A helpful guide to cord cutting.
Three easy steps to break up with cable.
Get fast internet
Preferably fast, uncapped, and affordable internet. Like Sonic.
Get streaming device
Choose one that fits your lifestyle. Our guide suggests some of the more popular options.
Get streaming service
Find your apps: Sports, live tv, movies, and more!
What is cord-cutting?
The liberating act of canceling cable in favor of handpicking what you want to watch, all while saving money.
What once was the future of television has become the status-quo of worldwide media. Ditch cable and stream content through your internet — you’ll never need to look back. Through the power of your internet, you can still watch live TV, stream the newest (or oldest) movies, and do it all for cheaper than your current cable provider. Although cable companies still want you to believe that you get less from streaming, the last decade has shown that not only can you get more, but you can get more for less.
Your streaming can be as focused or varied as you want it. Your viewing is up to you. That’s cord cutting.
We have put together this guide to put the power of cord cutting back in your hands. Cable companies do what they can to make you think the process is scary, when really all the features of traditional cable are still available to you.
Let’s kick cable to the curb and build you the entertainment hub of your dreams.
Your streaming can be as simple or diverse as you want it.
- Yearly average savings from cutting the cord:
Why cut the cord?
We’ve all been there. Your outrageous cable bill shows up in the mail and despite the already high cost for entertainment, it is littered with hidden charges and fees. You call customer service to get to the bottom of your bill, only to be bounced around by seemingly every customer service representative your cable company has working for them. We’ve all thought: there has to be a better way right?
And there is. Millions of people around the world are doing it every day. “Cutting the cord,” gives you the freedom to watch what you want when you want. By selecting the subscription services that have access to the content you want and paying for only them, your choice has never mattered more in the world of entertainment.
Cutting the cord means you don’t pay for channels you don’t want. Cutting the cord means saving money. Cutting the cord means you have the freedom and flexibility of watching what you want, when you want, how you want.
Saving money is one of the primary reasons for cord-cutting. Why pay for cable TV when almost all the same content is available for less? Save money by paying for exactly what you want. Many internet streaming services offer comparable bundles to cable without the bloated extra channels and cost.
Watch what you want, when you want, and on any device. You have complete freedom! Gone are the days of slogging through 700+ channels. You’ll never miss a beat of action when you watch championship games on the go. Most importantly, you get to decide when you watch your favorite programs — they are all in one place.
Get rid of the cable box without getting rid of your shows and live television! With streaming, the hottest TV shows and movies, local, national, and international sports are at your fingertips.
How do I cut the cord?
Cutting the cord to cable is easy as 1-2-3 (with a bonus step)
Once you break the chains of your old cable provider, you now have the freedom to choose a streaming method for watching TV! The beautiful thing about streaming is that there is a method for everybody.
Almost all modern TVs are “smart TVs.” That means that they can connect to the internet, download apps, and stream videos and music! Pretty cool, huh? Plus, if you have access to an antenna, you can access free HD television over the airwaves to go with all the excellent streaming services at your disposal!
In recent years the competition for streaming devices has become fierce! These compact devices are easy to hook up (plug into your TV), navigate, and have tons of features. Some of the most popular streaming devices are the Amazon Firestick, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Roku Streaming Stick. For being so small, they sure do pack a big punch! They can stream 4K television and movies, support voice commands, and can even link to other services like Amazon Alexa or Google Asisstant.
Videogame systems aren’t just for gaming anymore. Gaming systems can stream live TV, download apps, movies, and games. Right now, the most prominent brands in gaming are Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.
- Minimum recommended (download) speed for streaming:
As we said before, when it comes to streaming devices, there is no shortage of options! While we won’t be able to go over every single device in detail, we can at least get you started with some of the more popular options.
Note: It isn’t necessary, but one point to consider is the “ecosystem” in which your device fits in. Do you have a lot of Apple products? What about Amazon or Google? For some, keeping their products together on the same “ecosystem” is essential, as they will be able to work with one another seamlessly.
Apple TV 4K
Apple TV 4K lets you watch movies and shows in amazing 4K HDR. A reimagined Home screen makes for an immersive and enjoyable experience. Stream your favorite channels live. And thanks to Siri (part of Apple’s ecosystem), you can control it all with just your voice. You also have access to the exclusive Apple Arcade.
