Now it's time for my "cut the cord" advice thread.

It’s simple: TV does not mean a lot to me, and our $140.00/month DirecTV bill is too freakin’ high. So I bought a Roku for Christmas, hooked it up, attached our Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts to it… now, what else should I do before I make the fateful call to ATT?

Goals: Save money.


Internet Speed: 18Mbps/download.
Provider: ATT
“Cut the Cord” equipment already obtained: Roku, HD antenna


Daughter: YouTube, Netflix (Already have)
Me: Eh, whatever. Movies are good. Some TV shows.
Wife: Local weather/news, BBC America


  1. Should my internet speed be faster? Assume three people, three-four devices.
  2. Will ATT try to fuck me by charging me more for the internet when I disconnect the DirecTV? And how?
  3. I’m agnostic towards ISP’s. Any suggestions?
  4. Are there any free streaming services I should be aware of?
  5. What other equipment should I get? Remember: spending $1,500 to save $1,500 is not in the cards. :smiley:
  6. Other tips, tricks would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

  1. Probably. Though see #2

  2. Most definitely. Generally if you have TV and internet they’ll say you have a ‘bundle’ and therefore you are uncoupling the bundle and your internet will cost more due to you paying the unbundled price.

  3. Check out Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, DirectTV Now for ‘skinny bundles’ - most of them have most local channels, and the basics like ESPN, CNN, Food Network, etc.

  4. You can also purchase an antenna for locals. If you want to record shows from them, a Tivo would come in hand.

If you pick up a streaming service you need to check if you have a data cap on your internet service. Overages can be deadly.

Most of the streaming services offer 7 day free trials. Use the service during the trial as you do your Direct TV and watch your data usage. If you’re streaming the occasional show you should be okay, but if it’s on from the time you get home until you go to bed you might be in trouble.

My wife and I are getting ready to cut the cord and we’ve tried out the services listed above plus one that hasn’t been mentioned—PS Vue. PS Vue has been my favorite so far.

I had a thread like this. I never cut the cord for this reason: I am addicted to the 24 hour news cycle. If there is a way to have my cake and eat it I’d love to know.

If you are a tech type, you can download Plex. The Plex client goes on your Roku, and the Plex server goes on a computer. Add a network Over the Air tuner like a Silicon Dust HD Homerun and it can record every show available via an antenna.

I got a free upgrade from Dish today for a HD receiver (only about 12 years overdue).

But, yeah. I should shit-can all of it. I’m a fucking couch potato now.

Exactly. Netflix gave me a month free. And now I am addicted.

$140/month? Hell, you’re getting off easy. Comcast is raping me for about $230/mo. I need to dump some premium channels and HD, cuz upwards of $3,000/year for fucking TV/internet/phone is ridiculous.

Hook an antenna up to your TV to see what regular channels you can get. Often you’ll get the networks and a lot of different sub channels. There are also websites you can use to enter your address and it’ll tell you what channels it thinks you can get. Consider a DVR for the OTA channels, since it allows you to have a library of network shows that would otherwise be spotty to try to find over streaming. Tivo has the Roamio which does OTA recording with no subscription fee.

Hulu is good for streaming most network/cable content. They don’t have everything, but they have a wide variety of on-demand content from the channels you’re used to with satellite.

PlutoTV is a streaming channel which packages up other free streaming channels and gives you a channel guide like you already have with satellite. Obviously it’s not all the same channels, but there are news channels, movie channels, sports, etc.

Many TV’s have smart capabilities. They won’t be as good as Roku, but it’s a way of having streaming to other TVs as well.

Still, the holy grail is live cable news on a new technology to bypass the cable.

Same here. I was reviewing my accounts last month and couldn’t believe cable & internet had gotten up to $250/mo with all the taxes and fees. (ETA: Sorry. $235/mo looking at the last bill. And we don’t even get HBO or Showtime or any of that!)

Hulu Live TV and Sling TV both have the major news channels available, I believe in their default packages.

You seem ready to go. I wouldn’t spend anymore money until after you try it. The main streaming services you’re already happy with plus an HD antenna will be enough while you think about what’s missing. I started with Netflix and Amazon Prime, but added a live TV package from Hulu, mostly because it includes the local sports network, NBCSports for my region, so I can watch my local basketball and hockey teams.

You may need a faster connection, maybe not. I wouldn’t increase it unless you have consistent issues with picture quality after cutting the cord.

The $140 was only for the DirectTV portion of my bill. Internet charges make the total higher, of course.

Thanks for the advice so far… keep it coming!

Yeah. Unfortunately the only way to get the lowest prices on internet only service without a bundle is to be a brand new customer, otherwise they hit you with the “You’re already a customer so those deals aren’t available to you. Now I’ll switch you over to our ‘existing-customer-anal-rape-rate’ for internet only.” I have FiOS, not AT&T but I’d imagine they do the same shit. I can’t even get them to tell me what my internet only price would be.

The only thing on your list that requires something like Sling/PS Vue/Hulu Live is BBC America, and if your wife can wait, a lot of it ends up on Netflix and Amazon eventually.

I have a Roku, and subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and I’m an Amazon Prime member. Those plus YouTube (there’s a Roku app) and a $17 window antenna from Amazon gets me all the TV I need.

Regarding antennas for getting local stations: With a digital TV you will need a digital antenna, and there are a range of them, both indoor and outdoor - the ones I have both need electrical power. A tip we got from the people who delivered our new smart TV: connect the antenna to your home’s existing coax network - then you can get local TV everywhere the cable TV used to be. Also, placement of the antenna is key - digital broadcasting is either 100% received, or not at all (if there is something obstructing the signal). You may need to fish around for the best spot and facing direction. Ours is in the garage and faces out a window - we get more local stations than I knew were around, plus some from the SF Bay Area.

We only have Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, plus local broadcasts. Sports fans will have to spend to get access akin to cable, but if sports are not critical, you can avoid that. A Tivo would be nice on occasion, but we have not sprung for that yet.

Untrue. Any VHF/UHF antenna will work. There is no such thing as a “digital antenna.” The antenna I have on my roof is exactly the same one that I used for analog broadcasts. In most areas, all of the digital stations are actually on UHF, even if they have old VHF numbers as their identifier.

Ah. Did not know that.

I’ve actually made antennas by cutting a piece of coax cable and stripping off the jacket and shield and exposing a small portion of the center conductor.

In Kansas City, where I am at the moment, all the channels are UHF from 16 to 47, in spite of them having “Display channels” like 4, 5 and 9. There is a digital channel on the VHF channel 7 in St. Joseph, MO, but most of the digital transition has been about moving to UHF to clear the VHF and upper UHF spectrum for cell data services. The higher the channel, the smaller the antenna elements, so except on rare instances, you can use a smaller UHF-only antenna.