“I love paying my expensive cable bill every month”, said no one EVER! Let us show you how to cut your cable cord forever, save buckets of money, and still watch all your favorite shows!
We are all sick of paying for channels we do not watch. Let’s face it, paying an over priced cable or satellite bill month after month is a financial nightmare, and just plain sucks! Before I cut the cord, my average cable bill was $60 a month (not including internet, extended plans, phone, tax, or extra fees). Let’s do the math: $60/month x 12/months=$720 a year give or take. I know a million other things I could spend $720 on. It’s time for you to do the math. How much are you spending a year on cable or satellite?
According to a new study from the Federal Communications Commission, basic cable prices have increased by 6.5% throughout 2012 while expanded basic cable prices have increased 5.1% during the same time. “The general rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index throughout 2012 was just 1.6%.” Brad Reed, BGR. This means basic cable prices have increased more than four times the rate of inflation, and expanded basic cable prices increased more than three times the rate of inflation.
Consumers are getting smarter by using alternative TV options, but it hasn’t forced the cable TV business model to change. There are viable alternative TV options to cut the cable cord once and for all. Keep in mind these alternative options will require additional hardware, extra cables, and patience, because you will be waiting at least a day to stream the newest episodes your cable company offers. Until Google releases Wi-Fi blimps, these alternative TV options will not sever all ties with your cable provider, because you will still need Internet. Here’s the good news for three lucky FatWallet members. FatWallet is excited to help three people cut their cable cord by giving away 3 sets: 1 Chromecast and 1 Mohu Leaf antenna. Enter the giveaway at the bottom of the page. If you are you ready to save money, sick and tired of paying over-priced cable bills, and ready to cut your cable cord, you will need the following:
The first thing you will need is a great antenna. This will give you access to basic TV channels broadcasted in HDTV for free. Mohu makes one of the best antennas on the market today. Fun fact from them, “94 of the Top 100 watched shows are available Over-The-Air in stunning 1080p High Definition, and they are absolutely free when you receive them with a Mohu antenna!” Mohu has some fun resources like, “CORD CUTTING 101: CUT THE CABLE WITH A DIGITAL HDTV ANTENNA.” Before you run off and purchase one, please find out if you are able to get free TV channels by entering your zip code here.
Mohu Leaf 50
- You get to cut the cable cord (metaphorically speaking)
- Free HDTV channels
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Multi-directional and reversible (no “pointing” needed)
- 16 ft. high performance cable included
- Not every location will get channels (check your location here)
To get the ultimate experience, you will need to combine a set-top box with your antenna. Most of you already know what a set-top box is. For those who do not, it is a hardware device, which allows a digital signal to be received, decoded, and then displays the digital signal on your TV. It’s magic! There’s a variety of set-top boxes to choose from, however, I will only cover the top four on the market today. If there is one you think is better or comparable to these four, please let me know in the comments below. Be specific.
The Chromecast is ideal for someone who is on a budget. This person doesn’t have a smart TV, but would like to easily stream media from an Android phone, tablet, iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows laptop, or Chromebook. Click here to get the best price on Chromecast.
- Affordable- $30-$35
- Easy to install and easy to use
- Works on multiple platforms (Android 2.3 or higher, iOS 6 or higher, Chrome for Windows, Mac, Chromebook)
- Includes usb cable, usb power supply, and HDMI extension
- Chrome tab casting is useful
- This is not a standalone media streamer (works with a portable device like Android, iOS, tablet etc.)
- No central playback controls
- Limited apps (more will be coming)
Check Out Google Chromecast Review! – By Marques Brownlee
ROKU 3- $89
Roku has four models to choose from depending on your budget and lifestyle needs. I will explain the pros and cons of the ROKU 3, which in my opinion is the best of the four. The ROKU 3 is ideal for someone who has an android device, doesn’t mind spending a little more for a set-top box with an innovative interface, speedy processor (fastest on the market), and over 1,200 channels to choose from. You will not be disappointed with this device. If you own an Android device, Roku 3 is the right choice for you. If you own Apple devices, you will want to look at Chromecast or Apple TV. Click here to get the latest promo codes, coupons, and best price plus 2.5% cash back on Roku.
