Cutting the cable connection to coax connector illustrating people cancelling cable TV service

Update: My Top 5 Tips for Cord Cutters New & Old


Cutting the cable connection to coax connector illustrating people cancelling cable TV serviceLeaving cable TV to become a cord cutter can be a scary move. You want to watch your shows and they are all there but how you get it is very different; however, when you figure it out, cord cutting is an amazing experience that goes far beyond just saving money.

So here are 5 tips to help you get the most from cord cutting.

#1 Look for Shows Not Channels

If you read just one tip read this tip. You don’t want the channels, you want the shows. Start thinking of services such as Hulu and Netflix as your new channels. Many of the shows you will want can be found on streaming services.

Don’t get the CW free with an antenna? Now there is a CW app on Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV that offers the shows the next day.

Don’t get FOX over the air for free? Hulu offers their shows the next day.

Many cable channels do have apps but typically you need a cable login. Don’t get discouraged because there are typically options to still get it. (Or you could always get a season pass on Amazon if you can not find it.)

Lastly if you really need it live checkout live TV streaming services like DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and more. 

#2 Get an Antenna

I was shocked recently when a study came out that showed only half of cord cutters have an antenna. I understand some people do not get reception for over-the-air TV. (I cut the cord with no over-the-air TV options.)

However, on average cord cutters get 30 channels including the big ones, such as ABC, CW, CBS, FOX, and NBC, along with a ton of other great channels 100% free! Wondering what you could get for free over the air? Check our AntennaRecommendations.com to find out what you should pick up with a indoor or outdoor antenna.

#3 There Is No Rush

It took my family about two weeks to find all of the shows we wanted across all of the services out there. Take your time and do not rush into cord cutting.

Cutting the cable connection to coax connector illustrating retired people cancelling cable TV service#4 Try It First

If you are thinking about being a cord cutter try being a cord cutter before you cancel cable. Just unplug the cable box and give it a try. The best part of this is the fact that as you try to find shows on streaming services you have a safety net ready for you.

#5 There is no one-size-fits-all for cord cutters.

I often get asked what service is best for this or that. My suggestion is to take advantage of all the free trials out there and find out what works best for you. Sling TV for some will be a great fit; PlayStation Vue is a great fit for others.

Some people may enjoy just having Netflix but others may want Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. The list goes on and on but the best part is they all offer a free trial. Want to get started? Check out our Cord Cutting 101 guide.

Do you have a tip for cord cutters? Post it here and let everyone know what helped you become a cord cutter.

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  • Nathan John Ganiere

    HULU without commercials (NO LIVE), Netflix (cheapest option it’s only me and quite frankly can live with it in SD and only one screen), DTVN + $5 HBO, and a subscription to the Boomerang channel is my winning formula, and still don’t spend near what I would if I had cable tv………..plus with DTVN I got logins to most of the network apps too, I can find any show I need to watch on all of this……..

  • craig2web

    I’ve been a longtime subscriber to Amazon Prime and am very happy with the included movies, music and TV shows for only $8/month. Currently trying out Hulu basic at their discounted $6/month rate. I also use a couple of free channel apps for a few things. And I supplement my subscriptions with content that I’ve purchased on sale over the years so I now have a library of around 300 or so movies and seasons of TV shows. I can see a point in the future where I’ll own pretty much everything I want and won’t have any subscriptions at all. 🙂

  • Garry

    #2 Get an Antenna. I keep seeing this tip. Unfortunately for a lot of us don’t get reception for locals on an antenna. I stream which ever service has the LOCALS. Plus you can’t get Disney, Nick, etc. on an antenna. An antenna is a complete waste of money if all you get are Locals to begin with. Streaming services are my idea of cord cutter paradise. More than a few of my neighbors Have Satellite Direct TV. They are paying well over a hundred dollars for what I am getting for $35. They pay extra for each device they have. I have DIRECTV NOW on well over a dozen devices, no extra charge. Only limitation is I can only stream 2 at a time. I just authenticate TV ANYWHERE apps and can watch on as many devices as I want. Kids basically want kids channels. I have never wanted for cable or satellite to begin with. I bought a Direct TV satellite dish off Craigslist, drew a frowny face on it and screwed it to my porch with the cord hanging down. Now everyone thinks I have Direct TV. I do. LOL!!!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7ef7b045a6abe304060be45b5729ce386c969f38a8cc3c82e04e347b4d50e84c.jpg

    • Nathan John Ganiere

      nice story, LOL

    • Der

      Just switch the LNB on it, and you can use that for FTA, provided you have a reciever to do it with.

      • Garry

        It’s on my porch as a joke as I have never had cable or satellite. His connection hangs loose between his legs and he is called HOTSPOT. Ain’t hooking him up to a box. LOL!!

  • JoeRaiderXX

    You can get a DVR for your antenna like Tablo or TiVo Roamio. The upfront cost is offset after 1-2 months savings on your cable bill.

    Get dedicated streaming hardware like Appletv, Firestick or Roku. The apps on smart tvs or DVD players do not work nearly as well as Apple TV or roku. In the long run you’ll have a better experience and more viewing options.

  • CordCutting2017

    The first thing I did was make a spreadsheet of shows and services. I narrowed things down to 2-3 providers to test out their service. I got an antenna, 2 x HDHR, and a micro pc to run Plex on. Majority of what I was watching was available on antenna so the investment made sense to DVR those shows directly w/o paying an additional monthly fee.

    After testing most of the services with a 1 month trial and starting to detox from cable I found myself watching less tv than before. After 2-3 months of free trials and testing things out I decided to just opt out of the whole subscription idea completely. I have a couple of shared accounts for some stuff but, mostly watch what comes in over the antenna and recently revisited pluto.tv and I’m finding it has just enough to stimulate for free.

    I’m considering Philo since at $16/mo it’s low enough and has most of the missing channels I used to watch on cable that accounted for about $100/mo in charges to get them. It makes sense but, waiting for the Roku app improvements for the time being before testing it out.

    It’s been nice cutting the cord from $160+/mo for TV/Internet to now $41/mo which certainly makes up for the investment in hardware as noted above.

  • BigO

    Antenna: Be willing to play around with how / where the antenna sits to obtain the best reception. It is a bit of work, but it is worth it.

    Library: I know I say this a bunch, but the library is a great resource for “free” (paid with your taxes) to make use of.

    Subscribe & Cancel: Do not feel as though you have to stay subscribed to a service. Only watch GoT on HBO? Then only subscribe when it is on, or even better just the last month and binge it. Find yourself not finding anything on any service (ex: Netflix / Starz), try cancelling it until there is something which interests you. I know more than a few people who subscribe to multiple services throughout the year, but they cancel before moving on to the next one.

    • Sunflower

      Library: do not forget about the Inter Library Loan service!
      The library website should have a menu for requesting movies and books.

  • HeyRadar

    My advice, use an smartphone/tablet app to track which shows you watch. It needs to know which channel/app they are located, and have the ability to mark which shows you’ve watched.

    In theory it should not be this difficult compared to keeping track that a show is on Fox vs CBS, etc. However, in the day of DVRs and 100’s of channels/apps, it can get difficult.