Cord Cutters News – August Update

If you have read my blog, you know I am a huge fan of cutting the cable tv cord.  It has not been perfect, this year was the first year in the history of Shark Week on live TV.

In researching this article,  I found that Discovery is now offering free full episodes to folks who are not cable TV subscribers.  That is fantastic, and another new find for me.  This means my streak will continue uninterrupted.  I love sharks, and Shark Week! This is more proof of my love of cord cutting.  I should add that while last year I had already cut the code before Shark Week started, I was visiting my parents who have cable, and  I watched my precious Shark Week at their house.

Back to the article, the first thing they suggest you try some or more of the options out there.  I say, do a Search for the channel comparison of the channel layouts.  This is one from March of 2018.  To me, that is the first step.  Then test out the applications to see if you like them.  There are a lot of people who are cord cutters, so check them out, and see what your friends say.  Ideally, take a look at their setup, and see if you like the app and the streaming device whether it be a Roku or something else.

Then they talk about the most popular streaming services, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.  I have, and am a fan, of all three.  I had Netflix before we cut the cord, but I use it more now that I have.  I must also add that I find there is a lot of great content on Youtube, and  I watch a lot of that.

Next they talk about the devices and talk about the major ones.  I own 2 Rokus, and I also stream via my smart TV.  I am all about FIRE, but I do have my toys.  I should point out that I purchased that TV on a Black Friday sale for half off.  As another aside, I purchased my refrigerator that way. They let me use the Black Friday price, and I was able to negotiate with a manager the addition of my veteran’s discount that they offer to us.  It was another 10% off.

They like the use of an antenna.  We bought one, and had poor luck most likely due to geography.  We do live within 60 miles of New York City, so we should get fairly good signal, but sadly it was not so.  In our case, we would have to put up an external antenna on the outside of our home.  The signal weakens too much as it passes through a lot of large trees and then our home for the internal signal to work effectively.  I should add that my education is in electrical engineering, and my work in the military was with radars.  I am good with radio signals, but I do not want to put an antenna on my home.  You may not either, but then you may not have to.  They suggest you go to this link to find the signal quality.  I found this site to be inaccurate.  I found the federal site to be more accurate.

Next they talk about internet speeds.  I have a few posts on this subject, and I think you might find them interesting. The one that really matters, though, that talks about speed is this one. What they don’t mention is that the more you do simultaneously, the less speed you get.  I have tested my 200Mb/s connection various combinations of 1 – 4 HD streams going,  one 4k stream, and computers on the internet surfing or playing an online game. Any time more than one device is on, the total performance drops.  I ran speedtest.net with nothing running and with multiple items running to get those numbers. The point is that 100Mb/s will not support four 4k streams regardless of the fact that it “should” since 4k uses 25Mb/s when viewing Netflix at 4k.

Lastly, they talk about trying it before you call the cable company and cut the cord. I do suggest that. Most of the streaming services are free for a week or a month.  Sadly, the streaming devices are not free.  My hope is that you have a computer or a smart TV to allow you to test it out on.

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4 Comments

  1. We cut the cord about 3 years ago and the only thing I miss is the occasional sports game, but I find the less I watch sports, the less I care about it, and thus the less time I waste on it!

    We get by with Netflix, and a digital antenna connected to a TiVo. I also have challenges with the digital antenna like you mention, but I’m in the Bronx, so much much closer to New York City than you, and my apartment windows face the right direction, yet my signal sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. Some channels are pretty reliable but some are hit and miss. I guess too much building density. I’ve tried a couple different brands and an amplifier, but never seems to get any better.

    And I agree, black Friday is the time to buy everything! We got a great deal on a TV last year as well, and as a rule, when we need a new laptop, we hold off for those amazing black friday sales!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you on the sports bit. I love having my Sundays back. I watch the occasional Yankees or Giants game, but its rare now.

      Have you replaced their cable modem with your own yet? That was an easy change that saves me an extra $10 a month.

      One thing we are talking about, after the Disney service takes Star Wars and Marvel’s films from Netflix is to rotate our streaming choice every so often. That might be a nice option. I also find a ton of great content on YouTube for free. Our library lets us rent dvd and blueray for free as well.

      As for the signal stuff, you are spot on. Its all a factor. Each channel is a different frequency and wavelength. So one channel can get through the canyons and the other gets bounced around. I love to talk radio and radar, but I’d probably put you to sleep.

      Like

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