9 Best Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Save You Money

Best Alternatives to Cable TV

In my opinion, young people who have grown up with all the streaming options available should consider the best alternatives to cable TV (an effective way to save money).

When I moved out on my own and began my new work, it was obvious that I didn’t want to pay for cable.

I reasoned that it would be better to pay for the Internet because I use my phone, Wi-Fi, and other devices often. 

You can save more than $1300 a year using free streaming services like The Roku Channel and Tubi.

A recent poll found that Roku customers can save over $70 per month compared to cable.

Starting to save is simple since there are no ongoing costs like cable’s monthly equipment fees, taxes, and hidden fees.

So, in this post, I’ve listed the nine best alternatives to cable TV to avoid paying for basic cable plans offered by cable companies and help you save money.

Why not just have it and watch TV with it?

1. Netflix

The first on my list of best alternatives to cable TV is Netflix. Netflix is a streaming service for TV shows and films that has recently started releasing original shows and films of its own. They are enormous. Like the highly acclaimed films they watch on their site, they also take home trophies at the Golden Globes and other events. Three main kinds of Netflix plans are available (basic plan, standard plan, and premium plan).

Let’s begin by reviewing the features, price, and basic plan. The base package costs $7.99. like all the programs, it offers a free first month of service upon enrollment, which is helpful. You may try it out. With any of the plans, you may also cancel at any moment.

It’s quite aggravating because the basic plan only allows you to view it on one screen at a time. It’s possible that you know of a friend of theirs who joined Netflix and gave their flatmate or neighbor access to their login details. With the basic plan, you get unlimited movies and television shows, but know that you can only watch on your TV, phone, or laptop anytime. 

That’s fine and great and kind, but know that if you go to watch and they have to be watching simultaneously, you’ll get this notification that my family is all too familiar with that says, “Sorry, check back again later. Another user is using the service right now. You can’t play this on your TV, your laptop, your tablet,

The standard plan differs from the basic plan in that you get HD streaming. You can stream on two different devices at the same time. So now you and your roommate can watch Netflix at once, or your neighbor, whoever you shared your login with, which is a huge plus. Like, two is definitely better than one. So, at the bare minimum, I would get the standard plan because I think two screens are just playing it safe. The rest of the features are the same. 

But then you have the Macho-man premium plan on Netflix, one of the best alternatives to cable TV, which will cost you $11.99 per month; this is what my family has. This allows for four people to watch at one time. So, this is why I’m such a moocher, and I don’t pay for the service because it’s cheaper to have us all on one family plan than it would be for all of us to individually pay the ten dollars or eleven, twelve dollars a month.

This allows HD, Ultra HD, and four devices to run simultaneously, and then you have all the features that every other service offers. So again, the first month is free, with unlimited access to TVs and movies, and you can watch it on your TV, laptop, and tablet. If you’re going to get one service, this needs to be one of the things I name. But let’s keep going. Maybe something else appeals to you more.

2. Hulu

Hulu is among the best alternatives to cable TV when I went through it. I think they’re trying to be like cable. Starting with the cheapest one, the Hulu streaming library, for $7.99 per month, you have limited access to different episodes in a TV season. But it is sorry because you’ll have ads. However, with a $4 extra payment, you can avoid that.

I’ve had a Hulu subscription called Hulu Live TV. And this is where it starts to get a lot like cable. So you pay $39.99 a month and have access to the Hulu streaming library, 50+ live and on-demand channels, local live TV, regional sports networks, and a network of on-demand libraries. 

I love it. This is how I keep up with the new shows that are coming on TV. You’ll get regular live TV ads and breaks because you’re just streaming live television, and you get six people who can use this service for $40 a month. But the kicker is that only two screens can run simultaneously. So, if you’re splitting this six ways, only two people can watch at a time, and the odds of that happening are pretty slim. 

Here is a take:  if you tack on an extra $15 a month, we’re now looking at $45. You can hack on a DVR service to it, and now you can have unlimited screen viewing at once for that extra $15. I don’t think $60 a month saves you that much money. 

If you want to enjoy Hulu as one of the best alternatives to cable TV, my advice is to go with that basic, like Hulu streaming library service for $8.00, or if you don’t want the ads, go with the $12 per month. And I’m sharing with you all these crazy-priced services on Hulu because I didn’t know about them until I went to do the research for this post. 

It would be interesting for you to know that if your cable provider charges you, you know, umpteen fees, and it ends up being over $60, this could be a really good thing for you. Also, a good transition into getting away from cable since it’s pretty much the same if you save some money. Just a heads up for you there.

3. Amazon Fire Stick

Another one of the best alternatives to cable TV that I could use is Amazon Fire Stick. And guess what it looks like?  It’s like a little black plastic USB port that plugs into my TV. This allows you to watch your Amazon Prime instant video from it. It also allows you to download up to ten. You can also download from one of their ten thousand apps and games. When you check their review, you will see why people love it.

