Cord Cutting

Cord Cutting: Streaming with No Strings Attached

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Here is the tale of how I ultimately opted for Cord Cutting…

Cord Cutting

One weekend I decided to do something extraordinary. I sat in front of my TV! :

  • In high hopes of watching JANE The Virgin that aired at 6:00 pm, I sat on the sofa sharp at 5:59 pm and then here’s what happened:
  • Missed 10 minutes of the show getting coffee from the kitchen.
  • Zoned out another 5 minutes trying to convince a friend who called, that I was in the middle of something “important”.
  • By the time I could get back on track with the show, the train of excitement had passed, the coffee was cold and I had a friend who was now judging my priority list.
  • The issues with cable can be never ending. Convenience, however, tops them all. Everything on the cable is set on schedule and the service providers are not very forgiving.
  • You can cry all you want but if you have missed the show, you have MISSED THE SHOW!

Unless you are only planning on sitting in front of the TV and enjoying channel surfing, there is not much Cable TV can offer. Cable is now like a high maintenance girlfriend that nobody wants to run after anymore.

Fun-Fact “The inventor of the television would not let his own children watch TV. He once said to his son – There’s nothing on it worthwhile, and we’re not going to watch it in this household, and I don’t want it in your intellectual diet.”

Price VS Choice

Use of cable limits down your available options. You can only enjoy the show that is on air in your free time. Even if the 150 channels that they offered seemed attractive at first, you will soon realize that there is not much you can do with all of them.

We are mostly choosy about what we want to watch. Somebody like me would probably just shift between movies and NEWS with the least interest in what other 148 channels are offering.

The fact that you are paying $700-1000 per year for this just makes the situation worse! Are you sure there are not any other better alternatives?

Did you Know? 60% population in the US is hooked on Cable TV but do they like what they see?

More Reasons to Cut the Cord

Besides a trashy service, there is a long list of reasons why many people have decided to cut the cord in recent years. Unbelievably high fees are a major issue too. 

Budgeted packages make the whole experience costly and boring. Just like Xantub commented on Reddit:

If you just paid for your dozen channels they would cost 9.99 each.

I don’t get the whole I don’t want all these channels I don’t watch, its not going to save money in the long run (unless you literally only subscribe to one channel) just because it comes with a bunch of extra stuff. Lets not even get into now needing an account and possibly a STB for many more services now. For the high value productions this type of distribution just makes sense.

I don’t see why I need to setup a billing account for every show I want to watch; but that’s what this generation seems to want and I just don’t get it.

That stuff is good for when people visit and have different tastes, when you want something non distracting for background movement/noise.”

Did you Know? “Competitive Issues In the Cable Television Industry” says an average person spends 30 hours a week in front of the TV and only 7 hours watching what they actually want to see.

Cord Cutting: Watch Whatever-Whenever

After missing out on a couple of episodes of Jane the Virgin and realizing that I could never watch the epic Game of Thrones on the TV, I started wondering that there has to be some other way of getting the entertainment I want THE WAY I WANT.

Maybe I was a little too embarrassed to bring this up in front of my friends until I got to my lucky day.

NBA tournaments dates got released and everybody I knew was super excited for it. Except ONE! Over lunch at the office, one of my friends brought up how she would not be able to enjoy the hype.

“It’s just gonna be like the last time!” she exclaimed, “ a lot of signal problems. And I can never actually watch the whole thing. The cable wouldn’t stop and wait for me if I move away for a minute”.

Even though sports were not my thing but I could relate to the issues she was pointing out. NBA or Jane the Virgin, we both were having a sad life when it came to entertainment options. From the discussion that followed, I had decided on one thing:

IT WAS TIME TO CUT THE CORD and shift to streaming services and the use of streaming devices.

If you are a little bit of tech savvy you would know how streaming devices and services have taken the cable industry by storm. When you enjoy a better experience at a much lower price, who would stick to cable?

In fact, a study highlights that there are approximately 33 million cord-cutters in the US (2018). The number is expected to reach up to 55.1 million in 2022. Are you one of them?

Number of cord cutters
Did you Know?The diffusion group estimates that by 2030 as high as 81% of households in the US will leave the tradition “pay-TV” for better alternatives.

If you are new to the world of technology, here’s why masses, including me,  have considered cutting the cord and why YOU SHOULD AS WELL:

It is Cost-Efficient

This is perhaps the biggest advantage cord cutting has. Cable TV can cost you as much as $1000 per year.

Did you Know?Variety highlighted that the highest voted reason for people shifting from traditional pay-TV to cord cutting was the HIGH COST.

