Tired of spending $100 or more each month for the handful of channels you watch with your cable TV plan? It could be time to tap into what an ever-growing number of people have already discovered – cable tv alternatives.
You can drop your cable service, still enjoy your favorite TV shows and save money in the process.
Quick Look: The Best Cable TV Alternatives
Why Look for an Alternative to Cable?
Cable isn’t the only way to consume the content you love. Cheaper alternatives, like popular streaming services, can free up hundreds of dollars each year.
The most obvious reason for looking at cable alternatives is the monthly cost. Prices seem to rise continuously despite which package you choose. The same is true for satellite TV.
Here are some good reasons to cut the cord with your cable provider and switch to a streaming service.
Free Up Your Cash Flow
You may have been enticed by a cable company’s offer of a great price on TV, internet and landline phone services as long as you sign a contract for the bundle. It may be great for a while but after 6 months to a year, the monthly cost goes up dramatically.
If you’re focused on getting out of debt or learning how to save money, cable alternatives are a great way to free up your cash flow.
No Cords, No Contracts
Unless you have an HDTV antenna — which doesn’t require internet and gives a better quality picture — you’ll need internet access to stream TV shows and movies. Streaming involves the digital distribution of TV content, as opposed to other methods of delivering shows, such as aerial, satellite or cable systems.
When you ditch cable TV, you won’t deal with messy cables, extra equipment, or 4-hour installation appointment windows. Best of all, most streaming services don’t require a contract, so you can cancel your subscription at any time with no penalty.
More Choices, Premium Content
You can choose the channels and package you want with a streaming service at a much lower price than cable and add premium channels if they’re not already included. Many streaming services create their own content and have produced some very popular shows, such as Netflix’s “The Crown” or Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Features of the Best Cable TV Alternatives
Alternatives to cable TV can offer better pricing, great shows wherever and whenever we want to watch them, more personalization of the content we choose, easy cancellation and live TV.
Prices can range anywhere from $5.99 to $44.99 per month. The best streaming services can save you money when compared with cable TV, which usually runs over $100 per month without premium channels.
Streaming services offer a choice of inexpensive options or packages that often include premium content for just a few dollars more. You can bulk up your checking account or start investing with the money you’ll save.
Great Shows Anywhere, Anytime
The best cable alternatives offer thousands of TV shows, movies, premium content, and produce award-winning original shows. All of this content can be streamed across most devices — your smart TV, smartphone, computer, tablet, laptop and gaming consoles.
Live TV Option
Great streaming services now provide access to live sports events, news and other “must-see TV” specials as they air. You don’t have to wait anymore to see fresh content when you give up your cable service.
Our Picks for the Best Cable TV Alternatives
There are a growing number of streaming services to choose from and they’re all competing for your dollar. Check out our picks for the best cable tv alternatives, considering price, content offered, and more.
Best Overall: Amazon Prime
If you’re looking for a lot of bang for your buck, look no further than Amazon Prime.
You can get access to all of Amazon’s content for just $12.99 per month.
A subscription will give you access to a wide selection of free TV shows, popular movies, live events and documentaries.
You’ll get access to award-winning Amazon Originals, at no extra cost. These are produced by Amazon’s production company, Amazon Studios and brings some big-name celebrities to the Amazon content team.
All of your favorite shows are available to watch on most of your devices, for easy access anywhere.
Some of Amazon’s most popular shows and movies include The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Patriot, Sneaky Pete, Catastrophe, Bosch, and more.
Hulu Streaming Services and Live TV
Hulu, one of the best streaming services around, offers thousands of TV shows and movies on all of your favorite devices.
HBO, SHOWTIME, CINEMAX and STARZ are available as add-ons. You can also get live and on-demand TV and movies, depending on your plan.
For $5.99, you get unlimited access to Hulu’s streaming library — full seasons of popular TV series, hit movies, Hulu Originals and more — with limited or no ads. New and eligible returning subscribers get their first month free.
For $44.99 per month, you get the new Hulu + Live TV package, which gives you the same content as the $5.99 package as well as access to more than 60 of the top live and on-demand TV channels, including sports, news and entertainment. You can watch Live TV online and on supported devices or record it with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage. The first 7 days are free.
There are no hidden fees, equipment rentals or installation to deal with and you can switch plans or cancel your subscription anytime.
Netflix is also a very popular streaming option with a lot of original content and 3 price points.
Basic is $8.99, Standard is $12.99 and Premium is $15.99.
All 3 packages offer unlimited movies and TV shows anywhere on your laptop, TV, phone and tablet with no commercials and no commitment.
You can cancel anytime and watch free for the first 30 days.
Standard and Premium plans increase the number of HD options and the number of screens you can watch on at the same time.
With Netflix’s tiered pricing, there’s no reason to steal your friend’s password. On top of their exceptional offerings, they ensure that there is a price point for almost every type of consumer.
And the amount of content you get for the price you pay is a value, to say the least.
With a Netflix subscription, you will never have a lack of shows to watch over again and discover for the first time.
Sling TV allows you to watch your favorite shows live as you would with your cable service, but you’re watching over the internet instead.
You can watch them on a variety of devices, including TVs, phones, computers and gaming consoles.
Your subscription starts at $15 per month. You can customize your channel lineup with extras like sports, comedy and more.
There are over 15 a la carte channels (for a few dollars more per channel) and Cloud DVR.
You don’t pay for channels you don’t use, there are no long-term contracts and you can easily cancel online.
Want to catch up on all of HBO’s content with original series like Game of Thrones and True Detective?
Are you also looking for access to the latest movies, documentaries and sports? Want to drop your cable subscription?
Just sign up for HBO NOW, a standalone streaming service that doesn’t require a cable TV package.
You can stream the first 7 days free and then pay $14.99 per month. You also have the option of canceling anytime.
As with other streaming services, you can watch live episodes as they air on multiple devices.
What was once an affordable alternative to network TV has become a major monthly expense that, as an extreme, gets in the way of financial freedom. Dropping cable TV for a much more affordable streaming service means you can still see all of your favorite shows and meet your financial goals as well.