The cable companies have you, and they know it. Or do they? This guide to cord cutting will help you wiggle out of the bundle trap you have been ensnared in for the past several years. Cord-cutting grew from merely a myth to a slight possibility for those who subscribed to online streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. But there was always a piece missing. Something was just wrong enough that cord cutting wasn’t an option. The PCTechBytes Guide to Cord Cutting has narrowed this down to three distinct categories and we will explain how to overcome these hurdles so you can dump your cable bundle once and for all.
Cord Cutting Will Cause You To Lose Your Local Channels
False. This is probably the biggest hurdle of them all. No one wants to lose their local news channels, their Big Bang Theory episodes airing on CBS, or the Olympics every couple of years. But the truth is, your cable company will give you your local channels if you subscribe to an Internet-only package.
- Call the cable company and cancel cable.
- Unscrew the coaxial cable plugged into your $10 per month cable box.
- Screw the coaxial cable directly into your television. Remarkably, you now have local television channels.
The cable companies do not advertise the local channels, so you need to ask to make sure this will work. FIOS considers this a weird little bundle they call their Streaming TV Package, yet it is nowhere to be found on their website.
In addition to the cable company’s secret streaming package, you can also subscribe to services like DirectTV Now or SlingTV, which are essentially Internet cable companies. You can get local TV channels, as well as traditional cable channels if you add on their various packages. You drop the cable box rentals and get everything directly via the web. The only catch is you will need a smart TV or a device such as a Roku streaming player or Amazon Fire Stick to get your app to login to the service you choose. There will be some initial startup costs when buying your streaming hardware, but you will eventually save on the cable box rentals over time–potentially hundreds of dollars a year!
Cord Cutting Will Cause You To Lose Your DVR Functionality
False again. There are many options for DVR functionality. You can use Plex Live TV in conjunction with your Over The Air antenna to record shows. Plex is a media server that can run on a computer in your house, or you can buy or build a dedicated computer to act as a server. If you do not want to put the time into setting up a Plex server, you can get a TiVo–the original DVR that now does over the air recording. All you need is an HD antenna. In addition to Plex and TiVo, the aforementioned DirectTV and SlingTV both have cloud DVR capabilities.
Cord Cutting With Over The Air Antennas Is Difficult
False. There are technical aspects involved in doing over the air antennas correctly, but it can be relatively inexpensive and easy to get started. You can literally attach an OTA antenna to the interior wall or window of your home and be watching your local channels in minutes. It gets complicated when you need to add larger antennas to your attic or on top of your roof. Check your local coverage on the FCC DTV website.
Remember, there will be a period of pain involved until you get accustomed to doing things differently. I prefer to use the Roku solution on all of the televisions in our home and I run a Plex server for recording over the air television. These Roku devices are on all of the TVs, so it is a seamless experience moving from room to room. We even purchased simple Roku-compatible remotes that control both the television and the Roku player. So there is no need for multiple remotes on the table. Think ahead and try and make things as simple and as uniform as possible.