X
Disclosure: Grounded Reason is supported by a small commission for purchases made through some product links on this website. I do not accept compensation from companies attempting to sway my review of products.

How To Cut The Cord

If you are going to bookmark one page on cord cutting, it should be this one. Grounded Reason has over 200 pages on cutting the cord and getting rid of pay TV. The links in the cord-cutting guide below are either the most important articles on cutting the cord, or articles that answer questions I’m often asked.

Cord Cutting Guide

Before directing you to various pages, I wanted to give you the high-level steps to take to cut the cord.

Step 1: Find home internet that is stand-alone, and not part of a pay TV bundle.

Step 2: Examine alternative ways to watch TV. I cover this in my article on Watching TV Without Cable. This in-depth cord cutting guide covers options like streaming services, devices, and TV antennas. You can even watch cable networks live online. For information on that, check out our comparison of all the cable TV alternatives.

Step 3: Cancel your pay TV subscription.  Even if you are unsure that you have all your shows covered without cable, cancel anyway. Like me, you will realize a lot of the stuff we watch is simply because it’s on. You’ll also discover there is a lot higher quality TV shows are not on traditional TV. Cancel now and start saving today. If you don’t like being a cord cutter, your pay TV company will gladly take you back.

Cord Cutting Topics

There is a lot of content on this site explaining how to cut the cord and replace your pay-TV subscription with cheaper alternatives. Below are the pages that will answer nearly any question you will have when it comes to cutting the cord.

Watching TV Without Cable – This page provides the details of everything you need to cut the cord. This article provides a high-level view of the streaming devices like Roku, streaming services like Sling TV, DirecTV Now and Hulu. The article also provides so basic info on TV antennas, DVRs, and more.

Watch Live Sports – This page provides the details on where to catch live sports after cutting the cord. The article also contains links to different articles on how to watch each particular sport after cutting the cord.

Cheap Internet Service –  Look to this page for information on getting internet service without having to bundle it with a pay-TV subscription.

Digital TV Antenna –  This article covers all you need to know about getting a TV antenna for free local TV channels

How to Watch Local Channels – This article covers how to watch local networks over streaming where possible. It also provides an overview of watching broadcast TV over the Air.

DVRs – This post provides a comprehensive guide to picking a DVR to record from your TV antenna when you cut the cord.

Cheap Phone Service – This article explains where to find affordable phone service after cutting the cord on your Pay-TV bundle.

Making Free Phone Calls – This article explains how to make free phone calls over the internet.

What is A VPN – This guide explains why you may want to look into using a VPN. It explains how a VPN can keep your private identity information safe online. You may also be interested in what I think is the best VPN for torrenting.

If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to our weekly newsletter. It goes out every Thursday and keeps you up to date on information relevant to cord cutters. Subscribing will also inform you on the latest deals out there for internet, streaming, and more.

Check Out An Internet Only Deal for Cordcutters (sponsored)

If this article did not answer your specific question, check out the Cord Cutting Guide. It provides links to the most important articles in our over 200 pages of content to help you ditch pay TV.

For tips and tricks on cutting the cord and other tech topics be sure to join our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter

View Comments (136)

  • We have a vacation home that is in the mountains where we cannot receive off-the-air channels through an antenna. We currently have DirecTV but would like to cut the chord by finding a way to stream our off-the-air channels across the internet from our primary home where we can receive off-the-air channels.

    Do you have any recommendations as to if this is possible and the equipment required at both locations (primary and vacation homes)? I thought that maybe it might be possible with some type of sling box solution and perhaps a Amazon Fire TV combination.

    Thank you.

    • Yes, Check out the article on OTA DVRs. There is a product called Tablo that lets you stream to devices over the net with "tablo connect".

  • We have a lot of TVs in our house (4-5, depending on how kids are behaving). Do we need separate antennas for each? Would we be able to watch separate SlingTV content on each TV? How difficult is it really to switch between devices depending on what you are watching? These are probably somewhere in your site and I will look also.

    • Hi EV,

      Thanks for your questions. I added your question about multiple TVs to the FAQ. As for Sling, Unfortunately you only get 1 stream per subscription. They are doing this to stop people from sharing accounts. While it's annoying, it's not much more expensive then renting additional cable boxes for each TV in the house.

      Device switching isn't an issue. We use an Apple TV and an Antenna. We simply have to us the remote to switch input between the Apple TV and Antenna. Apple TV allows you to configure a universal remote so you can use one remote for all devices. If there is something on Amazon we want to watch I simply bring it up on my phone, hit a button, and the Apple TV just picks it up and displays it on the television.

  • Hi! We live in a dutch colonial the living room is off the enclosed porch with a large opening to the dining room. only 2 small windows above the fireplace the TV is in the opposite side of the Living Room, we can't put it any where else as we have radiators, fireplace and stairwell!! I can't run a mohu TV antenna across the room, in order to run it to the window I would need extra cord, how would I do this??? we have considered getting an outdoor antenna, but can't find a person to put it on the roof !!! We are novices we would'nt be able to put it anywhere else??? also, in order to cut cable do we have to have the internet, as it is another bill, We use our cell phone as a landline. I don't use the internet but my wife does, very little. Thank you!

