You have had enough of those prices. Your friends at work keep telling you they dropped cable and watch everything they want to see for pennies on the dollar. So now you want in. Congratulations by the way. You may be on your way to having more cash on hand every month. But you want to be happy with your decision and you can increase the chance of that by avoiding some common mistakes.
The Local Channel Apps are news apps
For new cord-cutters, one of the worst realizations is oh no, I don’t have any way to watch that show on ABC anymore? The truth is that there are probably more solutions than you realize right off, but one mistake people make is that they find apps for local channels and expect them to feature live TV from those networks. What I am referring to is say an app from WXXX or KXXX. Users might be bouncing around their Roku or FIre TV. and say oh good there is an app for my local NBC station. But the problem is that those apps are simply local news apps. They are not meant to provide TV entertainment unless you find the local news entertaining. This is unfortunate for those who are looking to save money and also live in a place where antennas do not work well. But I often see people ask if there is a way to get their local channels streaming and see people say to look for them on Roku or something.
Those network apps won’t work either
Network apps from companies like ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX also are not likely to provide live free TV. Often there is a live tab, but it requires you to sign in to a pay provider. Why would I have to have a cable provider to watch an essentially free channel? Fair question. But unfortunately, that is how it is set up.
Cutting off everything at once
There is nothing worse to do if you want to get rid of pay-TV than to just unplug everything and turn it in without figuring out what you will do next ahead of time. But people do it. It gives them this sticking it to the man feeling. But then oops you might not have Internet access at the house anymore. Your TV provider may also be your Internet provider. You can cancel a TV service without cancelling the Internet. Make sure you specify this when you are making your move.
Canceling cable without trying an antenna first
Oh but this guy on Facebook said he gets 70 channels with his antenna. So. Your experience with an antenna will likely be different than your neighbors much less whoever happened to be posting on Facebook that day. Before you bet on an antenna take a look at https://www.antennaweb.org/. A here is a tip. Antennas designed for outside use work better than indoor ones. Try out one of those indoor ones if the website says it will work. You may solve most of your local channel needs easily which means Saturday and Sunday Football aplenty along with major network shows are out there for the beaming.
Not being aware of the right streaming alternatives
Yes, Netflix has a lot of stuff. Lots of Internet-based services have lots to see. But just because someone says, “I just watch stuff on Netflix I don’t miss cable at all” does not mean that will work out for you. You might be looking to save 100 dollars a month on TV but be willing to pay 50. There are TV services that are available to stream that probably have your favorite TV channels often including local affiliates for ABC, NBC etc. If local channels are important to you start with Hulu (with live TV), YouTube TV (it is different from the standard YouTube app), or fubo TV, which is more pricy but also more expansive. In some places, cable and satellite can cost hundreds just for TV services. So these replacement services work really well as a savings tool. There are other smaller packages like Sling TV which is expandable based on your needs and wants and a service called Philo that delivers a pile of basic entertainment channels but no news and sports channels.
If you are streaming it doesn’t mean you need the most expensive Internet
Lot’s of people cancel cable and immediately upgrade to some hyper-expensive internet package. Many cable companies provide 100-200 Mbps. That is all the bandwidth that a family of 3-4 needs for streaming and wifi for other devices. Unless you are running multiple Internet needy games like on a dedicated gaming PC the standard package will probably work for you. On the other hand if your fastest connection available is DSL using streaming as a primary TV method might be very unsatisfying.
Make sure your Internet equipment is up to date
If you have had your modem/router for a few years, you probably are due for a new one. If you get it from your provider look into getting it switched out. Go to a website like fast.com and see what speed you are getting. If your WiFi is under 50 Mbps you need new equipment. On that note, I realize some people don’t like to pay modem rental fees. But it might be worth it. You only really notice the difference when it is time to replace it, or when things stop working. If your equipment breaks, or malfunctions your cable company is under no obligation to do anything about it. And that can really be a problem. I look at the fee more like insurance for when I need help.
Cheaping out on streaming
There are lots of devices out there. And I get it, you want to cancel to save money. But buying a 30 dollar streaming device to save 20 bucks might not be the best plan. Consider a purchase of a top-of-the-line device like Roku Ultra, or The latest Amazon Fire Stick 4k. Again, people will say “I have a _______, and it’s great”. But I can tell you from experience that having the latest and most powerful devices makes a big difference in performance and longevity. Companies will always drop off support for their oldest and underpowered devices first and the app makers do the same thing.
Blaming the wrong guy
My Roku is not letting me use my Hulu! Is anyone having a problem with Netflix buffering on their Fire Stick? There are always questions like that floating around on Facebook groups and Reddit forums. It is important before you look up the number to the TV manufacturer, Streaming service, or ISP to try to determine what the actual problem is. Sometimes the problem is internet-based. You can usually tell if your modem has a bunch of new flashy lights going off. This could mean your system is being updated, it could mean an outage. But if that is happening your issue is not with your hardware. Like we said above if you have outdated equipment certain apps may not work for you. This is not usually your TV maker or streaming device maker’s fault. It is usually because the app has been updated beyond the capabilities of the device. Sometimes the problem will be exactly what you think it is. But I have seen a lot of unfair product and service trashing online and its a waste of your time. BTW, one of the best ways to get a response from a company is to reach out via its official social media. Some companies even have twitter feeds just to let people know if there is a problem to address. Another helpful tool is Is It Down s With this website you can see if a service is down by checking out the website for the service. This is great for mainstream major things like ESPN or Netflix HBO Max and the like.