How to Get Rid of Cable TV

A Step-by-Step Guide to Cut the Cord with Cable TV Alternatives in 2017

For years, I threatened to cut the cord and get rid of cable TV because I was tired of spending well over $100 every month only to watch a handful of channels I actually cared about. I was sick of the terrible customer service, the ridiculous hidden fees, and all the other headaches and hassles that come with a cable TV subscription. But like most people, I stayed a prisoner to the cable company simply because I didn’t know how to get rid of cable without missing out on my favorite TV shows, movies, and live sporting events. I kept searching online for information and guides on cable TV alternatives, but they were all very technical and hard to follow.

Sound familiar?

After spending hundreds of hours researching cable TV alternatives, I got rid of cable…and I’m never going back. I’m saving about $100 a month since I cut the cord, and you can too!

Believe it or not, getting rid of cable is extremely easy and it doesn’t require any advanced technical skills. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 80 years old, I can show you exactly how to ditch cable today with my simple 3-step guide. In just a matter of minutes, you can cut the cord and break free from your triple-digit cable bill and be on your way to watching anything you want for cheap or free. Even if you’ve never had cable but you’re looking for a legal way to watch live sports and the hottest TV shows, movies, and events online, this page is packed with helpful information you can use.

P.S. Wondering what to do about your internet service? I personally recommend DSL Extreme as the best ISP for cord cutters. There’s no data cap so you can stream as much as you want, and they have great deals.

Let’s get started…

Disclosure: Some links in this guide are referral links that give me a small referral fee at no expense to you. This is a reader supported guide! If you need more info, check out the disclosure in the footer menu.


3 Simple Steps to Cut the Cord and Get Rid of Cable TV Forever


1) Choose your streaming service


It’s amazing how many great TV shows, movies, and live sporting events are available to those who cut the cord. Getting rid of cable TV no longer means sacrificing all of your favorite entertainment. But with so many streaming services to choose from, how can you make sure you’re getting the best one when you cut the cord? I’ve tried just about every major streaming service out there, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Sling TV is the best of the cable TV alternatives available today.

Sling TV allows subscribers to stream a collection of popular cable channels on their TVs, computers, and mobile devices — all starting at the low price of just $20 a month. That means you can cut the cord and watch ESPN, ESPN2, HGTV, TNT, TBS, and many more great channels. And if you’ve never had cable, you finally have a legal way to watch live sports like Monday Night Football and popular TV shows without having to drive over to a friend’s house or a bar. Here’s the kicker — there’s no contract. You pay month-to-month, and you can cancel at any time. You can even try Sling TV free for 7 days. It’s incredibly easy to sign up and start watching Sling. You can be watching live TV over the internet in less than 5 minutes!

T-Mobile customers will also be interested to know Sling TV is running a special offer for them — 30% off the Best of Live TV package for up to one full year (you can still cancel anytime without penalty). That’s just $14 a month for all your favorite channels if you sign up with your T-Mobile account, plus you can enjoy all the video streaming you want without it counting against your data plan. If you’re a T-Mobile customer, click here for more info about this special deal and to start a free 7-day trial.

Live Sports

Watch ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, and TNT with Sling TV’s basic $20-per-month package or NBCSN (a great way to watch NHL online), FS1, FS2, and NFL Network in the $25-a-month Sling Blue package. Plus get 9 more sports channels, including SEC Network, ESPNU, ESPNews, and beIN Sports HD, with the Sports Extra Package.

Hit TV Shows and Movies

Stay current on all the hottest TV shows and movies with popular channels like AMC (The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, etc.), HBO (Game of Thrones, True Detective, etc.), TNT, TBS, and more.


With HGTV, Food Network, and Travel Channel, Sling TV offers the most addictive lifestyle channels and programming. You can also enjoy the Cooking Channel, DIY Network, and more with Lifestyle Extra.

Family Entertainment

Kids love to watch the Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and ABC Family with Sling’s basic package, and the Kids Extra pack offers Disney Junior, Disney XD, and more great channels for the little ones.


