You’ve decided to Cut the Cord. Congratulations!
You can expect to save some big money by dropping cable TV service from your monthly cost. But with all of the different options for watching content (SlingTV, YoutubeTV, Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, Antenna, DVR and seemingly 1000 other options), it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do next.
That’s why we’re here!
It may seem like you have a thousand choices, but in reality, we can boil it down to two. (Two is better than a thousand, right?)
Those two options are streaming or OTA.
First, let me describe what these two options mean:
- Streaming refers to connecting to a service over the internet to watch programming.
- OTA (over the air) is using an antenna to receive TV signals broadcast through the atmosphere.
Of course, there are a myriad of possibilities within these two options, but if you start with just these two, you can really narrow down the list.
How do you decide which option to consider? First, follow the steps in my last post, “Cut the Cord in 3 steps.” If you do, you will end up with a nice list of your favorite programs. Examine your list and note the channels on which those programs air.
If the majority of your shown are on the major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX) go with OTA.
If the majority are on cable networks (TLC, CNN, A&E, etc.), go with streaming.
What might happen, though, is 95% of what you watch is on broadcast television, but your favorite show, the one you can’t live without, is on A&E. The beauty of cord cutting is you can pick and choose: Set up an antenna, then find the cheapest service that has your A&E show. It might be Netflix. It might be Hulu. Either way, you can supplement your main service with a few online options.
The same goes if you select a streaming service. It’s possible the service you want won’t have one of the major networks. But that’s not a problem! Just add an antenna to your TV and watch what you want to watch!
If you decide to go OTA, you will need to purchase an antenna, install it and maybe aim it. I’ll go through that process in a future post. You might also want to purchase a DVR which will allow you to record everything off the antenna and watch it at your leisure.
Also, it’s important to note that you might live in an area that has weak reception. If that’s the case, streaming is your only alternative to cable TV.
What can you expect to save with these options?
The OTA cord cutting setup is the cheapest option in the long run, but has higher up front costs. For example, an antenna is around $40 and a DVR is around $400. However, your monthly cost for this setup is $0. Therefore, it pays for itself in as little as 4 months, after which you’re saving significantly vs cable TV. (Of course, without the DVR, your savings start in month one!)
If you decide to go the streaming route. The options are much more complicated, but can be simplified by using a website like suppose.tv, which compares all the different online services. Just put in the channels you want and it’ll give you the best streaming option.
Streaming is more expensive in the long run, but cheaper up front. For example, you can buy a streaming stick, such as a Roku for $30. But the monthly bill is around $40. Still significantly cheaper than cable, but over time becomes more expensive than free OTA with a DVR.
In the end, whichever choice you make will save you money over cable TV and you can still watch what you want to watch.
That’s a win-win in my book!
And as always: We’re available to help you with this process.