The ultimate cable television cord cutting solution for Apple TV owners

“For many of us, the idea of cord cutting has been on our minds for quite some time,” Abdel Ibrahim writes for AppAdvice. “We want to do it, but for a variety of reasons, we can’t.”

“It might because of live sports, or maybe it’s because we just haven’t found the right solution,” Ibrahim writes. “There are a lot of options out there and unfortunately, there hasn’t been a simple guide that shows us the best way. Well, that’s about to change. Here’s what we think is the ultimate cord cutting solution with what’s currently available today.”

Before we get started, here are the things you’re going to need:

1. A 4th Generation Apple TV
2. A Subscription to SlingTV, DirecTV Now or PlayStation Vue
3. An HD Antenna
4. An HDHomeRun Connect Box
5. The Channels App for Apple TV

“Based on my experience, if you have all these pieces, your Apple TV can serve as the way you watch TV, period,” Ibrahim writes. “You won’t need to jump between inputs.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s a nice recipe for cord-cutters. Okay, cord-cutters, how are you doing it – like Ibrahim describes or does your recipe have different/additional/fewer ingredients?


    1. It has to do with the contracts most Cable and Satellite operators have. My guess is that as contracts expire and are renegotiated that will end. I think the whole thing will be changing rapidly, but legacy contracts are flowing things down.
      I would like to be able to directly subscribe to foreign English language content but many times the US rights have been sold and are unavailable. The internet is still disrupting media and legacy companies still have their heads buried in the sand or are playing catch up ball. National boundaries should not limit what I can buy.

      Also, call your local politicians. Some cities, states and counties are sticking out their hand for taxes on your streaming service. The tax everything that moves crowd is watching.

    2. No, you need #2 in the list above, a subscription to either SlingTV, DirectTVNow, or PSVue.

      Then you enter your credentials from one of those above, into your AppleTV, and it automatically enters them into the channel apps.

      I have both AppleTV and Roku, and I like both, but the AppleTV aggregates shows that are On-Demand, into one place, whereas Roku forces you to go into each channel app to see what is available on-demand.

    1. I called my cable company to compare packages. When I go internet only, I lose any discounts for having both internet and tv service. They will get your money one way or another. Plus when I go internet only, all of my viewing is part of my bandwidth. My cable tv viewing doesn’t get applied to my bandwidth usage.

      1. Exactly. They will make their money one way of the other. And you’ll need a high-speed internet connection and uncapped data limits if you intend to stream all content. Even with very fast internet speeds, I don’t find streaming content acceptable yet.

        Everyone I know complains about Comcast, but I have no issues. Sure, I’d like my costs to be lower but when I look at how much other forms of entertainment cost, the prices aren’t as bad as they are made out to be. And since I’m only using a Cable Card and not their crappy boxes, I don’t experience all the problems everyone else seems to have.

        1. I suppose that’s possible, but where I live TimeWarner costs me $35 for 15Mbps. I know some places get fiber for faster speeds for similar prices.

          I run 3 streams a lot, which is 15Mbps, and I’ve never had issues of capping or throttling.

          I used to pay $180 a month for cable and internet, now I pay $35 to Twcable and $35 to PSVue. Saved over $100! And, I get all the live sports I used to get.

    2. I have a 1TB data plan through Mediacom, that I believe is $99/ month. We have 3 tv’s with 2 of them on just about every evening an many weekends. I don’t think I’ve ever exceeded the plan amount.

      1. I currently have Comcast – 25Mb down, 1TB limit for $65 a month. In January, right after Christmas, I went over the 1TB limit – but that was my fault. My wife and son got me a 4K TV and our son hooked us up with a login to his NetFlix Account. Well, streaming 4K content runs about 50GB an hour. I was so excited to get on with NetFlix and saw Longmire was streamed in 4K – I watched one seasons of that in about a week. That right there cost me about 500GB (roughly 10 episodes of an hour each). That didn’t include the rest of the shows I started watching on both Netflix and Prime.

        When I got the alert (28 January) that I went over my limit, I ceased streaming anything. Now, here is where I have an issue with Comcast: There are only two of us in the house, both work, and neither of us stream anything (since the overage alert) except the occasional video from Facebook on the iPad. By the time we get home, have dinner, feed the zoo and clean the kitchen, we only have three – three and half hours of tv watching. With DirecTV, I record almost everything (not on demand) so having only the three hours, my play-lists never gets exhausted.

        On 3 February, I checked our usage – and we were at 56GB usage already. How can 2 people, no streaming use up 56Gb in 3 days? I called them on this and after a week of calling back 4 other times, I finally was told that there is some anomaly happening where every five days there is a spike of data between 40 – 45GB. They cannot explain it and said it was on my end. They claim that because 96% of that data was down, it had to be on my end. I downloaded some apps to track my data and that shows the most we used on any given day was 6GB. Most days were in the 350 – 600MB range – again, everything turned off while we are gone except my MBP and the only thing I have open is Email.