That is a lot to pay for content, half of which you are not even interested in watching.

Plain Truth: you will only be paying for the things you want to watch. This means that every penny you spend on streaming would be worth it.

It is User-Friendly

You will not have to worry about missing out on your favorite shows. More importantly, you don’t have to watch what you don’t want to watch. You might only find a couple of channels interesting on the cable.

The content on the rest of the channels will be a ghost for you. But why are you then paying for all of them? OR are you paying that much only for 2-3 channels? Not a very wise choice, you see.

It is, In fact, “very” user-friendly

Cord cutting services will watch out for you. They will be available on smartphones, laptops or tablets when you are not home.

Its also very unlikely that the connectivity will be disturbed due to weather conditions. As long as you have the internet up and running, you are good to do!

Did you Know?“Only a fraction of 19% of US residents who shifted from cable TV to cord cutting ever regretted taking the decision” reports Suzzanne McGee on US money blog.

If you want some more moral support here are some reassuring words from Zhenya on Reddit about shifting from cable to streaming service:

“So yesterday we finally agreed to cut the cord, saving us $864/year, AND our internet got bumped to 100/10. So far Sling seems great to me. I hated using the archaic cable box and remote interface – Sling seems much more in line with what modern TV should look like. I was surprised at how hesitant I was to do this in the first place, but how FREEING it feels now. Heading down to turn in the phone and cable box shortly!”

Cord Cutting: A Big Pool to Choose From

Streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix have further pushed the concept of cable TV option to stone age. The fun factor is that these are available at only a fraction of cable cost.

However, the first thing you should be sure of before cutting down the cord is whether your internet is up for the challenge or not. You are going to rely a lot on it throughout no matter which device or service  you have decided to use.

Internet: Check

Cut the Cord: Check!

Ready for the Streaming Experience?

Sometimes having a long list of options to choose from does not make things easy for the user. It only further complicates the issue. Scan your options keenly and take your time in making the right decision.

When I shifted from cable TV I was looking for something that would give me access to movies and sports. At that time, using two different services for the two interests didn’t seem like a bad experience.

At one point I was paying for Netflix for the sake of the extensive movie library, and MLB.TV premium for sports (although you will have to make some more hefty payments if you add to the list of sports you want).

On top of all that, I had a Roku device installed because it offered a great variety of shows that were not otherwise available. I knew that I was spending money on what I was actually interested in watching but was I using the best possible approach?

It was haste that killed the Yellow Snake that ate the Sun” a proverb in The Jungle Book. Too cliché? I think not. Sometimes immediately replacing the cable with the first available option you have for streaming is not a smart choice!

Netflix might be offering you a large range of unique shows but then you are using a separate service for sports. In the end, you will find yourself monitoring a long list of services.

Sometimes without realizing, you will be paying small amounts for all of them but altogether they will be summing up to an amount larger than what you were paying for the cable in the first place.

Here is what Robert has to rant about regarding this experience on Reddit:

With the announcement of Disney+, I think I’ve had enough of this kind of services. Netflix, HBO, Amazon Video, DC Universe and now Disney+ are the biggest and most known streaming platforms now days. The thing is that it’s just too many of them.

These are some monthly prices of some platforms: -Netflix: $12.99 (the basic one) -Amazon Prime Video: $8.99 -HBO: $14.99 -Disney+ (with Hulu and ESPN+): $12.99 -DC Universe: $7.99

Here’s an example: Let’s say I have Netflix (which I do) but I’m interested in watching GoT and Westworld. That’s $27.98 a month, and that’s a lot. But I’m also interested in The Boys (Amazon), the incoming Marvel series (Disney+) and Titans (DC Universe). Not following my previous path of piracy, I would have to pay all the subscriptions and that is $57.95 monthly. Few people can afford that, but I’m a middle class person and I can’t.

You want the services, you don’t want to pay a large sum for that AND you want all the goodies in one pack. Here is what you are looking for.

Firestick: My Only True Friend in the Streaming World

If you think that the list of available streaming devices and services is long, just know that it is getting longer every day.  

ditch cable tv

When I was new to streaming, the decision-making was so difficult that I could give anything to get my hands on a reliable cord cutting guide from the folks who knew better.

How I Found Out About the Amazon’s Firestick?

This was when I started asking around for better alternatives.

After I heard about Amazon’s Firestick from a friend, I took my time to do some research. I started reading a lot about it on Reddit and Quora to dig into the user’s reviews.

