The average American spends over $1,200 a year on cable alone*, is it truly any wonder why so many are deciding to cut cable?
In 2019 alone, 6 million people are expected to cut cable, causing panic in the digital entertainment industry. Many cable providers, such as Spectrum, Dish, and DirectTV however, are embracing the change and offering streaming platforms of their own.
What does this mean to you? If you’re tired of high cable bills, maybe it’s time to cut the cord and cancel your TV subscription.
We’re digging into the top 5 things a beginner should know before whipping out the scissors.
1. How much will internet alone cost you?
Most methods of cable cutting require internet. Chances are, you may already have home internet service as part of a bundle. Usually your cable company is the same one providing your internet connection, and they may raise the price if you decide to go with just internet alone.
For example, if your bundle is $130/month, maybe you’ll have to pay $60 for just internet. That leaves $70 of potential savings by cutting cable TV.
In addition, make sure your internet isn’t capped (ie has a data limit) as streaming eats into your data extremely fast. We recommend opting for an unlimited plan.
2. Are you willing to purchase equipment to stream?
Cutting cable does have a few extra costs – but when you calculate the overall cost of cancelling your TV subscription, it will outweigh those prices. Most streaming boxes – boxes that connect to your TV via adapter – will run you anywhere from $40 to $200, depending on the features you want.
We recommend the iView Cyberbox – ATSC & QAM Android TV Box that allows you to browse the web, watch movies, listen to music, view pictures, download apps and more all on your TV.
3. Does your equipment have ATSC & QAM receiving functionality?
I know what you’re thinking – what the heck is a ATSC/QAM receiver?Believe me, it’s a game changer, and we recommend spending a little extra for a box that has one.
An ATSC/QAM receiver allows you to receive free cable TV channels through your streaming box, depending on your location. Local TV stations use only ATSC meanwhile cable providers use QAM frequencies.
The iView Cyber Box is both a QAM and ATSC tuner than can transmit and encode Over-the-Air, or OTA , signals – giving you free cable. The cyber box is set to scan for ATSC channels over the air using a standard antenna. The box features a built-in QAM tuner that supports Over-the-Air (OTA) programming. By connecting your box to an antenna, you can receive some free unencrypted local channels, known as “in-the-clear” channels.
No matter what streaming box you decide to use, make sure it has these functionalities.
4. Which shows and channels do you watch?
Now it’s time to figure out your actual TV must-haves. Chances are, your cable and satellite subscription — along with Netflix and maybe Amazon Prime video — provides every show you and your family need. Cancelling that subscription means you’ll need to get those shows from another service.
Make a list of what you actually watch, then find out how to get it, then figure out how much it will cost.
The downside to those services is that (aside from their own original series) they don’t have live or current season shows on-demand. That’s why we suggest getting a streaming box that has a built in QAM/ATSC receiver – giving you a more familiar experience like cable.
5. Do you care about DVR?
Live TV streamers offer a “cloud DVR,” but it’s not as capable as the DVR from your cable company. In addition, most streaming boxes can only record DVR on ATSC channels.
However, on-demand is here to save the day. Streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube are all on-demand, meaning you can watch your favorite shows and clips, whenever, where ever.
In the end, cutting cable all depends on you & your family’s needs, so be sure to outweigh the pros and cons before coming to a decision.