        The fact that I have unidentified problems that Comcast is putting back on me, and the fact that with this unidentified data goes against my 1TB limit, I am actually only getting approximately 730GB for my $65.

        I called AT&T and they are offering me unlimited data, 100MB down for $50 if I bundle it with my DirecTV. I can’t pass that up right now. That will be installed on Saturday. I am curious to see if my data usage will continue with the 5-day anomaly or was that really a Comcast issue. . ..

    3. Right on, Dog. Internet is where they have us. Canno’ do anything without that, like old TheyAlready and macinscott say below. I pay KomKast, Southern Sektor, over $100 a month for internet and home phone, which we still need. No TV, which we don’t need. For TV, I use a homemade antenna using #14 house wire and PVC pipe stuck on a pole in our yard, and get 10 channels. It’s a “digital” antenna; sheesh, plain old wire. Every antenna is “digital.”

    4. I get 15Mbps internet from TimeWarner for $35 a month. I used to have SlingTV for $40 a month, but have switched to PSVue for $35 a month. So, that’s $70 total. I used to have TimeWarner for cable tv, and my bill was $180 a month including internet, and now it’s only $70 total, and I get all the live sports I got before, actually more.

      My 4K tvs need about 5Mbps streams. So, I have run 3 streams at once. On PSVue, you can run 5 streams at once. When my family visits in the Summer, I’ll upgrade my internet to 25Mbps for a month.

  1. I’ve been my own Network Producer since the 2nd gen  tv came out. (I had the 1st gen, too, but that was more in the class of an iPod Classic, with more difficulty making it portable — because of the limited availability of digital connections, and content. It’s gotten a lot better in recent years.

    Right now I subscribe to a number of premium content providers — Hulu, Netflix (not sure why about that one), HBO, HBONOW, Showtime, DirecTV NOW, STARZ. I’ve attempted to install Plex (on multiple occasions) without any success (except for making sure they get some pocket change every month for the prescription).

    I’m not dissatisfied with this setup, but recognize the opportunity to make it both more enjoyable (more content availability) and more economical.

    I’m looking forward to trying out this solution and hope that I can get both!

  2. Makes for a convoluted setup. Until almost everything is available from one store with one consistent user interface (a la iTunes), I’ll stick with cable tv and my TiVo DVR setup. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to an Apple-like experience – a TiVo Bolt+ in the living room and TiVo Minis in the bedrooms.

    Sure it costs more, but it’s worth it IMO. Meanwhile, my tv collects dust and is only used as a bridge to my iTunes library or photos. I’d gladly pay good money for a complete Apple solution if they ever decide to make such a device.

  3. 1 Comcast Cable Internet- 1 TB a month overages at $10 per 50GB.
    2 Sling TV (Orange + HBO and Hollywood Extra)
    3 Curiosity Stream – Ad free Docs from the creator of the original Discovery Channel. Doing a trial month.
    4 Smithsonian Earth- doing a trial month.
    5 CBSN (CBS News) Streaming App
    6 Vimeo App
    7 You Tube App
    8 NHK News App
    9 Sky News App
    10 CBC News App
    11 Live Stream App
    12 PBS App set for KQED San Francisco as local station.
    13 Extensive iTunes movie and TV library including lots of HD DVRed content via EyeTV over many years.

    This already saves me significantly over what I was being gouged for by Comcast for cable. My preference is a la carte- channel by channel. My preference for sports would be pay Per View as I watch a couple of College football games a year- mostly the University of Michigan Wolverines (Go Blue!). I am tired of subsidizing ESPNs sports gossip.

      1. Not at home- so do not quote me to the penny, but here goes:
        Comcast Blast Internet (upgraded mostly for better downloading- not needed for HD streaming) $70. The standard Comcast internet will do fine for 1080 streaming. I pay the extra for Blast because iTunes movie purchases and SW downloads are much faster.
        Sling $20
        + $15 for HBO- much better on Sling than on HBO Now
        + $5 Hollywood Extra- gives 5 EPIX movie channels, Turner Classic Movies, AXS Movie Channel and a couple others
        Most of the apps are free.
        Smithsonian Earth is cheap and so is Curiousity Stream.
        Using the PBS app instead of an antenna allows you to pick your local station- KQED is arguably the best PBS station in the nation.

        1. I used to get Sling the orange and blue packages ,but found the PSVue bundled things I watch like NBAtv and TCM that I had to pay extra for on Sling.

