USA Today shares key tips and advice in switching to streaming media services if desired for the coming year.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2018/12/27/what-you-need-cutting-cord-tips/2389501002/

Perhaps your New Year’s resolution goes like this: Stop sending hundreds of dollars monthly to cable and satellite companies in 2019. Cut the cord and save. It makes sense, as there is so much entertainment available via online streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime that can be viewed on smart TVs or via a streaming device that connects to your (nonsmart) TV.

Is cutting the cord part of your New Year’s Resolution? Here’s what you need to know

1. Antenna — In most of the country, you don’t need cable to bring in the broadcast TV networks and local channels. In many instances, an antenna, like the kind of we used to use back in the rabbit ears days, will do just fine. Antennas have gotten stronger over the years, and many come with a preamp that boosts the signal. We recently tried the basic $19.99 model, from Amazon’s house brand, and it more than did the job, bringing in channels clearly and quickly.

2. Streaming devices — you’ll need either a “smart” TV, which has services such as Netflix and Amazon built in, or an accessory streaming player, which connects to the HDMI port of your TV and your Wi-Fi to bring the apps to your TV.

3. Entertainment services — Netflix is the big kahuna of online entertainment, with nearly 150 million subscribers. Meanwhile, for 2019, the Walt Disney Co. is yanking movie titles from Netflix and launching a new service, Disney +, that will feature new versions of “Star Wars,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “High School Musical.” Apple is also expected to launch its new, unnamed entertainment service in 2019. New series from Steven Spielberg, Oprah

4. Cable Alternatives — YouTube TV, Hulu, DirecTV, Sling and Sony all offer full-featured cable TV alternatives that you pick up via their apps. With the cable alternatives, you get the ability to watch on your TV, computer, phone or tablet; start a show on one device, and finish it elsewhere. All offer some form of DVR service, which automatically records shows once you request it and lets you play it back later, usually without commercials.