Inside: Find out how to save money with cable alternatives and still watch your favorite shows.
It used to be that all the cool kids had cable because cable had all the best shows on TV. These days, though, you can find great content available for streaming often at a fraction of the cost of cable. We ditched the cable years (ok, over a decade) ago. But we never were the really cool kids. Or, maybe we were just ahead of the curve – trendsetting even. We’ll go with that.
What does it take to finally drop cable tv for good? It takes a little bit of planning and knowing what it is you want to watch.
1. Get Your Hardware
If you don’t watch much TV as it is or find yourself primarily tuning in on Sunday nights for Masterpiece, the latest episodes on network TV, or after school kids programming, then over the air (OTA) may work just fine for you.
In urban areas, check AntennaWeb for stations you should be able to receive with an antenna. A non-amplified antenna, such as the Leaf Metro, with a range of 20-25 miles should work well in the city. An amplified antenna with a longer range could pick up a lot of interference in a city, but should work well in a suburban or rural setting. The 1byone amplified antenna has good reviews.
Hook up the antenna and let your TV find the stations in your area. You might be amazed at how many there are. We have over 40 stations, and that’s with our TV and antenna in the basement.
If you choose to subscribe to a streaming service such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc., you will need something to display those streams on your TV. With newer TVs or Blu-ray players you may not need anything else as often these devices are already programmed to handle several of the streaming services. Newer game consoles often also already provide the interface you need.
Otherwise, you will need a device such as Google Chromecast, Roku 4, Amazon Fire TV Stick, or Apple TV. Or, you could even hook your computer up to your TV. Before you go and buy one of these devices, know what services you want and which ones the device supports. The last thing you want to do is buy a device that doesn’t support the services you want to use.
2. Choose your Services
There are a lot of great streaming services to choose from including:
- Amazon Prime
- HBO Now
- Playstation Vue
There are many more services. You can even find services that cater to Korean dramas, British TV or sports specific streams.
3. Check cost
Will you save money by cutting cable? Most likely you’ll save a lot. But a few people may not. With bundled services, check on costs of internet or other service through your cable company with and without cable included. Also, if someone in your family is a sports fanatic, the cost of subscribing to individual sport streams may get to be as expensive as cable.
If you’ve had cable for what seems like forever, then trying to drop cable tv for good may seem daunting, but all it takes is a little planning. Ask your neighbors about over the air reception and check out the different streaming services. You might be pleasantly surprised and your bank account may be happier as well.
Have you dropped cable at your house? What is your favorite streaming service?