Another Take on Cord Cutting in the Modern Age Or…

How I learned to get along without Comcast cable TV and love it!

There’s ways to do this. Perhaps a way for each person but I believe the best way is a combination of devices like this:

Roku Device – really just pick one. I went for the Roku TCL TV.

Source: TCL 32 Inch TV on Amazon

The reasons were a few. The biggest reason is centralized remote control because this TV also has ARC/CEC so I can control a compatible SoundBar with a single remote and also have OTA support so my antenna in the window can get digital over the air channels for free. The Roku though is the only one that does all the channels plus has so many other thousands that you never really run out. Here’s my list:

Netflix – I spent a decent amount of time on Netflix either on my laptop or on the Roku.

Amazon Prime Video – So this is a deal maker or breaker if the streaming solution does not do it. The Google Chromecast which is otherwise a nice device goes out the window here.

Sling TV – This has a selection of channels I otherwise would not get like TCM, ESPN choices when its football season and a bunch of local channels which don’t all come in on the OTA device.

CuriosityStream – great choice for documentaries and history and cultural shows.

The rest of my choices are oddities here and there of classic movie channels, scifi, westerns. I don’t know another device out there which has the depth of channels so the Roku wins. The TV with Roku built in lessens the number of devices and as I mentioned I use its ARC/CEC to control a SoundBar. I chose this SoundBar.

Source: Yamaha YAS-106 on Amazon

It has received pretty decent reviews on WireCutter and on Amazon and it has ARC which means the TV remote controls sound operation. If you think that this is a small deal, ever lost a remote or cannot find the one you need to actually get sound working?

The final thing which is a bit of a challenge is internet when you share a house. The internet does not cost but the quality is about there. i’ve created my own network in my room with PowerLine Ethernet adapters down and upstairs and a cheapo wifi router. This works okay for me but I would pay to have my own Comcast Internet in my room.

Finally if you put all this together, you get most of it. You still need an OTA TV antenna and a place to put it. The problem here is directional. Pointed in one direction it may get you this many channels and then another way another group. I have mine in my window and it seems I get a decent selection although a strange thing is if I open the window, the signal gets flaky because most likely there are metal parts interfering with the channel. The Roku TV gives a simplified channel and audio selection for both Roku Channels and OTA. No real big functionality but I only watch a channel or two most times on the OTA side.

A newcomer which I am interested in is YouTube TV. I want to see how it compares to Sling TV and whether it will stream out of the Roku YouTube app. If not, I may change things yet again. None of the TVs really cost a lot at the 32inch size these days and I can live with 720dpi. I cannot really tell the difference.

So if you are interested in moving to cord cuttery, see if you have this:

  1. Streaming device. I suggest either a Fire TV or Roku. Cannot suggest a Chromecast due to channels missing
  2. TV with perhaps ARC/CEC. Look these up if you wish but its handy!
  3. Internet. Decent internet is better than what I have. Try to have good internet. We use comcast blast 200 down and 50 up but its shared.
  4. OTA Antenna. Do you want OTA channels? Go check out the various choices and find a site that lets you test by zip code what you will get.

So there’s a somewhat complete menu for options. I cannot recommend it if you have a house full of kids with immediate demand needs 🙂

Published by Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.

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