Ditch Cable, Keep Your Local Channels

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Video Transcript

Cody: Hey, Mr. Cost Conscience out there. I’m talking to you, pal. Thinking about a way you could cut into cable with a cord or maybe dish or something like that?

Ryan: Yes.

Cody: There’s some yeahs and some nay to doing that, right?

Ryan: Well, if you wanna cut the cord these days, like we’re watching Netflix, we’re watching Hulu, we’re streaming Amazon. We’re already doing it, but we miss out on things like “Good Day” or any live broadcast, like sports or things like that. We’ve got to watch like after it’s already happened. Now, what’s the point?

Cody: I’m telling you.

Ryan: Somebody’s already ruined it on Facebook, like “The Walking Dead”, like, I don’t have cable in my house, but of course now I know what happened on the season finale already, but I haven’t seen it yet.

Cody: Cause I posted that on there.

Ryan: Yeah. Thanks, Cody. So, here’s one of the ways that you could do this. So if you wanna cut the cord, there’s a little thing you can get from a smart TV to like a Xbox you can stream, but this is one of the best things out there. This is called the Chromecast. It’s about $35. It’s made by Google. You just plug it in the back of your TV. And the coolest part about this is you can go to websites like cw.com, NBC, Fox, PBS…Am I going too fast? PBS, any of these stations, and there’s a little button that’ll happen right up at the top right hand corner of your browser, you click it, boom it’s on your television.

Cody: Okay.

Ryan: Now that’s pretty cool…

Cody: That’s pretty cool.

Ryan: …because you can’t get some of these stations. There’s not apps for some of these stations or if you get an app, you have to log in with like your credentials from your…

Cody: Right.

Ryan: … satellite or cable provider. And that kind of ruins the whole point. But this way, they give this stuff away for free online…

Cody: Okay.

Ryan: …and you just stream it right to your thing.

Cody: But you’re only getting online stuff.

Ryan: But there’s certain shows or certain stations you can’t do. ABC, can’t do it. CBS, can’t do it. You got to log in still with your credentials. But here, this is kind of cool, I didn’t bring it over, but this is a place where you can go. Let’s say you get an antenna. Remember those big rabbit ears we used to have in the ’70s?

Cody: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ryan: You know all those old guys? The cool thing is those antennas are completely different now. You go to this website. It’s called antennaweb.org, you type in your address or your zip code, and it’ll tell you how close you are to each one of the stations that is in your local neighborhood.

Cody: Okay.

Ryan: And you get a little antenna, inside antenna. And these have about a 30 to 50 foot range. It costs you like $10 on amazon.com and you can stream…you could get all of this stuff just being in your home, for free.

Cody: Right, right. And the antenna looks like maybe a…no, no, it’s look more like…

Ryan: It’s the little black one Andy’s got over there.

Cody: …like a little flat plate now, instead of like the big ugly thing, yeah.

Ryan: Or, here’s another thing…say you don’t wanna do any of that stuff, you can go to Sling. If you’re willing to pay $20 a month, you can go to Sling. And their orange package…you can get all these stations. So you can get your basic cable stations. Oh, there it is…

Cody: Yeah.


Ryan: There’s your antenna. About $10, you could get that on Amazon.

Cody: Look how thin that is, yeah.

Ryan: And it’s a 30 to 50-mile range. Sling, the only problem with streaming online is, again, you still don’t get your sports and your live stuff. And you also miss out on your DVR.

Cody: DVR, yeah.

Ryan: So you’ve got to watch it on a schedule sometimes. So Sling is coming out with a new version of their Cloud service. You’re having a Cloud DVR, but they haven’t announced the pricing or exactly the release date of that yet. But you still have to pay $20 a month, just for the service alone.

Cody: Okay, okay.

Ryan: Now, let’s say you don’t do any of that stuff and you wanna just stream directly into your home with that cool antenna, you’ve still got to buy a TiVo or some sort of device. It’s a $130 plus $150 just for the service. Cutting the cord is really tough. The cable companies, satellite companies make it really difficult for us to do this. But if you’ve got perseverance and you really wanna do it and you really want a good DIY project, go for Kodi, K-O-D-I…

Cody: K-O-D-I, not C-O-D-Y.

Ryan: …and you can set up your own server in your home and you can do all of this stuff. But it’s kind of complex. So go to kodi.com. You can check it out.

Cody: Yeah, you can go Cody, and he’ll tell you to call him.

Ryan: Yeah.

Cody: Good to see you my friend. What are you gonna do the next time? What you got?

Ryan: Oh, we’re talking about Facebook again. This is cool: How to get rid of politics on Facebook. You know how you have your uncle at Thanksgiving who’s always complaining about, you know, politics. You could just tune him out. You can’t do it on Facebook and your friends are like, “Ah, I hate Trump… Oh, Trump is the best.” You can just get rid of Trump entirely on your Facebook.

Cody: Oh, okay.

Ryan: Love him or hate him. Don’t matter.

Cody: Love him or hate him. Just clear out that stuff. I know. Maybe we’ll all take to each other at Thanksgiving. Who knows? All right that’s coming up in just a second. Back to you.

Woman: All right, guys. Thanks.

If you’re itching to ditch your cable or satellite commitment, we are here to explain how to cut the cord without losing your local TV favorites. These days we all stream content using services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. With all of these you can catch movies and previous seasons of TV shows. But how do you get started?

Easiest ways to stream:

A Smart TV gives you access to the most popular apps, or you can use the device you already own such as your gaming system – Xbox, PS3, etc, or an internet-connected Blu Ray player.

The best all-in-one streaming option we recommend is Google Chromecast, available for $35. You can use your smartphone, tablet or laptop to get the content & stream it to the Chromecast, then the Chromecast shows the content on your TV. You can visit any website on your device or laptop using Chrome browser, then cast it to your TV. This will get you recent CW Shows, NBC shows, Recent Fox shows or PBS shows.

ABC & CBS make you sign in with your cable or satellite provider and won’t let you get local news and sports this way – just episodes of TV shows and national news.

Get an Antenna to Get Local Content

1. See what channels you can get over-air & how far away the broadcast station is: check out AntennaWeb. Enter your zipcode or address and you can see which channels you should be able to access at your location.

2. Determine the kind of antenna you need. Look at distance to get the stations you want. Most indoor antenna are rated for 30 or 50 miles. If you are further away, you may require an outdoor antenna. If they’re all around you, get a multi-directional antenna.

We recommend Vansky Indoor HDTV 50 Mile Range Antenna available for $24.

How About Cable Channels?

If you can’t live without cable stations like HGTV, Comedy Central or A&E, consider Sling TV. It starts at $20/mo for the basic “orange” package. They are rolling out Cloud DVR service for an extra $5/mo.

Is it worth investing DVR to record over-air content?

Tivo DVR – 500 GB Bolt starts at $130 on Amazon.com (MSRP $200). It requires an annual subscription to schedule recordings (get “season pass” function): $150/year. By that point, you’re probably not doing any better than your existing cable subscription. Otherwise, you can connect a computer to your home theater; now that can get complicated.

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About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.