3 things you must know before cutting the cord

With our recent articles on the many streaming services available these days, many of you have expressed interest in “cutting the cord” or getting rid of cable and satellite subscriptions in favor of streaming your programming via the Internet.

Many of you still have questions. Helena wants to know “What do I need to do to cancel my TV cable? I have a ROKU and can stream movies. How do I get local stations?”

A streaming device like a ROKU box is the first step. If you want to watch programming on a television, you’ll need a device capable of running streaming apps like a Roku, Amazon Fire box or stick, or even an Xbox or PlayStation.

As for canceling cable, that procedure depends on your provider. Like any other utility, you need to contact your provider and make sure that you have confirmation that the service is indeed cancelled. If you use your cable provider as an Internet provider as well, you’ll just want to modify your service to only include Internet. Or, you can choose to find another Internet service provider. That may involve setting up a new modem and, if you use your cable provider’s e-mail service as your address, getting a new e-mail address.


As far as local stations, you’ll need to get an antenna to receive them. A great site to determine what type of antenna you’ll need. Click here to learn how to determine if you can receive local channels over the air with an antenna. I would buy the antenna and make sure I could receive local stations before shutting off the cable.

Three things to keep in mind before cutting the cord:

1. Streaming is generally not free – you may need to buy a device for streaming, and most services have subscriptions fees. That can still end up costing you less than cable or satellite.

2. You need a stable broadband connection to stream. You will need an Internet service provider.

3. You will need an antenna for local channels.  Make sure you can pick up local channels before turning off cable or satellite services. Another option is to check with your cable company and see if they offer a comparatively inexpensive local channels package.

One thought on “3 things you must know before cutting the cord

  1. I’d like to add to the information you provided concerning the antenna. Being able to watch all the local stations depends solely on the placement of the antenna. You may not be able to watch all the available stations, especially if you happen to live in an apartment complex. When I lived upstairs I could pickup all the local stations, but when I moved from a North facing unit to a South facing one I can’t watch the Fox station.
    The location of the station’s tower affects whether you may receive from it or not.
    Also note management probably won’t allow you to install any antenna that has to be installed on the roof or other surfaces.
    I’m glad I switched! Cable companies charges are ridiculous! With my former ISP I was billed in advance, but the month they charged me a $10.00 late fee for a three (.03) underpayment I knew I couldn’t allow that kind of treatment!
    For internet I use my phone’s hot spot.
    You may want to try an antenna before you cut the cord.
    Good job Cynthia.

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