Guide to Ditching Cable Part 1 – Streaming Devices
We have finally made a decision to ditch our cable to save more money. My wife and I first discussed cutting our cable about 5 years ago but always came up with an excuse not to.
For the most part, it was the fear of not being able to sit down in front of the television every night and find something to watch. Another part of it was honestly me being too lazy to look for alternatives and take action.
After years of rising cable bill rates, we finally got hit hard at the beginning of this year. We saw an increase of almost 30% in what we were paying between December 2015 and the start of January 2016.
This latest increase pushed our cable bundle (cable, internet, and phone) well past $200 per month – which was enough for us to finally take action.
As we begin our path towards ditching cable, I wanted to document the steps we have taken as a guide for others who are interested in doing the same.
At first glance, ditching our cable will likely reduce our monthly expenses by $75 to $100 per month for an annual savings of over $900!
In order to effectively ditch our cable and still be able to watch television, we first needed to make sure we had the appropriate streaming devices. More to come on this later, but we are planning to add streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to replace our cable television.
There are plenty of devices available to stream these services, but I will only cover the ones that we plan to use for now. There are 5 televisions in our home, and fortunately we already had everything we needed so no new out of pocket expenses!
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Over a year ago we purchased 3 Amazon Fire TV Sticks as Christmas presents for our 2 oldest children that have televisions in their room. They had basic cable in their rooms previously but the viewing options were limited. Since we were already Amazon Prime members (another streaming provider), we got the Fire Sticks for them so they could watch movies through Prime.
My wife and I also got one for our bedroom so we could do the same.
The good news is that the Amazon Fire TV Stick can stream Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV (more to come), and Amazon Prime.
A few years back we also installed a flat screen television in our entertainment room. The only problem was that there was no cable running to this room and we didn’t want to pay to have it installed.
Instead, we decided to purchase a Roku 3 device, which basically does the same thing as the Fire Sticks.
I will admit, the Roku box seems much easier to use compared to the Amazon Fire Stick – but both options will work.
Finally, our last television in our family room is where our kids have their PS4 hooked up to. For now, we plan to use the PS4 to stream shows from Netflix, Hulu, etc. when we want to watch our shows on this television.
During the next update to my guide for ditching cable, I plan to cover the different streaming services we will be signing up for. However, before we got started signing up for these services, we needed to make sure we had the proper equipment to watch our shows.
Fortunately we already have enough devices for the 5 televisions we have in our home. If you don’t have any of these devices, then you will need to account for the additional costs to make sure it is worth the switch.
One last note – I did not discuss wireless access either, which will be covered in a future article. If you don’t have access to (or don’t want to pay for it) high speed internet and wireless in your home – then you may as well stick with cable.
A future guide will be published where I plan to cover internet access.
Have you cut your cable? What devices do you use to stream television in your home? Do you have any advice for those looking to ditch cable?