The Ultimate Cord Cutting Guide: How to Watch TV Without Cable or Satellite?


Cable and satellite TV have been great sources of content consumption in the past. They have their own perks and drawbacks. Regardless, people slowly realized that it can be better.

Online streaming contents have shown up and proved to be better than traditional cable TV in many ways like more varieties of content, better quality, and more, which lead to the cord-cutting movement.

Contents

What is cord-cutting

Cord-cutting is when people cancel cable or satellite TV subscription or replace it with streaming content services that utilize the internet.

This move has been occurring over the past decade. People canceled their contract with cable TV providers to look for other means of entertainment that satisfy their needs.

People performing cord-cutting are called cord-cutters, and they benefit greatly from doing so; more reasonable price, more convenient watching experience, higher-quality content, and more.

How to Quit Cable for Online Streaming Video?

1. Internet connection

The Internet has already been a great place for accessing information and many types of content across the world. So it makes sense to watch content streamed from the internet.

Almost all of the streaming devices and services below will greatly depend on and utilize fully your internet connection, so prepare yourself for a stable internet connection first.

Most devices utilize the internet from your wifi routers, but some will let you plug in your ethernet cable for a wired internet connection.

2. Streaming Devices

Streaming devices will act as a host to hold your streaming services as well as give a better watching experience by providing support for high-quality visual and audio standards, like 4K, HDR, Dolby audio and visual, etc.

These streaming devices will be connected to your existing TV with a simple connection. There are 3 types of streaming devices: Stick-Style Devices, Set-top Boxes, or they could be the TV itself in the form of smart TVs.

3. Streaming Services – Something to watch on

If streaming devices are the hardware for you to stream content, then streaming services are software that you can access and choose your content from.

Most of the streaming services are owned by big companies or big TV channel companies like Netflix, Prime videos, Disney+, etc. These services will provide tons of new and familiar content for viewers to enjoy.

These streaming services can provide content from themselves and other services or provide TV channels to replace the cable and satellite TV’s watching experience.

The Ultimate Cord Cutting Guide
The Ultimate Cord Cutting Guide

Types of Streaming Devices You Need to Know About

Stick-Style Devices

Stick-style devices are usually small and compact devices that plug into your TVs’ HDMI ports similar to a USB (hence the name); and another port for the power source.

They are cheap, decently powerful, and portable. And most of them will come with their dedicated remote for playback control and various tasks in the user interface (UI).

Amazon Fire Stick 4K

Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device with Alexa Voice Remote | Dolby Vision
Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device with Alexa Voice Remote | Dolby Vision

Amazon Fire Stick comes with lots of Amazon services like Amazon Prime Video with great original content and Amazon Prime Music.  It also has other major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, etc.

Hardware-wise, it is a decently powerful device with 4K, HDR, Dolby audio (only on 4K model).

The included remote has Amazon’s voice assistant (Alexa) built-in for users to navigate the UI and control playbacks with remote buttons and voice commands.

Google Chromecast

Chromecast with Google TV

Google Chromecast started as being only able to stream, or “mirror”, contents from your devices to TV screens.

But with the recent Chromecast with Google TV, it packs lots of TV channels like ABC, Disney,… as well as major services like Amazon Prime Videos, YouTube TV, Netflix, etc. It also supports 4K, HDR, and Dolby.

Chromecast devices are pill-shaped, unlike most stick-style devices. Their remotes (only on Chromecast with Google TV) come with Google Assistant to control the UI and playback with remotes or voice commands.

Roku Streaming Stick+

Roku Streaming Stick+ | HD/4K/HDR Streaming Device with Long-range Wireless and Voice Remote with TV Controls
Roku Streaming Stick+ | HD/4K/HDR Streaming Device with Long-range Wireless and Voice Remote with TV Controls

Roku Streaming Stick+ is one of many Roku Streaming Stick products. It has lots of major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, etc., and supports 4K, HDR, Dolby Atmos.

The Stick+’s wireless receiver lets you use the devices when the Wifi router is very far away. The included remote has support for 3 major voice assistants: Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.

