When it comes to services that help you save money, cable is never on that list. Most people despise that monthly bill, even if they enjoy watching television, as the cost often seems extreme compared to the value. This general disdain for the price of television services – texnikoi tileoraseon – spurred a new market of options that function as alternatives to cable and satellite tv.
Over time, people have adopted these alternatives, officially ditching cable and satellite television (cord cutters!) without having to miss out on their favourite shows. But these days, there’s so many options that it can actually be hard to choose. To be considered a great alternative to cable and satellite tv, the service needs to be affordable and offer a reasonable amount of programming for the cost. Luckily, there are quite a few options that meet those criteria. If you want to lower or eliminate that burdensome tv bill, here are the 15 best alternatives to cable for 2020.
A whole new world is coming your way soon thanks to Disney’s streaming service. At this point, Disney basically owns everything, so why not step into the streaming service space? Now you can watch original shows and films along with classic favourites from Disney’s catalogue, like Frozen, Mary Poppins and everything else in between. Oh, and we do mean everything else. Let’s not forget all the Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and National Geographic you can handle (because remember, Disney rules the world and owns all of those things).
But get this: The Disney+ triple package bundle will also offer Hulu and ESPN+. So if watching sports was the only reason you were clinging to your cable cord, your excuse just met its match. Of course, ESPN+ doesn’t carry every single athletic game known to humankind, so just keep that in mind there, sport.
Hulu is a great option if you want to watch a Hulu original series or currently airing shows right after they broadcast. The only catch? Unless you want to upgrade to the commercial-free version ($12), you’ll have to sit through some repetitive ads. So if you’d rather not wait to keep watching, maybe cough up the extra six bucks. Still, it’s one of the best cable alternatives on the market.
3. Hulu Live
If you love streaming Hulu’s shows but also want access to things like live sports and news, then opting for Hulu Live might be the right fit for you. Sure, watching shows live in real time is nice, but the best thing about Hulu Live might just be the ability to record shows and watch them later.
Netflix is a great place for binge-watching entire seasons all at once. But unless it’s a Netflix original series, you’ll have to wait until a season finishes airing to get started. But hey, no commercials! And you just can’t beat how easy it is to access Netflix. You probably have 10 devices in your house right now that came preloaded with the Netflix app. But if you want to use Netflix on more than one device at once, you’ll have to upgrade to the standard ($13) or premium ($16) plan.
5. Amazon Prime Video
That’s right! Amazon—it’s not just for shopping. It’s a major contender in the online streaming market. A membership to Amazon Prime Video gives you access to a wide selection of popular movies and TV series, plus a bunch of Amazon original series. And if Prime Video doesn’t include the show or movie you want to watch, you can usually pay to download it outright (you own it) or rent it. But just remember, if it’s a “rental” your access to it will expire.
If you can afford it and you’re a frequent Amazon shopper anyway, an even more cost-effective option is to opt for Amazon Prime for $13 a month. If you pay for it as an annual membership it’s one payment of $119. That comes out to just $9.91 per month (which is about a dollar more than the monthly basic Prime Video rate). Plus, you get access to all the other Amazon Prime perks, like free two-day shipping.
6. Apple TV+
Being the dominant tech company of the universe wasn’t good enough for them, so look out world, here comes Apple’s own streaming service! Just like their powerhouse contenders Netflix and Amazon, Apple TV+ will showcase their own original television series and movies. And at just $5 per month, Apple is coming out swinging. To top it all off, if you purchase an Apple device, you’ll get the streaming service for free for an entire year. If you were already saving up for a new gadget, they just sweetened the deal.
7. HBO NOW, Showtime, or Starz
After HBO launched its own streaming service a few years ago, Showtime and Starz wised up and followed suit. You can subscribe to each as stand-alone services or add them to your Amazon Prime, Hulu, Roku, or Apple TV accounts for an extra fee.
8. Sling TV
With Sling, there’s no more waiting on a show to air. You can watch it live just like with cable or satellite, except you’re watching over the internet! The basic package includes 30 live channels like AMC, CNN, ESPN, ESPN2, HGTV and the Disney Channel. You can get Sling Blue or Sling Orange (each with a different line-up of networks) for $25, or get both for $40. There are also $5–10 add-on packages for sports fans, movie buffs and your little ones too.
9. HDTV antenna
If you really want to cut back, all it takes is an antenna. Luckily, they’ve come a long way since your grandma’s rabbit ears. Not only do they look better than the finicky metal rods, but the HD quality is better.
If traditional cable still has your heart, fear not—here comes Philo to the rescue. You can get 58 popular cable channels like Nick, AMC, TLC, and yes, even Hallmark for $20 a month. Philo’s biggest claim to fame? You can stream it on up to three devices and record as many shows as you want. That means no more family feuds over what you watch every Friday night!
11. Cable network channels online
Most major networks post recently aired episodes to their websites for a limited amount of time. CBS even offers online viewers an additional paid subscription option (starting at $6 per month) to unlock more than 10,000 episodes of everything from Frasier to The Brady Bunch.
And if you own a smart TV or other streaming device (like Apple TV or Roku), you can download many network apps straight to your device and watch there—and most of them are free! Why, hello, reruns of Fixer Upper!
YouTube is known for hosting thousands of viral videos. But it’s also a great place to learn. In the span of a few minutes, you can discover everything from how to fold a fitted sheet to how to make delicious recipes that won’t bust the budget. You can even watch many classic shows and movies there too!
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