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How To Get Rid of Cable One Step at a Time Guide

Many people are realizing that they don’t need cable to watch TV. They are looking for ways to cut the cord and save some money, but it is awfully confusing on how to do it. There are many different options and no real step-by-step solutions. The landscape on how to watch media and online content is rapidly changing. I hear it all the time I would like to get rid of cable, but I don’t know-how. Let’s take a look at your options.

The Cost of Cable TV

In most cases, it is cheaper to cut the cable bill. You should look at all of your options in your area before you make the switch. For some just having an HD antenna may work, for others a streaming box and an Internet connection will do. In the US, the average cost of an Internet connection is about $46.00 a month. In many cases, it is still cheaper to combine an HD antenna, a streaming box, and a streaming service. Your antenna and a streaming box will be a one-time upfront cost and a streaming service is about $8.00 a month. That is about $55.00 a month, compared to the average cable TV bill of $100.00 a month. Check out our step-by-step guide below on how to get rid of cable and see if it is the right choice for you.

4 Easy Steps to Get Rid of Cable

Step 1 – Buy a High Definition Antenna

Your first step to cut the cord is to buy an HD or over the air TV antenna (both terms mean the same thing). Most of the TVs today have a built-in tuner that allows you to receive free broadcast stations from the airwaves. Just like the old days when everyone had an antenna to watch TV. Just check your TV to see if there is a plug in the back that says antenna in. If you don’t, it may be time to buy a new television or a converter box.

TV Antenna Input

You will need to do a little research first on how big the antenna should be and where to place it. Some antennas can be placed in your window and others may have to be set up outside or in the attic. This antenna will allow you to watch most of the major networks that broadcast television stations. Those include NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, FOX, CW, and a bunch of smaller networks. This antenna will allow you to receive free television.

Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor HDTV Antenna

This is a typical over the air antenna made by Mohu. This type of antenna will work for many households.

Where to Buy:

The Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor HDTV antenna is available from these retailers.


Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor HDTV antenna


Mohu Leaf 50 Indoor HDTV antenna

Do you need help setting or choosing an HD antenna? Click on our guides below.
how to choose an hd antenna guide

tv station locator tool

Step 2 – Canceling Cable

Here is the fun part. You get to call your cable company and say “I don’t want cable anymore”. They will try to scare you and entice you back. But stay strong and say no. You will still need to keep your internet connection though. Depending on where you live, your cable company may be providing you with that service. Unfortunately here in the USA, there are not many choices in internet providers. It’s generally cable internet, FIOS, or DSL. So be sure to check out the options in your area for these services. Just make sure if you stay with the cable company you keep the internet and dump the cable. You should have an internet connection of at least 10 megabytes (MB) to get the best streaming results.

ISP guide 300x250

Keeping Your Phone With Magic Jack

If you have a phone service with your cable provider you can always switch to a service like Magic Jack. This device can be plugged into your cable router to be used with your home phone over an internet connection. They also allow you to take your old phone number with you. I have been using Magic Jack for years and am very happy with the service. They cost a fraction of what you pay the phone or cable companies.

Find an Internet Service Provider in Your Area Search Tools

  • Magic jack includes free mobile calling over WiFi on your smartphone and tablet with the magicApp.
  • Free unlimited calling to the U.S. and Canada.
  • Free unlimited magicJack-to-magicJack calls worldwide.
  • Free Caller ID, Voicemail, Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, Conference Calling and no monthly bills.

Where to Buy:

Magic Jack is available from these retailers.


magicJackHome 2019 VOIP Phone Adapter


magicJackHome 2019 VOIP Phone Adapter

Step 3 – Buying a Streaming Box

Now that you have your HD antenna and internet connection squared away, it is time to pick a streaming box. The box you choose will help supplement channels you do not get with your HD antenna. This is where things can get confusing. There are many choices from many companies. It seems like everyone is trying to get into this space. Choosing a streaming box to get rid of cable very much depends on what you plan to watch. Most of the major boxes allow you to stream content from many places. Some are free and some are not. There are many free channels that are preloaded on these streaming devices that you probably never heard of before. Some of these new channels are quite interesting, enjoyable and will provide hours of viewing pleasure. If you are looking to stream some of the premium content, then you will need to pay for a monthly service. We will talk about that more in the next step. Let’s choose a streaming box.

