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How to Watch TV without Cable

This is a comprehensive guide on how to watch TV without paying for a cable or satellite subscription. I cover nearly every facet of cutting the cord. The guide provides not only the basics of finding cable TV alternatives but also directs you to a deeper analysis of cord cutting topics in other articles on the site. This should serve both beginner and expert cord cutters. I’m continually updating this page as new information is available.

The first section of the guide covers the basics of cord cutting like streaming services, devices and antenna basics. The other sections contain more information on topics like watching sports, replacing your landline, DVR alternatives, TV over the air, and much more. By the end, you should be ready to cut the cord and stop paying thousands on cable TV.

For convenience, I put together a table of contents to help navigate this guide. Each section ends with a link to get back to the table of contents.

Table Of Contents

Watching TV Without Cable

The 3 steps in the section cover the three major pieces of cutting the cord. Step 1 is content. This step covers various streaming services and the types of TV shows they offer.

There are a lot of options out there to stream your favorite shows. Don’t feel overwhelmed. They all offer free trials and no contract. There is no risk to try them out. Don’t overthink ditching your traditional pay TV provider.  Try cutting the cord. If you discover it isn’t for you, I’m sure your cable company will be more than happy to take your money again.

Step 2 covers which streaming device you should choose based on the streaming services that appeal to you. You don’t necessarily need a streaming device, but it’s the only way to watch these services on your television.

Step 3 covers the basics of how you can use a TV antenna to watch free network TV.

Step 1: Streaming Services

DIRECTV NOW

DIRECTV NOW is the latest streaming service from AT&T that offers live TV over the internet from networks you typically receive with a cable bundle. The service is currently supported by Apple TV, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and most modern web browsers. We recently rated it our best live TV streaming service.

Currently, you can try DIRECTV NOW free for 7 days. I recommend trying it out to see if it’s right for you. AT&T wireless unlimited Plus and Choice customers receive a monthly $25 bill credit for DIRECTV NOW. That means you can get the live streaming service for only $10 per month.

With the new iPhone coming out, it might make sense to switch to AT&T to get DIRECTV NOW for $10 per month. Check out AT&T Wireless Offers for pricing information.

I find the best option to be their “Live a Little” package. It is priced at $35 per month and contains Fox News, CNN, Nickelodeon, MSNBC, Hallmark Channel, ESPN, Disney, HGTV, USA, ID, TNT, Food, TBS, History, Discovery, Disney Jr, TV Land, Nick Jr, AMC, FX, FXX, Bravo, Lifetime, A&E, Animal Planet, BBC America, Bloomberg, BET, Cartoon Network, CMT, CNBC, Comedy Central, Disney XD, E!, ESPN2, Fox Business, FS1, Galavision, HLN, MTV, MTV2, Paramount Network, Syfy, TCM, TLC, Univision, VH1, and more

DIRECTV NOW also offers HBO and Cinemax for just $5 per month each. HBO Now typically runs $14.99. It’s the cheapest way for cord cutters to enjoy shows like Game of Thrones. For more information, check out my review of DIRECTV NOW.

Sling TV

Sling TV is the streaming service that also offers live TV over the internet. It’s essentially cable TV without the contract or the massive bill. Currently, if you sign up for Sling TV you get a Free Roku. They also offer a free 7-day trial membership to try out their service. The service works on every major OTT streaming device and recently began offering a cloud DVR. Sling TV also streams NBC live online along with Fox and ABC in select markets.

For $20 a month subscribers will have access to AMC, History Channel, Disney, A&E, Epix, IFC, Lifetime, ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, HGTV, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, CNN, and more.
Sling also added a second base package that swaps out the Disney Owned stations for FOX owned stations including FS1. This package also allows the ability for multiple streams. There are also add-on channels packs and premium channels like HBO and Cinemax. Check out my Sling TV Review for more details.

FuboTV

FuboTV is a live online streaming service that specializes in live sports while still offering pay-TV channels like A&E, Bravo, The Weather Channel and more. They offer a Cloud DVR with their base channel service. They also offer live streaming of Fox, NBC, and CBS is some local markets.

The service offers a 1-week free trial. Try it out to see if it will work for you. For more information check out my FuboTV review.

Hulu

Hulu offers TV Shows airing on Fox, NBC, and ABC. Shows from the current season can air on Hulu one day after airing on their broadcast network. Hulu also offers loads of original content and a decent back catalog of many past seasons of cable and network TV shows. They have a huge volume of content from classic TV shows like “The Brady Bunch” to the latest episode of “Once Upon a Time” And “The Daily Show.”

Hulu costs $7.99 per month. Unlike Netflix, there are a few commercials. However, there is an option to get commercial free service for a few extra dollars a month. You can test Hulu to see if you like it with this one-week free trial. For more details check out my review, which examines if Hulu is worth the cost.

Hulu also offers a live TV service. It includes the features above in addition to a live TV package. Think of it as an alternative to Sling TV.

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue is a streaming service similar to Sling TV, offering channels like AMC, TBS, Syfy and much more. However, this service starts at $39.99 per month. Check out this comparison of Sling TV Channels vs. PS Vue for the difference in each services channel lineup. You don’t need a PlayStation gaming console to use the service either. While the service is available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, you can also use the service with Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast, Android, iPad, and iPhone. Check out my review of PlayStation Vue for more details.

YouTube TV

YouTube isn’t just for “Youtubers” anymore. Google now offers a YouTube TV live streaming service.   The service offers just about every major cable TV channel. It even includes live streaming of ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS.

Features also include six profiles, 3 simultaneous streams,  and a personal cloud DVR. All this comes with a price tag of $35 per month. YouTube TV is supported on Android, iOS (includes airplay to Apple TV), and Chromecasts/Chromecast-compatible TVs.

Philo

Philo is a new streaming service for those that don’t want to pay for sports channels. Philo offers some cable TV favorites for only $16 per month. Check out my review of Philo for more information.

Premium Channels

Watching “Game of Thrones” is no longer a problem for cord cutters. There are numerous ways to get the service. All of which are highlighted in my post on watching HBO without cable.

If Showtime is more your speed, then no need to worry. They also offer numbers ways to watch Showtime online. For details, check out my post on how to watch Showtime without cable.

The Starz app provides access to both Starz and Encore. For information on the Starz app, read my post on watching Starz Without Cable.

Amazon Prime carries Showtime and Starz. Furthermore, Sling TV added a Cinemax add-on package. Premium channels aren’t a problem for cord cutters any longer.

Amazon Prime

For vast libraries of movies and TV content prior to the current season, I recommend getting the 30-day free trial to Amazon Prime. Another big reason to get Amazon Prime is the option of adding Showtime and Starz with your subscription. For just $8.99 per month, you have every TV show and movie offered by Starz and Showtime just as if you had the network with a cable provider.

Not only do you have access to stream over 40,000 hit movies and TV shows, but you get free music, books, and unlimited photo storage as well. Your membership also includes free 2-day shipping from Amazon.com regardless of the order size. Some metropolitan areas actually off2-houre 2 hour shipping. For more information, check out all the benefits you receive with Amazon Prime.

A La Carte Cable

No cable service truly offers a la carte cable TV. However, through VUDU, iTunes and Amazon (even if you’re not a Prime Instant Video subscriber) you can buy episodes of entire seasons of shows a la carte. This includes shows currently airing. At first, that might seem expensive, but shows are $1.99 an episode and you can get a discount on the season pass. I saved a ton of cash this way when my family cut the cord. My family purchases only 3-4 season passes a year, keeping it under $10 a month.

Netflix

Netflix – Netflix has loads of content at a low price. Most TV shows wind up on streaming after a season airs. There are also movies and a whole host of children’s programming available. The pricing is reasonable at $8.99 a month for unlimited HD streaming to two TVs simultaneously. If you are comfortable waiting a few months for a TV series, Netflix may be all you need.

There is also great original content like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” which are two of my favorite shows. Netflix is also the home to the Marvel TV Universe, which includes shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. Furthermore, there are no commercials.

CBS All Access

Since current seasons of CBS aren’t available on Hulu, CBS All Access is one option to get CBS Shows the day after the initial broadcast as CBS isn’t a part of Hulu. The basic service costs $5.99 per month and does air commercials. However, they offer a commercial-free plan for $9.99 per month. The service also offers live local CBS in over 150 markets. For more details, check out my review of CBS All Access.

Check out this 1-week free trial to see if you like it. There is no contract so you can cancel anytime.

CW App

The CW App lets anyone watch the current seasons of CW shows free. You don’t even need a cable TV login. It works on all major streaming devices, including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Android, and iOS. Check here for more information.

Outside the Mainstream

Are your tastes not satisfied by mainstream services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Then, you should check out my posts on some of the lesser known TV streaming services. I cover services like the indie film favorite Sundance Now, and horror must have Shudder.

Free TV

While the pay subscriptions offer the most content, there are channels that deliver content at no charge. However, the content may be limited and you may have to watch ads. In my post on free TV online, I cover great free services like Crackle, Tubi TV, Shout Factory TV, ConTV and more.

There are many services that offer 30 day free trials if you just want to binge on content. For example, CuriosityStream allows you to watch free documentaries online for 7 days. After that it’s only $2.99 per month.

Step 2: Streaming Devices

Once you have decided the streaming services you would like to use, the next step is figuring out which streaming device to use. Personally, I recommend getting a Roku. Roku supports the most apps and provides a very intuitive interface. To learn about Roku, check out my post: Which Roku is Right For You.

However, there are a few situations where you may not want to use Roku. Namely, if you are going to use PlayStation Vue, you will want to get an Amazon Fire TV (if you don’t have a PlayStation.) The Amazon Fire TV has the best user interface for PlayStation Vue when compared to the other streaming devices.

Of course, Apple TV should be considered if you use iOS and have a lot of movies and TV shows in iTunes. Personally, I have many Apple products but still use Roku. However, that may change once Apple’s new TV app releases.

For more information on the various streaming devices, check out the section More on Streaming Devices

Step 3: TV Antenna

A TV antenna allows you to watch free broadcast TV, with access to networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and more. The over the air broadcast TV available changes depending on where you live in relation to your closest TV towers. Thankfully, antenna maker Mohu has put together a tool that shows you which TV channels are available in your area. They also show which channels you should expect to receive for each of their antennas.

If you have stations available that you can receive with an indoor antenna, I recommend going with a Mohu Leaf Glide or an amplified Mohu Curve (Enter promo code “super25” at checkout for 25% off). Not everyone will need an amplifier. With the Curve, it’s a separate component you can leave out if deemed unnecessary.

If you aren’t close enough to the TV towers to use an indoor antenna you may need an outdoor solution. Furthermore, today’s digital TV signals require a TV with a digital tuner. If your TV was made before 2007, it may not have one. For solutions to these issues, check out my post How To Get Local Channels Without Cable. I also expand on this a bit in the TV Antenna section later in this guide.
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Internet Speed to Cut the Cord

Of course, since you will be streaming content using online services you will need to purchase an internet connection. Unfortunately, you will most likely have to purchase it from your former TV provider. The key is not to overpay by purchasing more bandwidth than you need.

Below are the minimums I recommend for streaming a single video without much of buffering. If you plan on playing video on multiple devices at the same time, you need to multiply the minimum speed by the number of devices you will use simultaneously.

  • Standard Definition – 2 Mbps
  • High Definition in 720p – 5 Mbps
  • High Definition in 1080p – 9 Mbps
  • High Definition in 1080p in 3D – 12 Mbps

These are minimums for streaming a single video without much of buffering. If you plan on playing video on multiple devices at the same time, you need to multiply the minimum speed by the number of devices you will use simultaneously.

If you typically use the internet while watching TV, I’d add another 5 Mbps. Generally, 10-20 Mbps should be sufficient for streaming any media over the internet. If you want to know your current speeds, use this tool at speedtest.net to test your bandwidth.

I’d run this test at different hours of the day to be sure you get an accurate measurement. Certain providers have customers share bandwidth so if your neighbors are all watching “Keeping up with the Kardashians in 3D” at 2 a.m. your bandwidth may be lower at that time.

Finding an ISP

Personally, I have a 50 Mbps connection through a Verizon Fios internet only plan. They have competitive pricing for internet service. Furthermore, the quality of service is excellent, and the customer support is much better than other major competitors. See if they are available in your area by checking this promo page. I was able to get their service at a great price using that link.

ISP’s vary by location. I’m maintaining a list of providers with affordable internet only plans you can use to cut the cord. If you can’t find one on that page, try your existing provider. Now I know the “big” internet providers seem only to offer “triple play” packages bundling phone, TV, and internet. However, if you dig around on their site you should be able to find an internet service offering.

When deal searching, be sure to inquire about the data download caps of your potential internet service provider. They will typically indicate this in the gigabytes (GB) you can transfer in a month. In this case, your video quality is an important factor. For example, a cap of 250 GB will allow for about 280 hours of standard definition streaming, but only 83 hours of high definition at 1080p. So be mindful and aware of the fine print.

Don’t Fall for the Bundle

If you have to get internet access through your cable company, they will probably offer you the world to keep your triple play package because cable subscriptions are the biggest metric for these companies. These deals will seem awesome. Trust me, if they trap you, you will steadily see that price tag grow due to add-ons, fees, and taxes.

If the only internet providers in your area are the likes of Comcast, Cox, etc. then you need to be a little more creative to get a good deal. Ideally, there is more than one provider in your area. If this is the case and you can get a no term contract deal at a good price, then grab it. Otherwise, follow these guidelines.

-Never take a contract where the term is longer than the offer price. They will raise the price when the offer price expires, and you will be stuck in the contract.

-Take advantage of promotional offers. There are affiliate websites that have promotional offers not available on the ISP’s website. Search around to find a deal.

-As soon as your contract expires, be sure to shop around. Bounce back and forth between the providers in your area. Again, always take advantage of the promotional offers through affiliate websites.

-Since you will be switching providers every year, get an email address not linked to your ISP. Options include Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, or even your own domain.

-If they require a rental fee for the modem, be aware that you can use your own cable modem for internet.
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What about a Home Phone

Many rely on their cable provider for home phone service. Like most of their services, it can be replaced with a much cheaper internet based service. For those who need a little more than a cell phone after they ditch their cable TV subscription, I recommend PhonePower (formerly BroadVoice.) They are an affordable and reliable phone service provider that uses your existing internet connection.

There are plenty of options out there to provide a phone solution after you cut the cord. For more details, check out my article on finding cheap home phone service.

What about a Business Phone?

I’ve spoken with small business owners and entrepreneurs that feel shackled to their cable company due to the business functionality offered with the phone portion of their providers “bundle for business.” There is no need to stick with them any longer.

Grasshopper provides a business number for your cell phone that delivers the business phone functionality you need and more at an unbelievable price. Just mentioning the 2nd number for your cell phone doesn’t really explain what they do. Their service turns the personal phones of you and your employees into a full blow PBX. Read my review of their small business phone system for more information.

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Alternatives to Buying a Streaming Device

Most of you can cut the cord today with equipment you already have. Here are options to cut cable TV that may already be in your home.

Home Gaming Consoles

Most modern consoles like the two most recent iterations of Xbox, Wii, and PlayStation connect to the internet and run streaming subscription applications to view content on the television. You can even run streaming apps like Netflix on X-box.

For gamers considering a console, Xbox One can connect to a TV antenna. Furthermore, it combines your OTA Network channels, streaming apps, and web apps all in one guide. There is even talk of DVR functionality in the future. If you are looking to cut the cord and upgrade your video game console, an Xbox One is a good option.

Sony PlayStation has put together a stellar product called the PlayStation Vue. It provides many cable TV favorites like AMC, TBS, ESPN and more over the Internet without the need of a cable TV subscription. Vue is one of the stronger cable TV replacements on the market today.

Other Streaming Alternatives

Smart TV – If you purchased a TV in the past few years is it a “Smart TV?” These connect to the internet and stream content to the TV without the use of other devices.

Computer, laptop or tablets – While this works, very few people are happy watching TV on a computer, laptop or tablet. While it’s possible to get these devices to output display to a television, it’s not always a straightforward solution and quality of picture can suffer.

Blu-Ray or DVD player – Many of these devices have the ability to connect to the internet, stream video and display it on your television.

If you don’t have or don’t like any of the options above, there are a few ways to turn your TV into a “Smart TV.” There are a number of ways to do this. In the next section, I’ll cover the subscription services available. Certain devices only work on certain equipment so I’ll cover a few of these combinations in the Streaming Devices section of the post.

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More on Antennas

After 2009, over the air TV signals became digital and old analog tuner TVs stopped working. Did you know that you could still get over the air signals? In fact, you can watch local channels without cable, and they are available free and in clear beautiful high definition. Those signals are bouncing off your house as you read this. If you own a TV sold in the U.S. made after March 1st, 2007, it has a digital tuner as mandated by law.

That means all you need is an antenna to start grabbing these network TV signals to display on your television. Now I know what you’re thinking. If you were born before 1985, you probably have vivid memories of static all over the screen as mom or dad adjust the antenna. Digital doesn’t work that way. If your antenna can pick up the channel, then you get the picture as clear as it can be. Otherwise, you don’t get the picture.

The first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of antenna to get. When we first started our cord cutting endeavor this was the hardest thing to figure out. The first thing to do is figure out the strength and location of signals in your area.

Signal Finder Tool

The quality of your TV picture isn’t only dependent on the quality of your antenna. It also depends on where you live in relation to the signal towers. A quick and easy tool to figure out which channels are available to you is the Mohu Station Finder. It provides information on the stations available based on your address. It also provides an idea of the performance to expect from different antennas.

Alternatively, you could this great tool from tvfool.com. It’s a bit more complicated than the tool from Mohu, but it provides information like station location and signal-power from the tower. I’ve put together an episode of the Grounded Reason Podcasts that walks you through using TV fool.

It will tell you what stations are available and what type antenna you should purchase. For me, cutting cable was a money saving endeavor, so I was trying to get the best bang for my buck. I also knew I didn’t want the hassle of pointing the antenna in the direction of the tower every time I changed the channel.

Which antenna should you get?

I recommend the Mohu Sky Outdoor Amplified Antenna (Enter promo code “super25” at checkout for 25% off). It’s rated for signals up to 60 miles away and brings in plenty of stations. Check out my review of the Mohu Sky. It’s the antenna I use and I couldn’t be happier with it.

Mohu is always running some great promotions on antennas. If you are in the market for an antenna, I’d click that link and check them out.

Mohu antennas are very easy to install and small enough to fit anywhere. I’m getting crystal clear HD TV signals from over 50 miles away. These antennas are omnidirectional, which means no redirecting once you get it in the position to receive the most channels.

Omni-directional antennas balance the antenna to pick up signals equally in all directions. Directional antennas, like this Yagi style antenna, pick up channels in one direction while sacrificing reception from other directions.

It’s definitely easier to use an Omni-directional (that’s what I use), but your situation may not allow for it. If needed signals are too far away or too weak, then a directional antenna is a better option to capture these stations.

Once the antenna is properly installed, you just need to connect it to your TV via coaxial cable. You can even use the one the cable TV used to run through (unless you still need it for internet).

Other Options

Some may want the easy install of an indoor antenna. I cover that in my Mohu leaf review.

An antenna is your means of access to local programming when cutting cable TV. If you want an in depth guide for the information required for an optimal antenna solution, you should check out my antenna guide. Setting up an antenna may be seamless, or it may be the most difficult thing you do when canceling cable. There are numerous variables involved in television signals and antennas. If you are having a difficult time with this, the antenna guide makes this task easier.

If you don’t want to deal with an antenna, you can check out how to watch local TV online. It covers how to watch primetime network shows online without cable. You may also be interested in how to watch some free cable TV content online from the web.

Using an Antenna on an Old TV

As I mentioned, TVs made after 2007 were required to have a digital tuner. For TVs made before 2007, you can convert the TV signal by simply using a digital to analog converter box.

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More On Streaming Devices

By now you should have a good idea of which streaming services interest you. The devices listed below support a wide range of streaming services. Check the full review or product listing of each for more information.

While I’ve listed a few major streaming apps supported by each device, there are other apps available for these devices like Crackle TV, M-Go, Crunchy Roll, etc. I could write for weeks on every available app on these devices. While I personally feel Roku is the best streaming device available today, here is a look at the top options on the market.

Roku Streaming Media Player

Supports Sling TV, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video and more

Roku has rebranded their entire line of streaming devices. The new fleet offers the flexibility to satisfy the various needs and functionality of different types of cord cutters. They even have devices that support the new HDR TV pixel quality standard. I recommend reading my breakdown of all the new Roku devices to find the right one for you.

While we have been an Apple TV household, due to our reliance on AirPlay for casting our iOS device, our experience with Roku made us switch to being a Roku household. If you are considering Roku, but are looking for a more mobile option, check out my review of the Roku Streaming Stick.

Amazon Fire TV – Purchase From Amazon

Supports Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV and Amazon Instant Video

Currently, you can order the New Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD support. Priced at $99, it’s the most affordable 4K HD streamer on the market. The new Fire TV also integrates Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa into the platform and adds a MicroSD slot for expanding the 8GB of internal storage.

This device also supports Ethernet and Wi-Fi. This platform has comparable hardware and memory to its competitors, but at a lower price point giving you more for your money.

The Amazon Fire TV specs are enough to allow for playing over 300 console and PC Games. If you are a gamer and want to stream games, then this is the one to get. The Fire is rooted in the Amazon Prime service and if you don’t plan on using Amazon Instant Video then the Fire TV may not be for you. You get 1 month of Amazon Prime free if you want to give the service a try.

Amazon also makes the more affordable Fire TV Stick. Read my post titled Fire TV Stick vs Fire TV for a review and comparison of both.

