Ever thought about cancelling your cable TV? Maybe your friends are doing it? Maybe you are just too scared to take the jump. Well now is the time to cut the cord and free yourself from a high cable bill and poor selection in content!
Why? Nowadays, cancelling cable subscription is the normal thing to do. Customers are dropping cable subscriptions in droves. It’s not like you’re going to be left out if you cut your cable. How many of your friends still have cable TV? I bet not many of them do. At this point, it’s kind of a waste of money to still have cable, don’t you think? It’s definitely the norm to not have cable these days.
Why cancel my TV service?
Cable is so freaking expensive! Comcast is currently having a “special” for new customers – buy a cable package for $50 a month for a year. Of course, after the first year, the cable package will increase in price. $50 times 12 is equal to $600. You would be paying $600 a year to watch cable TV. That’s a lot of money that you could be spending on other things. A round trip flight ticket to the Caribbean Islands costs less than $600! You could go there with the $600 you saved from not buying cable!
You could buy a very expensive pair of Italian leather shoes from the money saved. You could go to six or more of your favorite sports games. You could go on a shopping spree for you and your loved ones! You could even put that extra cash away for an emergency. It doesn’t matter what you do, but that $600 you save would allow you to do so much. The extra income is useful for anything you could possibly need it for.
A Netflix subscription only costs $7.99 for a month, for streaming on one screen. If you’re single, a Netflix subscription would only cost you $96 a year, and if you wanted to upgrade a little, it could cost up to $144 a year. That’s a lot cheaper than spending $600 a year on cable TV, when you can’t even get your favorite shows. Awesome shows like Orange is the New Black and Sense8 are only available on Netflix. On Hulu, you can watch popular shows that appear on cable TV, such as the now discontinued Glee, Once Upon a Time, The Voice, and many more for free. For the same price as a Netflix subscription, you can get a Hulu subscription with no ads and loads more shows.
Additionally, you could watch TV on the internet, streaming on other free sites.
You can choose the channels you want, and you don’t have to pay for those you don’t want with cable. Cable TV is so expensive to pay for shows you don’t even want to watch!
With streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want, where you want. It doesn’t matter where you are, you don’t even have to be at home. You can be waiting in line at the DMV and start watching your shows without cable. Or hanging out waiting to pick your kid up from school and put get the app on your phone, then watch your shows.
The overall experience with other subscription services is so much better. Plus you can cancel them whenever you want! Unlike with cable TV, who will put up a big fuss about it.
What do I need to enter a cabless world?
So, you want to cut the cord, what exactly do you need in order to survive without cable? There are a couple things that you need to make sure that you have in order for success before you choose a streaming service. First and most importantly, you will need a high-speed internet connection. Without high speed Internet you can’t expect to stream content effectively. If you are unsure if you have a connection that is fast enough I would recommend going over to speed test and making sure your connection is over 5 mbits+.
Secondly you will need a TV – but of course you say! You need to see if your TV has an HDMI port which will give you the ability to plug in the hardware needed to steam content directly to your TV. Almost all new TV’s have this port but best to just double check before investing in hardware for streaming.
Then perhaps the most important thing you will need is the hardware to access the services that allow the access to the streaming services. Some TV’s have built in software where you can access Netflix, Hulu and so on but if you do not have a “Smart TV” below we will touch on a few of your hardware options:
Apple TV is a small box in which you plug into your tv to allow you access to the apple echo system. You can stream content from your Itunes account, be it TV shows, movies or music as well as access a bunch of built in apps allowing access for Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, HBO GO and more. Due to apples OS being locked down you do not get access to everything streaming out there.
Roku can connect Youtube, Hulu, Netflilx, Amazon Prime, Sling TV and more. Much like the apple TV it gives you access to the majority of steaming services but with the large app database Ruku offers you will have access to pretty much every streaming service out there. Ruku is definatly a great choice for your streaming needs with a variety of different models.
Amazon Fire is yet another option you could use. Amazon Fire is a tiny media box you attach to your TV, and you can stream all of the services to your TV using it. This is not limited to Amazon Prime, and involves Hulu, Netflix, etc. This is an alternative to Roku.
Google ChromeCast is a tiny media device that plugs into the HDMI port of your TV. Unlike the other streaming devices you will need a computer / phone or tablet to stream the content from but with its super low price of $30 it makes a very attractive option.
Smart TV’s The leader in this department is probably Samsung, with its smart tv echo system of streaming apps from Netflix to Hulu. Currently I feel the UX of these devices is not up to the same standards as these other devices but is a good option if you are in the market for a new TV and do not want to spend the money on another device.
Gaming systems Xbox, PS, Wii ect … Who does not have a gaming system collecting dust. The majority of these systems allow for streaming content with apps built in to access the big streaming companies. Be warned you probably will have to have a membership to the gaming systems online component first to have the ability to access the apps for streaming.
Once you have got these steps figured out – TV compatibility and hardware that allows you to connect to a streaming services, the next step is to choose a streaming service.
Who should I be streaming content from?
We have figured out why we should cut the cord, what we need to cut the cord, now you need to get that content so you can relax with your new found freedom. Below are the major streaming services and a few positives about them. Many networks have there own streaming services and we will also touch on those but the majority of them only work in conjunction with a cable subscription not allowing you to fully break free of the cable company. The options below are completely independent but all offer there own unique choices depending on your taste and what kind of content you are looking for.
Netflix Probably the largest of the bunch offers 10’000 of thousands of movies, TV shows and more. While not offering any of the newest of the new episodes you would see on cable they do get shows fairly fast. The big advantage to Netflix besides is massive library of content is it produces some of the best exclusive series around, comparable to HBO. Some of the massive hits include, House of Cards, Orange is the new Black, Narcos, Marvels Daredevil and the list goes on. This service is defiantly recommended for the binge watcher who wants some amazing content and full seasons of some of your favorite shows.
Hulu Plus run by the TV networks Hulu Plus brings you the vast majority of TV shows that are currently on air. This means you will get the newest episodes of many shows the same day they air on tv. Due to licensing certain shows not all episodes are offered while a season is currently airing making binge watching difficult. If you are a TV lover this is a must have but the selection of movies is no where near the other options.
Amzon Prime in the last year has started to grow. Producing some exclusive shows, winning awards and using its clout to sign more partnerships to bring more content into the echo system.
Sling TV This is a true cable alternative. Only available in the US it was originally setup for the sports nut with the ability to stream ESPN but now offering over 200 channels. This is not an on demand service simply streaming live tv to your device. The great thing about it is you can choose which channels you want to stream and there is no contract attached if you sign up.
YouTube If you can search it, its probably there. Youtube offers you almost everything you want for your viral video needs. As for Hollywood type content they have a video on demand service that ranges from 99 cents to 3.99 depending on the movie you rent.
Google Play Much like Itunes and Vudu this is an on demand service that offers newely release movies and videos but it will cost you upwards of 5 dollars per movie. This is a great addition to a streaming service such as Netflix to get the newer content.
Itunes Has been around for a while now so a huge collection of tv shows and movies, works very well if you have an apple tv and offers you all the newest DVD releases. Currently this is a on demand service as well no all inclusive monthly fee ( yet ).
In conclusion I would say with a completive monthly fee with unlimited watching your best bet is to start with a Netflix or Hulu (depending on the kind of shows / movies you enjoy) and go from there, adding services to tweak your services depending on your viewing habbits.