By Melanie Mayberry, programming editor

TV Answer Man, I have enjoyed your stories on cutting the cord to save money on TV. Can you explain what you need to cut the cord. What products and services, for example? I have cable but I am thinking about cancelling it to save money but I am not sure what you need. Thank you in advance. — Sherry, Easton, Maryland.

Sherry, the TV Answer Woman has this one. Cutting the cord, which is basically defined as cancelling cable or satellite TV and subscribing to less expensive streaming services, is a growing trend in the United States because it can save money if you do it right. To cut the cord, you should get at least three of the following four products and services:

What Equipment & Services Do You Need to Cut the Cord?

1. Reliable Internet Connection

Since streaming services rely on Internet connectivity, having a stable and fast Internet connection is crucial. Ensure that your Internet plan offers a sufficient speed and data cap to support your streaming needs.

2. Streaming Device
To access streaming services on your TV, you’ll need a streaming device. Popular options include smart TVs, streaming sticks or set-tops (Roku, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google Chromecast), or gaming consoles (Xbox, PlayStation). You connect the device to your TV via the HDMI port in the set. The device will then connect to your Internet service’s WiFi network and send the video signals to your set. If you have a Smart TV, you will not need a separate streaming device. The Smart TV will connect to your Internet network.

3. Subscription to a Streaming Service

Some streaming services, such as Tubi, Pluto TV and YouTube, are free. But the most popular streaming offerings are subscription only, such as Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video, Max, Hulu, and Disney+. There are live, multi-channel streaming services as well, such as YouTube TV and DIRECTV Stream, but they can cost nearly as much as cable and satellite.

4. Antenna
An antenna allows you to receive free, high-def broadcast channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and PBS. This is a valuable option to access local news, sports, and popular network programming without a cable or satellite subscription. But if the local channels aren’t important to you, you can stick to the streaming services.

Sherry, hope that helps.

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