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How to Pull the Plug on Cable

Posted On: September 21st, 2018

Have you ever thought about cutting cable? Not only can it be a great way to save money each month, but you might also be surprised to find you won’t miss it! We live in a world of ever-improving technology, which means there are plenty of options for viewing TV shows besides cable and satellite. In 2016, the average American household spent $1,236 a year on cable. That is a lot of money! Many of my friends have expressed an interest in cutting cable and saving money, but they don’t know where to start. Fortunately, I have a little insight into this. We cut cable in my household approximately three years ago and love it. We get to tailor our TV channels to what we want and we aren’t locked into a contract so we can cancel services at any time. The only downside, and we’re getting pretty used to it by now, is that our favorite shows are delayed by one day. The steps to get started are outlined below.

1.       Make sure you have good Internet: A good Internet connection is vital to cutting cable. There is nothing worse than having a subscription to different streaming services and not having the capability to view the shows without buffering. Also don’t be afraid to negotiate price with your Internet provider. The Cord Cutting Report has a guide to help you learn how to negotiate for the best deal.

2.       Buy an antenna: Over-the-air or local channels are broadcasting in HDTV now, so you can get a crisp, clear picture for free. Most of the current popular shows air on one of the local channels. Some TVs have antenna already built in, so make sure to check your manual before heading to the store.

3.       Determine what additional hardware you need: In order to watch streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime you need a TV that can access the Internet. If you have a smart TV, you’re all set, and you may also have apps preloaded to the TV already. If you don’t have a smart TV, check your game consoles. Many PlayStation, Wii, and Xbox consoles can stream video from the Internet. Another alternative is to buy an external device such as an Apple TV, Roku, or Amazon Fire stick. Make sure to do the research to see which product is best for your needs.

4.       Pick your streaming services: There are so many different services out there, including ones that allow viewing of live TV. Here is a great list of different streaming services. Again, you will have to determine which one(s) fit your needs. In my household we chose to have Netflix, Hulu, CBS and Amazon Prime. If you are concerned about watching sports, here is a great guide to streaming services that allow you to watch live sports.

5.       Enjoy! Once you figure out all the equipment you need and get everything set up, it is time to enjoy your new-found savings. You will wonder why you didn’t cut the cord before!

True, getting an antenna or additional hardware will be an added up-front expense, but these are a one-time expense; they will pretty much pay for themselves with the money you save not having a big cable bill.

Ditching cable isn’t as difficult as it seems, you just need to do a bit of research to see which products are best for you. What works for one household may not work for yours. I would love to hear your experiences or thoughts on cutting cable; send them to me at Val@rivervalleycu.org. For more money saving ideas visit my blog here.