Have you considered ditching your cable box or your satellite dish? With the availability of quality content from newer subscription services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, it’s no wonder why the pay-TV industry saw more cord-cutters than ever before in 2018. According to Leichtman Research, top pay-TV providers lost 2.9 million customers last year, while subscription services had an all-time high of 277 million subscribers combined, according to The Motley Fool.
If you’re considering cutting the cord to save money, there are a lot of ways you can still enjoy the shows you love, from traditional television channels to cable and satellite programming. In this guide to cord-cutting, we’ll show you how you can access your local television stations for a fraction of the cost, as well as introduce you to live streaming services that may cut down your cable or satellite bill.
THE BEST INDOOR ANTENNAS
Believe it or not, the majority of Americans still rely on local television stations for news, weather, and content. If you’re considering cutting the cord, you may be concerned about how you will get access to your local television stations, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS.
But have no fear, indoor television antennas have come a long way. No longer do you have to endure looking at a tangle of metal that has to be moved based on the channel you’re watching. And, even better, since the transition to digital television, many local television stations offer access to sub-channels that provide you with additional content at no charge, with many featuring classic TV shows and movies.
Many modern antennas are as flat as a piece of paper and can pick up signals from TV towers as far as 60 miles away.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
When placing your antenna, it’s important to put it near a window or to elevate it as high as possible in the room to get the best signal. In addition, it can be challenging to get a good signal during adverse weather conditions, like heavy rain or wind. If you live near an airport (even a small, local airport), expect signal disruptions as planes come and go.
HOW TO CUT CABLE OR SATELLITE
Many of us have adopted Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime as a part of our everyday lives. But how can you step away from your cable or satellite service without missing an episode of American Horror Story or the Real Housewives? Several streaming services have emerged in the last few years that allow you to livestream, or in some cases, even DVR your favorite cable and satellite channels.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Streaming services provide you with a lot of content and a high-quality picture if you have a strong internet connection, but the first step in finding the right fit is determining which channels are a must for your household. Most providers have additional tiers or packages available that can create a suite of channels that will meet your needs. That said, it’s important to compare the final price of your streaming service (or services) against your current cable or satellite bill. Also, remember that you may currently have a bundle with internet, television, and phone, so contact your provider to understand what impact “unbundling” would have on the price you pay, as the bundle may still be a better deal than adding together the cost of streaming and live streaming services.