  • How do we make the transition smoothly and easily from AT&T U-verse which has our Internet, DVD and VCR all connected and accessed with one Logitech remote? There are many many cables behind our TV stand with all of these devices and a cable running alongside the door trim as well. We're in our sixties and would love to save money but this all seems so complicated. Hope you can help.

    • Hi Marty, this will add one more device. But if you guys are like me, you'll find little use for your DVD and VCR once you have a Roku. I find the ability to stream to the TV allowed us to get rid of devices. We currently only have an Xbox and A Roku.

  • What speed internet service do you recommend for streaming live sports? I can get from 25 to 250MBS speed in my area. I will have, at the most, 3 users in the house so 3 laptops and 2 TVs.

    Thanks for an excellent and informative website for a newbie!

    • Streaming HD in 1080 video takes about 7.5 Mbps if you take the sound into account. I usually factor in 9 Mbps per HD 1080p stream to account provide bandwidth for other activities your device may be doing. So If you watching movies on all 5 devices in 1080P HD 45 Mbps is plenty.

  • Hi I am so thankful that you are doing this web page. We want to eliminate our cable on three tvs. We have no clue and your article really helped us a ton! Who can we find to make that happen? We will need someone that can advise and implement the changes??
    Thank you again
    Roberta

    • I can give you advice, but when it comes to installation you will need to find someone local to your area. Is there a friend or relative that could help?

  • Dennis,
    Thank you so much for this all-encompassing site. I have contemplated cutting cable for quite a while, but as I am not overly tech savvy the 'scattered' resources - often in too much tech jargon without explanations - have kept me from doing so. Since yesterday I am cable free. Unfortunately, the only viable Internet provider in my area Cox Communications does not offer cap free plans so I opted for the one with 350 GB which still costs me $74.00 per month. I hope it will suffice, my husend is a TV-nut. I just ordered the Mohu Leaf 30 as all station I need are in up to 22 mile range according to your antenna links. I did order from Amazon because of their better return policies, but if it works out I will use you link to order more from Mohu in case you get credit for that.
    Again, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and recommendations. You have assisted me greatly.

    • Thank you Christiane. I'm glad the site helped. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • I have only two requirements; Fox cable news and college football. How do I get Fox cable news once I have Sling?

  • Hi Dennis!
    I wanted to thank you again. I've received my Mohu Leaf and am getting almost every channel I did with basic cable. The signal does drop from time to time but I started with the Metro and there are options to upgrade if I choose.

    My next step is Sling TV/Roku with a Roamio down the road once my savings start to add up. One last question: I have a lot of DVD's that I've purchased over the years - what are my options for watching them? It doesn't look like my DVD player will connect now (and it's not digital).

  • Hi. I was wondering if you have a write up on what type of Internet speed is needed for streaming and potential costs. I currently have FiOS and pay $130 a month for net and TV. Their hi speed Internet is roughly $80+ a month. Assuming I need that level to watch live sports without issues. Any advice?

  • I watch local news and a small of cable channels (HGTV, CNN , food network). Is Hulu sufficient? thanks.

  • Hi Dennis, Re: our email today (8/2/16):
    - We have a LR and 3 BR.
    - Right now have main TV in LR, a second in main BR. Basic Comcast and HS Internet from them.
    - We have ROKU/Netflix and Amazon Prime.
    - We mainly like adult-type TV series/movies, or history/docs, some sports and local channels, Headline News, cooking shows.
    - My total bill right now should be ~ $75/mo., maybe a bit more. I'd like to stay under $150 after adding other stuff.
    - I'm thinking possibly HULU, SlingTV, and I see a few promising Netflix ones (Showtime, a British series one, etc.).
    - I don't have to have ALL of the cable channels, or all of the premiums.
    - I'm intelligent, but not super techy or electronics oriented. I don't use a laptop at home much, mostly my smartphone for texts and Facebook, etc. (in case that helps).
    - All of the bedrooms are wired for cable, and our main router is rented thru Comcast in the middle spare bedroom.
    TO THE POINT- Do you have any suggestions on what I can/should add or change? Even the router we have thought of buying our own, but again, I have little interest or experience hooking them up, or boosters, etc. I'm really thinking the Sling/Hulu and ala-Carte Netflix might be the way to go? If I do this, we need a "stick" in each bedroom that we want to have the same access, correct? I do apologize, I WILL spend some time reading even more from your site to give me answers that way also, it already has helped, but wanted to throw this out there in the meantime. THANK YOU MUCH!

    • Thank you, Dennis. Good stuff. The "ala Carte Netflix"- I meant Roku actually, sorry, where I can subscribe to lots of other "little stuff" for $5-10 a month. You're telling me about cable, my first bill was double what it should've been, how many times has THAT happened to all of us before, Grrr! Thanks again. I will continue to research and use your site and emails as a very valuable tool :)

    • Hi Trevor,

      It sounds like you have the right idea. The Sling/Hulu combination works well, and it's a ton of content. What do you mean by "a la cart Netflix?" Netflix is subscription based.

