What kind of cord-cutter are you?

Not all cord-cutters are the same. Of course they aren’t. But when you look at them, they tend to fall along generational lines. Which are you?

The hipster
OK it’s not fair to call all millennials hipsters, but as you read down the page you’ll see we’re not going to be kind to other generations either. This group was born after 1980 and to them, the internet is simply part of their world. As a group they really don’t have a real understanding of life without it.

The hipster cord-cutter wants to stream. He’s not tied to a living room or any room for that matter. He wants his content to come down from the sky and he doesn’t want to store it or plan for it or anything. This group doesn’t have a lot of interest in over-the-air TV, partially because they don’t have a TV and they don’t realize the many options for getting live TV to a PC or mobile device. This is a group that’s best served by a big, honkin’ router and perhaps some devices like the Tablo that converts antenna TV to streaming TV.

The slacker
Generation Xers hate the term “slacker,” which has stayed with them since they were teens. But it’s no more hateful and no more accurate than “hipster,” so let’s be fair.

Slackers came to the internet as young adults. Their youth was spent in front of a TV watching reruns. They’re likely to have a physical media library full of books, CDs, and VHS tapes, plus a decent number of DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Watching TV for them is still a communal activity, although everyone still uses their own personal device at the same time. They’re tech-savvy, but rooted in the past.

This group would really want to cut the cord by using a combination of an antenna, streaming device, and DVR. They’re going to want the convenience of live TV but they don’t want to give up all the extras that come along with a streaming lifestyle. For them, the antenna is part of a large, multipiece entertainment system, probably in the living room.

The boomer
It’s not terribly fair but we’re going to say that everyone born before 1965 falls into this category even though there are millions upon millions who are even older than baby boomers. When it comes to the TV-watching experience, though, they’re more alike than different.

Live TV is the bread and butter for most boomers. They want to watch what’s on now, even though they’ve grown to love the DVR. They might do some streaming, and they might not, but it’s something they do if nothing’s on TV. They’re likely to have more money, but likely to be very careful on how they spend it.

This is a group that can really benefit from an antenna and a DVR system that’s either very simple to use or very inexpensive. (Unfortunately you can’t have both.) They’re probably happy to give up streaming on a daily basis but they may want occasional access to it for when younger family members come. Their entertainment experience is simple and live.

So, what kind of cord-cutter are you? Are you typical for your generation, or do you fit into one of the other categories?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.