Roku 4 Streaming Media Player

The Roku 4 is a great streaming device. It is very easy to set up. It has over 3,000 streaming channels and access to top streaming services like Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Sling TV, and Netflix. The Roku 4 will work with a wired and wireless internet connection. It will do 4K and 1080p HD streaming. Just plug into your TV using an HDMI cable. This box is awesome for someone looking to cut cable and start streaming.

Where to Buy:

The Roku 4 is available from these retailers.


Roku Ultra | 4K/HDR/HD Streaming Player


Roku Ultra | 4K/HDR/HD Streaming Player

See Our Review of The Roku 4 Here.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is an easy way to enjoy Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, low-cost movie rentals, live and on-demand sports, music, photos, games, and more. This stick plugs right into the back of your HDMI port and is easy to set up. The Amazon Fire TV Stick supports 4K Ultra HD. You can also watch high-definition 1080p streams on Amazon Video, Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and more. Fire TV comes with a voice remote. Just ask to check local theater times, news, sports scores, the weather, play music, and more. Enjoy over 4,000 channels, apps, and games including access to over 250,000 TV episodes and movies on Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO GO, Hulu, and more. Watch the best of live TV on NBC News, NBA, and Sling TV, which includes ESPN, CNN, HGTV, AMC, A&E, Cartoon Network, and more.
fire tv app list

Where to Buy:

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is available from this retailer.


Amazon Fire TV Stick

Need more help! Read our article on how to choose the right streaming box for you.

Step 4 – Choosing a Streaming Service

You can also choose not to use one of these services if you are happy with the free content available on the streaming box you choose. However, there are a few options you can consider. These services are like premium content providers. Think of it as add-on channels on your cable box. You can choose one of these services or mix and match. Mos,t people want more content than the limited free options already included in the streaming box. If you want to be able to stay current with your favorite TV shows or movies, you should consider a streaming service. All of these streaming services can be added as apps to your streaming media box. Each of these services requires a monthly fee to have access to their content.

Update: There are now even more options to get rid of your cable/satellite TV subscriptions. We have written a comprehensive article discussing the live TV streaming options that are becoming available. See the link below.

Alternatives to Cable/Satellite TV Using Live Streaming Services

Let’s look at some of the options:

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Amazon Prime Instant Video has a great selection of TV shows and movies. You can instantly watch over 40,000 movies and TV episodes with titles for everyone. You also have access to ad-free music that you can stream to your device of choice. They are constantly updating and rotating new content. If you become an Amazon Prime member for $8.00 a month, you can watch unlimited TV shows and movies.

Join Amazon Prime - Watch Thousands of Movies & TV Shows Anytime - Start Free Trial Now

Hulu Plus

How To Get Rid of Cable One Step at a Time

Hulu Plus is another great streaming service. They have a huge amount of content from TV shows and movies. Hulu Plus is available on just about any device. Watch all-new episodes of TV’s hottest shows including comedies, dramas, reality, late night, and everything in between. Plus, enjoy a huge library of past seasons of top shows and check out Hulu’s original series that you won’t find anywhere else. The service starts at $7.99 a month.


How To Get Rid of Cable One Step at a Time

Netflix has become a household name. With Netflix, you have access to a lot of content. They offer a large selection of movies and TV shows for $7.99 a month. Their videos can be streamed to just about any device. They also have been creating their own shows like House of Cards, Orange is The New Black, and Grace and Frankie.

