What the Tech? Cutting the cable cord
There are two types of TV viewers: Those who've cut the cord, and those who are still thinking about it. Millions of people plan to ditch cable or satellite this year, and if you're thinking about it, there are some things you should know.
Sling, YouTube TV, Direct TV Now and Hulu are the more popular companies that offer live TV. They all have competitive prices, ranging from $25-$50 a month. A bare bones Sling subscription is $25 but if you watch much TV at all now, you won't find everything you want to see unless you go up to a $40 a month subscription. If you want to watch on more screens, that's an additional cost. If you want to watch like you do now with a DVR, that's another $5 a month.
Watch for these companies to raise prices now that everyone is getting on board the streaming express. Hulu just raised prices of its live TV packages by $5 dollars. With no ads, that's over $50. With ads will be $45 starting at the end of this month.
After reviewing all the streaming companies, I found that YouTube TV is the clear winner. For $40 a month you get most every channel available, plus you can watch different channels on 6 screens at the same time. There's no extra charge for DVR.
You will want an antenna to pick up local channels, but if there isn't a clear signal or if your home is more than, say 40 miles from a station transmitter, you most likely won't be able to pick up those channels with an indoor antenna.
Don't be fooled by antenna companies that claim you'll be able to see paid cable channels for free. You'll be able to watch any channel that has a transmitter relatively close to your home. You'll most likely be able to get the local network stations and the other channels they broadcast such as MeTV, Funny and channels that show all courtroom drama, all 60s shows and all westerns, you're almost guaranteed to get about a dozen religious channels.
You may need to upgrade your internet package for higher speeds. Streaming needs plenty of bandwidth or else you'll see buffering when you're trying to watch a movie while your kids are watching YouTube.
Tubi TV and Pluto offer free movies and some TV. Since it's free you will have to sit through commercials that cannot be skipped.
READ MORE | What the Tech? Free streaming services
Prices for streaming networks and services are going up. Netflix announced a price increase earlier this year of a few dollars each month. Hulu's rate for some packages are going up $5 at the end of February.
At the moment you can save 20-30% of your monthly TV viewing experiences.