Apple TV

Supports Netflix, Hulu, and of course iTunes Store. Also, supports Amazon Prime with the Amazon Instant Video App on an iOS Device


The new Apple TV is now for sale. Adding slimmed down Siri functionality and app store providing the ability to install apps, the new Apple TV makes some very smart decisions. The one thing currently lacking is support for 4K UHD video.

Apple TV is attempting to position itself as the one device you need in the living room, adding the ability to play games, and promising an Apple TV service to arrive at some point in the future.

This device runs a whole host of streaming services to watch quality content on your television with just an internet connection, and it supports both Wi-Fi and Ethernet. While you don’t need any other Apple product to realize the value of an Apple TV, you can stream any content on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod that supports Apple Airplay.

Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player

In my Google Chromecast Review, I stated Chromecast is the best option for pure cost cutting. At $35.99 there isn’t much out there that will beat that price point. You will need an existing smart phone, tablet or laptop to use Google Chromecast. Chromecast allows you to stream content from apps on the device to your television. Installation is easy as all you do is plug it into your TV’s HDMI port and set it up on your Wi-Fi network.

There are not any additional steps as you just press the “cast” button on the app you want to show on your TV. This also works with the Google Chrome browser after installing a simple plugin. There are no frills with this one, but it does exactly what we need for cutting cable TV at a great price. If you are comfortable using your phone as your main content delivery mechanism than Chromecast is a good choice. Otherwise, I would look to Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV.
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What About Sports

Some say that watching sports is a problem for cord cutters. I don’t find this to be true. All the major sports packages available to cable subscribers are also available to cord cutters. Are you wondering how to watch ESPN without cable? Simply grab a subscription to Sling TV.

For information on watching NBA, NHL, NFL and other available sports, check out my article “How to Watch Sports Without Cable.” You can also use the links below. They will take you to the relevant information on Grounded Reason for viewing that sport.

For baseball fans MLB.TV offers a great subscription that allows subscribers to watch baseball online for about the cost of a Netflix subscription.

International sports like World Cup soccer and cricket are also easily available to cord cutters. Check out my article on how to watch soccer online and how to watch cricket online for all the details.

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Is A DVR Necessary?

Cable companies have many of us accustomed to needing a DVR to record shows and watch whenever we please. Typically, this costs cable subscribers an additional $10-20 dollars a month. As a cord-cutter, the DVR becomes more of a luxury device.

The purpose of a DVR is to save content and watch it on demand whenever you want. This is already how cord-cutters roll. Streaming services like Hulu limit the need for a DVR, as most content can be viewed at your leisure.

However, there are times when a DVR comes in handy. Mainly, they can be used to record broadcast TV from an antenna. The most common use would be recording NFL games, PGA tournaments, and other events you won’t be able to watch live.

Personally, I get by without a DVR. I have a subscription to Hulu which makes numerous hit broadcast shows available on demand.

The decision to have a DVR is really one of personal preference. For more information, check out my post on OTA DVR options. The article is broken down by different types of DVR needs. If you are in a rush, hit any of the links below to navigate to that particular section of the article.

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Blocked Content and Black-Outs

There are several reasons some streaming content is blocked for certain users. Professional sports blackout local teams in most areas of the country. Services like Netflix block viewing content based on which country you are located.

Technologies like Smart DNS or a VPN can make it appear your computer or smart device is located in another state or even country. This can help if you are traveling abroad by providing access to content you can typically view at home. It can also simply make it look like you live somewhere else.

Smart DNS service like SmartDNS from Overplay route your internet traffic through a proxy server in the location you choose to provide access to content blocked based on location.

A VPN service like IP Vanish achieves the same effect by allowing you to join a Virtual Network in another part of the country or world. This also adds security benefits not available from a Smart DNS.

For instance, if you live in Canada, using a VPN based in the U.S. will allow you to view the U.S. version of Netflix, which has more content available than in Canada. For more information check out this article where I explain what a VPN is and why everyone should use one.

This type of service is also used to circumvent sports network blackouts or simply to mask your identity online from would be identity thieves. Of course, check with your content provider’s terms of service to make sure you are not breaking any end user agreements. To learn the differences between a Smart DNS and VPN check out my post on VPN vs Smart DNS.

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Cutting the cord can work for anyone

Since cutting cable TV, my family doesn’t miss our cable TV package one bit. We use our cell phones to replace the home phone, which we thought we would miss but don’t. We especially don’t miss the telemarketers. The kids initially missed a few channels, but now they are content fighting with each other over which of the thousands of kids’ shows at their disposal they will watch during their TV time.

My wife and I are completely happy paying about $20 bucks a month (in addition to internet access) to watch all the TV and Movies we want. If you are ready to cut cable TV, please ask any questions in the comments. I’ll be sure to answer them as quickly as possible.

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View Comments (480)

  • Hi Dennis,
    Thanks for all the great information. I finally got sick of paying for 100+ channels I will never ever watch in order to see the dozen or so I *do* watch. When my Comcast DVR died (again!) I took that as an opportunity to cut the cable. My Comcast bill dropped over $90 per month!! Even though I live in New Freedom, PA (notorious for poor reception) I'm getting most of the local Baltimore, Harrisburg and Lancaster stations without any problem. I'm using a Homeworx converter with a flash drive to record OTA shows when I'm not home plus a Roku 3 for all the streaming services (just Amazon Instant Video & HuluPlus so far). I'm kicking myself for not having done this earlier! I couldn't have done it without your blog. Thanks again.

    • Thanks Rich! That's great to hear. I felt the same way you do when we first cut the cord. We all ask; "Why didn't we do this earlier?"

  • I'm trying to locate an internet service provider that isn't JUST as expensive as cable. Currently, I have a bundle, but if I drop cable and only have the internet, the bill is still unreasonable. I'm curious, what's the going rate for a monthly internet bill with adequate speed for streaming?

    • I live in the Bay Area, which is Comcast country, but found a small company offering 20mbs through AT&T lines -- Internet and phone for $40 a month, guaranteed for two years. Total cost after fees and taxes, $55 mo. I subscribe to several streaming services, enjoy far better TV than I ever had with cable, and keep the total bill well under $100 a month -- a $90 savings over my old bundle and services.

    • We just cut the cord, but we had DirecTV, so we were already getting cable Internet through Comcast. We get high speed (25-30 Mbps) for a little over $30 a month.

      • Comcast charges a lot more for Internet access in different areas of the country. I live in the Bay Area, and they wanted to gouge me for $80 a month for 20 Mbps the first year, $100 the second. I found another service, and would never recommend Comcast for anything. They're the #1 opponent of Net Neutrality, and the top spender for lobbying in Washington to keep Internet access prices high and quality of service low.

      • Thanks Clarke, Fire TV and Roku are both great options. I lean more toward the Roku for basic streaming functionality. However, Fire TV is great if you get into customization and running things like Kodi.

        That is great deal on Internet considering what big cable usually charges. Comcast internet prices are coming down in my area is well. I'm considering switching, but when I was a Comcast customer I remember the service going out quite a bit. That was 6-7 years ago though, so I'm thinking about giving them another chance.

        • Dennis,

          I don'r see Comcast/Xfinity coming down on its Internet only prices , unless you can get a promotional deal from them for some period of time like at least a year! $30 is rare and low for 25Mbps in the US! Its in their interest to keep their Internet only prices high for Cord cutters! LoL Also, Comcast/Xfinity is so-called testing Internet quanity limits in certain areas, where they will charge you extra for going over a certain limit like 250GB per month! In other words they want to or are trying to implement the Cell Phone model for Internet use, if its to their advantage and they can get enough Customers to accept the change! Just don't accept such a Plan!! Comcast can do this because they are really still a huge cable monolopy and need to be broken into smaller pieces!

          • Yeah, Internet is way too expensive in the U.S. I'm getting 50 Mbps for $50 a month, but I had to lock into a 2 year deal to get it.

  • Thanks for all the excellent information in all of your articles! I just cut the cord knowing that I'd have plenty of options to watch what I want, but now I am much better informed.
    I will be researching my OTA options and getting an antenna, and then most likely a streaming device - possibly the Fire TV stick since I already have amazon prime. Sling streaming is intriguing. All I care about is local sports, but my wife watches some other programs.
    Thanks again

  • I am having a hard time deciding.. We all use the internet in our home..laptops..ipad.. game systems.. and if I drop the cable tv and go to streaming.. what would you recommend.. I am new to this and it seems confusing. I have a newer tv and a blueray player which I cannot even figure out how to get my netflix to work on it.. can you help or give me some recommendations.. we watch certain channels also like amc..a&e and many more.. but my cable bill is getting to costly running almost 200 a mth that is thru comcast/xfinity..

    • The easiest thing to do would be to purchase a Roku 3. If you watch a lot of shows on networks like Amc and A&E then I'd recommend getting a subscription to Sling TV. You can then pick up Hulu plus which would give you a lot of current network shows. The Roku is about $100 and the 2 subscriptions will cost $27 per month. You can add Amazon Prime or Netflix for about another $9 a month. This article will give you a run down of different services. Please note that your game systems most likely have what you need to stream, but a Roku will be much more convenient.

  • We have a large house with nine tvs each with a cable box, how can we eliminate the cable and still have local and streaming at each TV?

    • Hi Eduardo. Thanks for reading.
      I would get an outdoor antenna and run it to an HDHomeRun. You can then use that in combination with something like Myth TV to build your own media server to record local TV. I touch on that in this article. You can then get Fire Sticks for each of the TV's and serve content to your televisions via the media Server. Your start up costs will be $500 - $600 to get that all set up but you will have the local content recorded and streaming on each TV.

  • I have 4 standard TVs in my home & because of a HOA can't have an outdoor antenna. Also, distance & terrain might be an issue. What do you recommend for me?

    My house was prewired for cable &/or satellite. Can you use those cables & outlets with an antenna?

    Thanks!

    • Post your TV fool report and I can give you a better idea. Your HOA isn't in compliance with U.S. law by enforcing an antenna restriction. You can read about that here.

  • My husband and I will be cord-cutting in he next week, and he said a co-worker mentioned an "android tv-box"??? I didn't see this mentioned in this article so just wondering if you could assist me with finding an overview of this product similar to how you break down each streaming device and their compatible programs.

    Thanks so much.

    • Android boxes let you install any Android app, but the holy grail for streamers is that you can also install Kodi, an open source platform that allows you to stream just about anything. Many Android boxes come with Kodi already installed, but they're not for beginners -- you have to be willing to read and learn to get full value. I keep an Element Ti4 Android box in addition to my Roku. I use the Roku for most streaming, the Android box for anything that's hard to find.

    • An "android TV Box" is technically any streamer that employs an android operating system and connects to the TV. The Android OS allows the installation of phone apps like Netflix, Hulu, etc. Technically the Mohu Channels device is an android TV box. If you were going to go that route, I would get Google Nexus. However, it's my opinion that people new to streaming video would be happier with a Roku3 or an Apple TV if you have iPhones. I'll try to get my hands on a Nexus and write up a review, but it may be after next week. I've been at this awhile, and I've tinkered with a bunch of DIY setups, but the easiest thing for my family (a wife an 2 kids) is an Apple TV. Especially since they just announced that you can use the Amazon Instant Video app and Airplay it to the Apple TV from an iPhone.

  • I have google fiber with download speed 5.05 and upload 1.05. Do I have enough internet connection speed to cut the cord? Also, have a blue-ray player. Not very tech savy. Thanks for such an informative article.

    • Karen, If the Blu-Ray player has an Ethernet Port (looks like a big phone jack), then it most likely has some streaming functionality. However with the exception of video game consoles, I generally find the streaming functionality of devices like Blu Ray, DVD players, and smart TVs lacking. Nothing beats an Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, etc at streaming. My rule is if you have iPhones and iPads go with the Apple TV, otherwise Roku.

      5 mbps is fine if you just stream in SD, keep in mind that if you are doing a ton of things on the internet while watching you may encounter some buffering (pausing to load in the middle of watching). Netflix and Hulu should drop down to SD automatically. Just make sure you son't buy any seasons passes or episodes in high definition.

      • I thank you very much. We also have a Wii but I"ll definitely look into the Roku.

  • I've decided to get away from cable but this is all so confusing for someone who has used cable for 25+ years. I enjoy local programming in addition to cable news (CNN, Fox, etc) and HBO programming and movies (old & new). I have 3 TVs and I can't put up an outdoor antenna. What would you recommend for someone like me? Also I like having DVDR capabilities. Please help! I don't have a clue as to what to do to make the big change. Thank you!

    • Hi Joan,

      Thanks for reading. If an outdoor antenna is an issue, you could get an indoor antenna for each TV. As for streaming,for ease of use I'd go with an Apple TV, and subscribe to HBO Now, Netflix and Hulu Plus. This would give you most of the content on demand. For News CBS, ABC, Sky, and Bloomberg all have live streaming 24 hour news networks on Apple TV . If you go to an all streaming solution you'll find that your DVR will get very little use. If you must have one for recording local programs then take a look at this article. The drawback with an apple TV is you would have to buy one for each TV at about $69 each.

      You could also go with 3 Roku Streaming sticks as that would be cheaper and then get Sling TV with HBO. However, this service is geared more toward live TV and not on demand service. I recommend taking a look at this article to get a better idea of what service to get.

  • I would like to cancel my Uverse TV subscription, but I am not technically savvy. From looking at your site I gather that Roku 3 along with subscriptions to services like Hulu Plus and Netflix might meet my needs. To get local channels will I need an antenna? If I got an inside antenna would I need one for each TV?

    Do I have to connect my TVs to the Internet via WiFi? How difficult is it to hook all this up?

    Thanks!

    • With a Roku 3 you can use Wi-Fi or Ethernet. There is an on screen setup that walks you step by step through the setup. If you want streaming on each TV and you are going to use Wi-fi, then the Roku Streaming Stick would be a cheaper option.
      As for an antenna, if you go with an indoor antenna, you will need an antenna for each TV, My review of the Mohu Leaf briefly explains how to optimally set up an indoor antenna. If you can get an outdoor antenna installed this article on setting up multiples TVs on one antenna explains how to set that up. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Hi Dennis! I ran the antenna test and it shows nearly everything in the "grey zone" other than FOX and one INDIE channel. So I guess local channels are not an option.

    I have a FireTV and a Fire TV Stick (still in the box from 6 months ago). Should we use the FireTV devices or should I return them and switch to Apple TV (we all have Mac laptops, iPhones and an iPad)? Will I still have access to Amazon's library (I am an Amazon Prime member) through Apple TV.

    I was thinking of setting up a SlingTV, FireTV (or AppleTV), Netflix and HuluPlus. Do I need a complete set up for each TV? We have three, so that can get a bit pricey.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!

    -Gary

    • There are ways to capture long distance signals using a directional antenna. If you want to post your tvfool report I can take a look.

      Amazon Prime will now work with Apple TV. Amazon finally got wise and released an app for the iPhone that will let you airplay to the Apple TV. However, be wary of Sling and Apple TV. While it will work by using Airplay mirroring it isn't explicitly supported by Sling TV. Bottom line is it plays much better on Roku and Amazon Fire.

      Hulu Plus and Netflix will only require 1 subscription, but Sling TV is different. There is only 1 stream per subscription to prevent sharing accounts.

      Sling TV is more of live TV over the internet and feels much different then Hulu or Netflix. I would sign up for a 7 day free trial and take a test run. If you like it I'd stick with the Fire TV. If not, then I'd get the Apple TV.

  • How many TVs can you hook up and run properly to a Mohu antenna, and to Mohu channels? Finding that info is challenging which leads me to beleive its one per device thus adding a whole new layer of costs. Please tell me im wrong! Thanks!

  • Great article, but I am still a bit confused. I want to cut the cord, and really don't watch much TV. I have a Chromecast, an HD TV, a tablet, cell phone, desktop, Nook, etc. I am confused about how to get high speed internet service without cable. If I have get a hotspot on my cell phone with unlimited data, will that stream fast enough to watch television and movies?

    • Great Article for potential Cord cutters! However, I'm surprised you did not mention the TiVo Premier Box (Boxes have been updated since purchased) or the Sling TV Box as ways to Cut the Cord (or maybe its there and I haven't found it yet?)?

      The TiVo Box lets you combine OTA channels with or without cable channels (I believe) onto one TiVo TV menu that is much better than Cables! It has a slot for a Cable Co's adapter, but believe it is not needed for just OTA use! You could combine these TiVo OTA channels with a ROKU Device to receive about anything you want without buying expensive Cable Service! The Sling TV Box lets you redirect or forward anything received on the TiVo Box to other TVs in the House or anywhere in the World, when away using a ROKU Box or Stick, avoiding extra Cable charges, etc!! You can add your A/V Box to enjoy Surround Sound and combine the TiVo Box with your ROKU Device to complete your Sys! These are Great Alternatives or additions to some of the Devices you proposed using to cut the Cord! The TiVo Box is more expensive but much more functional!

      • Thanks Mitch! I need to get my hands on a SlingTV (The Slingbox one, not the Dish service). I haven't had a chance to try one yet so I didn't have it in the write-up. However, my DVR article does mention the TiVo OTA Roamio. Personally I think the Tablo is best in show for DVRs out right now, but Silicon Dust is soon adding DVR software to it's HDHomeRun line. I'm really looking forward to checking that out.

    • Hi Lisa,

      If you have 4G service that should be fast enough, provided you have unlimited data. Otherwise, you can purchase an "internet only" package from a internet service provider. Most cable companies will have internet only packages.

      • I plan on doing just that. We cut the cable cord several years ago but have still been getting our internet from Comcast. Tired of paying them over $60/month just for internet so going to give the 4G LTE HotSpot Z915 from T-Mobile a try. From all the research I've done, speed should be comparable but it will be at about 1/5 the cost. We do have unlimited data plan from T-Mobile which is probably important to note. I'll give a follow up report on here after trying out.

        • Yeah, Unlimited plans are nice. As long as you have strong 4G signals you should be fine for streaming.

  • I cut the cord two days ago, after I found a low cost, high speed internet service that outperformed my old Comcast connection. Now I stream Hulu Plus (foreign and classic film), Netflix, YouTube, ESPN, Sling TV, and Amazon Prime (music, shows, and film) through my Amazon box. Movie playback is superb -- sound quality on Netflix is actually superior to cable -- and I'm enjoying a far better selection of commercial-free programming than ever before from an online library that never gets deleted.

    Comcast made it easy, having nearly doubled my subscription fee in just over a year. My total cost for streaming entertainment, including subscriptions, high speed internet, voip phone, and tax, is under $80 a month -- an 80+ dollar a month savings that justifies the purchase of a premium sound bar.

    What are you waiting for, people? -- throw off your shackles!

    • Peter, do you mind sharing with us the name of the low cost, high speed internet service that outperformed your old Comcast connection?

    • That's great to hear Peter! You're right. The best part is controlling your own content and never having to haggle on the phone with a cable rep ever again.

  • Dennis,

    There is an App called HBO Go that lets you view all HBO channels on your Computer or ROKU with TV and other devices for Free, but the catch is you have to be already getting or paying for HBO with a major Cable Service like Xfinity! This App or ROKU channel gives you more HBO options or Shows than with the cable Service! This is worth mentioning for partial Cable users that have cut back on their Cable TV channel Pkg purchased! The HBO Now Service may be better, but costs extra I believe! Just thought this should be on the table for Cable Cutters in your article!

    • I have HBO Now through Apple TV and it has everything that HBO Go has. It's $15 a month which is what most cable subscribers pay. It's an awesome service.

  • Dennis,

    I believe you should mention and review the new and ultimate Free Cord cutting option now available, or Popcorn Time! There are Apps for Windows and Android that provide Netflix like movies and TV Series for the Big Screen and smaller devices! There are claims that it is an illegal service and that it violates copyright laws, but as long as you don't save the programming, or try to sale it, and your ISP allows it to be streamed then it is legal for all intents and purposes currently! You still have to pay for the internet service but that is all and there is no live TV content. There are currently two versions for Windows and one for Android devices, and it carries a ton of content for Free! The content can be transmitted to your TV or AV Receiver from your Computer using an HDMI cable for best viewing, or it can be streamed to the TV via the Cromecast Device or even from an Android Device! ROKU does not yet support streaming Popcorn Time content, but should eventually! There is no approved App for Apple devices yet, but Airplay supports such streaming. Readers or potential Cord cutters should at least be made aware of this Free option or additional option for movies and TV Series, and it will be up to them to decide if it is a good thing or something that could be potentually illegal! Under current law, I believe it is legal if only used for viewing! Your review would be helpful for Cord cutters or those considering it as an option and there is nothing wrong or illegal about reviewing this available App(s) as its exists and there are many other reviews on the web from online Companies! Hope you feel free to discuss and review this option in your article as many more would break the Cord if they knew they could receive this content for Free!

    Thanks

    Mitch
    PS: It works great!

  • Hi,

    Great article! I am fed up with cable and would like to cut the cord. According to the report it looks like we don't get many channels with use of an antenna. We are also have 3 studio apts attached to our house that we provide cable for. I have fast high speed internet but sometimes the wifi doesn't work in the apts or at the other end of the house. I am not sure how to go about cutting the cord for my situation.

    • You can use a combination of Hulu and CBS All Access to get most of the Network programming you'll find on an antenna. As for the internet you are going to need to use multiple routers (one as a router and one as a wireless switch) to extend your Wi-Fi range. Here is an article I found on doing this. I plan on doing this soon as well and I'm sure I'll write about it here.

