Shifting Gears

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Cutting The Cord With Cable

For years our household was paying an average of $250/month for our cable “package”. That package included internet, a phone line and of course, cable. Our cable package contained more channels than we would ever need or watch, but we had to get the more expensive package to get the channels we really watched. With the trend of “cutting the cable” gaining popularity – and a close friend making the switch, I decided to do the research to find out what is needed to make the change. In this post, I’ll try to simplify what you need to consider and hopefully provide some guidance if you are considering making the switch as well.

 

Live TV App

There are lots of streaming apps out there, but some offer live standard TV channels such as ABC, CBS, NBC as well as HGTV, the History Channel, USA, NFL and more. In most cases, you can also upgrade these subscriptions or individually download premier channels such as HBO and Showtime. Each Live TV App carries a channel lineup that is unique to them. While most carry the popular channels, it all depends on what you are looking for. So, be sure to check out the Channel Lineup info in the next segment.

How To Sign Up: Simply go to their website to sign up for their services. Most are month to month with no contract. (yay!)

Popular Live TV Apps: Hulu Live TV, Youtube TV, Direct TV Now, Sling TV, Fubo TV
Avg. Cost: $25 – $40/month
Shopping Tip: Some monthly fees include multiple devices in the home, some charge for additional devices so be sure to check the service details.

My Personal Choice:
Hulu with Live TVThey have our local channels as well as most of the channels we were looking for such as HGTV, The History Channel and A&E. We then added on Showtime for just $9/month without a contract.


The Channel Lineup

For us, the biggest thing was figuring out what is most important to watch. ie: Hulu does not carry the MLB sports channel, but it does have the Golf channel and because the Red Sox are so important to a friend of mine – she got YouTube TV as they carry MLB.    We also wanted to get local channels, so we made sure that was included. So, do your due diligence with what you want to watch. 

Channel Lineup Listing:  https://thestreamable.com/guides/live-tv-streaming/channels


An Internet Connection

When you decide to cut the cord with cable, you’ll still need an internet connection. Shop around for the most sensible package in your area. Most packages are more than enough to have multiple televisions streaming live channels and shows.

Avg. Cost: $60/month varies on location and bandwidth


 A Streaming Device (or a Smart TV)

Finally, you will need a way to view your new Live TV service on your television. If you have a “smart” television check the included installed apps as you might already have what you need to get started with Live TV.  A separate streaming device allows you to download and sign into the Live TV service of your choice on a television that is not already “app enabled”. It might feel a bit tedious to initially set up this device and log in, but once you’re set up you’ll be good to go. If you are setting up multiple TVs in the house like we did you’ll be able to use the same account to log in and continue watching programs and access your favorite saved programs from each TV.

The streaming device has the capability to download more than just live TV.  It connects to your television via the HDMI port. Depending on the accessibility to the back of your tv you can also purchase a longer HDMI cable. In our case, we have one television that is wall mounted and the outlet was near the floor. We ran a longer HDMI cable through the wall so our Amazon Fire TV would be closer to the power source.

Popular Streaming Devices: Google Chromecast, Roku (link below), Apple TV or a Smart Television (product link below).
Some smart televisions now come pre-loaded with some of the apps that will allow you to stream your favorite channels.
Avg. Cost: $35 – $199 one time fee
Shopping Tip: Not all streaming devices are compatible with all Live TV apps. Be sure to first decide what channels are important to you then research each Live TV app to see which ones are included in their lineup.

My Personal Choice:
Amazon Fire TV: They have various models available, we chose the Fire TV Stick 4K with the Alexa voice control. (link below)

“Not all who wander are lost.”

– j. r. r. tolkien