What is “Cord Cutting”?
The term “cord cutting” refers to the practice of switching from cable or satellite television to other ways of watching TV. Cord cutting can also refer to switching from a landline phone to a cell phone or smartphone, but usually refers to TV. If you’ve only ever used a cable or satellite TV service to watch your favorite shows, you may be wondering how it’s possible to watch TV without either of these services.
Simply put, whether you’re enjoying time with the family or kicking back in your new man cave, the main way to enhance your at-home viewing experience is to do so with a monthly subscription to a streaming service. Here are three ways that you can watch your favorite TV shows and more without cable.
#1: Streaming Services on Your Smart TV
Most smart TVs come with all or most streaming services available for you to watch, as long as you have a paid monthly subscription. Netflix and Hulu are two of the most popular streaming services, and also some of the most affordable with a basic subscription. Netflix is for you if you don’t like commercial breaks (or ads), although other streaming services are ad free— just keep in mind that you may have to pay extra for this feature on some platforms. Other popular streaming platforms include:
- Hulu, starting at $6.99 per month
- Disney+, starting at $7.99 per month
- Paramount+, starting at $4.99 per month
- HBO Max, starting at $14.99 per month, although some Apple, Samsung, and Roku customers may already have access to it for free.
- YouTube TV, starting at $65 per month
Some of these platforms may offer a bundle deal, such as Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, which costs $13.99 per month, rather than paying $22 each month when subscribing to these services separately.
#2: Use an Amazon Firestick or Digital Antenna
If you have an older smart TV and are not in the market to purchase a new one, you could purchase an Amazon Firestick instead, which will allow you to access these streaming services. You can also learn how to gain access to shows and movies that may not be available to you on your Firestick or smart TV. Even if you don’t have a smart TV, you can still use the Firestick as long as your TV has an HDMI port. Also, if you don’t have a smart TV, another alternative is to purchase a digital antenna (which costs about $20) to watch the local channels near your area.
YouTube, not to be confused with YouTube TV, is a video sharing social media platform that has become very popular among the younger generations. While you may not be able to find your favorite TV shows on YouTube, you will be able to discover different types of content that you can’t find anywhere else. The most popular YouTubers create a varied amount of content ranging from fun challenges to simply documenting their everyday lives. You can even find interesting content from smaller YouTubers if you watch enough videos for YouTube’s algorithm to suggest related content.
YouTube can be accessed through your computer, your phone, and most smart TVs. Again, if your smart TV doesn’t offer YouTube, you’ll be able to access it with an Amazon Firestick. However, if you want to watch television as if you have cable or satellite, you’ll have to pay for a YouTube TV subscription, as YouTube TV allows you to watch live television, whereas YouTube allows you to watch user-generated content.
No matter which method of cutting the cord you choose, you’ll save a lot of money when switching from cable or satellite services. These services tend to greatly increase in price over a short period of time, while streaming services tend to only increase by $1 over the course of a year. Streaming services also offer you more flexibility in what you want to watch and when.