Are you one of the many consumers who is blindly paying over $100 a month for your cable bill? Do you ever wonder why you are paying so much to watch only a couple of TV channels among a list of 300+ channels you have subscribed to? If you’re keen on paying off debt or saving up some cash, it may finally be time to cut the cable cord. Fortunately, there are free and totally legal streaming options available to make the decision even easier.
Cost effective alternatives to cable TV
Over-the-Air Signals ($0 per month) This has a small upfront cost, of course. You may have to put up a small antenna to help you pick up the signal, plus you may need a digital converter box. Once that’s in place, you can obtain a bunch of digital channels over the air for free, particularly if you’re close to the city where the station comes from.
Hulu Plus ($8 per month) If you prefer to stay current on your favorite TV shows, Hulu Plus is a great alternative. It offers the latest episodes of quite a few currently running series. There’s also a free version of Hulu with ads and a much more limited selection of programming.
Netflix ($9 per month) This is one of the most commonly used alternatives to cable. Netflix requires that you already have some form of broadband internet service and a subscription to their services for a monthly charge. This service has plenty options including full television series, movies, and even some original Netflix productions such as House of Cards. You can enjoy the programs uninterrupted at your own schedule with Netflix. However, you won’t find the latest cable programs on here. If you don’t mind that, Netflix will provide you more television content than you can probably ever watch.
HBO NOW ($15 per month) With HBO now all you need is an internet connection to have instant access to every episode of every season. You can also enjoy popular movies when you subscribe to this service.
Sling TV ($20 per month) Sling TV offers a basic package of cable TV channels including ESPN/ESPN2, AMC, A&E, TNT, Food Network, History, Travel, TBS, HGTV, Disney, CNN, Bloomberg, Lifetime, Cartoon Network, and more. You can optionally subscribe to various channel “packs” for an additional $5 per month to add more sports channels, kids’ channels or movie channels to your Sling TV subscription.
Amazon Prime ($100 per year) This is a service similar o Netflix. You can pretty much duplicate everything said about Netflix with Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime comes with other perks such as free two day shipping for amazon orders & the Kindle lending library.
Do I need additional devices to stream TV?
In your journey of cutting the cable cord you may have to invest on some devices to get access to the different services. Following are your options.
Roku ($49.99 upwards) – This is a one-time purchase that allows you to connect accounts like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO Go to your TV so you can search in one place. It comes with its own offering of free channels like PBS and Crackle, as well.
Chromecast ($35) – This is similar to the Roku. Just plug the device into the HDMI port on your TV to stream content wirelessly from your laptop, tablet or smartphone onto your TV’s big screen.
Amazon Fire Stick ($39 upwards) – This one also functions similar to Roku & Chromecast. Just plug & play and enjoy your favorite shows.
Apple TV ($69) – This is another form of a plug and play device that gives you access to a host of TV channels and movies. You also have the ability to stream from you apple devices directly to you TV.
So what is your verdict? Will you think about cutting the cord and start paying off your debt?