Right now, Sling TV is offering an awesome deal where you can choose from 40% off a new Apple TV or a FREE Roku Streaming Stick with your service. Both of these are excellent streaming players, and this is the best deal you’ll get on them. This makes it super easy for you to watch Sling TV and all of your other favorite streaming services on your TV. Still not convinced Sling TV is the champion of cable TV alternatives? You can try Sling TV free for 7 days (although, you won’t be able to take advantage of the excellent special offer). Want to learn a little more about the service? Click here to read my full Sling TV review.

In addition to Sling TV, I also highly recommend Amazon Prime Instant Video (free 30-day trial) to round out your streaming channels. A lot of people don’t realize just how many great TV shows and movies are available on Amazon Prime. They offer a huge library that includes HBO classics like The Sopranos, The Wire, True Blood, and more; their own original, award-winning programming (TransparentMan in the High Castle, etc.); and a ton of popular TV shows and movies. Not to mention, Prime customers get free 2-day shipping on Amazon orders, access to a huge music streaming library, and more. Click here to try Prime free for 30 days.

Of course, to use these streaming services, you need a good internet connection. You can find the best internet deals by using my internet comparison search tool.

Mr. Cable Cutter


Mr. Cable Cutter Recommends: Sling TV + Amazon Prime



2) Get a streaming player for your TV


A streaming player, like the top-rated Roku 3, will let you watch streaming services like Sling TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and other cable TV alternatives right on your TV. Think of this as your cable box replacement, only it’s much smaller, gives you access to way more content, and you own it, so say goodbye to equipment rental fees!

Personally, I use the Roku 3, named CNET’s “favorite overall streaming platform” over Apple TV and all other streaming players. In my experience, it streams Sling TV better than any other device, which is great for when I want to watch sports online on my big screen TV. The Roku 3 comes with a remote control that has one-touch buttons for Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu; a headphone jack on the remote that allows for private listening so you can watch without disturbing others; and voice search for easily finding your favorite TV shows and movies. Talk about convenient!

The Roku 3 is super easy to set up, and it has a very user-friendly interface. My retired mother-in-law hooked hers up in minutes without even calling me for help. Just plug it into the back of your TV and connect it to the internet to watch your favorite shows, movies, sports, and live events in stunning HD.

Sling TV regularly offers awesome deals on the Roku devices when you prepay 3 months of Sling TV. You can typically get a free or heavily discounted Roku model when you’re a new customer, so make sure to check out their current offers

If you’re on a tight budget, Sling TV is currenyl running a limited-time offer for a FREE Roku Streaming Stick when you sign up for 3 months of service. The Roku Stick is the best streaming player for the money. You just plug the Roku Streaming Stick directly into your TV’s HDMI port to start watching. Click here to get more info about the FREE Roku Stick from Sling TV.

Mr. Cable Cutter


Mr. Cable Cutter Recommends: Roku 3 Streaming Player



3) Select an antenna


Another one of the best cable TV alternatives is the tried-and-true antenna. Most people don’t realize just how many FREE TV stations they can get with a quality antenna. When I cut the cord and got my Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor HDTV Antenna, I suddenly had crystal clear access to over 70 stations in my viewing area! Chances are that you’re in range of dozens of great over-the-air (OTA) broadcast channels, including NBC, ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, PBS, ION, and a host of other smaller regional stations. Many of the most popular TV shows, local sports games, and local news come on OTA TV in crystal-clear High Definition. And get this – the broadcasts you can pick up with an HD antenna are HIGHER QUALITY than what cable provides because their broadcasts are compressed! And did I mention these channels are totally free?!

mohu antenna

There are a few things I like about the Mohu Leaf Indoor Antenna. First, it has a unique, stylish design. No more rabbit ears creating an eyesore in your living room. The Leaf is flat and paper-thin, and can be easily installed on your wall (I have mine behind my TV) or window in seconds. You can even paint your Mohu Leaf to match the decor of your space.

But most importantly, the Leaf is powerful and picks up a ton of channels in HD without you having to “point” the antenna in a specific direction. The Leaf 50 that I use picks up broadcast signals from as far as 50 miles away!

Mr. Cable Cutter


Mr. Cable Cutter Recommends: Mohu Leaf 50



Bonus Step: Save Money with Internet Service Deals

What about internet? It’s the question I get more than any other. Since internet service is often part of the cable bundle, getting high-speed internet without cable is uncharted territory for many. And if you try to cut cable but keep internet with your current provider, there’s no doubt that it will seem as if you’re going to lose out. So what are you supposed to do if you cut the cord?