Roku Streaming Stick+, along with other Roku devices are some of the only devices that support Airplay to cast content from iOS devices like iPhones, iPads,…

Set-Top Boxes

Set-Top Boxes are devices with bigger designs and generally perform better but are often more expensive than Stick-Style devices. They also often have more ports for various purposes.

Nvidia Shield TV Pro

NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Pro 4K HDR Streaming Media Player; High Performance, Dolby Vision, 3GB RAM, 2x USB, Works with Alexa
NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Pro 4K HDR Streaming Media Player; High Performance, Dolby Vision, 3GB RAM, 2x USB, Works with Alexa

Nvidia Shield TV Pro is an expensive powerhouse with top performance with 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision, Dolby Audio. The most stand-out feature is AI upscaling that turns 720p/1080p contents to 4K.

The devices can stream content from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Google Play Movies & TV, etc. The Bluetooth remote lets users use it without pointing at the TV.

It also has gaming features like GeForce Now that let users stream games from the server, Gamestream that streams from some NVIDIA graphic-card-powered PCs, and advanced Android gaming.

Apple TV 4K

 Apple TV 4K (64GB, Latest Model)
Apple TV 4K (64GB, Latest Model)

Apple TV 4K is a powerful device with great hardware and support 4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Audio, etc. The remote is touch control and can use Siri for voice command, your iPhone can be a remote as well.

It also has many streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Viki, AppleTV+, etc., and comes with tons of internal storage (32GB for the base variant) to store your own content.

Coming with a modified version of iOS – TVOS, AppleTV 4K can be used to play iOS games with Apple Arcade and use iOS apps with the Apple App Store.

Fire TV Cube

Fire TV Cube | Hands-free streaming device with Alexa | 4K Ultra HD
Fire TV Cube | Hands-free streaming device with Alexa | 4K Ultra HD

Fire TV Cube is one of the best Fire devices that Amazon has to offer. The cube has a built-in speaker so users can start Alexa at any moment for playback control and more.

It can stream content at 4K, HDR, with the support of Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos,… and runs FireOS.

It comes with lots of services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Prime Music, YouTube TV, Disney+, etc. with 4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Audio support.

Android Box TV

Xiaomi Mi Box S | 4K HDR Android TV with Google Assistant Remote Streaming Media Player
Xiaomi Mi Box S | 4K HDR Android TV with Google Assistant Remote Streaming Media Player

Android Box TVs are a range of set-top boxes that run Android TV out of the box. As such, they have many prices with different performances to choose from. Mi Box 4K is one of those devices with 4K support.

The stock android TV OS will come with Netflix, YouTube TV, Hulu, Disney+, etc. The products have Google Assistant for voice commands and Chromecast for casting your own content to the TV.

Smart TV

Smart TVs are TVs with built-in OS (most run Android TV) for streaming content from streaming services. Like Android Box, the hardware can come from many brands with different specs and prices.

Roku TV

TCL 50S425 50 Inch 4K Smart LED Roku TV
TCL 50S425 50 Inch 4K Smart LED Roku TV

Roku TV is a smart TV with Roku OS as the main operating system. Just like any other Roku product, it comes with many streaming services like Netflix, NOW TV, etc.

TCL is one of the manufacturers that ship most of its TV with Roku OS. It can also work as a normal TV that you can use to watch your cable channels. Plus, you can plug in another set-top box device to use.

Fire TV Edition

Toshiba 43LF621U21 43-inch Smart 4K UHD with Dolby Vision - Fire TV Edition
Toshiba 43LF621U21 43-inch Smart 4K UHD with Dolby Vision – Fire TV Edition

Fire TV Edition TVs are smart TV that comes with Amazon’s FireOS, therefore they can enjoy the same perks as the Amazon Fire Cube TV or Fire Stick. That means Netflix, YouTube TV, etc., and normal cable TV at the same time.

The quality of the services will depend on your TV’s hardware, but you can get 4K, HDR support with great-price TVs.

