Cut the cord, keep the content, nix the network
Tips & Tricks

Cut the cord, keep the content, nix the network

Cutting the cord doesn't have to be painful. Here's how to find your favorite TV shows and cable content after you've ditched the cable network.

It's pretty common for new cord cutters to deal with the temptation to go back to cable. To relapse, if you will. If you've been following along with our series so far, you might even be experiencing this already yourself. One of the main reasons some cord cutters go back to cable is difficulty in finding favorite shows.

Almost daily I see a post or comment asking where to find one network or another online. A better question would be “where are the shows I want to watch?”

[blockquote]When you break it down, you really do not want the network; you want the shows you used to watch on the network. All the network did for you when you had cable was to create a conduit for you to get your favorite shows.[/blockquote]

While it is easier than ever to watch your shows with new services like Sling TV with live streams, and older services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Instant offering more content on-demand, there's an undeniable learning curve involved.

The following steps will make finding your content as easy as possible and help you avoid the frustration that drives some attempted cord cutters back to cable.

How to find your favorite shows after cutting the cord

Step 1: The first thing you need to do is to stop thinking about what networks you want to watch. Think instead about which shows you want to watch. Think of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Crackle, Tubi TV, etc. as the new networks to bring you the shows you want (see our piece detailing some streaming services). An additional bonus of these “new” networks is they provide your shows without the added bumpers and ads of your old networks, which I'm sure you'll agree, you can happily do without.

Step 2: Now write down a list of the shows you really want to watch (or, you know, go digital and use a tablet or smartphone and your favorite list-keeping app). This will be the start of your cheat sheet for your family. This may seem silly, but you will be amazed by which shows you may forget about and suddenly want to watch later. You may also be surprised at how few shows you really watch when you put them down on paper. According to Digitalsmiths, a TiVo owned research firm, the average family actually watches fewer than 10 shows a month.

Step 3: Next, start searching for your shows through the different streaming services you have subscribed to. If you have not subscribed to a streaming service check out our piece that breaks down each service and what they have to offer.

If you have a Roku, Fire TV, or Apple TV check out their built in search feature. Some are better than others (see our piece on set top boxes), but they make finding your shows a lot easier.

The new Roku Operating System 7 has a unique feature, Follow, that will make searching even easier. Follow will allow you to follow your favorite shows and movies and sends you a notification when new episodes or seasons become available online through a Roku supported service.

Although there are network apps available on Roku and other boxes that offer access to popular shows, very few of the shows are free and most of these network apps require you to log into a paid subscription service.

You will find shows from a particular network can be spread across two or three different services. At first this may seem confusing, but after a very short time, it will be as easy as switching between your old cable channels; with the convenience of watching on your schedule rather than on the network’s timetable!

Step 4: Write down where every show can be found. This way, when your kids or your spouse want their favorite shows, you can grab the list and say Doc McStuffins is on Hulu or Family Guy is on Netflix, etc.

Follow our steps and, with a little work, you can find all your favorite shows and avoid the temptation to relapse on cable. Do you have any tips or recommendations for finding the content you love? Let us know in the comment section.

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