Cutting the cable connection to coax connector illustrating retired people cancelling cable TV service

3 Common Mistakes New Cord Cutters Make & How You Can Avoid Them


Cutting the cable connection to coax connector illustrating retired people cancelling cable TV serviceMaking the move from a pay-TV service, such as cable TV, to cord cutting is no small move; however, it does not need to be as difficult as many new cord cutters make it.

Here are 3 common mistakes new cord cutters make and how you can avoid them.

#1 Expecting Cord Cutting to Work like Cable

Cord cutting is not cable TV. Although it may give you the same content, it take time to learn. Just like an iPhone and an Android phone can both make calls, text, surf, and have many of the same apps they work differently. Cord cutting and cable TV work differently. And it will takes a bit of time to learn how to be a cord cutter.

Think of moving from a cable box to a streaming player as the move from Android to iOS. It’s all there—you just need to find it again.

The biggest issue is looking for channels instead of shows. For example, wanting Fox when you really just want the shows on Fox. If you look for Fox you may find a Fox App on Roku and Fire TV but it needs a cable login. If you look for the shows you would find out that Fox shows are on Hulu and Netflix.

Give it some time to learn a new way to do things and make sure to look for the shows not the channels.

#2 Rushing into Cord Cutting

It often seems that people jump the gun to cut the cord before they are ready. Cord cutting is not hard and is a lot easier if you take time to prepare.

Before you cancel cable get your cord cutting setup ready. If you want an antenna for local channels, buy it and set it up before you ditch cable. Nothing is worse than canceling cable and scrambling to buy any antenna so you don’t miss tonight’s show. That often results in overpaying and maybe not getting the right antenna for you. (Need help finding a antenna? Checkout AntennaRecommendations.com for help.)

So make sure to set everything up from streaming players to antennas before canceling cable. We even recommend testing out streaming services before you ditch cable. Is Sling TV or PS Vue right for you? They both have their advantages, but they depend on what you want. Take advantage of their free trial before you ditch cable so when you do you are all set up.

Preparation can remove a lot of the headache later.

#3 Wanting Everything


You don’t need to sign up for everything! The great thing about cord cutting is options. There are so many great services out there but what do you really need?

For example, you don’t have to pay all year for HBO NOW when you only want it for “Game of Thrones.” The great thing about cord cutting is no contracts. You can subscribe to HBO only when “Game of Thrones” is on.

The second danger is overpaying to get just one channel. Do you really want to pay for the most expensive PS Vue service for one channel so you can watch one show? It would have been far less expensive to just buy that show on Amazon Video with a season pass.

Do your best to avoid the temptation to just keep adding services in an effort to get one show or channel. Often it is less expensive to buy just one show with a season pass.

Bonus Tip

When you look at your savings compared to cable ask yourself am I already paying for a cord cutting service. When I talk to people who say cable was less expensive I typically find out they are already paying for Netflix and Amazon Prime. If you will already be paying for them there is no need to count that as a new cost.

So ask yourself what cord cutting services am I already paying for? You would be surprised how many cable TV subscribers also pay for two or three cord cutting services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon.

Do you have a tip for new cord cutters? Post it in the comments.

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  • grinlap

    All good advice except in the case of real time cable news. If I want to watch CNN or Fox News I can’t find those “programs” anywhere else and these channels are usually not available for streaming w/o a pay TV subscription. Now, I have seen CNN on one of the streaming services but not Fox News. If you think you’ve seen it I suggest what you’ve seen are clips of their regular features or selected stories and not a real time broadcast. So, I’m still waiting for real time national news broadcasts.

    • Here is a link to a reliable Fox News Channel online stream.

      http://vaughnlive.tv/embed/video/Newzviewz . You can use Chromecast or another casting device to cast it to your TV screen.

      Or if you want to get Fox News on your Roku, add the X-TV private channel. Find it at http://streamfree.tv/roku-channels/private/all/xtv-4196-thread.html .

    • PRMan

      The cheapest legal way is Sling Orange for $20 a month. You can get it for $14 a month if you have T-Mobile.

      • CrabbiePattie

        Actually, the cheapest legal way is to view their live channels on youtube.

    • The Atheist Dude

      I use channel Pear on my roku for Fox and other live TV for free. One of the few that actually works.

    • CrabbiePattie

      CNN/Fox News/MSNBC actually has a live Channel on youtube all the time. The Bloomberg Channel is usually broadcasting on twitter.

    • Bill Eastman

      You might check Playstation Vue. They have more FOX channels than Sling. Try it for the free trial and see how you like it.

  • cmfitzs

    Many of the cable providers have a basic streaming service that can be installed as a channel (Charter/Spectrum) on Roku and presumedly on other streamers for free or a much lower cost than cable service.

  • The Atheist Dude

    Epix comes free with Charter internet. Channel pear is great for live cable channels for free. Roku streamers absolutely rock. Make sure you have good internet to avoid buffering. Remember to reset your router on occasion.

