As you begin talking with your roommates about your new place, one of the things you will have to settle is what, in addition to Internet service, other content services you will need. There are a number of paid subscription services run by the cable and satellite companies that serve your area and, although it is not nearly as confusing as choosing the right cell phone provider used to be, they do a good job of making it seem like your life will be less complete without their television services. But then you look at the pricetag. With all the video that is available on the Web these days, it seems like there has to be a better way. And there is.
Here’s our approach to cutting the cable…
In order to change from getting your video through cable to streaming Internet services, you will need to do two things –
- you will have to get the content into your house, then
- you have to get the content onto your television
There are two ways methods to get shows into your house – over the air or through the Internet.
Over the air
What you will need
Most local network affiliates still broadcast their signals over-the-air. In fact, since broadcasters began beaming out exclusively digital signals, many have added stations to their offerings. This has been especially true of some television stations that aren’t affiliated with major broadcast networks. There is likely a lot more broadcast television available in your area than you imagine.
The number of stations available will be determined by the area in which you live. Larger cities will have more stations and the over the air signals will be strong. If you live in a smaller town or in a rural area, you may find you have limited choices. To find out what stations are available in your area, go to the Federal Communication Commission’s DTV Reception Maps website.
If you have an HD TV, you can pull in high definition signals over the air. The TabloTV website has a functionality that allows you to search for HD over that air signals in your area.
The placement of your antenna will affect your ability to pull in over the air stations. In general, you will want your antenna as high as possible in your house and away from obvious obstructions (trees, other buildings). Once you get an antenna, you will probably have to play around with it a bit and try it in different locations to figure out where you will get the best reception.
Through the Internet
What you will need
If you are considering cutting the cable, chances are you already have Internet service set up at your place. Your service provider has set you up with a router and modem (or a combined router/modem) and you already have a wireless signal that feeds your laptop and phone. If you don’t have a WiFi network yet, you could have one of our Agents come out and set it up for you.
If you have a newer TV, you may already have it connected to your wireless network. Most late-model televisions come ready to pull in the Internet via WiFi and have apps available to set the connection up. If your television isn’t Wi-Fi enabled, adding a Blu-Ray player, gaming console or designated streaming device to your system will often bring the Internet to your display . You will have to connect your display to your network and those devices have wireless capability.
Next: Get content to your TV
For links to the devices you may need, see Best Buy's Cutting the Cord page.
Agent Gavin C. has been fighting the proverbial good fight and bringing technological enlightenment to clients since 2006. When not squashing bugs and bots on BestBuy.com, he enjoys the simple things in life: rock music, football, and freedom. From his perch at the Magic Castle, he ensures that Geek Squad remains a shining light for truth and justice.