14 Best Alternatives To Cable TV
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People are sick and tired of high cable bills and committing to lengthy TV plans. Fortunately, other options exist which enable you to up your TV-viewing game and save money on your monthly bills.
With so many alternatives to cable TV, you might have a tough time picking one. Some focus on specific genres of television and movies while others include an expansive array of options.
Benefits of Cable TV Alternatives
Cable TV alternatives provide viewers many benefits over traditional cable TV:
- Cost-efficient: Cable television alternatives are often less expensive or even free to access. With rising costs of many cable television plans, it’s nice to know there is a cost-efficient option available and you have ways to save money.
- Extra options: Certain movies and shows are only available on specific cable television alternatives.
- Selection: No more flipping through channels. With alternative options, you can select the channels, movies, and shows best suited to your tastes.
- Free trials: Most cable alternatives give you a week or more for free; you can get a feel for each service before committing.
Top 14 Alternatives to Cable TV
Ready to learn more about TV viewing options besides cable? Here are 14 offerings to consider:
1. Sling TV
Sling TV lets you stream live television online. You pick the channel lineup you like, enabling you to personalize your TV-watching experience.
Two packages are available through Sling TV: Sling Orange (33 channels) and Sling Blue (48 channels). Sling Blue, the premium package, offers additional channels from Fox and NBC. It also lets you stream on up to 3 devices at once.
And, when you’re figuring out what to watch on Sling TV, you’re sure to love the various menu offerings that will help you to target the perfect show for your viewing pleasure.
What you’ll pay: You’ll pay $15 for the first month for either the Orange or Blue package and then $25 per month after. Bundling them will cost you $25 for the first month and $40 per month if you want both.
Why you’ll like it: Sling TV is cheap live TV with a solid variety of channels.
Philo has both live and on-demand TV. They offer 58 channels, including A&E, Food Network, Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, TLC, and more.
Philo lets you DVR record as many shows as you want and save them for up to 30 days.
What you’ll pay: Philo costs $20 per month and is currently offering a seven-day free trial to see if this service is for you.
Why you’ll like it: Philo is an ideal choice for entertainment as it offers a lot of channels for only 20 bucks a month!
3. AT&T TV Now
AT&T TV Now, formerly DirecTV Now, is a live and on-demand TV streaming service with two package options, both of which include HBO.
This service offers 45+ channels while the AT&T TV Now Max offers 60+ channels. You can purchase access to certain premium networks like Showtime and Cinemax for an additional small monthly fee.
AT&T TV Now customers can records up to 20 hours of their favorite shows using DVR, too.
What you’ll pay: AT&T TV Now is available for $50 per month while the AT&T TV Now Max costs $70 per month. Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz are $11 extra per month each, while Epix is $6 extra per month.
Why you’ll like it: This option is a good one for movie lovers who adore HBO and can’t wait to watch movies on their handheld device or television with a compatible device.
Hulu offers several streaming packages and add-ons to choose from. Each of the streaming packages lets you access over 85,000 TV episodes across many popular channels.
Their 2 main packages are:
- Hulu: Users can access the Hulu streaming library with ads. Spotify Premium subscribers get this plan for free.
- Hulu (No Ads): This package removes the ads for an additional fee.
Hulu offers HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz for additional monthly fees as well.
What you’ll pay: The basic package is $5.99 per month, while the plus package is $11.99 per month. HBO is $14.99 extra, Cinemax is $9.99, Showtime is $10.99, and Start is $8.99.
Why you’ll like it: A large selection of movies and shows and a great degree of customization given the 2 packages and several add-ons.
5. Hulu Live
Hulu Live is an expanded form of Hulu that includes live TV streaming. You can opt for ads or no ads, similar to normal Hulu.
Hulu Live lets you watch TV on up to two screens. If you need more screen access, you can grab an upgrade for $9.99 per month and have unlimited screen access.
What you’ll pay: You’ll get everything that the Hulu basic package offers plus live streaming and on-demand television channels for $44.99 per month.
Why you’ll like it: Although the price is a bit higher, if you want live television access as well as Hulu’s other benefits but don’t want cable, Hulu Live is a good choice.
Disney+ is ideal for all of the Disney programming lovers out there. From original Disney shows and films to your favorite Disney classics, this cable TV alternative is filled with princesses, good messages, and family-friendly viewing.
Of course, you’ll also have access to everything Disney owns entertainment-wise, including National Geographic, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, and more.
What you’ll pay: Disney+ is $7 per month, but you can prepay a year for $70 to save. They offer a 7-day free trial if you’re unsure about buying.
Why you’ll like it: If you are a fan of Disney and Disney-owned collections, this is a must-buy.
7. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon isn’t just a place to do your online shopping. Amazon Prime Video, its TV and movie streaming service, gives you edge-of-your-seat access to popular movies, television series, and Amazon original movies.
Their selection ranges from classic TV shows to brand new options; they even have their own Prime-exclusive offerings.
What you’ll pay: Amazon Prime Video on its own costs $9 per month. For only $13 per month or $119 per year, you can get the full Amazon Prime subscription with Prime Video as well as the online shopping perks.
Why you’ll like it: If you are an avid online shopper and love original movies, Amazon Prime Video should be on your list.
Netflix, a veteran of the TV streaming industry, has become synonymous with TV streaming. Customers get an impressive library of shows and movies, ranging from comedies to drama and everything in between.
Netflix has tons of classic shows and movies, as well as Netflix-exclusives.
They offer Basic, Standard, and Premium packages. Each subsequent package increases the video quality and lets you watch on more devices simultaneously.
What you’ll pay: The Basic Netflix package is $9 per month. The Standard package is $13 per month, but provides HD viewing and lets you watch on 2 screens. For $16 per month, the Premium package gives you Ultra HD and bumps up to 4 screens. Netflix gives you a 30-day free trial for your choice of plan.
Why you’ll like it: Great selection of classics and Netflix-exclusives for a low price.
9. HBO NOW
HBO NOW offers live streaming services where you can watch HBO favorites like Game of Thrones or Westworld whenever you want.
You can sign up for HBO NOW a la carte or attach it to your other accounts, such as Amazon Prime, Roku, Hulu, and others for an extra fee.
HBO NOW allows unlimited devices per account, making it a great option for large families and avid TV watchers.
What you’ll pay: The cost of HBO Now services starts at $15.
Why you’ll like it: This is a prime choice for HBO aficionados who want to watch HBO on its own or add it to one of their other cable TV alternatives that don’t already offer it.
10. HDTV Antenna
The days of rabbit ears aren’t entirely gone. You can purchase an HDTV antenna to access some pretty stellar channels.
You may not get all that you want, but you can use this option in conjunction with another alternative named on the list.
In addition, over-the-air TV signals offer excellent picture quality.
What you’ll pay: The prices of HDTV antennas will vary depending on the make and model you choose. However, they’re generally inexpensive.
Why you’ll like it: This is a good option for those who may not be avid TV watchers but still want to sneak a peek every once in a while.
YouTube is known for educational and entertaining videos and music, but this is also a spot to see TV shows and watch some movies that may be available.
Granted, the movie selection will be limited relative to paid streaming services, but YouTube’s completely free.
YouTube still over-delivers by constantly updating the movies available for viewing.
What you’ll pay: Best of all, YouTube is free to access!
Why you’ll like it: YouTube is a good option for individuals on a tight budget who aren’t fussy about their viewing selection.
12. YouTube TV
If you like YouTube but want to expand your options and are willing to pay for it each month, YouTube TV is something to check out if you’re looking to supplement your free movies and shows with live TV.
On YouTube TV, you can stream more than 70 channels and you get access to cable TV channels in your local area. You can stream on up to 3 devices at once with one account, and you get unlimited DVR to save your favorite shows.
What you’ll pay: YouTube TV is a pricier option at $50 per month, but you get the convenience of live-streaming TV wherever you want without paying for a standard cable package (which tends to cost about the same amount as YouTube TV).
Why you’ll like it: YouTube TV is perfect for individuals who
13. Cable Network Channels Online
If you have internet access and some favorite cable network channels, see if they offer their shows online.
Many networks make television shows and episodes available in an online format so you don’t even need cable TV or an antenna to watch them.
Some of the network channels you can watch online include CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, CW, and other popular channels.
What you’ll pay: These are usually free!
Why you’ll like it: This is ideal for those who have a cable network channel they love and are happy sticking with one channel.
14. Free TV Apps
You can access many exciting free options one your smartphone and/or other entertainment devices by using free TV apps such as PBS Kids, Cartoon Network, Pluto TV, and others.
What you’ll pay: Nothing!
Why you’ll like it: A wide array of options, whether you’re looking for kids’ cartoons or movies for adults.
Cable TV Alternatives Provide Cost-Efficient and Convenient Entertainment
Thanks to these cable TV alternatives, you no longer have to spend a lot of money on cable television nor do you have to lock yourself into a lengthy contract.
Now, you can pick and choose your services based on what kind of TV viewer you are and what shows/movies you like.
But what if you can’t decide on one? How do you pick the perfect streaming service for you?
The key to beating paralysis analysis when choosing a cable TV alternative is to determine what features are most important to you, then looking for a service that has as many of those features as possible while staying within your budget.