If you’re looking for an alternative to your expensive cable subscription, you’ll want to know what the best cord cutting device is.
More and more people are finding that cutting the cable is the best option for them. Instead of paying for dozens of unused cable channels, consider switching to over-the-air stations or streaming services. These allow you to access exactly what suits you, whether that is local news or your favorite on-demand apps. Your wallet will thank you, too. Here is a list of our favorite cord cutting devices to streamline your home entertainment and media experience.
The rabbit-ear antenna you remember from the 1970’s has gotten a modern makeover.
All the major networks are still broadcasting their channels over the airwaves in HD, and you can access them for free with an HD antenna. You can also easily keep up with local news and sports. This option is simple and cost-effective since it doesn’t involve internet streaming services. So, if you are primarily interested in live TV, a new HD antenna might be the right cord-cutting device for you.
One great feature of an HD antenna is that it is small and inconspicuous – no more bulky hardware on your roof. Some antennas are flat devices which are designed to cling to a wall or window, and stay in place. For example, check out the Leaf Metro Indoor HDTV Antenna ($20) or the ClearStream Eclipse Indoor HDTV Antenna ($40). Another perk of a flat model is that it is usually paintable, so you’ll easily forget it’s even there. Others antennas take up a bit more room, but still fit nicely next to your TV. All models are simple to install. Just plug it into the TV, find a good spot for reception, and enjoy the free live TV.
Antennas can reach a variety of ranges: unamplified models cover roughly a 25 mile radius and are usually good for city dwellers who are close to the TV stations. Amplified versions can reach 45 to 70 miles away, which is preferable if you live in a more rural area. The Terk Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna ($40) is a great amplified model, since it is easily installed indoors, and still has an extended range. Your proximity to local stations or obstacles such as mountains can impact the number of channels you’ll receive, so research which channels are in range for you.
2. Amazon Fire TV
Streaming devices continue to rise in popularity, and for good reason. The all-in-one entertainment hub simplifies your streaming experience, providing access to thousands of built-in apps, movies, and games. Even better, no cords are needed since the device streams over your home wifi. A perfect option for cutting the cable.
Amazon released the third generation of their popular Fire TV in 2017. It is a small device (only 2.6″x 2.6″) that you plug directly into your HDTV. Plug the device into a wall outlet for power, connect to the internet, and Voila! Instant access to streaming services.
A few technical details… Amazon Fire TV is compatible with either (1) high-definition TV’s with HDMI capable of 1080p or 720p, or (2) 4K ultra high-definition TVs with HDMI capable of 2160p. The resolution is the best you can get! Also, if for some reason you can’t connect to wifi, the Fire TV has a micro USB port which fits an ethernet adapter (included). There is no direct ethernet port, however, and a wifi connection is ideal.
Amazon Fire TV works seamlessly with a Prime subscription – it is noticeably geared to supporting its own products over competing streaming subscriptions. But don’t worry if Prime isn’t your first choice. Fire TV works just as well with Hulu, Netflix, and countless other streaming options.
If you’re looking to watch live TV, there are apps for that, too. Alternatively, you can easily connect an indoor HD antenna (described above) to watch local channels for free.
Voice control is one of the top features of the Fire TV. It comes with a remote that responds to spoken commands, making it even easier to search movie genres or open your favorite app. And your digital assistant, Alexa, can do so much more than change the channel. Using the voice remote, you can control other smart home devices, such as lights, thermostats, and camera feeds. You can even order take-out.
Amazon Fire TV is a great way to update your media experience. Find it on amazon.com for less than $60.
3. Apple TV
Another great cord-cutting device is Apple TV, which provides everything you could want from a media streaming device, tailored especially for Apple lovers. The sleek black box (3.9″x3.9″x1.4″) connects to your HDTV via HDMI, and streams using wifi or an ethernet cable, which connects directly to the device.
There are currently two different models which are available: Apple TV (4th generation), which was released in 2015, and Apple TV 4K (5th generation), which was released in 2017. Externally, they look almost identical, and they offer essentially the same features, but the newest model has more impressive specs. The Apple TV ($149) device has 32GB, and supports 1080p video output. Apple TV 4K, on the other hand, comes with either 32GB ($179) or 64GB ($199), supports up to 2160p output, and a faster A10X Fusion processor. Both models display amazing high-definition.
Either generation of Apple TV is great for multi-device compatibility. The built-in Apple TV app streamlines your media experience, letting you browse content from dozens of services within the same app. Your subscriptions, iTunes purchases, and personalized suggestions are conveniently organized, all in one place. To make this feature even better, the Apple TV app is also automatically installed on all iPhones and iPads, so you can easily take your entertainment with you on-the-go. Start a show at home and finish it later, wherever you are.
Another unique feature of Apple TV is AirPlay, which wirelessly shares content from your iPhone or iPad to the big screen. Photos, videos, websites – all displayed in HD, in a matter of seconds. It is easy for friends and family to sync their devices, too.
Voice command is supported as well, with Siri making it easier than ever to find what you are looking for. No more time wasted pressing buttons. You can also keep track of your other smart home features on Apple TV using the Home app.
Apple TV brings your entire media experience to one center – from Netflix, to gaming, to locking your front door, this cord-cutting device keeps you in control.
Don’t miss out!
Streaming services are the future of television and entertainment program.
Have any questions about how to access these cord cutting apps from your TV or device? Give us a call at JF Cabling and we’ll help you cut the cord.