(BPT) - Ditching cable for what are known as 'streaming' services like Netflix, Hulu, Philo and more is all the rage these days. Despite what one may think, it's easy to make the move from traditional cable or satellite TV to a robust, highly affordable and customized TV-watching experience. Cutting cable not only gives you access to the TV shows and movies you already love, but will open up a new world of entertainment you can watch when you want and where you want on TVs or almost any device you own like cell phones, tablets, and more.
But where do you start? If you're thinking of cutting the cable cord and don't want to go cold turkey, you can test the waters with this quick-start guide that will prepare you for the jump to being a full-fledged 'Cord Cutter' at a fraction of the cost of cable.
Here's how to get started.
1. What do you want to watch?
Love nail-biting true crime dramas? Are you a romantic who needs to see every heart-warming ending? Perhaps a sports nut who needs to see every game? There are streaming TV services that appeal to every appetite, and you can subscribe to more than a few for a lot less than traditional cable or satellite. For example, Netflix offers great original on-demand programming as well as a catalog of beloved movies and TV shows for $13.99 a month. While for $20 a month, Philo offers 59 popular live TV channels from HGTV and Comedy Central, to AMC and Hallmark, and includes free DVR, thousands of hours of on-demand content and even a referral code to reward yourself, your friends and family. Combined, these two are less than $40 a month, making it easy to imagine a bundle of services that is perfect for you, yet costs less than what you're paying now.
2. Check out free trials
Not sure what streaming TV services are best for you? Try some free trials. Almost all TV streaming services offer free trials, so you can pick a couple to try out before making any commitments. If a service requires a credit card to sign up for a free trial, don't panic. There should be the option to cancel before the trial ends and you are charged anything. Take note of this date and make sure to decide if you want to pay up for it. If you don't have or don't want to use a credit card, Philo will give you a two-day free trial with just a telephone number.
3. How to watch
Chances are, you already have a number of ways to stream TV in your home, pocket and backpack. There are apps for computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming systems; and of course a slew of devices like Roku, Android TV, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. If you have a smart TV, you can watch streaming content directly on your TV via an internet connection. If you need to pick up a streaming device, it's a one-time cost and there are an array of products at varying price points.
4. An antenna for local
Prospective cord cutters are sometimes hesitant to make the change and miss out on local sports, news or other programming. With a one-time purchase of an HDTV antenna for about $30, you can grab all the free, over-the-air channels available in your area and bring it directly to your TV. Today's antenna options are more advanced than the rabbit ears of old, and another great way to complement your favorite streaming service(s). To find out how many local channels will be available using an over the air TV antenna, go to AntennaWeb.org and enter your address.
Once you've seen the cost savings, had a chance to explore the rich trove of content, and sampled a few of the great streaming TV services, making the change is quite easy. Streaming services require a high-speed internet connection, which most homes already have. If not, shop around for internet service providers that offer high bandwidth and are available in your area. There's a ton of additional information available online about the next steps, but once you have a high-speed internet connection and a streaming TV device, all you need to do is decide what to watch!
Learn more about your options at https://about.philo.com/cordcutting/.