How to Get Rid of Cable
The average American spends $103 on cable each month. Sounds like a lot, right? It is. That total is more than the average monthly water or Internet bill. And the price is sure to increase (for multiple reasons), which is sure to leave us all wondering how to get rid of cable while still keeping up with our favorite movies and shows.
The key to getting rid of cable is to find a perfect balance between price and content. Right now that balance is way out of whack. You probably get at least 100 channels, and most likely more. But how many do you actually watch? You’re shelling out a ton of cash that pays for content you never look at.
The good news is that solutions are emerging all around us. Most of these solutions are a kind of live streaming platform like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. What makes one platform better than another for people searching for how to get rid of cable? And, once you find the right platform (or platforms), how do you make the transition from cable? These questions and many more are answered below. Read on to learn more about how you can get rid of cable and move to a live television streaming platform.
What is a TV Streaming Platform?
For years we’ve waited around for shows and movies to come on at a set time on a set channel. For example, I always knew I could watch Full House, Family Matters and other sitcom staples on ABC’s TGIF at 8 Eastern on Fridays when I was growing up. But, if I wasn’t home on Friday night, I either had to set a VCR to record the shows to tape — or miss them altogether.
The emergence of Tivo and DVR systems made this a little bit better. Show still came on at the appointed time, but recording and watching them became a lot easier with Tivo, DVR or a similar system.
But imagine never having to wait around for your favorite show to come on. That’s the world that live television streaming platforms make available to us.
To use a live streaming platform, all you need is an active Internet connection and a subscription. Most subscriptions run about $10 a month for the most popular platforms. Here’s a look at some of the many benefits these platforms offer:
Here’s some good news for you: Cancel your subscription at any time. Yes! This is a huge departure from dealing with cable companies that make you sign a dotted line for a year or more — strict contracts that are tough to get out of. With live streaming platforms, you sign up pay month-to-month without any huge termination fees.
You get control over the viewing experience. You can subscribe to your favorite shows and receive alerts when new episodes are available. You also get recommendations for other shows and movies you might like (based on your viewing history). Obviously, cable can’t compete with these types of customization features.
When you choose a streaming service, it can be used almost everywhere — not just on the television anchored in your living room or bedroom. You can sync your activities across multiple devices, which ensures you are always connected to your content no matter what device you’re using. Watch your shows wherever and whenever you want — even when you’re on vacation.
The Most Popular TV Streaming Platforms
Ready for more good news: You get options! Yes, there are tons of streaming services to choose from, and you can even choose more than one and still pay less than you do for cable. And one last pro tip: Consider getting an Apple TV or a similar device to make accessing your streaming services as simple and easy as possible.
OK onto the actual streaming services. Each is just a little bit different, and each has its own unique features. Here’s a look at some of the most popular ones:
This is the current standard-bearer in streaming. Netflix allows users to stream their favorite TV shows and movies. Choose from among 3 subscription options —Basic ($8/month) which supports 1 screen, Standard ($10/month) which supports 2 screens and streams at 1080p, and Premium ($12/month) which supports 4 screens and can stream at 4k resolution.
Another popular option that streams TV shows, movies and other programs. Hulu is perhaps best for bringing traditional television to the world of streaming. Hulu offers 2 subscription plans — Basic ($7.99/month) which includes ads, and then Hulu With Live TV ($39.99/month) which includes no ads and supports unlimited devices and an enhanced, cloud-based DVR service.
This is AT&Ts video streaming service. It targets users who are specifically searching for how to get rid of cable. A DirectTV Now subscription starts at $35 a month, and you can choose a more robust plan for $70 a month.
This is Dish Network’s streaming service. Sling allows users full access to what they would normally get with a cable subscription. Sling is available on almost every device. In fact, it was somewhat of a streaming service pioneer, setting the pace for many of its competitors to come. Sling TV is available for either $20 or $25 a month, depending on your preferences.
Launched in 2016, the PlayStation Vue is Sony’s attempt to get a share of the video streaming market. The PlayStation Vue starts at $29.99 a month and offers about 50 channels. You can get more channels by subscribing to premium plans that cost $35, $45 and $65 a month.
This is the latest addition to streaming services, and it’s sure to be a winner. YouTube TV is only available in large markets as of this writing (think New York City, Los Angeles, etc.), but it will likely expand rapidly into smaller cities. Get your local channels as well as favorites from traditional cable. The cost is only $35 a month for a household plan that includes 6 accounts. As with most streaming plans, you may cancel anytime you like.
How to Get Started With TV Streaming Platforms
Now you know about your streaming service options. But how can you transition smoothly to one (or more)? Just follow these steps for a hiccup-free free solution to the question of how to get rid of cable:
1. Check Your Internet
First and foremost, an active and speedy Internet connection is essential for any TV streaming service. If you’re going to stream 4k videos, you need to up your Internet speed to avoid buffering and other issues that lead to a poor viewing experience.
2. Get the Best Outdoor HDTV Antenna
Getting the best outdoor HDTV antenna is a great idea when you’re planning to ditch cable. A powerful antenna helps you get your local Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS outlets, as well as other local channels in your area. Why outdoor? An outdoor antenna will give you greater range for just a little bit more than an indoor option. You can place it in the attic if you don’t like the idea of an unsightly metal contraption on your roof.
3. Get a Real Streaming Device
As mentioned, a streaming device is needed to get the full cable-free experience. You can choose from among several devices — the most notable being Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku Premiere+ and Chromecast Ultra.
4. Select the perfect Streaming Service(s) for you
It’s time: You need to choose the streaming service that can best satisfy your entertainment needs. Subscribe to multiple streaming platforms, or choose just one if it perfectly matches what you want. Just remember: The goal is always to strike a balance between content and cost. Need a little extra help? Check out these brilliantly constructed streaming packages by Time — they can help you out, no matter what you are looking for.
Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Cable
The demand for online video streaming platforms is growing rapidly. According to Statista.com, about 86% of Americans watch video content online. At the same time, traditional cable companies have seen subscribership drop sharply in recent years. In 2016 alone, the number of US TV subscribers declined by 2.05 million, and that number is expected to further drop by 2.11 million in 2017, according to a report by The Convergence Research Group.
Also, the addition of content available on streaming services will accelerate as more and more Americans choose to get rid of cable. As you can see above, even cable companies are jumping on the train by creating their own streaming services.
All this to say: Quit asking how to get rid of cable and take action by signing up for a TV streaming service. The future of entertainment is streaming — and you don’t want to be left behind.
Are you already using a streaming service? Let us know about your experience in the comments below. You can also get in touch with us directly using via our contact page.
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