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Cutting The Cord

A Step-by-Step Guide from Antennas Direct

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How Do I Cut the Cord and
How Much Will It Cost?

Based on years of experience, we created a simple guide to assist you.

Use the cord-cutting calculator at the bottom of this page to estimate your monthly payment based on the devices and services you would like to use. And remember – a TV antenna is a one-time cost!

Our calculator does the work for you

How to Cut the Cord

Once you hook up an antenna and see all the great free content in HD, you won’t ever need a cable or satellite subscription again.

Step 1. What programs do you watch?

Make a note of all the programs you watch. Out of the hundreds of channels you are charged for with a cable/satellite subscription, the average subscriber only watches 17 channels, and most can be viewed for free with a TV antenna. You can expect to find all the major networks like FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and many more, along with a host of other networks like MeTV, TheCW, ION, Cozi TV, Univision – broadcast in Full HD picture and sound.

When selecting an online streaming service, don’t pay for free broadcast channels that are already available in your area when using an antenna.

TV screen with logos of numerous TV channels popping up in bubbles
Transmitter Locator results sample

Step 2. Locate your broadcast towers

Visit our Transmitter Locator or download our free Antenna Point app to your Android or iOS smart device. Both the app and our website tool have many functions:

  1. Identify your location
  2. See the towers around you
  3. Show the distance to your broadcast towers
  4. Help you aim your antenna for the best reception, and
  5. Provide the number of free available channels in your area.
Antenna Point App displayed on phone screen
Antenna Point App logo

Download the free Antenna Point app

Find the TV channels and broadcast towers in your area.

Available on Apple App Store
Available on Google Play Store

Step 3. Choose the right antenna for your location

To make sure the antenna you select is perfect for your coverage area, we suggest reviewing our UHF/VHF blog to understand the different frequencies before choosing an antenna. On average, most locations in the U.S. receive up to 50+ free OTA TV channels. If you are not sure which antenna is right for you, give our Connection Crew a call.

connecting antenna coaxial cable to connector on the back of a TV

Step 4. Connect the antenna to your TV

We’ve worked hard to make the installation of our antennas easy. Follow the step-by-step instructions provided in our installation guides. You can also check out additional tips on our website for outdoor or attic installation.

Once your antenna is installed, run a channel scan on your TV – some Smart TVs perform the channel scan automatically when the antenna is plugged in and detected by the TV.

Step 5. Your last step - call your cable or satellite provider and cancel your pay-TV subscription!

Remember to keep your Internet service for your mobile and streaming devices. Now that you don’t need them, they can’t take advantage of you anymore.

That’s it! You’re now watching over-the-air, high-definition TV – for FREE!

Comparing Costs
Average Cost of Cable Streaming Based on Netflix & Amazon prices as of 2020
$217 /month** $27 /month
$2,604 /year $324 /year
$2,280 /year

**Research from Decision Data

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Get Connected with Your Antenna and Streaming

Streaming Media Player icon

Streaming Media Player

Smart TV icon

Smart TV

Blu Ray Player icon

Blu Ray Player

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Game Console

Connecting Your Antenna Alongside a Streaming Media Player or Smart TV

To connect a streaming media player to your TV, follow the media player’s setup instructions. You will connect the media player using an HDMI cable or composite cables to connect to your TV. An antenna is connected to your TV using a coaxial cable, which is a different connection than a streaming media player. If you own an old analog TV, you will need a set-top converter box and then you will connect the antenna’s coaxial cable to the converter box.

You do not need the Internet to watch TV with an antenna.

If you want streaming content from services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu, you will need an Internet connection. Some service providers recommend a download speed of at least 5 Mbps to stream in high-definition. This is important if you are streaming on more than one device at a time, for example, if you are watching content on YouTube while someone else watches Netflix on a different device. For more information on Internet and streaming, contact your service provider.

take control of your TV - cut the cord today!
streaming media player

What streaming media player/service is right for me?

Selecting a streaming service can seem overwhelming with new options popping up all the time.

Your entertainment preferences are as unique as yourself. Find a balance between a variety in programming and the monthly cost. Many streaming services are growing rapidly, and they change their program lineup each month. If you can’t find your TV show or movie, don’t panic! Streaming platforms have an extensive array of content for you to watch and renting a movie sometimes can save you a few extra dollars vs paying a monthly fee for content you only watch once.

How Much Will It Cost to Cut the Cord?

