Cutting the cord has been a trend for more than a decade now as more people choose to eschew bloated cable channel packages for streaming services that can be picked up and dropped with ease. Still, there remains millions of Americans who continue to consider cord cutting but have yet to take the plunge. If that sounds you, here is advice that should help you make the transition without all the angst.
Cut the Cord With a Plan
Are your currently in a contract with your cable provider? If the answer is yes, then you will have to determine how to proceed. If you will upgrade your Internet service—discussed more in the next section—it may be possible to negotiate out of your current cable plan. If not, then you will either need to eat the early termination fee or plan to cut the cord when the contract runs out. Once you know when you can and will cut the cord, you can plan your new services around that date. That provides a seamless transition from one month to the next and can make managing multiple services a bit easier.
Optimize Your Internet Plan
Explore whether you have multiple Internet companies available to you. If so, you can shop around and get a better deal. In either case, you need to ensure that you have enough bandwidth to meet the needs of your entire family. Services like Netflix, Planet Dish, and GoLatino TV recommend 25 megabits per second per stream. The average family of four can easily exceed 100 megabits per second. You must also determine if you will be all right with HD content or prefer 4K, which will require even more bandwidth. Data caps are also an important consideration. If possible, opt for unlimited data like HughesNet deals, which will eliminate a lot of hassle for you.
Determine How You Will Stream Content
You will need some sort of streaming device and generally one device for each television set in the home. If you have a smart TV, then you can use that for the time being. However, it is generally recommended that you invest in Amazon Fire TV, Roku or similar device. Standalone boxes tend to be more powerful and will age more gracefully. If you have the luxury of waiting, there are certain times of the year, such as Black Friday, when such boxes are often sold at a substantial discount.
Decide How You Will Approach Live TV
For many people, live television is the big gotcha when it comes to the cord cutting, and it is absolutely imperative that you know what you want and have a plan in place. Live TV—and in particular live sports—can raise your bill considerably. If local channels are all you need, then an inexpensive HD antenna will often do the trick—at least depending on where you live. There are also live television streaming services available, but those are not much more if at all less expensive than the cable you are leaving behind.
Update Your Streaming Package on a Regular Basis
If you want to make the most of cutting the cord, do not feel locked into your initial choices. One of the great benefits of cord cutting is that you can easily drop and add services each month. This approach lets you do a lot more with your budget and perhaps spend a lot less than you are currently expecting.