Streaming services you need to know about

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is an on-demand streaming service owned by Amazon. It offers a large collection of programs as well as original contents, like “Transparent”, “Alpha House”, “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, etc.

It also has many movies and TV shows from services like Curiosity Stream, Showtime,… and channels like HBO, Cinemax, PBS Kids, Boomerang,…

The subscription is available for $12.99 a month in the US, and $119 a year. With the service, you will get many Prime services and perks like ad-free music streaming, Prime Reading, Prime Gaming, and free delivery when buying Amazon items.

The service is available on any devices with the Prime app, like Amazon device lineups, Google Chromecast, AppleTV, Roku,… and can support 4K, HDR,…

HBO Now

HBO Now offers lots of original content like Barry, His Dark Material, Silicon Valley,… as well as beloved shows like Game of Thrones, Deadwood, The Wire, Watchmen,… and mini-series like Chernobyl, The Outsider, The Young Pope,…

You can find a list of HBO NOW’s TV shows and movie title here

The service is pricey compared to the competition, at $14.99 a month, and is available on most streaming devices available. The downside is that for now it is only available in the US, and don’t drop the content of 1 season of a show at once.

Hulu

Hulu offers tons of TV shows from channels like ABC, NBC, Fox, Comedy Central…

There is also a growing number of original content like Handmaid’s Tale, Little Fire Everywhere, Marvel’s Runaways, PEN15, Normal People,… and high-profile documentaries like Fyre Fraud, Hillary,…

Hulu is available on most streaming devices and has an impressively cheap subscription price of $6 a month and $65 a month for Hulu Plus Live TV.

The small caveat is that the cheap price means the service will serve ads, and you need to upgrade to $12 a month if you want to remove the ads. Moreover, the UI is a bit complex and may cause confusion.

Netflix

Netflix is one of the best streaming services in spite of its expensive price. It has a large number of shows from many channels like The Office, Friends, lots of Marvel series,…

It also has a ton of good original content like Black Mirror, The Umbrella Academy, The Witcher, Ozark, Dead to Me, Russian Doll, Stranger Things,…

There are also winning-award originals like The Queen’s Gambit, The Crown, Rainey’s Black Bottom,… and the list goes on.

Netflix will be available for $8.99 a month for SD quality and 1 device; $13.99 a month for HD quality, 2 simultaneous streams, and offline download for 2 devices; $17.99 a month for 4K, 4 simultaneous streams, offline download for 4 devices.

Netflix offers apps for most streaming devices like Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, and AppleTV.

DirecTV Now

AT&T’s DirecTV Now (now is AT&T TV Now) offers more channels (including local channels) for the price compared to many competitors like ABC, Fox, NBC, CBS,…

It is the cableless version of the DirecTV, which itself already has rich contents but runs on satellite service.

DirecTV Now is available on Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Roku devices, Roku TV, AppleTV, Chromecast,… for $40 a month, up to $75 a month depending on the channels, and only in the US.

If you subscribe to AT&T wireless service, you can watch DirecTV Now without data fees.

Sling TV

Sling TV lets you watch a large number of TV channels. It has the same channels as those with cable or satellite services, but fewer channels and a cheaper price, some channels include CNN, TNT, Fox, NBC, ESPN, Disney,…

It is available for $35 a month, with 2 plans to choose from: Sling Blue and Sling Orange, on many devices in the form of the Sling TV app like Amazon Fire TV, Roku devices, SmartTV, and more.

There are also lots of add-on channels like Comedy Extra, Hollywood Extra, Sports Extra,… and AirTV streamers integration to stream any local channels from your antenna from the Sling TV UI.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV offers more than 80 entertainment, news, sports channels, and live TV as it aims to replace cable TV, some channels include:

  • Local channels: ABC, Fox, CBS, PBS,…
  • News channels: CNBC, BBC America, CNN, NFL,…
  • Entertainment channels: Cartoon Network, National Geographic, FX,…

YouTube TV is available for $64.99 a month, on most streaming devices like Roku, Fire TV, AppleTV, AndroidTV,… Some add-on services include HBO Max, Starz, Acorn TV,…

Google Play Movies

Google Play Movies lets you buy or rent content from its library of contents, some are even free to watch. The perk is you get to keep the movies and watch them as you desire.

