The days of cable television’s dominance in entertainment are clearly coming to an end. With a wealth of online streaming content and HD local channels, it’s easier than ever to live without a cable subscription. If you’ve been thinking about cutting the cord, there are a few bases to cover to make sure you’re not stuck without your favorite shows.
Life without a cord
Netflix, Amazon Prime and Google Play pour millions of dollars into content production, hoping to draw audiences away from cable subscriptions. Even traditional cable channels like HBO release enough web content to satisfy any binge session. This gamble is paying off, and people continue to become “cord cutters.” With that said, you should consider a few key things before you cut your cord.
- Pick your favorite streaming services
There’s no clear winner in the world of online streaming. Netflix, Google and Amazon all have headlining shows and vast libraries, making it hard to run out of things to watch. The additional perks of Google Play and Amazon Prime make it easier to stomach the cost of subscriptions to all three.
- Measure your reception strength
TV reception has changed drastically since the days of bunny ears. Today’s antennas pick up TV channels in HD, adding local channels like Fox, CBS, NBC and more to your entertainment library for free. However, these channels don’t have reception everywhere. Confirm that you actually have access to a digital signal before you get rid of your cable subscription. Use a calculator like Tablo to determine which channels reach your particular neighborhood.
- Upgrade to a Smart TV
Smart TVs combine a traditional TV with a built-in operating system and a host of apps for viewing additional content beyond your typical channel selections. These operating systems work similarly to a smartphone or tablet; you can download apps for things like YouTube, the weather or some of your favorite channels.
If your TV is newer, it may already have smart TV capabilities. If it doesn’t, consider installing a streaming device like a Roku or Apple TV, or add a video game console like a PlayStation or Xbox to give your TV a little intelligence boost. These devices open up other possibilities, such as mirroring your TV’s programming on other handheld devices like a tablet or smartphone.
- Wirelessly mirror your computer screen
You can also consider using your laptop or a dedicated computer as the “brain” of your smart TV. Computers allow a substantial level of customization for the interface, but generally require a bit more research and technical savvy than the plug-and-play devices. Use solutions like AirParrot 2 to screen mirror your Mac or Windows computer to receivers such as an Apple TV or Chromecast.
- Calculate your savings
Cutting the cord might not be viable for everyone. There are a lot of factors to consider, including the cost of new hardware and the amount of content you want to access. You can use an online calculator to determine what your final savings will be. And last but not least, you might want to figure out how to spend all the extra money you’ll save.
Cut The Cord On Your Cable Subscription With These Five Tips is a guest post from Alex Haslam of CutCableToday.com.