Note: this page contains affiliate links. Full disclosure at the bottom of the page.
The first thing you’ll need to stream TV is a fast and reliable internet connection. Your cable/internet bill should list the speed of your internet. Make sure it is at least 25 Mbps.
When choosing an internet speed, I encourage everyone to start on the low end of what they think they need. It’s easier to go up in speed than down. If you own a 4K TV, I suggest you start at 75 Mbps.
Most people already have internet in their homes. They just need to get rid of cable. There are 2 ways you can do this:
- Keep your current cable/internet provider but drop the cable portion of your package.
- Cancel your current cable/internet provider and sign up with a new company (for example, switch from AT&T to Comcast)
There are 2 internet companies that I am aware of in our area: Comcast, and AT&T. I prefer Comcast internet over AT&T but I’ve heard lots of reports saying the opposite. So I think there is no best answer, only who is going to give you the lowest price!
Here are the prices from a recent search I did:
- Comcast: 25 Mbps – $30 per month for 12 months
- AT&T: 100 Mbps – $50 per month for 12 months
These prices are usually for NEW customers only. You will either need to sign up with a different provider, or convince your current provider to give you a lower price.
I promise, this is the hardest part. This is the part that keeps people with cable! Personally, I always found it easiest to visit the physical store. You can bring in your cable equipment and receive a receipt showing that you returned it. You can also negotiate your new package (without cable) in person.
Modems and Routers
For maximum savings, you will want to buy your own modem and router (or modem/router combination). Here are the definitions:
- Modem – gives you access to the internet, devices must be plugged into it.
- Router – connects to the modem and provides Wifi (allows wireless devices to connect to the internet)
- Modem/Router – a modem and a router combination
I have heard that Comcast is allowing people to use their routers without a monthly charge. If this is the case for you, go for it! Just make sure that you double check your bill to make sure they aren’t charging you any kind of monthly fee.
The modem/router combination that I suggest is ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580AC
This is the modem/router that I have in my home. It’s been going strong for 3 years now!
Here is the new, updated model from ARRIS: ARRIS SURFboard SBG7600AC2
It’s a little more pricey than the last model. But I have an ARRIS SURFboard and I trust the brand to put out a great product.
Here is another options for a highly rated modem/router combination at a lower price point. I’m sure this one is just as good, I just do not have personal experience with this brand or product.
The model that I chose for this one has a max speed of 300 Mbps. That should be more than you need, but I did want to note it here since the Amazon page gives you options for different speeds.
Streaming Devices or Streaming Players
You will need a streaming device for each of your TVs. Think of it as your new cable box. But, instead of paying $5-15 per month, per box, there is a one time fee to buy the box. You don’t have to pay a monthly fee!
Since you already have a Firestick, I would recommend getting a Fire Cube for your main TV.
The main advantage of the Fire Cube is that it can connect to your modem via an ethernet cord. This will give you the fastest and more reliable internet connection.
Here is the price breakdown for the apps that you want:
- Prime (included with Prime membership)
- Netflix – $13/month
- HBO Now – $15/month
- Showtime – $11/month
One very nice feature of streaming is that it is very easy to cancel a subscription and resubscribe at a later date.
This one is a little more tricky but still very doable. Since this is a “Live TV” channel, there are several different options to watch. You can test out all of these to see which one works best for your daughter.
Option 1: download the Cartoon Network App from Amazon
Amazon states that this app has “Videos, Clips and Full Episodes of your favorite shows”. It is a free app. However, without a cable subscription log in, content will be limited.
I think it is worth a look.
Option 2: 30 day free trial of Hulu
(First, I’d like to clarify that there is Hulu Live which is $40/month and “Regular” Hulu which starts at $6/month. I am referring to “Regular” Hulu in this section)
Hulu has On Demand content from popular channels (as well as Hulu Originals). Depending on what shows your daughter likes on Cartoon Network, they may be available on Hulu’s On Demand content.
Hulu offers a 30 day free trial, so again it’s worth checking out!
Option 3: download and subscribe to Sling Blue
Sling is one of the Live TV Streaming Services. It has an app for the Fire Stick. Sling Blue is one of the 2 main packages offered. Sling Blue includes Cartoon Network as well as 48 other channels.
Sling Blue is $25 per month, currently they are running a special for $15 for your first month.
WGN does not offer any streaming options. However, it is available for free using an antenna.
I promise, it isn’t that scary or hard to do!
The downside to an antenna is that there is no recording or pausing TV without additional equipment (Fire Recast is an example).
The upside is that once you have yours set up, it is very easy to use. The antenna that I use and recommend is ClearStream Eclipse Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna
This antenna is mounted inside your house, either on a wall (preferably South facing) or window, using a suction cup.
Streaming does have some upfront equipment costs, but you will be saving in the long run!
Ok, that was a lot of information that I just threw at you. Here is the breakdown:
- Make sure your internet speed is at least 25 Mbps
- (Optional) Buy your own modem/router: ARRIS SURFboard SBG7580AC
- Buy a Fire Cube for your main TV
- Continue to use your current Fire Stick on your other TV
- Download these apps on your Fire Stick
- Prime Video
- Showtime (later)
- Options for Cartoon Network
- Cartoon Network app
- Hulu app(30 day free trial)
- Sling app (Sling Blue package)
- Buy ClearStream Eclipse Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna to watch WGN
I know this is all overwhelming! Streaming is definitely a learning curve but after a week or so, you’ll be a pro! If you have any specific questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Please note that some of this site’s links are affiliate links, and Katie Lutz is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. At NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU, I will earn a small commission, if you purchase using them.