      As for the streaming devices. Each TV you want to stream on will need a stick (or other streaming device) You can watch your services on any compatible stick or device. However, some services limit the number of simultaneous streams on one account.

      I find the best thing to do when cutting the cord is to just dive in and cancel cable TV. If you don't like the cord cutting lifestyle, it's not like your cable company won't take you back. I hope that helps. Let me know if you need any info on specific shows

  • I have a Vizio HDTV that we bought in 2005 -06. I have a Leaf 50 connected to it with a Rocketfish in line amp. The antenna is mounted near the ceiling on the south facing wall of the room. There is another room to the south of the antenna which means yet more structure for the signal to travel through. We get 22 channels and for the most part the ones we want to watch all come in perfectly clear (8-10 channels). See my TV Fool report.

    I also have a Leaf 50 connected to my TV in the bedroom on the second floor. It's a Zenith flat screen that we bought in 2004. I rigged the antenna the same way as the Vizio on the first floor (with the amp) and using a 12' coaxial extension I put the antenna in the window facing south. I was only able to get 4 channels. They were poor quality. I would think that being on the second floor and in a south facing window would yield better results. Could it be the TV? What would you recommend? Do I need a digital converter or something to boost the TV's ability to catch the signals?

  • Another situation for you...

    I have a Sharp Aquos Smart TV set up in my basement that’s about a year old. I hooked up a Leaf 50 with an in line amp and placed it up in the ground level window. I was able to pick up several channels but not surprisingly none of them were watchable with a lot of pixelating, freezing and skipping. See my TV Fool report

    My next step is to install an antenna in the crawl space above my 1st floor for this basement TV. I want mention that I also have a line of 60-80’ trees running along the right-of-way behind my house. The tree canopy is about 20-30’ from where the antenna would be mounted. There is open sky above this position.

    Given the TV Fool report and the tree cover would the Leaf 50 be suitable for the attic mount or should I use the Sky 50 in this situation?

    • Having an antenna at the basement level will definitely impact signal reception. I would go on the roof or attic with a Mohu Sky 60.

  • Hello can you tell me what is the best and cheapest way to watch nfl football? I have Amazon fire box to far away for an OTA to work > 50 miles and I have PlayStation vue without the local channels.

  • Thanks for all great articles on your site. It convinced us to cut the Direct TV cord recently. I have a Tivo Roamio OTA on one TV and a Tivo mini on another TV. Can i connect my Roku to my Tivo Roamio to allow me to watch programs available on the Roku on any TV connected to the the Tivo Roamio network? Thanks again for all the great info

  • I LOVE YOUR SITE! For the first time ever, I actually feel like I have an understanding of the technology terms, devices and applications! I'm thrilled to expand my vocabulary beyond terms like CPU, 3G, zip drive, wifi, router, and cloud! Having a conversation involving these topics is no longer scary and I don't walk away saying to myself, "what the heck does that word mean, never heard of it, crap, I'm getting old!" Well, at least not as much as I use too, still don't know what a jelly bean is.

    Anyway, I'm linking a site I'd like your opinion on and if their offer for internet access would work for cutting the cable. One of my favorite blogs is the one about giving the gift of no cable for the holidays. I love it because you spell out exactly what to get and I need this. I trust your opinion and just want to know what exactly what devices/accessories/cords to buy for my situation and what to do with them. We have 2 TVs (under 4yrs old), a laptop and 2 smartphones (only really use the "smart" in 1, other is used old school with a text message sent occasionally). We definitely want an antenna for local channels, hopefully, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and CW. Also others like Discovery but including FOX and ESPN. Most important is live football, Seahawks and Patriots at the least. I understand that the choices for subscription services differ from person to person but would like your current opinion on what's the best overall value for what we watch.

    Thanks so much for sharing your time/knowledge to educate those of us who are a lil "tech challenged" and for doing it in a way we can pick up what you're putting down! It's much needed and appreciated!

    • Desiree,

      I can't comment either way on Calyx institute. I haven't tried them, sorry.

  • I am new to the Antenna dvr and antenna technology, so I am at a loss as to what is best for me,especially the ota dvrs. I just need a basic system without all of the streaming devices. one tv 2 to 4 channels recorded at once. I really do not want to go through the wi fi or internet for anything.
    I do want the guide that tells me the the channels I recorded and not just the time they were or are going to be recorded. I like a lot of storage. I have read through all of your best dvrs and would like a more educated guess on what would be good for me. Thanks

    • Most will require an internet connection for the guide info. If you don't care about that, then you can grab something like the budget one I mention in this article on OTA DVRs

  • Help! We are retired and trying to cut expenses but I am completely confused! Currently we pay almost $160 a month for Verizon FiOS triple play. But recently we were given Apple TV and use Hulu and Netflix. We purchased a Mohu Leaf 50 antenna and can bring in all the local channels. The most we have is two TVs, 1 iPhone 6S, a Samsung galaxy as well as MAC laptop on the Internet at the same time.
    My husband is disabled, and this is his wish list. To be able to watch the Red Sox games but most of them are blacked out for us ( we live a little north of Boston ) unless we use local cable companies to get NESN, he also watches the New England Patriots games, doesn't really care about college football. HBO and Showtime for certain series that he likes.
    He does not use a cell phone so we have to keep telephone service for 911 purposes and for him to make calls and I would like to keep the same phone number we have had for 40 years! There has to be a cheaper way to do this. Right now we are keeping FiOS just for the telephone service and NESN! Of course if we do not bundle everything together, the price goes way up so basic Internet will run us about $85 a month!
    These are the results of our speed test with FiOS 75/75 ping 13ms, download 58.4 Mbps, upload 60.3mbps. I am not Tech savy, but I am willing and able to learn!
    Thank you so much for any help you can give me!

