Sharen is wondering if it’s time to cut the cable and satellite cord. She writes:

“In an effort to pay less for everything, I’m thinking about cutting the cord on DirecTV. My sister says HULU carries The Science Channel, which is the one channel I watch most. Can I just pick any smart TV (looking at Samsung 4K Ultra HD 40″) or only certain brands? My nephew recommends Chromecast but I know there are others. Have a 300mb Wi-Fi Spectrum router/modem left over from working remote. Can I cut my Wi-Fi speed as well? Seems like I need a smart tv, a box like Chromecast and a wi-fi service or do I need something else?”

I will tell you that cutting the cord doesn’t always end up costing less. It depends on what type of service you want.  You’ll need a  good, dependable high-speed Internet is a must for cord-cutters. Netflix, the largest streaming service suggests a minimum of 3 megabits per second for SD, 5 megabits per second for HD, and 25 megabits per seconds for Ultra HD.

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You don’t necessarily need a smart TV unless you just happen to want one.  If you do select a smart TV, just make sure it has the app for the service you want available. Basically, a smart TV is a giant tablet that can also receive TV signals and be used as a monitor for game consoles, DVD players, cable boxes and other media devices. If you’ve decided that Hulu is a service you definitely want, check to make sure that TV has the Hulu app.

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A streaming box or streaming stick can turn any TV with an HDMI port into a smart TV.  But you don’t even actually need a TV unless you prefer to watch on one.

The following devices support the Hulu app:

  • Sony, Samsung, LG, and Vizio smart TVs.
  • Hulu.com on a Mac or PC Browser
  •  Android phones and tablets
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV (4th gen or later)
  • Chromecast
  • Fire Tablets
  • Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • iPhones and iPads
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Sony PlayStation
  • TiVo
  • Wii & Wii U
  • Roku and Roku Stick (select models)
  • Samsung TV (select models)
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One

I’m not a huge fan of Chromecast, I’d probably suggest a Roku box or stick or Amazon Fire Stick or box. If you go with the streaming stick, you can effectively make any TV with an HDMI port a smart TV for less than $35. But other people really like Chromecast, so that’s just my personal preference.

 

To sum up, you’ll need a good, stable high-speed Internet connection.

A TV is optional, as is a smart TV. You can turn a TV with an HDMI port into a smart TV with a streaming box or streaming stick.

While there are free viewing options, you’ll likely want to subscribe to one or more streaming services like Hulu or Netflix.