It has many shows from many cable TV channels (ABC, Cartoon Network, Bravo, A&E,… and many contents from other streaming services like The Handmaid’s Tale from Hulu.

Most TV episodes can be bought for roughly $1.99 and $14.99 if they are new releases. The rental options vary, it can be 48 hours watch time within 30 days, or 72 hours watch time.

Other

Some other streaming services include:

  • Fubo TV is at $65 a month for many cable channels, live TV, available on most streaming devices like Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku,…
  • Disney+ is at $8 a month for tons of classic and new Disney content, including Marvel series, available on most streaming devices like Fire TV, Android TV, AppleTV, Roku, Chromecast,…
  • Crackle is free with ads and a decent amount of original content, available on many streaming devices like Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, AppleTV, Android TV,…
  • AppleTV+ is at $5 a month, with a gradually rising amount of original content, available on AppleTV, Roku, Fire TV,…
  • And hundreds more like Peacock, ESPN+, Curiosity Stream, Vudu, iTunes, Discovery+, Paramount,…

How to Choose the Best Streaming Device for you

Video Quality (Playback quality and resolution):

Most recent models of streaming devices can stream 4K60fps, which is better than 1080p or 720p. Some of them include AppleTV 4K, Fire TV,  Chromecast with Google TV, Roku Streaming Stick, Nvidia Shield devices,…

For better quality content, there is also HDR, HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision Support includes Apple TV 4K, Roku Ultra, Amazon Fire TV 4K, Nvidia Shield devices, Chromecast with Google TV, and more.

HDR support includes all the above devices and Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Premiere,…

Keep in mind that your TV also needs to support those standards to take advantage of the devices.

Audio Quality (Audio codec support):

Most streaming devices can support Dolby Digital 5,1 Codecs (Dolby Digital or Dolby Digital Plus) with multiple channels.

For even better audio quality playback, there is Dolby Atmos which gives an immersive, “surround” audio experience. Some supported devices include AppleTV 4K, Chromecast with Google TV, Chromecast Ultra, Fire Stick 4K, and more.

Your speakers will need to support those standards as well. For streaming your own content, most support main-streaming audio codecs like MP3, AAC, Wav, Ogg,…

Networking (Dual-Band WiFi, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi):

To stream content from the internet, you will need stable and high-speed internet, which in turn requires capable devices and Wifi routers.

Most streaming devices can mostly support 802.11ac wifi standard (wifi 5) (along with a/b/g/n standards) for faster and more data transfer wirelessly, and Dual-band wifi (2.4GHz and 5Ghz) for a more stable wifi connection.

For internet speed, about 20Mbps should be enough to handle 4K streaming.

Performance (Stick-Style Device or Set-Top Box or Smart TV)

Set-Top Boxes generally perform better than Stick-Style Devices since they have more space to put better components.

The best performers include Nvidia Shield TV devices and Apple TV. They perform well, the UI is easy and fluid to navigate, gaming on these devices is smooth, and voice command is quick.

The others like Fire TV Stick 4K, Roku Stick, Chromecast with Google TV may not be as powerful, but they can perform normal tasks when streaming just fine.

Lower performance devices like the Roku Express, 2nd gen Fire TV Stick, or 3rd gen Chromecast come even cheaper, but if you want the best experience, consider skipping them.

Using voice search:

Most devices support voice assistants through the included remotes. You press a button on the remote to activate the voice assistants and say commands to them.

Voice assistants can help users control playback while watching, search, open apps, and additional features like checking weather, web search,…

AppleTV uses Siri, Amazon Fire devices use Alexa, Chromecast, and Android TV devices use Google Assistant. Roku can support all 3 voice assistants. Nvidia can support Google Assistant and Alexa.

Smart Speaker Support:

Smart Speakers let you use voice assistants to control the TV. Some smart speakers include Echo lineup, Google Home lineup, or Apple HomePod lineup. Smart speakers can be connected to streaming devices via Bluetooth.

