November 27, 2019
Make cord cutting easier with these ideas
Cutting down the expense of TV content (cord cutting) is a hot topic, and for good reason.
We all think TV content is too expensive, and there's a good chance that you, or someone you know, has cut the cord or really wants to but is holding back for some reason.
Any of these gift suggestions would be perfect for cord cutters and wannabe cord cutters on your Christmas list. Note that the prices listed are suggested retail. You may find lower prices during holiday sales.
Samsung The Frame TV
What is it? Is it a TV or is it artwork hanging on your wall? Samsung's The Frame line of TVs is both. It is a beautiful 4K UHD Smart TV with a beautiful frame. When you put it into Art Mode, it's like a screensaver that displays great art.
A no-gap wall mount is included.
Who is it for? Everyone has a TV, but The Frame can transform your room into an art gallery. This is a TV that makes a statement.
What does it cost? Starts at $799 for the 43-inch model. Also available in 49-, 55- and 65-inch models. Watch for sales.
Where can I get it? Best Buy, Amazon, Star Power
Amazon Fire TV Recast
What is it? The Recast is a small box that holds two or four over-the-air TV tuners and a hard drive to record shows. The slick part is that the Recast can sit anywhere in your house. It doesn't connect to a TV. Connect Recast to an antenna and it will let you watch live and recorded shows on every TV in the house. Each TV has to have an Amazon Fire TV device connected.
Who is it for? Cord cutters are always asking for a good DVR solution. This is very easy to set up and use. Plus it lets you use one antenna for every TV in your house.
What does it cost? Starts at $229 for two tuners and 75 hours of DVR. A four-tuner model with 150 hours of DVR costs $279. Watch for Black Friday sales.
Where can I get it? Amazon
Antennas Direct Clearstream Max-V
What is it? If you live in an area where you can receive local channels over the air, you'll need a good antenna. The one on my roof is a ClearStream MAX-V from Antennas Direct. It has a range of more than 60 miles, and it receives both UHF and VHF signals from the front and back of the antenna. It can be set up indoors, but you'll get better reception if you can mount it outside.
Who is it for? Cord cutters who need to put their antenna outside for better reception.
What does it cost? $69.99
Where can I get it? Antennas Direct
What is it? If you've been watching TV in the last month, you've likely seen the commercials for the new Disney+ streaming service. What you might not know is that Disney offers a bundle with Hulu (ad-supported) and ESPN+. This bundle of movies, TV shows and sports programming is a serious threat to Netflix. You'll get the entire Disney library, Star Wars, Marvel and Hulu's vast TV archive as well as live sports from ESPN.
You'll need a smart TV or a set-top box like Roku, Fire TV or Apple TV to receive the streams.
Who is it for? If you're tired of Netflix, you'll find plenty to watch with this bundle.
What does it cost? $12.99 per month for all three services. Individually, they would cost $18.
Where can I get it? Disneyplus.com
What is it? Netflix and Disney+ are great, but what if you want to watch some good old live TV? Need your fix of The Food Network or The Discovery Channel or live news from CNN, MSNBC or FoxNews?
What about local network channels like ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox?
You can find all those things along with a great interface and unlimited cloud DVR from YouTube TV.
Who is it for? This is great for new cord cutters who still want to channel surf and see live and local channels without the hassle of contracts or putting up their own antennas.
What does it cost? $49.99 for more than 70 live channels
Where can I get it? tv.youtube.com
What is it? Philo doesn't get much press, but I think this live streaming service is a bargain at $20 per month. You won't find any local channels, or much in the way of live sports or news channels, but you will find 58 channels, including AMC, Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, Nickelodeon and Hallmark.
Who is it for? Philo is great for people who don't want to let their streaming bundle price creep up too high.
What does it cost? $20 per month for 58 channels
Where can I get it? Philo.com
Logitech Harmony Express
What is it? If there's one thing cord cutters need, it is a remote control that can actually control all the different pieces of equipment. You'd be much happier with one that can control your TV, your set-top box (Apple TV, Roku), your AV receiver and even a Blu-Ray player.
Logitech's Harmony remotes have a great reputation, and the Express can control all your devices. It also has Amazon's Alexa built in.
You can use the remote's microphone to turn on your TV and then ask Alexa to turn down the lights or lower your thermostat (if you have home automation set up).
Who is it for? This is not a remote for beginners. There are no number keys, and the setup has to be done with an app on your phone.
What does it cost? $249.99
Where can I get it? Logitech.com
What is it? This is Roku's best streaming experience with 4K and HDR for the best possible picture quality. It lets you tune in to every streaming service. It has a fast processor, USB, microSD and ethernet ports as well as Wi-Fi. The Ultra comes with a remote control with a headphone jack and a pair of JBL earbuds so you can listen privately to your TV without disturbing others. You can also search for TV content with your voice.
The Ultra has fast channel launch and personal shortcut buttons on the remote you can set up for quick access to your favorite channels.
Who is it for? If you want to add streaming to your TV, especially if you have a 4K TV, this is the best choice.
What does it cost? $99.99, but look for big savings around Black Friday and during the Christmas season.
Where can I get it? Roku.com, Best Buy, Fry's, Target, Walmart
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