A lot us are finding that our cable TV bill has been getting higher every year, as a result of this, many of us would like to know the cutting the cord options that may be available to us if ever we should decide to get rid of our cable TV altogether. Internet speeds has gotten higher and more reliable and so a lot of us can resort to streaming instead.
It is wonderful to know that there is a plethora of affordable cable tv alternatives out there to choose from. Alternatives that still allow you to get your locals in addition to your favorite TV shows and movies. However, to take full advantage of these streaming options, there are so many add-on devices that are available such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire devices and Android boxes. Some of these services from these devices are paid services, but is a lot cheaper than your typical cable packages.
However, there is also an option where you can get your local TV channels for free by installing a digital TV antenna, be it indoor or outdoor. It will be my pleasure to explain some of the more popular streaming options to you detail, and they are also my favorites.
Roku, Prepare to be Entertained
Roku is an all time favorite streaming device that is available in a set top box or a stick that looks like an oversize flash drive that you plug directly in the HDMI slot at the back of the TV. it comes in so many flavors which include Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Premier, Roku Premiere+ and Roku Ultra.
Roku Express is Roku’s cheapest device that comes in at about $30, although you will still enjoy all of Roku’s offering, you will be frustrated with its slow performance
Roku Express+ – If you still have your old TV that doesn’t have an HDMI port, this option can connect to your composite port (DVD player connection)
Roku Premiere – The Roku Premiere allows you to stream 4k content on your 4k TV. and is priced at about $60
Roku Premier+ – has a point anywhere remote that accommodates headphones connection, 4K HDR and is priced at about $80. It is not that much different from the Premiere+, it supports Ethernet connectivity and also comes with point anywhere remote with headphone connectivity and USB ports
Roku gives you all the big name movies in its store (500,000+) along with other streaming App such as Amazon, Slingtv, Directv Now, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube among others. You also get tons of free content, live news through the individual Apps and also free on demand TV series.
Amazon fire TV devices brings the whole world of Amazon to your TV. From books, music, TV shows to Alexa. It also includes other third party apps that allows you to watch live TV with a subscription such as Sling TV or Directv Now. It also has Netflix that gives you access to their original series. Amazon also has tons of free content. And you can also access a lot more free content with an Amazon Prime subscription. The remote control has voice control capability. Just ask for a movie to watch, a song to play or ask Alexa a question. I must also add that you can also control other smart home devices like camera feeds, thermostats or lighting with Alexa voice command. to see a complete lineup of all the devices, click here.
Android TV boxes – Make your ordinary TV smarter
A Roku, an Apple TV or an Amazon Fire TV devices are proprietary. Meaning they are built for their own ecosystem with a few add on such as Netflix, but Let’s say you want to do more like play your video library. Nearly all Android TV boxes have a lot more internal storage capability and also have the ability to access external storage via USB ports and also SD card storage that these other boxes do not carry.
In addition to that, you can freely download your favorite app from your google play store or any other third party app. It’s like your android phone or tablet on your TV. You can also access live TV with a subscription on Directv Now or Sling TV App, access tons of TV shows and movies with the Netflix App or get free content with the Crackle App as long as you don’t mind a few advertisement.
These boxes are also 4k ( such as the MXQ Pro), some also carry Bluetooth connectivity(such as the MXR Pro) so you can connect speaker, headphones or wireless keyboard
Sticks or Boxes – does it make a difference
Do I get the Stick or the Boxes are regular question I get asked all the time. Sticks originally came out to transform the “dumb TV” into smart TV, but as time goes on and technology improved, and so much more content became available and the need for more processing power and the demand for a better experience from the TV, sticks weren’t able to carry that much workload and so came the boxes. I personally prefer the boxes. They carry a lot more processing power, more internal storage, USB connectivity for external storage capability and SD card slot and these usually comes on the pure android TV boxes.
Sticks get gradually improved overtime with 4K capability so you are able to view 4K content on your 4K TV. However, they usually lack both internal and external storage and video playback from external storage.
It’s all up to you
If you think you are presently paying too much for your TV and you are looking for ways to cut the cord, as you can see there is so many affordable cable tv alternatives for you to choose from, all at reasonable prices for the equipment, Be it Roku, Amazon Devices or Android boxes. The best part is that there is no contracts and no equipment rental. you can get most Android boxes for under $40 and sticks for as little as $35 and most subscription comes for less than $20 a month. With a digital TV antenna, you can get your locals for free. I recommend both internal or external antennas with a 50 miles range, as depending on where you live, it is possible to get up to 20 over the air channels for free.
How about you, are you happy or satisfied with your tv experience so far? are you using a Roku, an Amazon Device, Apple tv or an Android Box. And how many channels can you get in your area with your Digital tv Antenna?