We know you’ve been there, contemplating the high price tag attached to your cable bill. This is not a new thing, and more and more people each year are learning about how to cut the cable cord. Cable companies have been charging an arm and a leg for far too long, and to be quite honest, there is a better way to stream television in 2021 and beyond.
That’s why, today, we want to give you a comprehensive look at what cord cutting looks like in 2021 and beyond. We’ll be covering quite a bit of material in this article, so please make sure that you pay attention to each and every section.
We want to start by telling you, if you’ve been thinking about cutting the cable cord, you’re not alone. Twenty-one percent (21%) of the United States population is with you on this, and that number is going to keep rising as we move through this new decade. This is why we want to make sure you get in on the ground floor, and we want to make sure that you know how to cut the cable cord the right way.
Luckily, we’ll be breaking everything down into easy-to-read sections to make this whole cord cutting process easier. If you’re already using services like Netflix or Hulu Live TV, then you might want to consider what over-the-air antenna (OTA) has to offer. Now, with all that being said, the topics we’ll be covering are as follows:
- A brief overview of cord cutting (why people are doing it)
- Over-the-air antennas (with a sneak peak at ATSC 3.0)
- Live TV streaming options available in 2021
- VPN Options (for more advanced cord cutting options)
- A brief recap of cord cutting and cutting the cable cord
Now that you know the discussion points, it’s time to dive right in and take a look.
Are you ready to learn how to cut the cable cord once and for all?
Cord Cutting: A brief overview
If you’re new to the concept of cord cutting, you’ll definitely want to pay close attention to this section. We want to show you that you’re not alone, and trust us on this one, you’ll definitely be shocked by some of the numbers we throw your way. So let’s take a look at how cord cutting has evolved over the past decade.
How to cut the cable cord with over-the-air antennas
Over-the-air antennas used to be the way that live TV was streamed. The only issue was that it wasn’t reliable, and at times, the content was a bit choppy. If you think back about 20 to 30 years, you’ll probably be met with memories of bashing the TV or wiggling the antenna.
Now, while this has left a bad taste in people’s mouths, and gave rise to the cable companies we know and hate today, let us be the first to tell you that over-the-air antenna TV is back and better than ever.
That’s why, in this section, we want to break down how OTA TV works, and what exactly you’ll need to get started. Now, a lot of this has to do with the range of your antenna, but we’ll have plenty of options for you to look at. So let’s dive right in, and take a look at everything you need to know about OTA TV -featuring some great options to get you started.
What is OTA TV?
OTA TV is essentially antenna based television. Your antenna will pick up the signal of a live broadcast, and most of the time, send that signal to your TV in HD quality. The beauty of OTA TV is that you only need to make a one time purchase, which means no monthly payments at all. If you want to learn more about the functions of OTA TV -and how it works- checkout our post on OTA TV here: What is Over-the-Air Antenna TV
What you need to know when buying an OTA antenna
Before we dive into some indoor and outdoor antenna recommendations, we want to make sure you know what you’re looking at. OTA antennas may seem complicated at first, but trust us on this one, they’re extremely easy to setup and install in most cases.
Here are some things to consider and look out for:
- Indoor Over-the-air antennas should be kept in a place that’s far from interference (things like wifi, microwaves, metals, and other conduits).
- Outdoor over-the-air antennas may need some additional components to install, and if you find it hard to do on your own, you can always get a professional to help.
- Securing an outdoor over-the-air antenna in your attic (if you have one) is a great way to make things easy, and minimize interference.
- When we say that a given range is say 100 miles, please keep in mind that the further you go the worse the signal will get.
- Some antennas are omnidirectional, which means they can pick up signals within a given 360 degree radius (usually miles).
- OTA TV won’t give you everything you need, but you should treat OTA TV as a baseline to start cutting the cable cord.
For detailed antenna recommendations and additional reading, check out these articles here on the site:
- 10 Best Outdoor HDTV Antennas (Update for 2021)
- How High Should You Mount A TV Antenna
- How to Install an Indoor TV Antenna
However, we don’t want to keep you in suspense so here is a short-list of top performing antennas in 2021 and beyond:
Antennas Direct 8-Element Bow-tie TV
The Antennas Direct 8-Element Bow-tie is a top-performing and top-rated antenna on Amazon. It is without question one of the most powerful bow-tie antennas available with a 70+ mile range. Its multi-purpose arrangement provides flexibility and easy installation in areas with stations in different directions.
