Everything You Need to Know about Cutting Cable
There are some things you should think about before you cut your cable service. I’ve lived without cable for about 4 years. I have a wife and 4 children, so shutting off the cable box was a very big deal. My kids loved cartoon network. My son like sports. My wife watched soaps. How would we survive?
I can tell you without hesitation and with much enthusiasms that we all (the entire family) love not having cable. We watch what we want when we want it.
For me, and my family, not having cable is about choice. It’s about making entertainment fun again, but getting started can be a little daunting. So I’ve created this guide to cutting cable. Below are steps to do or at least think about as you get started in your quest to live cable free!
Set Tops box/Media Players
Buying a set top box is the first and most important step to cutting cable. The better your device you watch television on, the better your overall experience will be without cable. If you buy a horrible device, slow running, and confounded, you’ll had not having cable, and probably give up all together. Here are the 3 we recommend. These will make your life so much better than buying an off brand.
I recommend the Roku 3, 4 or the stick. All are at the very tops of the streaming media player list for very good reasons. Roku has a 1000s of apps you can download to watch a variety of content. Not all the apps are great, but it gives you options AND choice, which is what cutting cable is all about. Roku gives you access to every app. The Roku 3 is high tech excellence and the Roku 4 is a 4k machine. Try it, you will not be disappointed.
For the money Amazon Fire and Amazon Fire Stick are great options for steaming shows. It gives you lots of options. It looks great manuvers ok (a little slow for me) and it certainly streams at high def.
The biggest problem here is that Amazon, the giant company owns the Fire, and they don’t want other video streaming services on this box. So VUDU, and service I have come to enjoy, isn’t available. Other channels are limited or missing as well. If you are cutting cable because you don’t like people limiting your access, pick the RoKu. Amazon Fire is still an excellent choice.
The new AppleTV is better than the old, but still leave a lot to be desired. You will still be able to enjoy cutting the cable with this box, but you will miss out on some great features like a wifi remote and your channels will be limited to whatever Apple decides competes the least with their services. It’s an ok choice for a box, but Roku is simply better.
After you have hooked up your box and watched countless hours of bingeable shows, you’ll get this weird itch. It’s honestly pretty odd, but a couple weeks in, you’ll decide you want to flip through the channels. This is impossible on todays tvs without cable. When you flip over from your favorite Hulu Plus show, the screen will go to total blackness. Disturbing, honestly. So you will need an antenna. A digital antenna. If you have a really old TV, you’ll need a converter box. For now I’ll assume you just need the antenna. If you go out on the web you’ll find page after page of what’s the latest and greatest. There are 150 mile antennas, but some people say they only go blah blah blah.
If you are just starting this journey spend a little bit of money on the antenna. Go to the store, and I would say to start by an antenna for under….let’s say $30. Bring it home, hook it up and see how many channels you get.
Where I live I get 40 channels with a cheap under 20$ antenna. So try one first. After you get used to all this no cable thing, and you go through all the Netflix, Hulu and Amazon shows, then you can drop a couple $100 on an antenna.
The antenna will shock you by the way. If you haven’t hooked one up in over 15 years, like me, when you do, you’ll be shocked by the quality. If you want to check what channels you’ll get go here to Antennaweb http://antennaweb.org/
There is no magic app that will give you access to every program you want to watch. Generally you are going to need to a mix of apps to have the best experience. There are 3 that I highly recommend, and then you can check out others around our site.
More to come…