cord cutter gift ideas

Cord-Cutting Gift Guide – Gift Ideas for Cord-Cutters 2019

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Looking for the perfect gift for a friend that has already cut the cord or searching for the perfect present for somebody to get them started as a cord-cutter? Check out our best gift ideas for cord-cutting to avoid any disappointments.

Cutting the cord is a great way to both save money and enhance your entertainment options. Cord-cutting basically means to get rid of an expensive cable subscription and replacing that subscription with alternative sources for your show and movies. This can be as simple as a Netflix subscription on your existing Smart TV or a much more sophisticated multimedia hub with live TV and a library of on-demand content.

In this cord-cutting gift guide, we will focus on simple devices and subscriptions that can be gifted to beginners to get them up and running quickly and without complicated configuration and setup. Rest assured, all of these suggestions will also be a great present for more experienced cord-cutters.

Nvidia Shield TV

NVIDIA SHIELD TV Gaming Edition | 4K HDR Streaming Media Player with GeForce NOW

The Nvidia Shield TV does not really need an introduction. It is the most advanced and powerful TV box running the Android TV operating system that is optimized for use with televisions. Thanks to its powerful hardware components, the Nvidia Shield TV streams 4K with absolute ease (and is one of the few Android TV boxes that actually stream Netflix in 4K).

Better yet, it is a very capable gaming console as well. The Gaming edition comes with a high-quality controller that gives you full control of your console and games. You can even play games from the cloud, including Fortnite.

This TV box certainly is not the cheapest. However, in my opinion, it is the holy grail of set top boxes, has great support, and runs everything you throw at it. As versatile as the Shield is, it is a fantastic gift for virtually anyone. Thanks to the nearly endless entertainment options and support streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime video, Sling TV or Plex, it is the holy grail for cord-cutters.

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Fire TV Stick 4K

Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote, streaming media player

The other contender for best streaming device for cord-cutters is the widely popular Amazon Fire Stick 4K. It certainly is a much more affordable option than the Nvidia Shield.

Performance-wise, the Fire TV Stick is much more limited, not offering all the bells and whistles like the Shield. But, the Fire TV Stick 4K does one thing really well, and that is stream HD and Ultra HD content.

This cool little device supports all the popular streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, and of course, Amazon Prime.

An added benefit is the integration of Amazon’s Alexa technology, allowing you to control the device and supported devices with your voice. The Fire TV Stick 4K definitely is a great and affordable gift for anyone with a television. And thanks to its simplicity, it can be installed and used by virtually anyone.

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Nighthawk X10

NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 802.11ac/ad Quad-Stream WiFi Router, 1.7GHz Quad-core Processor, Plex Media Server, Compatible with Amazon Alexa (R9000)

A Wifi router might not be an obvious gift, but one that will surely be highly appreciated by any cord-cutter. Especially, if that Wifi Router is a Nighthawk X10. This device is the top of the line router and the best that money can buy.

So how is the Nighthawk X10 better than your average Wifi router your Internet Service Provider installed at your home? For a start, it has a quad-core processor. This allows it to run applications on the router itself that you would usually require a separate PC for. As an example, you can run Plex Media Server on the X10, allowing you to access your Media library from a NAS or attached external hard drive from any device, both on the network as well as any other location.

All that processing power also drives one of the advanced Dynamic QoS systems. QoS stands for quality of service and is a system that prioritizes certain traffic to ensure the end user gets the best surfing, gaming and streaming experience. No more slow streams or buffering because a download is running on the same network.

Finally, and this should not come as a surprise, the WiFi performance is second to none. Simultaneous streaming for multiple devices, powerful antennas and the latest WiFi protocols and technology make sure you get full reception and full speed from every corner of your house.