Channel Master CM-4228HD HDTV Antenna
Another one of my personal favorites. The Channel Master CM-4228HD is just a rock-solid antenna! It comes totally pre-assembled and is an 8-bay outdoor TV antenna capable of pulling in UHF and HD signals. This antenna has a signal range of 60 miles (although I’ve had success upward of 65 miles) and will pick up available local digital and HD signals. This antenna will not disappoint and with an HD television you will pick up any crystal clear HD signals being broadcast in your area.
Mohu Curve 50 TV Antenna
If you’re interested in the indoor variety, then look no further than the Mohu Curve 50 antenna. It is one of the most impressive and stylish indoor antennas on the market today. This antenna makes a perfect addition to any living room or bedroom. Designed to be easy to plug in and set up, the Mohu Curve 50 allows you to quickly enjoy free access to available over-the-air TV broadcast channels in crisp, clear pictures in full HD.
ATSC 3.0: The future of OTA antenna TV
We are on the cusp of very exciting times in cord cutting. Being touted as – Next Gen TV – there is a new broadcast standard that is about to change the landscape forever. This standard is known as ATSC 3.0. If you’re someone who has been keeping up with this technology, or are just someone who is really interested in learning about the future of cord cutting, you’ll want to hear about ATSC 3.0.
What exactly is ATSC 3.0
The current technology we have for over-the-air television (ATSC 1.0) is impressive, but there are some limitations. The ATSC 3.0 standard has been in the works for several years, and now that 2021 is finally here, we are going to start seeing major broadcasters switching over to this new protocol.
Here is a look at some of the features that are promised with the ATSC 3.0 wave:
- 4k quality
- High dynamic range
- Wide color gamut
- Higher frame rates
- Combines OTA TV signals with the internet you have at home
- More device capabilities
- Better sound quality
Please keep in mind that these are only a few features, but to be quite honest with you, you don’t want to miss out on OTA anymore.
In case you’re worried, any antenna you purchase today will work perfectly fine with ATSC 3.0. That said, there are some compatibility issues with current tuner hardware. For more information on this, ATSC 3.0, its features and limitations, check out the following articles once you’re done here:
- Everything You Need To Know About ATSC 3.0
- Next Gen TV – The Future Is Now 2021
- ATSC 3.0 Tuner Hardware Available Now
Cutting the Cable Cord with Live TV Streaming Services
The beauty of cord cutting, in 2021 and beyond, is that it’s simpler than ever. This is due to the fact that plenty of online streaming services have caught onto the trend. These services have made cutting the cable cord extremely easy for everyone, regardless of your age or technical savvy.
Did you know that a small monthly payment (less than 40% of your current cable bill on average), is the only thing standing between you and affordable live TV?
So in this section we’ll be showing you a couple of great ways to stream some live TV without a cable subscription. While you still may be skeptical, we can assure you that it’s easier than ever to cut the cable cord and not sacrifice content. Let’s take a look!
Hulu Live TV
If you’ve heard of Hulu before, well then you know they’re an excellent service. They provide their subscribers with plenty of excellent TV shows ready to stream, and even a vast array of movies. While that’s well and great -did you know that they also have a live TV service that includes ESPN? Let’s take a brief look at Hulu Live TV.
Hulu Live TV comes packed with plenty of great channels, and for an added fee you can access services like HBO, Starz, and Showtime. Here is a list of some of the channels:
- Food network
- History Channel
- FOX Sports
- Travel Channel
- Disney Junior
- FOX News
- Cartoon Network
Now, please keep in mind that these are only a handful of channels, visit their site for a complete channel list.
Hulu Live TV comes at an affordable price, and while it may fluctuate at times, the price for Hulu Live TV usually falls around $54.99. Now, if you want to include Hulu’s standard packages as well, the total moves up to $60.99. So for about $60 per month, you get one of the top IPTV services, and plenty of channels.
Hulu Live TV is a great way to get live TV. The price is fair, and to be blunt, it offers one of the most well rounded services. Plus, the reason we love Hulu Live TV so much, is due to the fact that it includes Hulu’s content as well.
Sling TV has to be one of our favorite options. If you want quality live TV – and at an absolute bargain – Sling TV is the service for you. You’ll find that Sling TV has a package for everyone, and this is due to the fact that they feature an Orange and Blue package. Now, each package may have different channels, but if you really want to go all in on cutting the cable cord you can combine both packages for an all-in-one experience.