  • Hi, I have Comcast triple play and boost for internet an I am getting 108mps download speed. I work at home in IT and manage a few customers online. My comcast bill is crazy high. and want to get rid of it.
    Currently : we have 5 tv's. Main one family room - programmed with Roku, apple tv and a logitech harmony remote all wired from the basement (paid to have this set up) on a 70" tv on wall. - this has a X1 DRV. I have cable boxes on all the other tv's and 2 of them have digital boxes to view the taped shows on the X1 dvr.
    I have my 85 mother who watches her cooking, news and weather shows all day - uses basic tv on 2 of the tv ( kitchen and her room)
    we do not watch much sports but must have HBO & showtime
    we tape all our shows ( all the weekly series are taped and watch them when ever we can - my dvd is 70% full of shows to catch up on.
    I need a house phone only for the alarm system - it was here in the home that way
    I just saw something about a dragon box - is that like Sling?

    what do you recommend that would be easy and not require to hire someone to set me up?
    thank you so much :)

    • HBO is available through Sling TV which can run on your Roku. It's also available on Apple TV through HBO Now. You can get Showtime as part of a Hulu add on starting this month. They just announced that a few weeks back. I would grab Roku Streaming Sticks and throw them on the other TVs you need to stream content on. I advise looking into getting an antenna. It's free broadcast television if you have TV towers in range. I would wait before considering a DVR. So much is available on demand through streaming I find a DVR is only really needed for special events like the Oscars and Local sports. Here's a post where you can check out DVRs for your antenna.

      Dragon box is very cool. It turns your TV into a big tablet. It uses androids OS to essentially run computer on your television. This allows you to install various streaming apps on your TV and watch content like you would on a phone or tablet. It's a smart TV on steroids. That said I wouldn't advise it for someone that just wants to stream Hulu, Netflix, and Sling TV. It's more for a techy that wants to experiment with things like Kodi. But if you want to experiment, it looks pretty awesome. I'm considering getting one.

      Thanks for Reading!

  • Thank you so much for your quick reply - can the antenna be wireless? And by antenna do you mean Direct TV? If I have to run wires, I will have to get these all installed it seems. I ask because I had all my tv's professionally hung on the walls so no wires are shown and I have a tower in the basement with stereo, 6 port hub, wifi range extender, roku ,apple tv and the Comcast box. It took many hours to get the remote working by the stereo installer. Also we are a Mac OS house - no android here. :) Do you recommend any remotes for these other tv's when the Comcasts ones go?

    • When I said antenna, I meant a TV antenna like a Mohu Sky. Actually, now that I think of it, the best option for you would be to use something like a Tablo DVR. This will require you to simply connect the TV antenna to the Tablo then you can stream it to 6 devices (Rokus in your case). Sorry. not too versed in remotes.

  • Have just cable/and Internet wifi at 89/mo for wifi internet & cable, with 30mpbs speed. It sounds like I just need a nice wifi internet plan and a few other devices/sticks. I only watch 30 channels, some sports, tnt, tbs, etc. This is very confusing. Do I need to plug in my cable from the wall to my TV or to my desktop? It's a newer smart tv, so it has a built-in antenna and I can use my wifi? Help. Thx.

    • You hook up the TV either by Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Your television is treated as any other device you would put on your home network.

  • I am getting a Smart TV & have a non Smart TV. Do I have to get another Smart TV?

  • Hi there,

    I am sure the answers have already been answered up above but I've been told so many different things about getting rid of cable. I pay $223 for U-Verse. Yes, I have all the movie channels and mainly I watch HBO and Showtime and my internet is 45 Mbps which I think is $66. Sooooooo I have been thinking of getting rid of Uverse which I share with my sister (and she wants to keep) but I am sick of paying so much money into it. I have two TV's in my room (its a double room) which I usually watch when I am using my computer. I was told I should get a Roku, HD Antenna, Hulu Plus, Netflix (which I have already), Amazon Prime and I have a Wii. So do I need all these for sure and what happens with the two TV's? Would I have to get two separate Roku's? I have an Ipad and Iphone but I heard Apple TV isn't good. So I just really want the low down of what I really need. I watch basic channels 2,4,7,11, then at times, A&E, ABC family, LMN, TNT, Showtime and HBO.

    Please advise.

    Thanks!

    Claudia

    • Hi Claudia! You will need a streaming device for each TV you want to stream on. I would use the Wii on one and pick up a Roku for the other. Apple TV is a fine streaming device. I use one because the UI makes it easy for the kids. Roku does have more content available, but I don't know if I could sacrifice being able to stream to the Apple TV from my iPhone with Airplay. It's a tough call but i think you'll be happy with either. As far as content goes I'd get Sling TV for A&E, ABC family, LMN, TNT. Sling TV will also provide HBO for another $15 bucks. Sling TV has a promotion running that will let you get a free Streaming Stick or 50% off Roku 3 if you sign up for 3 months. However, Sling TV only allows you to use your subscription for only one stream. If you want to watch Sling on both TVs at the same time then you need 2 subscriptions.

      Then get Hulu premium ($7.99 per month). Hulu will let you add Showtime for another $8.99. That will put your content costs at around $52 per month. After adding internet that will cut your bill in half. I don't think you need Prime unless you can make the money back on free shipping (that's what we do to justify the cost). An antenna should get you local channels, and if you need the onDemand feel for NBC, ABC, NBC and Fox they just use your Hulu subscription and CBS.com (there is a 1 week delay unless you pay for CBS all Access).

      As far as content goes

  • Hello Dennis, My name is Kenneth and I'm strongly considering "cutting the cord" really soon. I currently have a subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu and I'm looking to add Sling TV to the mix. I'm an "Apple" house (iphone and ipads)and it would make sense to get Apple TV but, my concern is loosing access to sport channels and Sling TV may not work well with Apple TV. What specifically are my options for sports?

    • You are correct about Sling TV and Apple TV. While it works, the experience is much better on a Roku. If Sling TV is a must, and you aren't satisfied with how it runs on the Apple TV the only suggestion I can make is to get a Roku Streaming Stick, or Fire TV Stick. They are relatively inexpensive. I know having 2 streaming boxes is less than ideal, but it's all I can think of if you aren't happy with Sling TV and Apple TV.

  • I've cut the cord by accident really. I have the amazon fire stick for each TV. Now I'm trying to install these and I'm getting "no signal" on my TV because there is no TV or cable signal. I do have internet WIFI tho. and I thought the TV and fire stick would pick up on that. But because I'm getting no TV signal initially I'm not sure how I bypass the "no signal" issue to get to the fire stick setup. Does this make sense? We have 1 tv that does have cable, but I didn't set the others up hoping to bypass the need for cable throughout the house.. What do you suggest? Should I connect a

    • It sounds like you need to switch the TV input to the HDMI port that has the stick plugged into it.

  • There's always lots of discussion about cost. What you can get via streaming channels vs what you might miss.

    For me, an even bigger issue is the quality of cable content -- or the lack thereof. Cable subscribers are paying a small fortune for programming that is 20-30% ads. Yes, there really are that many commercial interruptions.

    After two months of streaming, I find it hard to watch tradition cable TV at, say, my sister's house. It is utterly unsatisfying.

    So now I subscribe to Hulu and Fandor for art and hard to find film, Netflix for more mainstream fare, and Sling TV for access to ESPN and a few of the old cable channels. I already had an Amazon Prime account going way back, and began streaming from that well over a year ago.

    All this costs me far less than my old Comcast bundle, and the rates never increase in $40 increments. Programming is commercial free, for the most part, on demand when I want to view, and delivered with audio and video quality comparable to my old HD cable channels.

  • I have been researching the best way to cut the cord for a while now, and your posts are the best I have found! Basically, I don't want to waste student loans on a cable bill. I have an iPhone, iPad, and MacBook--Windows has forced me to love Apple because of Windows 8. I still want to be able to watch TBS, AMC, ShoTime, and Auburn Football, among other channels. I can pull from my parents Charter subscription to watch certain shows and use it to log in on the channels' websites. Charter has a TV app, but you can hardly watch anything on it, so it's useless for now. I believe I will be getting Sling TV (per your recommendation) for college football and my other favorite channels. Should I get an Apple TV since I'm already so invested or a Roku 3 because it has a Sling TV app? Can I "AirPlay" on a Roku? And how terrible is it watching Sling TV Airplaying through an iPad mini to an Apple TV?

    Thank you for all of your help!!!
    Rachel

    • Thanks Rachel! I try to write about what people ask in the comments, so the posts are only as good as the ideas I get from people like you.

      As for your conundrum. I wouldn't count on Apple TV for Sling. It's a subpar experience. I would get a Roku if Sling TV is going to be a key piece of your solution. Apple is more than likely going to release a new TV device in the next 6-12 months. I would get the Sling Deal where you get a free Roku streaming stick (it's linked in the page). Then if you want, you can get the new Apple TV when it comes out. If it supports Sling TV, great! If not, you can always watch Sling TV on the Roku stick you got for free.

  • Hello..what would you recommend for a apartment in Gilbert,Az..We live in one and all they allow is direct tv and qwest...Tired of high bills.Any suggestions would help.

    • Hi Vina,

      There are many options out there. You may want to check out my post of choosing the right streaming service. It's written to give suggestions based on viewing preferences. You should be able to cover most of the network TV using Hulu and CBS All Access. That should run you about $15 a month. If you want movie streaming content you can look into Amazon Prime as well.

  • Wow! Thanks for the great article, and for replying to questions. So, for the Mohu, do I need one for one on tv, or does one Mohu support more than one tv? Also, my download speed from Comcast is 126mpbs, I'm wondering if less bandwidth will be unsatisfying. We have 3 tv's, but mostly use Internet for everything.

    Thanks!

    • If you stream HD on 3 TVs and surf the web at the same time, then 50 Mbps should give you plenty of bandwidth. I honestly doubt you would see a noticeable difference between 126 and 50 Mbps. As for the antenna, I would only recommend an outdoor antenna to provide signal to multiple TVs. For indoor I'd get a separate antenna for each TV. I have a post on splitting an antenna signal for multiple TVs if you are interested.

  • We have a newer smart HD TV in one room, and a not so smart HD TV in the other, but on the not so smart TV we have a blue Ray dvd player. We want to be able to watch our local channels for news, and like channels like hgtv, tbn, fx, ion, tnt. I have read about the sling TV, but the reviews have not been so great, such as only 1 TV at a time. I also like a lot of Christian programming and heard that there are tons of free HD OTA channels available. We already use netflix, which we like. The main shows we like to watch are Agents of shield and person of interest Which runs on ABC and CBS. What would you recommend for us. I was thinking about the OTA moshu attic/outdoor antenna to hopefully get a lot of our local channels (but is showed only 7 channels available) for our area (zip code 34472). Also, can I hook up the moshu to our existing cable that runs into the house? Is it able to do that, even though we have internet running in from Comcast.

    What do you think about, the moshu and the chrome cast? Would this meet our needs. Would appreciate your help. Thanks in advance, yes they just increased our cable bill by $40 a month, so I am done with them, thankfully we have no contract.

    • I checked your zip code and you should be able to get about 7-10 channels using an outdoor Omni directional antenna like the Mohu Sky. If you don't mind using your cell phone or tablet to choose content to watch on TV then Chromecast should be fine, otherwise I would go with the Roku 3.

      Comcast internet will still need to use the existing coaxial cable to supply internet. However, you could repurpose some of the cable. I would have them run a single cable to you Modem/Router. Use the excess cable to connect your TVs to the Antenna.

      I understand your point about Sling and needing multiple accounts for multiple streams, but I find it's rarely needed. Remember you can have 5 TVs and use Sling on all 5 of them, just not at the same time. If you do need simultaneous streaming to more than one TV, keep in mind that a cable company is going to charge you 10-20 bucks a month for a cable Box rental. So while it isn't ideal. I don't think it's a deal breaker for those wanting to drop cable.

      • would it be easier to purchase 2 indoor mohu 50 HD antennas to connect to each TV, since we would only get about 7 channels? And then of course subscribe to sling TV. I didn't understand about the internet. We have WiFi throughout the house, are you saying to hard wire 1 computer, what about the rest of our devices.

  • First -- THANK YOU for this post!! So helpful! If you wouldn't mind taking a minute to help me figure out if I have all our bases covered, that would be wonderful! Here's what we are working with now:
    - My husband's requests were "EPSN & news" :)
    - We already have AppleTV
    - Currently we have a large TV in the living room where we do the most watching & 3 others throughout the house (other 3 only need basic)
    Here's what I (think) our plan needs to be:
    1) Reduce our obligation to the cable company to Internet only
    2) Purchase a digital antenna - do you recommend using a splitter to obtain basic channels for smaller TVs?
    3) Purchase SlingTV for additional channels
    4) Decide which other add-ons we would use

    Does this sound anywhere close to a good plan?

    Thanks again!! Awesomely informative & concise article!

    • Thank you Dawn for stopping by. Your plan sounds perfect. If you are going to get over the air digital TV on multiple TVs you can either get an indoor antenna for each, or 1 outdoor antenna and split the signal. Here is some information on connecting an antenna to more than one TV. I love Sling TV, but it's not the best experience on an Apple TV. When you get a streaming device for the other TVs, I recommend a Roku. Sling has that deal where you can even get one for free when you sign up. It's linked in the article. Take care, and let me know how it goes.

  • I have been looking for a sight like this! I am a news junkie, do any of these services offer Fox News channel? I couldn't seem to find it anywhere. So far it looks like sling TV maybe the best deal for our family. We already have Amazon prime which the kids use to watch movies.

    • Thanks for reading Shawn. Unfortunately, Fox News doesn't seem to be a fan of the cord cutting. They are currently only available through Sony’s PlayStation Vue.

  • We have 3 pre-2007 TVs and use the converter boxes. This system has been successful but I am considering updating to at least one current model TV. I would need to know what would be the best antennae for the new set-up, and if I could connect 2 TVs if we get more than one new. I could use advise also on what to look for in a new TV to use in this way - like is there a anything to steer away from when not intending to use cable? Live in the Minneapolis, MN area.

    • Kay, I can give you advice on an antenna, but I would need to see your TVfool report to get an idea.

  • Dennis thanks again and in advance for advice. I can only get Charter internet in my area and for 16mps it is $60, they are the ones I currently have the triple play. My concern is the data cap of 250. You have mentioned that with this you can get 280 hours of SD and at 1080p 83 hours, what about 720p or is there a graph that has this somewhere?
    Many people probably have only one choice so I wonder if the "Hotspot for Internet " is a viable option in many areas?
    I want to use Roku devices but have a TV, unfortunately my main TV, where the HDMI ports have been burned out and therefore need one with the composite cables and therefore the older version of the Roku 2 is my option. Do you know if this will work with Sling TV?
    Hulu for $11.99 is available that is supposed to be commercial free but do not know from personal experience if this is as advertised.
    Finally if you sign up for Showtime on Apple TV can you then watch it on Roku?
    Thank you.

  • Cable just jacked me up $20 per month and ready to cut the cord.

    We have Apple TV, Amazon Fire, & a fire stick for 3 Tvs

    Need to drop triple play and find best phone/internet option.

    Recommendations for us

    Thanks

  • These are all extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing them and enlightening me. But, do the same websites, concepts or modifications also apply in Canada?

    • Antennas will work in Canada with no issue. However, streaming will be different. That's due to licensing. Services like Netflix will have different shows available in Canada than in the US. Using an U.S. IP address can sometimes get around that. This can be accomplished with a VPN. Check out this post on Streaming with a VPN for more details.

  • I currently am subscribed to amazon prime. Could I get sling TV to get my sport channels and then stream the amazon prime through it? Or do I need to roku as well (sling TV gets me some live channels and then the roku streams the amazon prime stuff?) And then on top of that get an antenna for all the basic channels offered in my area? I am horrible with technology!! Thanks in advance!!

    • Hi Amy,

      You need a streaming device like Roku, then you can use it streaming services like Amazon Prime and Sling TV on your TV. As you said, an antenna will provide the local channels.

  • Hi Dennis: Fantastic article!I didn't see a lot of detailed information on Smart TV users. Can you clarify what is needed beyond MOHU for local and other subscription services?
    Darryl

    • Hi Darryl,

      An antenna will get you the local channels. Smart TVs tend to have apps preloaded so it really depends on the type you have. We can get by on an antenna and Hulu for most network content. Sling TV will give you some top notch cable channels. It really depends on the shows you watch.

      • Thanks. Great information. I have a Vizio E-series that has many apps already loaded - Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc. I do not subscribe to any of them. TV is internet capable, but I have not hooked up WiFi or direct connection yet - no big deal. If I understand correctly I don't need a Roku box, but if I want to incorporate Sling TV, I do need a Roku account. I do enjoy ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and sports. I also like to watch shows after they have aired.

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the plan:
        1. Antenna for local channels $60 - $80 up front
        2. Sling TV + Sports Extra $25/month
        3. Hulu Plus $8/month
        4. Maybe CBS All Access $6/month
        5. Maybe HBO $15/month
        6. Current 75MbPS cable $40/month

        Total $74 - $94/month vs $120 current

        • That sounds right. Also remember you are not shackled by a contract to you can save money by juggling subscriptions. For instance, we carry HBO during Game of Thrones and binge watch everything until the season ends, then we drop it. You can do this with all the services for added savings.

          • Just some FYIs regarding Smart TVs. They don't work reliably as a streaming device. I would recommend buying the ROKU which works great with Smart or Dumb TVs. Also coming to market (already here) are Smart TVs with built in ROKU.

  • I am desperate to cut the cable cord. I tried the Mohu leaf and couldn't get any channels consistently. I only watch NBC, CBS and PBS. What is the best way for me to see live newscasts and a few other shows without cable?

    • Hi Pat,
      Not to worry. There are live national news shows on Apple TV and Roku from networks like CBS and ABC that stream 24/7. Most NBC is available through Hulu, and CBS can be viewed through CBS All access. a ton PBS is available free on Apple TV and Roku.

      Which Mohu did you try? If you want to send me your TV Fool report, I can take a look and see if I can recommend an alternative.

  • hi, i just canceled my cable and am researching alternatives. i thank you for all the information in this post (and a few others!) but i do have a couple of questions im hoping you can clear up for me.. the roku is a streaming device, right? and sling tv is a subscription service, right? so you have to pay for both, right? and then also pay for internet, right? so is that a total of three seperate bills?? and who do you recomend for the best internet? thanks so much!!

    • There is no monthly charge for Roku. You just pay once to purchase it. There is a ton of free content already on Roku that doesn't require a subscription. However, there is a monthly fee for SlingTV and your internet. Unfortunately it's difficult to give advice for internet, because the providers change based on location. Thank you for reading!

  • We are trying to lower our bill. Currently, we pay 129 for internet, cable and phone through comcast. I believe we are stuck with comcast for internet. For a landline phone would you suggest skype or magic jack? Would you suggest amazon prime over netflix and am I correct that we would not need a streaming device b/c we have a smart tv? Can you get hulu on a smart tv?
    We live in Marin county california, if that helps. Thank you so much for your time in advance.

    • It really depends on the Smart TV. They all have different apps. However, I'd be surprised if yours didn't have Hulu. I personally feel Amazon Prime is a better value than Netflix at the moment. If you order a lot of gifts for the holidays, the free shipping you get with prime almost pays for itself. As for the phone, I think magic jack is a better valve. In the next few weeks I'm going to put together an update guide to phone service so stop back.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Hi,

    We want to cut the cord! We do not have a smart tv however we do have a big screen mostly for watching NFL and NHL and movies. This Christmas we will be getting an XBox One for gaming and are wondering what other parts to a package to put together to make this happen. With XBox we can get NetFlix or other subscriptions for seeing movies and shows, but for watching the sports and local stations, I gather we will also need a tuner and an antenna (Mohu). Is that correct? We also watch History channel a lot. What configuration would you suggest for us? Are there other accessories we would need? Please let me know as we can't put up a Dish. We are near Portland, ME.

    Many thanks!
    Mary

    • Hi Mary,

      The Xbox One will be perfect for you. You can hook up an antenna. I go into that a bit in this post. Xbox will allow you to install almost any streaming service you would need. If you love History channel, then I recommend checking out Sling TV. It has History, AMC, A&E, and a whole host of other channels you see on Cable.

  • Nice info on this site.
    Wondering about using Sling TV and cancelling my ATT uverse here in ohio. But wondering about DVR capabilities for anything i will not be available to watch "live". I have researched the DVR for Sling TV and it either seems very complicated to accomplish or simply not possible. What info do you have on this? I would think in the simplest terms, if you can stream your connection thru your DVR setup you should be able to record; it is probably not that simple.
    And too wondering about the MOHU channels setup. I like your description of what that can do in automatically setting up a guide of OTA channels, and then adding in HULU and SLING, and maybe even website you may use to stream with.
    Just looking for the best option to get rid of the high priced TV subscription, keep the high band width internet. My wife and girls love their Hallmark channel and movies, we all like sports. ESPN on Sling TV sound interesting, but can i record on DVR? I know i could get most NFL OTA channels and record that with DVR.
    Looking for your feedback.

    • My Sling TV Review has a channel by channel breakdown of whats available on Sling TV on demand. Unfortunately, a DVR will only let you record OTA, not streaming services.

  • Cable has never been affordable for me. I currently have 10 Mbps of internet connection with a wifi router. We have netflix we use the wii to access but are finding it boring. I also have a landline, I'm looking for cheaper options but would like to keep a landline. Thanks.

  • I really found your article informative. I am a little confused because I am not tech savy, my daughter is using my apple TV, but we also have three hd boxes which have dvr capabilities, and then multiple smaller boxes on the bedroom TVs. Correct me if I am wrong, I can purchase these Roku ?antennas for each TV and receive local programs. Additionally I would have to have either additional apple TV's or similar to be able to stream and watch different programs on different TV's. There is usually 4-5 TV's running at a time. I am so confused, but so irritated to be paying $220. A month. I do like to tape several shows to watch later. Also, one person likes golf shows and someone else likes watching the educational shows. Thank you for any information you may have.

    • Michelle,

      I would get one device and try it out to see if you like it. Most places will give you a 14 day return policy. Check out Hulu and CBS all Access, you may find a DVR isn't needed if you can stream most options through those services. Once you have the device and services you like you can set up the other TVs.