  • If I cancel my cable, I also lose my internet. Comcast/Xfinity/AT&T will not
    sell internet alone, it must be combined with cable and/or phone. Any recommendation where to find high speed internet?

  • We live in an area of Michigan northeast of Detroit with all the local stations approximately 50-55 miles distance. We are in an area that requires us to either have internet via a jetpack or via a satellite dish. We currently have internet access using a jetpack and television through DirecTV which is what we want to drop. We have a Samsung Smart TV loaded with apps which we cannot use because our internet service is limited to 5g per month - not nearly enough to use hulu, netflix, etc. We are considering an OTA digital HD antenna added to our current antenna (analog) to draw in local channels. Because of limited internet usage, any ideas on what we might be able to do to use hulu, netflix, etc.

  • I've heard several people say that even they do not have "cable" or receive a signal through a cable company that if they have the "cable cord" screwed/plugged into their tv that they can still get most local affiliates (abc, nbc, cbs and fox) Can you please comment on your knowledge of that?
    Thanks

    • It really depends on the cable company. Since I don't have pay TV, it's difficult for me to comment.

  • This is a GREAT site! I've read a lot of comments and I don't see anything around the question that I have.

    I think I am going to get a omnidirectional outdoor antenna on my barn and hook it up to a Tablo DVR...then connect the Tablo DVR to our home network. I live in the city so my barn is about 20 feet from my house and router and the setup would be MUCH easier on the barn than on my house. The wifi connection in the barn is about 10 mbps and 75mbps in the house. I currently only stream with Hulu, Netflix, and Prime and I have a Roku on all of my tv's. So I could theoretically stream OTA channels into my Roku TV's in the house with the Tablo Roku app.

    What I want to be able to watch is college and NFL football on TV's in my house.

    Does anyone have any experience with this?

    My TV Fool report is here - http://www.tvfool.com/option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a4354b11df31

    Thanks Dennis and if you think this'll work please send me your affiliate links and I'll purchase my hardware through these.

    • Sorry, But I'm not seeing your report. As for the college football question. Do you know which networks the games you are interested in air on?

  • ? I had just signed up for Direct TV. I have a 2 yr contract. They said you have over 200 channels. Well,they did not tell me I would get 95% of them info commercials.I cannot watch the channels I used to watch,unless I pay more.I told them they worth a piece of S---. They said if you want to get out of it I would have to pay off the contract still and the end of the first yr it goes up more.I want to use a firestick but not sure I can and do you know anyway to get out ofDirect TV. I have told them I would not recommend them to anyone. PLEASE HELP!

    • The only way I know of getting out of a Pay TV contract is to pay the cancellation fee. As for cutting the cord, I recommend checking out this cord cutting guide.

  • Finding your site was a miracle! Though reading it is like learning a new language, as I am beyond tech ignorant! I will reread and reread, but in the meantime, would appreciate some help.
    I was given a Blu Ray player (what exactly is it?) and I'm now hooked up to watch Amazon Prime and Netflix on my Sony Bravia 2007 TV.
    Having had "my eyes opened", I want to 'cut the cord', and if possible have HBO, local news, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, and sports including tennis on this TV. My other two TVs are 13 inch wall mounted. Is it possible to have some TV on those.
    A million thanks for introducing me to the new world out there! I look forward with anticipation to hearing from you.

  • Hello, I am brand new to this and looking forward to cutting the cord. Are you able to tell me if I can use an indoor antenna for local channels since I live in an apartment building? I did a TV Fool report, would you be able to look at it and let me know what you think? Thanks in advance!
    Sara

  • I have a TV in the living room and my computer is located in the bedroom. At the present time, I subscribe to Time Warner which is now Spectrum.

    Your information stated I would need internet connection to use Roku. Can I use the cable cord attached to the TV for internet service? Not sure how all this works. I do have some cognitive issues due to an accident. Please reply as soon as possible. Spectrum continues to go up on their prices while giving us trash tv.

    • You can get rid of the bundle and just get internet service. I have a page on home internet service that covers this. Once you ditch the cable package you simply use the internet connection the way you do now. A streaming device will connect to your network and allow you to watch TV.

  • Ok, took your advise, installed a long distance HD outdoor antenna, bought and installed a Roku. I'm not thrilled with the antenna reception for local channels since I get alot of break up, but feel that may be an installation issue, not an antenna issue.

    The Samsung Smart TV is connected to my Centurylink internet account.

    When I try to open a ROKU channel like Nat Geo or BBC America, it prompts me for my tv/cable provider. What should I answer there?

