10 Best Streaming Alternatives to Cable
Cable TV used to be the go-to source of entertainment. Nowadays, more and more people are cutting the cable cord and switching to something less complicated, more affordable, and available on the go - streaming services. Apartment living already has enough expenses, and cable is one people are choosing to forgo more and more. The most popular alternatives to traditional cable TV are streaming platforms. Most do not require additional devices besides a screen that can connect to wifi, and come in a variety of packages. Even the least dedicated TV viewers are likely to find something they won’t regret paying for. Read on to learn about some of our favorite streaming services.
You can never go wrong with good old Netflix. Netflix does not stream recently-released episodes, but you can view a lot of previously-aired seasons through it. A large library of movies, including foreign cinema, is also available. Recently the brand has been actively producing original content, so a lot of shows are only available on this platform.
- Basic, $7.99/mo. This plan lacks high definition viewing and you can’t stream content on multiple screens, but if you’re going to be the only one using the account, then this might be the best option for you.
- Standard, $10.99/mo. The standard plan includes HD quality and you can stream content on several devices at once.
- Premium, $13.99/mo. Watch content on four screens at once and in 4K quality.
2. Hulu + Live TV
If you’re looking to stay up-to-date on current TV shows, Hulu might be the right streaming service for you. The platform focuses on content that’s being released at the moment, so you will never miss an episode of Chopped.
- Hulu, $7.99/mo. This account provides you with basic Hulu streaming.
- Hulu no ADs, $11.99/mo. As the name states, there will be no ads interrupting your experience.
- Hulu + Live TV, $39.99/mo. With this plan you can also get access to live TV channels.
- Hulu + Live TV no ADs, $43.99/mo. Same as above, but no ads.
3. Amazon Prime Video
With Amazon Prime Video you can purchase or rent videos and shows. Content includes Amazon originals, most of your traditional favorite movies and TV, and recently released cinema and shows from all around the world. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you are in luck, because it allows you to stream some videos for free, including Amazon originals. Currently, Amazon Prime Video is only available to those who have Prime membership.
- Amazon Prime $99/year. The subscription to Amazon Prime includes access to Prime delivery and all of Amazon’s video content.
4. HBO NOW
Love HBO the channel? Then you will definitely love HBO the app! For $14.99 a month you get access to all their shows and recently released movies.
- HBO NOW, $14.99/mo. As simple as that.
5. PlayStation Vue
You don’t need to own a PlayStation to sign up for the service. PlayStation Vue has multiple plans and Cloud DVRs which can record your favorite shows and sporting events.
Levels of streaming access vary by the channels they include, with each new level you get access to more channel.
- Access Level, $39.99/mo. This package includes popular live TV, with its usual array of channels such as: CBS, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CNN, Fox News, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, Food Network.
- Core Level, $44.99/mo. This level of access goes a bit more in-depth. In addition to the channels included in the Access package, this package includes sports channels.
- Elite Level, $54.99/mo. This includes everything from the Core Level, plus movies.
- Ultra $74.99/mo. Everything we listed previously and more! Movies, sports, and premium channels.
6. YouTube TV
YouTube is one of the best know interfaces for video content, which makes it super easy to use. With YouTube TV you can now rent movies in HD quality. An additional perk is that you can create up to five accounts within the same household, under one plan.
- YouTube TV, $40/mo. And you won’t be tied to a provider.
7. Sling TV
If you want a very small package of channels and options, Sling TV could be ideal for you. Sling TV allows you to customize your packages and include or exclude channels you do or don’t want to be paying for.
Just like with PlayStation Vue, which has different levels of streaming access, Sling TV packages vary based on the channels they include, with each new level you get to customize more and pick extra channels.
- Sling Orange, $25/mo. This package includes channels such as ESPN, Disney and more.
- Sling Blue, $25/mo. FS1, FX, and Bravo are part of this package.
- Sling Orange + Sling Blue, $40/mo. Combines the values of the two packages mentioned above.
8. DirecTV Now
DirectTV delivers an experience akin to cable, without being cable. The interface is a bit complicated, but to make up for it there is a bonus: DirectTV now has access to premium channels, such as HBO, for an affordable subscription fee. Keep in mind that by signing up with DirectTV you’ll have to talk to live agents if you happen to have a question.
Depending on the number of channels you want to have access to, the price will vary.
- $40/mo. 65+ channels.
- $45/mo. 90+ Spanish-speaking channels.
- $55/mo. 85+ channels.
- $65/mo. 105+ channels.
- $75/mo. 125+ channels.
9. Crackle & Vudu
Both Crackle and Vudu models are based on the ad-support model, which means movies and television on these platforms are free thanks to advertisements. Vudu’s primary focus is renting out or selling content, but it is rapidly growing its ad-supported library of free cinema, as well.
10. Cable Network Channels Online
Most cable networks will upload most of their content online for free for a limited amount of time. Some networks, such as CBS have paid subscriptions, for as little as $6 per month, with which you can unlock more than 8,500 episodes of different TV content.
- Prices may vary depending on the TV station.
- CBS, $6/mo.