How To Still Save Money Cutting Cable
Live TV Services are costly. I understand the convenience of an all-in-one replacement for streaming cable TV and local network channels, but that isnt going to save you much money. To really save money cutting the cord, you need to revisit some of the things cord-cutters did before live streaming services. In 2013 my family saved well over $1000 on cable by doing the following.
The Digital Antenna And How To Record On It
It’s still possible to pick up most major channels using a high-definition digital antenna. If the biggest thing holding you back from taking the leap is that you just can’t wait an extra second to watch that television show, a good digital antenna will do the trick.
Digital antennae also offer good solutions for recording live television. The TiVo Edge includes the ability to record from an antenna, but you still need to pay TiVo’s $15 a month subscription. Tablo offers a cheaper solution, but it is still $5 a month. Last, there is Channel Master, which doesn’t have a monthly subscription.
Is Cutting The Cord Worth It For Sports Programming
In most cases, its going to be a coin toss between cutting the cord and keeping your cable when it comes to sports programming. Thats because the most-expensive option, AT& T TV, is $84.99/month, which may be comparable to the cable portion of your bill currently. Unlike most streaming services, you will pay additional taxes on top of the $84.99/month with AT& T TV.
Youll also want to be careful that youre not signing a contract. Contract deals with AT& T TV tend to be cheaper the first year, but then jump up in price the second. Its better over the long-haul to pay a slightly higher price month-to-month and be able to cancel the service at-will.
AT& T TV is expensive, but it also provides the most access to content both at the local and out-of-market levels. Those who are only concerned with basketball, baseball and/or hockey can save $20/month by going with fuboTV, assuming theres good access to local sports stations in your region.
If you have good local coverage in your market via FuboTV, it might end up being less expensive than your cable package especially since FuboTV doesnt come with any hidden fees on top of the monthly subscription charge.
With either platform, youre likely to find yourself with enough coverage that you dont need to pay for additional streaming services for out-of-network games.
Even if ESPN+ is one heck of a deal.
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What To Know If You’re Thinking Of Dumping Cable And Getting A Streaming Service
These days, more of us are considering cutting the pay TV cord and getting rid of cable. It’s a very appealing option, considering how expensive pay TV is getting to be and all the new streaming services being offered these days.
However, not everyone will be happy dumping their cable or satellite TV package. The decision can be more complicated than it seems at first.
Let’s look at the case for cord-cutting first. The biggest argument on this side of the ledger is the rising price of cable. The average pay-TV bill is now nearly $110 a month, according to Bruce Leichtman, principal at Leichtman Research Group. And prices seem to rise every year. The high prices helped drive 6 million subscribers to drop pay TV last year, in the industry’s largest decline ever, according to Wall Street analyst firm MoffettNathanson.
So why the note of caution? For one thing, over the past 12 to 18 months streaming services have been raising their prices, too. They’re still cheaper than cable, but the savings might not be as large as you expect.
And while “cord-cutting” has become a popular term, chances are you wont really be cutting ties with your TV providerthat same company may provide your internet connection and phone service. That makes pricing complicated to untangle.
How Can I Still Watch Sports
In the past, one of the main reasons why we disliked cutting the cord was because more and more sports are broadcast on ESPN. My husband was really mad the first year the championship college bowl games were broadcast exclusively on ESPN and we had to miss them! However, there’s a great option to get ESPN – Sling TV
It’s a bit pricey at $30 per month, but it’s a lot cheaper than paying for cable each month. It also comes with HGTV, TBS, TNT , Food Network, History Channel, and more. There’s no contract, so you can cancel it at any time . You can also use your Sling TV account to log into the WatchESPN app to get even more games.
Don’t forget, if you don’t want to get Sling TV, you can still watch sports on network TV stations using an antenna. There are plenty of sports broadcast there – like the Super Bowl, much of March Madness, and the Olympics, although more and more they are moving to paid TV networks.
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Set A Streaming TV Budget
Setting a streaming TV budget is the third step to cutting the cable TV cord.
After youve determined the cost of an internet-only plan, you can subtract that amount from your current cable TV and internet bundle.
That will help you figure out the potential monthly savings from switching to streaming.
Example: $150 Cable & Internet Bundle $60 Quoted Price for Internet Service = $90 Left for Streaming
Some live TV streaming services advertise that theyre about half the price of cable, but it varies.
The more expensive streaming plans offer well-rounded channel lineups that include local broadcast TV, the most popular sports networks and major cable news channels.
