Switching away from traditional cable and satellite can save you significant money without compromising your digital experience!
The days of contracts, overpriced television, and expired promotions are over. Instead, you should look to a la carte television options that let you pay for only the channels you need.
The future consists of watching TV on your time and your budget without a contract.
I have saved thousands of dollars (literally) and a tremendous headache by not dealing with satellite contracts and high cable prices. Despite switching to a prepaid service, I still get to enjoy premium TV and my favorite series at a fragment of the cost.
If I’m not over paying for TV then neither should you. That’s why I’m here to share these options with you and help you tailor them to your needs!
Below are 5 of my favorites for replacing cable TV or satellite and gaining your way to television independence.
HOW CORD CUTTING WORKS
Cord cutting means eliminating cable and satellite TV in favor of internet television. This works by companies offering “TV” style services through your internet instead of installing a satellite or using cable. These options bring a tremendous opportunity for freedom and financial savings; allowing you to be in better control of what you watch and how much you pay.
Examples of “cord cutting” options include:
Also local channels, premium movie services, and traditional favorite such as Netflix!
With so many awesome options at a fraction of the price there is no reason not to drop that satellite subscription and change your service to on-demand instead!
What You Will Need
The next thing is understanding how to access these services. First of all, you will need the internet. This of course is easy enough, and something most households in this decade.
Next, you will need a way to access these services through the internet. This will require some type of online streaming device. Of course phones, computers, and iPads work; however, for TV you will need one of the following options (keep in mind many come free as cord-cutting incentives):
nearly any Smart TV
Video Game Consoles (Like a playstation, etc…)
You will need something that can stream the internet and download apps (to play these streaming services on).
Once you have one of these devices you will need to pick a service and create an account. This can be down easily online. For example, go to slingtv.com and sign up!
To help you decide the perBelow are some of my favorite live streaming options for cord-cutters. These awesome alternatives will make you forget that cable and traditional satellite services even exist.
SlingTV is one of the cheapest options available. Its base package starts at 25$ and can range to over $40 depending on the number of channels and add-ons you want. Sling does not have contracts. Therefore, you can watch and cancel as you please! Below are a few key features of SlingTV.
Packages ranging from $25 - $40+
Arguably the best bang for your buck
Additional add ons available including the Sportsman’s Channel, Outdoor Channel, and Lifestyle Channel. These add on packages usually cost $5.
Sport options include NFL RedZone, NFL Network, Fox Sports North Variants, MLB TV & More
Local channels available (AirTV for locals also available)
Available on all major devices including Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, AppleTV, ChromeTV and more!
If you signup for 3 months of service you can get a free Roku player here.
I personally use SlingTV. This is for two main reasons:
It has the NFL RedZone included (as diehard football fans this is a must)
It has the skinniest and most affordable package
During hunting months we also subscribe to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsmans Channel for a $5 add on.
Finally, depending on your market your locals may be part of the package. You can check on their website. As an alternative you can also invest in an antenna or their “AirTV service”.
Click here for more information regarding that those options.
Did you know PlayStation has come out with its own TV service? It’s called PlayStation Vue and it packs quite the punch to cable and satellite providers.
With PlayStation Vue, you get a much larger pick of entertainment and a few fancier features than compared to Sling. This bigger assortment of channels also comes at a bit of a premium cost starting around $40 and exceeding $80 if you want to go all out.
However, “all-out” also includes movie channels such as HBO and Cinemax. As a bonus these can also be bought as standalone features with one of the cheaper packages.
Locals and sports are also a great option on Playstation Vue, with plenty of channels such as ESPN, Fox Sports North, NBC Sports and more. You can find the whole list of channels available by clicking here.
Playstation Vue options include the following:
Large assortment of channels
DVR capabilities (different DVR options for each user)
Can be viewed on up to 5 devices
Locals in select markets (check their website for more)
Top Package has over 90 Channels + Premium Movie Channels including HBO
Available on Roku, AppleTV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and of course Playstation devices
You can find a full list of channels and learn more at playstationvue.com.
Playstation Vue is a premium version of SlingTV at a premium cost. However, you have more control over what you watch and what you pay for those channels. There also is no cords and no contracts.
This is one of the newer additions to the group and arguably DirecTV's attempt to compete with Sling TV (which is owned by its rival Dish Network).
DirecTV Now has a diverse package of options and comes with it’s own perks such DVR and discounted premium movie channels. Of course, just like with the other services, the amount of local channels available to you depends upon your individual market.
As mentioned previously, having an antenna around is always an added benefit.
A few key features of DirecTV Now include:
Very large selection of channels
Prices range from $40 to $75.
HBO & Cinemax only 5$ each
Starz and Showtime only 8$ each
If you are an ATT subscriber you can get a large discount!
Determining if DirecTV now is right for you depends on two major factors:
If you are an ATT subscriber
If you are a premium movie junkie
DirecTV Now is the perfect option for AT&T users and those who love premium movie networks - such as HBO. However, if you aren’t a power movie watcher or an AT&T customer, then an option such as sling may be more appropriate for you.
Fubo is probably one the best kept secrets, as it isn’t nearly as well known as it’s competitors. If you are a sports fanatic and need to get ALL of your locals, then FUBU is for you. The other providers mentioned above, ONLY OFFER LOCALS TO SELECT NETWORKS. Usually the biggest cities in the country; however, Minneapolis isn't included (which would be somewhat relevant to us). So keep that in mind. We love sports, including hockey and we DO NOT get our locals on our TV because of this placement in our basement. Therefore, when we are in NEED of them, Fubo comes to the rescue. They also offer a diversity of other channels for a total of $34.99. Again, there is NEVER a contract with these. Mix and match as you please!
Local Channels and Sports (no matter where) - NO NFL RedZone
Standard $35 Pricing
Available on AppleTV, Chromecast, Roku & Amazon Fire
ADDITIONAL OPTIONS TO CONSIDER
Remember these aren’t the only options available to you. In fact, there are new prepaid competitive services becoming available all the time. There are also traditional services, such as Netflix, Hulu, or even standalone movies services like HBO that works as a great alternative as well.
What’s Best For You
The only way to find to out which service is best for you is to analyze your television habits, try a few of the services, and come up with a budget. By looking at these three factors you can pick the perfect service for your goals. Most importantly, you aren’t bound by contract and can change from month-to-month depending on your favorite shows or seasons.
Do you want the cheapest live TV options possible? Then look into SlingTV.
Are you a big RedZone fan? Then you also will want to look into SlingTV.
Are movies your primary interest? Then check out DirecTV Now or standalone movie services
If sports are your primary interest then try Fobu first.
Simply interested in saving money while still getting the essentials? Then don’t be afraid to simply try a quality antenna.
Remember, they all have 5 or 7 day free trials - so you can find out which one works best for you!
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