Cord Cutting Guide

A Step-by-Step Guide from Tuff Techies

How Do I Cut the Cord and

How Much Will It Cost?

Based on 10+ years of experience, we’ve created a simple guide to help 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!

If you want to cut the cord today, but need help getting it done, check out our TV Antenna Installation Service.

How to Cut The Cord

“Once you hook up a TV antenna and see how many free TV channels you get, you’ll never want a cable or satellite subscription again.”

Step 1: What programs do you watch?

Make a note of all the programs and shows you love to watch. Out of the hundreds of channels you are charged for with a cable/satellite subscription, the average person only watches 17 channels, and most of them can be viewed for free with a TV antenna. You can expect to find most of the major networks like NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, PBS, and many more, along with a bunch 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. Most streaming services charge a premium of $50 plus dollars per month for these channels.

Step 1: What programs do you watch?

Make a note of all the programs and shows you love to watch. Out of the hundreds of channels you are charged for with a cable/satellite subscription, the average person only watches 17 channels, and most of them can be viewed for free with a TV antenna. You can expect to find most of the major networks like NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, PBS, and many more, along with a bunch 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. Most streaming services charge a premium of $50 plus dollars per month for these channels.

Step 2: Locate your local broadcast towers

Visit RabbitEars.info on your computer or mobile phone for the most accurate broadcast tower information available.

  1. From the menu bar navigate to Tools > Signal Search Map.
  2. Click Get Location then Go.
  3. Determine the number of channels available at your location.
  4. Using the information provided determine the best antenna to use as well as the best direction to point your antenna.

You may also try downloading and using a phone app to help determine where your broadcast towers are located. We recommend the following apps.

  • Antenna Point
  • DTV Antennas

 

Step 3: Choose the right antenna for your location

Not all locations are created equally, so be diligent when choosing the right antenna for your location. Although the average individual can throw anything on their roof and get some type of signal with some channels, having the correct antenna will get you the most channels and strongest signals.

Although most areas will work with any old UHF-only TV antenna, other locations like Prescott Valley and surrounding areas work better with a VHF-low antenna (pictured to the right).

The antenna to the right is a Channel Master Masterpiece 45 and is available locally at Tuff Techies or online at Channelmaster.com.

 

Step 3: Choose the right antenna for your location

Not all locations are created equally, so be diligent when choosing the right antenna for your location. Although the average individual can throw anything on their roof and get some type of signal with some channels, having the correct antenna will get you the most channels and strongest signals.

Although most areas will work with any old UHF-only TV antenna, other locations like Prescott Valley and surrounding areas work better with a VHF-low antenna (pictured to the right).

The antenna to the right is a Channel Master Masterpiece 45 and is available locally at Tuff Techies or online at Channelmaster.com.

 

Step 4: Install your TV antenna

Our team has successfully installed 100’s of TV antennas and know how to do it right every time. Here’s a short outline on how to install a TV antenna.

  1. Mount the antenna as high as possible on the same side of the house as your junction box (this is usually the same location where your internet is).
  2. Connect a coax cable from the antenna on the roof to a grounded splitter inside your junction box.
  3. Connect every TV to a coax cable inside the house.
  4. Scan for over-the-air channels on all TVs.

 

Step 5: The last step – call your cable or satellite provider and cancel your subscription!

Remember to keep your internet service for your mobile phone and streaming devices.

That’s it! Now you’re watching over-the-air, HDTV – for FREE!

universal remote in hand
universal remote in hand

Step 5: The last step – call your cable or satellite provider and cancel your subscription!

Remember to keep your internet service for your mobile phone and streaming devices.

That’s it! Now you’re watching over-the-air, HDTV – for FREE!

What Channels Will I Get?

The channels you get will be dependent upon your exact location and what towers are available, as well as the quality of your antenna installation.

Below is the local channel lineup for the Prescott area. This includes Prescott, Prescott Valley, Dewey-Humboldt, and Chino Valley. To see the channels available you can visit the Channel Master TV Guide. You can also visit Rabbitears.info for more exact tower and signal information.

TV Antennas Plus Streaming Options

Connecting Your Antenna to Work Alongside a Streaming Device Like a Smart TV or Firestick is Simple

To connect a streaming device to your TV, follow the media player’s setup instructions. Examples of streaming devices would be a Firestick or Roku. You will connect the streaming device using an HDMI cable to connect to your TV. An antenna is connected to your TV using a coaxial cable, which is a different connection than a streaming device. 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 to stream movies and other content from services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu, you will need an internet connection. Most service providers recommend a download speed of at least 5 Mbps to stream in high-definition, but we recommend a minimum of 25 Mbps. This is even more important if you are streaming on more than one device at a time, for example, if you are watching something on YouTube while someone else is watching Netflix on a different device. For more information on internet and streaming, contact your service provider.

Which streaming media device and service is right for me?

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

Your entertainment preferences are as unique as you are. Find a balance between a variety in programming and the monthly cost. Many of the streaming services available 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 the information below to calculate 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!

**Research from Decision Data

Streaming Devices

One-time costs

Firestick - $50
Roku - $40
Apple TV - $150
Tivo - $200
AirTV - $100
Smart TV - FREE

Streaming Services

Monthly subscritions

Amazon Prime - $10
Netflix - $15
Hulu - $15
Peacock - $10
Disney+ - $10
Pluto TV - FREE
Tubi TV - FREE

Sports

Monthly subscriptions

ESPN+ - $15
MLB.TV - $10
NBA League Pass - $20
NFL Game Pass - $10
NHL.TV - $25
Tennis Channel - $10

Watching Live TV

A premium monthly subscription.

Hulu + Live TV - $65
YouTube TV - $65
Sling TV - $40
TV Antenna - FREE

Want a TV Antenna Installed at your house, but don’t want to do the dirty work yourself?

Well you’re in luck because Tuff Techies offers professional TV antenna installation services in Prescott Valley and surrounding areas!

Our techs have installed 100’s of TV antennas in the quad-city area and would be happy to install yours too. To learn more about our TV antenna installation services contact us.