Cut the Cord

Stream Big: A Guide to Cord Cutting

Three easy steps to break up with cable

1

Get fast internet

Preferably fast, uncapped, and affordable internet. Like Sonic.

2

Get streaming device

Choose one that fits your lifestyle. Our guide suggests some of the more popular options.

3

Get streaming service

Find your apps: Sports, live tv, movies, and more!

What is cord-cutting?

The liberating process of canceling cable and choosing what you want to watch, all while saving money.

Millions of people are ditching cable and streaming content through their internet — and they aren’t looking back. Through the power of your internet, you can watch live TV, stream the newest (or oldest) movies, and do it for cheaper than your current cable provider. Although cable companies would have you believe that you get less from streaming, we’re here to show you that not only can you get more, but you can get more for less.

Your streaming can be as simple or diverse as you want it. It is entirely up to you. That’s cord-cutting.

In this guide, we will guide you through the world of cord-cutting. Cord-cutting isn’t as scary as the cable companies make it out to be. All the features of traditional cable are still available to you, and we’ll show you how, albeit a phone, computer, or from the comfort of your TV.

We’ve got you covered.

Why cut the cord?

We’ve all been there. You receive the outrageous cable bills in the mail, sometimes with unspecified or hidden fees. You call customer service for a simple fix only to be led from person to person, wasting valuable time, that would end in a disconnected call. We’ve all thought: there has to be a better way.

There is. And millions of people around the world are doing it every day. I’m talking about three little words: “Cutting - the - cord.” Cutting the cord gives you the freedom to watch what you want when you want.

Cutting the cord means you don’t pay for a bunch of channels you don’t want. Cutting the cord means saving money. Cutting the cord means you have the freedom and flexibility of streaming your entertainment!

Price

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.

Convenience

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.

Content

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.

Smart TV icon

Smart TVs

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!

Streaming devices icon

Streaming Devices

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.

Gaming systems icon

Gaming Systems

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.

Streaming Devices

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

$179 (32GB) | $199 (64GB)

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®+

Roku® Streaming Stick®+

$49.99

The Roku® Streaming Stick®+ 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

Google Chromecast Ultra

$69

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

Amazon Fire TV Cube

$119.99 (on Amazon)

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.

On-Demand Streaming Services

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.

Netflix

Netflix

$8.99 | $12.99 | $15.99 per month

Although Netflix doesn’t boast live TV, its library of popular TV shows, films, and original content put it near the top of the class.

Hulu

Hulu

$5.99 | $11.99 (no ads) | $54.99 (Live TV) per month

Hulu’s mantra is “choice, flexibility, and control.” Get unlimited access to the Hulu streaming library with limited or no ads. Enjoy full seasons of exclusive series, hit movies, Hulu Originals, kids’ shows, and more. Stream 60+ top Live and On Demand TV channels including sports, news, and entertainment. Record Live TV with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video

$12.99 per month or $119 annual (prime) | $8.99 per month (video)

You can have access to Amazon Video with a Prime membership or as a standalone monthly service. Watch popular movies and TV, award-winning Amazon Originals, and live events — all included with a Prime membership. Members can also subscribe to 100+ channels and get special deals to rent or buy new release movies and more.

Live TV Streaming Services

Sling TV, YouTube TV, Locast, and others let you ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Here’s how the services stack up.

Sling

Sling

Orange $30 | Blue $30 | Orange + Blue $45 per month

Sling offers a variety of packages to fit your needs. The main difference between Sling Orange and Blue is a few channels, and the ability to stream on multiple devices at once. Combining the two gives you access to 50+ channels, including local channels, 10 hours of free cloud DVR storage, and the ability to upgrade your service with affordable sports and entertainment packages!

YouTube TV

YouTube TV

$64.99 per month

YouTube TV offers 70+ channels, local sports and news, and unlimited DVR storage space. YouTube TV also gives 6 accounts per household, so share it with your family members or roommates.

Locast.org

Locast.org

FREE

Locast provides local broadcast signals over the Internet in select cities. All you have to do is sign up online, provide your name and email address, and certify that you live in, and are logging on from, one of the select US cities. Then, you can stream your favorite local station anywhere.

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.

NBA League Pass

NBA League Pass

$124.99 League Pass + NBA TV | $99.99 League Pass | $59.99 Team Pass | $29.99 NBA TV

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!

MLB TV

MLB TV

$24.99 per month | $93.99 per year (single team) | $121.99 per year (everything)

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!)

NFL

NFL

DIRECT TV + NFL SUNDAY TICKET $69.99 per month

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).

PGA

PGA

$9.99 per month | $64.99 per year

“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.

Twitch TV

Twitch TV

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

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.

Vimeo

Vimeo

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!

TED TV

TED TV

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!

Conclusion

We know this was a lot of information to take in, but we encourage you to refer back to this guide if you have any questions or concerns about cord-cutting. For some of you, cord-cutting might be a no brainer. For others, cord-cutting might be a tough decision to make. Read through this guide a second time (or a third or fourth) to see if streaming makes the most sense (or ‘cents’) for you, and enjoy the freedom of choice!

Cord-cutting is an exciting time in our technological history! As the landscape of content distribution changes, so will the demands of streaming. We hope that you were able to learn a little bit more about cord-cutting: the steps to detach from cable, what devices you need to stream, and the plethora of services made available to you through the power of the internet!

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.