back on cutting the cord for sports. Specifically, I haven’t found a service where I’m able to watch pre-recorded tennis matches (from Tennis Channel and ESPN networks) that allow me to see the score while I fast forward and rewind. I would think it would need one of these streaming services to support DVR functionality – does that exist?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Have you looked into YouTube TV? I’m not positive on the channels it offers in your area but it could be a good option for you!
John M
Wow, Youtube TV does indeed have a cloud DVR where I can record my sports, thanks Kimberly. And they support both ESPN and Tennis Channel, yeah baby!!
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Woohoo! Glad we could help you find a cable alternative! Enjoy your tennis watching!
Katheryn
I cut the cord years ago and haven’t looked back since! Do it people, saves you so much money (not to mention the headache of dealing with the big cable companies!)