    I also have to say, you must have the patience of Job, to respond to many of the inquiries you must get. As an oldster, I'm grateful that you have taken the time and effort to make this as simple as possible for us seniors. Thanks.

    • Hi Sandi. I don't mind the questions. If it helps people save money and not get raked over the coals then my time is worth it.
      As for the apps, you are likely installing the "TV Anywhere" apps. Those require a pay TV service. To watch those channels you will likely need a service like DirecTV Now or Sling TV. Those services carry a lot of pay TV channels.

  • Hi Dennis!
    We just "cut the chord" and I'm ok with using chromecast and a roku device. My husband on the other hand is having a hard time because we don't know how to get the current Fox News network channel (the one with Sean Hannity...) some of the packages like SlingTV say only in certain markets (we're not one of those markets) how do we get Fox News?? Thanks

  • I live in WV just 40 miles west of Pittsburgh, PA and unfortunately, we are in a "dead zone" when it comes to alternative internet suppliers. I seem to be stuck with Comcast (YUCK!!!!) for many reasons including the fact that the DSL supplier (Frontier) here is worse!!! I love your site and have researched a lot of the options you present. Could you maybe advise those of us who are in this type of area on how to make the most of our bad (Comcast) situation?

    • I'll try to put something together on making the most of a bad situation. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • I'm brand new to the idea of cord-cutting so I'm really happy to have found your site and the articles you've written and referred to have been great. I have a silly question. If I subscribe to one of the streaming services that includes live TV (such as Hulu with Live TV or DirectTV Now) do I need an antenna?

    • Thank you, Evelyn. You don't need an antenna to use the service. However, it's possible you live in an area where your streaming service doesn't offer all of your local network affiliates (ABC, NBC, etc.) If that is the case and you want those channels then you will want to get an antenna.

  • I live in Michigan. The regional sports network is fox sports Detroit. However, I'm from Minnesota and am most interested in content on fox north ( out of the twin cities) and big ten network. With dish I was able to purchase a package that has all the regional sports networks (i buy it but only want fan). There does not seem to be a way to get what I want by streaming. Any suggestions?

    I do have friends/family in the twin cities area that I could use as a billing address, but I am concerned that my IP address in Michigan may prevent this.

    Thanks

  • Do you explain how to cut the cord or reduce monthly costs if you have Tivo Roamio with Lifetime subscription?

    • Sure. You can you the Tivo to record broadcast TV from your antenna. That will give you local network channels. You can then supplement streaming services to augment content. I go into detail in my guide to cable tv alternatives.

      • Thank you. I just have to say I’m 70 years old and love my TiVo, but not as capable with all the options these days. I just want to save money if I can have what I want for less. Is there a way I can list the shows I watch and the channels and figure out how to see those? I’m finally giving up my landline as well. And not sure how much internet speed I need since there are cheaper packages if I know. Can you help me or direct me to step by step. Thank you so much.
        Barbara I

        • If you want to give me an idea of what you watch I may be able to make a suggestion.

          • How great of you. Its just very complicated to sort it all out.Good Luck with this.
            Let me just say, I pay $169 a month with comcast Triple Play.
            1,. I have a Tivo Roamio Plus : TCD848000. with Life time Subscription. and a cable card. And A Xfinty Modem that i RENT FROM THEM FOR $10. A MONTH. I think I can buy my own.?

            2. I want to watch the Network channels CBS, ABC, NBC for news and some live shows. DOes not have to be live.
            But I like Live CNN, and or MSNBC.
            3. I typically record everything and watch when i want.
            4. I want HBO,: Game of Thrones/ Showtime: Home, Billion, Ray Donovan/ and Statz: Outlander (this is the only show i watch on Starz) . If I could get all shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime, that would be great. I dont needs sports packages.
            5. I have Amazon Prime.
            6. I have Netflix.
            We have Comcast, Centuryt Link and something of Directv here.
            7. People have OTA antennas and get great pictures.I think its called Leaf.
            8. I have a land line, but wiling to give it up.

            9. I only use computers and devices for internet surfing and email. I rarely watch movies or tv shows on devices, and dont dont download a lot of files.
            I love in in zip code 80303: Boulder, CO

            many thanks
            Barbara

          • You should be able to eliminate cable and get an internet only plan. 25 Mbps should be enough. You can use a TV antenna for local stations. Check out this guide for choosing the best tv antenna. Showtime, HBO, and Starz all have streaming services. I recommend picking them up and then just cancelling when they aren't airing a show you want to watch live. To watch streaming services on your TV I recommend just getting a Roku streaming stick or Roku Express. Check my review of Roku for details. However, all these services also work in the browser so you can watch on your computer.

          • Eagerly awaiting answers to this. We're also on Comcast triple-play. On the TV side of that, all I really care about are PBS, HBO, CNN, MSNBC, National Geographic, and the programs available on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Wondering if there's any way I can stop cable and still have all that.

          • Thanks very much. For DirecTV Now do I need a satellite dish and subscription?

          • No dish, but you have to subscribe. Directv Now is streamed over an Internet connection.

