Tired of paying astronomical cable bills? Most of us only watch 17 channels regularly. So why pay such high rates for only watching a handful of networks? Thankfully, there are cord-cutting options out there that can help you save money and watch your favorite shows.
Whether it’s subscribing to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or the DIY simplicity of YouTube, you can stream thousands of movies, channels, and TV shows from your own devices, while saving money in the process. Here is a few options that can help you cut the cord for good.
If you’re in the market for a new TV, put some thought into shopping around for a wifi-enabled smart TV. Most modern flat screens already have ability to connect to the internet, and many also are natively programmed with Netflix, HBO, and other streaming apps. All you need is a reliable router and to pay monthly subscriptions to gain access to all of your favorite streaming services on your living room screen.
If you want more options than those given to you by the few apps enabled on your smart TV, there are several dedicated device options also available to you.
USB plugins like Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, and the Roku Streaming Player provide viewers the chance to customize what apps or services they can stream on their TV. Think of them like miniature operating systems (because that’s what they are) that can give you access to the same kind of marketplace of apps that you can find on your phone, except on a much bigger screen. Most can be purchased for under $100, and with Zebit Market, you can pay over time for all of them.
We come to perhaps the most versatile option for leaving cable companies in the dust; video game consoles. Modern video game consoles are nothing short of all-in-one entertainment centers. Of course, there’s the latest selection of video games to keep your thumbs busy, but this generation of consoles also offer the same type of streaming apps available on your phone or laptop. Aside from those basics, Microsoft’s Xbox One console offers a digital tuner to pick up your local networks, while Sony has gone so far as to offer Playstation Vue, a full-fledged a la carte television package streamed directly to Playstation 4.
The options available for the thrifty viewer don’t end at these choices. Cost-conscience consumers can opt to tether their home computer to their big screen with a display cable, creating a second monitor. Or, if available, opt to use the screen sharing application to toss your phone’s display on the television.
If you don’t need thousands of viewing options and are happy with basic, free cable, get a digital antenna. It hooks up to your TV and no internet service is needed for this option.
Beware! Depending on what you watch, the cost can add up.
Wondering which streaming providers have the networks that your family can’t live without? Check out a list CNET put together here.
Just beware; the price tag can add up! After buying the streaming device and then paying monthly for multiple subscriptions, you could be paying more than your current cable bill. Figure out which shows or channels you can’t live without and then select a service that works best for your cord-cutting needs. Here are a few monthly rates for streaming providers that may work for your family:
- Netflix: $8-$12/month
- Hulu: $8-12/month
- Amazon Prime: $99 annual Prime membership or $9/month for videos only
- Sling TV: $20-40/month
- HBO Now: $15/month
- Showtime Anytime: $11/month
- Starz: $9/month
- CBS All Access: $6/month
- YouTube Red: $10/month
- Playstation Vue: $40-70/month
Most of these services charge a monthly rate, not a 2-year contract with canceling or activation fees like cable companies. So you can turn them on and off as your favorites show’s new season returns or when you have company in town, without paying the subscription all year round.
Next step is calling and canceling your current cable service. Customer Service operators are typically trained to make concessions to keep you as a subscriber. This may mean a reduction in your current cable bill for sticking around. Now you are finally in the driver’s seat! Enjoy!