TV viewers have news for the big telecoms: they’re mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore.
According to a 2020 press release from Leichtman Research Group, the nation’s major pay-TV providers lost nearly 5 million subscribers in 2019. And it’s not hard to see why. The average household cost of cable and satellite TV services in 2019 was nearly $110 per month, according to Leichtman. That makes cutting the cord just about the quickest and easiest way to save money on a tight budget.
However, while pay-TV services are on the decline, they’re far from dead. At the end of 2019, 86.2 million Americans still subscribed to pay-TV services. That means about 75% of TV-viewing households are paying over $1,300 a year for their shows.
If you’re one of the folks still paying through the nose for TV service, the thought of cutting the cord has probably at least crossed your mind, but you may have wondered what else you’d do to relax and unwind at the end of the day.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to entertain yourself at home for a lot less than $110 per month. If you’re ready to stop wasting money on a pricey TV subscription, here are some alternatives worth trying.
One of the main reasons so many people are canceling their cable is that there are more ways than ever to watch TV without it. Not only are the new streaming services and devices cheaper than cable or satellite TV, but they’re also more convenient. With a streaming service, you don’t have to be home at a particular time to catch your favorite show. Instead, you can view it anytime, anywhere, on any device that can connect to the Internet.
If you’re planning to cut the cord and switch to a streaming service, you have lots of options to choose from. The most popular streaming services include:
Hulu offers you access to a vast selection of TV series past, present, and original. It’s probably the best service for keeping up with your favorite shows from the big networks since new episodes are usually available the day after they air. Hulu includes some movies as well, though not nearly as many as its rival Netflix.
The service works on a wide array of smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, and dedicated streaming devices. A basic Hulu subscription costs $6 a month with the first month free, but it costs an extra $4 a month to watch without ads.
As its name suggests, Netflix specializes in movies, but it’s also known for its original series, such as “Stranger Things” and “Orange Is the New Black.” The service offers current-run TV shows, but new episodes can take months to show up on the site, and old seasons eventually expire and disappear.
You can stream Netflix videos through a wide variety of devices, including PCs, tablets, and gaming consoles, or download them to watch offline. Netflix plans start at $9 a month, and your first month is free.
3. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video gives you access to a large collection of movies and TV series, including original series, which you can either stream or download to watch later. It’s included for free with a $119 Amazon Prime yearly subscription, or you can get it as a stand-alone service for $9 a month. You can stream Amazon Prime Video through most streaming TV devices, as well as smart TVs, Blu-Ray players, iOS and Android mobile devices, and game consoles.
4. HBO NOW
If you’re hooked on HBO shows, HBO NOW is the way to watch them without paying for a pricey cable package. For $15 a month, you’ll get access to all of HBO’s series — both new ones like “Westworld” and older ones like “The Wire” — as well as a wide array of popular films.
The downside is that the only TV shows you can watch with this service are HBO series. If you want a wider choice of content, you can get HBO as an add-on to other streaming services, including Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. HBO NOW works on most streaming devices, as well as mobile devices and some game systems. You can also watch over the Web on any Internet-connected device.
Introduced in 2019, Disney+ offers access to all movies and TV shows made by Disney and its subsidiaries, including Pixar, Marvel, 21st Century Fox, and National Geographic. This site also features the entire Star Wars series and all spinoffs, including the new series “The Mandalorian.”
Disney+ content is available for both online and offline viewing. You can watch on a wide variety of streaming devices, mobile devices, gaming systems, and Web browsers. The service costs either $7 per month or $70 per year after a one-week trial period.
6. Sling TV
Sling TV is different from other streaming services. Instead of giving you a catalog of shows to watch when you like, it gives you live access to a variety of network and cable channels — like a traditional pay-TV service, only cheaper.
You can choose one of two basic packages, each with different channels, for $30 a month, or combine the two for $40 a month. There’s also a new “Sling Free” service that gives you access to a limited number of live channels and a modest catalog of on-demand content at no charge. You can watch Sling TV on all major streaming devices, as well as smartphones, tablets, computers, and gaming consoles.
The basic version of YouTube is free and supported by ads. It offers a wide variety of video content, from short clips to full episodes of Internet-based series. For $12 a month, you can upgrade to YouTube Premium, formerly known as YouTube Red. It lets you watch without ads, download videos for later viewing, and access YouTube original series like “Mind Field.”
For $50 a month, you can stream live TV from over 70 networks through YouTube TV. The service gives you six accounts per household and unlimited cloud DVR storage. It’s available nationwide, but the selection of channels varies by area.
7. Pluto TV
Pluto TV is a completely free app that works on most streaming devices, as well as computers and Apple and Android phones. It offers more than 250 channels in such categories as news, sports, and comedy, as well as thousands of movies. You won’t find the top hit shows here, and there’s no way to watch without ads, but you can’t beat the price……..Read More>>