**Announcing the launch of a new series of posts covering Technology titled: Technology Corner
Technology Corner #1
Cutting the Cord – Part I: Finally…Getting out the scissors
I’m sure you’ve heard of the trend that is sweeping the nation… Cutting the cord. With rising entertainment cost from every major TV distributor it’s hard to not be tempted with going off the grid when it comes to your TV viewing. In this series you will hear from my first hand experience with cutting the cord. I hope to share what has worked well and what hasn’t. In the meantime, feel free to comment or contact me with any questions as I’d be glad to help as best as I can.
How did I get here?
Honestly, this was something that I had been looking at for quite sometime. I was obviously attracted to the notion of lowering my budget on entertainment but also the truth that I didn’t need all those stations (that I truthfully never watched).
The convenience factor
The hardest part for me was saying goodbye to my DVR. I loved having the flexibility to schedule what I wanted to watch…When I wanted to watch it. Being able to pause live TV as I refilled my drink, replaying that big play, and scheduling my shows remotely was a HUGE deal that I thought I couldn’t live without… But little did I know.
How I eventually broke out my scissors
After almost a year of going back and forth, I finally committed to following through with my desire of getting off the grid. My first priority was upgrading my internet to handle the streaming load that my devices would require. This meant upgrading from my 3 mbps DSL connection to a higher 18 mbps broadband connection. Tip #1: It’s so important to make sure that you have a large enough internet pipe to handle streaming capability. The DSL connection was just fine when we first bought our home and didn’t have the amount of internet connected devices that we do now. As the years have went everything now is internet connected, because of this it’s critical to periodically upgrade your internet speed. Yes, it does cost more to upgrade your internet package but remember that the money that you will be saving by not having a TV package will help offset this cost. Tip #2: Do your research when it comes to streaming devices. Read reviews, ask around, and find out what the major differences are between them. More on streaming devices later…
It’s important to get these first few steps out of the way to help you make a smooth transition when you decide to pull the trigger. For me, that time couldn’t have came at a better time. After upgrading my internet speed and reviewing and testing several streaming devices I was ready to go. My situation was great because I was outside of my contract. Even though they kept trying to entice me with offers and a
**FREE** equipment upgrade (with a 2 yr. agreement). This made for an easy cancellation process because they couldn’t pop me with a early termination fees.
Here’s a list of the devices that I have and that work great for me. I understand that others might disagree or have a stronger opinion on them but this is just my .02 cents.
- HDTV Antenna – http://amzn.com/B00IF70T4M – First and foremost you will want a strong HDTV antenna. It doesn’t necessarily need to be an outdoor one either. I have a indoor that works great. I’d recommend something that is powered and low profile.
- Amazon Fire TV – http://amzn.com/B00GDQ0RMG – This little guy has it all… and I absolutely love it! Prime, Netflix, pretty good selection of streaming apps and the ability to sideload Kodi. doesn’t get much better. I currently have have the stick… I’ll probably look at adding the larger unit in the future.
- Roku 2 XD – http://amzn.com/B005CLPP8E – It’s an older model and I bought mine refurbished but it’s a solid streaming device. I mainly use it for Netflix. Great for throwing in a kids bedroom.
- Apple TV (3rd Gen) – http://www.apple.com/shop/buy-tv/apple-tv-3rd-gen – My least favorite of my streaming devices. Has Airplay, which is about the only reason I still keep it hooked up. I hate the remote and on screen menu.
Check back for Part II in this series as we tackle finding streaming content.
Cutting the Cord series
Cutting the Cord – Part IV: TBA