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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

400 channels with nothing on?

Aug 31, 2018 10:45PM ● By Adam Cochran

Watching television is likely the most popular pastime of the civilized world. Even though we’re surrounded by small screens, there’s still an exquisite leisure in sitting in front of our home television.

In the past, I’ve written about the various options for video streaming as a means of cutting the cord to expensive cable and satellite services. This month, I’m going to back up a little and outline the pros and cons of cable or satellite, so you can decide if the cost savings are worth it to you.

Before you contemplate cutting the cord to cable or satellite, make sure you know the costs of each service and think about your viewing habits.

  1. Gather your cable or satellite bill, your internet bill and your phone bill if you still have a landline. Internet and phone services are sometimes bundled into your cable bill. Add those numbers up because they’ll help you assess whether you’ll save enough to make the switch worth it.
  2. Next, spend a few days assessing your viewing habits. Are you religiously watching the most recent episode of your favorite show the night it airs? Are you watching sports on channels other than the primary networks? These might be important factors in whether to cut the cord. However, you should not be subscribing to cable or satellite just to keep your local news. All you need is an HD TV antenna, which costs between $20 and $100, depending on the range and power that you need.
The initial cost of cutting the cord is easy to figure. I recommend getting a streaming device such as a Roku or Amazon Fire. These devices allow you to access the same content and they cost as little as $30. Personally, I prefer Roku boxes because they play well with everyone and have a very simple interface. Roku also offers over 100 free apps with old television and movie channels.

Just connect your home Wi-Fi and subscribe to the services that offer the on-demand content that matches your personal viewing lifestyle. Services like Netflix and Hulu cost around $10 per month and usually offer free trials, so you can test-drive them before committing to a monthly bill. Most major league sports offer online subscription services, but you can also subscribe to online live broadcast packages from services like FuboTV.

Choosing to cut the cord to your cable or satellite service is a big leap. For most people, it costs less and is easier to find something worth watching. It might not be the right move if you love live sports and pay for lots of extra sports channels. But even if you keep your cable or satellite service, you can still get an streaming box and use that for the days when you have 400 channels and nothing on.

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