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VIZIO 2.1 Channel Sound Bar

VIZIO SB3821-C6 38-Inch 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer

What use is the latest and greatest 4K television and access to endless movies and TV shows, if the sound from your TV sounds like it is coming from your mobile phone? And trust me, there is no such thing as a flat screen TV with great sound, it is simply not possible. So, what is the solution? Surely, you could get a surround sound system and re-decorate your living room with 6-8 ugly boxes. Or, you can go with a stylish single sound bar that is able to produce a very similar sound experience.

There are many sound bars on the market. The one we picked for this list is the VIZIO 38 inch 2 channel sound bar with a wireless subwoofer. I will always recommend a sound bar with a separate subwoofer to ensure you “feel” the sound as much as hearing it. While there are certainly more powerful subwoofers, this will help transform action movies into an exciting experience.

Add to this Dolby Digital and DTS support for extra sound clarity, and you have the perfect sound bar for any movie buff or cord-cutter. And, thanks to built-in Bluetooth, you can also wirelessly stream your music to the VIZIO from your phone or any other device.

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Skystream TV

skystream tv channels

Sometimes on-demand content simply doesn’t cut it. As good as Netflix and co are at keeping us entertained, they lack one thing: live television programs.  This is where a service like Skystream TV comes in. 

Skystream TV is a subscription service that streams live TV to a number of different devices. They offer over 70 premium channels in stunning HD quality. What is even better is the fact that they also have a 7 day replay feature. In case you missed your favorite show you have a week to catch up and watch it anytime, anywhere.

Lastly, in case you want to record a show and keep it for longer than a week, you can make use of the included 50 hours of Cloud DVR to record and replay anything you like, for as long as you need it.

With channels like ESPN, Bravo, Fox, ABC, and even HBO and Showtime, there is always something on Skystream TV to watch. Make use of their 7 days free trial to see if Skystream TV is the right service for you.

Slow Streams or Buffering?

Are your streams loading too slow? Getting constant buffering? Not able to stream at full resolution? Check out these tips to improve your streaming experience:
  • Use a modern Router that has advanced features like QoS to prioritize video content. Check out our recommended Routers for Streaming.
  • If you are using a Wifi connection, be sure to check out our 9 easy steps to improve your Wifi for Streaming.
  • Some Internet Service Providers throttle video streaming traffic without telling their customers. A VPN encrypts all your traffic and circumvents throttling, blocking and geographical restrictions.

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Synology NAS Diskstation

Synology 2 bay NAS DiskStation DS718+ (Diskless)

There is much more to cord-cutting than a simple Amazon Prime Video or Netflix subscription. Enthusiasts like to build up their own library to ensure they have access to everything they want and are not limited to the catalog of their streaming service. Many times, that content is either recorded via a DVR or downloaded from the Internet. Some may also rip their DVD collection for easier access.

It goes without saying that the bigger your library becomes, the more disk space will be required. External hard drives may help with this, but ultimately you will want a standalone solution to give you access to your data and entertainment library from any device without having to boot up your PC and enough space for thousands of movies.

The Synology Diskstation ticks all of those boxes. It comes with 2 bays to add your own hard disks (I recommend ). The quad-core processor gives the Diskstation enough power to run any of the over 90 apps to transform your NAS from a simple storage unit to a multimedia hub. Coupled with easy remote access to your files, the Synology easily is any cord-cutters wet dream.

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IPTV Subscription

iptv subscription web portal

IPTV Services restream TV channels to their subscribers at a fraction of the cost of a cable service. The legality is questionable at best, but you do get access to sometimes thousands of channels from around the world and even on-demand content like movies and TV shows.

There are literally hundreds of IPTV providers out there. Some of them run a very reputable and trustworthy streaming service, while others you are better off not paying any money for. What you can expect from some of the best IPTV services are smooth HD streams that run surprisingly reliable 99% of the time. There is sometimes the odd buffering or micro-stutter, but for the most part, the experience is quite similar to a much more expensive cable subscription.

I suggest you check out our review of the most reliable IPTV providers to save you the hassle of testing out a dozen services.

Last update on 2019-05-20 at 21:05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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