These speakers will provide better quality sounds and voice commands from voice assistants like Alexa for Echos, Google Assistant for Google Homes, and Siri for Apple HomePods.

Connectivity: (Connecting a USB storage device, ethernet cable, or sound system via an analog or digital optical audio cable?)

Stick-Style Devices only have 1 HDMI port to plug into the TVs and another USB port for power.

Most Set-Top Boxes have additional USB ports for USB storage devices in case you download content for offline viewing. For stick-style devices, you can get adapters that have USB ports.

You can find ethernet ports for more stable wired internet on devices like AppleTV 4K, Nvidia Shield Tv devices,… For now, The Roku Streambar is the only device with optical audio output.

For wired headphone connection, there are lots of android TV Boxes available with 3.5mm ports like the Mi Box S, Mi Box 4K,…

SmartTVs will often have multiple of the same ports and offer more ports since they can fit a lot more into the TVs.

AirPlay, Cast, and Screen Mirroring:

Most streaming devices support screen mirroring to “stream” your own content from your devices to TVs. The content can be online from a streaming service or offline from your devices’ storage.

This is useful if for some reason your favorite streaming services are not available on a particular streaming device model.

Apple TV and Roku devices can use Airplay from iOS devices; Fire TV, Android TV, Chromecast devices have google cast built-in which both iOS and Android devices can use.

Video Streaming (On-Demand Streaming, Live TV Streaming, Movies Streaming, TV Everywhere Apps, Sports):

Services like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu support on-demand streaming. Those services’ content is available and can be watched right away anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Others like DirecTV NOW, Sling TV, YouTube TV offer live TV, sports events,… that aim to replace cable TV by featuring cable channels over the internet.

Not every service is available on every streaming device. For example, Peacock isn’t available on Fire TV, Roku doesn’t support HBO Max by default,…

TV everywhere apps aim to fix this. They work on most streaming devices and act as authenticators to use channel providers’ services on the streaming devices once you install them.

Apps & Games( Video Gaming, Music Photos)

Nvidia Shield TV devices allow users to play games streamed either from the servers with GeForce NOW or from Nvidia’s graphic cards PCs with GameStream. AppleTV also offers gaming with Apple Arcade.

All streaming services use modified versions of Android or iOS, so they can enjoy the apps ecosystems of both platforms. And you can use the screen mirroring features mentioned above or import via USB storage devices to view your own music and photos.

Private listening options: (Many devices support Bluetooth headphones for when you don’t want to disturb your spouse or kids)

Nvidia Shield TV devices, Apple TV, Fire TV, and more support Bluetooth 5.0 so viewers can use Bluetooth headphones to listen privately.

There are also 3,5mm ports found on Android TV Boxes and more to listen to with wired headphones.

Roku devices let you stream audio to your smartphone via their app, then use 3.5mm headphones to listen to the content.

Size matters (Stay entertained on vacation?)

Stick-Style devices like Fire Sticks, Roku Sticks, Chromecast are small, compact, and have simple set-ups. They are suitable for bringing along during a vacation or you need to change watching places a lot.

Set-Top Boxes and Smart TV are more ideal if you want a full-fledge cinema-like experience at home since they are more powerful and have more additional ports.

The price is right

Apple TV and Nvidia Shield devices sit on top in price with their top performance.

Typically, Stick-Style Devices like the Fire Sticks, Roku Sticks, Chromecast will be cheaper than Set-Top Boxes like Fire TV Cube, Apple TV,…

Smart TV and Android TV Box prices will vary depending on the hardware of the TVs.

Words and terms you need to know

1080p (HD) vs 4K Ultra HD:

1080p and 4K refers to the resolution of the streamed content, illustrated as the pixel counts horizontally and vertically. The resolution is 1920×1080 for 1080p and 3840×2160 for 4K.

This ultimately means higher resolution means the content will appear sharper and have more details since more pixels are condensed into a unit of areas.

The difference between 1080p and 4K isn’t major in normal or medium-sized TV, but the effect of 4K would be appreciated on big-size TVs.