With Sling TV, you’ll have access to:
- Fox Sports
- Comedy Central
- Food Network
- BBC America
- Disney channel
- NFL Network
The thing about Sling TV is that these channels are split up into two different packages. So if you love sports, go with Orange, and if you like a more casual take on live TV, head on over to Blue. Plus, aside from that, this list only features a handful of TV options. Visit their website for complete channel listings.
Sling TV is a great service, because you can really customize your experience. Sling TV Blue and Orange will cost you $30 per month on their own. Luckily, if you want to have over 100 channels at your disposal, you can combine both packages for only $40 per month. Therefore, when it comes to price, Sling TV has you covered.
We love Sling TV for a lot of reasons, but the biggest reason is that it’s highly customizable. This is due to the fact that you can mix and match packages, which means you get the experience you want with Sling TV. Plus, if you really love TV, you can add some higher end channels like HBO for an added cost.
Fubo TV is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to live TV, and you’ll be met with a warm welcome from dozens of quality channels. Plus, the beauty of Fubo TV is the fact that you’ll be able to stream international sports. So if there are any world cup soccer fans out there, trust us on this one, you’ll want to pay close attention to Fubo TV.
Fubo TV comes packed with a huge list of channels, and we definitely think you’ll be surprised by some of the channels you find here. The channels include, but are not limited to:
- Fox Sports 2
- Hallmark Channel
- Big Ten Network
- NFL Network
- Comedy Central
So when it comes to channels, trust us on this one, Fubo TV definitely has what you’re looking for. Since this is only a small subset of the channel available, I encourage you to visit their site for a complete channel listing.
Fubo TV is one of the most costly on this list, but with the global TV it provides it’s a hard package to beat. You can find FuboT V for roughly $54.99, which is actually just as affordable as Hulu Live TV. Therefore, when it comes to viewing, it’s really about your channel preferences when you look at these services.
We love Fubo TV for quite a few reasons, but if you’re a soccer fan -you’ll really love this service. The price is more than fair, and you’ll have access to around 100 channels. Plus, the beauty of Fubo TV is that they offer local channels as well.
Some final thoughts
Now, please keep in mind that these are only a handful of our recommendations. There are so many great Live TV streaming services on the market, and it would be wrong of us to hide them from you. So if you want to check out some other top services please be sure to checkout our article 10 Best Legal IPTV Service Providers.
Plus, for all of you sports lovers out there, give these article a read as well:
- How To Watch Premier League Soccer Without Cable
- How To Watch The NFL Without Cable
- How To Watch The NBA Without Cable
Using a live TV streaming service is an excellent way to cut the cable cord. These live TV services make cord cutting an absolute breeze.
Taking Cord Cutting to the Next Level using a VPN
We want to be clear, this section is purely optional and not needed to become an official “cord cutter”. However, when it comes to cord cutting, having a VPN provider can be a very useful tool to unlock content you otherwise wouldn’t be able to in some areas. If you’re interested in what this means, continue reading.
Why use a VPN
When it comes to VPN, a lot of people begin to scratch their heads. This is due to the fact that it doesn’t make much sense right off the bat, but don’t panic, because we’ll break this down for you here.
Cord cutting can be done in numerous ways, as we’ve already shown you, and some of these ways require that you take additional steps to protect yourself while streaming online. If you want to learn how to take advantage of some of the more advanced cord cutting options, like the use of KODI, or other similar IPTV streaming services and apps, please pay close attention.
Before we dive right into this juicy content, we want to provide a full disclaimer that AntennaJunkies.com, nor any of our affiliates, in any way endorses the use of illegal streaming apps or services. The content in this section is for educational purposes only.
The reason that you may want to pick up a VPN subscription is due to the fact that it can hide your IP address if you begin using some of the less than legal live TV streaming options available on the internet.
In this section we’ll give you a brief overview of some of the best VPN options out there. We won’t go into detail about some of the less favorable ways to do some cord cutting, but we still want to have you covered at every angle.
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN services on the market. This is due to the fact that they have global coverage, which means that even if you’re reading this in Egypt you’ll be able to hop onto a connection. Plus, aside from that, ExpressVPN offers some excellent connection speeds as well.
