Cutting the cord or to Cut The Cord is a lot simpler than the majority of us think and so I have brought this article to clear all the doubts you might have regarding this new way of living.
WHAT do you mean by Cord-Cutting?
Cord-cutting, as it sounds, means canceling cable TV services and switching entirely to online streaming platforms. A report suggests that streaming platforms are generating more original content for the past few years. Furthermore, it has been reported that almost 65 percent of U.S. adults have subscribed to some sort of streaming service. The trend is only expected to go upwards in the coming years.
Reasons to cut the cord
In addition to saving money, cutting the cord brings many other benefits as well. In this section, I will discuss the various reasons you should consider moving to streaming services altogether.
- The first and foremost reason to switch to streaming is the level of content. For the past couple of years, we have observed that streaming platforms bring forth much better and original content in comparison to the traditional media channels. Furthermore, streaming services have acquired rights to numerous classic shows that allow you to watch the real stuff, repeatedly.
- One thing that most TV fans despise is the interruption that ruins the mood of a movie or TV show. Commercials might be important for the TV channels, however, they are the absolute worst enemies of good drama. I remember how my favorite scenes of Breaking Bad were ruined because of these uncalled-for commercial breaks. The whole momentum of a great scene can be ruined by these ads and so if you switch to streaming services, you can watch whatever you want without worrying about commercials.
- Most streaming services share the entire TV season at the same time and so, you never have to wait for the episodes to air. Binge-watching is something that streaming services introduced us to and so you can watch anything at any time.
- The costs of a streaming service are quite low. For example, the basic plan of Netflix only costs 8.99 USD per month while a decent cable service costs ten times this amount.
- The content library of streaming services is full of new and classic content, providing you the ultimate freedom to watch anything that you want.
- While all the benefits of streaming services put up a great debate for cord-cutting, the most important and best benefit is the convenience and freedom it provides you. Streaming platforms allow you to access your favorite movies and TV shows at any time, any place, and at any internet-supported display device.
Can cutting the cord save me some money?
Cutting the cord for streaming services was previously a definite approach to save some big bucks. However, with the increasing trend of cord-cutting, the content creators have started increasing their prices and this surefire cost-saving way is no longer a viable option.
Many people have started taking another approach: keeping the basic plan of cable and getting a decent internet connection. This way, they can enjoy both the cable as well as streaming services without spending too much on any of the services. Furthermore, if you subscribe to a bundle plan for both services, costs reduce substantially. For example, through Cox bundles: you can get more than 140 channels, more than 50 TV apps, up to 150 Mbps download speeds, and unlimited nationwide calling at a reasonable price. If signed up separately, only cable TV costs more than 100 USD.
Cutting the cord Guide
Cutting the cord starts with canceling your cable plan. But it is a lot more than just that. Here is a step-by-step guide for you to be ready when you decide to cut the cord for good:
- Get a decent internet plan
- Get a streaming device
- Subscribe to a streaming platform
- Get an antenna for local channels
Here is a detailed discussion of the above steps:
A Decent Internet Connection
Streaming depends entirely on the speed and reliability of your internet connection. In simple words, if you do not have internet, you cannot stream anything. The minimum download speed for streaming SD content is 3 Mbps. For a better experience of UHD or 4K, you would need at least 25 Mbps download speed. However, multiple streaming devices require more speed.
If you are unsure about your bandwidth requirement, you can contact your ISP and discuss your situation for better guidance.
Things are pretty sorted for people who already own a smart TV. All you need to do is download streaming apps and then stream to Cut The Cord.
However, if you do not have one, you might want to take a look at the following options:
- Roku Streaming Stick works well with Alexa and has many inbuilt apps including Starz, ESPN, Disney Now, Disney Plus, HGTV, NBC, Netflix, Showtime, and Hulu.
- Amazon Fire TV is a great option for those who own a ton of Amazon devices. It has many inbuilt apps including Sling, HBO, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and Hulu.
- Apple TV brings an added advantage that lets you download newly available apps too. It offers HBO Go, YouTube TV, Sling, ESPN, Hulu, Netflix, and iTunes.
- Gaming Console is another great option for those who love gaming and streaming. However, buying it just for the sake of streaming is not recommended. Popular gaming consoles that work well as streaming devices are Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
More than 200 streaming platforms are being used in the United States. You can subscribe to any service of your choice. The time to subscribe to just one streaming platform has gone especially if you are a cord cutter and so you should subscribe to at least three platforms.
Some of the popular streaming platforms are Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and Peacock.
How can I watch sports or news channels?
To watch live channels like sports and news, you have two options:
- You can subscribe to a live streaming service. However, you should be aware that live streaming platforms cost a lot more than on-demand streaming platforms.
- The second option is to deploy an antenna to access local channels free of cost. You can use indoor or outdoor antennas for this purpose.
The Last Word
Whether you want to shift to streaming entirely or just get a whiff of it depends entirely on you. Although, I hope that this article can help you come up with a decision.