Sling TV

How To Get Rid of Cable One Step at a Time

Sling TV is a $20 per month service that offers over 20 live cable channels, including AMC, ESPN, CNN, HGTV, TBS, Food Network, TNT, and many more. Some of those channels offer on-demand video as well, and some include a way to pause, rewind, and watch several days’ worth of past programming.


Vudu offers many options from TV shows to movies. They have a nice selection of content, with many of the latest offerings. Vudu allows you to rent or own the digital content for a fee. It is a good choice to catch up on a season of a TV show or binge-watch some movies.

$2 for 2 Nights: 48 Hour Rentals for Less Right Here at VUDU!

More Options to Get Rid of Cable TV

Update: There are now even more options to get rid of your cable/satellite TV subscriptions. We have written a comprehensive article discussing the live TV streaming options that are becoming available. See the link below.

Alternatives to Cable/Satellite TV Using Live Streaming Services

Combine Your Streaming Box With an HD Antenna

streaming box antenna savings

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I hope that this guide has clarified how to get rid of cable. The online streaming space is still evolving and I am sure things will become better and more streamlined in the future. So stay tuned.

Feature image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you have any questions or comments about how to get rid of cable, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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July 14, 2023 0

The Best Over The Air Antennas Based on Performance and User Feedback

Last updated: Friday, July 14, 2023Having a reliable over-the-air antenna is important. It can improve the reception of television stations and ensure a strong signal. In this article, we will discuss the best over-the-air antennas based on performance and user feedback. These antennas have consistently received positive reviews from users and are recognized for their ability to capture signals effectively. However, it’s important to research and consider your specific location, terrain, and distance from broadcast towers to determine the most suitable antenna for your needs. The Best Over-The-Air Antennas Based on Performance and User Feedback Channel Master EXTREMEtenna CM-4228HD The Channel Master EXTREMEtenna [...]
About Johan
I started this site to educate the public on alternative ways you can watch television besides subscribing to cable. I have been in the audio-visual business for over 20 years. I also have an extensive computer networking background. I am a Microsoft Certified Professional and CompTIA Network+ Certified Technician. I hope you will find my articles and reviews helpful in conscious uncabling.


  1. I live in an apartment on the top/3rd floor. What is the best antenna to purchase. I am on a limited budge/income and would love to get rid of cable. One big problem for me is that I am 55+ and not Tech savvy and do not have another adult living in the home.

  2. What is the recommendation for DVR functionaity?

  3. In an attempt to dump the expensive cable service he pays for, I purchased an HDTV Antenna,Amplified Digital TV Antenna 150 Miles Range 360° Rotation for my 87 year old dad who lives in a rural town about 65 miles south of a major city. I didn’t realize I could go online to check his zip code to see how many actual channels he could receive. Turns out it was only 2 which I found out after hooking it up, checking channels, and then verifying this through the online site. I’m sending the HD antenna back but what other non digital, regular antenna can I buy. He only watches TV channels out of the large city so is really getting ripped off by paying over $100 a month for cable. He doesn’t have internet but has his phone through the cable channel.

    • There are a few other options. You could try using a larger roof mounted antenna. The higher you mount your antenna the better. Like this one: http://amzn.to/2yd2C7G. You may gain a few more channels. Depending on the internet providers in your area, you could dump cable and just get internet only. Then you could use a streaming service like Sling TV or Direct TV Now so he can watch certain channels. These services allow you to stream cable TV channels over the internet using a streaming box. It should save you some money. Many of these services offer different channel packages for your viewing needs. You can see my article explaining how it works here: https://www.overtheairdigitaltv.com/alternatives-cable-tv-using-live-tv-streaming-services/. I hope this is of some help.

  4. Thank you for the comment. I was hoping to hear that I could just buy a generic antenna like one he had in pre-computer/cable days. He lives alone and doesn’t have a computer nor the desire to learn how to use one. He just wants to watch the local morning and evening news. I appreciate your help.

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