Cutting the Cord: Alternatives to Cable and Satellite TV

Cutting the Cord: Alternatives to Cable and Satellite TV

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As recently as 2010, more than 88 percent of households were paying for TV from a cable, satellite, or other provider, but by the middle of 2015 that number had fallen to 80 percent. And by the second quarter of 2016, it was reported that more people quit paying for TV service in the those three months than in any previous quarter.

But is cutting the cord for you? You have more options these days than even just a few years ago, but the answer depends on what you want to watch, how much you watch, and a number of other factors.

You might be able to quit cable completely, moving to a mixture of streaming services and paid downloads. Or you might be able to reduce your monthly fees by replacing expensive rental equipment with a streaming box and free apps. Alternatively, you could stick with cable or satellite but spend less by figuring out what you really need. It’s easier than ever to watch the content you want without being stuck in an expensive, long-term contract.

One note of caution: if you do decide to cancel your cable subscription, there is no perfect method to cut the cord and no magic configuration that will give you all the access that you’re used to with cable at a deep discount. You will likely have to subscribe to a patchwork of different services to get all the channels and shows you want to watch. And even then you might have to forgo watching certain shows live and decide to sacrifice access to channels you’re used to having.

Our pick

Roku Streaming Stick+

Roku Streaming Stick+

A future-proof and affordable media streaming device

Improved Wi-Fi, support for 4K HDR, and Roku’s excellent interface and search features make this an easy choice as the best all-around streamer.

Buying Options

$50* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $60.

Both of us have managed to survive without a cable subscription for years, but the lifestyle isn’t for everyone. If you’re going to take the plunge, you’ll need a device—or multiple devices—to stream through. Thankfully, the cost of a media streamer is far less than it was even just a few years ago, so adding a few around your residence is easy to do. Over the past several years, we’ve found that Roku makes the best media streamers for most people, but we’ve tested streaming boxes from Apple, Google, Amazon, and Nvidia and have recommendations for any type of viewer.

We partnered with The New York Times (before it became the parent company of Wirecutter) to research cord-cutting options. The Times has written two companion articles: one in 2016 and one in 2017.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter
Keyword: Cutting the Cord: Alternatives to Cable and Satellite TV

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