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Cut the Cord, Save a Bundle

As cable prices have skyrocketed you may have decided it’s time to “cut the cord.”  Before you cancel your cable service read this Consumer Reports  article  to help you decide if cord cutting is right for you.

Once you make the decision, you’ll still have to for pay for high speed Internet to get streaming channels like Netflix.  And it’s very tempting to subscribe to more channels if (like me), you absolutely must see the latest trendy movie or series.  If you’re not careful you can wind up with a hefty bill every month.

To save big you must bite the bullet, but that doesn’t mean missing your favorite shows.

How to cut the cord 

  • Buy an inexpensive streaming device. If you need a new TV, buy an inexpensive “smart TV” from Roku, Vizio or Samsung or a smart streaming device such as a Roku stick or Amazon Firestick.
  • Rely on Amazon Prime. Most of us already have Amazon Prime for deliveries, which means you also get Amazon Prime Video with its huge library of free and low cost shows and movies.   Amazon originals are high quality plus popular streaming series often wind up on Amazon Prime Video after they’ve finished on other paid channels.
  • Subscribe to Netflix. It’s not the cheapest for $12.99 but it can’t be beat for content, including originals. PC Magazine rates it #1 out of the top 10. Between Amazon Prime and Netflix, you can binge-watch forever.
  • Take advantage of free trials. If you must watch a particular show on another channel, most have 7-day free trials.  Binge your favorite show during the free trial period. Or sign up and cancel after a month.
  • Watch online.  Many networks stream their shows directly over the internet where you can watch on your tablet or computer.

How to Save on Live TV

Without cable you can’t get live local or national news, sports or talk.  Here’s how to get them cheaply as well.

  • Buy an antenna.   An antenna will work if you live in or near a city.  Today’s antennas are high tech, not the old-fashioned rabbit ears.  Here’s what you need to know before you buy one and here are recommendations for best brands.
  • Consider streaming for live TV.  Here are some live TV alternatives.  They range from  $20 per month up, with Sling TV at $35 being the most highly recommended.  Sling also comes with movies and cable channels.
  • Check out LocastLocast is a is a not-for-profit service which streams broadcast television stations over the internet to select US cities.   If you’re in their coverage area you can get live local TV for as little as $5 a month.

If you need help setting it up and don’t have a techie grandchild, you can call Roku or Amazon for tech support.  If you need on-site help, try calling your Internet provider and pay for a service call.  Or call a local computer consultant –  to find a good one, join NextDoor.com in your area and ask for recommendations.

 

 

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