Cool Stuff – Ditch the Satellite, Cut the Cord

Cool Stuff – Ditch the Satellite, Cut the Cord

Have you cut your cable cord or sacked your satellite yet? If you have, you’re part of a growing trend (particularly among Millennials) to ditch cable and satellite viewing for the cheaper, more convenient method of streaming of your favorite TV shows, movies, documentaries and the like. If you haven’t, you should consider it.

The benefits of streaming are plentiful:

  • You’ll no longer pay for channels you never watch (do you need the hundreds of foreign language channels that you’re paying for as part of a package?)
  • Depending on how much you stream, there’s a significant money saving potential
  • You can watch shows on the go, without being anchored to the TV in your home

Thanks to sites like Hulu, Netflix, HBO Now, etc., folks are binge watching "Orange is the New Black" and "Game of Thrones" on their lunch breaks.

Even the cable companies are supporting the switch to streaming. In order to satisfy the high demand for streaming services, Cablevision recently announced that it will offer “Cord Cutter” packages that will provide free digital antennas and access to its Optimum WiFi network as well as HBO Now. And Time Warner Cable will soon offer access to its TWC TV Roku Trial to its customers who have only Internet service -- no cable box required.

The provided Roku media streamer accommodates Netflix, HBO or any other standard apps. You can also login on another device that has a TWC TV app (for example, on iOS, Android, Xbox, Samsung, or Kindle). The Roku TV app is only for in-home use, but TWC TV has some availability for streaming on the go to your mobile devices. (No pricing information has been made available yet from Time Warner.)

Roku's media streamers offer hundreds of entertainment options. These streamers are both easy to navigate and affordable. The Roku 3 costs around $99 and puts Internet content like video, apps and games on your TV. Roku's newest and beefiest version is the Roku 4 for 4k TVs (however if you don't have a 4k TV, Roku 3 is fine).

For lovers of anything Apple, there's streaming for you as well. Everything you watch on your mobile device (Hulu, Netflix, HBO NOW, to name a few) Apple TV brings to your living room's big screen as well. At $149 it's pricier than the others, offering ease of use beyond what any other streamer can think of. For example, set up for Apple TV simply requires you position your iOS 9 device near the streamer so it can pull all set up info directly from the device. That, plus superb visuals and a remote that has a glass touchpad and voice command capability, you have yourself yet another stellar addition to your Apple repertoire.

All that Apple mastery is an option as long as you don't mind missing out on Amazon Prime content. If you are already an Amazon Prime customer, want the great content Amazon is coming out with, and not necessarily married to Apple, the Roku is the way to go.

For those who are concerned about losing local programming like news broadcasts, a good over-the-air (OTA) antenna is essential in grabbing free digital HD broadcasts from your local TV stations. The Mohu Leaf and ClearStream antennas are among antennas proving popular and gaining high ratings from users.

Antennas are not required for streamers, but necessary if you want local programming. And, in the event of a major calamity, and OTA antennae would be very useful since Internet service is likely to be out. Click here for a guide on where to point your Los Angeles-based antenna to get free digital HDTV reception.

Don't be afraid to step out of your cable comfort zone...there's a world of streaming out there ready to be explored.


About Dyan James

Dyan has been researching, writing, copyediting, and proofreading articles across a variety of industries since 1998. She further developed her interest and talent for covering technology while working with the guys at DCG Technical Solutions, Inc. Whether writing from scratch, copyediting or simply polishing, Dyan has mastered the art of turning rough copy or a plain idea into an eloquently written piece.


About Dyan James

Dyan has been researching, writing, copyediting, and proofreading articles across a variety of industries since 1998. She further developed her interest and talent for covering technology while working with the guys at DCG Technical Solutions, Inc. Whether writing from scratch, copyediting or simply polishing, Dyan has mastered the art of turning rough copy or a plain idea into an eloquently written piece.