Louis wants some advice on cutting the cord. He writes: “Please send as much information as possible on how I can “cut the cord” to cable; include equipment needed to do so.”
For those of you not familiar with the term, “cutting the cord” refers to dropping cable and satellite TV packages and moving to acquiring your programming from Internet sources or from over-the-air broadcast signals.
This doesn’t mean all of your programming is going to be free or even that you’re going to save a lot of money. But you may be able to customize the programs your receive to better suit your needs.
The number one thing you’ll need is a good, stable high-speed Internet connection. Streaming takes up quite a bit of bandwidth. In fact, Netflix alone accounts for about 33% of all Internet bandwidth usage. You’ll want at least a 1.5 megabit per second connection. A 5.0 Megabits per second is suggested for HD and a 25 megabits per second is suggest for Ultra HD quality programming.
So, you won’t be cutting all the cords in your life. In fact, you may still get your Internet from your current cable provider. If you live in a remote area, you can also look into satellite Internet service.
Here’s the catch when it comes to cord-cutting. If you want to watch live sporting events or your local news, you could have a problem. Many times professional and college sports are only available on the local TV affiliate assigned to that market. Sometimes you can sign in online to watch, but you usually have to have an account with a cable or satellite company to view.
That’s also true of many online viewing options for television shows. You can watch online, but you have to sign in with the name of your cable company or satellite provider. For that reason, some folks do choose to keep a very basic cable package with their local channels and perhaps ESPN. If you’re a sports fan, I’m sure you’re aware that more an more games, matches and races are heading to cable channels these days. Many times something will start on a network like NBC, but finish on NBC Sports, the company’s cable channel. Many companies also offer an Internet-only option for wireless subscribers that gives them access to select cable channels.
As for local news, some stations do live-stream their regular broadcasts and breaking news online. If you’re a news watcher, you’ll want to make sure your favorite station is available.
If you live in an area where you can get decent reception over the air, you can solve that problem by purchasing a fairly inexpensive antenna.
In part 2 of this article. We’ll look at the type of equipment required to cut that cord.