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Cord Cutting: Watch your shows instead of commercials and save money

In Spending by C.J. Cato0 Comments

Why aren’t you streaming?

I don’t really watch very much TV…. maybe an hour a day…. some days none. When I do I certainly don’t want to see commercials. For me streaming is the perfect solution and it may be the solution for you too… unless you’re an absolute sports nut,,, then read no further, I get it. But if you aren’t…. Why are you spending more of your money just to watch commercials? Let’s go over how easy it is to get streaming today.

High Speed Internet – only $54.03

According to Fortune.com the average cost of Cable TV is over $100 a month now. (Way over that here in Austin, TX) Numbeo.com says the average cost of high speed internet is only $54.03. The good news is as long as you have access to some sort of high speed internet solution you can start streaming commercial-free video.

What is high speed?   Well…. basically anything that doesn’t sound like this.  

It’s really a relative term but Netflix says you can get away with just 5.0 Mbps and stream in HD, so considering most plans stream at 60 Mbps or more these days, the requirements are pretty low to start streaming in regular ol’ HD. You’ll need at least 30 Mbps to squeeze in some UltraHD/4K. You’ll also need to consider how many people in your house will be using the internet at the same time… 4 different people, in 4 different rooms, trying to stream 4K, will require some serious bandwidth…. and perhaps some family therapy? Don’t feel bad if 4K seems out of reach, most people are still streaming in 1080 because they either don’t have a 4K TV, they don’t have the bandwidth or data plan to pull it off, or they simply can’t find the content they want in 4K yet. Or maybe they just really don’t want to see The Golden Girls in HD? The truth is you’ll be very happy with 1080 resolution; the solutions to all those 4K issues will get resolved over the next few years. 

Hardware

Setting up streaming hardware really couldn’t be easier. And I mean like Grandma can do it easy… you will simply plug the device’s HDMI cable into your TV and connect the device to the internet via your WIFI. It really is that simple and here are some of the most popular options.

ROKU is well known and has different models ranging in price from about $30 to $130. They have devices that will stream 4K if you need it, or less expensive models if you don’t. This is just a one time expense, unlike cable companies that “Rent” the cable box to you every month for eternity.

Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are also great options. The Fire TV Stick is a great value at only $40, but if you want to be able to stream in 4K and have a faster overall device then consider spending a little more on the Fire TV .

Netflix – $9.99

Who doesn’t know about Netflix? You can get access to all of Netflix’s commercial free HD content for only $9.99 a month; and you can bump that up to an Ultra HD plan for $11.99. We just have the $9.99 plan because we don’t even own a 4K TV….. Yet.

What’s New on Netflix

Hulu – $11.99

We originally didn’t like Hulu.com and nearly cancelled it because it had too many commercials,,, but they started offering a commercial free version for a couple bucks more and that combined with the fact that you could watch network shows the day after they were released…. and we were sold.

Hulu’s Commercial Free Service

Amazon Prime – $10.99

We did hesitate at first to sign up for Amazon Prime because you used to only have the option of paying all up front. I think it was about $85 at the time which seemed like a lot since we already had Netflix. But we eventually realized the savings you get on shipping from Amazon along with all the great content actually made this a great deal. Not everything on Amazon is included in the Prime membership. We have to a pay a couple bucks an episode to see shows like Better Call Saul as soon as they come out.

They also started giving people the option of paying monthly instead of annually. Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. (Tip: HD content looks amazing, but SD (Standard Definition) content looks very good. We typically save a $1 every time we buy a show by getting the SD version, and it looks good even on our 60″ TV. (If you are OK with DVD quality, you will be OK with just the SD version.)

What’s New on Prime

Vudu – a la carte

VUDU is kind of interesting because you simply rent or buy the videos you want to watch. This means you can install this for free on any device and pay nothing if you watch nothing. The feature that you may want to consider VUDU for is their Disc to Digital option. If you own a DVD or Blu-Ray of a movie you can “convert” that to digital and have it become a part of your digital library for just a couple bucks. You can even turn your Standard Definition DVD into an HD video. This video will help break it all down. 

How to use VUDU’s Disc to Digital

 

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