Get Rid of Channel Clutter: A Guide to Cord Cutting

Person cutting a cable

The terms “cord cutters” and “cord cutting” worked their way into our lexicon in 2017, and for good reason. According to the research firm eMarketer, an estimated 22.2 million U.S. adults became “cord cutters” by the end of 2017, an increase of 33% from 16.7 million in 2016.

“Cord cutters” is the term used to define people who have canceled their traditional TV services, or “cut the cord.” By comparison, the “cord nevers” — a younger demographic of TV viewers who have never subscribed to pay TV — rose 5.8% in 2017 to 34.4 million.

Tired of paying for channels you never watch? Think you’re ready to become a cord cutter? You might be, but there are a few things you should know before you cut your ties with traditional TV.

1. What exactly is streaming TV?

Streaming TV allows viewers to select services with content that is more aligned with their viewing habits. Rather than being charged for dozens of pre-selected traditional TV channels – many of which viewers never watch — streaming TV services offer more streamlined, select programming. Vendors such as Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV, YouTube TV, HBO Go, Amazon and others offer their own unique viewing options, including programming developed specifically for that service. These subscriptions are often in the $20-$25/month range, or at least priced far less than traditional TV packages.

Viewers can review these streaming TV services and select the vendor or vendors that offer programming they want to watch. Viewers can see significant savings over traditional TV subscription services — but it’s not exactly apples and oranges.

2. Gadgets are required.

In order to stream TV, you’ll need to purchase devices like Roku or an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Google Chrome, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or other products that support streaming services. The Roku and Fire TV Stick generally cost in the $30-$40 range, with the other devices selling at higher price points. If you want to really go all out and impress your friends, purchase an Amazon Alexa or Google Home and order up your TV shows by asking your digital personal assistant to make it so.

3. Network channels are not a given.

To some viewers, local/network channels are not important, while to others, not having access to those sources of information and programming are unthinkable. While some streaming services offer major network stations, not all of them do — and some of them only offer one or two. You also may not be able to watch the shows in real time, but can stream them later. Also, if you don’t live in a major TV market, you’ll need to check to see what’s available in your area.

The good news for Smithville Streaming TV customers is that we offer an extensive number of local network channels in our package. Another option: purchase an antennae to pick up those local stations. (Yes, they still make them!)

4. You’ll need some solid internet speeds.

Because streaming services come in through the internet, you’ll want to make sure you have the best speeds available. Check with the streaming vendors to see what speeds they recommend — because no one likes spending time watching the little wheel spin while shows buffer.

The good news, again, for Smithville Streaming TV customers is that, while they are required to have Smithville’s residential internet in order to sign up for our streaming TV service, our fiber internet and highest VDSL speeds can handle streaming with ease. Our customer service representatives can help you determine if your Smithville internet speed is compatible with streaming.

5. Get ready to change your viewing habits.

For people who prefer “appointment viewing” — watching the news every evening at 6:30 or your favorite drama every Tuesday at 9PM, for instance — streaming TV will shake up your habits a bit. Even when local/network channels are available, they’re often not available live, which means you’ll have to watch them at a later date.

For those who prefer to watch their shows live, Smithville Streaming TV is perfect. You don’t have to give up your favorite local programs just because you want to cut that cord. Once you have Smithville Streaming TV for your local channels, simply add another streaming service to round out your must-have shows and movies for TV that fits your life, allowing you to watch exactly what you want, when you want.

6. One more thing.

Many of these services offer a free trial period so you can try before you buy. Smithville’s streaming service is available on a month-to-month basis, so there’s no contract. If you find it’s not your cup of tea, simply cancel. The affordable price makes it easy to give it an “Ah, what the heck” shot as well.

Ready to get rid of channel clutter and cut the cord? After you’ve done your homework, compared costs and are ready to join the millions of viewers who have said “no” to traditional TV, we invite you to call us at (800) 742-4084 to see how Smithville Streaming TV can make your leap even easier.