Cutting the cord is one of the best cost-saving tips I've given you in the past. You can save hundreds - and even thousands - of dollars a year just by getting rid of your cable service. The best part is you can get most of your favorite shows and programs cheaply on the Internet and stream them right to your television.
It sounds like a win-win situation, right? But, some people are still hesitant to get rid of cable altogether because they don't want to lose access to all of their favorite shows or features.
You can cut the cord without missing out on most of your shows thanks to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. They don't carry every single thing you want to watch, but their catalogs are growing every day. It can still be inconvenient to search through every service to finally find what you're looking for, though. Click here to see which streaming boxes work with Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube and more.
If you're a sports fan or a news junkie, HD antennas can pick up broadcast signals from your local stations. So, the combination of an HD antenna and a set-top box should cover most of your viewing needs. But, some people still like the added features they get with cable. For instance, I miss recording my favorite local sports on DVR to watch when I get done recording in the studio.
That's why I'm very excited about these new gadgets from Roku and TiVo. They're making cutting the cord more attractive than ever by providing us with just what we're asking for.
Roku & TiVo
For those of you intimidated by the thought of setting up a streaming box, Roku has a solution for you. The company has partnered with two television manufacturers to create a smart TV that has Roku built in and includes lets you use one search area to find content across its huge catalog of streaming services.
The search works across 13 providers, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus. In addition Roku offers some 1,700 channels, connecting to YouTube, Showtime Anytime, HBO Go (depending on your cable provider — it won’t work with Comcast), live streaming sports like WatchESPN and MLB.TV, plus Disney Channel and PBS.
The Roku televisions are easy to set up, because they have Wi-Fi. Just connect them to your Internet and you're ready to go. They're also relatively cheap. One 48-inch version from TCL is priced at $499.
If you're concerned about recording your favorite shows, the new box from TiVo is for you. The Roamio OTA is only $50 and it's like a regular TiVo for cord cutters.
But the TiVo — plus an antenna — can then record network television, so that even if you’re cutting the cord, you don’t have to miss episodes of “So You Think You Can Dance” on your DVR. The result is an experience that feels close to having cable — and adds streaming — all in one nice interface.
TiVo's gadget also works with streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. You also have to purchase the HD antenna separately. You can buy a great indoor antenna in my store right now for 37% off!