High Dynamic Range (HDR):

In some scenarios with harsh lighting like bright light sources, the captured content will normally turn out either too bright and make the bright area lose detail or too dark and make the dark area lose details.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) content allows the bright and dark areas in the content to be retained and well represented, which translates to content with better light range and contrast.

HDR vs HDR 10 vs HDR10+:

Every device that supports HDR will be compatible with HDR10 since HDR10 is the minimum specification of HDR. HDR 10 also supports 10-bit color.

HDR10 means brighter and richer color content (1 billion colors compared to the normal 16.7 million colors).

HDR10+ is a step above HDR10. It can adjust the HDR dynamically and optimize every frame of the content.

802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi:

802.11a/b/g/n/ac are Wifi standards that get better as the standards develop. Later standards offer higher maximum speed, better range, more resistance to interference.

These standards have been renamed to Wifi 1 to 5 accordingly. For example, 801.11n is wifi 4, 802.11ac is wifi 5. The next big wifi standard – 802.11ax – will be wifi 6.

Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO):

MIMO technology split up the signal in multiple radio chains to send and receive data to all of the chains at the same time.

MIMO will provide a higher data rate and higher reliability, which means faster and more stable connection. It can be found in wifi 4 and wifi 5 standard.

Bluetooth 5.0 + LE:

Bluetooth 5.0 + LE allows viewers to use Bluetooth headphones for private listening, Bluetooth remotes to control the TV regardless of the remote position, and Bluetooth speakers for better sounds and voice commands as well.

Bluetooth 5.0 + LE has a transfer rate of 0.25 MB/s with a range of 40m.

Android TV:

Android TVs are smart TVs that run Android operating systems, so it comes with all the perks of Android, like a rich amount of apps, similar UI to smartphones, Google Assistant for voice command, etc.

Most streaming devices except for AppleTV run modified versions of Android, like FireOS on Fire TVs, Fire Sticks, Fire Cubes; RokuOS on Roku Sticks, Roku TV;…

Casting:

Casting refers to projecting contents from your devices’ screens (Android smartphones, tablets, iPhone, iPad,… ) to your TV screens. The content can be online or local from users’ storage.

Streaming devices can use either Airplay (Roku devices and AppleTV) or Chromecast-enabled apps. The devices and TVs will need to be on the same Wifi network.

Dolby Vision:

Dolby Vision is an HDR standard developed by Dolby Laboratories. It can also adjust HDR dynamically for every frame of the content, and support 12-bit color (nearly 69 billion colors),

It is supported on most high-end streaming devices like Nvidia Shield TV Pro, AppleTV 4K, etc.

Dolby Digital Plus:

Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC3) is an audio codec that supports up to 15 full-bandwidth audio channels compared to just 5 channels from Dolby Digital. Each channel comes with a bit rate of up to 6.144 MBit/s.

That means you can set up more speakers compared to Dolby Digital to take advantage of Dolby Digital Plus.

Dolby Digital Plus is supported on devices like Roku Streaming Stick+, Nvidia Shield TV Pro, Apple TV 4K, and more.

Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG):

Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) is another form of HDR that combines SDR (standard dynamic range) and HDR into 1 video signal so that content can be played SDR on SDR screen and HDR on HLG HDR screen.

This combined solution helps simplify the delivering methods and consumes fewer data compared to dedicated SDR and HDR signals.

Dolby Atmos:

Dolby Atmos assign sound in places, not channels compared to other Dolby codec, to provide “surround sounds” and bring a more immersive experience when watching content from streaming services.

At home, you can set up a “home cinema speaker system” to make full use of Dolby Atmos.

To use Dolby Atmos, you will need a soundbar or receiver that can decode it and streaming devices for the source. Most high-end streaming devices support Dolby Atmos, like Nvidia Shield TV Pro, Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire Stick 4K,…

Voice Remote:

Voice Remotes allow you to use voice commands through them. They usually have built-in micro to receive your voice and perform the task. You can activate the voice assistant on the remotes by pressing dedicated buttons.