  • I cut the cord years ago, AND got rid of my TV. For years, I've just watched streaming content on my MacBook. I subscribe to Netflix and access Amazon Prime and Hulu (free) content, and $200/yr. The only thing I REALLY miss is MSNBC and secondarily, especially in this election primary year, a way to access other news channels. Thoughts?

  • Thanks for a great article! I watch mostly PBS, History Channel, HGTV, A&E, TBS. I don't normally watch local channels, other than PBS. I have Directv which is almost $110 per month with only one TV and DVR. I have Comcast Internet with a 250 GB data plan. I have an IPhone. Would Apple TV be the best alternative for me? Should I also have an indoor antenna? Really appreciate the help!

    • It looks like you would be happy with Sling TV based on what you watch. Unfortunately, Sling doesn't play well with Apple TV. I'd go with the Roku 4.

  • I really am interested in cutting the cord also, I see all the streaming sites, and appreciate what they all have to offer, but i notice none of them offer certain channels which i do watch, such as bounce, tvone, centric and teen nick. Outside of all the other channels, these are also channels I do watch, but don't see no mention of any of them on the streaming sites. Is there a streaming site that offer these channels? Also, I recently received a new hdtv as a gift and I bought an hdtv indoor antenna(because I live in an apartment complex), what would be the best way for me to set this up so that I can get local programming and also decide on a streaming site which is best suited for me.

    • The antenna should provide you local channels. Check TVFool.com to see which channels are available with an indoor antenna. If you post your TV Fool report I can take a look and help you out. As for the networks you can't get with an antenna. If they aren't available through a streaming solution, check the Networks website for streaming. If they don't allow it, you can typically buy a season pass to current seasons through Amazon. Paying for what you watch directly tends to be cheaper than what you would pay to a cable provider. See what your shows would cost, and if it works out financially, cut the cord.

  • Thank you for all the information. I am looking at the Mohu Leaf 30 for my antenna needs. I did not want to get too much antenna but also did not want to get something that was not sufficient.

    I have one flat screen TV and one small, older TV, that I will probably replace. I watch basic channels and my son has hooked me up with Netflix, that I usually watch on my flatscreen. Looks like I will be giving up my AMC (goodby Zombies) and FX (Fargo) but I can catch later on Netflix.
    Which antenna(s) would you recommend??? Thank you again for all your help and information.
    Sharon

    • You should be able to get Fox, ABC, PBS and NBC with the Metro. I wouldn't give up on Fargo and Walking dead though. You can buy the current season of each from Amazon for about 50 bucks. That's less then 1 month of cable. It's what my wife and I do.

  • I just bought an OBi200, made by OBiHai, for under $50 from Amazon. After connecting it to my router, I setup Google Voice as a home phone. The service costs $0 per month. I can call anywhere in the US and Canada.

  • Great info. You sound like the expert, so I'm going to ask a "dingy" question. Want to get a new TV while the deals are good now.
    Traditional cable is out. My issue is that I don't have WiFi at my new place. I've been watching Hulu, Netflix and Youtube on my iPhone 5c via unlimited data.
    Question: Is there a Smart TV or device where I can directly connect my phone to the TV and use my data versus WiFi?

    Also, any suggestions on a TV brand, DVDs, and any other device?

    Hope you can help!!

    • If you have iOS 8 on your iPhone then an Apple TV (Generation 3 or 4) will let you Airplay what's on your phone to the Television via Bluetooth. No Wi-Fi is required

  • Hi Dennis – We’d really like to take a minute to first say (as many before me!) “Thank you” for the great article…it was just what we needed to take the final leap…just what the “Dr.” ordered!!

    Secondly, to let you know we took the plunge today, the Cord is Cut and DirecTV is now in the rearview mirror.

    For a little background: It’s just my wife and I and we only use one TV in the house, we work from home so we have internet by default (Comcast cable – 50 mbps), and we were already subscribed to Netflix streaming. Our DirecTV bill was running around $110, and that has been reduced to $33.99 with alternative subscriptions.

    We settled on the following:

    • For OTA we’re using a Mohu Leaf 50 and a Channel Master DVR+ with the 1 TB drive. We chose the internal hard drive to reduce clutter and wires…worth the extra expense for us. The local HD channels are superior to Satellite; it’s really far more clear and crisp, an added benefit for free!!

    • We purchased the Roku 4 for Media Streaming, mostly on your recommendation to use Sling.com…the service is good, better than expected, but understand it is streaming on internet and it does have a tendency to stutter at times, but not enough to lose my enthusiasm!! The Roku is easy to use and has a great interface.

    • As mentioned we have subscribed to Sling.com ($20 + a $5 add-on) and to Hulu.com (the $8.99 plan)…we looked at Amazon Prime, but didn’t see the benefit in our case, we already have a cloud account and Pandora…the other stuff just didn’t fit our needs, which, by the way is another great reason for going this route: having the ability to CHOOSE!!

    We took a couple days to transition; we did our homework on what was available to us and what we needed to replace programming for our watching routine and have no regrets!!

    I truly believe this is the future of TV. As the technology improves the service will get better and as the cable/satellite services lose subscriptions this will force the cable networks to rethink where they place their resources and the advertisers will insist on going where the eyes are.

    Again, Thank you!!
    Bill

    • Thank you Bill! I love when readers share their stories for others to see. Keep us all updated on how it goes!

  • Dennis,

    My concern is how to hook up 3 TVs that can watch different content, preferable hard wired?

    From your articles I THINK it's necessary to have streaming devices and TV antenna for EACH TV and about the only way I can do this is to somehow increase the WIFI signal or use the existing Time Warner Cable coax.

    I'm wondering if you have an article posted that explains in detail how all the signals can be applied to separate TVs from one "master" location?

    Our home is a bear to run cable, and it's all connected and running perfect now over a distance of 200 ft from where the Time Warner Cable coax enters the house to the last TV set in the MBR. Is there a way to send the signals to each TV from the master point where the TW coax enters the house?

    Thanks for all the extremely helpful information on your site!

    Ed

  • Wow! Lots of great information, just trying to process it all. We definitely want to cut the cord and start seeing those savings! Still a bit confused, however. We have AT&T U-verse with TV and Internet and pay way too much! We have cellphones only with Verizon and pay alot, but also have our kids on our plan to save them $$.
    We are thinking that Sling TV would be a great fit for us, Don wants his sports and I want my HGTV and local channels. We use our DVR often but could do without it except for a couple of CBS series that we love. If we were to buy an XBOX one, would we still need a Roku to get what we want? What are the differences between these devices? Am I correct in assuming they are both streaming devices? Do we also need an antenna regardless of what we chose? Would most likely do the outdoor type.
    Would keep internet with ATT, when I stop the TV/DVR will they take my boxes? I have 2 TVs that I would want everything to come to. Would I accomplish this with the outdoor antenna?
    Also, if we move, can I take all of these devices with me? That sounds like a stupid question, but I am asking anyway. Any help you can give me is greatly appreciated. I have read the other comments and find them helpful, but would like all of my information in one spot.
    Your consideration and expertise is greatly appreciated. We sincerely thank you for your efforts in this area.

    • If you have an Xbox One then you can use that to stream. Sling TV is available on Xbox, so you shouldn't have an issue. Xbox one is a gaming console that allows you to stream, and if you want the gaming system it's more than adequate as a streaming device. However, I wouldn't spend $350 on an Xbox One solely for it's streaming capabilities. Only get it if you want it as a gaming system, otherwise go with the Roku.

      I recommend getting an antenna. It will give you access to live events on network TV, local news, and your local market NFL games. ATT will definitely want their equipment back. All the streaming equipment you buy is yours and it will work wherever you move.

  • I currently have comcast for my internet access for the computer and TV package that gives me the 30 basic channels. I am sick and tired of paying Comcast $130/month to watch TV and use my computer. Will these options take care of both the TV and Internet access for the computer? My daughter still loves to watch the Disney channel for shows like Jessie, Dog with a Blog, and several other Disney shows, are these show supported by these options as well.

    Thanks

    Steve

    • Hi Steve! A lot of the shows you mention are available through Sling TV. They provide access to Disney, just like if you had cable.

  • I turned all my TWC paraphernalia in today. It felt so good. Also asked the young man if he could lower my internet price (which the guy on Monday, when I cancelled my cable, told me was the lowest he could go) and he reduced it by $20. Love my Mohu Leaf 30, I get all major networks and about 12 more channels. Every time I turn on the TV I'm totally amazed that I'm not paying to watch TV!!!! I've converted 2 people already and I tell everyone I know. Thank you for all the great info and guidance.

  • Great comments and such valuable help. Okay, I get a Mohu antenna and connect it- but how do the stations/channels appear on my TV screen? My TV has no channel selector, much less rotary tuner. Will they appear on my "INPUT" function?

  • My 2 year contract with DirectTV is finally coming to an end! Unfortunately I fell for their bait & switch & have been paying them a ridiculous $145 a month!
    I am SO ready to cut the cord!
    I currently pay Fairpoint $35 a month for internet. This was part of the package with DirectTV.
    We have 2 TVs which are often tuned to different channels. How do I keep that capability?
    I am thinking about an outside antenna for local channels & SlingTV for HGTV, TBS for myself & sports channels & HBO for my husband.
    We currently use our DVR all the time to zip through the commercials. But that's not possible with SlingTv. Correct?
    Your site has tons of great info but i'm not tech savvy at all so I still need help!
    Thanks for any advice you can offer.

  • Hi Dennis

    Thanks. Stumbled across your site this am while I was googling for cable tv alternatives. Great site with ton of info!
    Cut the cable cord today after decades. My cable+Internet with verizon was $115.

    Today, I switched to just internet service with verizon (49.99).
    I've signed up for 7 day free trial of slingtv. Most likely will sign up with them if service is good for next 7 dyas. ($20).
    Ordered maho curve 50 ($79 one time cost).

    Will keep you posted on how things go.

    Thanks again!

  • I would mention PlayOn, a media server that aggregates a ton of Internet content, as well as local content, and plays it locally or streams it to various devices: lots of dlna clients, including roku; tablets; smart phones, etc. It has the added benefit of recording Internet content to your PC, with commercial skip.

    It's not free (you can snag a lifetime subscription for sixty bucks), but for me it is worth it, if only for the PVR funtion.

  • We own 3 rental cabins in the Smoky Mountains. Have good internet. Bought the Roku's and the Premium Netflix pkg.
    Will be changing them over this week to save $100 a month on each cabin and provide free movies for guests with Netflix.

    What a huge monthly savings!

  • Love the article, has a lot of information on getting rid of cable. I have an Xbox and Wii and currently subscribe to Netflix. My brother and I watch a few network stations but watch a lot of the History, Discovery, Smithsonian channels. I also watch a lot of the Disney channels and am thinking of renewing my subscription to Crunchroll (anime). I have an old analog TV that I'm planning on replacing with a new HD TV, we have 2 additional TV's (hd flat panel). We live in an apt so will probably need to get indoor antenna's for the TV's. Currently subscribe to Uverse. The Sling TV looks like a good way to go as well as looking into Hulu Plus. But really haven't been able to find a list of content for the Hulu Plus until this article. I have a sprint account for my phone with unlimited talk,text, data 3g/4g content. Any additional information/suggestions would be appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Catherine Allison

    • Hi Catherine, Sling will get you Disney, and History. I think Smithsonian is available through apps on various devices. I know Roku has a channel, though I haven't tried it. Hulu is nice as it acts as a DVR for most prime time network shows. I think you have the right idea. I recommend going with these options. You can always tweak things as there are no contracts with any of these services.

      • Smithsonian has limited availabilty on Roku, requires no sign in thru a provider and is free. My hubs adores that channel, especially the "Aerial America" states programs.

  • We purchased a Roku smart tv and have an antenna in the attic. We get a month of Netflix free.. So testing it out. Loaded the history channel and it wants us to authorize our cable service... We have centurylink Internet... But we can't unlock these free channels ... any idea ... We have deleted and reloaded the channels to no avail. We were able to watch them at one point and then we were asked to activate to view via an Internet address which we did ... our tv said success and we get the not authorized when we go into the episodes. Thank you.

    • Hi Debbie! While some content is free on Roku, many of the channels you get with cable are not. In order to watch them you would need to subscribe to a streaming service that offers them. I recommend looking into the Sling option mentioned at the beginning of this article.

  • Dennis,
    Thanks for all the great information on cutting the cord! I'm almost there, but require a bit more information.

    Can you put together a blog the tells us which streamers offer commercial free content? I hate the idea of having to buy the commercials along with the programming.

    If I am forced to buy commercials then I'm going to need a DVR capability to blow through them like I do now!

    Thanks,

    Tim

    • That's a great Idea for a post. In the meantime I can tell you that Hulu offers a commercial free option. Amazon Prime and Netflix are also Ad free

  • How do you cancel your cable and watch tv on these apps (NBC, HGTV, Disney, etc), when the apps require you to sign in to your cable provider?? I have the Amazon Fire TV and installed all these apps, but you have to log in to your cable provider to use them

    • Don't use the networks app. Use Sling TV for HGTV and Disney. NBC Shows are available on Hulu. So Hulu and Sling TV will get you all the networks you mentioned.

  • Dennis,

    We often switch between college football games during commercials. Considering these are streamed I would expect there would be a huge delay. Do you know the response time switching between ESPN and ESPN2 with Sling TV?

    Does any of the hardware or services allow PIP - Picture-In-Picture to once two or more games at once? Since you can only stream to one device, I doubt this is possible with Sling TV.

    Personally we do not watch the main stream station. I could car less about NBC, ABC, CBS, unless there are sports or a major natural disaster. I only watch Fox News, any channel that is carrying College sport, football, basketball, etc, and educational channels like Nat Geo, Animal Planet, American History Channel and the like.

    It looks difficult to get all those type of channels, but some of each look to be available. But it is crazy the way you have to purchase cable tv. Right now I have U-Verse for Phone, Internet, and Cable TV. Which is Unlimited calls in the US, U-Verse Max Turbo internet, U300, pay extra for some sports channels. and is setup for 3 TV, 2 with wired box and one with wireless box. Get this, you have to pay extra to get the channels in HD, even though the local channels have been broadcast in HD for the past 5 or 6 years. You cannot get the extra sports channels without moving from U200 to U300 and for all these services I pay $242.17 a month. They should call it Screw-Verse.

    I had Time Warner before, but there customer service is AWFUL and where I live U-Verse service is much better, the channels change without delay, the picture does distort, and every time there has been an issue they sent someone out the next day. NEVER got that service with TW!. That is the only reason I have kept paying, but it just getting crazy to pay that much a month for only watching a handful of channels.

    I am thinking about cutting the cord. I will need to setup 3 tv's, therefore, it sounds like I will need either 3 Roku boxes or sticks. I think I will go with 1 box and two sticks.

    Do you know anything about Playstation Vue?

    Is there any other advice you can offer?

    Thanks for your time,

    Will

    • Hi Will, The Vue has a good selection of channels, but I feel the Price point doesn't offer as much of a savings as the alternatives. As for Slings delay, it's not that bad. It's definitely slower than channel surfing, but it's only takes 5-10 seconds to switch over. As for other advice, if your nervous about making the switch, simply get one TV set up on streaming and see how you like it. It would save you some money if you decide cord cutting isn't right for you.

  • I see a lot of postings about devices and add-on subscriptions. But what is the best internet provider to start the ball rolling for the best price? This is the part that's confusing. I can then focus on devices, packages, and etc afterwards.

    • It depends on where you live. Not all providers are in all locations. I've been trying to come up with a solution to make this easier to sort out, but the national provider data hasn't been updated in 3 years. That's why many of those "find an ISP near you sites" are wildly inaccurate.

  • Just a quick clarification needed please, for a newbie-to-flatscreens (*ahem* that would be me): Once I buy the TV (a Samsung 60" HD 1080p), and hook it up to a high-speed internet connection, are there any cable-box type devices necessary in addition to that, or are all selections made right onscreen? That's the goal, so please say yes ;). I may also get a Sonos sound bar, but I don't think there were any control boxes necessary for that. I'm also not using it for games or for network TV – streaming services only.

    My other concern is hooking it up along a wall that has not previously been prepped with a cable plug. Do I have to run a super long cord, or is it feasible that most technicians can bring service to any wall in a house?

  • Century Link Prism just burned me again. Raising prices along with buffering and multiple freezes on my TV has made me researching for alternative options. I just bought an Apple TV unit and a Kodi OTT TV Box HEVC and a H. 265 High Efficiency Video Coding unit to start my cable cutting venture. I just need an internet service in N. Las Vegas to complete my quest. Do you know about "stand alone" service? I want to connect two TV's, can I do this wireless? Please help!

    • It can be done with an unlimited wireless plan. Otherwise you will need to find a provider that offers internet only plans in your area. Most providers do.

  • Is there any improvement in streaming sling tv with my current roku 2 vs. a roku 3 or 4?

    • If the Roku 2 is working smooth for you then I would stick with it. There are better processors that should translate into better response, but if you aren't noticing any issues I don't think it's worth the money to upgrade.

  • Dennis
    I am a dedicated single mom. With a 'fixed' income. ISO a cheaper way to have
    some TV entertainment (and internet). A 150.00+ a month is WAY too much for the 10
    channels we watch. This is interesting info...but still a bit confusing.
    What would you recommend???
    Thank you for the direction...

    • From a money standpoint, I would recommend getting an Antenna for free broadcast TV, then just buy those cable shows you want to watch from Amazon. The new Roku Streaming stick, is an affordable option. Let me know the non-network shows you watch and I'll try to give you an idea of the best way to go.

  • Hi Dennis,

    First of all I just want to thank you for providing some much helpful information on alternatives to cable TV. I have just started researching but looks like I will be going with an antenna in the attic for network channels and either Roku or Amazon Fire. I have 4 digital ready TVs. 1 is a Smart TV which we watch the majority of the time. I have a few questions I would like your feedback for:
    1. Will Roku or Amazon Fire work with the Smart TV?
    2. Do the Sticks provide the same quality of streaming as the consoles? I am not a gamer.
    3. Does Sling only work on 1 device at a time? Are there other alternatives to Sling?

    Thanks again!

    • Yes, a streaming device will work on a smart TV. My TV is a smart TV. However, I never use the Smart TV functionality as we are always streaming on our ROKU. I prefer Streaming Devices to consoles for the User Interface, but the streaming quality is roughly the same. Sling has 2 packages, one is multi-stream, one isn't. Check out my review of Sling TV for more info on that. As for an alternative to Sling you can check out PlayStation Vue.

  • I'd like to move away from cable but would like to make sure all 5 tv's in my house have access. Is that possible? If so how?
    Thanks

  • Hi Dennis, my question concerns the new TiVo Bolt. It appears to be a viable cord cutting option and has a lot of the options that you've suggested we look for. thought?

  • I have a Wii. Other than Netflix, will that get me access to any cable alternatives?

  • I'm so glad I found your blog. I am a 25 year Cox Cable customer who was just told that the mandatory 'mini box' I was sent will not work with (any) DVD player. So I can no longer record shows and watch them later. I read through a lot of your articles and immediately ordered a Mohu for myself and one for my Mom, too. That will get me through until I figure out what else I need to do to Cut The Cord with Cox. I'm usually loyal to a fault, but I am so mad about this that I'm going to do it. I was wondering if you would recommend the best option for me based on the top 4 channels I watch that I won't be able to get with Mohu: SYFY, AMC, TNT, FX. Can't live without them. I do also have Cox high speed internet and it looks like it's my only option where I live (24012). But I will get rid of cable and the phone. Thank you so much for doing this. I hope you get some kind of credit for the Mohu link I used off your page.

    • Hi Melissa. I started with the Leaf, and now use the Sky (outdoor antenna). I've been happy with everything they put out (except for their channels streamer), but they are solid antenna makers. As for your channels PlayStation Vue provides the ones you are interested in. However, I have been getting complaints about users getting locked out of the service if their IP address changes. It's free to try, so you can give it a try. You may also want to check the math on the shows you watch. If you follow 10 shows a year, then you can buy the entire current season for about 250 per year. That's cheaper than VUE. Sling TV offers all those channels with the exception of SyFy. If you are only talking about 2 SyFy shows then you can watch those for $50 a year (which is about $4 per month) Sling TV is $20, so for $24 a month you get your shows. It really depends on what shows you watch and not necessarily the networks.

  • A great site Dennis. You can tell that it is a labor of love.

    AwH is spot on. I have been using PlayOn for a decade now and the newest version is exponentially better than the original. Besides a lot of free basic cable channels, you can put in your pay streaming accounts (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, CBS, etc.) and stream direct from the internet, or via the PlayOn Plus DVR, to every device in the house. You just can't beat it. In fact, PlayOn has so many channels now (12 when I started; over 100 now) that it is actually like having cable; meaning I don't use most of them like we don't with cable :-), with the added benefit of no big cable bill.

    Good bandwidth is required, just as you outlined, but since it can feed not only every device in your house, but also your mobile devices when you are out of the house, you get a ton of bang for your buck for the lifetime subscription. One thing that I always recommend to my friends when getting PlayOn is that the PC you use as the PlayOn Server must be wired to the router to really get solid HD quality streams. You can then send out the streams to the devices either wired or wirelessly with great quality. If you rip your DVD/BluRay collection to your PC, you can use PlayOn to stream those too (no more DVD/BluRay players to buy).

    And no, I do not work for PlayOn. I am just someone who is an avid user of it. Couple it with an HD Antenna for local news and sports and you'll never want cable again.

    • The Feeln streaming service carries Halkmark original. That's accessible through the major streaming devices.

