Unless you’ve been living under a rock you have no doubt heard the term cord cutting, but do you know what it means?
the practice of canceling or forgoing a cable television subscription or landline telephone connection in favor of an alternative Internet-based or wireless service.
Not too long ago I was going over my budget and found myself questioning why I was paying so much for cable. My bill was over $100 a month which seems outrageous, but I know people who pay even more. Is it insanity or a lack of better options? For me, it was a little of both. Living in such a remote area really limits the quality and quantity of service providers. Since I absolutely love watching TV and movies I couldn’t bear the idea of getting rid of cable. But then I realized I didn’t watch half of the channels I paid for. It was like going to a buffet and only eating half a plate of food. What a waste!
I knew it was time to start cord cutting, but I was nervous and worried I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my favorite TV shows and movies without cable. I dug my heels in and did a lot of research on my options. Today I’m more than happy with my setup. I enjoy tons of new movies and my favorite TV shows for a fraction of what I was paying before I started cord cutting. Here’s how I did it.
Start cord cutting with these cable alternatives
Amazon Prime Video – Amazon has a lot to offer in the way of streaming video including new releases. When you’re a member of Amazon Prime you get to watch many of those for free. I have been a Prime member forever now and the free shipping alone justifies the cost. I love that I can find stuff on Amazon Prime Video that I can’t find on other streaming services. Stuff like True Blood and Psych (my favorite feel-good show ever)!
Netflix – I pay $7.99 per month for the basic streaming plan. This doesn’t include HD video, but my internet isn’t overly fond of that anyway so it works out perfectly. I’ll pause my membership if I run out of things to watch (which is rare) until some new shows and movies arrive (which is basically every month!). I really like the Netflix exclusive shows you can’t find other places like The Ranch, Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things.
Hulu (use this referral link to get 2 weeks free) – I pay $11.99 a month for no commercials but there’s a cheaper plan with limited commercials. Hulu is probably my favorite streaming service ever. They don’t have much in the way of movies, but they have a ton of TV shows. Also, unlike Netflix, you can watch current seasons. When my favorite shows (like Lucifer and Shadowhunters) go on their seasonal breaks I can pause my subscription and resume it when they come back. You can get add-ons like HBO and Showtime for an additional fee (I subscribe to HBO when Game of Thrones is airing!) Hulu also offers live TV for those who can’t wait until the next day to watch their favorite shows. Channels are available based on location, and when you sign up for live TV you also get 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage.
Mohu – Okay. This isn’t a streaming service, but it is an amazing device nonetheless. Mohu offers a range of antennas designed to maximize the number of local channels you can pick up. I have the Leaf® 50 Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna and pick up 24 crystal clear local channels (and some others that are not so clear). I was amazed that the CW channel comes in so well, I’ve never been able to pick that up before. My favorite thing after the free channels is that I don’t have to adjust it to pick up a channel. One position gets them all!
Roku – If you prefer to watch streaming TV and movies on your television Roku is the best option I’ve found. It’s simple to install and setup and there are many add-on channels. You’ll never run out of things to watch. Even if you don’t want to pay for streaming services you can watch TV & movies with free apps like Pluto, Crackle, and the Roku Channel. Of course, you can also stream from your Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and more accounts with Roku. It’s my highest recommended cord cutting tool.
For $20 a month (after the initial investment for the antenna, Amazon Prime, and Roku device) I get the same movies and TV I was paying over $100 a month for. I don’t miss cable at all, and I always have something new and interesting to watch.