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What is Cable-Cutting?

One of our most popular services, cable-cutting is the process of getting rid of cable or satellite TV and switching to an internet-based live TV service. The result is a significantly lower TV bill while maintaining the channels, recording capabilities, and reliability that you expect.

First, let’s define a term. Live TV is a term we use to describe the live broadcasts from major TV networks like ABC, CBS, HGTV, ESPN, etc. This is different from streaming, which is on-demand content available from Netflix, Hulu, etc. Until recently, live TV was only available through major TV providers like AT&T, Comcast, Cox, and many others. Those companies would send the TV signal over coaxial cable (or satellite), then use bulky cable boxes to process the signal into something useful for your TV. These days, that same live TV is available over the internet.

Internet-based live TV uses your existing internet connection to deliver live TV without any cable boxes, coax connections, or other hardware. If you have an internet connection, you can access live TV. Whether that's Wi-Fi on a Smart TV, cellular service on your phone, or even connecting to your neighbor's Wi-Fi (not advised). This provides enormous flexibility, so you can have a TV anywhere that has power. You can even watch that live TV on your phone anywhere in the world.

This system works by signing up with internet-based live TV providers. You may have heard of some of these providers: YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, DIRECTV Stream, and others. The difference between using a subscription with one of these providers vs. a cable provider centers around one thing: cost.

An average subscription to an internet-based live TV service is around 50% cheaper than a cable TV service. That results in hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars saved every year off the cable bill. It’s no wonder so many people are making the switch!

The biggest worry for people considering the switch is the channel selection. Channel options vary from each provider to the next, so you could miss out on a channel if you don’t pick the right subscription. Some providers have local channels while others don’t, and some providers have better bang-for-your-buck based on the channels that you want.

That’s where we help our clients most: selecting a provider. The channel selections of these providers are constantly changing as deals happen and corporations bicker. It’s difficult to determine if a provider has all your channels, or if there’s a better deal out there for you. We maintain a large database of information regarding the channel offerings of each of these providers, so that we know every channel you're going to get.

The other element that can be a challenge for DIY cable-cutters is the app's availability on your devices. Most people think if they have a smart TV, they can watch whatever app they want. That is only sometimes true. Almost all of the smart TVs bought within the last ~2 years will have an app store built-in, so you can download almost any app you can think of for your TV. However, for older TVs, they will frequently come with a fixed set of apps, which you cannot add to or change no matter how hard you try. Often, cable-cutting apps weren't popular enough when these older TVs came out, so those TVs won't have access.

Our easy fix for the "app access" problem is streaming devices like Google Chromecasts, Roku sticks, Amazon Fire sticks, and Apple TV boxes. These popular devices are cheap (except Apple, thanks Apple), easy to use, provide a robust Wi-Fi connection, and significantly expand the available apps for a TV to use. We also love using the streaming devices to improve clunky app interfaces, like Samsung's tedious Tizen interface and LG's webOS. An Apple TV or Google TV interface is so much more user-friendly!

Curious about making the switch? We can help you every step of the way.

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