If you know people who’ve ditched their cable companies and never looked back, you might long to join the club of cord cutters. Getting rid of cable is an excellent way to save money each month. But while cable-less households are becoming more and more popular, there are a few things you need for a positive experience.
If you don’t devise a plan for meeting your television viewing needs, you could find yourself re-subscribing to cable later on.
So, how do you ditch cable forever? To start, there are 4 things you need to have in order to cut the cord and never look back.
1. Adequate Internet Speed
Internet service is a no-brainer when you’re planning to ditch cable. You don’t need the fastest broadband service available to enjoy TV without cable, but you do need enough speed to keep up with your family’s viewing habits.
When you’re no longer relying on the cord, streaming becomes the primary way of enjoying movies and programs at home for most people. The question of whether you should pay more for faster internet service depends on what you’re streaming and the services you’re using.
For example, Hulu requires a minimum 3 Mbps for 720 HD, 6 Mbps for 1080p and 13 Mbps for 4K Ultra HD.
Inadequate speed can cause interruptions and frequent buffering. So needless to say, the more people in your household, the more speed you’ll need—especially if you’ll stream movies and shows on different devices simultaneously.
Before upping your internet speed, monitor the streaming ability with your current internet speed for a few days or weeks, and then up your speed if necessary.
2. A Way to Access Movies and Programs
Getting rid of cable doesn’t mean you have to skip your favorite movies and TV shows. Years ago, if you didn’t have cable, you didn’t have many options. Thanks to Hulu, many people who’ve ditched cable are surviving just fine without it and saving money each and every month.
Hulu is an excellent service for viewing new seasons of your favorite primetime shows, as well as older episodes of your favorite shows and movies. Keep in mind, however, that in order to stream Hulu, you’ll also need a streaming device such as an Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation, etc. If you don’t own these yet, there’s also the option of streaming Hulu from your tablet, smartphone or computer.
3. HD Antenna
Although Hulu lets you stay up-to-date on new programming and movies, it doesn’t offer a way to view local programming, such as your local news. The good news is that broadcast TV has come a long way over the past couple of decades. For the best broadcast experience, however, invest in an HD antenna (which start at about $30.) Depending on where you live, an antenna can provide more than a handful of stations, including network programming, kids programming, weather, music stations and more. It’s also perfect for watching live events on TV.
4. Sling TV
An HD antenna isn’t the only way to get live programming. For as little as $20 a month, Sling TV also lets you watch live TV without cable. This includes broadcast television stations and select cable television stations (AMC, ESPN, HGTV, Disney, History Channel, TNT, Food Network, and more.) You can choose a package based on the channel lineup you prefer, and there’s even an add-on feature and DVR option. Get the free seven day trial to see if this service works for you.
Cable might have a lot of program options, but it isn’t necessary to enjoy television. It doesn’t make sense to pay for channels you never watch. Rather than give away your hard-earned cash and contribute to your cable company’s wealth, consider other options with the added benefit of helping you save big. Why invest in a company when you can invest in yourself?