“Fuck cable. Who needs 200 channels… with lousy customer service… at $100 a month… when you only watch 4 of them?! It’s time to cut the cord for good!”
But there’s a problem with that noble declaration, which I’m sure you’ve muttered in your own way as well.
I’m a big sports fan.
Colts Football in the Fall. Kentucky Basketball in the Winter. Golf and the occasional baseball game in the Spring and Summer. It’s an enjoyable part of my downtime.
While I can live without watching the last two, I don’t like to, and living in Louisville, Kentucky (emphasis on the Kentucky), the ability to watch football and basketball are a must-have in my household.
Thankfully, I’m also an admitted nerd. You’ll find out in a minute why that’s so important to this article. 🙂
Until now, I’ve been experimenting with cable cutting by using DirectTV or Dish Network’s pause feature (depending on the year) to minimize my TV bill in the spring and summer months.
They basically let you cancel without actually cancelling, for a period of 6 months, something that most cable companies won’t allow. It’s a $5 a month pause fee, which is very reasonable.
The cost-savings is nice (any time you can cut down a monthly commitment, do it), and a combination of Netflix and Hulu is plenty to keep my wife and I entertained as needed, but that spells trouble for watching live sporting events, which is the argument that keeps most sports fans like myself from taking the plunge permanently.
But recently for me, I decided I had enough of the ever-revolving door of switching TV providers and spending an hour on the phone negotiating rates – and all of that changed as I took the full plunge of a cable cutter.
What I’m about to tell you is going to help you get set up to save $100+ a month in a matter of days. You may need to invest a small bit up front, but the recurring savings will add up to thousands of dollars pretty quickly.
The future of TV is on-demand and streaming over high speed internet, combined with old school free over-the-air channels (until local channels are more available with streaming options).
This does require some up front equipment that you may or may not already have. I had some of this, but had to invest a bit more to get all of this to work optimally, and of course some to just test out all of the stuff I wanted to write about in this post. 🙂
First, Here Is the Minimum Level of Equipment You’ll Need
Since we are cutting the cable or satellite box out of the picture, this setup relies on setting up a solid home network coupled with a few different types of streaming devices, and to top it off, a well-placed antenna that will pick up local channels.
Here Are Your Basics:
- A Modern Cable Modem
- A Modern WiFi Router
- A Streaming Device
- An Over-the-Air Antenna
With this combination and with the massive variety of streaming apps that are spinning up as I write this post, you’re going to be able to watch anything you want at really good quality – yes, even the morning and nightly news, if for some reason you still watch that garbage.
Now… with that said… while some people can handle it, I don’t like watching content that buffers, pixelates and cuts in and out from time to time, especially during major sporting events, so this list is going to be geared towards reliability over recommending the cheapest setup possible.
That said, I’ll give you some lower end options as well to keep costs down.
I think high speed internet goes without saying, so we won’t go much further into that past saying that you’ll want to shoot for at least a 20 Mbps connection, however the higher you can get, the better this is going to work for streaming, especially with multiple screens.
My current setup varies between 40 and 50 Mbps, which works very well for streaming. It’s not Google Fiber or anything (Louisville is on the future possible site list!), but I rarely have issues.