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 zoomer

This generation’s so young that the term for them isn’t even in common parlance yet. I’m talking about Zoomers, those folks born between 1995 and 2010, give or take. There’s a generation behind them but they’re still in grade school.

Zoomers take the mantle of the most cynical and bitter generation away from their Gen-X parents, and they extend that bitterness to cord-cutting. This is, at least for the moment, a generation that is far more interested in user-generated content than anything that comes from Hollywood. Get them a good cell signal, maybe with a cell booster, and let them consume TikToks all day. Leave them alone or they may snap at you.

The hipster

OK it’s not fair to call all millennials hipsters. Perhaps five years ago the term was more accurate. 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. They aren’t tied to a living room or any room for that matter. They wants their 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 a live TV streaming service like AT&T 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. They may hide that stuff in boxes somewhere, but we all know it’s still there. 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.

What group fits you?

So, what kind of cord-cutter are you? Are you typical for your generation, or do you fit into one of the other categories? No matter what category suits you… even if it’s not the one you were born into, you’ll find the best selection of products for cord-cutting when you shop at Solid Signal.

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.