Cutting the Cord: How to Hack Your TV Budget

An average American is watching at least three to four hours of TV daily. The same is the case for most countries around the world. Television has become a huge medium for entertainment and infotainment in today’s age. This is one major reason why our TV packages are consuming most of our connectivity budgets.

Most ISPs are offering internet as well as cable deals to their customers are varying prices according to the chosen speeds and data packages. There are contracts to think of and digital packages can be very dicey with hidden cancellation/switching fees.

The question that most people are asking is that is there a way to cut down on the TV budget. Can we hack the price somehow and yet still enjoy seamless TV? The answer is yes. It is possible to do that and we are going to see how below:

The trend of Television watching

Most of us are transferring from traditional cable TV to streaming and on-demand services that are now easily available. This change is only going to increase as time passes by and the numbers will exponentially grow in the coming years.

Such paradigm shifts in the communications industry have been happening for quite some time now. It is exactly like the way we moved from floppy drives to CDs and then to DVDs to Blue Rays. It is like the shift from traditional cabs to Uber-like apps.

These shifts are happening due to the change in our priorities. We want to cut the intermediary by replacing it with technological solutions, making direct connections with the source. This is now easier with all the advancements that are happening in the tech industry. Customers can make efficient informed decisions through quicker access to services and products.

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When we talk about cord-cutting, services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and sling are some of the important names that are replacing regular cable TV fast.

Watching TV

Is bandwidth important when talking about TV watching

While this shift is going to get bigger with time, the cable and satellite providing companies will not be happy with this. It’s a fact these companies cannot control our decision of choosing one service over another, they can try to mess our internet speeds. The download and upload speed of the content depends on the internet service provider. Therefore, all the streaming services are dependent on the bandwidth provided by the ISPs.

This has occurred in the past with mobile companies like T-Mobile. To limit their customers from reaching the data caps, they compromise their bandwidth and the amount of content that a customer can watch.

Due to these concerns, the federal court defined the net neutrality rule. Now ISPs are forced to stay transparent about how they charge their prices and the fact that they cannot throttle the bandwidth to limit their consumers. These rules are necessary to understand if you want to continue with cord-cutting.

Steps to create a cord-cutting plan

Before cutting the cord, you need to select an ISP and an internet package, which can be the best for your needs for TV watching. Click on to compare prices and packages offered by different internet service providers. Let us look at the strategy to manage this decision.

  1. Run an inventory check on all the equipment that you already have at home. You might find out that you already have most of the tools required. Most of us own at least one or many such devices like Smart TV, Chromecast, or a Roku or Xbox One. It’s better for all the devices updated. Also, make sure of their compatibility for whichever streaming service you are opting for.
  2. If you are already in love with a certain service then you are halfway through your cord-cutting plan. Let’s look at the costs for some of the commonly used streaming services so you can make a concise idea in your head of the costs.
  • Netflix costs you $9 a month and offers an array of old and new movies, some originals, some old seasons and shows as well as new ones.
  • Amazon Prime costs $99 a year, offering music streaming, a nice selection of old and new movies as well as TV shows and some exclusives.
  • Hulu Plus costs $8 a month. It brings you various past seasons of some quite loved TV shows although the movie selection is limited.
  • Sling costs $20 per month and this is the closest you can get to the traditional Cable TV.
  • Different sticks offer various apps for streaming seasons, movies, and shows. You can use them in case you do not have any devices e.g.
  • Roku Streaming Stick that costs $46.33
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick, costing $39.99
  • Mohu OTA Antenna for $36 and
  • Google Chromecast will cost $35
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These devices are plug-in and play. You just need to sign up and then sign in and your service is ready. Your internet or Wi-Fi signal is important to get seamless glitch-free streaming. If signals are distorted or not enough, you will not be to enjoy any of the above services.

There is a single goal behind cord-cutting and that is to control what you watch and pay for only your selected services. If you keen on acquiring all of the above services then do remember to calculate your monthly costs. If they are more than what you were paying for your cable then you need to recalculate your preferences.

You generally don’t require all the streaming services. Many offer the same movies and programs. So try going for their trials and decide on one that suits you the best.

Since most streaming services are starting to offer HD or Full HD movies and shows, ISPs are also analysing consumer usage and upon review, they can increase prices. So do keep a check on what you binge-watch over the next weekend.


Rose is a technology enthusiast and a writer. She had the interest to write articles related to technology, software, Mobiles, Gadgets and many more.

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