What is cord cutting?

Cord cutting simply means canceling your pay-TV service. It has been a growing trend since 2009, when over-the-air broadcast signals switched from analog to digital. Consumers began to realize that they could now get their favorite TV shows in HD using a simple television antenna rather than paying monthly fees to a TV provider.

Today, cord cutting is accelerating due to the emergence of DVRs for TV antennas and the existence of streaming services that provide access to the cable TV shows that are not available from a television antenna.

We've highlighted some of the more popular ones below:

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KNOW YOUR FACTS

Consumers are inundated with inaccurate information when it comes to cutting the cord. To be clear, cord cutting is not subscribing to a lot of different streaming services that would end up costing you nearly as much as the pay TV service that you already know, nor is it subscribing to a contractual TV service that happens to be delivered over the Internet instead of Cable or Satellite. Cord cutting simply means no contracts and paying only for what you want.

CABLE-LIKE SUGGESTIONS

Below are three services that will give you a live TV, cable-like viewing experience without the cable company. Also on our radar are YouTube TV and DirecTV Now, both quickly up-and-coming.

 
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Playstation Vue

PlayStation™Vue is a TV service that streams live TV, movies, and sports on a variety of your favorite devices without a cable or satellite subscription.  With powerful features that allow you to save thousands of hours of your favorite shows without recording conflicts, and Premium channels that can be purchased individually or with a multi-channel plan, TV has never been the same. No annual contracts, no conflicts, no problems.

Price*: $40
Number of Channels*: 45
Devices: Most major devices (excludes X-Box)
Cloud DVR Available?: Yes, at entry-level
Trick Play (Pause, FF, Rewind)?: Yes, at entry-level

*Entry level information provided

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Hulu

Hulu is a video streaming service that offers premium video content from television shows to feature-length movies. Hulu offers TV shows and movies through a wide range of partnerships with various studios including MGM, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Television and others. As a joint venture of NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment and ABC Inc., Hulu has the backing that allows it to go beyond many other video streaming websites and puts it right at the top in competition with Netflix.

Price*: $40
Number of Channels*: 50
Devices: Most major devices
Cloud DVR Available?: Yes, at entry-level
Trick Play (Pause, FF, Rewind)?: Yes, but not during ads

*Entry level information provided

 
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Sling

Sling TV is service that allows subscribers to watch a collection of live and on-demand TV channels on their TVs, computers or mobile devices. This is live TV, just like a cable or satellite TV service, except it's delivered over the internet.

Although Sling TV is a subsidiary of Dish Network, the satellite provider, it's operated as an entirely separate service. You do not need a Dish subscription (or a satellite dish) to get Sling TV.

Price*: $20
Number of Channels*: 30
Devices: Most major devices
Cloud DVR Available?: Yes, with a Roku device; $5 add-on for others
Trick Play (Pause, FF, Rewind)?: Only select channels

*Entry level information provided