  • I love your articles. We just bought a Roku and are about to cut the cord!
    I swear I read in one of you articles something about allocating bandwidth (or something like that, relating to how much wifi certain devices get to use...) but now I can't find it. We currently have 50Mbps through Cox, and I got a new modem from them a year ago. It seems like that should be plenty for streaming, but I am worried because quite often our internet really slows down or cuts out to any wireless device. This almost always happens when our smart thermostat (connected to the wireless router via ethernet) turns on the AC or heat. For WiFi we use an AppleTime Capsule 802.11n WiFi Hard Drive.
    Is this Time Capsule not capable/strong enough (sorry, I don't know the language)? Or is the thermostat just pulling too much? Or is Cox just crappy service (yes)? Can I allocate bandwidth to fix this? I am worried that anything we watch via streaming will seize up whenever the AC comes on, which in Las Vegas is a lot! Please help! Thanks!

    • Time Capsule is the Network attached storage device. It's like a hard drive that sites on your network. This is separate from your router which sets up your WiFi network. I wrote an article on quality of service for streaming which explains how to dedicate bandwidth to certain devices. By any chance is your Wi-Fi router (not the time capsule) near the AC unit. Wi-Fi is an electromagnetic signal. if the AC is between the router and a device, the signal will be impacted for that device. That's most likely the issue. Is it possible to put the streaming device on Ethernet? That would be the easiest solution.

  • Hello I desperately need an alternate to cable. I have Netflix and i was looking at sling and I like them but they don't offer my favorite channels, BET, MTV, Vh1 and TV ONE. What option do you suggest for me to cut my $200 monthly bill.

  • Hi Dennis: I could use some assistance. We are limited users with a ridiculously expensive Comcast bundle, including landline which we want to dump. We have ATT cell. We have 2 TVs, surround sound audio system, watch local channels and some others: AMC, FX, USA, TBS, that's about it. We have HBO, SHO, CINEMAX in the bundle. We have Amazon Prime, and a Fire Stick plugged into the HDM1 in the smart TV. We subscribe separately to NETFLIX. I'd like to cut the cord as much as possible, but am also considering Direct TV or Dish. Would like to stick with Amazon as well. We don't game, or download lots of photos or share videos or any of that heavy duty stuff.

    Thoughts? Thanks very much for your assistance.

    • The best advice I can give is not to focus on networks. Instead, try to take an inventory of which cable shows you want to watch. Then you can buy entire current seasons of shows from iTunes or Amazon. At $25 a season, 10 full seasons shows will only run $250 a year. Considering an antenna will get you all the local channels you will only have to pay for the shows on cable.

  • I would like to watch new food network shows. How can I cut the cord but still watch them? What is the most cost effective way? I do not have a smart tv. My kids would like to watch shows as well, but not necessary as we have a dvd player.

  • My contact with the cable company ends in August and I plan to cut the cord when it ends. I don't watch a lot of cable tv (except HGTV) and my son likes to watch basketball games. He has a PS4 and has mentioned Vue. What are some options for us. Sling TV sounds pretty good but I'd also like to consider Playstation Vue. Also, will I need to buy an antenna to watch regular television? thanks in advance

    • Sling TV and Vue are the best for a cable like package over the internet. I recommend an Antenna for live events and local channels.

  • Thanks for the great site and helpful information...as of today, I am free! I went with your core recommendations of Roku 4 + Mohu Leaf...was up and running in under 30 minutes!

    Great work, and thanks again!

    • That's Great! Keep the stories coming. I'm sure readers would love to hear others experiences.

  • Love all of your articles. We have cut the cable and survived, but I have one remaining problem with no apparent solution Formula 1 racing and Indycar are broadcast on NBCSN and sometimes CNBC or MSNBC. I have found no streaming source, that does not require cable service, to access the races. Can you help?

  • About the only thing we really watch is the Tennis Channel. So we're stuck with the most expensive sports package on DirectTV. I can't find any other way to watch it - any ideas? I would love to cut the cable.

  • Dennis,

    Thank you so much! I found this blog most helpful and it led me to several of your other posts. I appreciate your level of detail. Reviewing my options...decisions, decisions.

    Keep up the excellent work! :)

  • Hello,
    I see that you frequently recommend an antennae for local channels and channels like NBC, ABC, and FOX. However, I see that SlingTV Blue now has NBC and FOX in their lineup. If I'm only interested in those two channels and have no need for other local options, would the SlingTV Blue option suffice? Additionally, I know that NBC owns the rights to the Olympics and Sunday Night Football, while FOX owns the rights to future World Cup tournaments. Can I watch these programs with SlingTV Blue, free of further steps or fees? Thanks.

    • If you live in the location where Sling TV Blue is offering local NBC and Fox then yes. It's just like receiving it over the Antenna for all intents and purposes.

  • I did it about 8 months ago and I couldn't be happier. It was surprisingly easy and cheap once I did enough research to make it happen. Guides like yours and NoCable.org (what I used) are invaluable to us newbs.

  • Hi Dennis,
    This is a great site! About a year ago, I ditched cable and bought a Mohu Leaf, which works beautifully! I get 37 channels and the picture is crisp and clear. I then added a TiVo Roamio. The main reasons I wanted it were so that I could pause, replay, and fast-forward through programs, and also so I could have an on-screen guide. I also liked having the ability to stream Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc., right through the device. I rarely record anything, though. However, the TiVo has turned out to be less than fabulous. I get only 30 channels with it, the picture is not as sharp and now the fan has started making a horrible whirring noise. So, I'm wondering if there's another device you'd recommend that would also let me pause, etc, and provide the on-screen guide and streaming capabilities. Thanks in advance for your help!

    • I'd contact Tivo. It sounds like you may have a problem Unit. There only other DVR I'd recommend is the Tablo.

  • Hi Dennis,
    Your information is priceless...thank you so much!! One question - Which Sling Box should I buy?
    Slingbox M2 or Slingbox 500 ...There must be a significant difference in the two since they are $100 apart.

    Look forward to your reply.
    Thanks again,
    Kerry

    • Kerry, I didn't outline Slingbox in this article. I did mention Sling TV. I plan on doing an article on Sling Box in the future, but I need to get my hands on them to do the research.

  • I am currently looking to get rid of cable, I have an Apple TV that I mostly use to streaming from websites and and app(cinema box). I want to have the ability to still stream but not rely on my iPad or phone. I'm looking for a device I can download the same app and also be able to access the websites I use to stream from. How can I do this without a monthly fee except my internet bill? I don't even use Netflix or Hulu, I want the least amount going out of pocket each month.

    • Melissa,

      Apps that provide content for free that is typically only available on paid services or cable channels is in an extremely grey legal area. I'd be very cautious using those types of technologies.

  • Dennis thank you so much for your great blog. I currently have no TV and have DSL for my internet service. I live in a rural area. I will be purchasing a TV in the next month or so. I liked the channels offered with Sling. My question is will the DSL connection support the Sling streaming? I was considering getting the Roku 2 offered in the Sling promotion. Can you tell me with a Smart TV, DSL, and Roku 2 box will I get adequate streaming to not have to get cable at all. My only option for "cable TV" where I live is either dish network or direct TV and both are insanely expensive for channels I won't watch anyway.

    • I enjoy programs on HGTV, Food Network, and maybe some local news every now and then? Can this be done with either the Sling or Amazon fire stick?

    • You can watch TV in standard definition with about 3 mbps. As for will you be happy with the services you mention, I would need to know the TV shows you enjoy watching.

  • Hi Dennis,
    Bear with me here. My family watches literally from these channels: CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, the CW, ESPN, ESPN 2, MTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Velocity, and the History Channel.

    I was thinking of going with either the Amazon Fire TV stick, one of the Roku options, or the Chromecast. I already have Netflix and Amazon Prime. I've been thinking of either a Hulu Plus subscription, or Sling TV (or both) to round out my leaving cable. Am I missing anything, and what do you think would be my best option?

  • Cutting the cord is CONFUSING HELP

    In this house we watch ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, Discovery, Science, History, A&E, HGTV, FOOD Network

    NOT a sports fan, NOT a shop at Home TV Fan, NOT a Showtime or HBO watcher. As a matter of fact HBO is included with my level of programming, and in the 3 years I have had the service I have never ever turned it to HBO.

    right now I have with my cable provider, Internet, Phone, Cable at a cost of almost $200 a month.

    I don't watch movies on my iPad, I don't watch movies on my Cell Phone, I don't need this stuff...I even get frustrated when I buy a DVD of a movie that includes like 4 versions...that I will NEVER EVER USE...just drives up the cost...anyway I digress

    My goal is to be able to turn on the device and tune to one of my channels that we watch heavily and tune in as if nothing changed...so if Discovery Channel is showing at 8pm "How the Universe Works", I want to tune in and watch....

    I don't want to have to deal with setting up accounts with more passwords, and subscription fees...there has to be a solution.

    I looked into OMG-tv and was impressed but the cost of that device is $400 I could deal with getting that unit set up if I had too....

    If I had to PAY for the services I am seeking I am okay with this.

    I am not savvy with electronics, however if there is a movie I wish to watch I can easily rent it off of Amazon..my TV is 2 years old its a sony 48" LCD and is what they call a SMARTtv...I can navigate through the options to watch something...

    any suggestions on what I can do would be appreciated

    thanks

    • Sorry Tom, cutting the cord isn't only about saving money. It's also about the viewer watching things when they want to. However, it sounds like you may be happy with DirectTV Now which is scheduled to hit this year. Currently PlayStation Vue and Sling TV are the closest thing to what you are asking for, but there are gaps in the content.

  • Thank you for the great responses and answers you provide us. I am getting ready to cut the cord to my, 159,00 a month Dish subscription. I will be using a Leaf 50 and Roku to access my programing. I do have one problem. I live in a small town, and apparently we don't have the ability to watch local network programing at a later time. Can you tell me if using an external hard drive to record to, will work? I don't want to have a monthly DVR cost, since cost cutting is what I am trying to do. I have a Philips large screen smart tv.

    Anything you can suggest is appreciated. I live in the 81501, zip code.

    • Sure Mary! Thanks for reading, As for your question. There is a no frills DVR without a monthly fee in my OTA DVR post. It's about $40. However, no monthly fee, means there is no program guide so you have to set it to record by time and not show.

  • WeatherNation is available on various services, but I don't know of anyone offering TWC. Sling TV provides their local updates, but thats it.

  • this article is a good start. Wondering what your recommendation is for the best service or item to cut the cord. We pay for tons of channels we do not watch. I was looking at the FireStick maybe combined with Sling TV and a good HD Antenna.
    We watch NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, AMC, Food Network, National Geographic, Hisotry Channel, Animal Planet, TNT, TBS, USA and thats prob about the extent of the regular channels for the most part.

    What would you recommendation be to cut the cord, and save?

    • Sounds like Sling TV would work well for your needs. However I would make sure you have a good WiFi network to use a live streaming package like Sling TV. I only say that because you are looking toward the stick and won't have an Ethernet option if you have week WiFi signals in your home.

  • Needing help to decide which options are better than another. We have a wide variety of channels we love. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Nickelodeon, Disney, Lifetime, ESPN, TVland, USA, E!, Hallmark, CMT, Freeform & TBS. WE do have Netflix & Hulu. Netflix obviously isn't for current seasons of our favorite shows. We have the 250+ package of Dish Network but as a single mom I can't afford the Dish anymore. What do you recommend.....Thank you!

    • CBS all access and Hulu will give you most of the prime time network shows. Try an antenna for live events and anything not available on those streaming options. Sling TV would cover most of the other channels.

  • To many replies to read through each of them.

    But wanted to make a note, if people are unsure about going wireless, they can try out Roku because nearly every channel you get with your cable is available on Roku and you can get them for free using your cable/satellite account information.

    It is a good chance to check out the channels without cutting off your current provider. One thing not mentioned here, is the only live channels you will get would be over the air channels, which is basically your 4 main networks and PBS. It takes a bit of getting use to not have cable in that you have to pick everything you want to watch as most channels don't offer live TV.

    For me that was the hardest part of switching, if you are used to turning on TBS and watching Seinfeld as you make dinner, you can't. Sure you can find the show, but you have to select everything you watch, no surfing, no surprises.

    Otherwise great write-up. Also worth mentioning is that Roku has combined with a couple TV manufactures to create a Roku TV. Roku is built in. I have 3 of them, they are awesome, the ingenuity of a TV that was designed for internet rather than cable is pretty cool. You can hook a cord up to them, but they designed for the internet. Hard to describe how it's different, but like the antenna or HDMI, instead of being a input, they are just another channel to choose from. I would imagine with more cord cutting, the more TV's will adapt like these in which the internet isn't a side option, but the main focus.

    And lastly, for true blue sports fans, you cannot currently get the NFL Package anywhere but DirecTV, which totally sucks. Here to hoping that will be a non-DirecTV purchase soon.

    Also if you have a lot of movies on your computer, you can use Plex to make them available for viewing. It's nice int hat you don't have to be home to get access to your movies and music. I used to have a huge DVD collection and have been adding them to my desktop so they are available where ever I have access to the internet. It is a channel on Roku.

  • I'm 68 and know nothing about the options you mention. I think the best way for me to go is to shadow what you did - get the same system and set-up you went to when you cut the cord. So - what do you have?

    Thanks for this site

    • Thanks for stopping by. I purchased a Roku and have Hulu to watch a lot of the network shows on demand. I also purchase the cable shows I want from Amazon Instant video. For those you need to buy a season pass of the current season. For a back catalog I recommend using Amazon Prime or Netflix.

  • I have no idea what to do or buy but I want to get rid of cable. I need a phone for my security system is one thing. I'm sick of Time Warner Cable and their constant hikes in rates. What do I need to buy to get rid of them. I was told there is some "box" I could buy on Amazon for about 200 and you can watch all the networks.
    I already have Netflix and love it.

    Please help a non techy!!

    • That box is legally questionable. However, in order to point you in the right direction I would need to know what you are looking to watch. Cutting the cord involves changing the way you approach watching TV. You need to know what shows you want to watch and then you find the services that give them to you.

  • thanks for all this info! i'm finally fed up with my cable bill, as it's gone up over $30 this year alone. i already have netflix and amazon (and a smart tv) but am considering adding hulu and sling (what's the difference in sling box vs sling app)? my samsung smart tv (gets hulu, netflix, amazon)does not support sling so i'd need to purchase a roku or something else to accommodate sling. or if i bought the sling box presumably i wouldn't need to buy the roku? also would need to increase internet speed. i'm spending 165 now for: cable, dvr, hbo, showtime and internet. i would want to still watch all network shows, bravo, college basketball, hbo, showtime. what is my best bet?

    • Sling box is a different company. Their device allows you to watch your TV content on any device anywhere in the world. Sling TV is a streaming service offered by Dish Network. You would want a Roku, Sling TV, HBO Now, and Showtimes streaming service.

  • Have been reading lots of your articles on cord-cutting. Thank you for the layman friendly communication.

    My situation may be a bit different from some others readers as I am not cutting a cable cord but rather scrapping a satellite dish. Further, I live in a rural area, approximately 60 (hilly) miles from the closest television market. As a result, an antenna for local programming is probably out of the question. What suggestions do you have for a workaround for receiving local programming, especially the news/weather/sports?

    What other considerations should I be weighing as I think about scrapping satellite TV for something like Roku and Sling, while living out in the country? I am seeing that many of the channels my wife watches and the ones I am interested in are available in some manner shape or form with streaming equipment and services. However, we do occasionally watch ABC/CBS/NBC evening programming. I gather we may not be able to watch these live, but rather on demand?

    Also, I am confused about availability of Fox News. I think I have seen that between Roku and Sling it is available, and elsewhere it seems I have seen that it is not available. Can you clarify?

    • Fox News is available on Playstation Vue. I recommend an Amazon Fire TV for the best experience with PlayStation Vue (if you don't have a playstation) That will also give you NBC, FOX, and ABC on-demand. Some locations have CBS as well, if it's not in your area you can try the CBS All-Access service.

  • I'm currently thinking about cutting the cord and have been doing some research. The issue I'm finding is I'm not sure which option would work well for my son as he watches nickelodeon and we both want boomerang back on top of having news,movie channels, food network,MTV, BET, HBO, science channel, etc. we are pretty much and Apple house but we do have chrome cast, the fire stick, Apple TV, and I'm thinking about PlayStation Vue.We just got all these things and have no clue what is worth our time to give us everything that we want. Any suggestions?

    • Luckily, all these services offer free trials with no long term contract. Give each a try and stick with the one you like. Judging by the channels you are looking for I'd start with Sling TV or Vue.

  • Thanks for the info. Have a question about cable dvr box alternative. I have cable already on my main TV with dvr box and recently added 110in projection screen in basement with avr/fire tv set up. Very happy with basement except I want to watch ESPN down there. I'm trying to avoid renting a $15/mn box from cable company just to watch ESPN.

    I've tried the WatchESPN app on fire tv down there with varying degrees of success. Michigan/Ohio State game was crystal clear for 30sec then greatly pixelated for 30 sec and kept going back and forth. It got so bad we packed up the party and watched it on TV upstairs. I just need alternative for box as I already have coaxial cable down there. I looked at the HDhomerun prime, my cable company offers cablecard for $5/mn. But not sure if that's more for going to PC rather than directly to my AVR? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    • Yes, fire tv is hooked up to Ethernet. My internet speed is 50/10 but I guess it's possible I'm experiencing a temporary decrease in bandwidth from cable company during these times? I just figured it was because it seems to happen during highly watched games. Any thought on that? That more people watch through espn app around the country the signal is more likely to degrade? Wasn't just pixelation, had blurriness too....kinda like those football clips they show from the 70s.

      As far as the hdhomerun, I read I can set it up to view live tv directly through kodi on my fire tv.....I sideloaded kodi already. So I guess I don't need a pc but if I don't have to buy more hardware I'd be happy with that. But I kinda don't want to risk it especially with bowl games coming up. That would be a bummer to have the same quality issues with the espn app and not have a box or hdhomerun on hand.

      • 50 Mbps is plenty. If its during highly watched events it could be load on the system. I just always like to make sure it's not a WiFi issue as that's the most common cause I encounter. HDHomeRun is a nice device. I have the one for OTA antennas and works well. Unfortunately, I haven't tried using the Prime as I don't have cable.

    • I find a lot of the time the pixilation is due to a wifi issue. Have you tried using an Ethernet connection to the Fire TV and trying the ESPN app?

  • Hi Dennis,

    We currently have DSL and DirecTV of which we don't use a lot of the channels.

    We are likely to look at either the DirecTV option of Netflix/Hulu. My question comes down to can we view these using our PCs (Firefox and/or Chrome browsers)?

    Thanks,
    John

  • Hi there.

    I've spent some time reading the different questions here but could not truly find an answer.

    I have to get out of my current cable nonsense. My household watches CW, MTV, History, ABC, CBS, HGTV, VH1 and a few other ones that can be found anywhere. What would you recommend? We love watching the local channels and this is where my issues are found. Most of the alternatives out there do not have access to the local ones. This is very frustrating.

    Thank you and happy holidays.

    • I get network TV using a TV antenna. However, there are various services that offer local ABC like Sling TV and Direct TV Now, but it depends on where you live. CBS is available through CBS All Access in over 150 markets so you may want to check that out. Sling And Direct TV also offer a ton of cable channels.

  • I have read and for the most part understand your approach. The question I have is about having multiple TV's, we have 8 tv's around the house, how would you suggest I go about providing the content to each? Are there options available that would allow streaming to a central distribution device that all tv's can access or would I need say a roku for each outlet? The only smart tv we have is in the family room.
    I do need the ability to watch different content on 2 tv's or 1 tv plus internet access for a PC.
    Next: If I go with the Mohu sky60 for OTA content, how do you get the signal to each TV.

    • Mohu shows how many stations I could get with each of their offerings. I am 10-30 miles from the towers for local OTA What's your opinion on using the Mouh Sky 60 ? Do you think I'd encounter washover signals from 2 other large metropolitan cities that are 45 miles away in different directions. Does the mohu amplifier have adjustability to turn down amplifier strength if I do encounter interference ?

      • You may. The only way to be sure is to run a TV Fool report. I recommend reading through this article on TV Antennas, it should help you make the best choice of antenna for your given location.

    • You will need a streaming device on each TV that you want to use a streaming service on (if it's not a smart TV or is smart but doesn't have the service) As for the antenna. splitting a signal 8 times is a tall order. You may want to try one at a time. Also make sure you check out my OTA antenna guide to make sure you get the antenna that is right for you. The Sky was perfect for me, but signals may be different in you area.

  • Hi Dennis. This is really a great post. I've read it, re-read it, and read all the comments. Then I copied and pasted everything into a doc and have been editing it to points that are relevant to me. But I still would like to run my situation by you and hear what you have to say. Here are my needs:

    We live in 94518 (Bay Area). We watch all local channels for local news, including KTVU and KRON. We want to continue having access to news, AND be able to record them on a DVR.

    Also important to record is live sports (ESPN/ESPN 2/ CSN Bay Area/ CSN California/ NBA TV/ FS1/Pac 12 network.... and the biggie: Must have the ability to purchase, watch and record NBA League Pass.

    In regards to shows, we care about CBC, NBC, FOX, ABC, TBS, TNT, USA, CNN, Headline News, Cartoon Network, Sprout, Nick kids, AMC, HBO.

    What do we need to make that happen? And something that hasn't been talked about much, what kind of DVR do we get? Also, since I don't want to break everything, who do I call to set everything up for us?

    • Hi Roman,

      While it's possible to get a number of those cable channels through a number of services, PLayStation Vue is the only one with a DVR. League pass is a total possibility by you may need to use a SmartDNS to circumvent local blackout restrictions. Check out my post on watching sports without cable for more information.