“I have a Fire TV Stick 4K and I’m happy with it. It’s more powerful than the old sticks and I can sideload Kodi and other apk’s on it as well since it’s Android. You don’t get the full YouTube app on it because of the Google-Amazon spat but you can use YouTube through Firefox or the Silk browser and to me the experience is fine. My daughter has no problems using YouTube this way and she watches a lot of YouTube.”

Many words I came across there were extremely reassuring.

And finally, I decided to get it for $35.  Amazon’s Firestick: my final choice for enjoying a completely worry-free streaming.

Continue reading if you want to find out why I preferred it over all other options and how the facility can come completely FREE OF COST!!

Jailbreaking: It’s here… :

  • My initial experience with Amazon’s Firestick was good but I was missing out on something better!
  • Using the device I initially subscribed to Netlfix, Holu and a couple of other services I was interested in.
  • I have to admit, however, the sum did not decrease a lot! I had spent $35 on the stick and I still had to pay monthly subscriptions. It felt like in the long it would cost me an arm and a leg.
  • I had been using the Firestick for over a month when I found out about jailbreaking.
…. it’s legal

At first, I was reluctant about going for jailbreaking. We are mostly wired to thinking its something illegal but ITS NOT!

It’s not illegal. You will be perfectly fine if you jailbreak, just make sure to use the correct method.” One of my friends told me.

Jailbreaking simply frees you from the limitations of a service. I did it taking help from Exclusive Jailbreak Guide.

…. And it’s completely safe!

Make sure that you always have a good VPN on stand to make the jailbreaking experience completely secure.

VPNs keep your identity anonymous ensuring that you steer clear of any copyright issues while making use of services available to you after jailbreaking the Firestick.

Take home message: Invest in a good VPN :
Attention FireStick Users: Important Notice before you continue reading!

While most of you may or may not know, Governments and ISPSs worldwide have a strict check on their users online activities. In case, any copyrighted content is found streaming, you can land into serious consequences which may be as severe as suspending of your online account. Please know, that your current IP 39.37.178.55 is visible to everyone. We therefore urge you to get started with a reliable Firestick VPN immediately. This will help cover your identity via VPN’s multiple servers, while giving you the premium viewing experience.

IPVanish has been the fastest and most reliable secure VPN we have come across so far. Their servers are widespread and strictly secured. The VPN is very easy to install and user-friendly on every device including the Amazon Fire TV Stick. If you are not sure about the app, it comes with a 7-day money back guarantee with a refund. IPVanish also has a very attractive deal in which, when paid for a whole year subscription you can avail 46% discount on your annual plan!

Why You Should Prefer Amazon’s Firestick Over Other Streaming Devices?

When it comes to streaming devices, Amazon’ Firestick has some strong competitors. Roku, Google Chromecast and Apple TV are just to name a few tough bears.

Cable TV Alternatives
Here is a quick-book for the newcomers:
Roku :

Just like other video-streaming devices, Roku is a TV set-top tool launched in 2016. It is currently known for its high number of audience engagement (the number rose from 13.4 million to 29.1 million from 2016 to 2019).

Did you Know?“Top searched actress on Roku is the well-known heart- throb Sandra Bullocks.”

Roku is currently available in 10 countries. Around 41 million devices are in use in the present. It contains more than 450,000 movies.

Google Chromecast :

Chromecast is easily- accessible, top- of- its- time device. It supports almost all the wireless networks. It is also a hub for a large number of streaming services including Netflix, YouTube, Google Play and many more.

Google Chromecast mode of use is a little bit different from the other competing devices (Apple TV or Roku). It comes equipped with a USB cable and gets plugged into the HDMI port of your TV.

You can make use of your smartphone or a computer as a remote control. It allows you to stream a variety of content from the Chrome browser on the desktop computer or your laptop.

Apple TV :

Apple TV provides a wide range of your favorite channels to stream. It allows the use of platforms like HBO, Holu, Netflix, NBA, MLB, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

Every Apple user would know who Siri is. Apple TV also allows the use of voice control with the help of Siri. Live channel streaming with packages from Sling TV, DirecTV etc. are also available.

Apple TV comes with a one year warranty and complete technical support within 90 days of purchase.

