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Everything You Need To Know When Cutting The Cord

Not literally.

The Cord Cutter's Guide

Cutting the cord… If you’re looking for child-birthing advice, please consult an actual physician. But for those of you looking to abandon cable companies – despite their long history of treating customers fairly and charging reasonable amounts – look no further. Here are all the devices, platforms, channels, and apps you need to know to cut the (cable) cord.

Toe the Water

For those who’d prefer to loosen the cord instead of cutting it entirely, Dish Network’s Sling TV offers a $20 per month package of cable darlings like AMC and ESPN, both live and on-demand. Playstation Vue offers a $50 per month package of just over 50 channels – and like Sling, does not require long-term contracts.

Stick With It

When deciding whether to stream through Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, and even the Amazon Fire TV Stick, you could simply choose based on price – in which case, you’d choose the $35 Chromecast – or you could dig into which offers the kind of content you’re more likely to watch. TechHive’s got a helpful rundown of each platform’s available media – dig into it here.

The Original Gangsters

Sure, missing out on the House of Cards water cooler brought the stragglers to Netflix, but it may be the platform’s streaming quality that’s keeping them there. Amazon Prime is catching up and Hulu Plus continues to score exclusive rights to major broadcast hits – most recently, FOX’s Empire. And don’t forget about Crackle, of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee fame.

Jumping Ship

Meanwhile, networks are betting their viewers are loyal enough to pay a subscription fee for their content only. HBO Now is expected to appear on Apple TV this week for $15 a month, while CBS All Access launched in October to sour reviews. NBC’s taking a more specific approach, as they are working on a subscription streaming comedy channel, and Nickelodeon Noggin is looking to get tots streaming young.

Go Niche

Among the slowest to cut cords may be cable-hooked sports lovers, but standalone sports streaming subscriptions have been around for some time – MLB.tv – 13 years in – allows baseball fans to watch every out-of-market game live, at $130 for the season.

And there are plenty more niche offerings where that came from: Qello streams concerts and music documentaries, SnagFilms hones in on Indie films, CrunchyRoll aims at the Anime crowd, and Warner Archive takes you back in time.

The Curator’s Cure

If all these options seem a bit overwhelming, you’re not alone. That’s why services like FanTV and Yidio have found success helping users navigate what movie or TV show is streaming on what service.

Now go forth (and break free).

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