Roku® Streaming Stick® 4K
The Roku® Streaming Stick® 4K packs a lot of power in a compact device that plugs directly into your TV. Brilliant picture quality with 4K, HD and HDR support, a voice-control remote and compatibility with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa prove that good things come in small packages.
Google Chromecast Ultra
With Chromecast Ultra, your mobile device is the remote! Chromecast Ultra seamlessly optimizes your streaming experience based on your internet speed. Stream in HD or 4K, voice activation, and Google Assistant allows you to control your devices anywhere.
Amazon Fire TV Cube
4K Ultra HD capabilities with built-in Amazon Alexa allows for complete voice control of the Amazon Cube and any connected devices — your TV included (whoa)! It also plays well with your other Amazon connected devices and services like Amazon Prime.
If you want a reason to ditch cable, you’re looking at them. It is nearly impossible to beat their prices, and their services are customer-centric and extremely flexible.
Live Professional & College Sports
If there is a sport you are passionate about, then there is a way to watch it!
There is a vast selection of sports channels on cable! Sometimes, though, we don’t need or want all of them. It doesn’t matter if your sport of choice includes bats, pucks, or hoops; you will have an option available to you. That’s the beautify of streaming! You can dedicate as many streaming apps as you want to the sports you love.
NOTE: These options are a la carte. Local or national channels are not listed.
The best way to watch the NFL on a budget is through one of the previously mentioned streaming services that include FOX, ESPN, (NFL RedZone via Sling Blue) or local antenna channels that broadcast games. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for a DirectTV subscription and NFL Sunday Ticket for $69.99 per month (not including any fees).
NBA League Pass
NBA content has never been better, and you can access it from any device in HD! Watch full-length or condensed games, home and away radio streams, and even watch live games in VR. Talk about immersive!
Like the NBA, MLB aggressively prices their streaming service to include your favorite team or the entire league if you’re a baseball nut! You’ll have access to home and away broadcasts (radio broadcasts included), HD streaming to all your devices, and an archive for every game that season (that’s 2,430 games!)
“Don’t miss a moment!” PGA Tour is the official streaming source for golf. 1,200 hours of featured group coverage. Shot tracing for every hole. Integrated scoring, statistics, and HD matches live. Plus 10-minute “speed rounds” for each player — so you’ll always be caught up!
Can your cable do this?
TV is changing. It starts with the internet.
You cut the cord and go looking for all the stuff you used to like to watch on TV. You find most of it. All’s right with the world.
What may surprise you is the sheer amount of stuff that’s not on cable. We’re not talking about direct-to-DVD movies or after school specials, either. We’re talking about high-quality produced shows that never went looking for a network deal because they don’t fit into cable TV’s time-worn mold.
Talk shows, major eSports competitions, events, and food converge into one of the most exciting and innovative entertainment platforms in the world. Twitch.tv is about communities uniting around a shared passion. Some of the most prominent pop-culture personalities in the world are coming from Twitch, so if you have kids (or maybe you’re a fan yourself!), Twitch.tv has established itself as a media powerhouse.
Red Bull TV
Extreme sports cranked to “11” is the best way to describe Red Bull TV. Red Bull TV airs all manner of sports and stunts. Snowboarding? Check. Rock Climbing and exploration? Double-check. Insane space jumps from the highest parts of Earth’s atmosphere? Tripple Check. Red Bull TV also makes exceptionally high-quality original shows, films, live tv, and events.
If you’re a fan of storytelling, then Vimeo is the ground-floor for animation, live-action, and documentary short films. Some of the most innovative animators, directors, and musicians share their work on Vimeo. These aren’t just random pieces of art either (those are encouraged, though!); these are award-winning, major-festival going, masterpieces from around the globe!
With over 1 billion views, TED Talks are a global phenomenon aimed to inform, entertain, and inspire. Watch presentations from some of the brightest minds the world has to offer. In 18 minutes or less, you’ll find yourself laughing, crying, or wanting to know more!
For all the questions any concerns you have about cord-cutting, this guide will hopefully be your best reference moving forward. We know it’s a lot of information all at once. Read through this guide as many times as you need to see if streaming makes the most sense (or ‘cents’) for you and enjoy the freedom of choice! What started as just an alternative to cable television has in recent years become the norm in many households.
If you are looking for an internet provider that cares about the consumer, delivers high-quality internet, and is incredibly affordable, then look no further than Sonic. See if we are available in your area and follow us on social media to find out more about the best internet company anywhere.
Prices for stated devices and streaming services last updated 9/3/2022.