          • Ambivalent. It's my phone number of record in lots of places (credit card cos, banks, online merchants, etc) as well as a bunch of friends. However I rarely answer it any more because it seems 90% are robo or sales calls. Got a call blocker but it can't keep up with them. I'm ready to ditch it if I can convince my wife, who still actually uses it.

          • I started giving cell out to everybody, espacially buibess do they can find ne. I’ll miss the clarity vs cell. Let’s see us Fisqus can figure something out.
            Do you like or need a DVR?

  • Maybe you could help give me a little advice. I'm spending $200 per
    month on a bundle including cable and internet from Wave Broadband. I
    also have a Tivo DVR and remote Tivo device that I rent from them
    included in that cost. Looking to hopefully cut the costs but not cut
    out everything we watch.

    Our most often used channels are CNN,
    USA, Science, Food Network, Cooking, BBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, Tru TV,
    History, Travel, FOX, ESPN, ESPN2, NFL, FS1, Discovery, and SyFy. Might
    be a few other channels we use and we'd like HBO for the final season of
    Game of Thrones and other stuff, but it's not a necessity. From what it
    looks like, we'd be best off getting Sling AND Playstation Vue, but
    maybe you can give my wife and I some ideas. We do have a PS4, we'd just
    need to also find a reasonably priced but still good DVR.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    • I wouldn't pick up 2 live services. That would get expensive. I would suggest trying a couple out through the trial offers and sticking with the one you like best. Depending on where you live, you may even get your local channels. Also many services offer Cloud DVRs, so you should be covered there as well.

  • Just want to thank you for giving me the information and courage to cut the cable. I did it and haven’t looked back! Thank you so much! I may have to upgrade my antenna (currently a Leaf 50 mi.) but I am very satisfied as an internet customer only. All thanks to you!!!

  • My local cable company, which I'm currently paying, is making their HD boxes a requirement to view any of their channels. They are graciously giving them out rent free for the first year. Is this going to impact any of the advice you have given, in particular, the antenna for local channels? I am just now looking for information to cut the cord. How is viewing on multiple TV's possible with some of the alternatives? Thank you for your time!

  • Beware of Sling! I was trying to set up favorites and somehow they put a fight pay per view on my service. When I called them 2 days ahead of the fight and right after they told me I ordered it, they refused to reverse the charge. Their customer service people were absolutely "It says on page 6 we cannot do this." When I asked to talk to a supervisor, the person handed me off to some other clunk who didn't have any authority or knowledge. Now I'm stuck with a bill for $28.08 to watch some knucklehead beat another one up. Not my kind of programming, to be sure. I have protested this with my credit card company, but .....Save yourself this grief! You tube tv is much better and has espn and msnbc together and unlimited cloud storage

    • Very typical experience I see from Sling users. They are very shady towards their customers.

  • i live in an apartment complex all that is avalible to me is Comcast how do i cut the cord to save money on my t.v. watching?

      • Boost mobile is now offering xfinity wifi 45$ a month no contract pay as u go

      • Dennis/Sandy, I'm not sure if this is a new practice or not...but if Sandy is an existing Comcast subscriber, they will not give her the deals listed if you follow the link. Those deals are only to attract NEW Comcast customers. Horrible, I know, but they will not budge on this. How do you become a non-comcast subscriber? Unsubscribe for 90 days.

          • Goes by customer name AND service location. If they find out that you just switched the service from one person's name to another person's name and are still the same people that lived there with old service, then you can get in trouble with them and they will end your service. I argued on the phone with them for 2+ hours about it because I wanted the deal they advertised to me.. That deal is for NEW customers only, then why did you advertise it to me KNOWING I was a current customer. Can we just end out service and put it in my wife's name and become new customers? NO SIR, IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY AND DOING IT THAT WAY IS FRAUD! That was the workers response.

          • It's not fraud if you roommate is legitimately paying for the service. It may be their policy not to do so. In the past I didn't ask. I would just cancel and have my roommate order service. I'd rather ask for forgiveness instead of permission.

    • Mainly because you have two channels in the VHF band and the 2V does a decent job of picking those up while still picking up UHF channels.

  • Thank you, Dennis❗️ I trust your knowledge in this stuff, as I’m preparing to cord-cut...

  • There is ZERO point in cutting the cord and the bill if you are going to turn around and spend $70 on average for Hulu/Netflix/Live Streaming.

    The only reason to cut the cord is to cut the bill. Most people have Amazon Prime already so you have the tons of content available there and then sub to Hulu for $12/mo which included no commercials. Netflix doesn't come close to the TV options on Hulu and they have the quality movies that Hulu does like the entire Criterion Collection, etc. Then spend $50 on an OTA antennae and enjoy saving that $1000 a year.

    • We pay $33 a month for Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime which includes Amazon Video. The local most basic cable package is $40 a month for ONE TV. You can bundle phone, internet, and cable tv together, but it runs around $115 a month. Our OTA antenna paid for itself in 3 months by cutting the cable TV cord. Plus you can just do slingTV for like $25 a month and get A LOT of content. Point is this, there are A LOT of options now and cable companies are refusing to lower their prices to compete. The supply of options has gone up and their demand has remained stagnant, so they should lower their price to complete, but they aren't.