 Amazon’s Firestick RokuGoogle Chromecast Ultra Apple TV
Price $35 $24 $69  
Sold by Amazon Amazon AmazonApple  
Connectivitytechnology WiFi Wi-Fi WiFi Wi-Fi
Dimensions 3.9 x 1.18 x 0.55 in 2.83 x 1.54 x 0.75 in 2.29 x 0.53 x 2.29 in 4.88 x 1.5 x 0.25 in
Weight1.5 ounces 1.1 ounces 1.6 ounces 1.5 ounces
Internet applicationsNetflix, CrunchyRoll,BBC News, Twitch, YouTube, Sling TV, ESPN, Sportz TV IPTVHBO, Hulu, Apple TV, Playstation Vue, Google PlayYoutube, Netlfix, Amazon PrimeNetflix, Amazon Prime. ESPN
Total HDMI ports 1 1 1 1
Number of USB port 1 0 0 0
I could Netflix but I could not chill: Firestick streaming service compared with other streaming services.

By now you might have made up your mind that Firestick device is better than other streaming devices. Now for an extra cherry on the top, here is another catch:

A number of streaming services are available on Firestick and that too, FOR FREE. After you have successfully performed jailbreaking on the device you can access all the streaming services offered by Amazon Firestick for free.

This means after just spending $35 on the Firestick you can say bye bye to all other expenses of monthly subscriptions!

Continue reading to find out how much these services typically cost and how much you could be saving if you resort to Firestick use.

10 Things For FREE on Amazon Firestick

Once you have successfully jailbroken your Firestick device, you can enjoy the following apps for free otherwise for which you have to empty your pockets for their monthly subscriptions.

Spotify :
Monthly subscription: $9.99 for the Premium account

Spotify is for the music lovers. It comes free on  Amazon Firestick with access to a large number of songs as soon as you log into your account.

Did you Know?According to a study, an average Spotify user spends about 148 hours daily listening to music on Spotify!

You can use your mobile phone for music selection. It would not annoy you with repeated advertisements. You can also save your favorite music for enjoying later.

Twitch :
Monthly Subscription: $25

Twitch is a video-streaming platform where you can also enjoy live streaming of video games ( pretty cool, isn’t it?

Twitch comes for free on the Amazon Firestick and gives you a chance to make some money! If you sign up for the Affiliate program, you can make some bucks for gaming.

YouTube :
Monthly Subscription: $50

Who has not heard of YouTube? It is a must- have app that everyone is accustomed to using. On Amazon Firestick, it can be downloaded from the Amazon App store and used for free.

You can use YouTube to surf for new releases, music and maybe create your own playlist. Listen to your favorite groove whenever you want to.

HD Streamz :

This channel is also ranked as one of the top apps on Firestick. It gives access to different channels from other countries (including the US and  the UK) for free. It is more famous for Live TV streaming. It comes equipped with Radio and On-Demand tabs.

Mobdro :

Mobdro is the thing for you if you want sports for free. It will also keep showing up free video content from around the world for streaming.

OneBox HD :

This is a particularly famous app for users who like to access entertainment on mobile. With some latest software updates, Firestick now offers it completely free and with remote-friendly use.

You might find it better to search for content on OneBoxHS manually. This is one of the major drawbacks: it is updated with new content but that does not mostly show up on the home page.

Crackle :
Monthly subscription: $7.99 for unlimited streaming

Crackle contains a long list of movies and the latest TV shows. Using Amazon Firestick you can access these free of cost. If you are truly dedicated to the life of entertainment, Crackle is the place for you!

Crackle also comes with pre- installed Parental Control Feature. This ensures that adult content is filtered if a kid under a threshold age is using a Crackle account. This feature added a lot to the popularity of this app on Amazon’s Firestick.

BeeTV :
Monthly subscription: $4 for the Premium Version

BeeTV is also a platform offered for free for movies and TV shows. BeeTV has won binge-watchers hearts for years. The library is regularly updated to make sure you always have something to watch.

CatMouse :

This a great choice for on-demand content streaming. It has won an impressive amount of followers with a great variety of content to watch. Amazon Firestick offers it for free, considering the high chances of CatMouse becoming mainstream very soon.

CyberFLIX TV :
Monthly subscription: $5

This is a clone of the former Terrarium Tv. The app provides a large collection of latest movies and shows. Genre and year- sorted content makes it easier to stream for pretty quick access.

10 Famous Paid Apps on Amazon Firestick for Free

When you initially got your hands on the Amazon Firestick, paying for a handful of apps in exchange for a large library that you were getting for free might have seemed like a good option. But why settle for the less, when you deserve the best?

With the option of jailbreaking and add-ons , you can enjoy a large density of paid content for free.

Here is a list of apps you can access for free that might otherwise have you paying through the nose.

Netflix :
Monthly subscription: $7 ($16 for the Premium plan)

Never have we really met anyone who got bored of Netflix! That is one name known to many for pure entertainment. New and old TV shows, movies and whatnot.

