The Best Way to Cut the Cord and Start Streaming Your Entertainment
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You’ve probably heard from friends about how they ditched cable and started streaming. But what’s the best way to cut the cord so you can start saving upwards of $1000 per year? My family actually broke up with Directv a couple of years ago, and we’ve since come back (mostly for my husband’s sake….channel surfing is his cardio). Here’s how to make the switch from Directv to Netflix, Hulu, and Sling TV.
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3 Things You’ll Need Before You Can Cut the Cord
1. You’ll need to know the terms of service with your current provider.
Many cable and satellite companies charge an early termination fee for canceling your service before your contract has expired. Know when you signed up for service and how much your early termination fee will be. At the time I canceled service with Directv, they charged $20 per month of service left in the contract as an early termination fee. Since I canceled 6 months early, I had to pay $120. One thing you’ve probably noticed about Directv is that they draw you in with the “new customer” offer, and they don’t value existing customers.
The retention department didn’t even try to keep me as a customer. It wasn’t until AFTER I had canceled the service that I was contacted to come back (with a new client offer). #thanksnothanks By the time I canceled, it was past the new customer promotion, and I was paying close to $120 per month for service. So paying an early termination fee equal to a month of service was well worth it for me.
Side note: Make sure that you’re not locked in on special discounts with AT&T due to bundling your cell phone service. You will definitely lose those promotions if they’re part of a “package deal”.
2. You need to know the bandwidth limitations of your internet provider.
You’ll need high-speed internet to avoid constant buffering. Some internet service providers limit your bandwidth to a certain amount. Have a conversation with their customer service team about your plans to cut the cord and make sure your plan can keep up! This will help you avoid the frustration of your internet not being able to keep up. The last thing you want to do is make a hasty decision to cut cable, only to go back with your tail tucked between your legs because you didn’t do your research.
3. Decide how you’ll stream.
There are several devices you can use to stream your favorite shows. I’ve tried a few of them, and I’ll share my favorites, along with one in which I wasn’t a huge fan. Since today is Cyber Monday, there are so many great cord-cutting deals to be had!
I have this Roku TV in my living room! Our TV started acting up, and I knew we wanted a big TV on a small budget, so I figured at less than $300, even if it lasted just a couple of years, it would be well worth it! So far, so good!
See my little Kevin McCallister Home AloneFunko Pop on the TV stand? He’s holding a rifle and an iron 😛 Isn’t he adorable?
If you already have a TV with HDMI inputs and you’re not looking to spend much, the best thing you can buy is a Roku stick. It plugs directly into your TV and includes a remote. If you plug it into the HDMI 1 port, you’ll use your auxiliary button on your remote to switch to HDMI 1 so that you can access the goods (ie Hulu, Netflix, Sling, etc). My kids each have a Roku stick in their bedroom, and they can use it to watch Netflix and YouTube. This is the most economical way to start streaming right away. And today, in honor of Cyber Monday, you can save big on Roku sticks!
The Amazon Fire Stick is a very popular device, and they’ve come a long way since I first tried it out. They now offer Alexa-enabled devices that are probably much better than the archaic device I tried out a couple of years ago. I wasn’t a fan at the time and much prefer the Roku Stick. Nonetheless, they are available on a special deal for today only!
One Final Tip
Be sure to add up the cost of each of the programs you’ll be paying for. Today, Hulu has a Cyber Monday special at just $.99 per month for the first twelve months. But add up all of the cost of your programs (especially Sling TV add-ons), and they can really nickel and dime you. Decide what you truly need and you can always add more later if you need to.
We personally have a Roku TV in 2 bedrooms and the living room and 2 Roku sticks in the other bedrooms. We are a huge fan of Roku, and no…they did not sponsor this post (although I would be open to sponsorship opportunities if you’re reading, corporate department! wink wink). I’ve found the best way to cut the cord is to just research all of your options and take the leap! As long as your husband isn’t a channel surfer like mine, you won’t regret it! 🙂
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