Now that you know the basics, let’s take a look at some of the features you’ll find with ExpressVPN:
- Some of the highest speeds
- Unlimited bandwidth options
- Operates in more than 90 countries
- Splitting tunneling
- 30 day refund
- Infinite server switches
ExpressVPN brings you protection and connection at an affordable price. While it may not be the most inexpensive option on the market, you’ll soon find that you get what you pay for. ExpressVPN only costs $8.32 per month for the one year plan (when no promotion available). If you opt for smaller plans, like 6 months, that price can reach upwards of $12. So be wary of that as well.
We love ExpressVPN for quite a few reasons, and it really can be a cord cutting asset. While it may not have the coverage that NordVPN discussed below has, if you’re someone who wants speed, ExpressVPN is most definitely the way to go.
NordVPN is probably one of the most well known VPNs on the market, and this is due to the fact that they’ve been in the internet security business for decades. Aside from just being a great name brand, you’ll be pleased to hear that they have great coverage and the largest network.
NordVPN definitely doesn’t slack when it comes to features, which is why we compiled some of the best for you to see:
- Amazing speed
- No logging
- Can cancel anytime
- Over 5K servers worldwide
- The best security on the market
- 30 day refund
- Up to 6 devices
NordVPN isn’t going to cost you an arm or a leg either, which means that you can have access for only $11.95 per month (again with no promotions). Plus, if you want to pay the annual price of $83.88, you’ll save quite a bit.
If you want a well rounded package, you should definitely consider NordVPN. You’ll never be left without coverage, and when push comes to shove, they’re the go-to for VPN for a reason. Plus, we absolutely love how you can use up to 6 devices with Nord.
IPVanish is another great VPN service, and as the name suggests, they’ll seriously make your IP address vanish. If you want to surf the web with protection, or steam something you may not be allowed to, IPVanish has you covered at every corner.
The beauty of IPVanish is the array of features you’ll be exposed to. So, with that being said, here is a look at some of the features IPVanish has to offer:
- Unlimited p2p
- No logging
- 256 bit encryption
- Locked content access
- Comes with unlimited bandwidth
- Can be used on more than one platform
IPVanish really does come at a great price, and this is due to the fact that you only have to pay about $2 per month for these features. So if you want protection, and don’t want to break the bank, you should definitely consider IPVanish.
As we’ve mentioned quite often in this section, we really enjoy all of the VPN services we mentioned. While we had some unique reasons for each service, the real kicker for IPVanish is the fact that it only costs $2 per month. That’s pretty hard to beat, right?
PureVPN may be the last on our list, but trust us on this one, you’ll definitely want to check out this VPN service. PureVPN has plenty of coverage, and the beauty is that it’s very affordable. You don’t need to sell your soul to surf the web, and PureVPN is proof of that.
We don’t want to waste time, so here is a quick look at the features that PureVPN has to offer:
- You can use up to 20 devices
- Provides coverage in up to 140 nations
- Unlimited data surfs
- You can utilize split-tunneling
As we mentioned earlier, the beauty of PureVPN is that if offers you plenty of speed and coverage at a bargain. You seriously won’t find a better VPN for the price, that we’ve seen for under $2/month on promotion.
We love PureVPN for a lot of reasons, but to be blunt it comes with everything you need at the right price. You won’t have the same amount of coverage as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, but if you live in an area that has access to wifi chances are you’ll be quite alright.
If you’ll be using something like a Kodi Box, or even running the Kodi app on a Firestick, you’ll definitely want to consider protecting yourself with a VPN service. Sometimes it’s best to surf without a trace, right?
Cord Cutting – The Recap
We know that we went over a lot of information today and linked you over to many great resources for additional information. We want to make sure that you can cut the cable cord with confidence. It’s important that you take a look at all of the options, and if you want local networks, it’s always a good idea to start off with an over-the-air antenna.
If you ever feel a bit lost on your cord cutting journey, please feel free to refer back to this post as a guide. Plus, if you really like the idea of a service like Hulu Live TV or over-the-air antennas, please be sure to check out some of the individual posts that we linked in this guide.
When push comes to shove, more and more people are cutting the cord. The number right now is almost at 25%, which means that ¼ of the United States population is saying goodbye to cable companies. This leaves us one question to ask you: will you keep paying for a cable package you don’t need, or will you finally cut the cable cord once and for all.
Now that you know the facts… the rest is up to you.