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Switch from Cable to Streaming Today


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 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. Still, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, younger Internet users are likelier to use online streaming services than their older counterparts. Before you cut the cord, you should know that cable and on-demand streaming services have pros and cons.


The content of this article is as current as the publication date. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information before acting.



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According to Updater, streaming services are more affordable, including 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, and local news and sports channels are far superior to on-demand streaming services. Conversely, cable wires are typically above ground and prone to outages during extreme weather.



Related Article: Remodel your home and mount your TV to the wall with these local Black contractors.



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.


PC Mag and Consumer Reports list each streaming device’s pros and cons and allow you to compare them to see which device will best fit your needs of shows, movies, and live TV options.


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).


Google Chromecast

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, allowing users to watch Apple TV content in 4K HDR, with Dolby Atmos sound and 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 access to live, local, proprietary, licensed, and curated content.


Before purchasing any streaming app, ensure it is compatible with the connected device. Most streaming apps can be watched on any smartphone or tablet for adults on the go and kids on the move.


Finding the right streaming apps to download to your smart device can take time and effort. You’ll need to select the one with the right content. 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 to record and store TV shows. 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.


Related Article: Choose the streaming app with your favorite Black TV shows.



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.


Sling TV

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+ national news and sports channels 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.


Related Article: Bingeworthy Black series and movies on Netflix.



Streaming Apps


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.


Tubi TV

Thousands of movies and TV shows are available all the time.


Apple TV+

Watch original series and movies only on Apple TV.



Watch old and new television shows, original series, movies, and videos on demand. Bundle plans include Disney+ services.



Relive your childhood by watching your favorite fairy tales and cartoons. Also enjoy Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic movies and shows, and original series and movies.



Watch original series and catch up on your current shows like Greenleaf, Good Girls, and more—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.



Free with login
Most 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.


Urban Movie Channel 

Watch the best in Black film and television with new and exclusive content added weekly.



Stream BET originals, Tyler Perry sitcoms and movies, and classic hits like Martin.



Related Article: Stay in and watch these Black family movies on Netflix.



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.



Written by: Marissa Staples


The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job posting, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.


Cable to Streaming photo provided by © [] /Adobe Stock

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Written by Crystal Kendrick

Crystal Kendrick is the publisher of The Voice of Black Cincinnati. With a vision to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans in the region, Crystal oversees all content creation and publication, ensuring each piece aligns with the outlet's mission to inform, engage, and inspire. A lifelong advocate for community engagement and empowerment, Crystal's leadership steers The Voice of Black Cincinnati toward being a pivotal platform to find community resources, local Black-owned businesses, culturally relevant events, jobs with equal opportunity employers and scholarship for higher education. Connect with Crystal on LinkedIn to explore her experiences and contributions to Cincinnati's media landscape.