Every day on social media, someone asks how to watch television without cable, antenna, or satellite, and which streaming services offer the best value for adults and families. The questions sound a lot like this:
How can I switch from cable to streaming video services?
Which streaming apps have the most African American TV series and movies?
Can I watch local news and sports without cable?
How can I watch my favorite shows for FREE?
Cord-cutting or the digital transition is the switch from cable tv service to wireless over-the-air streaming services with instant video. According to Pew Research, cord-cutting has grown since 2015. The shift away from pay-TV services crosses all age groups, but according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, younger Internet users have consistently been much more likely to use online streaming services than their older counterparts. Before you cut the cord, you should know that both cable and on-demand streaming services have their pros and cons.
According to Updater, streaming services are deemed to be more affordable, include customized and unlimited viewing, and the option to cancel without financial penalties. In contrast, on-demand streaming requires high-speed internet to access content and ensure uninterrupted viewing. Updater also points out that on-demand video streaming requires users to know their shows as the search and guide functions are less user-friendly. In some cases, streaming services can be downright overwhelming and frustrating as expressed in an article by NPR.
Traditional cable services offer more content than streaming services, local news and sports channels that are far superior to on-demand streaming services. On the flip side, cable wires are typically above ground and prone to outages during extreme weather.
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How to switch from cable to streaming TV
According to Clark, switching from cable to streaming apps requires the following equipment and technology:
- Smart TVs or any television with built-in HDMI ports
- Internet service with a minimum of 1.5 – 25 megabits per second (Mbps)
Streaming devices plug into televisions wirelessly or through an HDMI port. These devices can be purchased at major big-box or electronics retailers such as Target, Walmart, Best Buy or Amazon. Most on-demand streaming devices do not have a monthly fee, but many streaming services require fees per month or subscriptions.
What is the best streaming service to replace cable?
Below are options for streaming services that plug into HDMI ports and house streaming apps.
Plugs into an HDMI port and acts as the home for all entertainment apps allowing users to streamline the setup, replace expensive cable equipment and view selected content.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Plugs into an HDMI port and provides a platform to utilize all streaming apps and Amazon Fire TV streaming. Amazon Fire Stick also comes with Alexa Voice Remote (2nd Generation, 2019).
Plug Chromecast into the HDMI port on your TV to power and stream your favorite entertainment from your phone to your television with just a tap.
Apple TV 4K
Plugs into an HDMI port and allows users to watch Apple TV content in 4K HDR and with Dolby Atmos sound plus other on-demand streaming services.
On-demand Streaming Apps
With a streaming device, users can download apps to smart devices and TVs with HDMI. On-demand streaming apps offer users options to view live, local, proprietary, licensed and curated content.
Before purchasing any streaming app, make sure it is compatible with the connected device. For adults on the go and kids on the move, most streaming apps can be watched on any smartphone or tablet.
Now, finding the right streaming apps to download to your smart device can be tedious. You must select the one that has the right content for you. Most of us do not want to miss shows on local channels such as news, live sports, and our evening dramas.
Many streaming apps offer a Cloud digital video recorder where TV shows can be recorded and stored. PC Mag describes a Cloud digital video recorder as saving TV shows in the service provider’s data center rather than in the traditional digital video recorder/set-top box with the TV.
Live Television Streaming Apps (with a FREE 7-Day Trial):
All are compatible with iOS and Android
Stream live TV shows and national news from various networks. Record your shows to a Cloud digital video recorder for up to 30 days. Local and sports channels are not included. See channels available in your area.
Personalize your channels and get access to national news and sports like NBAT TV, SEC Network, entertainment networks and traditional cable channels, including local news channels for NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX. Plus, a Cloud digital video recorder. See channels available in your area.
Subscribers get access to national news and sports like ESPN, NBA TV, SEC Network, entertainment networks and traditional cable channels, including local news channels for NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX. Plus, a Cloud digital video recorder. See channels available in your area.
Hulu with Live TV
Stream 60+ Live and On Demand TV channels, including local news channels for NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX sports and national news and sports, entertainment networks and traditional cable channels. Plus, a Cloud digital video recorder. See channels available in your area.
As a subscriber, you get 100+ channels of national news and sports like NFL RedZone and NBA TV, entertainment networks and traditional cable channels, including local news channels for NBC and CBS. Plus, a Cloud digital video recorder. See channels available in your area.
Local news channels can also be streamed live for FREE through devices or by watching them through their online website or mobile app.
Streaming licensed and proprietary movies, documentaries, television shows original content and more.
Free with participating library membership
Find movies, documentaries, foreign and independent films, classic cinema and educational videos that inspire, enrich and entertain.
Thousands of movies and TV shows available all the time.
Watch original series and movies only on Apple TV.
Watch old and new television shows, plus original series, movies and video on demand. Bundle plans include Disney+ services.
Relive your childhood by watching your favorite fairy tales and cartoons. Also enjoy Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic movies and shows, plus original series and movies
Watch original series and catch up on your current shows like Greenleaf, Good Girls and more. Absolutely no commercials.
Amazon Prime Video
Enjoy series, movies and more. Movies channels like HBO, Starz, Cinemax, Showtime and more can be added for an additional cost. Amazon Prime Video is included with Amazon Prime Memberships.
Streaming TV Services and networks with Black actors and African American movies:
Streaming African American films, movies, documentaries and news with Black actors, directors and producers release your stress of code-switching.
OWN (Opera Winfrey Network)
Free with login
Most of the episodes are free to watch without a log-in once you download the streaming service. Certain shows may require a log-in from a streaming service such as Sling TV, Philo or FuboTV.
BET+ (offers a 7-day free trial)
Stream BET originals, Tyler Perry sitcoms and movies, plus the classic hits like Martin.
So, do you cord-cutters think you have what it takes to ditch cable? It’s possible! Drop cable and satellite tv today! Also, if you don’t see your favorite streaming services here? Let us know what it is at The Voice of Black Cincinnati.
Marissa Staples, Writer
The Voice of Black Cincinnati
Cable to Streaming photo provided by © [Rawpixel.com] /Adobe Stock
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