It seems that cable and satellite prices are forever on the rise, but thankfully there are plenty of alternatives. If you don’t mind changing your viewing habits a bit, you could end up saving time and money by “cutting the cord” and consuming your TV entertainment over the internet.
It doesn’t mean you can’t watch live or network TV. On the contrary, there are lots of streaming sites dedicated to showing just that. So to help you decide how best to cut the cord, we’ve put together some options below.
At the simpler end of the spectrum, you can catch up on your favorite shows directly on network websites. There are usually limitations, such as needing to watch commercials, but it’s a fairly easy way of catching up on the best of NBC, ABC, FOX, and CBS.
No, you don’t need a PlayStation. You can use a computer or your favorite streaming device. PS Vue lets you watch local channels, sports, news, movies, and more with customizable plans. You can add premium channels or subscribe to them separately and add them into your Vue account. Even channels like NFL Red Zone are available. There are no annual contracts or hidden fees, so it’s simple to switch or cancel your plan at any time. It also includes cloud DVR, so you can record live shows and watch them later, even from another device. Packages start at $39.99/month and if you’re not sure, you can give it a spin with a 7-day trial for free.
Sling is widely available on TVs, phones, tablets, consoles, and computers. With packages that range from $20-$40, and mini-bundles that add sports, kids, news, and international stations, you get a super-customizable experience that means you only pay for what you want. There’s also a cloud DVR service that lets you record live TV to watch later, which is great for people on the move. Lastly, you can try before you buy: the service offers a 7-day trial so you can see if it’s right for you.
We know what you’re thinking and no, we’re not talking about Philo of Alexandria, the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria in the Roman province of Egypt. We’re referring to a relative newcomer to the TV streaming market. Philo previously offered on-campus internet TV for universities, but has since launched a $16 per month streaming TV service for everyone.
Philo ditches sports in favor of low subscription fees, which may be a dealbreaker for you. However, its core lineup is large, with add-on packages for other channels, and the service also includes a 30-day DVR, plus options to pause live TV, and watch shows that aired in the past three days.
Hulu is a joint venture between Disney, FOX, Comcast, and Time Warner, streaming TV series from each of its network and content partners. Most importantly, there’s a free service that anyone can use, but it’s only available on a PC, and you do have to watch commercials.
Hulu is a direct competitor of Netflix and Amazon, and has started producing its own content too, like critically-acclaimed “The Handmaid’s Tale.” It was also reported recently that the service will soon offer offline viewing and episode downloads, similar to Netflix and Amazon. This will also be available to free users, though you’ll still need to watch ads.
That completes our round-up of the best services to help cut the cord. Have fun picking the right one for you, or just get ’em all.