: Ron Lindeboom's Blog
: Apple TV 4 and Cable Cutting Basics
One of the surest ways to save on the high cost of cable if you are an Apple TV 4 user, is to get a good digital over-the-air antenna to pull in your local channels. (We use a $50 MOHU Leaf indoor digital antenna. We're in a very mountainous area and so we use the amplified model.) We don't have a big outdoor antenna and we use a simple indoor antenna that gets us over 20 local channels, even in our heavy wooded mountainous surroundings.
We get all of the major networks and independents, other than CBS. But CBS is not worth staying on cable for and many of its best programs can be found at the CBS website, or at services like Netflix, Amazon, and others. CBS Sports has a free app for Apple TV 4 and they were even showing Super Bowl 50, live on their website and app, absolutely free.
DO NOT get one of the cheap $10 or $20 antennas, as most of them cannot scan in the sub-channel or side-carrier frequencies. Many channels today broadcast in the sub-channel frequencies and cheap antennas often miss the sub-channel stations. For example, in my market area, a free sci-fi service, COMET, broadcasts on WTTO which has a feed on 21.3. Some digital antennas will only scan channel 21, for example, and would miss COMET at 21.3. (To learn if COMET is available in your area, please visit http://comettv.com/ and toward the bottom of the page, you can enter your zip code.)
Now that you have taken care of the local independent channels and networks, the Apple TV 4 can fill in some of the holes left from cutting the cable.
Build a battery of great free apps on your Apple TV 4 and duplicate those apps on your iPhone and iPad. Make sure to grab Tubi TV, Crackle, popcornflix, OVguide, Pluto, PBS, Smithsonian Channel, and others that look interesting.
On your computer, build a web folder in which you put shortcuts to your favorite network sites because many are now making their content available on their websites. Mirror those shows onto your television screen using Apple AirPlay. You can also add that folder to your iPhone and iPad and watch web-based content there, as well as mirror it to your television using AirPlay.
A $20 a month Sling TV package will take care of many of the most desired cable channels like AMC, ESPN, HGTV, History, A&E, etc. Visit www.sling.com for details of their channels and packages. There are no contracts and you can test the system before joining.
If you must have HBO, you can add it for $5 a month at Sling TV, rather than pay double or more as you would with most everyone else.
Put the $100 a month or more that you will save into other things you'd much rather be doing than giving it to the cable company.