      If you get an antenna you can get a DVR for that, but it won't work with streaming services. You can check out more on those on my article on OTA DVRs

  • Follow-up on my last post: I'm not concerned about local blackouts so much because my teams are not local, most of the time. But yeah, I want to be able to DVR both stuff like the local news and stuff from, say, ESPN or TNT. Will I need the Playstation View + Sling + antenna + Roku? + streaming services like CBS/Hulu/Netflix, etc?

    What I'm really hoping to get is a diagram of all needed equipment, plus an understanding of what is not possible right now.

    • Currently VUE is the only service that will allow you to DVR networks on Cable TV. You have to use their Cloud DVR service. There is no way to locally DVR cable networks outside of a pay TV provider. As for local channels (NBC, ABC, etc) you can get an OTA DVR to record from your antenna. If you go with PlayStation Vue, the Amazon Fire TV device is the best for their service outside of a PlayStation. League Pass provides live access to out of market games, but only games aired on ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and ABC are available on demand and that's 24 hours after completion of the game.

  • Hi Dennis,

    I cut my Charter Cable TV and phone service about one month ago. I still use Charter internet but that is all. Many streaming video services, such as C-SPAN and CNN do not support streaming live video for those without cable TV or dish TV. So, several questions:

    1) Is there a service (low-fee pay service) that could act as a surrogate for one of the cable TV services: one that would pay C-SPAN and CNN (many others) the licensing fees requested for streaming without me having to bundle the Home Shopping Network or TBS?

    2) If the answer to 1) is no, what limits this approach? Limits such as regulations for FCC, FTC, or similar. Limits such as an impossible business model that would prevent any startup from creating such as service. Physical limits such as violating some basic internet configuration.

    Thanks,

    Ed Benson

    • It mainly has to do with the complex licensing system and the reality of which companies own which channels that make the a la carte model difficult to realize. Some channels have struck out on their own (HBO, CBS, Showtime, Starz) but not many basic cable channels have done so. It has more to do with the industry itself. There are so many channels that would never be sustainable in a direct to customer market so they bundle them and sell them. The only solution is for millions to cut the cord and force the industry to adjust to the will of the customer.

  • Great site! But since this stuff is new to me, all this info is going to make my head explode. I was wondering if you can make a recommendation for me since you seem to know what you're talking about.
    My needs are pretty simple. All I want are the local channels (CBS, NBC, ABC) and maybe something that offers movies (other than premium channels like HBO). That and the ability to watch on demand like a DVR. I don't mind paying a little extra for a good internet speed. I'm a photographer, so I deal with a lot of photos and video.
    Any info you could give me would be appreciated and save me a lot headache from research.
    Thanks,
    Darren

    • I would just get an antenna with a TiVo to DVR ABC, NBC, and CBS. Netflix will work on a TiVO and get you movies. If you want HBO Now then you would need to get a device like a Roku\Amazon Fire TV etc.

  • Thank you so much for your blog, it is very understandable for the tech-challenged among us!

    My beloved is a Fox News junkie, is it possible to just watch that live over the internet without having to subscribe to Playstation Vue?

    He also is a sports addict, football, basketball and baseball. Is there one service that will cover him?

    Best Regards,
    Nikki

  • Dennis,

    Thanks for the article. I am in the long and painful process of cord-cutting which has put me on a roller-coaster ride of varied services and costs. My starting point was a cable/internet/phone package well over the $200 range. I downgraded to a basic service which cost about $70, which was fine until the cable company decided to pull the major sportschannels from the lineup. I signed up for Playstation Vue to fill the gap, which has put me into the low $100 range. My next step would seem to be to cancel the cable/internet/phone service entirely, find a new internet provider, and from reading the article, go with a internet phone service. Funny that the cable company does not offer strictly a internet/phone bundle, which is in line with what you said about cable being the cash cow. Maybe they wlll make an exception in my case (lol) ?!?

  • Great info i've been trying to cut the cord for years my question is if I have roku do I need a device for each t.v in my home or just one? And if I have sling t.v do I still need a service like Netflix or Hulu?

    • The different services have different strengths. Netflix and Hulu is more for On Demand offerings, while Sling TV is for Live TV. (Hulu is putting together a live offering soon). I'd try a few and see which ones work for you. Just be sure to cancel before the free trial expires on the ones you don't want to keep.

  • I have read so many articles and comments on this site, my head is spinning. I moved to a new house a few months ago, left Dish for TWC and am still unhappy. One of my favorite things about Dish was watching anything from my DVR including live programming anywhere via the DishAnywhere App. The drawbacks of Dish were anytime it rained, I lost satellite, and I had to have a separate internet provider, which overall was more expensive. Now, with TWC, I'm bundled so the overall price is lower, for now. However, I can't watch any of my programming on the go. At $165/mo, I feel there's better options. They've signed me up for a 300mbps internet which I think is extreme overkill, a phone service that I don't even use, and a cable package full of channels I never watch.

    So here's where I stand and where my question lies:
    My home consists of:
    1 desktop computer
    2 laptop computers
    up to 4 smart phones at any given time
    6 tv's, 3 of which are "smart" and coax connection to 4, the 5th coax is used for incoming internet into wifi modem/router

    The only programming we are concerned with are the 4 major local networks for live broadcast of shows and the news. In addition, access to children's programming whether it be streaming live children's networks or On Demand access. I'm in a suburb of Kansas City, specifically Kearney, MO. So, as far as an antenna is concerned, all my channels are in one direction and range from 48.7-62.9db NM. I have no outside obstructions to that direction beside the house itself. I don't want to buy 6 indoor antenna's as I don't feel that would be cost efficient and at 3 stories tall, I'm not climbing to the roof to install and outdoor antenna. To "pipe" an outdoor antenna directly to my coax feed to the house, the antenna would be placed on the North wall, all OTA stations are to the SouthEast.

    Sorry for the lengthy comment and thank you for all the great write-ups you have here.

    • You can attempt to use the existing wiring, but cable companies don't always do the best job of wiring up a home. You will more than likely need to put a 15-20 dB pre-amplifier before the first splitter to compensate for the all the splits in the line. My kids are more than happy with all the content on Netflix. If you want to be able to record from the antenna, you can check out an OTA DVR.

  • Just ordered the Curve® 50 Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna put in code for @25% discount but they only gave me 20%.

    I want a brand new antenna ... not open box ... so what happened to the discount?

  • Nearing information overload! Have read most of your articles, but would like to draw on your experience with the vast choices for live streaming to ask this. The DirectTV Now Live a Little package has all of our top viewing channels except SEC Network and The Golf Channel. Yes, I could go up one level to get the SEC Network and Go Big to add The Golf Channel. But, that seems like a lot of expense to get 2 channels. Do you know of a better way to add those two specific channels? Playstation Vue has them both in their Core package, but they don't have four other channels we'd like to have. Thanks!

    • It's a tough call. Frankly as a cord cutter it's hard to see a value once you start paying that much for content. While $35 is a reasonable price, it's gets a bit iffy much higher than that. The big benefit however is the lack of a contract meaning you can cancel any time. Why not try each and stick with the one you like best, or if there are certain channels you like at certain points of the year, juggle services to watch the programming you need when you need it.

  • Hi Dennis,

    I have read most of your posts about "cordcutting" and am now in the process. I am retired, live on a fixed income, and cannot afford TWC any more. I now have Roku, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, and I have connected one of your recommended antennas, Mohu Releaf (30 mile range).

    I have run into two hitches. First, I cannot seem to find an Internet company that will offer internet without cable. I live in New York (Manhattan) and my small building is not wired for Verizon Fios (they won't connect us!), Optimum seems to serve only other boroughs, and my current company, TWC threatens to increase my rates so much if I cancel cable that I will be charged 2/3 of my current rate (for cable, DVR, and Internet).

    Second hitch: My antenna picks up all networks beautifully except CBS and PBS. I have re-scanned many times, checked on the correct frequency, etc. Coincidentally, both networks offer services with monthly charges in this area (CBS Access and PBS membership). Could they be blocking signals?? I would really like to watch PBS live!

    Thanks for your help!

    • Thank you! I checked the link again for my TV Fool report (which looked to me like I should be getting both CBS and PBS: TV Fool

      What am I missing?

      • That's really strange. Your signals are so strong you shouldn't have an issue. I'd call Mohu and let them know. You may want to see if they will exchange your antenna for a Mohu Metro.

    • I doubt they are blocking signals. It will be hard to troubleshoot reception issues without being there. I would need to see an antenna report to give proper advice. This article may help you with troubleshooting. As for internet, don't trust their phone reps. I found TWC offering $45 online

  • I have Dish now and only want to be able to watch local channels, sports, and kid channels.
    I only keep them because I like that I can rewind and play back if I get up and I want to be able to do all this on all 4 tvs in the house.

    What would be our best option. We pay $68 now for dish Top 120 with local and dvr in 2 rooms. Trying to pay less then $25 a month for all this a month.

  • Hi Dennis. I'm tired of playing the game with the cable and satellite companies to switch to one or the other every time my bill goes up. I started with Dish which I really like at $40, then it went to $50, then $80, now $90! Way too expensive for the 18 channels plus local channels my family watches regularly. I could jump to cable again, but they will do the same thing. Lure you in and then keep raising your rates. I don't mind too much playing their game, but it's time consuming to keep switching. So I think it's time to start streaming but what is the best option? We like having the local channels, A&E, CNN, ESPN, FXNWS, FYI, GSN, HGTV, HIST, MLBN, MTV, MTV2, NFL, NICK, NICKW, SPIKE, TNT, truTV, VLCTY.

    I'm looking at Playstation VUE but what do you think is the best way to go for the least amount of money and reliability? I currently have Spectrum for my internet and have 60 Mbps speed. We have 3 TVs: one Samsung smart TV, one Samsung TV (not smart), and one old 13" Sharp tube TV with built-in VCR we use in the kitchen. Thanks for your help.

    • I'd go with VUE or Sling TV. Personally I find the best way to save if to use an antenna for Network and just purchase the cable shows you want a la carte from Amazon or iTunes, but if you need sports and news you may be happier with Sling TV or VUE.

  • Hi Dennis, first of all THANK YOU for this extremely well detailed article. Best on the internet. My current Xfinity bill is a LAUGHABLE $238 per month so trust me when I say almost anything I choose to do here will be close to $100 savings. I don't even use many of the channels I pay extra for so I am literally throwing money down the toilet. So here's what I am looking for. I watch these primarily:

    LIVE SPORTS - cannot live without. I'll even consider the Sling Blue/Orange combo to get all ESPN, Fox Sports, NFL network etc.

    Fox News/CNN - I saw one of your comments say only Play Station Vue has this but doesn't Sling as well?

    Local tv shows/channels - reading your review I could get a MOHU curve correct? I'm lazy, I live in a relatively restricting condo association (no balcony TV equipment) so the Curve I could just put near the window correct?

    So would a Sling Blue/Orange combo plus Mohu Curve + Roku Express make sense? I'd keep my Xfinity Internet ($80 per month) for the time being. Thanks Dennis!!! Eye-opening article. VERY helpful!

    • Thanks Pat! It seems like PlayStation VUE might fill a lot of those cable channel needs. Sling TV does the same, but lacks Fox News. I'd check out this article on choosing an antenna before you decide on which one to get. Those two steps with a Roku Express should accomplish what you want.

  • I've cut the cord and am using Directv Now along with OTA and get all the shows we ever watched plus now have the ability to watch shows on demand. I'm using both an Apple TV as well as an Amazon Fire streaming device. I have also begun to download other apps from the networks we typically watch which leads me to my only problem. It appears the individual network apps allow you to watch more recent episodes on demand but some require you to have an active cable subscription along with a password to load programs. Is there any way around this? Seems to be counter to the whole streaming app universe. If I had a cable subscription it would be unlikely I'd be using the network apps.

    • Sometimes your Direct TV Now login credentials can be used with those network apps. Scroll down the list of cable providers and see if it shows up.

    • Those network apps are for cable only. They brand those TV anywhere. It's so there is a way to watch on mobile devices mainly.

  • Hi! We recently cut the cord and are very confused. We have Apple TV and an RCA amplified OTA antenna. We have two TV's on the same floor. We got about 18 channels this way but not ABC or CBS (on our main tv). We live about 25 miles from those stations. After reading your article we went out and got the Moho 50 and received less channels, even with moving the antenna to different windows (using a coaxial cable). So we put the RCA antenna back on the main TV and put the Mohu50 on the other TV. So we now get different channels on each TV, none over lapping, I find this very confusing. Is there any way to combining the two together to get more channels? Oh, still not getting CBS though. Can you just come out to the house and get us settled into this cord cutting thing?

    Thanks!
    Cathy

  • Thank you so much for this article and information. I will go back and read all the articles via the links. One big concern I have about cutting the cord is sports. I want to still have access to all the ESPNs and FOX sports channels. And, I would like to be able to tape my games if I cannot watch them live. Finally, how can I watch sports on my iPad on all the sports apps-Watch ESPN, Fox Sports, etc?

    Or is the DIRECTV Now the way to go? (Honestly, I might try to negotiate with DIRECTV....and then be ready to drop their service if they don't lower my monthly bill. I did this with the newspaper regularly).

    What streaming services offer FOX News?

    Thank you for this wonderful information. Is it on YouTube, by chance.....to show me how to connect and use these gadgets.

    Thanks again.

    • Fox News just started streaming on youtube officially on March 19th, 2017. That means any device, that supports youtube, can stream Fox News live for free. They claim HD, but it's a degraded picture. Fortunately any news station doesn't really need to be watched but mostly listened to. Right now it lives here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyGWw36tm4Y

      What's significant about this is another major, cable only news station is casting aside the old model supporting cord cutters. I consider this earth shattering because it's an acknowledgement that cable is dead. Eventually all cable only content will be available via streaming because viewership will continue to decline. Long term, as the shift to streaming continues, the old, cable only, content will continue to not attract newer viewers because they won't have access to it. No eyeballs, no advertising dollars.

    • You tube. Or just type in fox news live and may choices will come up. Fox News live is really not to hard to find.. Hook ur PC to ur tv If u like.

    • Direct TV and Playstation Vue both have Fox News. I'm sure some others have put together some videos on You tube connecting various devices. I plan on doing that at some point. I need to free up time for that though.

  • Thank you for sharing your research. I need to clarify my understanding. I have only two TVs, one upstairs and one on the first floor. Do I need an antennae for each tv?

    • Most likely yes for indoor antennas, Maybe not for outdoor. I would need to see a signal report to be sure.

  • We are now retired (fixed income) & are researching cable TV alternatives -primarily to reduce costs while maintaining our basic TV watching. Your website is very helpful but we are very much "tech challenged" - we did not view/read all of the comments/responses on the site so apologies if this matter has been covered previously.
    We live in a retirement community with only one cable service provider - not sure if we can install an external antennae.
    Basic question: will one streaming device (eg Roku) feed two TV's in different rooms??

  • Hi: I cut the cord with cable many years ago. I use iTunes and Amazon for any content. I would like to watch MSNBC live. Is there any way to do this without subscribing to cable? Thanks.

  • Dennis, don't know if you're the "hope" I've been looking for, but the "reads" have been great, so let me give it a try as well in describing where I'm at:
    Have local utilities providing hi-speed computer, but dumped their cable tv provision after 20 plus years when like others, increasing costs and decreasing quality over "crap-packed" quantity had me moving onto a great Direct TV package. Then, they TOO did the "teeter-totter" approach to cost and lack-of-quality programming.
    Today as a 63 yr old retiree, I basically pay $150.00 montly for a middle-of-the road package, HBO and MLB.tv (not the FULL package with ALL games, just the show and occasionally broadcast games). I'd LOVE to watch more baseball, ALL Yankees games, but more cost is the wrong direction. We watch local tv only for news and weather (the 3 major channels lack interest in regular tv viewing beyond that), MSNBC, Comedy Channel, ESPN 1 & 2 for occasional sports seasonal games which includes FS1 for same reason. And we'd DUMP HBO for general movie access, but actually have come to LOVE HBO productions and regular shows like VICE, VICE News, Bill Maher, etc. We'd LOVE to watch other channels, but HISTORY Channel for instance, has become SO trashy with reality shows and LITTLE to NO History--we've just given up and learned to do w/o. A & E, Smithsonian the same way.
    AND (BAD DAD not paying attention in old age!!) I found out my kids bought me a ROKU and just recently started to use it and my son "sneakily" signed us up for NETFLIX so I've been paying $9.99 montly. So that's basically $160.00 for Direct TV and NETFLIX.
    ----Is there a cheaper way/way to cut more off my bill in maximizing the resources I have? Am I wasting by overlapping on some like my ROKU options?
    And as I battle Direct TV's increases, in my "battles" with them by phone about all of this---why haven't THEY put me onto DIRECT TV NOW with what seems MUCH better prices if it's also a Direct TV product? I appreciate ANY help as well as the joy in winning even some "little victories" here and there with these constant battles with utilities,cable, tv, radio, etc services.

    • As a retiree also, I've had to keep costs at a minimum. My suggestion would be to see if an OTA ( over the air ) antenna will work for you. It won't get your "cable" shows, like the History Channel, but if you're close enough to broadcast towers, you can get all the major stations, like CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, PBS, etc.

      Then you'll need to "stream" video content. Dennis does a great job of spelling out what's available. Sling TV offers sports programming, as well as many "cable" stations/channels. I like the "pick what you like" ala carte aspect of streaming video. HBO is also available as an "add on".

      As for WHY Direst TV didn't let you know about Direct TV NOW, keep in mind, AT&T ( who owns Direct TV ) isn't about the least expensive option for you.

      For myself, I cut all the cables except internet. I stream Netflix, and have the option of "purchasing" a movie via VUDU with a Blu-ray player. I also have an RCA antenna where I get 39 broadcast stations in HD, some are shopping shows and Latino channels.

      One option Dennis did not mention is renting physical DVD's. If you have a DVD player, and like movies or games, Redbox DVD's and games can be rented at $1.50 per day.

      Then there is the whole aspect of KODI, which is a computer based multi-media player. Within it, there is the ability to access TV, Movie, Music, etc. with the use of addons. I'll not go into the legality of streaming content, but a KODI player ( available as a Windows 10 app ) is an option as well.

      The only downside is you MUST have an ISP. And, it has to be fast enough to stream without constantly buffering, so figure 10 Mbps minimum. AND, you have to watch out if your ISP is limiting your usage.

      What kinda sucks right now is this whole " hodge podge" of programming and access. I think it will get better. I know it will. We're still getting out from under the stranglehold of cable providers, and they're fighting tooth and nail to keep it expensive and indispensable.

    • Yes, It seems like you may be able to get yourself and internet connection (hopefully around $50), Sling TV offers 2 packages. One will have the "YES" network for more Yankees, and a slew of other channels including Comedy Central and FS1 for $25 bucks. ESPN 1 and 2 is on their other package for $20 bucks a month. You can get both for $40, and then MSNBC with a $5 news add-on. (I know, I hate how complicated they make it too). But that's $45. Add HBO and you are $55. So that saves you a bit. Alternatively you can get about everything I mentioned accept the YES network for $35 from Direct TV now. They are also running a special where you get HBO for $5. All of this can be watched on your Roku.

  • I have a question, I am so tired of paying the high cable bills. I do have Netflix, I like the basic channels but love movie channels, mysteries, Own channel, game channels, Life, want to get most of the free internet channels I can get but not pay the high price, what is the best way to go? Right now we are using Midco and using basic bundle and not getting that many good channels. I live in Stacy Mn

    • Stacy, I've found SelectTV (goo.gl/z3iOoD) to be a good low priced alternative to Netflix and basic cable. It is only $2.99 a month and offers a good deal of similar content including basic channels and movies.

  • Hello thank you for the information. I just need a little more help with my decision making. I have four television. I usually used my Netflix, or go on demand to watch my horror movies, my husband likes sports, old school movies, my son likes sports, movies, and shows that 17yr olds like, and my daughter likes comedy and horror. I currently have comcast cable and internet. Which way is best cost effective for me. We don't have a game console yet. Or a blue ray yet. Do I have to buy a rouku for all four televisions ? Please help.

    • You would need a streamer on each television you want to stream on. So if all 4 are to be on at the same time then you would need four. Otherwise you could have 2 or 3 sticks and rotate them to the TVs you want to use. As for content, it's really about what shows and sports you all watch. It will vary from cord cutter to cord cutter.

  • I am trying a trial period of Sling TV. I see a lot to like about it BUT I have also experienced a frustrating amount of buffering. If I can't resolve this, it seems pointless to continue with it. Have you addressed this problem in any of your previous comments/blogs, etc.? If so, I can't seem to locate it.

    • It's typically a weak wifi signal that causes the buffering. Since this is live TV you really can't compare it to a Netflix or a Hulu. Those may work flawlessly on a weaker network where live services like Sling TV and Directv Now have issues. Check this article on tips to improve home WiFi. I also go a bit deep into network optimization in this article on the router I use.

  • These options seem really useful unless you live out in the country like we do. We have one cable provider available and a Direct TV dish. Streaming TV is out of the question: our download speed is 4.75 Mbps and our upload is 0.58 Mbps...supposedly we are on the best internet available in our area. Our internet and home phone come to a whopping $72/month combined but boy do they get us on the satellite dish. We pay $144/month and only watch maybe 3 hours a week. It seems like a total waste of money to even have the dish but if our internet sucks so bad, do we have other options? We are a long way from the city...

    • My in-laws stream with a 3 mbps DSL connection. They just watch in standard definition.

  • Is it possible to get Directv Now through my Roku or only on my computer? I can't find it listed on the Roku channel list.

  • Hi Dennis,

    I have Direct TV and am ready to cut the cord. I do not have OTA capabilities since I live in mountains about 2 hours outside of Denver. Are there any options that allow me to get the local Denver or Colorado Springs stations (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX & PBS) primarily for local news and pro and college football in the fall along with something like Sling TV?

