Cutting the Cord - No More Cable TV
If you have not cut the cord, now might be the right time. Cutting the cord isn’t nearly as difficult as you may think. We cut the cord just prior to COVID and the hardest part for me was when I sat down on the couch and turned the TV on, that instead of just mindlessly flipping channels and catching a TV show or movie halfway through, I had to actually select what I wanted to watch and if it was a TV series, what season and episode do I want to watch.
There is literally tons of free content available, but like most that have cut the cord, I invested in Netflix and a few other digital streaming services.
There are literally hundreds of guides available online about how to cut the cord and most of those either focus on equipment or particular streaming services or 100% free content.
Instead of just rehashing what is already out there, I’m just going to tell you how we have it set up at our house.
1. We have currently settled on Verizon FIOS, which is actually our first choice and our third choice, for getting high-speed internet. We originally had FIOS and after a year of incredibly terrible service and slow speeds, we ditched them for Xfinity which we ditched due to continual price increases and speeds that would progressively get slower and slower. The speeds aren’t usually from someone throttling your connection, but more likely from saturation, of people. The more people that join in your neighborhood, the slower your speeds will get. Now they can fix that, but they generally don’t until either a certain threshold is reached or a certain number of customers have bailed.
After Xfinity, we jumped back to FIOS and we have been there for about a year now. I do want to say that FIOS does have a faster modem/router than Xfinity does or did.
2. Once you have your high-speed connection to the Internet, all you need now, is a device to stream it to your TV or if you have a newer Smart TV, then you don’t need to worry about that as it is already built-in to your TV.
We are currently using a Roku device and we love it. Roku has done a nice job of offering a ton of “channels”, which are really streaming services that you can just select at a click of a button, some are free, and some you have to pay for. Let’s say that you have Netflix, they have an app that you install on your Roku and bingo, you can not get to Netflix on your Roku. Roku also has a nice remote and smartphone app and you can connect wired headphones to the Roku remote and get your audio that way as well as through the TV speakers.
3. Once you have your internet and your streaming device, you just need to find the content or service that you are looking for. There are literally hundreds of streaming services out there, you just need to find the one(s) for you.
We subscribe to Netflix, and then Disney+, ESPN, and a few others are provided free with our FIOS agreement. We also pay for Peacock as we like to watch On Patrol: Live on Reelz. YouTube TV is also a popular subscription-based service (not regular YouTube, but their TV service)
There are also a ton of apps that offer free TV like VUDU, Crackle, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, and others.
Here are several good guides to some of the more popular services and what they have to offer
A friend of mine wrote this one:
We also have a Plex server in our house, which is where all of our personal digital content resides we just click on the Plex app within the Roku and we are able to watch what is on our Plex. Our Plex is home to all the family videos and I exported all of the DVDs and VHS that we own and put them on the Plex.
Not TV networks also offer their own apps, some are free and others are premium
You can even get free local TV, via a Digital Antenna. If you go to https://www.fcc.gov/media/
It is easier than you think!