    • I completely agree. In my main guide I recommend just sticking with the On-Demand service you like (Prime, Netflix, Hulu) Most people have one of those already. For shows you must watch on cable, just buy the current season. I find most people only have a couple of must watch shows. That would cost them maybe $75-$100 a year. Combined with OTA you can easily save $1000.

    • For HD 10 Mbps per simultaneous stream is more than enough. For example if you are streaming to 2 TVs and someone else is watching a movie on an iPad, I would recommend around 30 Mbps. There is a lot of padding in that estimate as an HD stream typically takes about 5-7 Mbps.

  • Hey Dennis, not sure where exactly to ask this question at, so why not here... Okay, with respect to OTA antenna signals.... OTA antennas need to be grounded and if going to more than one TV, will require a splitter. Then you may choose to install a coax cable wire outlet box in your wall. And you may also require a pre-amp or amplified splitter. Plus a good RG6 coax cable wire will require distance to go from antenna to splittler and to TV.. All of those items create attenuation or signal loss, correct? So, lets say you have 40' of RG6 cable(~2.2dB) from point A to pint B and within that distance, you have a winegard LNA-200 pre-amp(~-1dB) and a TII 212 lightning arrester/ground block(-?dB) and an extreme BDS102H 2 way splitter(-3.5MHz per line) and then the coax wall plate box(-.5/-1dB) and then to the back of the TV...so maybe around -7.5dB loss from that set up.... BUT, what about the connections that go in to the pre-amp, lightning arrester, splitter, wall plate box, and back of the tv? Do those connections not also create attenuation? So, for example, on the 2 way splitter. The splitter itself causes -3.5dB per port, but does the cable wire connection coming into the splitter add -.5dB to that and then the cable wire connection leaving the splitter add another -.5dB, causing it to have -4.5dB total? Or is the coax connections coming in and going out of the splitter factored in to the -3.5dB loss figure? I'm trying to calculate total signal loss and have read that anywhere there is a connection/joining that a -.5dB attenuation is created. Should I factor in the coax screwing into the back of the TV and the coax screwing into to any other part in addition to what the part states that it will create? Looking back over this, it looks like a mess. I hope it makes sense.

    • The -3.5 attenuation accounts for the .5 connection on each side. Typically a loss number will account for the connection. The only time you need to subtract is when you join a cable. At lease, that is how I learned to do it.

  • Cutting the cord with Comcast Tomorrow. My bill without any premium channels is $231 per month with download internet speeds coming in at about 30Mbps. Going with Metronet (highly recommended) 1GB speed (streaming TV) and my new bill is about $75 per month. I think I can afford $10 - $20 per month for a channel or two. GOOD BYE Comblast!

    • Because it allows me to write more guides on how not to buy TV from Spectrum

      • That makes sense to me. Thanks so much for getting back to me! I was really surprised because the "cord cutter" never responded to any questions I sent them.
        Now that I know I can get a response, I have another question regarding TV service for my motorhome. I want to cancel both of my Spectrum residential accounts and replace them with a service I could also usein our motorhome when we go to Florida in the winter. A Spectrum rep that I could hardley understand told me I would be able to get the same channels that I get at home in my RV using my Verison jetpack wifi.
        Well I can't! I searched and found out that Dish TV has a "pay as you go" service for RV'ers and that would be perfect. I would then also ge the Dish TV for the main residence and our summer cottage. Do you have any comments on going this direction, or other ideas?
        Thank you SOOO much!
        Bob

        • Hi Robert, I'm not an RV'er so it's a bit out of my wheelhouse. I do know that if you go with satellite solution you likely won't have broadcast networks outside your home area. I would suggest having an antenna for broadcasts network and a satellite for pay channels. I don't know of an internet solution for RVs capable of reliable streaming. That's mainly due to the monthly data cap that comes with mobile data solutions.

  • Looking at the TiVo Roamio and the Clearstream 2V. One final question before I pull the trigger. Will I be able to record 4 programs at once using the single antenna?

    • With a 4 tuner you can, but you won't be able to watch live. So it's 3 shows and A live viewing. One for each tuner.

  • I tried the Clearstream antenna, $85, in Conyers, Ga, and it pulled in only a few channels. I bought the Mohu, 65-mile range antenna, and it pulled twice as many channels and works very well. I do know that everyone’s location is different- trees, buildings, hills...

  • I've never been one to pay for Cable Television. I have a cell phone, because I always have a cell phone and I find no need to have a home phone. Additionally, using an Antenna gets me enough shows on top of my netflix subscription that I don't feel the need to also purchase cable. The fact is that if I'm going to pay for a service on a monthly basis I should not also be subjected to commercials. You're either a paid premium service, or you're a service who's income is generated by your advertisement slots. I refuse to pay for anything if it includes advertisements. I might be willing to pay for content for the television from cable companies if they were providing me completely commercial free content, but that isn't the case.

