Cord Cutting – Part II

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Last summer, after our “cord-cutting” experience, many of my friends suggested that The Computer Monkey should offer cord-cutting services. Due to the varied and unique nature of people’s audio-visual equipment and needs, I had no desire to do that, but I did create a post about our experience to help others who might be thinking about cutting the cord themselves. Recently, someone who appreciated that post contacted me. No doubt there are many others with similar questions so I turned the questions and my answers into a post.

Without cable what option does one have to receive local news, an antenna?

Yes, many local channels (like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS and more) are broadcast over the air and can be received by your TV directly with an antenna or to your whole house with a whole home antenna. See this page to determine the broadcast channels available in your zip code.

How do we watch our favorite cable shows like the ones offered from Food Network, DIY, HGTV, History Channel etc? Is there a way to watch reruns? 

In order to watch other cable shows you need two things: a device and a service. The device is a physical piece of equipment that connects to your TV and audio visual equipment that allows you access to the service of your choice which provides the shows. Just like if you have subscribe to Netflix, you have to have some device that lets you open the Netflix app. Most of the streaming services have several packages to choose from so you can see what channels each one offers. This article covers the Top 10 Streaming Services. See the chart below to help determine which product is a device and which is a service. One important factor to consider when choosing a service is whether live content is available. For example, there are some services that may claim to have the Fox News Channel, but they may only have certain shows from it available after they air, not the actual live broadcast. Most of the services offer “DVR” service so that you can “record” your favorite shows to watch at your convenience. I used quotes because they do not actually record your shows they simply give you access to them when you want them. Finally, most of the services offer trials, so be sure to try before you buy.

Devices Services
Roku products, Amazon FireTV/Stick, Google Chromecast/Chromecast Ultra, Apple TV For more traditional cable TV shows: Playstation Vue, Hulu, Sling, Philo TV, YouTube TV

Movies and other shows: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, YouTube TV

My husband is a huge sports fan, where do we watch live sports without cable?

Many live sporting events are available over the broadcast channels. For ESPN, ESPN U, FS1 etc. you will need a streaming service that offers the channels you need.

Do you need a device like a Firestick or Roku for each TV and is there a streaming subscription fee for each?

 Yes, you need a device to deliver the service to each TV but the streaming service typically is for your household. There could be some limits on how many devices can run the streaming service at one time but that varies by service. On your main TV you will probably want a more feature-rich device like a Roku Ultra or Amazon FireTV, on lesser used TV’s you could certainly use a Roku Stick or Amazon Firestick.

In our case, we saved about $100 per month from what we had been paying with cable TV — even more if you consider what our bill would have been after the $3.00 monthly fee for each digital converter box that was going to be required for every TV we had. Please comment below with other questions and I will try to answer them.


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