- Easy to install
- Best selection of apps out of all devices (1200+)
- Remote has a built-in headphone jack (purple ear buds included)
- Fastest processor (i.e. apps load faster than all other devices)
- Interface visually appealing and intuitive
- Gaming selection is limited
- Not great at streaming your personal digital media collection
Check Out Roku 3: Unboxing & Review- By DetroitBORG
Amazon Fire TV-$99
Amazon Fire TV is ideal for someone who has Android devices, and has an Amazon Prime account. Click here to buy the Amazon Fire TV, and here to get the latest promo codes and coupons plus up to 3.0% cash back. Pre-Order the Amazon Fire Stick here.
- Voice search
- Amazon Prime is integrated (makes payment easy)
- Variety of content and apps available
- Very responsive
- Elegant design and interface
- Voice search doesn’t search all content sources.
- Amazon’s own music service is missing
- Highly curated Amazon interface limits out-of-the-box Android flexibility.
- Game performance isn’t the best.
Check Out Amazon Fire TV review – By Engadget
Apple TV- $90
Apple TV would be ideal for someone who owns a MacBook, iPhone, or iPad. Apple is known for seamlessly integrating their products together, and they have done so with this device. Use your iPhone or iPad as the remote. Use the AirPlay feature, which streams video and music from your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Mac. You can also mirror your iOS device’s screen, newer Mac desktops, and MacBook laptops to your TV as well. Apple TV is a great set-top box for a person invested in the Apple ecosystem. If you own an Android device, Apple TV is not for you. Click here to get the best deals and price on Apple TV, plus get 1.0% cash back.
- Easy set-up
- User-friendly icon-based interface (note: use iPod touch, iPhone or iPad instead of Apple remote when entering text. The remote app is free via app store)
- Stream content via Airplay
- Mirror your apple device to a TV
- Remote is really small (will get lost in-between couch cushions)
- Can’t add more content channels or customize interface
- iTunes Match account required to access cloudbased music
Check Out Apple TV (3rd Generation) 1080p: Unboxing & Demo – By DetroitBORG
The Chart: Major apps compared
Made by CNET
|Roku||Apple TV||Google Chromecast||Amazon Fire TV|
|Time Warner Cable TV||Yes||No||No||No|
|NBA Game Time||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|“Radio” & iTunes radio||No||Yes||No||No|
|Google Play content||No||No||Yes||No|
“Chart Notes: Apps were selected based on editorial discretion. All of these devices support additional apps beyond those listed here. “Yes” means the device supports the app natively; “AirPlay” and “TabCast” mean the device supports the app using that mirroring function instead of natively; “No” means the device does not currently have the app or did not fully support it via mirroring in our tests. The list applies only to the U.S. market; app selection varies in other countries worldwide. App selection is current as of August 26, 2014.” [CNET]
I have to mention sports, because it will play a huge factor in your buying process, and your final decision of eliminating cable or satellite. If you read the chart above, you noticed there are apps/channels you can subscribe to, like MLB.TV, NFL Now, NBA Game Time plus many more. While these are nice, each one is limited, so you need to find what sporting events you watch, and make sure it is available on the app. If you are a sports fanatic and have to watch all games, and are willing to pay extra for the extended sports packages, then this alternative option will not will not work. If you do not care about specific sporting events, and can deal with free games broadcasted through the antenna, combined with a sport app subscription on your set-top box, then you will love this alternative option. Again, it depends on your lifestyle needs and what you are willing to pay. Only you can make the decision.
Once you pick your antenna and set-top box, you are ready to get your metaphorical scissors out and cut the cable. Good luck canceling Comcast. I’ve heard people are having issues with removing services.