          So I pay:
          $35 for cable thru TimeWarner, for 15Mbps
          $35 for PSVue, the CoreSlim package
          antenna on roof for broadcast channels

          I watch a lot of soccer, so I get EPL thru NBCSN, Bundesliga thru FoxSports, LaLiga thru BeinSports. And, anything on NBCSN or ESPN is available on demand thru their apps. I get way more sports than I used to.

        2. We dislike the cable companies very much and would love to quit subsidizing them but a simple interface is important. DavGreg’s cost is similar to our current Comcast bill and the Comcast interface is quite intuitive and easy to use and the time shifting DVR is an advantage. Making it even easier is a Logitek Harmony, a simple single universal remote duplicated on a simple IOS app that controls other things we use like a blueray disk for our library movies and CD collection, a high end AV stereo system that gives us great sound for everything, an AppleTV that we use only for viewing our Photos, listening to all internet music and letting guests connect to the flat panel display via Airplay. Any other arrangement for us would cost the same and result in a very frustrating multiple remote hodgepodge.

  4. Amazing how complicated and expensive it is to “cut the cord”.

    Admittedly, we’re not much of a TV show watching family, but we have the stereo on much of the time and enjoy high quality movies.

    Here’s what our household uses for video:

    1 Mac
    2 TV (4K Panasonic)
    3 BluRay player (1080p Sony)
    4 terrestrial antenna
    5 library card
    6 surround sound receiver (Yamaha)
    7 Synology NAS for home videos & music
    8 Sony Playstation
    9 Lightning-to-HDMI cable adapter for plugging in iPhones to TV

    The Mac, the smart TV, Playstation, and the BluRay player all have the apps that AppleTV offers and several that Apple TV does not offer. The streaming services most frequently used are YouTube, HBO Go, and Amazon, and performance is mediocre due to buffering interruptions. The 4K TV upscales from the HD sources. Better but not perfect. In the future we’ll probably get a 4K BluRay player. Those who say there is no 4K content are fooling themselves. Even relative tech laggard retailer Costco sells 4K BluRay discs and cheap 4K korean TVs. 4K video is mainstream now.

    We do not subscribe to cable TV and unlike urban dwellers we cannot get affordable insanely fast internet. So buying yet one more streaming box makes no sense, especially an expensive Apple TV that offers nothing better than what an old MacBook can.

    1. Impressive setup. We didn’t cut the cable cord because we like sports too much. But we have tons of home movies and photos. Got a Synology server for xmas. Just moved all the splintered media we had to it. MacMini makes a great hub to control it all. Couldn’t be happier. Don’t see what an Apple TV would do better

  5. Ours is:

    Charter – internet (no data limits)
    Wireless network in house
    2 Apple TVs connected to wireless network
    PlayStation Vue – CBS, ABC, NBC plus all cable channels we watch (OTA not available or needed)
    Netflix – movies, some TV series
    PBS app – for PBS shows

  6. The SiliconDust HDHomeRun CONNECT is a #1 Best Seller at Amazon, currently out of stock. $110.

    What a GREAT idea! Watch on-air TV via Wi-Fi.

    Meanwhile, my lousy ISP forces me to get basic cable TV if I want a decent price break on Internet. I figure it’s an on-paper documentation the victim-customers are NOT ‘cutting the cable’. I make it quite clear to them when I am forced to chatter with them that I do NOT give a rat’s about cable TV and would gladly do without it. On-air TV is fine with me!

    Happily, there is a growing trend of on-air networks providing access to their TV stream via the web. My fave is Comet TV. Cheesy but often highly fun. Live streaming TV on the net should be the RULE in the 21st century. We wait and wait for the dictatorial geezers of the media oligarchy to DIE (horribly please!) so we can all get on with The Future.

  7. Our solution:

    (1) Spectrum Internet – no data caps
    (2) wireless network in our house
    (3) two ATV4 connected to our wireless network (my research showed that the ATV4 is the only box whose remote can turn the TV off/on)
    (4) PlayStation Vue – CBS, ABC, NBC and all the cable channels we watch
    (5) PBS app – for PBS and its shows
    (6) Netflix – for the occasional movie or TV series
    (7) FilmStruck app – TBD for classic movies

  8. I have the five things mentioned in the article plus Netflix and the NFL app for football. Combine that with Sling and Twitter for AppleTV and I can see most sports. I cannot say enough about the HdHomerun and Channels app combination. They are worth EVERY SINGLE PENNEY. The ability to have my local stations broadcast from my antenna connected to my wifi router and watch local TV on any Apple device in my home is amazing. My friends flipped out when I had an iPad showing the game in the bathroom at my Super Bowl party! It also allows the pausing of live TV, and integrates the guide into everything. Very impressive for a one-time expenditure.

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