Ready to Cut the Cord?
Andy is back this week for part 2 of his Cordcutter insights. Be sure to read the first post to see if you are ready to get rid of cable. If the answer is yes, let’s get into some “how to” details to cut the cord… it’s all your’s hubs.
What You Need to Know to Be a Cordcutter.
In looking for additional savings in your budget, many people decide cutting the cord and getting rid of cable is a way to save money. So, you decided to take the leap and cut the cord! Good for you! What’s next? If you were like me, you were a bit overwhelmed by all the articles or advice you have either researched or been given. There are lots of great articles that really get into all the technical components but for this post, I (once again Mary’s hubs is lending his expertise for this article) am just going to cover the high-level game plan and major components you will need. I recommend the try before you cut the cord approach…
How to Cut the Cable
STEP 1: Try before you cut the cord. Good news! Did you know you can try cutting the cord without actually getting rid of cable? Kind of like try before you buy and if you find out it really isn’t for you then you can just keep rolling with cable. So don’t cancel the cable… just yet!
STEP 2.a: Decide on your Channel Lineup: In looking for cable alternatives, You will really need to first decide on your channel lineup. That will determine if you need an antenna, streaming service, or both. These are probably the most common scenarios:
- Over the Air (OTA) Channels Only – if you are going hardcore and only need OTA channels (basic ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX) you will want to make sure you get a good OTA antenna. The type of antenna will depend on if you are in a rural or urban location AND if your house has a clear line to the OTA towers. For the majority of you, a 30-50 mile antenna will be fine and you can find one for under $40. Word of caution – if you are going OTA only don’t skimp on the antenna. Long term you will probably be happiest with an attic or rooftop antenna.
- Streaming Services – if you know you want channels beyond OTA (e.g. ESPN, CNN, Hallmark, etc.) you need to decide on a streaming service. There are several good ones out there like Hulu With Live TV, Direct TV Now, Sling TV, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube TV. They all have different channel lineup, packages, and prices. You can probably find a good one for around $40 a month. Did you know there are FREE streaming services too? Why not add TubiTV and Pluto into the mix too. They offer Free options to stream some great content (often oldies but goodies).
- OTA & Streaming Service – This probably is not a very likely scenario because my guess is that many of you will opt for the streaming service to avoid the antenna and because you want more than just OTA channel. But if you choose a streaming service it might not have your local affiliate station. For example, one of the streaming services might not have the Columbus affiliate WTTE FOX28. In which case you would need an antenna so you can see the Mission to Save Monthly Monday segments (shameless plug, but Cameron always cracks me up). Most streaming services are carrying all or most all local affiliates so it is unlikely you will need an antenna and streaming service. However, if you are looking to wean yourself down to just OTA channels this might be a reason to have the antenna in place already.
Step 2.b Streaming Devices – If you need more than just OTA you will need a good SmartTV or streaming device. There are ton of great affordable devices to choose from like Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV Stick. We have both Roku (Ultra) and Apple TV (4th generation). This is more of a creature of habit choice- which platform you prefer. You can spend from $30-$150. We personally like the Roku Ultra, it gives you lots of flexibility (wired or wireless) at a great price.
Step 3: Get your antenna and/or streaming service in place: Install your antenna and/or download your streaming service to your SmartTV or Streaming Device. Most streaming services have a free 7-14 day trial (just make sure you cancel if you don’t like it). Go ahead and use your antenna or streaming service for a few weeks to see what you like. Be patient as the user experience will be a little different but hang tough.
Step 4: Decide: If you decide that cutting the cord is right for you, now is the time to make the call to the cable company to cut the cord. You are officially a “CordCutter” (did you know there’s a Facebook group for that too)
The “try before you cut the cord” approach really helps get you ready and make sure it will work for you before you go “all in”. But trust us, you can do it! Let us know how your cord cutting journey goes!
Now You Know You Know How to Cut the Cable – Ready to be a Cordcutter?
(BTW- great work hubs, right?! Leave him some comments below to let him know he did a great job, or if you have any follow up questions. You can also ask/comment in the Mission Savers Group on this topic.)