Cut the Cord.
Personalize your viewing options - choose what, where and when you want to watch.
Cable TV may be a fine choice for many, but if you’re feeling just a bit adventurous, streaming a la carte and / or using an over the air antenna may be more rewarding. Not only is it possible to save money by cutting the cord, it’s also a great way to personalize your viewing options – choosing what, where and when you want to watch.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the break from cable.
If you want to watch free live TV from local broadcast channels:
1. Purchase an HD OTA (over the air) antenna.
The indoor version is an update of the classic rabbit ear antenna. Hook it up to your TV, hang it on or near a window, and you’re good to go. You’ll need to live within 25 - 50 miles of a television station’s tower to get a good OTA signal. An outdoor antenna is best when you live further from the signal transmitter and / or the signal path is obstructed.
If you want to choose your channels a la carte (streaming):
1. Choose a streaming device.
To enjoy the freedom of streaming services, you’ll need a way to display them on your TV or other device.
- Smart TVs have this capability built in with apps for Netflix, Hulu, etc.
- Streaming media players include Roku, Game consoles, Chromecast, Apple TV and others
- Integrated OTA streaming media players like AirTV
- Laptops, tablets and smartphones can also be used
- DVRs – for recording programs and start / stop functionality
2. Choose a streaming service.
The choices here are vast, and more options are appearing regularly as networks expand with discrete services.
- Subscription-based services include Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, which include a selection of TV shows, movies and original series.
- Cable-replacement services, offering a more comprehensive selection, include SlingTV, PlayStation Vue, DirectTV Now, YouTube TV and others. These services stream live channels in real-time over the Internet.
- For sports, local games can be viewed with an HD antenna. Cable-replacement services cover the sports world; individual sports organizations also offer streaming packages.
- For the cautious among you, there are many completely free streaming services (apps) including Crackle, tubitv and twitch. Other free services, such as Vudu, are free to download, with modest movie rental fees.
3. Have a strong, reliable broadband connection.
You can whittle down your cable service to include just the internet; you can also opt out of the every-month router rental. If so, you’ll need to purchase a reliable wireless router. At least 5mb of bandwidth per streaming device is recommended.
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We can help make your cord-cutting easier by offering many popular streaming products in store, and by providing informative articles in our Tech Center.
You'll find helpful articles and FAQs about cutting the cord in our Tech Center.
1. OTA Antennae - how to choose, indoor or outdoor
2. Streaming Media Devices - options and features
3. Smart TVs - which features are most important
4. Routers - Stop renting; how to choose a powerful router
5. Terminology and Acronyms