Use our cord-cutting calculator to see how much you can save per month when you replace your cable subscription with streaming services. And remember – a TV antenna is a one-time cost!

Note: All costs are before taxes as of August 2020 and are rounded to the nearest dollar. All pricing and costs are subject to change.


Select the subscription services you would like to watch. All prices are monthly unless otherwise noted. The calculator will give you a monthly total.


For streaming services, you will want high-speed Internet. Average cost per month is $60 – reflected in this calculator.

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Streaming Devices One-time Costs

  • Stream entertainment like Netflix, Hulu, music, games, and more to your TV. Ever-changing selection of free movies. Possibility to add premium subscriptions with a monthly fee including Starz, Showtime, Epix, HBO, and more.

  • Stream entertainment from apps like Netflix, Hulu, and more to your TV.

  • SStream entertainment from Prime movies and music, games, stream entertainment like Netflix, and more. Alexa voice remote can find, launch, and control content.

  • TiVo allows you to add DVR capability to your OTA TV, as well as access stream entertainment.

  • Integrates all your streaming services—like Sling, Netflix and local channels—in one place. Connect your TV antenna to watch live local and network TV channels for free. Some options add DVR capability to live TV.

  • Acts as a hub for your Smart home. Streams PC games from your gaming PC to your TV and acts as a media center for local TV and online media playback and streaming.

  • Over-the-air FREE television broadcasts from network and local stations. ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, The CW, PBS, ION, myTV, MeTV, Univision, and many more. No monthly contracts or subscriptions. No internet required.

Streaming Services

  • Original programming you can’t find anywhere else, as well as movies, TV shows, specials, and more, all tailored specifically to you.

  • Movies, shows, award-winning Amazon Originals, premium channels, sports & more. Watch on any device. 4K+HDR compatible content.

  • TV and sports, plus new movies, news updates, and more. With over 20 channels including ESPN, TNT, TBS, and AMC.

  • Unlimited access to all shows and movies. No cable subscription required. Includes playback features and commercial skipping.

  • Free with your Showtime subscription - e.g. through participating TV providers and streaming services.

  • Offers an impressive library of high-quality Disney shows and movies in a feature-filled video streaming package.

  • Hulu offers on-demand viewing of current network shows after episodes have aired on OTA television as well as classic TV shows and hit movies. CBS and The CW are not available through Hulu.

  • Hulu offers on-demand viewing of current network shows after episodes have aired on OTA television as well as classic TV shows and hit movies. CBS and The CW are not available through Hulu.

  • It's a free streaming service that has a few popular networks and specialized on-demand content. Watch 250+ channels for free, plus 1000s of on-demand movies and TV shows.

  • Stream current hits, hundreds of timeless movies, and thousands of episodes of your favorite TV shows.


  • Stream every game live or on demand. Blackout restrictions apply - If a game is blacked out in an area, it is not available for live game viewing through MLB.TV.

  • NBA League Pass is a sports television service that features all National Basketball Association games. Local blackout rules apply.

  • Watch regular season games on TV as soon as they're over. The Pass app will also provide access to preseason games live.

  • Watch live tennis matches from over 45 tournaments throughout the year.

  • Stream and record live sports and popular TV shows, movies, news, sports from FOX, NBC, beIN SPORTS, Univision, NBA TV, A&E, and more. A service made for National and International sports fans.

  • Get unlimited access to premium content with ESPN+. Stream live sports, featured series, and ESPN+ originals. Full game replays. Live sports coverage and exclusive live sports. Plus, the best stories in the world with Disney+ and your favorite TV episodes from Hulu.

Services Which Charge You For Live TV (When you could watch for free with an antenna)

  • Hulu + Live TV subscribers can watch live sports, news, awards shows, primetime dramas, daytime soaps, local weather forecasts, the latest Hulu Originals, and thousands of shows and movies in the Hulu streaming library.

  • YouTube TV is a subscription streaming service that lets you watch live TV from major broadcast and popular cable networks. Watch local and national live sports, news, and shows the moment they air on network TV. Included: unlimited cloud DVR storage space so you can record your favorites and stream them.

  • With live and on-demand streaming you will find all your favorite CBS TV shows and movies. Watch live sports and news at home or on-the-go with your local CBS station, CBSN, CBS Sports HQ and ET Live 24/7. Full episodes, anytime, anywhere.

Your Monthly Total: $60 Per Month

Your One-time Costs: $0