Relax…you can get the internet service you need and still come out way ahead. The trick? Compare internet service provider deals in your area.

Regardless of where you live, odds are there’s more than one ISP in your area. So your best bet to save money is to do a little comparison shopping. And the quickest way to do that is with my easy-to-use Internet Deal Comparison Search Tool.

Here’s how it works.  Enter your Zip Code and you’ll receive search results from our database of the ISPs in your area with features, speed, and a promo phone number. Give them a call, talk to the sales department for promo deals,  and find out the latest internet-only deals they are offering. Make sure to contact all ISPs in your area to get the best price.

Personally, I think DSL Extreme is the best ISP for cord cutters. There’s no data cap, which means you’re able to stream as much as you want with no extra fees, and they have great deals.

Already have internet service? I suggest you call around once a year to make sure you still have the best service available to you. It’s possible that internet promos have changed in your area since you last checked. Use my free Internet Deal Comparison Tool to make sure you get the best prices available to you.

People also often ask about internet speed. I personally recommend you have an internet connection with a minimum download speed of 5 Mbps per streaming user in your household. So, if you have a spouse who will also be streaming Netflix while you’re watching Sling TV, you’ll need an internet connection with at least 10 Mbps download speed. But don’t worry, the average American home has 10 Mbps speed, so you should be fine.

Remember, you don’t have to have a cable bundle to save. The bundle discount will eventually run out, and the savings with it. Compare internet prices in your area and get the best deal by clicking here.

Mr. Cable Cutter


Mr. Cable Cutter Recommends: Internet Deal Comparison Search Tool



Frequently Asked Questions

It’s a whole new world, full of affordable entertainment possibilities for those who cut the cord. But you may have some questions. Here’s a list of the most common questions readers ask me by email. Click a question to see the answer.

What if my home phone service is bundled with my cable TV?

If you need a home phone, I recommend unbundling your phone service from your cable/internet provider and getting Broadvoice instead. Broadvoice (aka Phone Power) is the best option for home phone service for a number of reasons. First off, it’s really cheap, as low as $8.33 a month for unlimited calling within the US and Canada (yes, cheaper than Vonage). They also have an Unlimited World Plus plan for unlimited calling to 75 countries. Broadvoice’s digital phone service lets you make calls with crystal-clear sound quality and reliable performance, delivering features that go far beyond traditional home phone capabilities. You can even take your home phone number with you wherever you go using your smartphone so you never have to miss a call. Finally, you can keep your existing phone number, all with a 30-day money back guarantee.

Click here to learn more about Broadvoice home phone service and use promo code VOIPFAST5 to save an additional $5 . You can also read my full review of the service here.

Can I still DVR TV shows without cable?

Once you get free TV with your antenna, you’ll probably want to record your favorite shows. Luckily, you don’t have to have cable to DVR your live TV. My favorite over-the-air (OTA) DVR is the Tablo. The Tablo allows you to record live antenna TV and stream it to your paired devices (TVs with streaming players, Smartphones, and computers). Learn more about OTA DVR options in this article.

What if I need help installing my antenna and other cord cutting gear?

While all of the cord cutting equipment I recommend is designed for super easy installation, not everyone has the time, physical ability, or desire to install their own antenna or other home theater gear. That’s okay. I recommend finding a top-rated antenna or home theater installer in your area by using Angie’s List.

I’ve used Angie’s List to hire contractors for various jobs around the house, and every experience has been excellent. The thing I love about Angie’s List is that you can browse local, unbiased reviews from real customers to find the very best professionals in your area in just seconds. Unlike free review sites, Angie’s List doesn’t allow anonymous or fake reviews. Just enter “antenna installer” or “home theater installer” in the search bar, and you’ll get to read about other customers’ experiences with each professional, so you can make an informed choice as a consumer. Most of these professionals will have the ability to handle all of your installation needs, from setting up your antenna to mounting your TV and even connecting your streaming device. As an Angie’s List member, you can even get special discounts from highly rated companies!

After 20 years of business, it’s now FREE to join Angie’s List. Every membership includes access to over 10 million verified reviews from paid members. Click here to sign up now and get started.

What about Smart TVs?

