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How to switch from cable television to streaming without dying in the attempt

switching from cable tv to streaming cuts the headDaniel Matus / Digital Trends in Spanish

The streaming It is more fashionable than ever these days, with services on demand such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and a series of newcomers, along with multiple live TV streaming services such as Sling TV, ESPN Plus, DirecTV Now and PlayStation Well, cutting the cable is easier than ever. Easy, s: but convenient? If you are willing to investigate a couple of things and, above all, reflect on what you really need, switching from cable television to streaming will not be traumatic or complicated, and that is what we want to explain in this article.

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Now you can access the successful channels and series that once were exclusively under the yoke of a cable subscription for a small monthly fee, without contracts, equipment rental or disastrous customer service. Getting rid of the cable or satellite service (and the bill that accompanies it) sounds great in theory, but it's not something you should hurry on.

First: how is your internet connection?

You have to be very clear from now on: you need a broadband connection that allows streaming. Netflix and other similar streaming services suggest download speeds of 5Mbps, but we don't think that much will be done with that, especially if there are more people connected to the network in your home.

Now you can access the successful channels and series for a small monthly fee, without contracts, equipment rental or disastrous customer service.

With 5Mbps you can get a high definition video transmission, but you can experience delays in loading and storage in the buffer if your network is suffocated by any other data traffic. If you want to enter the big leagues to access the growing variety of 4K Ultra HD streaming content available on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and others, you will have to accelerate your broadband speed to at least 25Mbps.

We also recommend that you test your Internet speed at peak times (between 6 and 10 p.m. on weekdays) to determine if your neighborhood has problems with heavy traffic. Fortunately, this is an increasingly rare problem outside rural areas, but it is better to verify it.

Get an HD antenna

Before canceling your cable or satellite subscription, you should investigate what is available through an HD antenna. For urban areas, a good HD antenna will probably offer you the four main networks (FOX, ABC, NBC and CBS), along with 10-15 other selections (PBS, CW, etc.) in HD resolution, and all for free. Numerous antennas are available, such as the ClearStream Eclipse:

ClearStream Eclipse

ClearStream Eclipse offers some of the best results. The antenna is powerful and surprisingly versatile. It comes in four separate versions: variations of 35, 50, 60 and 70 miles, so you can get a model that best suits your location. The circular design of the antenna is unique, and it offers you the advantage of being the most suitable for capturing UHF signals (a type of high definition TV signal) than most other indoor antennas. In addition, it is multi-directional, so finding an ideal configuration where the signal is clearer is easy.

Leaf Metro

We like the Leaf Metro because its small profile easily camouflages itself, without sacrificing its functionality. Although its range is limited to approximately 25 miles, it is perfect for those who live in smaller apartments or rented rooms, especially in urban settings, where the television channels are abundant. To increase the versatility of its small size, the antenna also comes in black or white, and can also be painted to match its interior. In addition, its coating adheres to almost any surface, being able to change location easily. A 10-foot coaxial cable included allows a very flexible installation.

Channel Master FLATenna

If you are cutting the cable to save money, then it seems logical to also want to save with an indoor antenna. Fortunately, the Channel Master FLATenna is one of the cheapest in the spectrum, and has a performance almost equal to other models that cost five or six times more. The FLATenna has a range of 35 miles, and its simple design is also multidirectional. The antenna surface is adhesive for easy fixing to windows or walls, wherever you get the signals (and adjust them) as best as possible.

Switch to a real streaming device

You may have a Blu-ray player or a smart TV with streaming applications included, and the newest Samsung and LG TVs have pretty good smart interfaces. But if you are going to transition to a full-time streaming entertainment plan, you will need a device designed specifically for that job. These are our favorites:

Amazon Fire TV Cube ($ 70 to $ 120 dollars)

The Amazon Fire TV has gone through some updates, and it must be said that it has been improved with each of them. In fact, the current version is a true revolution of streaming, it offers simple operation and also the ability to control your entire home theater system and the configuration of your smart home using your voice. This includes the ability to turn on and control basic operation on other devices, including not only your TV, but also your A / V receiver and even your cable box. Amazon Fire TV Cube got a perfect score in our recent review.

Of course, voice control is only part of the package. Like almost all modern streaming devices, the Amazon Fire TV Cube supports 4K HDR images (although not Dolby Vision), so if you're about to buy a 4K TV, you're in luck.

Regardless of whether your home is full of Alexa devices or none, Fire TV Cube remains an excellent choice, especially for Amazon Prime subscribers, since all your Prime music and video content is available on the device. This compensates for the slightly weak application support that Fire TV has compared to Roku.

Amazon Fire TV Cube is our favorite device, but there are also other excellent alternatives, each with something special to offer.

Roku Stick ($ 60 dollars)

Caleb Denison / Digital Trends

While each Roku model has its own merits, the Roku Streaming Stick + is currently the best. With a fast processor, compatibility with 4K and HDR, and Wi-Fi 802.11ac, this small stick does everything you want for an incredibly low price. (Note: a function that Roku does not support is Dolby Vision, Dolby's HDR format, so if your TV is ready for Dolby Vision, you may want to see the other devices on this list.)

With thousands of ?channels? available, the Roku platform connects to virtually all major online streaming services. More importantly, the interface is very intuitive; You can quickly search for the content of the providers by actor, series or movie title, or the specific genre you are looking for.

The Roku interface will even tell you what services they offer, what you want for free and what they charge you. The remote control is also useful, which allows you to control the power and volume in most.