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Cut the Cord

March 7, 2019
Audience
Adult
Popular Topics
Tech and Gaming
Budget
Free
Advance Planning

A few years ago patrons started asking if we had any resources on how to quit cable and get started on streaming devices and services. We researched the different options, and found an article that had a "Quick Guide to Cutting Your Cable Cord" graphic, which helped us organize the presentation.

Our presentation answers the following questions: 

  1. Why are people quitting cable and moving to streaming?
  2. What is streaming, and what are the basics?
  3. How much internet is required for your household streaming needs?
  4. What are HDTV antennas, and what channels can you get on them?
  5. Popular streaming devices and services; we used PCMag.com reviews for this
  6. Library and specialty streaming services
  7. DVR options and review
  8. Time for Q&A and streaming devices and services demos
Marketing

This program was promoted through our regular marketing channels: a quarterly publication, a citywide publication and in-house fliers.

Budget Details

This program is presented by library staff, so the presentation does not have additional costs other than staff time to prepare and present. We also create a one-page handout to give to patrons with highlights from the presentation. 

Day-of-event Activity

The set up is basic; the content is presented as a Powerpoint slideshow. At our library, we present this program in the auditorium, which is regularly set to accommodate 60 patrons. 

Program Execution

This program has been offered quarterly since 2017 at our Main Library and Lane Road branch. The program sees anywhere between 30 and 50 patrons attending, although there was one program where over 90 patrons attended, and some were turned away due to the size of the room! (Registration is now required for this program.) 

This program continues to be successful, especially as streaming services become more robust. Many patrons are just looking for the first step in how to cut the cord. This program generates great conversations between patrons, and there are a lot of follow-up questions. 

After one patron's suggestion, the library started offering indoor antennas for patrons to check out. They can take an antenna home to see what sort of broadcast stations they get before deciding if they want to reduce cable or purchase a streaming service that offers local channels. Regular feedback we receive is that this presentation makes it easy to explore other options because it narrows down the legwork an individual patron has to make. We also offer a separate program specifically on streaming devices and streaming services such as Apple TV and Roku.

Some main points that we want people to get out of the program are:

  • There isn't any right way to stream television; you have to piece together a combination that will work for you.
  • There aren't any contracts, so you should consider when you want to subscribe to certain services. 

For example, if you want to watch the new season of "Game of Thrones," you can subscribe to HBO Now for only one or two months. We also suggest you think about what you like to watch in order to make an informed decision. If you like a lot of original content and the ability to watch past seasons of your favorite show, you might pick Netflix. If you want to watch current seasons, Hulu on Demand might be your better choice. 

We try to update the information before every presentation to talk about new streaming services and devices and see what has changed. 

Advice

This program is usually presented by one person, but it could be helpful to have more than one staff member present to answer questions as needed.

We would also recommend reading up on internet offerings in your community! The biggest question we get is "What is the best internet provider?" That changes based on location and past experience with cable companies. Rural areas may be much more limited in what internet speeds are on offer.

Short Title
Cut the Cord

Cut the Cord is a presentation by Upper Arlington Public Library staff that informs library patrons of the various streaming options to cable and covers how streaming can be a more budget-friendly option to watch your favorite shows.

Program Date
2019-03-07
Summary

Cut the Cord is a quarterly presentation that informs patrons about lower-cost alternatives to cable subscriptions.