In this post, I just wanted us to discuss some amazing alternatives to cable tv that can save you money.
Cable tv monthly bills are one of the big items of expenditure in most homes.
It is not uncommon to see people paying $100 a month for cable television.
In my own case, I pay a lot of money just to watch some soccer on one of the cable tv companies’ offerings.
If there was no soccer in this world I would probably not even bother to have cable tv in our home.
Because to be honest I would get all of my tv needs from other sources.
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Sometimes I wish there pay on-demand services for my beloved soccer that were reasonably priced as I would opt for that instead.
Unfortunately, the cable tv companies would rather bundle together channels.
Therefore as a soccer fan, I end up having movie channels, etc bundled together with my soccer channels.
I can estimate that I have never watched any program on more than 50% of the channels on my bundle.
Frankly, the money we spend on cable tv could best be used on other important things like investing in stocks.
There are however some cool cable tv alternatives that can save you lots of money every year.
Best alternatives to cable tv
Below are some of the cable alternatives that I have managed to find for you.
If you have broadband internet then Netflix is a cheap alternative to cable. Starting at around $9, you can have access to a library of movies and television shows. Unfortunately, I cannot have my soccer on Netflix but if you are a moviegoer then Netflix is super.
Recently Netflix has been spending millions to create its own content. Some of those include The Crown, Stranger Things, House of Cards drama series.
If you are interested in subscribing to Netflix here are the three plans available:
Basic Plan: This costs 9 dollars a month. For this plan, you can only watch Netflix on one screen at a time and is not available in high definition or ultra-high definition.
Standard Plan: This is an improvement on the basic plan and it offers HD and you can watch on two screens at one time.
Premium Plan: The major advantage of Premium is that you can watch ultra-high definition and can watch on 4 screens at one time.
2. YouTube TV
YouTube TV is a “new kid on the block” internet-based television service.
As the name, YouTube TV suggests, this service is run by YouTube which is a subsidiary of Google.
It offers live TV streaming from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, and other popular cable networks.
Besides live TV it also offers on-demand video and cloud-based DVR.
As compared to cable tv which has a limited storage capacity, YouTube TV DVR has unlimited storage capacity.
You can, therefore, save as much content as you want.
As someone who loves to record a lot of programs I like, this is a big plus for me.
This is because I have been in situations before where I discover that my decoder or my cable tv box is full and cannot take any more recordings.
I enjoy recording programs as it gives me a bit of flexibility as to when I can watch them. It is, therefore, something I look for when considering anything related to television.
YouTube TV Costs: The cost is now $50 per month which is a bit expensive but I would take it because of the unlimited storage capacity offer.
3. Sling TV
This is yet another internet streaming service that you can use on TVs, tablets, phones, computers, gaming consoles, etc.
Sling TV is an American service and Sling TV LLC is a Dish Network’ wholly-owned subsidiary.
With Sling TV you can watch live TV programs from some of the most popular channels such as CNN, History, ESPN, etc.
You have a choice of two services Sling Orange and Sling Blue and to these, you can add any extras you may need.
Under Sling Orange basic you are offered 30+ channels which include, CNN, Disney Channel, History, etc.
While if you opt for Sling Blue basic you will have over 40+ channels that you can watch which includes, National Geographic, Comedy Central, FOX, Discovery, etc.
Sling also offers Cloud DVR for $5 which is a bit of a let down when you consider that YouTube offers the same for free.
On the positive side, I also like the fact that Sling does not tie to some long term contracts like most cable TV providers.
This means that if you are not happy you can cancel online anytime without worrying about cancellation fees or penalties.
In terms of cost, Sling is a little bit cheaper than YouTube TV. It now costs you $45 per month to have both Sling Blue and Sling Orange. A difference of just $5 from YouTube TV’s $50 per month.
Another alternative to cable TV is Hulu which is majority-owned by The Walt Disney Company.
It is an online streaming service that offers both live and on-demand television to its US users and costs only $5.99 for the basic service.
The basic service offers you access to the Hulu streaming library. Their library includes full seasons of exclusive series, hit movies, Hulu originals, kids shows, etc.
It will cost you more for add-ons such as live TV channels.
Hulu + Live TV costs $54.99 per month. Besides access to the streaming library you will also have access to 60+ live and On Demand TV channels.
The channels include live Sports channels through which you can watch, English Premier League, NCAA, NBA, NHL, NFL, etc. Some of the live Sports channels include ESPN, CBS, FS2, TNT, etc.
For those who like me enjoy watching live news tv then you too are taken care of. News channels that are available on Hulu+live tv include, CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, etc.
The Hulu+live tv also provides children TV from channels such as Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Cartoon Network, etc. All children of all ages are taken care of through these kid-friendly channels.
Some of the add-ons available for an extra cost:
HBO: For an extra $14.99 per month you can add HBO. This will enable you to watch hit movies, comedy specials, etc.
CINEMAX: You can get CINEMAX for an extra $9.99 per month. Through Cinemax, you will have access to hundreds of hit movies, original series, etc.
SHOWTIME: If you are a fan of SHOWTIME you can add it for an extra $10.99 per month. With Showtime you can watch comedy specials, sports, and movies.
STARZ: One can get STARZ for an extra $8.99 per month. STARZ offers movies and some original series.
Hulu is available on various platforms that include, browser-based, through Android, iOS tablets and phones. It is also available through smart TVs, Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast.
5. Amazon Prime Video
As the name suggests, Amazon Prime video is provided by Amazon plc.
It is an internet-based streaming service. Through Amazon Prime Video you can watch popular movies, TV shows, and Amazon Originals.
There are two ways you can get to watch Amazon Prime Video. The first option is you can access it as a standalone membership by paying $8.99 per month.
Secondly, you will have access to Amazon Prime Video when you sign up for Amazon Prime membership.
Amazon Prime membership costs $12.99 per month.
As an Amazon Prime member, you will receive benefits such as free and fast shipping for some qualifying purchases, exclusive deals, and streaming of music, movies and TV shows.
I should state here that I use Amazon Prime Video through my Amazon Prime membership.
Even though I rarely use it because I am not a fan of movies and series etc.
I have however fallen in love with it again after they started showing some live soccer games from the English Premier League.
This is not the first time they are showing live sports as they have in the past also shown some live tennis too.
I am however not a big fan of tennis and I only watch to see one or two tennis players. The game-changer for me has been the addition of live soccer.
6. Antenna TV
If you just want to access free TV then the best option if for you to just by a digital TV antenna and watch free tv from your area.
This will set you back by just twenty or so dollars.
And it is a one-off payment that you can use for a number of years and you can use the money you spent on cable tv on other important things.
Once that is done then you will be able to access free tv by connecting your antenna to a TV that has an inbuilt tuner.
Most modern TVs nowadays have tv tuners as standard.
In most areas, you can have access to at least 20 free television channels through your TV antenna.
Through these free channels, you will be able to watch sports, news, children, nature and other tv programs.
To be honest, it won’t take long before you find out that you won’t miss much television by switching to this option.
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As you can see there are so many alternatives to cable tv out there.
Cable tv is not indispensable as the cable tv companies would have us believe through their adverts.
It is all up to you to decide whether to go for free antenna tv or go for the so many internet streaming services that are now available.
Depending on your pocket and needs you can pick the cable alternative that works for you.
Please share your alternatives in the comments section below.