At FairlawnGig we realize that no matter how unbelievably fast and amazing our internet service is, we know change can be scary. Especially when it could impact what may be your number one source of entertainment – the television. It’s intimidating when you only have two or three things to choose from let alone the plethora of streaming services.

But there are so many choices because “cord cutting,” the practice of disconnecting a traditional TV service and switching entirely to streaming platforms, is on the rise here in Fairlawn and across the country. Options are increasing every day and it may feel overwhelming as a road you’d rather not travel down for merely the reason that it feels like a “hassle.”

You may be leery to jump into the cord-cutting craze. It may be hard to actually call the cable or satellite company and disconnect. But isn’t it worse to waste money month after month on overpriced programming you are not watching?

And while change is never easy, one service FairlawnGig offers every single subscriber is advice and guidance to get the most out of FairlawnGig, including lowering your TV bill by finding streaming services that meet your needs.


Cost

How much will I save by cutting the cord?

It’s staggering just how high some television bills can climb – especially when you keep adding bundles.  Most of the people we help start out paying in excess of $200 a month and come up with a solution that fits their needs in the $50 a month range.

To replace what I have now, do I have to subscribe to so many platforms that my streaming services will cost just as much as I am paying now?

Most people are already paying for things like Netflix and maybe even Hulu whether they’ve cord-cut or not.  What we’ve found is that switching to streaming everything usually only requires one or two new subscriptions at $10-$20 a month – sometimes three. We tell people to anticipate spending $50 or so more a month for streaming which is usually more than covered by eliminating a television bill that, even on the low end, is more than $100.

I don’t think my TVs are all internet-enabled. If I cut the cord do I have to buy all new TVs?

Smart TVs are televisions that connect to the internet and stores applications without any other device.  If some of your TVs are older you can use one of a number of devices that would be a one-time purchase cost in the $50-$200 range. These devices include Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or even an Xbox or PlayStation to “smarten up” your old TV.  Be careful to make sure that the device you buy does indeed support the services you subscribe to.  Most do support all of them but there are exceptions (i.e. Amazon Fire does not support YouTube TV).

Currently I pay a fee for each TV hookup I have – how does that work with streaming services? Is there a limit or a fee?

Every service has its limits in terms of how many devices can be streaming at the same time, from two to five devices.  Many services allow you to up the limit with a small fee.

Programming

I have programs I watch, and I like the option to try new shows – won’t cord cutting affect that?

More and more you can find almost everything you want on a streaming platform – the trick is to choose the ones that carry your programs as well as those whose new content will pique your interest.

Are all the network shows streaming?

Hulu hosts three of the networks (ABC, Fox, NBC) and CBS shows can be seen by subscribing to “CBS All Access.” YouTube TV also has ABC, NBC, and CBS or another option which has all the local networks is DirecTV Now.

What about local channels and news – can I get them, or do I need an HD antenna?

You can get local channels and with it local news on several platforms including DirecTV Now, Hulu Live, YouTube TV and Playstation Vue.  If you decide other streaming services are better suited to you, local channels also come into our footprint with an HD antenna.

With regards to sports, how do I see the local professional teams?

Fox Sports Ohio is available with DirecTV Now, and YouTube T V. Additionally, a lot of the streaming services do include ESPN, TNT, TBS, etc. which will give you a lot of sports coverage but what you are referring to is YouTube TV which does have increasingly more and more live sporting events.  Another way to see the games that appear on the network is what I mentioned before – an HD antenna costs $50 – $150. You can get all four networks pointing to the Northeast.

The Viewing Experience

Before I try cord-cutting, is there a way to try it to see if it works for me?

Streaming service typically offer a seven-day trial before you commit to a monthly (cancellable) fee. Keep in mind, however, if you are not currently a FairlawnGig subscriber, streaming services will not perform as well as they would on your television with a lightning-last FairlawnGig connection.

Do I have to watch commercials or can I fast-forward them like with a DVR?

Most services do offer a commercial-free option for slightly more. If you watch a program over-the-air or streaming, “live” programming will include commercials.

Will streaming have the same features I am accustomed to from a DVR?

Most streaming services’ programs are “on demand,” providing the same basic features of a DVR.  For those shows that are not “on demand,” there are streaming services that offer a DVR in the “cloud.” DirecTV Now offers local channels, a DVR, and a program guide that is a lot like the “traditional” TV viewing experience.

What speed do I need to be a happy TV streamer?

FailrawnGig’s 300 Mbps service will be more than sufficient to provide the bandwidth to stream effectively.

Are there any other issues with streaming/cord-cutting?

There is some “buffering,” performance issues with some of the services during peak hours.  We’ve heard some say Hulu live and DirecTV Now have been known to go down during prime-time TV as these services’ infrastructure needs and will catch up with demand.  You’d be best to take advantage of the seven-day trials to test this for yourself.