    Spectrum in my area would like me to pay $60 a month for their service to get 125 channels, a large portion of which are OTA channels. They quote it as including "Free" HD. Then you also have to wait for someone to "install" it, then pay for the box monthly to receive their service. Additionally, there are taxes and fees involved that they fail to mention included with their $60 charge. When everything is said and done you're paying almost $100 a month for a single TV to have television which is highly overrun with commercial content. Let's add on to that with the famous * at the end of the price, which donates a "promotional" price, which lasts for some undetermined amount of time. When that promotional price expires they apparently reserve the right to charge the "normal" cost. Which will often times leaving you paying $140-$150 a month for those commercials. Or I can pay Netflix and watch what they have when I want without the hassel of commercials. I can use my antenna if I want to watch commercials. Alternately, there's the smart TV Options which allow you to view shows on things like Crackel, which also have commercials but provide a very large library of content which is provided at the expense of watching commercials.

    Largely the bottom line is that by paying for cable television you're throwing away $1000 a year out the window. While this assumption is undoubtedly inaccurate, let's assume that the population on a single city exclusively receives their television service from a single provider. In 2016 the population of my city was approximately 12,594. So one can deduce that the cable company received $12,594,000 from this city alone. This is of course assuming that each of these households were only receiving television services and were paying on average only $83.33 a month. But we all know that they were actually paying more than that because large amounts of households are setup for use in more than a single room. Which does in fact increase their bill.

    Take a look at the income of the big business that sells you a service flooded with advertisements.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=Spectrum+net+income&rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS763US763&oq=Spectrum+net+income+&aqs=chrome..69i57.5131j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    Spectrum: 9.9 Billion dollars. Comcast: 22.71 Billion dollars.

    In the mean time you have companies like netflix with net income of 559 million USD. Still providing a service commercial free at astonishingly low prices. Mind you netflix only provides you streaming content and they do not provide other services such as internet or telephone services. Naturally their income would be significantly lower.

    The point stands, big cable companies want your money, not your friendship. They will charge whatever they want and people will continue pay whatever they say. Until they don't. It's your choice to cut the cord and show them that we are tired of it.

  • Hey Dennis, just wanted to say, years ago, I was lured into a $50 a month package by DirecTV, and fast forward a few years, I found myself somehow paying $170ish. After listening to your podcast, I finally cut the 'cord' last year and got an antenna. Then I went back to DirecTV Now (around bowl season) for $35 a month + HBO is only 5 bucks extra. Thank you!
    PS - I miss the podcast, we need you guys now more than ever! Not sure if you've seen, but news of the tactics of Sinclair broadcasting is a hot topic now, a story that you guys were talking about in November!

    • I know. I guess you can be too early with the news. I'll talk to Joel and see how schedules are looking. While we have paused it indefinitely, we are planning on getting together every now and again.

  • Hi Dennis, thank you for this article, I learned so much! I have a question about VPNs. I was looking into IPVanish and notice it says you can connect it to your wireless router. My question is, if you connect it to the router, does that then make every device linked to that wifi router protected? Thank you for your help!

    • It does. However, the router set up can be complicated. It also limits your speed as it has to decrypt the data at the router. Some of the best consumer grade routers will top out around 100 Mbps.

  • Hi Dennis, Today I ordered the Fios local TV $54.99 special through your website. I also got the DVR and some other kind of top box for $18. extra. My questions are how do I stream Netflix, Hulu, Amazon prime. I already have Hulu and Amazon accounts. Do I stream them through their apps? Also, is the Fios DVR and other top box necessary for this package? As you can tell, Im not at all tech savvy, but new I had to break up with my $200+ a month optimum service. Sorry if these questions sound silly, but I very much appreciate what you do, and hope to hear back from you. Thanks.

    • Those apps are on most smart TVs. If you don't have them you can pick up something like a Fire Stick. It plugs into your TV and provides access to thousands of streaming apps, including the ones you mention.

  • Thanks for this information. I have to read up some more before I make my decision. I am paying $167.00 per mo + tax to Comcast for Wireless internet and TV which they call a 'bundle' by offering a land phone connection I never use because I don't have a land phone and will never need one. But out of the 800+channels in the 'bundle' I probably watch no more than 6.

    I want to reduce my bill to $75 or $100 but was told by Comcast today that they can only reduce my bill to $136+ tax by cutting out Tennis and slowing down my internet speed to 2.5. This is outrageous. I went to Best Buy and they said I have to buy a stick to stream services but would have to keep the Wireless as anything I switch to would have to have the internet connection. I am not sure what to do next. I just need the regular local Live TV news channels and stream all the rest to watch later which is what I do anyway-I save programs and watch them at my leisure fast-forwarding through those annoying commercials. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Roku, Apple TV, Hulu?

  • Hi Dennis,

    The more I read, the more confused I am... I am about to move into my new house in a couple of weeks and I really don't want cable. I am not very computer savvy when it comes to the latest greatest stuff. My son told me that all I have to do is buy an Amazon Fire stick (which is supposedly going to turn my nonSMART TV into a SMART TV magically. (I have no idea if this will happen or not). Then he suggests that I subscribe to Hulu and pay the extra for no commercials. I know I have to have internet installed in my home, too. My question is, will this work?? I don't really want to mess with antennas and such if I don't have to.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Yes it will. However, depending on what you want to watch you may want to experiment with various live TV streaming services. They all offer 1 week free trials so there is no risk if you just cancel the ones you don't want.