Through voice assistants, you can control playback, search and open apps, and other normal tasks.

Single Sign-on (SSO):

Single Sign-on (SSO) allows users to access multiple streaming services with a single log-in. You will only need to enter your username and password once to access all services.

Another main benefit is you won’t have to use similar passwords across multiple streaming services to remember all the passwords, which pose security risks.

Questions and Answers (Q&A):

How to watch tv without cable or satellite?

The process of watching TV without cable or satellite can be boiled down to 3 steps:

  • Get a decently fast and stable internet connection
  • Get a streaming device with an OS to house the streaming services
  • Subscribe or log in to a streaming service where the contents are stored

To enjoy a particular standard (HDR for example), your streaming device, streaming service, and your TV (or speakers for audio standards) need to support that standard at the same time.

How to get tv reception without cable or an antenna?

There are many ways to enjoy TV content without cable or antenna, such as:

  • Live TV streaming services like DirecTV NOW, Sling TV, YouTube TV,…
  • Locast to stream broadcast TV over the internet.
  • Network apps like ABC, Fox Now, NBC, PBS, CBS,…

What is the best streaming device to replace cable?

The best performing streaming devices are the Nvidia Shield TV pros and AppleTV 4K.

Although sitting at high price tags, they offer lots of features for a better watching experience, such as support for 4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, gaming, app store access (AppleTV 4K)

The Roku Streaming Stick+ is one of the best value streaming devices with 4K, HDR10, Dolby Audio,… and a similar user experience to high-end streaming devices at a better price.

What is the best streaming service?

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are some of the best overall streaming services because of the rich content to watch as viewers desire, as well as tons of good original content.

There are also additional perks for these streaming services. For Amazon Prime Video, they are free delivery, Amazon Prime Music bundle, Prime Gaming,… For Netflix, that is an offline download.

The best Streaming service that can replace cable TV is Sling TV with its cheap price and great amounts of real-time channels to choose from.

The other services can be enjoyed by preference. If you like Disney content, you can go for Disney+ streaming service. If you like HBO movies and shows, you can get HBO Max and the same for others.

Streaming vs cable vs satellite picture quality?

Cable or satellite TV offer content at 480p, 720p, or at best 1080p. While streaming devices with streaming services can provide content up to 4K in resolution.

Streaming devices with streaming services can also support many standards for a better watching experience. For visuals, there are HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision. For audio, there are Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos, etc.

Benefits of streaming TV

Here are the benefits of streaming TV compared to traditional cable or satellite TV:

  • Price: Streaming services’ subscription prices are often cheaper than cable and satellite TV
  • A wider range of content: Streaming services offer way more content than cable or satellite TV could since some streaming services have many contents from multiple other streaming services and TV channels.
  • Also, you can choose the content range you want to watch compared to cable or satellite TV that offers tons of channels that you may not watch at all.
  • Better quality: as mentioned, streaming content and streaming devices let users watch higher-quality content compared to satellite and cable TV with many excellent standard supports.
  • More than just TV: viewers can enjoy streaming content from many devices like Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, PCs, web browsers, consoles,.. anywhere, anytime as viewers desire.

Why are streaming services popular?

The advantages above combined with many drawbacks of cable and satellite TV are what make people participate in the cord-cutting movement.

What IPTV is – How IPTV works?

IPTV can deliver TV content with signals based on IP. Unlike OTT, IPTV operates in a dedicated, managed network closed system. Usually, it’s controlled by the local satellite, cable, fiber-optic, or telephone companies.

Conclusion

After reading “The Ultimate Cord Cutting Guide: How to watch tv without cable or satellite”, you should have a pretty good idea about everything related to cord-cutting, the streaming devices, services (and how to choose them), terms, etc.

Overall, when moving away from cable or satellite TV, you have lots of options of content to watch from streaming service, user experience from streaming devices, and some that extend beyond just watching the content.

Now go ahead and choose for yourself the cableless or satellite-less setups and join the rising number of cord-cutters around the world, and thanks for watching.

References

 

Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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