Cut The Cord: Support & Information Page
"Cut the Cord" is a community presentation meant to help you get rid of the cost and limits of "cable TV" and replace it with the endless options available from online streaming.
The original sessions were presented in 2016 and 2017 at library and town events all over CT.
While (even now, three years later) there's no shortage of information about "cord cutting" on the web, most of it is aimed at a more experienced audience familiar with the details of using the hardware, apps and other tools used to find and view streaming content. It's hard to wade through discussions of one product vs another, or one approach vs others, when you don't have an understanding of how the overall process works and what your options are.
My presentation, now adapted to virtual meetings on Zoom and similar apps, is aimed at regular TV watchers who are ready to tell Comcast, Cox, Charter and other cable companies to get lost... to take their high prices, rigid service options and endless customer service headaches to the virtual dump. We're at a point where even a non-technical Do-It-Yourselfer can replace cable TV (and cable phone service) with better options - cheaper, more flexible, free of contracts and overhead costs, and much of it for free.
Please note that I am an independent consultant/speaker, and I have no connection of any kind with any cable, television, streaming or internet provider. (Other than the service connections I use myself!)
But if you're looking for any kind of business communications services, from business cards to complete video, online or presence campaigns, please do explore the rest of my site... and give me a call!
All links open in new windows.
By popular request, I've added this summary of the presentation. It's not a substitute for the real thing, but it does make a useful reminder of the important points and steps.
The FCC has a page that allows you to enter your location - from town down to your street address - and generate a list of television stations you may be able to receive, with approximate strengths and a map of antenna-pointing directions. If you have never looked at your available "OTA" - Over The Air - television options, do so! They're free to receive, often have multiple channels not carried on cable, and can be received in true HD!
AntennasDirect sells nothing but modern Digital TV (DTV) antennas and accessories, from set-top units to large dual-plane models intended for attic or outdoor mounting and reception from more than one direction. They also have a ton of information about selecting, installing and adjusting TV antennas in this era when everyone's forgotten about local TV in favor of cable availability.
JustWatch is a service that helps you find material on streaming. Visit the website or download the app to your Android or iPhone device, tell it which streaming channels you have, and search away! Free, but includes ads
Finding hour-by-hour TV listings without the convenience of the cable service is easy.
Roku makes a whole line of excellent streaming TV devices and has the advantage (over Amazon TV and Apple TV) of not being tied to any particular provider or services. It's worth a visit to their site just to browse the endless list of streaming channels and services and evaluate which are free, which are pay and which are the ridiculous condition of being "cable-locked"... which you can only get if you already have the channel on cable!
You can find the full range of streaming providers by simply going to the 'channel store' or 'streaming app' menu of any streaming device. There can be hundreds or thousands, though, so if you're really new to streaming, here are the "big gorillas" of the pay-content game:
There are countless "free" (ad-driven) providers, but here are some to look for as a start:
It is still difficult to get all live services via streaming, at least for free or low cost. Those who must have the full 24-hour news channels may have no choice but to remain with a basic cable subscription, or to switch to one of the “streaming cable” services at much the same price.
However, between the streaming app and the website version, services such as CNN and MSNBC can be obtained on a substantial, if not 24-hour-continuous basis. Give the combination a try.
For major networks, use a combination of the relevant streaming app, the national web site... and at least one affiliate app or website. You can often find a combination of, say, NBC app, NBC.com, and both apps and websites for major-city affiliates (Hartford, New Haven, NYC or even across the US) that brings all the regular news and programming you want. Don't forget that most networks are broadcasting right to your home as well... check and see if that OTA antenna can bring you the full day of programming you want, and for free and in true HD!
Vonage is the leader in providing the same "landline" phone service you've received from AT&T and whatever cable provider you've had... but at a much lower price, and with every feature you can want. Their voicemail system, which will email you not only a notice of voicemail and the recorded message, but a "speech to text" translation of the message, is only the beginning. You can also access your Vonage phone services on any cell phone with their app. Great international services and rates too.