cutting the cord

A Comprehensive Guide to Cutting the Cord

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We can all use a break on our monthly bills. Trying to keep your household expenses low can certainly be challenging. We all try to cut back or find alternative ways to make ends meet and still enjoy the things we like.

If the idea of cutting off your cable tv has you sweating, you are not alone. Many people would give up a lot before they hand over their cable packages. But cutting the cord may not be as painful as you think.

With technology being the genius giant that it is, there are actually many ways to watch all your favorite shows without having to pay through the nose for cable. Often, you don’t even need to get locked into a contract, either.

If you are ready to take the plunge and break up with cable, here are a few ways to get you started.

Cable Television

Cable TV started as a way for people living in mountainous areas to get better reception. Mounting large antennae on the tops of mountains not only allowed better reception, but it allowed more access to other neighboring networks and television stations.

It was a short leap from helping people get better TVs to companies realizing they could make a profit. Prices soared, packages were developed, so if you wanted three great stations, you had to take two that weren’t so hot.

In the past few years, you can get hooked up to hundreds of channels, all seemingly streaming the same drivel. Likely, out of all the choices you have, you only watch about 4 or 5 on a regular basis.

Cutting The Cord

There’s no shortage of jokes about having all those stations to watch and still having nothing to watch. Initially, it was a huge selling point, but it’s since proven to not be the case. There’s hardly any point to having multiple channels showing reruns you have no interest in seeing.

But what about the channels you do want? You enjoy binge-watching an entire series in one sitting, you need to get your sports fix and what about all your favorite reality shows?

The good news is you can have them all. You can actually pick and choose what you watch without having to sift through a bunch of stuff you don’t.


The internet is the great cable savior, riding in on its shiny big broadband and showing us the way. It’s the way people are watching their favorite programming now, streaming be thy name.

Digital Antenna

There are a few different types of digital antennas you can get, depending on your needs and where it needs to be placed. Upgraded from the old rabbit ears that were placed right on the tv, the digital antenna goes on the roof.

It can pick up signals that are within reach of where you live. If there is a close to you, your signal and options will be much better. Things like trees, large buildings, and even bad weather can interfere with your signal.

You only need a place to mount the antenna and a television with a digital tuner that will receive the signal.

Indoor Antenna

This is a very low-cost device you can buy almost anywhere and it connects to your tv. It can come with recording options, but the basic is just like the old rabbit ears, again.

It can pick up signals close by and provide a clearer, better picture as well as far more options on stations you can receive. It may even pick up signals from a satellite dish or other digital antennas in the area.

Smart TV

Your smart TV can receive signals from your wi-fi or a digital antenna. They are like a regular tv but also have features similar to a computer. The programming is received through a box or pre-programmed into the box to access them on demand.

These sets are compatible with game consoles and other interactive devices that connect to the internet, like Smartphones or Blu-ray. Just don’t let anyone spoil the score for you.


This is a box that records digital video for playback in high definition. They hook up to your internet that you can program to record all the programming you want. They can store it on a disc, thumb drive or hard drive.

These can be a box separate from the tv, built in, or attached to your computer. You have the capability to store a lot of data you want to play back later. You can also program them to record shows well in advance and multiple shows.

You can also watch something and record something else, and flip between the two.

Direct TV

This is a service that not only provides multiple channels, but you can bundle up with your phone, internet and get DVR, all in one package. You can receive your signal through an antenna or through your internet.

There are many options available and different packages to choose from. Check with Directv Boise for more information and what package is best for you. There are business and home packages available.

This includes satellite tv, as it connects directly to your television or computer. it receives its signal from a satellite orbiting the earth. The dish can pick up stations from far and wide, providing a lot of options.

Online Channels

There are plenty of online channels you can subscribe to that you can watch on your smart tv or on your computer. Streaming your favorite shows is easy and far less expensive than cable or some other methods already mentioned.

There is a long list and growing of these types of networks and there are popular for a good reason. They have come a long way in a short time and now even provide their own original programming.

Pirate TV

There are thousands of online sites to watch shows for free all over the internet. These are readily available and are the cheapest way to find all your favorite shows. There are downsides to using these sites, but there is no free lunch.

The site host different links to shows, which in turn will have pop-up ads. While most of them are simply annoying, they can contain viruses. many of these sites don’t last long, as they get taken down or taken over.

Movies are also released for free, but if you want to watch it recorded in a movie theatre on a cell phone, you have to wait for the DVD release. You can also find old tv shows and movies, all online, all free.

Internet on TV

This will work on your television if you have the internet connected to your smart tv. You can also stream your shows on your laptop, which enables you to watch anywhere you have access to the internet.

You can even watch programming free on your phone, for those who don’t mind the small screen. It’s great for those that have a long commute or like to watch content in bed, outside or anywhere you choose.

More Alternatives

If you are worried about missing the big game, why not get yourself invited over to your friend’s house. Join a party or your family to watch it together. Make a big day out of it. You could find it online, but it’s it more fun with people yelling at the television?

If that doesn’t work, you can try the old-fashioned way. Go to the pub. A sports bar will have the game you want to see, several other games and rabid fans. Plus, beer and hot wings.

You could really take the plunge and go watch the game live. If the team is out of town, some sports centers show the game on giant screens so it’s almost like being there.

Last Resort

Just get rid of it all. You can catch highlights on youtube and get the rest of the information you need online. Getting away from staring at a screen all day is actually a good thing.

Pick up a book and let your imagination produce the show. You get to decide what they look like when you find out ‘who done it’ and there is no worry about not getting it recorded.

You’d be amazed at how much you can get done without worrying about what’s on tv. Try engaging with people, go out, have fun, start a conversation about something other than what’s on tv.

Watch List

Cable packages can be very expensive, so these alternatives will get you started in the right direction toward cutting the cord. Living within a budget is difficult for many of us, and often tv is all the entertainment we can afford.

Make it more affordable by getting rid of the contract and high prices. Why pay for channels you never watch? You can find all your favorite shows without having to pay top dollar.

For more tips on saving money and creating and keeping within your budget, please continue reading here.

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