Getting Started with Cord Cutting!
Cable or satellite TV is expensive, right?
You want to cut the cord and enjoy the awesome cordless digital life?
Well, you are in the right place. Today, You are joining a growing community of users who are tired of paying an average of $107/month for all the media content, and most of it they don’t even watch. It’s about time you get rid of the traditional cable TV and embrace the streaming life. When in doubt, Just Stream!
There are numerous devices, services, and delivery methods at your disposal. Check out this cord-cutting guide to see what suits your needs.
Research and planning
This starter guide should help you in deciding which streaming devices, on-demand streaming services, and live streaming services are suitable for you. First of all, come up with a list of channels, shows, and movies you want to watch. Streaming services, including IPTV services, offer month to month subscriptions so these can be cancelled at any time, which means you can try them out to see if you like them or not.
Try it out
It’s always better to try a streaming service out before completely cutting the cord. Most streaming services out there offer free trials for a limited time, which means you can try a service before fully committing to it. Trying out such services also shows if your Internet connection is not good enough for streaming.
How do I replace pay-television content?
Streaming services allow you to watch your favorite content internet on your TV. This requires you to have some type of streaming device or set-top box unless you have a Smart TV because Smart TVs come with built-in streaming apps. Streaming devices and sticks vary in what streaming services they offer, so always check each one out before buying. For example, Tivo Roamio only supports Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video, so if you want to stream Amazon Prime Video, don’t purchase a Tivo Roamio.
Free Streaming Services (Legal)
- BBC iPlayer
- The CW
- Pluto TV
- Tubi TV
- Vudu Free Movies (Free ad-supported movies and tv episodes.)
- Roku Channel (Roku devices and Roku website: free, ad-supported movies and tv shows)
- IMDb TV (Fire TV devices, Roku and Amazon Prime Video: free, ad-supported free movies and tv shows)
These are all completely legal services; however, some of these are region-locked to certain countries only (Mostly the US and Canada). You can still enjoy these services outside of the US with the help of a VPN like SurfsharkVPN as it lets you bypass region-locking and geo-restrictions for just $1.99/month.
Paid Streaming Services (Legal)
- Amazon Prime Video
- HBO Now
- Curiosity Stream
- Acorn TV
- VRV Select (This service is now home to some of SeeSo’s shows.)
- Hallmark Movies Now (Formerly known as Feeln)
- Sundance Now
- CBS All Access
- Epix Now
All streaming services offer different content, so do your research on what shows the streaming services provide, and the shows you like. Don’t subscribe to a service that doesn’t offer the shows you want to watch. Movies and TV shows on these streaming services are added and removed regularly.
Live TV Streaming Services (Legal)
Internet services that provide live online television channel streaming:
- CBS All Access
- DirecTV Now
- Fubo TV
- Hulu with Live TV
- Playstation Vue
- Sling TV
- YouTube TV
Media Center Apps for Streaming
That's why we recommend that you always use a secure VPN to stay safe as well
Free On-Demand Streaming Services (Unlicensed)
Free Live TV Streaming Services (Unlicensed)
If you are feeling adventurous and want to try out these streaming services/apps, then we suggest that you use a secure VPN like SurfsharkVPN to keep your online identity and activities hidden. It’s only $1.99 per month.
Paid IPTV Services
We are not sure if IPTV services are legal or not. You should do your proper research when using IPTV services.
- Eternal IPTV
- Insight IPTV
- JDHosting IPTV
- IconicStream IPTV
- TV Team IPTV
- Area 51 IPTV
- SportzTV IPTV
Always use a VPN like SurfsharkVPN to access IPTV services because you never know who’s watching.
How to Access Your Streaming Content?
There are numerous ways of accessing different streaming services and watching your favorite content. Here are some of the popular methods to do so.
Smart TVs and Streaming Devices
You can use a smart TV with a supported OS like Android, Roku, or Samsung’s Tizen OS. You can also use one of the popular Streaming Devices like Android boxes, Amazon Fire TV/Firestick, Roku devices, Apple TV, and more.
Smartphones and Tablets
Most services also have mobile apps available for popular platforms like Android and iOS. Each service offers a list of compatible devices you can check before subscribing.
If an app or service is not available for your streaming device or stick, then you can use screen mirroring technology to stream content on your TV. Screen mirroring or screen casting allows you to stream your smartphone/tablet/PC screen on your TV, which will enable you to stream any video on your device and have it show up on the TV. Here are some compatible devices to mirror your smartphone/PC screen:
All the solutions require a separate computer or a smartphone that is on the same Wi-Fi network to send the stream to the TV. (Mac computer in Apple TV’s case)
Watching On a Laptop or Desktop PC
Some services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu allow you to log in and stream content on their website. Many of the free services mentioned above also offer streaming via their websites. Many broadcasters also offer free episodes on their websites. You can easily connect your TV to your laptop or PC via HDMI to enjoy these streaming services on your TV.
