Getting started for cord cutters

It’s pretty clear that cutting the cord is a smart move. But making the jump can be tough when you’re not sure how to replace all of your favorite content.

Cord cutting is cheaper than cable in part because of all the competition in the marketplace, but all that competition can be bewildering to newcomers. You probably won’t just pay one big bill per month, like you do with cable – instead, as cord cutters, you’ll pay a few smaller ones that add up to a lot less.

The competition benefits you, but it also means that it’s on you to pick out the services that you want to use to replace cable. This takes a bit of time, but it’s well worth the savings you’ll reap. Besides, this website makes it easy! In this section, we’ll come up with a plan for your cord cutting future and calculate how much cash you’ll save each month.

We’re going to refer to some services by name here, but don’t worry if you don’t know what we’re talking about. Every service we mention here is explained in this list here, so feel free to jump back and forth.

Where is your content?

Let’s run through some of the most common types of content that cord cutters consume, and which services or methods are best for replacing that content. In some cases, we’ll direct you to another part of this website where we'll discuss things in depth.

Major network programming

You’re a fan of the sitcoms and dramas on the major networks. For the most part, those aren’t on Netflix. So where can you find them?

Free over-the-air TV, Plex, CBS All Access, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu, DIRECTV Now

Other network programming

CBS, FOX, NBC, and ABC are often available over the air – but where can fans of AMC, TBS, Comedy Central, and the like turn for their favorite shows?

Plex (with cablecard), Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu, DIRECTV Now

Local news

Local news can be tough to replace as a cord cutter, but there are a few ways to do it. Go here for tips.

Free over-the-air TV, Plex, Watchup, NewsON, individual news apps (Roku has a lot of these)


Sports are among the trickiest things to replace as a cord cutter. Getting your sports fix is easier if you live outside of your favorite teams’ local markets, as some services blackout local streams. You can learn more here.

free over-the-air TV, Plex, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DIRECTV Now, MLB.TV, NHL.TV, NBA League Pass, MLS Live, FuboTV

Premium channels

HBO, Showtime, and Starz are all available through cable packages. Luckily, they’re also available to cord cutters as over-the-top (OTT) subscriptions!

HBO NOW, Showtime (OTT subscription), Starz (OTT subscription), Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu, DIRECTV Now

Movies & network TV shows

No surprises here – movies and old shows were the first things to start streaming.

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Showtime, Starz, Blue-rays, DVD’s that you digitize, and Plex.

A cord cutter’s best friend.

Get Plex Now