    Thanks

    • You would need to see if SlingTV or DirecTV NOW carries your local affiliates. CBS all access should provide your local CBS affiliate.

  • I am so ready to cut the cord. I currently have Directv for cable and internet. I currently pay $190 a month for both. I have 4 tv's and one is a 4k that has the Netflix and Hulu apps installed. I also am on a free trial of Amazon Prime. I didn't see in your Amazon Prime research on anything about streaming cable networks. Is this not an option with them? Also, will I need to get a Roku or some other streaming device for each tv? Thanks

    • Assuming you have wi-fi, if your 4 TVs are "smart" TVs then you can pick up programming directly. If they are not smart, then yes, you would need a streaming device such as a Roku.

    • If you want to stream a cable network then you would need Sling TV, DirecTV Now, or VUE

  • Dennis--
    I have an Apple TV box and am trying to figure out how to get CW shows on it. I go to "TV Shows" and choose "The CW", and it presents me with all the shows. However, it wants me to pay $2.99 per episode. You said it was free. How do i get The CW on my Apple TV for free?

  • I cancelled DirectTV as soon as my bill went over $70 a month; I don't watch sports, reality tv, or foreign language networks. I was paying over $70 a month to watch AMC & History; out of over 150 channels. When I cancelled they tried to & still try to sell me their service at great prices (temporary great prices). If they want my business, they'll have to sell it to me for the lowest price they can all year round, & not just for a year or two. Otherwise, I'll just watch TV online. "It's cheap, it's easy, & it doesn't stalk me." TV Service Providers & Online Streaming websites should throw in the television networks, for free, that people can get for free with an antenna, without our having to get an antenna. I get AMC & History just fine with Sling TV, & their price is low. I would prefer a direct live streaming service that includes the free networks, but until then Sling TV works for me.

  • Can I use an antennae like a mohu leaf device if I live in a high rise apartment with no patio, only windows that do not open fully? Also, how much do they cost?

  • I really want to cut the cord but i am confused. I have read everything on here but still not sure of the direction. I watch, nbc, cbs, abc, fox , bravo, tbs, usa, a&e, e, ion, root sports, lifetime, espn, nbcsports are primarily the channels. All my tvs do not have hd or hdmi. Only 1 smart tv and the other 2 are old fashion.
    Would i need antennas, streaming devices for all 3? What is amazon firestick? What would you recommend?

    • Most services are free to try for about a week. I would look into your smart TV and see which streaming services you support. An Amazon fire stick is a streaming device like a Roku or an Apple TV. I would looking into giving Sling TV or DirecTV Now a try. If you are interested in an antenna, I would take a look at this article to make the best decision.

  • How can I get NFL Sunday ticket without DirecTV? Also, how can I record NFL games so I can watch it if I'm away from a screen? Same question about recording other shows like Game of Thrones - how do I do that so I can watch it when I get home? Thanks!

    • Most streaming services are already On-Demand so there is no need for a DVR. I have HBO Now and watch Game of Thrones at my leisure. It's available as soon as the show airs live on HBO. I'm hoping Sunday Ticket will be available for cord cutters in 2017, however AT&T/Directv are yet to announce anything.

  • Thanks. Great site. Do you currently have or plan to create a spreadsheet-like matrix with a comprehensive list of features in column A (rows 1, 2, 3, etc.) and devices in columns B, C, D, etc. to allow easy comparisons?

    Chromecast Hulu Free TV
    Major networks
    Streaming services
    Multiple streams
    FF through commercials

    • I took a crack at this a while back. It's to much data for a chart. There are too many variables.

  • Hi Dennis,

    I'm wanting to get rid of the outrageous cable bill! The main things I want are HBO, Starz, CW, NBC, ABC & AMC. What would recommend? I'm not tech-savvy. With any of these devices, can you watch them that day after the live show or do you have to wait 24 hours to view with these devices? I'm between Kodi & Amazon fire stick. Which Kodi system is the best?

    • I would just pick up a Roku. There are ways of getting all those channels through Sling TV. Kodi is more for those that want a bit of a tech project.

  • question on VPN. I live in MN and winter in AZ. When in AZ, I miss my Fox Sports North as well as my Minnesota Vikings games (I can watch at bars but want to watch at home). Can a VPN "fool" these tv channels into thinking I am watching them from MN?

  • Dennis,

    Thank you for the great information. I recently moved to Bozeman, Montana. We are actually in the mountains, so, considered a "rural" area, about 10 miles outside of town limits.

    I have internet/wifi from a local company, Little Apple Technology. They offer three different packages, depending on what you want to do. I chose the higher one for $99/month. For now I am streaming Amazon and Netflix on my smart TV. I also have a new DVD player that also can stream those with other apps as well. I bought their router, so, I own it, no extra fees, etc. If issues they can fix from their end in the office.
    Excellent customer service and technicians, very helpful. Have had no issues with the quality of pictures, etc. or the speed of internet.

    I am not sure what route to take to add TV channels. We have At&t for our cell phone, so, wasn't sure if we should go that way.

    I'm confused as to what I need to buy to gain access to the various TV streaming services offered. Definitely want ESPN and other sports, movies, local news, HBO and possibly Cinemax. Realize the bill will be adding up, but, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than what we previously had through Verizon.

    Any information would be most helpful.

    Thank you.

    • Since all the services offer free trials, I'd experiment and just keep the one you like. Due to AT&T not counting DirecTV Now against your data allowance, you may want to check that one out first. If your smart TV doesn't support the service you can pick up a Roku Stick or Amazon streaming stick. However, if you prepay 2 months of DirecTV Now they will give you a free Roku.

  • Wow are you knowledgeable! I am not at all in this department. I'm not understanding why you need a device to stream from. Why can't you do it through the computer with an HDMI CABLE?

  • I am trying to decide which device and/or service would be right for my family. It's important to us that we be able to watch our series right away, within a few days of airing. I don't watch HBO or Showtime, but AMC, Fox and FX are necessary. Also SyFy for the hubby and kids shows for our son. We would most likely keep our Internet service through Spectrum, unless we could find an alternative. What would you recommend?

  • My apartment complex requires that we pay them $35 for an enhanced cable package ( I hate this) but I have not been able to get out of it. Does it still make sense to get a streaming device, such as a Roku? Even better has anyone managed to get out of a mandatory cable package as part of their rent

    • I agree with Dennis. A Roku device organically offers many more viewing and channel choices. Plus ability as a media player for photos, music and videos. A big bang for the buck.

    • Depends if you want the streaming capabilities. I would personally still have one.

  • I am done paying over $200 per month for cabe/internet. I have a Samsung Smart TV POP TV. I watch the four networks for evening programming; I couldn't care less about local programming/news. Cable channels I watch regularly are ESPN, FOX NEWS, HALLMARK channels. NFL games are a must. Premium channels are not necessary. My cable/internet is through Comcast, internet is Performance Pro 100 Mbps (which I will downgrade to 50). All network channels are UHF with NM (db) >40; I live in 3rd fl apt. I am leaning towards Amazon Fire Tv + HD antenna bundle w/PS Vue or Sling (will try trial to see which one). Does this sound like the right path or do you have a different suggestion?

    • I think that is perfect. I always suggest people just dive in. You will find your way.There are plenty of services with free trials to experiment.

  • Dennis,

    I want to thank you for all of the information you have gathered here. Wow! What a lot of research and hard work. I spent a couple of hours reading through and digesting your knowledge because like everyone here, I'm tired of paying $230 a month for cable and internet. One of the reasons my bill is so high is because I'm paying for a lot of HD content. I've just purchased a new OLED 4K UHD TV and I'm determined to cut the cord and move on to hopefully bigger and better things. I'll be going with Sling Blue and I already have Amazon Prime and Netflix subscriptions. I'm not sure if I need to get the ROKU Ultra, as my TV has a ton of content ready to go. I'd like your thoughts on what you think about yea or nay on the ROKU. I will need to get a stick for the second TV, so I'm torn on it.

    My main reason though, for asking questions, is the video quality of all the different services. I'm already paying the couple extra bucks for 4K content on Netflix and I know Amazon Prime has a pretty good lineup in 4K. My concern is with the other streaming services, particularly with Sling. I can't find any mention in all of your articles about the video quality of the services. I don't want to cut the cord and wind up with a crappy picture.

    Do you have any information as far as the picture quality with Sling? Is it all HD channels in their line up? Any 4K channels? I definitely don't want to pay for anything less than 1080p.

    Thanks again for all your efforts here.

    • Thanks for the extra research. I have signed up for the free week with Sling to see if there is a noticeable difference in picture quality. There is a bit, but nothing I can't get used to. The deal breaker for me may be the sound quality. I can not get anything to play in Dolby surround. The best I could get was multiple channel stereo on a Game of Throwns test run. Any info on why or if they offer a better sound quality.

      Again, thank you for all of your help.

      Chris

      • Yeah, they originally stated they supported Dolby 5.1, but it seems to only work in VOD. The live channels do not. I'm not sure why. I'm sure it will improve as competition is quickly entering the market in on line streaming.

    • If your TV supports all the services you want, then there is no need to get the Roku. As for 4K, I don't think it's offered. There aren't many channels delivering that resolution. I'll have to look into the exact resolution. They don't really come right out and say it. It's at least 720p.

  • Dennis, I agreed inApril,2017 to continue with Direct TV for one year at an agreed lower monthly rate. They said I would pay the higher price if I did not stay with them the entire year. Now this past week my cable suddenly will not connect with the satellite on any channels even in perfect weather. I called Direct TV and they offered a $90 deal to fix the problem for 2 years. What do you recommend I do>

  • Looks like PS Vue got rid of the Slim plans. It's no longer the cheapest plan in markets that don't have all the networks. I decided to go for DirecTV Now prepay 2 months with free Roku Premiere since Sling's offer was only for 50%/ off a Roku.

    • Yeah, they did. Their prices jumped by $10 each. I updated the VUE article. I still need to do this one.

  • Dennis, this is a great website! My wife & I are about to move into a new house, and she wants me to look into cutting cable. However, I am hesitant to since I love my sports and like to dvr games that I have to miss. I have received feedback from friends on FB, and their responses are all over the place.

    I like to watch all sports, but my college team typically plays on ESPN or Fox Sports channels, and I only watch those channels when games are on. I am a Titans fan & Knicks fan living in Kansas City. I would love to have the option to watch their games....I'm guessing via your "workaround" method. I also love to watch MLBTV, NFL Network, and maybe even NBAtv. I just upgraded TV's for the new house....going from a bulky 55" projection tv from 2006 to a Vizio 65" smart 4K tv. So I would like to enjoy my new tv while watching sports. My wife likes to watch Bravo, TNT, TBS, USA, among others. We will have the 65" smart 4K tv in the Family room, a wall-mounted 39" smart 4K tv in the bar area, and an older 720p flat screen in the Master Bedroom....we'd like to have the capabilities to dvr & watch on any of these TV's. So my questions are:

    1.) What would you recommend as the best option for us considering all of our likes?
    2.) My new smart 4K tv's will have Chromecast, so would I need to get Roku at all? Will I even need to purchase anything to access the Chromecast feature that comes with the tv?
    3.) How would I go about getting NFL Game Pass in attempt to "workaround" & watch my Tennessee Titans?
    4.) We still want to have internet service (without cable) at the new house, and I guess we would need it for the wi-fi. Do you have any recommendations on the best company for internet only? Would 100 Mbps suffice, or should we pay extra for up to 1000 Mbps?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Based on my research, friends suggestions, & this website; I'm thinking of either the 2 sling options or hulu. But I'm worried that once we start to add on cloud dvr's, then we might as well get cable.

    • You can take a look at Sling to see if they meet your needs for channels. If not, they offer free trials so try some of the other packages listed until you find the right fit.

      If you have Chromecast then there is no need to have a Roku. You simply pull up the service on your phone and cast it to your TV.

      Here is the info I have so far on watching the NFL without cable. As Week 1 gets closer, I'll be sure to update the article.

      You can check this article to find internet only service in your area.

  • Hi Dennis, thank you so much for this site. It's very informative and I'm starting to understand how I can possibly cut the cord. I was wondering if you could answer a question. I was looking at Hulu and it says you can watch from 2 different TVs at the same time. I'm assuming this is possible even if you had two different streaming devices, maybe a Roku on one tv and a fire stick on the other? And also, is it correct that the fire stick would not hold as many apps as a larger device like Roku? Thanks for any insight and thanks again for this page!

    • Yes, there is a limit to the amount of space and there is more on a Roku than on a Fire Stick. However, I think the limit is quite high. I have never reached it.

  • Dennis, thanks so much for this blog. It's got me feeling braver about cutting the cord. It it were only me, I'd jump right in. But, Mama needs to be happy too. If you're married then you know what I mean. We definitely need the DVR. Mama likes to record the Dateline, 20/20, 48 Hours stuff and I like to record Patriot and Red Sox games. Right now I'm committed to trying the TiVo Roamio. We're currently Netflix subscribers and Amazon Prime members with a Fire Stick. We both like the Food Channel and HGTV so will probably subscribe to Sling also. I'm a little nervous about the logistics of the change and the mechanics of operating the system once in place. Mama is used to convenience and does not like fidgeting with gadgetry. If watching HGTV is going to involve changing inputs after 50 years of simply changing channels, she ain't going to be happy. As for the logistics, I'm in what someone else in the comments described as "analysis paralysis". My cable is currently bundled. How do I make the transition from cable to OTA as seamless as possible. Am I naive in thinking that Spectrum will help me through the process when I'll be dumping their phone and TV service?

    • Well, I bought the TiVo Roamio OTA and thought I would share some of my struggles with cutting the cord with others who are thinking about it. This is mistake number one. Prior to buying it, I bought the antenna, mounted it in the attic, ran the cable down to my family room TV (via the basement, no small task!), and tested the reception. It was good. I then disconnected the antenna from the TV and re-hooked the cable so that Mama cold watch her programs. Back to the basement, I positioned the antenna cable next to the cable splitter that splits the cable coming in from the street to the different rooms in my house, 3 bedrooms upstairs and the family room on the first floor. Now, I foolishly thought, I'm ready to make the switch. When the TiVo comes, I'll simply connect my TV antenna cable to the splitter in the basement which will connect all 4 rooms to the antenna. Genius! So, I get the TiVo, make the antenna cable switch and start my setup (with WiFi). DOH! It can't find my router! After re-trying twice, I go to my computer and see that there is no internet service. Why? Because I had disconnected it when I disconnected the cable from the street! Remember, you need internet to connect your TiVo!

    • They won't help. They will try to keep you on the TV plan. I will say that it's definitely not the same as having cable. The question is, do you think to pay all the extra money a month is worth not having to press an input button on the remote.

      As for analysis paralysis. I went through the same thing when I cut the cord. I wish I would have just jumped in. People tend to figure things out when they have to, like swimming.

  • This is a great site! Thank you so much for all of your information. We have DirectTV and we're done paying so much and want to get rid of it as soon as possible.

    We already have an outside antenna that does pretty well with our TV on our back porch that we have hooked up to so we will connect our living room SmartTV to that as well. We have Spectrum internet but it is not close enough to the TV to use it with an ethernet and to go wireless, we would have to buy a special connection with DirectTV to do that. Ugh. I use to pay for Netflix but had to cancel because money has been tight just recently.

    I'm a little confused about the difference between the Roku and the SlingTV first of all. Is it either/or, or do you buy both? Second, are you familiar with the SkyStream and Rveal streaming boxes and if so, is that all we would need? It seems each one is saying they are for the non tech savvy and that there's no configuration involved which to me means one stop shopping. Am I correct?

    • Roku is the streaming device, Sling TV is a service that you watch on the Roku. Unfortunately, I have no used a SkyStream.

  • With all the great information above in mind, once we have made all our choices, do you have any suggestions on supplying multiple TVs in the house with out having to run chords or cables ALL around my house? or drilling holes in walls, floors, roof etc.?

    Thank you.

  • We differ on our thoughts about having a DVR. I understand your point about it not being necessary because so much content is available on demand so there's no need to record shows. To me, that's not the point of beg to differ, though, because of one reason (a big reason for me): being able to fast forward through commercials! It's a huge time saver to be able to do that. I have tons of on demand content that is provided by the cable company that I NEVER watch because I have to sit through commercials (you're restricted from using fast forward while viewing this content). So that's a huge reason to get a DVR, especially if you go with Sling or Hulu Live or any of the live TV options. If you just get a Hulu subscription, in my opinion it's worth it to pay the extra money for the ad-free version.

    • I use a rabbit ear antenna and a signal booster to feed on air signals to a Hauppauge TV tuner card in my PC. Also needed is Windows Media Center to set record times and provide playback. Note that Windows 10 does not provide the Windows Media Center but Hauppauge does supply the needed software to use their cards.

      • That's good to know. I'll have to check that out. Time to dig out some PC parts.

    • That's a really good point, however, there are still ways to avoid most commercials. As you said, Hulu offers a commercial free tier for on demand. So I'm covered for a lot of shows there. I purchase all my cable TV shows directly from Amazon. Those don't have commercials. I completely agree with you that commercial avoidance is a big reason to cut the cord. I've even mentioned on the podcast that the average American is subjected to over 240 hours of commercials a year.

  • Those who plan to get an antenna need to consider these factors that can affect this choice.
    1) Terrain. Online tools show availability and strength of signal at a specific distance. If you have a hill or other things that can obscure visibility, get antenna the way you can return it. I bought it directly from Mohu just because of that.
    2) Programming. In South Orange County, Calif. programming is a disaster. Out of 60 channels my TV found, there are 2-3 high quality signal channels, mostly sports and some LA news; several old movie or show channels from '50-'80s in 3:4 and resolution like 800x600 or 480x320; a channel for kids. All others are Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and other language channels in 4:3. 10% of channels show nothing.
    Just a heads up.

  • Hi Dennis, We have an older 36" LG flat screen TV, with 2 HDMI ports. One is being used by the DirectTV TIVO. The other HDMI port is for the Panasonic BluRay. My question is, would it be better to buy a larger SmartTV, or a Roku device? Right now, money is not an issue. Eventually, we would like to cut the cord, but I don't think now is good time. My mother lives with us and she is still getting use to the DVR. Also, she has an older fat, flat screen Westinghouse TV.

  • My husband and I want the most bang for buck. Which would you choose Roku or Firestick? We are intetested in watching movies as they come out. Instead of waiting for them to come out on dvd. We also like to watch different types of shows

    • There currently isn't a device that allows that without installing Kodi with un-official plugins that show unlicensed content.

  • Dennis, I took the plunge and cut the cord. Now we're stuck without NFL. We use to have NFL sunday pass with Directv. Which option will be better for us? Sling? Vue? DirectvNow?

  • HI-Looking to cut cable but only hangup is wanting to record live sports to watch later. I did a lot of research and read through all your stuff. I used the antenna tool on TV Fool. I cant get much in way of OTA because live in mountains. Sling does not offer the channels I'm looking for (ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX) for sports. I have a Fire Stick and get a lot of channels off of that but I don't think I can stick that in a DVR and record off of it, or can I? Any other solutions? Thanks!

    • A lot of sports have On Demand streaming services you could use. I cover them in the article on watching sports without cable. Unfortunately, the only other solution is to wait until one of the streaming services picks up the local channels that broadcast in your area. It's coming along, DirecTV Now has over 200 local affiliates, as does Hulu Live TV.

  • Love this idea but need high speed internet and the ability to watch local sports--so my home team on the local channels. Is this possible and how? Thanks!

  • Hi Dennis,

    I checked out all your suggestions and I just fall in an area where I have to have cable if I want to record live sports. Watching them is not a problem with my Firestick recording is the problem. OTA antenna does me no good because I live in the mountains and cant get the big three. DirectvNow doesnt offer a cloud DVR yet and who knows how that will be- Regardless there is no CBS or NBC in my market available from them. Sling has a cloud dvr but no local channels, except fox. Hulu no nbc or abc Fubo-dvr but only fox. Thanks for the site you have-I'm just going to have to commit to a contract.

    • Sorry to hear that John. It's extremely unfair to those living outside metro areas. I'm hoping for a day where all these archaic boundaries go away and you can just stream over the internet. My gut tells me it will come sooner than we think. Hang in there.

  • We have comcast and they are killing me with cost. We have TIVO with a cable card. OTA is not an option since we live in a valley. We have Apple TV, netflicks, hulu and Amazon Prime. My only concern is local channels, (ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS etc..) Is there one of these devices you suggest to augment what we have and cut the TV part of Comcast? I will still need the Internet from Comcast.

    • Do you live near a city? Many streaming services are streaming network television.

  • Hello! We were thinking about cutting the cord as well, but our basic needs are sports and movies, with a select few TV shows. We currently have a Firestick and Amazon Prime. If I install the Sling TV app on my TV and install Kodi on my Firestick, will we be able to have sports, TV shows that Sling TV offers, and new movies from Kodi?

    Thanks in advance!

  • Thanks so much for this info! I just cancelled my triple play, got Fios internet only, along with Hulu and CBS all access for my Roku TV. Saving about $100 a month!!!! Now on to switching my cell provider....

  • I live in Vallejo Ca (Bay Area) with a family that currently has no Internet or cable! I need Internet for business & pleasure. And we all want regular TV channels, and especially CNN, Foxnews, MSNBC, the Oprah Network, History channel, Smithsonian, A&E, Kofy, TBS, and other cable channels but NOT interested in sports.
    We don't want to go with cable because of the high cost, so what would you recommend?

    • All the services I mentioned here have a free trial. I would try a few and stick with the one you like best.