Ill share my favorite live TV streaming service for beginners later in this guide.
Putting It All Together
So there you have it, folks: that’s how to watch TV without cable. Canceling cable is the easy part, but replacing your content doesn’t have to be so hard! Let’s recap:
You’ll replace your content:
- Streaming video on demand services like Netflix will give you movies and previously aired episodes of TV shows
- Live TV streaming services or skinny bundles like Sling TV will give you live network television channels like ESPN
- Free over-the-air TV will give you live broadcast television channels like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and PBS
Then you’ll put that content on your TV:
- You can simply plug your antenna into your TV
- You can put your streaming services on your TV with a streaming device: choose a platform and a device , and get streaming!
That’s all there is to it, but as you can tell from the length of this article there’s plenty to explain, discuss, and debate about watching TV without cable. So keep up with us on social media and right here on Cordcutting.com. Streaming and free over-the-air TV are what we’re all about, and we’ll never get tired of covering them or of helping you.
Why Stream TV? Cordcutter
Thank, indeed! I havent read it yet, but Ive downloaded it to my Pocket so I can have a quiet read after the telephone stops ringing.
How do you find internet at reasonable price point that works well for these bundles as most providers want you to bundle internet with TV or mobile devices?
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What If I Still Want To Watch Paid TV Channels
In the last couple of years, there have been lots of additional streaming services added – like AT& T TV Now , YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, and FuboTV, There are so many options at different price points.
I would decide which TV stations are an absolute “must” with your family and then check out each streaming service to see which one has the best price point for the channels that are “must haves”.
We are actually going to go with Spectrum TV Choice, which is 10 channels for $24.99 per month. From what I understand, it’s not available in all markets yet, and you have to have Spectrum Internet with no current TV service in order to qualify for it. We used DirecTV Now for several months during football/basketball season and the Olympics, and it worked great for us.
Why Streaming Services Keep Raising Prices
When YouTube TV launched just over 3 years ago, the monthly price was only $35 per month. Hulu + Live TV launched just a few months later for $40 per month. With the cost of streaming almost doubling since then, these services cost-saving benefits are harder to justify. The reason the cost of live TV streaming services has skyrocketed is the same reason cable TV prices are so high. The network owners force TV providers to license channels in bundles. For example, if a streaming service wants to provide the Disney-owned ESPN in a channel package, they just cant license it from Disney on its own. They have to license the entire Disney bundle.
They have to take the entire ESPN brand along with Disney Channel, FX, National Geographic, and all the other networks Disney owns. According to research by SNL Kagan, the cost to companies like Hulu Live TV and YouTubeTV to offer the Disney bundle is estimated to be nearly $16 per subscriber per month.
For streaming services, 100% of this expense affects their bottom line, and they would have to pass that cost on to the consumer to be profitable. Furthermore, streaming services dont distribute TV networks for their enjoyment. They would likely pass the cost plus a profit margin markup along to consumers sending the monthly price of their most affordable streaming plan above $60 per month.
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How Much Money Are We Saving By Cutting Cable TV
Like many people, when we had cable, we werent watching enough TV enough to get our moneys worth. So, that money was just being wasted on cheap cable tv. It was actually rare for us to watch something that wasnt on a local channel or Netflix. This was the main reason for why we decided to cut the cord and learn how to watch TV without cable or satellite, and I cant imagine that we will ever pay for cable again.
The other thing about paying for cable and streaming cable is that our cable company seemed to have a $10 to $20 increase multiple times throughout the year thats just insane! I used to have to talk to our cable company once every six months so that I could negotiate our cable bill down. If we would have never negotiated, Im sure our monthly cable bill would have been well over $100 and near the $200 range.
Now that we have cut the cord and only have Netflix, we are saving over $1,200 per year.
All we pay for now is $12.99 to Netflix each month, and we often turn that off when we feel like theres nothing good to watch .
I cant believe we ever paid that much for TV when there are so many cable TV alternatives.
What Is The Best Alternative To Cable How Do I Get Rid Of Cable And Still Watch TV
The best alternative to cable TV will depend on what you like to watch best. For us, we simply like having Netflix when there is something on there that we like to watch.
Well also occasionally pay for Philo and Starz as well.
Theres no right or wrong answer simply choose what has the shows and movies that you want to watch.
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Streaming Services: Choose Your Path
When figuring out which streaming services you need to have before you can cut the cord, there are two potential paths you can go down.