The other thing about the Fire Stick is that it has Alexa voice remote control. You can only control certain things, like the volume, or on and off the TV, but if you want to pull up specific shows or apps, you must have this Alexa voice remote. So, something to keep in mind if you are curious about it.

4. Roku

This is pretty much exactly like the Fire Stick. I just wanted to give you another option on the best alternatives to cable TV because I know there are Roku users out there. Roku comes in various models, so the price can range from $30 to $100, and you’ll get different features with different models. 

Know that the basic model will not allow you to have 4K streaming, so just be aware if you’re all about the 4K quality. Then you will have to pay at least $70 to get that. The Roku comes with the Roku channel, which offers free movie access. 

So it’s similar to those free sites where you can stream free movies, but you’re going to be dealing with commercials, and it’s the same movies you could stream from those other sites. And if you’re a cord cutter and want to watch any of your local shows, you can get an HDTV antenna and watch your local shows and news on your TV. Again, if you want any of those local channels and don’t want to buy an antenna, you can watch them on your tablet, phone, or laptop.

With Roku, you can subscribe to streaming services. This is one where it’s just like with Netflix, where you get the first month free but then pay monthly afterward. Some of those apps are CBS All Access, HBO Go, Sling TV, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Starz, and Showtime, and many of these also have special deals with Roku.

5. Game System

If you own a PlayStation, Wii, Xbox, or any other game system, you can consider it one of the best alternatives to cable TV. You can stream YouTube, Netflix, ABC, NBC, ESPN, or anything directly from your gaming system. You might not need to purchase something like the Fire Stick, Roku, or any other devices I will discuss. 

Additionally, if you own a smart TV—the majority of them these days will be Samsung models, so think of the major brands, LG, and so on—you can stream YouTube and Netflix directly from your smart TV. That’s right, so you might not need to spend an additional 50 to 100 dollars on a streaming device if you already own a game system or smart TV.

6. Apple TV

Apple TV starts at $149 with free shipping and free returns. So it comes in 32 or 64 gigabytes. The only differentiating factor between the two is the storage space. If you’re going to be downloading many apps and games, and you know that you will be using them all the time, then go for it. 

The big difference between Apple TV and some other streaming devices is that you can game and have an app store with Apple TV. Another cool feature is its voice search, similar to the Alexa voice control that the Amazon Fire Stick has. 

So I think that that’s a cool feature that Apple TV offers. It’s the universal search. This is kind of cool. So, say that you don’t know where one of your movies is. If you paid for it through Apple TV, you could type in the search box, and you’ll be able to find it. So I think that it’s cool and convenient that Apple offers that. 

The last thing is if you have HomeKit devices, you’ll be able to control them directly from your TV, which is nice. So, if you have the Phillips, you can control the dimness of your lights and the color and stuff, and you can do that directly from your TV. And then again, if you buy an Apple TV, you’re getting a $45 deal off of Sling TV when you prepay for three months of the subscription service; then, it’s the same as the Roku offer/ You get the three-month subscription service after the discount.

7. Kodi

Kodi is a really popular one. This is a free streaming service, and Kodi offers all the movies that you can imagine, TV shows, games, music, and everything that you could ever think of. And there’s nothing that’s off-limits with this. It is like your freebie way to get all the TV shows and movies you want. 

There are other ones out there that you can buy and invest in; just be aware that this one is free, but you will be dealing with pop-up ads and many commercials. They can show anything. So, if it’s a movie that recently appeared in the theaters, you can find it here. 

8. Amazon Prime Instant Video

I use this because my parents pay for it, and I can access all the shows and movies, which is nice. It’s $99 for the annual membership or $10.99 monthly if you want to pay monthly.

The annual membership also comes with free two-day shipping on your orders from Amazon. I think it’s worth the money, and again, I get all these shows for free. But if you’re not going to be shopping on Amazon, then maybe you should do one of these other options, such as Netflix, Hulu, or something else. You can have up to three people, so three can watch this simultaneously. 

Like Netflix, you get unlimited access to movies and TV shows and can watch it on your TV, tablet, phone, laptop, everything. Having checked their review, I like this option. Amazon Prime is just a bonus, and you get all the stuff that comes with it.

9. YouTube

Many people know you can watch YouTube on your streaming device, whether a smart TV, an Xbox, or a Roku. So, this is a good option among the best alternatives to cable TV because you can get the current TV shows and movies recently released. 

If you don’t want to pay for the streaming services I talked about or the streaming devices, you can do it this way. There are a million other shows on YouTube as well. I mean, I could go on and on about this. YouTube has endless TV shows and movies you can watch and find many things. 

For example, I’m a big fan of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. So, on there, I can find full episodes of the first season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. So, to give you an idea, this is like the freebie way to get shows. Remember that you will have to deal with many ads and commercials, but that’s okay because you get the shows and movies for free.

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