Cord cutters are gaining momentum like never before. According to market researcher SNL Kagan, the pay-TV industry has lost more than a million subscribers in the last year which is four times the amount lost the previous year.
This massive exodus hasn’t hurt cable, satellite, and other pay-TV companies…yet. However, it is having a clear impact on the industry. This is largely seen as a positive for consumers who have grown tired of being pushed content and channels that they never watch.
Those who have yet to cut the cord often ask about the experiences of others. Most cord cutters have reported that with the on-demand experience they are able to watch what they want, when they want. Most services cut out commercials entirely and actually allow you to consume more content during the same amount of time. People have also reported that they tend to read more. Overall the sentiment has been, life goes on.
One of the primary advantages is that consumers are reporting watching higher quality content. People are binge watching more original content and less programming such as reality TV. Cord cutters have so many options and because of this Convergence Consulting Group reports that over 27 million U.S households have ditched pay-TV services.
Even sports viewing is changing. Twitter has been airing Thursday night NFL games and Yahoo streams a free MLB game every day. No longer do consumers want to pay over $100/month in many cases just to watch a few games. SlingTV offers ESPN in a 20 channel package for $20/month. Pay-TV companies understand that they cannot keep forcing non-sports viewers to subsidize the costly viewing experience of sports enthusiasts.
Cord cutting has been forcing pay-TV to introduce skinny bundles. DISH Network has introduced the Flex Pack and Comcast has already introduced a $15 skinny bundle.
Overall consumers that have cut the cord have been very happy and it has been driving change in the industry. If you want more options, better content, and a less expensive cost then ditching cable is for you.
If you want to take back your content and cut the cord, you need to know what your options are to do so. Some of the options are free and some of the options still require monthly payments.
Free content exists in various forms. One of the best free options to access television is over the air TV broadcasts using an antenna. Antennas are going have an initial one time cost to purchase. When selecting an antenna it is important to factor in your location. Typically, you can pick up stations within 25 miles of local broadcast towers with low-cost indoor antennas that plug in directly to your TV. You can check how strong the signal may be in your area by going to AntennaWeb. Most of the major local networks broadcast in high definition which is possible because antennas are not digital and not analog.
You can access many TV networks online for free. These options may be limited as most networks only display a limited amount of previous episodes or only air them for a limited about of time.
There are several pay options such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Video, and Sling.
Hulu: You can access recent episodes of many shows on Hulu. Content is fron many broadcast networks and some cable networks. For a small fee per month you have unlimited access to Hulu's library of great TV and hit movies. You get current season episodes available next day. You can watch on TVs, phones, tablets, game consoles, and PCs. Showtime has an add on that you can pay for separatly. You can switch plans at any time.
Netflix: For a monthly fee, Netflix gives you access to several thousand of the most popular TV shows and movies. Netflix can be streamed from several types of devices such as Internet-connected devices such as a smart TV, game console, streaming player, phone or tablet. There are never any commercials no matter how much you watch, and you can pause, rewind, fast forward or re-watch as often as you like.
Amazon Video: This is an Internet video on demand service developed and operated by Amazon.com. Amazon Video offers television shows and films for rental or purchase. This is available for a monthly subscription. You can view Amazon Video on Playstation, ROKU, Chromecast, Xbox, Apple TV, and more.
Sling: Stream live TV channels over the Internet. Subscribers can watch a collection of cable TV channels on their TVs, computers or mobile devices. These are live TV channels, just like those offered by a cable or satellite TV service, except they're delivered over the Internet. Sling has several packages ranging from $20-$35. Sling also offers some On Demand programming.
|Amazon Prime Video||$8.99||$99|
|CBS All Access||$5.99||$71.88|
If you want to stream video over the Internet, you will have to determine what minimum speed you need to avoid buffering.
If you plan on streaming content on multiple devices at the same time, you need to multiply the minimum speed by the number of devices you wish to use simultaneously.
You can check your current speed using this following tool Speed Test.