Cable TV is expensive, at least when you compare it to alternative options on rokuthe market. It’s also limited to your home. So, if you want to watch TV or on-demand content on the go over the internet, this guide explains how you can cancel your overpriced cable contract and find a suitable online streaming service.
We also cover some devices you may need to get access to the channels and content you want.
In a hurry? Check out these guides on streaming services and streaming devices instead. They will point you to where the best deals are online. The reviews are straightforward and center around one thing: value for money.
The simple formula for canceling cable while keeping the shows you love: Streaming Services + Antenna + Video Streamer = Big $avings
Cancel Cable and still watch all your Favorite TV Shows, at a fraction of the cost, and on your TV in HD.
Still, with all the Online TV Scams and different products to choose from, what’s the simplest and most cost-effective way to make the transition to Online TV?
STEP 1: Test Your Internet speed
You can’t stream live TV or on-demand content with a slow internet connection. Your connection must provide a download speed of at least 2Mbps (the faster, the better).
Most streaming providers like Hulu, FuboTV, or Sling TV will disclose the minimum recommended internet speed to stream their content in your preferred definition. You can test your internet speed here.
If you find your Internet Speed is not fast enough or that many of your videos are buffering for longer than 1 min, then try these helpful tips:
Use a wired connection for more consistent speed. Wireless speeds could vary based on device, transfer speed and interference.
Switch off other bandwidth intensive applications are running elsewhere on the network (i.e. video games, file sharing, Skype).
Lower the quality of your stream or try lowering the resolution on your display.
If nothing seems to work contact your Internet Service Provider to find out what it would cost to increase your internet speed.
STEP 2: Get a Compatible Online Streaming Device
You can now watch TV stations & movies through the internet on many different devices. The trick is figuring out which video streaming device makes the most sense for you.
Your options include a computer (Media Center PC), Gaming Consoles, over-the-air DVRs, Smart TVs, and basic Video Streamers. Before you choose a device, figure out what you want.
For example: if you are looking to subscribe to Hulu and Netflix, and you also have a PlayStation 4, 5, or an Xbox One, then it makes sense to find a provider that supports your gaming console. This way you don’t need to buy a new gadget for online streaming.
If you are only interested in Movies and television shows, and really do not need anything more, then the Roku is a great option.
If you already have a laptop that you don’t use much, consider turning it into a Media Center PC. It really depends on what is important to you.
Find out more in our Streaming Device Product Reviews to determine what best fits your needs.
STEP 3: Sign Up to an Online Streaming Service
With the launch of several new services that offer lost-cost HD streaming (Sling TV, Hulu, FuboTV, DIRECTV STREAM, and more), you no longer need a cable or satellite TV subscription to enjoy your favorite TV shows.
Netflix and Hulu are currently the most popular, but providers like Sling TV are catching eyes with low-cost deals and customizable live TV plans.
We have reviewed the top online streaming services in detail, comparing the channel line-up, plan value, platform features, supported devices, as well as the customizability of the platforms.
Here’s a lightning review of some popular ones side-by-side:
Hulu + Live TV and FuboTV are good reviews to get started with. They’re similar in price to start with, though FuboTV offers more expensive options too. Then, you can compare them both to Sling TV, one of the most channel-packed budget plans on the market in the Sling vs Fubo and Sling vs Hulu comparisons.
In addition to these services, there are tons of Free Internet TV Stations that provide a wealth of content. This online TV channels guide tells you all about it.
Other Things To Consider
Depending on the streaming service you choose and the way you want to stream content online after you’ve cut the cable, you may need a few other things.
For example, Sling TV doesn’t offer NBC and CBS as local channels in their base plans but states that you can access it with an indoor antenna.
With an indoor or outdoor antenna, you can watch top Network channels like FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC, and more in full HD for Free. This is called Over-the-Air (OTA) broadcasting. t’s a popular cable alternative that works and is easy to install.
You may also prefer to watch TV or on-demand content online on your HD TV with some streaming gadgets. This streaming device guide covers most types of streaming devices you can get, both portable and home-bound.
More, if you want to record content, you’ll need a DVR — unless your streaming service offers free cloud DVR as Hulu, Sling, Fubo, and DirecTV do.
What questions do you have? Make sure to sound off in the comments section!