Cord Cutting 101 – A Beginners Guide to Cord Cutting

Cord Cutting can sound scary at first with a ton of options and decisions to be made, but you will find it is surprisingly easy and you may already have everything you need. We want to be here to help you cancel cable TV and legally stream your content online so you pay less and still get all your shows.

Here are our four steps to becoming a cord cutter with our Cord Cutting 101 guide!

Step 1. Streaming Services

There are a lot of live streaming services, and it may seem overwhelming at first but it is easier than you may think.

You will likely need more than one streaming service but the good news is almost all of them offer a free trial. We suggest you take advantage of the free trials to see what fits your needs.

Here is a quick overview of the most popular streaming services.

Netflix—With new content added weekly Netflix has thousands of hours of movies and TV shows available, making Netflix the largest streaming service in the world. You will find a ton of content from major networks and movie studios including Disney movies and shows. Netflix is also the leader in original content you cannot find on cable.

Hulu—Do you want your content the day after it originally airs? Hulu is a great option for anyone who wants to watch recent shows from networks like Fox, NBC, ABC, FX, Spike, and hundreds more.

Amazon Prime Instant—Amazon Prime not only gets you free two-day shipping and free music, it also gives you access to thousands of movies and TV shows. Amazon’s partnership with HBO brings you a vast selection of HBO shows as part of your Prime membership.

Whereas Amazon Prime does not give you access to everything available on its Amazon Instant service, it does have TV shows from many cable channels available the next day—starting at $1.99—and also offers recently released movies for rent. So, not only do you get an immense amount of free content, but Amazon Prime is also a great way to rent recent movies and buy recent TV shows.

Sling TV—If you really want live TV, check out Sling TV. For $20 a month you get over 20 channels streamed live to your TV. You can also purchase add-on bundles for an extra $5 a month to give you channels like sports, news, etc. Sports fans will be happy to know Sling TV will give you access to all the ESPN channels with their $5 sports package, and even access to the WatchESPN app.

If you are looking for 100% free options, check out our post about free streaming apps by clicking HERE.

Step 2. Pick Your Device

The next thing you need is a device that will stream what you want to watch to your TV. Currently, the top four selling devices are Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Apple TV. All are great options for different reasons, so make sure you choose the one that is best for you.

Here are links to our full reviews for each device.

Roku: https://cordcuttersnews.com/review-roku-4-our-first-look/

Chromecast: https://cordcuttersnews.com/review-the-new-chromecast-2/

Fire TV: https://cordcuttersnews.com/review-the-new-fire-tv/

Apple TV: https://cordcuttersnews.com/review-the-new-apple-tv-a-disappointment-or-success/

Step 3. Antennas

An antenna is a huge part of being a cord cutter, and most Americans can easily pick up 30+ channels. With many of the most popular TV shows being 100% free and in HD over the air, an antenna is a great way to watch sports and your favorite show without paying high cable bills.

The number of channels you receive will vary depending on where you live. We recommend going to AntennaRecomendations.com and typing your address into their channel finder to see which channels are available in your area. This will also help you figure out if an indoor or a roof-mounted antenna is needed to get the channels you want.

We recommend buying a mid-priced antenna—not the cheapest but also not the most expensive. Buying an antenna is a onetime expense so get a good one that will last for many years.

Step 4. Try it Out

OK, you are all set up and ready to go, but before you cancel cable TV, unplug your cable box and try being a cord cutter for a month. When my family canceled cable it took us about two weeks to find all the shows we wanted. Once we found the content we wanted, we never looked back. However, it was nice to know that if we couldn’t initially find a program we could still watch it on cable until we found it on our streaming service.

Congratulations You Are Now A Cord Cutter!

That’s it—you have successfully set yourself up as a cord cutter. All you need to do now is call your cable TV provider and tell them you want to cancel your cable TV! Make sure to tell them to put you on their do not call list so they don’t call you every day for years to come. You can find out how to be put on a do not call list at your old cable company by clicking HERE.

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