With frustrating bills for cable TV routinely topping $200, it is no wonder that people’ are looking for alternative solution. Cutting the cable bills can contribute a lot to save money for sure. You would be really surprised how much money you actually spend on TV in the long run! Yet ending those subscriptions can be frustrating too. In this advanced streaming world is like the Wild West— it’s unbelievable how many streaming services and devices one can select from! To get the conveniences you are so used to will take both research and effort. The actual amount you will be able to save will depend on the amount of channels you want to have access to. Streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Sling TV charge varying monthly fees and offer a wide range of content to choose from. However, what you need to use those is a high-speed Internet service to be able to stream the video. And, since you will be losing your cable box when you cancel your subscription, you will need to get yourself some new hardware to get your TV back on track. Here are a few solutions you should consider:
A great solution to get local channels (and network programming) is to get a good HDTV antenna. Luckily, with the new models you don’t need to climb up your roof to set it up. The $70 Leaf has a subtle design it’s nor bigger or thicker than a simple sheet of paper. You can hang it pretty much anywhere you wish and it will still pick up local high def channels within a 50 mile range— it might even catch some networks that your cable or satellite system did not include.
No need to elaborate on how popular YouTube, thus no surprise that it expanded into providing live TV, too. For $35 per month you’ll get access almost 40 channels — which, at the end of the day, is not that many. However, there are some good networks, especially if you are into sports: multiple stations from ESPN, CBS Sports and Fox Sports. YouTube TV’s biggest draw is the service’s unlimited DVR feature, which allows you to record as much as you need with an access to it for up to nine months. The integration with the rest of YouTube feels half-baked, though.
Now if you are not Apple’s, but Amazon’s customer, the $90 Fire TV might be a more suitable option for you. It’s costs a bit more than the Fire TV Stick ($40), but it supports 4K streaming video and works together with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant via its remote control, which also enables you to quickly skip ahead or search for the content you want. Like the majority of streaming services, Fire TV supports Netflix, however it will nudge you toward its own Prime Video, which includes a number of exclusive movies and programs. It has many options for customization, thus allowing you to add more than 90 premium and specialty channels, including HBO and Showtime and no need for a cable subscription.
Netflix is a must if you’re going to quit on your cable TV. No wonder 76% of Netflix customers think that it can replace traditional TV. Netflix has a great variety of hit TV shows from both the past and the present, which are great to binge on. You can also watch hundreds of movies across every category and genre. But best of all, Netflix has some amazing original series. My personal favorite must be the “House of Cards,” “Master of None,” “Orange Is The New Black,” and more recently “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones.” Netflix continuously adds new and original content and definitely is the best bang for your buck.
If you use an iPhone and iPad—and your mobile world consists of Apple’s apps—it does make sense to use Apple when going for cord-cutting. Starting at $149, Apple TV offers most of the major streaming services with plans to include exclusive content such as the spinoff to James Corden’s popular Carpool Karaoke segment. The set top box also supports 1,600 video apps, has a strong recommendation engine, and your movies, music, or TV shows bought on iTunes. Moreover, it displays on your TV photos and videos from your iPhone or your iCloud.
To upgrade your picture quality while you cancel your cable or satellite, Google offers it’s high-end streaming stick, which is capable of displaying 4K ultra-high definition and HDR (high dynamic range) video. The $69 streamer can be connected via Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable, the later being a better choice for 4K content. Just as with the standard Chromecast model, it connects your television to such services as Netflix, Pandora MLB.tv and HBO Now. You can purchase Google’s Chromecast ultra from Target, Walmart, or Best Buy.