Fun-Fact“During August 2017’s total solar eclipse, Netflix viewership dropped 10% . “Well played, Moon,” the company tweeted.”

Even though it is a paid service, a high number of subscribers are paying a large sum for the app every year. The best part is that even after you have subscribed to Netflix on the Amazon Firestick, you can cancel the subscription any time you want (The chances of you doing that are very low though!)

Sling TV :
Monthly subscription: $20.

Sling TV tops the list of live TV channels. This service is only restricted to the US. However, around the globe VPNs are used to enjoy the application.

YouTube Premium Subscription :
Monthly Subscription: $12

The Premium account allows you to stream YouTube content without interruptive ads. A number of documentaries, limited movies and much more premium content that is not available on Free YouTube.

Sportz TV IPTV :
Monthly Subscription: $14.95

This will definitely be you favourite host for the sport content. Along with that, it brings togther on- demand TV shows and movies. Most of the people who are spending on this app have commented it be “worth every penny”

With Amazon Firestick, you don’t need to spend a penny for the amazing entertainment.It is a well-maintained application with high- quality streaming (1080p).

Players Klub IPTV :
Monthly subscription: $8

All the 2000+ channels offered by Players Klub IPTV are available in the US. Some restrictions might be seen in countries like UK, Canada, Australia.

It primarily rose as a live TV app and then expanded to the on-demand section with movies and TV shows. The app has an easy- to- handle interface and overall navigation. The option of Kodi add- on, makes it a multiplatform service.

ESPN :
Monthly Subscription: $5

ESPN provides both, on- demand and live- streaming of sports.It covers many sport events. You can also steer clear of monthly or yearly passes payment if you are using Amazon Firestick.

Fun-Fact“Children named after ESPN – As many as 22 children have been named after the sports network by their parents. Also, BabyNames.com says that ESPN is on 93 baby name lists.”

Before subscribing to ESPN, make sure you avail 7- day subscription plan.

Mobdro Premium Account :
Monthly Subscription: $5

The Premium account allows you to stream Mobdro content without interruptive ads.

Sky TV News :
Monthly subscription: $22

Are you one of those who want to stay updated on day to day basis? Sky News is a really good option. And now it comes free on Amazon Firestick.

This news channel keeps a good check on the latest happenings around the globe. They specifically keep the breaking news upfront so you don’t miss out on any update. It focuses on bringing out fresh content every time you come back to it.

BBC News :
Monthly subscription: $12

In the world of News, BBC is ranked as top-most app on the Firestick. Thanks to efficient journalist around the world, BBC is known for only giving out extremely reliable news from trustworthy sources only.

BBC gives access to streaming video content as well as browsing news articles on health, business, politics, fashion, entertainment, sports, and from every other end of the world.

CrunchyRoll :
Monthly subscription: $7.99

Personally, I would not have included the name of crunchy roll on my to-get list. But, surprisingly, there is a large number of people who are keenly interested in Japanese anime series and Asian entertainment. CrunchyRoll is just the thing for them!

It hosts over 25000+ episodes from different Animes. The better part? It has a large content translated to other languages to make sure every viewer finds just what he wants for his taste.

Just like Netflix, the subscription can be canceled anytime. You can also avail a 14 day free- trial before you make up your mind to take the subscription or not.

A Final Note Before You Leave…

If you are one with an expensive taste and a bit of interested in every field, you might find yourself paying a huge amount. It can sum up to a lot if you put in all the little expenses you are making for the subscriptions of different channels.

Just taking into account the utter need to have a movie streaming channels (Let us say Netflix – $16), Sportz IPTV (&14.99) and BBC News ($12). That’s you already spending $33 on a very limited number of channels.

We have not yet accounted for the initial subscription fee you would be obliged to pay at the time of joining. These can sum up to pretty MUCH!

The question here is, why settle for less? With Amazon Firestick and its Add-ons (available for free), you can use all the platforms for entertainment at the expense of only $35.

Ultimately, there have been some very satisfied customers, as this happy guy comments on Reddit:

Watch any and all tv shows and movies. -Watch any tv channel live. -Play any game from SNES,GBA,PS1, GAMECUBE. N64, SEGA. (Can play local multiplayer too, 4 players Golden eye, 4 players Mario party 3, etc..) -Play ANY steam game (Currently playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey) -Play online games like Fortnite, Rainbow 6 siege, etc) -Watch YouTube via the app -Facebook -Watch porn

All for free, you just need internet (I have 70 mbps, unlimited)”

I have definitely added my name to Firestick users. What will your take be?

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