As cable costs keep rising, less people can afford the service. This is even truer if you’re on a limited, fixed income budget. It seems that every year cable gets more expensive. The prices keep rising and the companies seem less and less interested in offering a service that people can afford. Luckily, the streaming revolution has begun and with it comes a wide variety of services available. How to save money by cutting the cable
The problem is that changing your entire entertainment setup can be daunting. If you’re someone that has had cable for 40 years, navigating cord cutting options can seem impossible. It doesn’t have to feel that way though. While it might seem easier to stick with cable, the reality is that you can make a few small changes and save as much as $50-$100 a month, depending on your current cable package and any new streaming options you choose. How to save money by cutting the cable
First things First: Get an Antenna
Did you know you can still get free channels with an antenna? The majority of the top shows on TV are broadcast free over the air. Not to mention, and antenna can get you all your home team’s football games, as well as your local newscasts.
To determine what channels you can expect to receive in your area, simply go over to TVFool.com and run a report with your address. Once you have an idea, you can pick up a good antenna that matches your needs on Amazon.
There are plenty of things you can do to get good reception. You want to be able to get the best directional path to broadcasting towers to ensure you can watch the most channels. To do this you have a couple of options. Some people get good reception by placing the antenna in or near a window. Another option is to put the antenna in the highest spot possible in your home. If you find you’re still having issues and your antenna is placed near a Wi-Fi router it may need to be moved. Try turning off your router and see if that improves your reception. If it does, you might just need to separate them.
Depending on your TV watching habits, it’s possible that all you’ll need is a digital antenna. This will give you access, depending on your area, to most local channels.
Second: Choose a Streaming Device
A streaming device will allow you to stream content from the internet right to your television. Simply hook attach with an hdmi cable and connect to your Wi-Fi.
One of the best options if you’re not real technologically savvy is the Roku. First, they aren’t that expensive. Most of the models available are under $100 and once you buy one it’s free to use from that point. Roku has apps that you can add and those apps will allow you to watch TV and movies online. Some apps require a subscription or a cable providers’ login, but many of them offer free service.
If you’re more familiar with Apple devices, Apple TV is another great option. Likewise, if you’re an Amazon shopper, Amazon Fire TV is a good choice. All of these devices are fairly similar, with nicely sized, easy to read apps. Best of all, they are simple to use. Just click a button and your app will start, surf the library for what you want to watch, click it, and enjoy! How to save money by cutting the cable
Third: Now it’s Time to Pick your Streaming Service
While Hulu and Netflix and even Amazon Prime are excellent on-demand streaming options, if you want something more similar to cable, you’ll need a live streaming service. One of the cheapest options in the live streaming game is Sling TV. Sling TV starts at $20/month for 30+ channels. You’ll have channels like Food Network, CNN, AMC, A&E, History, and tons of other channels. You can also add channels ranging from HBO to a bundle of channels for a small fee. Sling TV works with Roku and many other devices.
Another option, DIRECTV NOW, is popular because it has a more cable-feel to it. DIRECTV NOW costs a little bit more, at $35/month and up, but you get 60+ channels and can HBO for $5/month. They offer some channels that you can’t get with Sling TV like Discovery and FOX News. DIRECTV NOW does not currently work with Roku, but it does work with both Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV.
There are other options available, but they are all pretty similar. All of them offer a way to enjoy cable channels without spending too much money and without a contract. You pay by the month and are free to cancel anytime you wish. Also, unlike with cable, there are no hidden fees. Your $20/month plan is $20/month and that’s it.
Finally – Internet Service
While a steady Internet speed is handy if you’re trying to stream TV online, if you’re only using the Internet for casual viewing with minimal devices, you aren’t going to need an incredibly fast Internet speed. If you’re reading this, you clearly already have access to the Internet, one way or another. You can find deals through Internet service providers and usually, with introductory offers you can get a good deal. If you aren’t sure how strong your speed needs to be look for something middle of the road. You aren’t going to need the fastest speeds offered to watch Netflix. How to save money by cutting the cable
Cutting the cable is simple as long as you do it in steps. Start with your antenna, pick out a streaming device, and utilize some free trials to try out the live streaming services. When you find one you like you can sign up and experience the feel of cable at a fraction of the prices you are used to. Once you’ve done that you can take all the money you’re saving and put it to much better use! How to save money by cutting the cable
-Chris Brantner is the founder of CutCableToday.com, the largest cord cutting resource on the web. He has covered the topic on Business Insider, US News & World Report, Motherboard, and other publications. You can follow him on Twitter @CutCableToday or Facebook at Facebook.com/CutCableToday.
How to save money by cutting the cable
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How to save money by cutting the cable