The Ultimate Cord Cutting Guide and Best Cable Alternatives

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Video Streaming on TVAre you ready to cut the cord from Comcast, Charter or AT&T U-verse? Well, you’re in luck, because there are plenty of “cord cutting” options now. Unbundle your services once and for all.

The best part? You don’t have to give up your favorite shows to save money. We’re here to help you remove the cable handcuffs and break free from the contracts by switching to streaming video.

Our Guide To Video Streaming

Why Switch From Cable To Video Streaming?

According to Fortune magazine, more than one in five households have already dumped their cable tv subscription. It can be scary to make the jump, but the flexibility and freedom that come as a result are more than worth it.

With video streaming, you only pay for the equipment once up front. Plus, whatever nominal subscription services you want (some are free). So, in the long run, you’ll save big! The total amount you can 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

As you might already know, video streaming is an affordable, easy way to watch entertainment. You can 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 probably is super high, right?Contract

You’ll also need to find out if you are 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 your spouse and/or other housemates about what they’re willing to compromise or let go 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.

Now that you’re prepared, it’s time to switch to streaming video.

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. 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) and even basic cable channels (i.e. CBS, ABC, PBS) having their own apps.

 digital media receiversYou’ll want to learn more about digital media receivers and how they work, then check out our review of the best streaming media devices. The two most popular are Roku and Apple TV so we’ve compared them side by side. But they’re getting a run for their money from competitors like Chromecast and Slingbox. We bring you pros, cons, discounts and more in our coverage.

When using these alternatives, you’re not always watching a live broadcast. Usually, it’s a recording posted the next day (news clips are posted the same day).

Note these devices and services rely on your home’s internet service, so you need to make sure you have a solid wireless (or hardwired) connection.

Ready To Cut The Cord?

This video shows you some of the experiences people are having with going cable-free and enjoying video streaming.

You too can be this happy and free from cable. So what are you waiting for? Snip snip!

Think you’ll cut the cord or is there a reason you’re holding back?

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As a homeowner Sadie understands the importance of keeping her property, and all that's in it (including her and her family) safe. She's passionate about smart home technology and the latest and greatest gadgets to live life to the fullest. When not doing marketing for Safe Smart Living, she enjoys decorating on a budget, small DIY improvement projects and all things HGTV.

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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!
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!)