Latest trends in cutting the cord

Cutting the cord is a full-fledged phenomenon. There are still plenty of people picking up cable and satellite subscriptions — in fact even companies like Comcast that have been shedding subscribers have picked up a few — but there’s no mistaking the fact that the big growth in the future is coming from people watching TV in ways that no one expected five years ago.

Here’s a look at the two big trends in cord-cutting today.

Android TV
You don’t hear about Android TV much when compared to rival technologies. It’s true that many people choose to go with streaming alternatives from Apple, Amazon and others because you get a very “packaged” solution that works when you plug it in. If you’re a little more adventurous, however, you’ll find that an Android TV solution can really make sense. This is basically the same hardware and software as an Android-based tablet, just without the touchscreen. Apps need to be changed a little so they can be controlled with a remote instead of a finger, but most Android apps don’t take a lot of changing.

With an Android TV box you get access to most streaming apps available on tablets, plus all sorts of streaming channels that don’t show up on most people’s radar. Special interest streams, foreign-language… all the sorts of things that you needed a large satellite dish for a generation ago. It’s all out there and much of it is free.

An Android TV box usually does other tricks too. Ours turns into an over-the-air DVR and screen mirroring solution, while other Android TV boxes can be used for digital signage or security monitoring. The Android platform is much more flexible than the streaming solutions from the mainstream companies and even if you have a streaming stick it’s a good secondary choice.

Antennas are big again
If you thought the idea of antennas went out with black-and-white TV, think again. The new crop of antennas are more flexible than ever and can give you free HDTV channels in a lot more areas. The flat-and-flexible models work great for inside and plenty of people will benefit from using UHF-only models that are much smaller than the roof-mounted antennas of years past. Don’t worry, though… if you still need a large roof-mounted antenna we have them at Solid Signal too.

The bottom line with antennas is that you get the best possible quality, you get channels that your pay-TV company doesn’t offer, and you get it all for free once you put the antenna up. Every television sold in the US has the ability to connect an antenna, and if you’re one of those folks who would rather watch on a mobile device, use something like a Tablo to record and stream all your content.

There has never been a better time to cut the cord and get free HDTV channels, and there has never been more exciting equipment to help you get the content you want…. and of course it’s all available 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 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.