I loathe our cable company. I mean I severely dislike them in every capacity. We had phone/cable/internet bundled through them and I dreaded any time I had to call to talk to them. When Verizon Fios entered our neighborhood, I jumped at the chance to switch and remove them from my life completely. The problem was… the new service provider did not have cable available to me. Off I forayed into the world of streaming tv. Here are my findings of what works best for us (husband, me, and 2 kiddos). My 3 Steps to Kick Cable to the Curb.
1) High Speed Internet
If you are going to cut the cable cord and go to a cable streaming service, you need to make sure that your internet speed is up to snuff. If your download speed is too slow, your video will be bogged down in buffering and pixelation and you will be frustrated and annoyed with the experience. As a reference, here is NetFlix recommendation for download speeds : Netflix Recommended Internet Speed. If you don’t feel like clicking, they basically recommend between 5 and 25 mbps speed for streaming movies to your tv. Most Internet Service Providers offer this already as a minimum, but just make sure you have the appropriate speed for the best viewing.
2) Choose a Streaming Service
There are plenty of free and paid services out there. If you are an Amazon Prime member there are so many shows and movies included in your Prime benefits. But if your heart still belongs to your cable networks and live sports, there are some options. After trying Sling Tv and feeling like the Orange/Blue/Additional channel charges was hard to understand, I settled on Playstation Vue TV. First, I had never heard of this service, so I was hesitant. I wondered if I needed a PlayStation to use it(I don’t) and how all of the channels worked. Vue is basically Sony’s answer to streaming cable. Why they branded it PlayStation, I have no idea. I was able to get all of the channels my family watches (Live Local Sports Teams, ESPN, TBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, News Stations, Disney and Disney Jr, and so many more) for just $45 a month. 100% HD channels. I signed up for a 7 day free trial, but I knew almost immediately: Sold. Check out Vue here: Free 7 Day Trial
3) Choose a Streaming Device
Now that I knew which service I wanted, I had to choose a device. I had a Roku device, but I felt like something was missing: a usable “Guide” function. I need to be able to see what is on while I’m still watching something else – – and Roku was not doing it for me. Based on the online reviews, and watching some YouTube videos of the Fire’s guide system, it looked like it was a good fit. I ordered a Fire TV for our main TV and a Fire Stick for each of our 2 upstairs TVs. They took me less than 5 minutes each to set up. They came pre-linked to my Amazon Prime account and I linked them to my Vue account quickly. The transition has gone off without a hitch and I happily closed my cable account with the original provider. Bye bye. I don’t miss you.
Here is a link to order your own Fire TV/Fire Stick. Order now because they are so popular that they always take a while to come in:
Here is a link to check out Fios if you haven’t already – Verizon Fios
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