Every day I hear of more families eliminating the cable TV bill from their budget. It’s in the news, tycoon television companies are losing subscribers by the hundreds of thousands. In my home, cable TV was simply background noise. I watch a few primetime shows regularly on ABC, NBC and FOX. My concern was finding those channels, and it was easier than expected.
Here are some alternatives to cable TV:
Antenna: (FREE) You may be surprised to learn, an antenna can pick up the major channels, including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and CW. Antennas don’t need to go on your roof, many are placed on the table, at your window or the back of your TV. The kind of antenna you need is dependent on your location. If you’re further away from the city, you need a stronger antenna. If you’re in the city, a simple antenna may suffice. To find out what channels are available in your area, visit www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps.
Hulu: ($7.99 per month) Hulu provides primetime TV shows from big name TV networks the day after airing. Plus, classic favorites including Seinfeld, The X-files, South Park and many award-winning, original shows including “The Handmaid’s Tale.“
Hulu Live: ($40 per month) Hulu Live offers regular Hulu service plus (live) channels including local news stations, Disney channels, TRUTv, Animal Planet and more.
Netflix: ($8-16 PER MONTH) Netflix has a buzzworthy lineup of series, documentaries and movies such as Birdbox, Grace & Frankie, Orange is The New Black, Tidying Up and so many more. The list of content on Netflix is endless and always changing. Netflix is providing the large TV networks a run for their money with a compelling lineup of entertainment at a fraction of the cost.
SlingTv: ($25 PER MONTH) SlingTV offers live TV! It has different packages to meet your channel needs, plus add-ons like a $5 kid’s package to include the channels you can’t live without.
HBO Now, Starz or Showtime: ($15 PER MONTH) Don’t want to give up your premium channels? These networks offer a standalone stream service.
Amazon Prime Video: (INCLUDED IN AMAZON PRIME MEMBERSHIP) Amazon Prime Membership offers free 2-day shipping, cloud services, inside deals, Amazon music and prime video. Prime Video offers award-winning original amazon shows including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Jack Ryan, and The Man in the High Castle. Plus kid-friendly content including classic books turned into video, movies and series.
If you’re wondering how you get these services to your TV, it’s simple. While many newer televisions are “Smart TVs” and come already equipped with the apps you need, regular TVs can stream these services with a plug-in streaming device, such as Amazon Firestick, Roku or Google Chromecast (each around $30). Installation of these devices is extremely easy.
You must have internet service to stream these apps, and if your internet service has data caps, you may run into streaming issues. Personally, we’ve subscribed to Netflix for $11, Hulu for $8 and free antenna services. We’ve been doing this for 3 years and never miss out on any big TV events. We still see the ball drop, watch any breaking news and the Super Bowl came in crystal clear with an antenna. This reduced our cable bill from $60 a month to just $19! Over a year, that’s a savings of $492! Each of these services is available as a trial, so give them a shot and see what works best for you and your budget.