One involves keeping most or all of the channels you currently watch with cable. For that, youll need a live TV streaming service such as Sling TV, AT& T TV Now, YouTube TV, or Hulu + Live TV. These services essentially replicate the cable bundle by offering dozens of live channels, along with familiar features like DVR and a channel guide. Depending on where you live, you might be able to watch most or all of your local broadcast channels as well. You wont maximize your savings with these services, most of which cost $50 to $60 per month, but you wont need to make many sacrifices either.
Jared Newman / TechHive
Live TV streaming services such as AT& T TV Now allow you to watch cable channels over the internet.
The other path involves cobbling together your own TV plan through on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, free video sources like Pluto TV, and perhaps an over-the-air antenna. Going this route means giving up traditional cable channels like ESPN, regional sports networks, and CNN entirely, but it can save you a lot more money.
What Is Cord Cutting Your Ultimate Guide To Get Rid Of Cable Or Satellite
Are you ready to get rid of the cable or satellite subscription and get your content over the Internet? Here is a look at the devices and services youll want to consider before cutting the cord.
As a cord-cutter, you can use evolving technologies to get your fix of live television as well as on-demand movies and TV shows. You cancel your traditional cable or satellite subscription get rid of the cable box and use online sources for your entertainment needs. If you are thinking of cutting the cord, here is a look at the plethora of services and devices available to get your fix of entertainment without a cable or satellite contract.
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Web TV The Final Piece Of The Puzzle
Perhaps the biggest enabler for those aiming to quit cable for good without giving up live TV is the growing list of live TV streaming services available, all of which come with free trial periods and no contracts. There are several to choose from, each with its own advantages . Weve got a detailed comparison piece, The best live TV streaming services: Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and more, that breaks down each of these services in finer detail, but below is a general overview.
Be Frugal With Streaming Subscriptions
There are many streaming services to choose from these days. . Subscribing to every service offering something you want to watch will not save you money. That is unless you drop the service as soon as you finished watching the show. Streaming services dont lock you into long term contracts, so you can cancel any time you like. To save money, I recommend carrying 1 or 2 subscriptions long term that offer a lot of content and then cycling other services based on your budget.
For example, lets assume Im an Amazon Prime member. I could use Amazon Prime as the service I want to watch long term. But, I have a bunch of other shows I like on Disney+, HBO, and Showtime. If my budget only allows for an Amazon Prime subscription and one other service, I would pick up HBO one month to watch my favorite HBO shows. The following month, I would drop HBO and pick up Showtime. Ill watch Showtime until Im out of content, then cut it and pick up Disney+ the following month. This method lets you watch all your favorite, from any service you like, while saving as much as you like.
Best Value On Demand
Here are some of the On-Demand Streaming services that offer good value.
Netflix: I would be remiss if I didnt mention the service most people already have, even if they havent cut the cord yet. There is a mountain of TV shows and movies available on the service, which starts at just $8.99 per month.
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Basics For Setting Up Your Hardware
First, you will need a box or some way to watch apps. This is the streaming device to receive the programming you choose. You dont need a box for every TV you own, depending on the services you choose.
Depending on whether you have a Smart TV , you might not need anything to watch your shows. For example, Samsung TVs have Netflix and Amazon built in.
Dont be alarmed setting up hardware does not mean you need big clunky device, it can be as small as a thumb drive, like the Roku, which is compact and sleek. You must be sure that your content will work on the box of your choice.
How To Choose A Streaming Device
The big three streaming devices Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast are the best entry points for first-time cord cutters. Theyre inexpensive and easy to use.
When my retired, non-tech savvy parents finally decided to ditch cable, I bought them a Roku Ultra and a reconditioned Verizon Fios router. Buying them the router from eBay allowed them to stop paying the monthly rental fee to Verizon. I also helped them keep their landline phone number that theyve had since the Nixon administration by .
I went with the Roku Ultra for two reasons. The option to use an Ethernet cord instead of WiFi would greatly reduce the possibility of their TV picture buffering. Rokus menu remains intuitive and basic. I was surprised how quickly they took to it. A short time later, my aunt and uncle asked for the same setup. I had to dump their Internet provider that they had for more than a decade because they wouldnt budge on price, but thats another story.
I dont have a runaway recommendation for a streaming device. I own just about every brand thats currently on the market. There is a 4K Roku TV in my living room, and a Fire TV Stick downstairs on an old Samsung 1080p TV in my daughters playroom. These setups change over time as I continue testing and reviewing equipment.
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