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Which Streaming Device Is Perfect for You?
Roku offers different models, ranging from the basic Roku Express, which can cost somewhere around $29, up to the 4K/HDR Roku Ultra for $99. Roku has hundreds of “channels” (channels = apps) and offers support for almost every streaming service out there. There are also smart TVs with Roku built-in with either HD or 4K support. Here is a full comparison chart of each Roku model.
The Google Chromecast is a plug n play dongle that offers access to hundreds of streaming apps. It comes in two models: the basic Chromecast, which costs around $35, and the Chromecast Ultra 4K for $69. Chromecast is a unique streaming device that allows the user to control video playback through their smartphone, tablet, or PC/laptop.
Amazon Firestick/Fire TV
The fourth generation of Amazon Fire TV stick 4K came out on October 31, 2018 (the third generation Firestick is also available). It’s powered by a heavily modified Android version known as Fire OS. Firestick/Fire TV includes most of the big-name streaming services and apps out there. They also support sideloading, which allows users to download Android APK files and install them on their Amazon devices. Firestick also integrates with Alexa for voice functionality.
Here’s a detailed comparison of all Amazon Fire streaming devices.
The latest Apple TV model is the Apple TV 4K (supports Dolby Vision and HDR10). (The fourth-generation Apple TV (1080p) is also available). Apple TV is one of the most powerful streaming devices out there. It offers a polished and sleek design that you’d expect from an Apple product. App support for the Apple TV exploded after the device’s release and has continued ever since. The tvOS (OS that Apple TV runs on) was designed with a focus on apps, and it also offers advanced Siri integration and a redesigned interface.
Android Boxes and Streaming Sticks
There are hundreds of Android Boxes, and Android Streaming Sticks out there. You will find dozens of Android boxes and stick from Chinese manufacturers. These devices run a generic Android OS (which is available on phones and tablets). These devices do not run or support Android TV, which is an entirely different OS platform.
Check this detailed comparison chart for All Android Boxes (including Android TV devices)
Android TV is the successor to the Google TV platform. Don’t confuse it with generic Android boxes and stick mentioned above. Android TV boasts a modified version of Android that is fully optimized for TV and provides a more lean-back, user-friendly experience. There are only a few of set-top boxes available which support Android TV; these include the Nexus Player (discontinued), Forge TV (not recommended), Nvidia Shield TV (Most-powerful and the most expensive Android TV box), and Xiaomi Mi Box (highly affordable). Android TV offers great features and makes it easy for users to watch their favorite content.
If you already have a gaming console, then you probably don’t have to buy a separate set-top box. Gaming consoles are great for streaming and offer most of the primary streaming services like Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Playstation Vue, PopcornFlix, Tubi TV, Plex, and various other streaming services. However, consoles do have a high cost compared to set-top boxes, so if you are not into gaming, then buying a gaming console just for streaming is a bad idea. Gaming consoles are only useful as a streaming device if you are actually a gamer and need a few streaming services. Best of all, consoles can also serve as Blu-ray/DVD players.
Finding News, Sports, TV Shows, and Movies
News Streaming Services
There are many apps, services, and websites that offer national and international news. Some provide complete streams and live broadcasts, while others provide clips and short segments.
Sports Streaming Services
IPTV and Live Streaming Services are the best choices for online access to a wide variety of sports channels. Most professional sports leagues offer a subscription service of some kind, but if you don’t want to pay for each sports streaming subscription, then it’s a great idea to pick a streaming service that offers all the sports you like. Twitter, Yahoo Sports, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Amazon Prime may also offer live streaming of some sporting event, but if you want to stay on top of your favorite sports, then it’s a good idea to get an IPTV service or subscribe to a streaming service.
Locating Shows and Movies
If you don’t want to search 100 different sites and services to find a particular show or movie, then the following sites do a good job of rounding up all the different sources where a certain TV show or movie is available:
- FlixList – Shows you if a particular show/movie is available for streaming on Netflix, and where.
- JustWatch – Search for TV shows and movies across many streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Starz, iTunes, Google Play, etc.
- Reelgood – search for movies and tv shows across a variety of services, including free sites such as broadcaster websites.
Cut The Cord Right Now!
You know what to do! This guide hs provided you with a plethora of different options that you can utilize right now to get rid of cable and embrace the digital streaming life. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and snip that cable right now!