I'm always bothered by the term "cutting the cord" when people refer to opting for streaming services. You're not cutting anything, you're just changing the delivery method. It still comes in from a "cord" whether it's from the phone company or the cable company. Only the OTA purists (no internet - unless by satellite maybe) can claim they've actually cut the cord.
I'm not quite sure I agree. The term "Cord-cutting" was originally born out of the idea that an individual disconnected from pay TV, whether that be cable TV or satellite TV. The idea was that a cord cutter realized that for the amount he or she was spending on paid TV, they were not watching enough TV or enough of a variety of those provided channels to justify the expense. So, the cord-cutter decides that he/she can invest three or four months worth of cable bills toward a high quality OTA setup and get all the local channels, plus some you don't even get on cable or satellite TV, for free. The investment pays for itself in a few months, and the cord cutter saves hundreds of dollars a year.
I see internet access in a totally different frame of mind. For me, it's a requirement for my profession. It isn't a luxury. And since I can't just put up a tower or an antenna and get my internet for free (sure wish I could though), then I have no choice but to pay for that service. Again, I see internet as a need up there with running water and electricity.
For these live TV services, I think people aren't going to use them to their advantage. For me, this is what I'd do. set aside about $600 to invest in a top notch OTA system. A very high quality roof top antenna, high quality pre-amp if needed, distribution amp, and coaxial cable. That right there will cost you about $200 - $300 if you don't skimp on antenna. The other half of the money will go toward the DVR. You can either get a Tivo, but for $300, you're probably going to have to go the TiVo route that comes with the monthly subscription. I'd go the Channel Master DVR route, buy the external 1TB hard drive, and then you're set. The service is free. Once you've done this, you're invested about six months worth of cable or satellite cost to the project, but once those six months are up, your upfront cost is paid for and the rest of the time, you're getting free content and able to time shift with the DVR. As Riggins said, there is the issue with the weather messing up antenna reception, but I had this same issue with DirecTV during really bad rain storms. My satellite always went out during a bad rain storm at either house I've lived in, so I'm used to these interruptions. Anyway, you'll probably wind up getting 30-40 channels this way, and then if you still want HBO, maybe do the add-on through Amazon Prime (I think it's like $15/month) or get the lowest Sling TV package if you want a handful of cable channels with ESPN. Couple this with Netflix, and that's pretty solid amount of entertainment for a relatively low amount.
Of course with us, we were even skimpier on what we paid for. We do Neftlix, used a homemade antenna, bought a used TiVo with lifetime membership for $100 from eBay, and our family shares our Amazon prime, so we pay about $25/year for it. On average, We spent about $140 on TV entertainment, per year, for the past three years. That's compared to $1,200/year we were spending. Of course, unfortunately now, our TiVo went out on us. We still have the homemade antenna, though, but I had thought about getting a better one that is mounted on the roof for better reception.
My wife and I did buy her parents a Roku stick for their anniversary. We went the SlingTV route and signed up for two months service so we could get the stick for free lol! I had tried out SlingTV before. I've still used it very sparingly in the week we've had it. You can't watch live local TV which sucks. You can watch that programming on demand, but no live sports unless it's through ESPN. I'm not sure if it's worth it. I tried watching Duck Dynasty on demand through the app, and the video was so choppy that I cut it off. My router is right underneath the TV, so I know it wasn't the internet. I'll probably cancel it after the two months. I've just found that for us, we have gotten out of the idea of live TV unless it's sports. We watch everything the next day or after it had recorded (when our TiVo was alive.) Most of the time, we watched stuff the next day after it aired. We see no reason why that will change anytime soon. Maybe when our kid is old enough to put himself to bed that we might get back into watching live programming again, but an on-demand service where we can watch broadcast programming a day later is more valuable to us than the live TV. Sports is the ONLY hang up, but that's my hang up.