  • CrabbiePattie

    When my wife and I decided to try cord cutting, we listed all the shows we wanted and made sure that we had access to them.
    We did already have Netflix and Hulu, but AMC and our local NBA team was a big concern for us. We found our options and make plans to watch our AMC shows with others who have cable. We pay for the show with some beer or some food and it makes us more social during the show. Sports will just have to be a sacrifice some times. Can’t catch every game all year long.
    Our biggest problem was losing our DVR. Programs just showed up. We didn’t have to worry about anything being missed each week. Once I learned about Trakt, that helped out a lot. I know what is out and what is about to come out through Trakt’s Seen It app.
    So, once we had a plan, we put it in place. We lived one month with both cord cutting services and satellite. We tried to not use our satellite at all that month. It was tough during the first part of the month, but it eventually became easy. Things that we watched because it was convenient fell to the way side. That wasn’t important anymore and there were other options, better options to get into.
    Documentaries are always a great way to kill some time while doing other things.

    Another thing to consider is internet. I live in an area that AT&T DSL is the only option besides satellite internet. Our data cap is 150 GB per month, that gets knocked out pretty easily. That adds to the cost of internet monthly. When our providers stop trying to rob people just outside of metropolitan areas, then cord cutting will become easier.

    • teenygozer

      If you get a Tivo DVR, you can run your OTA channels through it, search for shows and program them, and skip commercials again–you can also subscribe to Hulu and Netflix or do pay-per-view through the Tivo, so you just push one button and you’re in. It’s between $12 & $13 a month to get the Tivo Guide, but worth it for the DVR aspects. See my comment above, I posted a day after you.

    • Raden Adams

      Yeah, I live in a very rural part of North Mississippi and I can only get satellite Internet from Hughes and now Exede but there is just no way that I have seen to cut my DirecTV . Satellite Internet really and I mean really sucks. Also, OTA antenna will only just barely get 3 stations that are over 70 miles away. The programming on TV is not nearly as interesting to me now days except for sports and now with I have HD whole home service charges too.

  • teenygozer

    My antenna picks up NBC, CBS, Fox, the CW, ABC, about six PBS stations and eight “retro” TV channels with shows like Murder She Wrote, A-Team, and The Munsters. I channel my OTA stations through a Tivo Bolt DVR so I can jump commercials and program it to get shows and movies I like. The Bolt also carries monthly-fee apps like Netflix ($7.99 a month), and free apps like YahooTV, Youtube and Plex. With Plex, I can watch or listen to any media I have on my computer, which is a room away.

    All my media is in one place using one remote so I never miss anything, fumble around to find shows I’m looking for, or watch commercials. The antenna goes through the Tivo and the Tivo finds all the OTA channels in the area for you instead of your TV. One caveat: I pay $149 annually for Tivo’s channel guide, which you must have to program Tivo to find and tape your shows for you… that works out to $12.41 a month.

    For $12.41 a month for the guide, $49.99 to the ISP for internet (Comcast) and $7.99 for Netflix plus free OTA stations, we get more TV than we know what to do with for half the price we were paying for the lowest level of the most basic of basic cable. Comcast did a cost-creep thing where every year, they’d jump our monthly fee $25 to $30 higher than previously, I’d phone them to protest and they’d cut us back to a lower tier of basic cable and “only” jump our cost another $15 to $20 a month–gee, thanks, Comcast! Cost-creep really adds up over 5 years of crappy ever-lower-tier X-Finity, then we hit the lowest tier with nowhere to go and they flat-out refused to give us a break on their insane fees. So we cut the cord last May, got rid of the house phone, just got internet. I wonder if they’ll start creeping up the cost of my internet every year? 🙁

    I also suggest you purchase your own high-quality router and modem (I bought an Arris Surfboard SB6183 and a TP-LINK), so your ISP can’t charge you a hefty monthly rental fee for their own crappy proprietary router/modem. It will pay for itself in a year and I find that now I don’t have to constantly reboot or call Comcast when the wifi disappears or I suddenly find I’m not online anymore. That used to happen several times a month. (For three years I had a 2 lb barbell on top of my old Comcast modem to apply pressure in one spot so it wouldn’t whirrr so loud, you couldn’t hear the TV shows! I didn’t turn it in for a new one because it was the third one we’d already gotten from Comcast in six months, the first two died soon after we hooked them up, and Comcast warned us they weren’t going to keep trading us for new modems, they were going to charge us if we brought in another one in!)

  • Jim Sumner

    Cableone wants to charge me over $100 per month just for Hi Speed internet service because of increased bandwidth used. Should have stayed with cable TV.

    • Switch to DSL I jump band and forth between cable and DSL to get the best deal. Also look at downgrading to a slower speed. You only need 20 Mbps down to be a cord cutter.