If you don’t already have a Smart TV, don’t feel like you need to get one. In general, they’re slow, difficult to navigate, and not very flexible. Sure you might be able to stream Netflix on a smart TV, but what if you want to add other cable TV alternatives like Sling TV, Crackle, or whatever else comes out?
A Roku 3 will do what a Smart TV does but better for less money. In fact, often I’ll recommend that smart TV users get a Roku 3 and stream through it instead of their TV’s user interface. It’s just a better experience all around.

However, if you are intent on purchasing a Smart TV, Roku has begun partnering with TV makers to create smart TVs that run the Roku interface. This will give you a blend of the Roku and Smart TV experiences. Here’s a great example of a Roku Smart TV. You can also check out our full guide to choosing the best smart TV for more info.

Will this work for multiple TVs?

In many cases, one antenna is all you need for a few TVs. Check out my guide to hooking up one antenna to multiple TVs here for a step-by-step walkthrough.

As for the Roku 3, it will only work for one TV. I often recommend that you purchase a Roku 3 for your primary TV, then get Roku 2 devices for the secondary TVs, as they’re cheaper and nearly just as good. The Roku 2 is a solid secondary option for the budget-conscious.

Also, keep in mind that you can get a Roku Stick for free if you sign up for 3 months of Sling TV.

What if I’m not ready or not able to cut the cord?

Look, I’m not going to say that every single person should become a full-fledged cord cutter. The fact is it isn’t an option for everybody to fully cut the cord. Some people are unable to get quality high-speed internet where they live. Others simply can’t give up following a certain show, channel, or sports team that might only be available with pay TV right now.

I get it, believe me. Here’s what I suggest. If completely cutting the cord just isn’t possible right now, consider weaning yourself off of cable. There are a couple of ways you can do this and become what I like to call a “cord compromiser.”

  • Cut back to the cheapest package your cable provider offers, and put some of the savings toward streaming services like Sling TV, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and/or Netflix to supplement your basic cable package. 


  • Ditch cable TV and go with DirecTV instead. Yes, DirecTV is still a pay TV service, but it’s the best one out there. DirecTV has been rated #1 in customer satisfaction among pay TV providers 14 years in a row, and starting at $19.99 a month, it’s pretty cheap (this is a promotional price that goes up after a year, so be aware). And if you’re a sports fan, you can’t beat DirecTV. Your subscription comes with NFL Sunday Ticket, which gives you access to every game all season long. That alone makes it a better deal than cable! Considering making the switch? Call 888-648-7389 today or click here to learn about the best deals and exclusive DirecTV offers.

What are my cable TV alternatives if I live in a remote area?

If you live in a rural area, enjoying a complete cord cutting experience can be a bit challenging, but there are some suitable alternatives.

For starters, you’ll need a powerful antenna to pick up broadcast signals from far away. I suggest the Mohu Sky. It picks up signals from as far as 60 miles away, and it can easily be mounted on your rooftop or in your attic to get the best possible reception. You should be able to pick up a lot of free over-the-air channels this way (e.g. NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, etc).

High-speed internet access can be the tricky part for rural residents. Many times, it’s not possible to get affordable cable, DSL, or fiber internet in remote areas. In these cases, satellite internet is the next best solution. HughesNet offers highly rated satellite internet service to people all across the US, and their internet packages are typically reasonably priced and suitable for doing some light daily streaming. With speeds up to 10 Mbps, this can be plenty fast for streaming, but you will need to keep an eye on your data cap.

I recommend calling HughesNet at 888-981-5204 and ask for sales to discuss their internet service offerings to see if they have a plan that fits your needs. Their customer service reps typically know about the latest deals and packages that might not be published on their website. Call 888-981-5204 today to speak to a HughesNet sales representative or click here to view their online promotions.



If you have any questions about getting rid of cable or available cable TV alternatives, then give me a shout. I will get back to you ASAP!

Still reluctant to make the call and cancel cable? Read my article, Top 21 Reasons to Get Rid of Cable Once and For All.”

Finally, if you cut the cord or are just interested, you may want to join my email list for ongoing updates, tips, and giveaways. Just fill out the form below and you’re in!

– Mr. Cable Cutter

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Mr. Cable Cutter has been featured on Yahoo, MSN, USA Today, TechCrunch, Engadget, Fortune and more.
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