What You Need To Know Before Cutting The Cord

There’s a perfect storm brewing. An ever tightening grip from the cable companies coupled with economic downfall and a wide assortment of online media now have many people considering getting rid of their cable service. I’m here to help, but before you cut the cord and jump in with both feet, there are a few things you should consider.

It takes a little patience
Mainstream programming on the major networks can often be seen at the time and date when the original program airs, but for shows exclusive to premium TV, it can take anywhere from one day to a week for the episode to be available online. This wait, for some hard core TV addicts, can be too much to handle.

Things to consider before cutting the cord

Photo by apdk via Flickr

It’s going to feel weird
Coming home, flipping on the TV and mindlessly browsing around for hours without really watching anything goes out the door when you decide to cut the cord. Sure you can browse and find new favorites, but alternatives like Hulu and Netflix are really good at getting to the heart of the TV watching experience – actually watching television and movies.

New controllers and interfaces may have a small learning curve and members of your family could take some convincing, but be mindful of the freedom and extra money you’re enjoying.

Having a high-speed Internet connection is important
To have an optimal experience streaming video, playing games and surfing the web you’ll need some big pipes. I often recommend that users have at least 10MB/s high-speed Internet, especially if you have others who will all be online at the same time.

Many of the tutorials on Kick Out Cable are dependent on having a fast Internet connection. If you live in an area where high-speed internet isn’t available, you may want to consider the pros and cons before you get rid of cable TV entirely.

A device for each TV
Just as you need a separate box or connection with cable and satellite, you’ll also need with a setup for each of your TVs. Depending on your needs, the perfect setup could come with an initial investment – but usually much cheaper than a year of cable TV. For example, a few of my favorite cord cutting tools are the Playstation 3 which runs upwards of $400 and the Apple TV which is $99.

Live sports are still a little shaky
Live sports on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX in your local area are a piece of cake with an Over the Air (OTA) antenna, but programming on the likes of ESPN, TNT and the NFL Network is a little more difficult right now.

Baseball has MLB.tv and basketball and hockey have their own sources available online through NBA All Access and NHL Game Center Live, but it’s next to impossible to find a legal online live stream for you die-hard NFL football fans.

I do anticipate, as more people begin to get their sports from alternative sources, the major sports networks will offer live programming through other sources not tied exclusively to cable or satellite.

It’s not 100% free
Right now you may be spending upwards of $100 – $150/month for cable, but as a heads-up, the alternatives aren’t 100% free. You’ll definitely be saving a substantial amount of money, but choosing to subscribe to Hulu Plus or Netflix generally run about $10 each per month. I’ve come to find that the more you’re willing to pay for alternatives, the easier the breakup with your cable company becomes.

So there are just a few things to consider before starting on the road to cable-free living. If there are other ideas and thoughts from readers, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Tags: , , , , ,

About Bob Hazlett

Bob cut the cord and canceled cable in 2010. He got tired of having a lack of TV options and paying higher prices for lower quality shows. Many of his friends were interested in doing the same so that's how KickOutCable.com came to be. He's here to share the secrets of cord cutting that the cable companies don't want you to know. He also blogs at www.onehalfamazing.com

395 Responses to “What You Need To Know Before Cutting The Cord”

  1. jgf October 14, 2011 at 5:12 PM #

    I’ve been watching programs via the internet/Roku for 3 years now. My main aim is to avoid the incessant commercials on cable. So I bought NHL gamecenter to follow my favorite team. Unfortunately I can’t watch them while they play because of blackout restrictions. So every time the Blackhawks play I still can’t watch them until a day or two later because of these blackout restrictions. Of course I hear about the outcomes before I get to watch the games. I’m back to square one again when it comes to watching live hockey games! Any suggestions as to how to watch ALL games live?

    • Bob Hazlett October 14, 2011 at 9:19 PM #

      Wish I could help, but that’s an issue bigger than cable. The NHL has some funky rules about blackouts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackout_(broadcasting) and the Blackhawks are one exception. 

Leave a Reply