If you’ve been thinking about abandoning cable or satellite TV service in favor of online streaming — what’s commonly called “Cutting the cord,” — get ready to do some math. You’ll want to not only add up the cost of streaming services such as Netflix, Sling TV and HBO Now, but also the cost of hardware you may need. That could be either Smart TVs in every room you want to access these services, streaming boxes such as Roku or Apple TV, or at least adapters or a Google Chromecast to stream from your phone, tablet or computer.
As for the cost of the services themselves, there are several cord-cutting calculators available that can give you a sense of how much you might, or might not, save. The Verge, CordCutting.com, Slate and Antennas Direct are just a few of the sites that can calculate the cost of these services. Unfortunately, streaming TV changes so quickly, that’s it’s hard to keep them up to date; for instance, none of those sites includes AT&T’s DirecTV Now, which just debuted.
As you’re calculating costs, also keep in mind that they often don’t take into account bundles or other discounts you might get by sweet talking a customer-service rep at a cable or satellite provider.
We’ll be posting a Texas Standard radio segment shortly with more information about stuff you should consider if you want to cut the cord.
Every week, we’ll define a tech term, offer a timely tip or answer questions about technology from readers. Email email@example.com with questions or topic suggestions.
News on Open Source is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of 512tech.com comes with an American-Statesman digital subscription, which also includes myStatesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe at statesman.com/subscribe.