  • I live in McKinney Texas and currently have At & T uverse 200 their lowest cable option and the whole cable cost/internet cost amounts to a small country every month. I watch local channels OAN, Fox News, Bravo, A&E, hallmark, LMN, and GAME OF THRONES. My main TV is a smart TV and if need be I could purchase another smart TV for upstairs. I do use my DVR to watch shows I miss. What is the best solution you would suggest

  • Your info has been great I guess the question I have may have already been answered but I have to ask again. We like movies, history, etc. I have read about firestick and something called power pro TV?? Is the firestick a good item or should we look into something like this power pro or what? If the firestick is the answer (or any of these) how long do you figure it will be before up grades will be needed? I'm sure that you can't make money if you never have to upgrade so I guess we can expect to make a purchase what every 3 to 4 years to be able to keep up with the times and how long before you figure it will be before the cable TV providers figure out a way to block this type of use without that high cost of there packages? I can go on but this is enough for now. Thank you for your time and trouble. David Hughes

    • For ease of use, my personal favorite is the Roku. As for upgrades, as long as you can watch the streaming services you want you shouldn't need to upgrade. Roku is still pushing updates to devices that were released 6 years ago.

  • The most comprehensive "Cord Cutting" treatise I have found to date. Still going through it and hoping to join the many who are "cutting." I'm easily intimidated by the "gadgetry" hook-ups required; probably too much so. As an alternate to doing the actual hardware selection and installation the question I have is: Are there services (retail) that can survey my situation, e.g., TV, DVR, location, etc., and either advise what will work or actually install the required hardware? If so, where do I look for same, i.e., what "yellow page" listing or online address ID?

    • Honestly, the only expert you need would be for the antenna. You can do a google search for "antenna installers" in your area. For streaming, just pick up a Roku streaming stick. The setup is as easy as plugging it into the TV's HDMI connection and following the onscreen menu. From there you can try the free trials of various streaming services and stick with the one you like.

  • Hi,

    Hope you can help!!
    I just purchased this TV: Toshiba - 43" LED - 1080p - with Chromecast Built-in - HDTV. I recently got internet service back and I purchased one of those Amazon Fire Sticks.

    As I'm not exactly sure of what Chrome cast is; Here are my questions:

    Do I need the firestick to use the apps on the TV? can the TV be just used with the internet to access the Apps?
    In what instance would I need to use the Firestick ?
    If I want to just see the local networks, can I just use a good indoor Antennae ?
    I've heard the term, Jailbreaking the Fire Stick - what does that one access to ?

    Thank you

    • Chromecast built in will allow you to push video being shown on apps on your phone or tablet to the television. The FireStick plugs into your TV and you install the apps on it so you don't need to use your phone. Here is my article on Jailbreaking a Firestick.

  • Asking on behalf of a professor:
    I currently watch, or record and watch shows on these networks
    ABC
    CBS
    FOX
    NBC
    PBS
    AMC
    TLC
    A&E
    USA
    QVC
    Fox News
    Local news

    I would have access to Comcast Internet, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and AppleTV.

    Can I “cut the cable” and watch all of my favorite shows without Comcast TV? How?

    • Sure. All those cable networks are available through DirecTV Now. Depending on where you live, they may even stream those local affiliate networks. If not you may need to get a TV antenna to watch your local networks.

  • these r my favorite channels to watch local,fx,amc.bravo,HBO,tnt, tbs, and others. right now I pay 135..00 monthly on a fixed income thru Comcast. I would like to save money but am unaware how to , HELP!!!!!!!!!!!

  • What about a household with multiple TV's? I have three but all are NOT Smart TVs. If I get a HD Antenna do I need separate one's for each? I assume I would also need separate players? Tks

  • So if i have various tvs in the house would i need to purchase a roku per tv?

    • You can, or you can move a streaming stick around the house. If you want to watch both TV's at the same time then you will need dedicated streaming devices for each TV.

  • Hello,
    I am desperate to leave Comcast after being burned twice by their 2 yr "deals." I'm an older baby boomer and not very tech savvy. I have been reading your articles and posts. I have not seen anything in your information about the Kodi Platinum TV box . What do you think? Or am I better off going with a Roku device or the like?
    Lastly if I need help to get everything set up where can I find the help?
    Thanks in advance for your help!
    DJ

  • What would be the best setup for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN U, FS1, FS2, TBS, HGTV, TLC, Bravo, CMT, Animal Planet, E and Hallmark (2)? Bonus channels that would be nice to have as well would include Discovery, Lifetime and Freeform. Finally, is there anyway to get Root Sport and Pac 12 (2) on any of the services?

  • Dennis,
    I should have given you more information. I need to be able to have 4 devices streaming at one time and DirecTV Now appears to only allow 2.

    • If you need 4 simultaneous streams you will need 2 subscriptions. It may be a bit too pricey to be worth it. Remember , when you cut the cord you are going to discover loads of content out there. I hardly ever watch live services anymore.

  • Got a question here... My modem and router are on the 2nd floor in the office, where we have the computers. But the TV that we watch is in the basement. We apparently have issues getting anything to reliably pick up the wireless signal in the basement. We bought a repeater, which helped a little bit, but I know whenever I try to look up something on my Kindle down there, it takes forever.

    What would be our best option to get a reliable internet signal in the basement so that we can actually cut the cable and use a streaming service?

  • Great article, all the way through. The links are helpful along the way, as well. I have been beating my head against the wall about this upcoming decision, but now I feel at ease. Thanks for the information!

  • And HD Home Run will only provide OTA and the number of TVs you can watch on at the same time is equal to tuners in the HDHomeRun. However, Roku Express costs $30 a piece. You will need one for each TV you want to stream to but considering a cable box rental is around $10 per month, you make your money back in 3 months.

    • So you think Roku best bang for buck ? Thanks Dennis you're awesome! What about the fire sticks? Roku vs Firestick ? My nephew bought a fire stick and said he "jail broke it " and now gets movies that are playing in the theaters, is that possible??

      • Thank you for reading!

        I prefer Roku for the usability. They are very easy to use. While the fire stick thing is possible, check out this article on Jailbroken Fire Sticks so you know what you are getting in to.

  • You need one for each TV you want to watch on at the same time. They can be moved from TV to TV if you don't watch them all simultaneously and want to save money.

  • How recent is this blog? When did you update last? And thank you so very much for your info

    • I keep this one fairly up to date. I like to try and refresh it every month or so or when there is big news. I'm looking to clean it up soon.

  • Would love to cut the cord. Have two residences in NYC area Direct TV in one, FIOS in the other. Existing ATT customer, finally linked my ATT/Direct TV accounts to take advantage of $25 monthly discount with free HBO. Would like to ditch FIOS tv and be able to watch Direct TV, including DVR content. Would also like to set up streaming capability in both locations. I believe this is possible with some equipment upgrade in location where we have Direct TV. My dream solution would be to hire someone to navigate this process - there has to be someone in the NYC area that provides such a service - any ideas?

    • I personally don't, but i am in talks with a company that will do over chat and over phone support. Hopefully, I can work out a deal with them and you can use the service through this website.

  • I want an option to watch the current Hallmark movies and shows as they appear on the Hallmark Channel. I haven't found one, yet.

    After begging them for years (I'm sure I'm one of thousands,) Hallmark NOW debuted this year as a stand alone monthly purchase. The only issue is that it's NOT what's on now, and customer service has no idea when the current season will be available. That's not my idea of "NOW."

    I cut cable years ago because I no longer wanted to pay for all the extra fluff just to get local stations in clearly and to watch Hallmark.
    To that degree, SlingTV and others like it only offer Hallmark as an add-on, after you've shelled out the money for the first tier or two. I could have cable added back to my internet locally if I wanted that!

    If anyone has a solution, please share. Another season is winding down for me without movie specials!

      • None provide "just" the Hallmark Channel without paying for channels that I don't want. Cable locally is less expensive than the alternatives. Hallmark Now offers older movies-not current. There is no stand alone Hallmark-No legal streaming of just the movies as they appear on the network.

        • That's correct. You would need to pick up one of the live streaming services like DirecTV Now or Sling TV that provided other channels as well.

  • Do not under any circumstance buy a Clearview antenna. They don't work. I bought one and, I couldn't get a single station. I live in Bradenton, Florida so, I'm in a large urban area. Trying to return the piece of crap is a long and frustrating hassle.

  • We just bought the Moho Leaf antenna on your recommendation. It's perfect. 44 free HD channels. Now we're considering purchasing a Roku stick for the tv in our guest house. How much do Roku subscriptions to HBO and SlingTV cost/month on average, and can we prevent our guests from making additional purchases on our Roku account from the guest house TV? These are our main considerations in purchasing the Roku Stick + and a few high quality subscriptions. Thank you, your blog has been essential as we cut the cord. Next up, new router.

      • Many thanks, Dennis. Super helpful.

        For other readers, here are my research results: SlingTV Orange is $20 month*, and adding HBO to Sling's many offerings is an additional $15. So $35 a month for all the streaming from various sources we need, plus 44 free HD channels through our antenna (we bought the Moho Leaf as recommended here). I feel damn proud.

        Bonus: Sling is offering the Roku Ulta for $49.99 with subscription, which is 50 bucks off the full price. A great deal. And you can stream Sling from your phone/ipad/computer as well.

        (*Side note: Sling Blue is $25 month, and offers many extra sports channels for the sports fanatics).

  • Thank you for your articles! I actually feel like I might be able to manage cutting the cord now! You are really providing a wonderful service! One question I haven't seen asked yet is that, even though we have all smart TVs and already have a Roku, once we cut the cord, if we want to install Kodi, do we need a Fire Stick to do so? We will likely subscribe to Direct TV Now or Sling TV, as our options with an antenna (even the outdoor) are limited (not even the 3 major networks), but I would like to have Kodi. If there is a way to install Kodi on other platforms, can you recommend a simple way to do so, please? Thank you again!!

    • I actually think Fire-stick is not the best option. It's just a very affordable one. I'd go with the Nvidia Shield, but you can install KODI on any android device. Be aware, that it takes a bit of upkeep. I recommend checking out KODI's Wiki for more information.

      • Technically, you need an android device. The KODI Wiki will let you know which devices are supported.

  • Your page is the first one that seems to have most of the answers. However, I didn't see exactly my situation.
    I have cable TV and internet from my local provider, and have a TV in the LR and BR. I want to add TV in the kitchen (for my wife), but there is no cable outlet there. I have a new laptop that meets your specs, and need to keep the present TVs working. What should I do next?

    • You can get the cable company to set you up with another cable Box and have them run the line to hook up your new TV. However, I think that is too expensive. I would pick up a Roku TV and hook it up to your network. You can then download the apps to the channels you enjoy watching and use your cable provider log in credentials to stream content to the kitchen TV.

      • Does anyone have experience with the "HDMI Wireless Kit" I saw at Walmart for $89? The illustration on the box implies a hub with us to three wireless output devices.

        • I haven't tested this. I prefer to have my video wired. However, I'll take a look if I can get my hands on one.

    • The Rabbit is really just an aggregator. It doesn't provide anything you can't already get without the rabbit. It just makes it a little more convenient.

      • So its more convenient then why not also suggest it as well. Also what does the rabbit offer.
        On another note have you tried any of the new streaming tv apps like hulu tv. If so do you suggest live streaming tv as opposed to an antena

        • I don't use the rabbit because I can just search online to find what I want. It really doesn't do all that much for me so I haven't recommended it. I prefer an antenna for broadcast because it's free, but not everyone wants to deal with installing an antenna. Here is a comparison of all the live TV streaming services.

          • I am not familiar with the rabbit but do you have to subscribe to get regual tv channels? Also can you select one network to subscribe too? if so let the lady who only wants hallmark to know. She has also commited on this amazingly informative but not yet complete post I dont understand why you wouldn't mention it or products like the rabbit even though u said verbatim that the rabbit "makes its a little nore convient." So you need to change the title to alonst the ultimate guide or the 98% ultimate guide lol j/k

          • No, rabbit won't do that. It really only consolidates your options into one interface. However, I find it cumbersome to use when I'm already comfortable with using apps to achieve the same.

  • Thank you for the great info. I want to discontinue $$$ uverse. I have a samsung smart tv. I am an amazon prime and netflix subscriber. After looking at all the options you gave, I'm still a little confused as to what would be my best options. I looked at directv now and the "live a little package" plus hbo and showtime as extras as an option would be a lot less expensive than uverse. I also looked at amazon channels but you pay for every channel you want and this can add up while still not having access to nbc, abc etc. Since I have a smart tv should Hulu or other similar options be considered. What would you recommend?

    Linda

    • If you still want a lot of live cable and locals. Then DTV is the way to go. Otherwise you can use an antenna to get locals and see if Prime and Netflix supply enough content for you. Regardless, I would just cut your traditional pay TV. You will be shocked by how much you don't miss it.

  • For what ever it is worth, I purchased a Tracfone from HSN for $65. It comes with 1500 minutes of talk, text and 1.5GB of data. This is my replacement for my landline. Did not want to loose my "Home number". When it runs out of minutes it is cheaper to go buy another phone than purchase additional minutes. Tracfone uses the Verizon network and reception is fine in most areas of the country.

  • Great articles with a great deal of info but I have one question. I have to keep Xfinity as my ISP and it looks like Direct Now would be my best option but what kind of equipment do I have to purchase? My two TV's are on a wireless network.

  • Are the any non cable services that provide HGTV and Food Network. I am ready to cut the cable cord and sign up with You Tube TV but they don't offer those channels and I am afraid I will really miss them.

  • Hello, I am trying to wrap my head around all of this technical information. For clarification purposes, if I discontinue my cable service and buy one antenna (possibly the Moho Leaf), will all of my four televisions be able to receive the specified stations? Do you suggest the Play Station Vue? Thank you, and I have throughly enjoyed reading your information.

      • Please advise because I'm still confused. Question: If I discontinue cable services, and join a TV streaming service, does the TV streaming service work on all of my household TV's? Question: Will I need an antenna to go along with the streaming service? If so, (1) for all household TV's or (1) for each TV?

        • Each streaming service will have a total number of streams at the same time. You'll need a streaming device on each TV or a smart TV that has the appropriate apps. It's possible to have one antenna for all your TVs, but you will want it to be an outdoor antenna. Otherwise, I recommend an indoor antenna on each TV.

      • Thank you so much for replying. This is the first time I have ever joined in on a discussion of any type, and I'm so grateful that you responded. If you can't tell by now, I am a female and feel a little out of my comfort zone in trying to handle all of this.

  • TLC is one of my favorite cable channels. Are there any cable alternatives which carry that station?

  • So this may have been asked, or seem silly. If I use Spectrum for internet only, will this still give me the necessary login to use some of the Roku apps I have that ask for a cable provider's login?

    • No, but some live TV streaming services will let you use certain TV Everywhere apps.

  • I just bought a roku stick. I set it up and had to call customer service cause of a code error. They said I'd have to pay $100 to use it. ???

    • Using a Roku cost nothing. You purchase it and then connect it to your internet. However, just like an app on a smartphone, some services may come with a price. What service were you attempting to use?

  • I just got off the phone with Spectrum! I was told that I am currently getting their best deal thru Time Warner. I pay about 158.00 per mth for about 20 channels, internet and phone. He told me that if I cancel tv then for the services I want they will be at Spectrum's higher prices. So phone and internet will be 96 dollars a mth plus tax. Were I live we cannot have dish - nothing outdoors. We have built our own antennas, tried one from a friend and bought one - none worked. Right now I am trying to get internet and phone for a better price than Spectrum but I don't know where to go. Might consider dropping phone if I need to. I am on a very limited income. I have been reseaching thid for a few days and am just plain confused and overwhelmed! Please help!

    • I would see what your internet only would cost. You can use an Internet based phone (VOIP) and save money on the phone portion.

      • Thank you so much. I went back thru my notes and found that Spectrum wants $70.00 per mth for internet only. I was also going to call AT&T about their internet but when we had them in Ct they were not very good. Thanks again Dennis!

  • Hello! I think I got that you use Roku and Netflix and SlingTV for your streaming and providers. On a different article that you wrote, you said though, that Amazon Prime was the way to go to get Showtime and Starz without Cable. Which is correct and why? I am trying to find the least expensive way to get what I want. I would consider Philo since I don't like sports, I already have an antennae and get the basic live channels, but Philo does not seem to have any other movie channels except AMC. I am much less confused after reading several of your articles but still not quite there. Also I had roku when it first came out and was very frustrated by the console.. with any of the newer roku options I would have to download the roku app to my phone, correct?

    • It's possible to get ShowTime and Stars through Amazon if you want to consolidate billing. We have Prime for shipping so the video is bonus for us. There is no "correct" way to do this. The services you want are going to be based on what you want to watch. For example if you only want to watch local broadcast channels, American Horror Story, Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones I would recommend getting an Antenna for local channels, picking up HBO Now while Game of Thrones is on, and then purchase the full season of TWD and AHS from Amazon.

  • I'm curious about something. I spent 6 months back east on a work contract and I stayed at several different places, including a few hotels and several AirBnB places. The hotels have a package that their chain offers, and they're all a bit different. At the time I had Netflix, and I'm an Amazon Prime member. I also have a Fire Stick (both versions), tried Hulu and a couple others, and even got the DishTVNow for a couple of months (whatever the internet-only version of it is called). They ALL have the same problem.

    See, I keep reading this stuff that says you can cut the cord and get ALL of the channels you want without cable. Unless there's something I'm missing that nobody talks about, it's a LIE.

    The things I watch most are on these channels: MSNBC, History Channel, Discovery, Bravo, HGTV, The Food Channel, and The Cooking Channel (and probably a few I can't recall).

    Unfortunately, most of these channels you cannot get on ANY service if you don't have a cable TV account, because they send a code to your cable TV and you have to enter it in the device to get access. Or you have to login to an active cable account and get a code or something.

    So, sure, you can "access" MSNBC or The Food Channel on Hulu or Roku or Amazon Fire -- as long as you have an active cable account somewhere. If you don't you can't watch anything on those channels (or you're forced to wait a day or so).

    It seems nobody pays attention these channels when they talk about "ALL" cable TV channels.

    And in everything I've read, I've never heard a single mention on how to bypass these restrictions. It's as if they just don't exist.

    What's up with that?

  • So I saw where you said you use IP Vanish for your VPN but what other service and devices do you use?

    • I use it on my laptop and share the screen with my TV. I find it's easier than messing with a VPN router. It also works well on the Nvidia Shield, but My main steamer is Roku because the kids like it.

      • What service do you use for your TV? And if I do go with a VPN to get out of network NFL games, will that work with DirecTV Now or Hulu?

        • I haven't tested the VPN with DirecTV Now or Hulu but both of those services offer free trials. No harm in testing it.

  • My comments are about solar panels:

    If you have solar panels it's critical to get an OTA antenna choice out from under the the electronic "umbrella" of your panel array. The interference is remarkably broad; almost 15 feet away wrecked signal quality.

    The technical support team at Mohu figured it out. They were very helpful, interested in my problem, and patiently walked me through the analytics. It turned out to be pretty simple: TV at night, fuzz in daylight.

    It was kind of cute: 5:30 am, 48 channels. 8:30am, 27 channels. 10:30am, the solar fully powers up and it's pure snow. Starting about 4:30, "Hey, we got TV" and the process reverses itself.

    If you have panels you will probably have to address antenna location carefully.

  • I have a really old television set - it's like...geez -- 20+ years old and does not have any fancy Internet terminals (HDMI) and whatnot. I just cancelled my cable subscription as it's outrageous but I still have the Internet access. Is there anything that I could use to watch shows (I really only want to watch TCM and The Travel Channel...and maybe BBC America) on my television which would work and not cost an arm and three legs? I can't afford to pay $99 for a doohickey and another $50 on something else and whatnot as that is why I cancelled my cable.

    BTW I have absolutely no clue what any of these Roku and Firesticks and all the rest can and cannot do (nor what any the terminology is - you lost me in the first paragraph to be honest) - I just think they can't do it on my antiquated television altho everyone on Facebook is telling me they can. I certainly don't want to buy one and find out I have nowhere to plug it in.

    Anyway, any guidance would be greatly appreciated - thanks! :)

  • I'm 80 YO, on fixed income & can't afford $150 per mo cable,internet,phone bundle but I also don't understand the tech talk you speak. I live with my daughter & granddaughter so have to pay to rent a box also for each of their rooms. How do I eliminate that cost. Can I get a fire stick from amazon and get cable & internet?

  • I am desperate to kick the cable addiction, especially since my contract will expire in a year and I'm forced to buy their home-phone service to keep my discounted price until then. This article has helped tremendously. I have two smart TVs, but one has a broken wifi card, and your mention of smart DVD players as streaming devices reminded me that, duh, I HAVE a smart DVD player, which I NEVER use and which is connected to the TV whose Wifi works. All I have to do is move that DVD player to the TV with the dead Wifi card and I can stream to that TV again. I already have Netflix & Amazon Prime, and I'm considering an HD antenna now. Thank you for your research and willingness to share it!

  • You have provided the best info I have seen on this subject. I am currently in the midst of cutting the cord with Spectrum for obvious reasons (I'm current customer facing rising costs and reduced services, while new customer get a great 2 year cost efficient plan My question is this. I am a T-Mobile phone subscriber and just purchased two hot pads fromTMobile that should allow me to use their hot spot for internet service and also to then use the pads to use as a platform to stream tv using roku. Does this make sense and is it easy to hook up?

    • It may. Check with T-Mobile and see what their rules are for using streaming devices. Most other phone companies treat this type of streaming under a tethering cap. However, T-mobile may play by different rules.

  • Thanks for all this information. Will YouTube TV work with a Roku or must it be a Chromecast (or other device)?

    Also, can I just disconnect my cable boxes (Google Fiber) to test these services? GF has already raised the monthly rate for the package I have and re-establishing the Fiber TV would be a pain.

    • Yes it works on Roku, and you don't need to disconnect your box. The Roku just needs to be hooked to your TV with an HDMI cable.