Tech Tuesday: My Top 5 Alternatives to Cable

WE GOT RID OF CABLE! Did you hear my Instagram stories last night? I finally got Braun to pull the plug and I am reveling in my newly cable-less home. Plus, it’s saving us like $150 bucks a month!

The crazy thing is, we were paying for cable AND a few subscription services each month. We loved to get our shows on vacation or when we laid in bed. We found ourselves watching Netflix or Hulu before we’d even try traditional cable. I honestly couldn’t figure out why we were even paying for cable as long as we did. Price aside, it’s just not convenient! I want to watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it. So cable had to go.

PURSE | JEANS | SANDALS

Like I said, this doesn’t mean we went completely cold-turkey and pulled the plug on all of our in-home entertainment – but we did narrow it down to a few subscription services that we love. We still get ‘our shows’, the tv isn’t on just to be on, and I now have $150 to buy a new pair of sho…I mean, put in the bank.

And we’re not alone! This year alone, roughly 6 million people are expected to ditch satellite and cable, because it’s so dang expensive! One thing to keep in mind as you look for cheap cable TV alternatives is that you may have to combine several options to get the content you want. For example, we use Netflix and Hulu to watch most of our content. The potential savings alone are well worth having multiple services. It’s like you’ve finally been given the option to create the perfect ala carte cable network for yourself!

So if you’re thinking of pulling the plug at your house I’m going to tell you what you need and what subscription services are worth keeping around!

Pulling The Plug

Keep in mind, when you pull the plug on cable, you still need a way to access your apps/subscription services. Roku, Apple, Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Vizio and Sony, as well as the Xbox One video game console will all give you access to your apps.

In my house, we use the Apple TV and the Amazon Fire Stick. We do have smart TVs but we’re pretty much an Apple family (phones, computers, etc) and we typically don’t switch through different devices. The Apple TV has the majority of the apps available and it also allows us to access Family Sharing, which means we can watch all of the movies and tv shows that our family members have purchased on their accounts.

For those of you that have been hanging onto cable because of sports, there are a few options:

Streaming Sports

FUBO TV

FuboTV offers 90-plus channels of sports, news, and entertainment content, easy-to-use DVR capabilities, and reliable performance. One of its main advantages is that it covers practically every major sport and league at the local, national, and international level. FuboTV’s biggest downsides are that it is expensive relative to competitors, only offers 720p streams for most live content, and lacks ESPN programming. Still, for cord-cutters looking to stream the widest variety of sports, fuboTV is your best option. One of the top reasons to consider fuboTV is its sports lineup. The standard plan offers national sports programming from CBS, FOX, NBA TV, NBC, NFL Network, TBS, The Golf Channel, and TNT. Depending on your location, you may have access to regional sports networks (RSNs) too.

One major omission from fuboTV’s sports lineup is ESPN. None of the subscription tiers or add-ons include ESPN programming, which will require you and your hubby to go with a different cable-streaming service. Note, however, that ESPN+, ESPN’s own streaming service does not allow you to stream Monday Night Football either. Here are some other options you can try:

Cable Alternatives & Original Programming

1) Hulu | $5.99/Month with ads | $11.99/Month without ads | $44.99/Month LIVE TV

Hulu is one of the most affordable alternatives to cable and satellite tv. Not only is there original content, but you can also view shows from local channels and some cable networks soon after they air. The baseline service is $8 per month, though you do have to tolerate some highly repetitive ads if you choose this option. If the ads get under your skin, for a $12 a month, you can upgrade to the commercial-free service (totally worth it).

Recently, Hulu also added a live TV plan starting at around $40 per month.

2) Philo | $20/Month for 58 channels

Philo is a relatively new streaming service that has a unique spin – they don’t include sports channels in their offering. While there aren’t any sports channels on Philo, if you don’t mind that, they do have many other popular channels that you may want after cutting the cord. At $20 per month, Philo may be one of the better options to get the shows you want without spending too much. Not having sports available to stream is a big part of how it is able to keep its monthly subscription fee so low.

You can enjoy 58 channels in its cheapest channel bundle, some of which include:

  • HGTV
  • A&E
  • AMC
  • BET
  • CMT
  • DIY Network
  • Food Network
  • Lifetime
  • Nick Jr.
  • MTV
  • Travel Channel

That’s just a partial list. And you can get a 7-day free trial to check out their platform!

SHOP MY FAVORITE AMAZON ITEMS

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3) Netflix | $8.99/Month Basic | $12.99/Month Standard | $15.99/Month Premium

Netflix is the granddaddy streaming service and is super affordable and really accessible. Nearly any internet-connected device can be used to watch Netflix, so it’s about as convenient as possible. In fact, I have yet to find one that doesn’t have Netflix. There are a few pricing plans to choose from, starting around $8 a month. However, every option is commercial-free, which is the BEST!

