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Cut the Cord - Cable TV Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Cut the Cord - Cable TV

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Introd­uction

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.

Cutting the Cable

Watch free local TV broadcast channels

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.
 

Choose your channels a la carte (strea­ming):

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.