Cord Cutting 101
Ditch Cable and Start Streaming
Cable subscriptions can be expensive but you don't have to break the bank to watch your favorite TV shows and movies.
In this guide, I'll walk you through what you need ditch that extra cable bill, while saving money and be entertained in more places.
What you'll need to cut the cord
High Speed Internet Connection
Compatible Streaming Device
- Streaming Service Subscription
High Speed Internet
While you can save some money by not paying for cable you will need to subscribe to a high speed internet provider (ISP). Most of the time these are the same cable companies you might be trying to leave and they will often rope you in with bundling services together to "save you money" but truthfully, you're not saving any money you're just spending more.
You'll need to shop around to see what providers and prices are available in your area - you can see ISP's in your area here. I recommend avoiding DSL or satellite, since they're typically slower and can sometimes use dynamic IP's that can effect local programming with streaming services.
Minimum Internet Speed for Streaming
The minimum requirement for streaming depends on the streaming service but generally anything over 25 Mbps is great.
If you have a lot of devices in your home and a lot of people using your home network at the same time, the faster your download speed the better.
Google Fiber recently launched in San Antonio and offers up to 1,000 Mbps (also known as Gigabit internet) - I highly recommend it if it's available in your neighborhood.
Modem & Router
You'll also need a modem and a router that will support the download speeds you're paying for. ISP's usually provide them with your service but with an added monthly cost.
If you have Spectrum, I recommend buying your modem and router outright separately if possible. Some ISP's like AT&T Fiber require you use their modem and router, otherwise known as a Gateway.
You'll also need a router that supports 802.11ac, the newest wifi standard to get the best speed.
The best choice and my current favorite is Google Wifi - a wireless mesh networking system that gives you coverage across your entire home.
There's a ton of streaming devices available now to watch your favorite shows on and chances are you've already got one.
Your mobile device is the most compatible with streaming services. Pretty much every service that is available has an app for Android or iOS.
If you prefer to watch on a big screen, here's a list of the best supported dedicated streaming devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Google Chromecast
- Microsoft Xbox One
- Apple TV
Roku, Fire TV and Chromecast offer the least expensive devices, starting around $35 and have the largest selection of apps. Roku is at the top of my list because of it's price and wide app support.
If you have kids, the Xbox is an excellent device for entertainment and has a large selection of available apps. If you're already in the Apple ecosystem, the Apple TV is a great companion and also allows you to mirror your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
Finally, you'll need a subscription to a streaming service to watch your favorite shows and movies.
You can buy TV episodes individually in iTunes or the Google play store but it gets expensively quickly. The best place for the latest TV episodes are on Hulu while past seasons are available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Live TV is available through the following providers:
- Hulu with Live TV
- DirecTV NOW
- Sling TV
- YouTube TV
- Playstation Vue
Check out this guide to see how each TV streaming service compares.
Netflix is by far the most popular movie streaming service but there are a lot of great movies available on the FX Now app, if you're a TV streaming subscriber with that channel you can even use your login to access the FX Now app.
Pluto TV and Crackle both offer free movies but if you want the latest movies, you may want to consider subscribing to HBO Now, SHOWTIME ANYTIME, Cinemax or Starz. The downside is that these premium cahnnel add-ons can add up to you streaming service bill fast.
If you buy new movie releases on Blu-ray with digital copies, sign up for Movies Anywhere and connect your account to Vudu, Google Play, iTunes, Prime Video, and Fandango Now so all of your digital copies are in the same place.
Cutting the cord and cancelling your cable bill on average will save you $40 a month, that's a savings of over $480 a year. In addition to saving money, you'll have access to entertainment in more places.
This isn't an exhaustive list and if you have questions or want to start streaming in your home contact me!