Along with a massive library of movies and television shows, you also gain access to original series and movies – some of which win big during award season. Plus, you can create multiple viewer profiles on your account, allowing you to separate each household member’s list and recommendations from everyone else.

Plans are relatively cheap, coming in at $8.99, $12.99, and $15.99 per month. Netflix also offers a free month-long trial to test its platform.

  • Basic. The Basic streaming plan costs $8.99 per month and has the most limited features. You can only use it on a single screen at a time (which is fine if you’re the only user of the account), and resolution is limited to standard definition (SD), which is equivalent to old, pre-HD television.
  • Standard. The Standard streaming plan costs $12.99 per month and allows you two watch on two screens at a time in high definition (HD).
  • Premium. The Premium streaming plan costs $15.99 per month. For that, you can watch on four screens at once (ideal for a large family), and you can video programming in HD or 4K Ultra HD, if available.

Plus, you can try Netflix for a whole 30 days for FREE!

4) AMAZON PRIME VIDEO | $119/Year Amazon Prime | $9/Month Prime Video Only

If you pay for Amazon Prime, you already have access to one of the best alternatives to cable available: Amazon Prime Video. But, even if you don’t need Prime shipping, you can also pay for the service on its own for about $9 per month. You can already watch thousands of popular movies and TV shows at no extra cost, including exclusives and award-winning Amazon Originals available in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.

As a bonus, if something you want isn’t on Prime but is available through Amazon, you may have the ability to rent it, including single television episodes! The other thing I love about Prime is that you can download shows to watch later – and you don’t need an internet signal or wifi. Your downloaded shows can be watched midflight or up in the mountains where you’re not getting any service!

Bonus: If you take advantage of Amazon Instant Video by purchasing Amazon Prime you’ll get other benefits. You’ll get on-demand, ad-free music streaming.

In addition, you have access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. This means you can borrow one Kindle book a month free with no due dates. Also, you’ll qualify for free unlimited photo storage and more.

Other benefits to Amazon Prime members include the 5% cash back rewards program that comes with the Prime credit card. In addition, you get a thirty-minute head start on Amazon Lightning Deals. Plus, you can get your first 30 days absolutely FREE!

5) HDTV Antenna | FREE

For those who want to scale back completely, then consider an antenna. HDTV antennas are fairly affordable. Am I the only one old enough to remember rabbit ears? Plus, thanks to digital television signals, the picture quality is usually pretty good!

With an antenna, you can potentially pick up any local broadcast stations, such as:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • NBC
  • FOX
  • CW

…and more for absolutely nothing.

However, you may want to check to make sure you have a reasonable signal before making the switch, especially if you have a favorite show you don’t want to miss! The benefit of using an antenna as an alternative to cable tv is that you don’t need internet service either. You can cut the cord entirely and still keep up with network news and shows all for free!

**BONUS**) DISNEY+ | $6.99/Month | $69.99/Year

Coming November 12th, you have the opportunity now to sign up for Disney+ to be in the Founder’s Circle! Disney+ is bound to be the platform that your family has been waiting for! It’s Disney + Pixar + Marvel + Star Wars + National Geographic and tons more!

When I was at the social media event for influencers and bloggers last week, they gave us a sneak peek at the service and I was totally blown away. Not only are they making their library of content available through this subscription, they have also created tons of original programming just for the platform!

According to Attraction Magazine, it seems as though every movie but The Rescuers is on there. Nevertheless, there’s A LOT to watch, and a lot of time for them to still add it. There’s every movie from Snow White, to Ralph Breaks the Internet. Including all of the movies from the Disney Renaissance era with classics like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King. If you’re behind on your Disney movies, prepare to get your fill.

There are 2 ways you can get a MAJOR discount on Disney+ when it launches in November:

DISNEY VISA CARDHOLDERS

Disney Visa cardmembers are receiving an offer in the mail with details on how you can save on your Disney+ subscription. If you currently are Disney Visa cardmember, then you can enjoy this exclusive discount and become a Founders Circle Member of Disney+.

Currently, cardmembers have a choice of two options:

  • A 2 Year Disney+ subscription for a total of $119 plus taxes, which will save you $20.
  • A 3 Year Disney+ subscription for a total of $169 plus taxes, which will save you $40.

In order to be eligible, you must use your Disney Visa Card to purchase your Disney+ subscription.

DISNEY DESTINATIONS

Disney Destinations is a free Disney Parks and Disney Vacation planning tool. You can subscribe for free and use the MyDisneyExperience website when planning your next Disney trip. Or just sign up and you *should* get an email within shortly with this deal:

I am seriously so excited about this launch!

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And that’s a wrap! Like I said above, I get most of my shows and fix through Netflix and Hulu but the rest are still awesome options and ones I definitely use as well. I hope this made you brave and gives you peace of mind. Now it’s just time to #ditchcabletv!

Xx Tara

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this extensive list of options for ditching Cable / Satellite.
    We are thinking of ditching them soon. Its hard to cut the cord. 🙂

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