Have you heard about cutting the cord? No, this isn’t when your parents were reluctant to let you go to college so you had to convince them to take a step back and let you be your own person. This is about your television service.
We live in an era of ubiquitous information and data streaming. Because of that, it’s not hard to find workarounds to circumvent traditional methods for a lot of things. People are entirely going without traditional banks and using strictly online banking methods, while others are opting against buying cars and using ride share services exclusively.
Let’s be honest – Cable and Satellite TV are getting outdone. With their lengthy contracts, high prices, and limited selection of channels, it’s making less and less sense to stick with them, and that’s exactly what people are deciding to change. In fact, over 50% of Americans have ditched Cable and are trying out digital streaming methods.
So let’s look at 5 options for cutting Cable and where you can find your favorite television shows!
1. Cut It Out Altogether
This is the cheapest option, but certainly the most restricted. Your first option is literally to do without. While that will save you the most cash for sure, it will also prevent you from catching up on your weekly dose of The Bachelor or the Great British Baking Show.
Now, there is the potential that you have some very generous friend or family member who will lend you their login information for another streaming provider, but once again, you’re limited to their selection. If you cut out cable altogether, you won’t have any of the regular television options.
Bear in mind, though, local television is not outside your grasp. You can purchase an antenna to access local broadcasts for a very low price. If you do, you will have access to a select few channels and can watch without a subscription.
2. Hulu Live TV
Hulu announced several years ago that they’d be releasing a live television streaming service in conjunction with their regular service. Regular subscribers to Hulu rejoiced because you could simply upgrade your standard service and include live television, all for significantly less than the cost of cable.
Hulu Live TV offers options for unlimited screens and high volume DVR, which are fantastic benefits. While it doesn’t have every channel imaginable, Hulu Live TV is an excellent option because of the numerous add-ons and extra packages available.
3. Sling TV
Sling was the original cable cutter. Before any of the other providers entered the market, Sling pioneered the path to leaving cable behind, and for it, we are all forever grateful. Now, with humorous commercials featuring Nick Offerman and wife Megan Mullally, Sling has broken out and is trying to stake its claim as the primary streaming television provider.
Sling provides the most variability in terms of channel lineups – with a variety of packages in addition to truly a la carte options – meaning can select individual channels or groupings of channels to add to your existing subscription. Sling also offers DVR and multiple screens service, but it is not as robust as other offerings. It’s main feature is the truly variable nature of its channel offerings.
4. Youtube TV
Youtube came on strong once the streaming market began picking up. Youtube TV has a variety of offerings that make it very appealing, including its unlimited DVR and wide array of channels.
There are issues that arise with Youtube, just like any other offering, but it is a very solid option, albeit without the same brand identity and positioning as Hulu and Sling. While Youtube is a bigger company overall, the other two have positioned themselves well within the streaming television market and offer some great advantages.
5. DirecTV Now
While DirecTV Now is not my favorite option, it has one major benefit. As a former DirecTV subscriber, I was able to wriggle out of my contract by signing up for DirecTV Now, which I gave a fair shake. However, the streaming service has no contracts, and I was able to cancel it in lieu of Hulu when I took everything for a test drive, and for that, I will always be thankful. Without this streaming service, I would have had to pay an arm and a leg for DirecTV, which was surprisingly underwhelming in comparison to the streaming options.
One of DirecTV Now’s benefits is a huge selection of on-demand channels and shows. Because of their partnership with the satellite provider, they are able to offer an excellent package of shows that you can stream at any time, even more so than Hulu or Youtube. However, their service was, at times, glitchy and unresponsive, and their DVR was underwhelming.
I personally use Hulu, but the rest of the streaming options are all pretty great. The issue is, cable and satellite are just unsustainable these days. Long term contracts are just not feasible with the variability and issues that come with these services.
Cutting the cord has saved my family at least $25 per month (and actually more because we use the DVR service to record shows that we frequently ended up buying on Amazon or in the Apple store). Because we’ve been able to save money with it, we’ve even become the benefactors to our family members, giving them free television because of the unlimited screens option (although I told them all they’re not allowed to use my DVR).
If you’re stuck with cable, you should seriously consider cutting the cord. There are too many options out there to be left in a long-term, unsatisfying contract. It may be difficult to extricate yourself right now, but whenever you get the chance, find the best streaming option for you and your family.