How To Watch Live TV After You Cut the Cord
First of all, yes, you absolutely can watch your favorite live TV, news and sports programs after you cut the cable cord. This is called livestreaming, and you’ll need to sign up for a livestreaming service. It’s not terrifying, and you can control your costs a lot better than you could with your old cable subscription, which was filled with hundreds of channels you paid for but never watched.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to get the right service and the right performance. Follow along!
1. Set up a strong home internet connection
When you cut the cord and switch to streaming at home, everything you watch comes through your internet connection. No more cable boxes. Streaming is one of the biggest demands on your service’s internet speed. Check with your provider to see the kinds of internet speeds they offer. Right now is a good time to consider getting a fiber connection, if it’s available to you.
Here are some questions to consider when choosing the best home internet plan:
- How big is your home? Because you’re relying on Wi-Fi to send signals to devices and TVs, ask your provider about a home evaluation to test your signals, especially if you experience a problem. You may need extenders or a mesh Wi-Fi system.
- How many people will be streaming? If you’re doing a lot of streaming on multiple TVs and devices, you have gamers in the family, and others working and Zooming from home, you’ll want the connection and bandwidth that comes with fiber. Also, make sure your internet provider has an unlimited data plan.
2. Make sure you have a smart TV or streaming device
Once you’ve got internet covered, the next step is to get set up with the right devices. The good news is that there aren’t many nuts and bolts when it comes to streaming equipment. If you already own a smart TV, it has all the streaming capabilities you need built right in.
If you don’t have a smart TV, you’re going to need an external streaming device. There are plenty of popular options like Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku.
3. Choose your streaming service subscriptions
When you’ve finished setting up your smart TV or streaming device, you’re ready to sign up for the programming you want to watch. There are two types of streaming services available: Livestreaming and on-demand.
Livestreaming is most like a traditional TV experience. You watch in real time, use your remote to choose from the onscreen guide, tune in to your favorite local channels and live sports and use the service’s cloud DVR capabilities to watch shows later.
On-demand services offer original movies and TV shows that you love to binge. Like livestreaming, you can watch on your TV using your remote. Or to watch on your phone, tablet or computer, download the on-demand app to watch anytime and anywhere.
- How do you find streaming services? When you turn on your TV, you’ll see a screen filled with icons for each of the subscription services available to you. Livestreaming services include YouTube TV, FuboTV and Hulu +, all of which make it simple to replace cable with livestreaming. On-demand options include HBO Max, Netflix, Disney+ and many more you can explore.
- Is it easy to sign up? Yes! For live TV, you only need one service for access to your favorite real-time programs, and signing up couldn’t be easier. You’re often allowed a free trial period before making a payment, and you can always cancel at any time, so you’re never locked into a contract if you want to switch services. Same goes for on-demand programs, though you’ll probably want to subscribe to at least a few of those.
Your best bet is to combine livestreaming and on-demand services. This way, you can watch live programming plus original content. It may take a couple tries until you have the combination that feels like the best fit for you and your family, but you’ll get there and never look back.
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