According to the Leichtman Research Group, the average subscriber spends $107 on cable TV each month. No wonder so many people are looking to cut the cord—or at least cut out that large monthly payment. And with customer satisfaction on the decline, the bad news just keeps on coming for traditional subscription TV services. But that also means there’s never been a better time to ditch your traditional TV bill. Want to learn more? Continue reading to see what you need to cut the cord and break free from cable!
Remember that live streaming services may require slightly faster speeds than on-demand services. You’ll also want to check with each streaming app or service that you subscribe to for recommended bandwidth requirements. You can also contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) if your content isn’t streaming as expected.
|Video Resolution||Pixels||Recommended Speeds|
|Standard definition (SD)||640 × 480||3 Mbps|
|High definition (HD)
||1366 x 768||5 Mbps|
|Full HD||1920 x 1080||10 Mbps|
|Ultra HD (UHD) 4K||3840 x 2160||25 Mbps|
Note: Internet speeds of at least 25 megabits per second are recommended to stream content in Dolby Vision and HDR10 at Ultra HD 4K resolution. If speeds are lower, you can still enjoy HDR content at lower resolutions.
There are thousands of streaming channels (or apps) - free and paid - that help you access the content you crave. If you are cancelling your cable subscription, you may want to choose popular streaming channels, like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu to supplement what you are able to get over-the-air. A study conducted by TCL determined what the Top 25 most popular streaming channels are for American TV viewers. This list will give you a good starting point to learn what services you may want to consider to access your favorite movies, TV episodes, and sports.
It is important to note that not all Smart TVs are created equal. Just as some TVs omit the tuner, preventing you from viewing over-the-air content, many Smart TVs are missing popular apps. Learn which Smart TV platforms have each of have each of the Top 25 Streaming Channels.
A Smart TV is perhaps the easiest way to gain access to some of the most popular streaming apps. That’s because Smart TVs feature internet connectivity and streaming apps like Netflix built-in, so you don’t need extra devices to stream your favorite content. But keep in mind that different Smart TV platforms offer a different selection of available apps. Even the most popular services like YouTube are not available on all TVs.
A TV antenna is a great accessory to pair with a TV that has a built-in tuner. Even if you have a Smart TV already, you may be able to get even more high-definition content by adding an antenna.
Mohu makes some of the most reliable and innovative antennas on the market today. To capture over-the-air content, Mohu’s Blade 40-Mile Range Indoor/Outdoor Amplified Bar Antenna model is one of the best ways for cord cutters to get HDTV reception. It features a sleek, modern design and easy installation. It will easily let you enjoy available over-the-air broadcast networks in your area, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, The CW, Univision and more.
Internet is not a prerequisite for cord cutting. That's because there’s plenty of over-the-air content available. But to maximize the amount of content you can enjoy, a reliable Wi-Fi router is essential to ensure you’re always streaming the highest-quality videos. Your ISP may have provided you with an all-in-one modem and router, but selecting a separate router can improve your Wi-Fi signal. And, a solid wireless signal can help you stream content on numerous devices around your home, whether it’s a TCL Roku TV, a mobile device, or game console.
For optimal performance, look for a router offering dual-band, 802.11ac, AC1750 speeds or higher, and/or high-powered antennas for strong coverage around your home. You can also check out PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice to find some of the highest rated routers available.
Recording live TV to watch later is an experience that many cable subscribers may be reluctant to give up. With a TCL Roku TV, you never have to miss a minute of your favorite show. When it's connected to an antenna, you can easily pause and playback digital broadcast TV, allowing you to venture to the kitchen for a quick snack without missing a major plot twist.
For an even more robust recording and storage solution, DVRs are also available to record over-the-air (OTA) content from an antenna.
An OTA DVR not only lets users enjoy their favorite shows whenever they want, but it also means viewers won’t have to be stuck with additional hardware fees. Many cable and satellite providers charge monthly fees for using their DVRs. But since cord cutters are free from restrictive long-term contracts, they’re also free from added fees like these that can really add up fast.
While traditional DVRs connect directly to a cable box, Tablo connects to your home network using Wi-Fi or Ethernet. This allows it to stream content to any connected device inside your home or anywhere you have internet. It features many of the essential DVR functions, such as live TV time-shifting and the ability to watch recordings in progress. The Tablo DVR for cord-cutters is inexpensive and easy to use. It's priced from $140.