Most definitely. With average cable TV costs in the US now rising to $107 per month, they’re beginning to bleed subscribers at an alarming rate. Streaming services are providing a low-cost alternative and have proven they’re able to match the networks for quality with top-rated shows such as Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and Amazon Prime Video’s “The Expanse”.
For a fraction of the cost, TV streaming services provide 1000s of movies and TV shows that work around your schedule, allowing you to watch when and where you want.
Each one offers something a little different so consider mixing and matching to make sure you get exactly what you want. You’ll still be saving on an expensive cable subscription.
If you’re not sure which service works for you, almost all streaming services offer either a one week or 30-day free trial with no obligation to buy. So get some binge watching in and use the time you have before committing to ap purchase
This will depend on the streaming service you sign up to, All of the big streaming services license out shows and movies from the studios and networks directly, as well as produce their own original content.
If you can’t live without your favorite shows, hunt around for the streaming services that have licensed them out or have them available as extras. Be careful though, as sometimes these license agreements can end without warning and your shows might disappear from a streaming service.
Yes, there are a few solutions you can apply if you don’t have a smart TV.
Let’s face it. We’ve been witnessing the slow death of the cable TV industry for a few years now, and streaming services are fast overtaking them as the go-to alternative entertainment providers. Some reasons for this include:
Legacy cable bundles are getting more and more expensive - With average cable packages now costing more than $100 per month, it’s simply too expensive for most people to justify anymore
Consumers are sick of paying for channels they don’t watch - The inflexibility of many cable packages means people are stuck with dozens of channels they don’t want
More Americans want flexible, online entertainment - Many prefer the ease and convenience of watching what they want when they want, and on the devices they want. This means wireless viewing on laptops, tablets, and mobile is becoming increasingly more popular
TV and video streaming services are directly competing with cable companies through convenience and affordability.
Streaming services provide a huge range of price options - From the $8.99 per month basic Netflix package, to Hulu’s premium live TV bundle at $60.99 per month, you can access a huge range of programming at the fraction of the cost of a traditional cable supplier
The choice is given back to the consumer - With a streaming service, you don’t have to pay for channels you don’t watch. There are a number of niche options to cater for all tastes. Love sports? Then maybe try FuboTV and it’s 30,000 sporting events on offer. Can’t get enough of Disney? Disney + will give you access to the whole back catalog. Most streaming services are incredibly flexible, allowing you to pick and choose the genres you want to watch
Streaming takes advantage of our ever more connected world - Since you watch streaming services over the internet, you can watch your favorite shows anywhere with a WiFi connection. You’re no longer limited to just watching via your TV
Live TV streaming
If you’re not quite ready to cut the cord with your cable provider just yet, then live TV streaming could be the option for you.
Live TV streaming providers like Hulu, Sling TV, and FuboTV let you stream live TV via your internet connection as the shows are broadcast live by their networks.
The streaming providers allow you to watch live TV on the go via tablet and mobile, but the overall experience is closer to that of watching traditional TV.
On-demand streaming instead offers a library of content you can browse and watch at your leisure. The variety depends on the different streaming services you use, but most providers have 1,000s of TV shows and movies available to choose from.
Some providers let you download a certain number of shows to the device of your choice so you can enjoy them offline. The convenience of being able to watch whatever you want whenever you want attracts many people to on-demand streaming services. You’re on no-ones schedule but your own.
Other video streaming options - Stream sports online
Sports are something you’ll almost always want to watch live. Watching a recorded game just doesn't have quite the same impact as being live in the moment!
However, this is one area where the internet TV providers are still playing catch-up with the cable companies. There are currently only a limited number of streaming services that offer a good range of live sports. Even one of the biggest, FuboTV, doesn’t have access to ESPN, even if it does offer an excellent range of channels.
This situation is improving, however, and streaming services are increasing live sports offerings all of the time.
It can be difficult to pick the right one with so many available. While it can be difficult to definitively say which is the best live TV streaming service overall, we can point you in the right direction for the best ones. There are a couple of considerations to take into account:
What types of programming do you enjoy?
If you’re a fan of good quality, original shows you might like Amazon Prime Video. They already have excellent shows like The Expanse and The Marvellous Mrs. Masel and are investing heavily in more content. Or, you might prefer the charms of Disney +, something you can enjoy with the whole family. We’ll help guide you through all of the on-demand offerings to help you decide. Each one caters to slightly different tastes and content is king in the streaming wars
What’s your budget?
Most on-demand services are incredibly cheap, so budget shouldn’t be too much of a concern. For example, Hulu’s cheapest option comes in at just $5.99 per month with access to thousands of on-demand episodes. The great thing about on-demand is that many people can afford to pick up two or three packages they like, still at a fraction of the cost of cable
There are certainly more providers offering on-demand services than there is live TV. However, there are still some good alternatives to cable TV depending on what you’re looking for. The considerations to keep in mind however are similar to those when choosing an on-demand service:
What types of programming do you enjoy
Often the biggest selling points when choosing a live TV streaming package will be live sports. We’ve already touched on the growing number of options. Hulu, in particular, is beginning to offer many more big-name sports. Others focus on a range of live news options and premium network channels like HBO and Showtime, making sure you get access to shows before they reach the on-demand providers
What’s your budget?
Live TV packages are understandably going to be more expensive than an on-demand only service, given the extra number of channels available. You’ll still be paying less than a cable subscription, though. Again, Hulu is a good choice with the basic live TV package coming in at $54.99 per month. However, many of the big networks have launched their own live TV streaming services.
You’ll be limited to only watching that network’s live programming, but they are a great choice if you’re a fan of their content and want a cheaper alternative. Some examples include Showtime at $10.99 per month and HBO Now at $14.99
- Cheaper than cable
- Free-trial periods to try before you buy
- You’re not tied into costly contracts
- Huge range of on-demand content to choose from
- Watch your favorite shows at your convenience
- You’re dependent on a good internet connection to watch
- There are limited live sports options
- There can be a long delay for cable shows to reach streaming services
- Some shows are still only available through cable
- Some program line-ups can be inconsistent
To help get you started on your streaming journey, we’ve summarized our 2 top picks below. We think these will offer something for everybody and make great alternatives to Netflix.
Showtime has been producing top quality, original content since 1976 and has offered a streaming service since 2015. For only $10.99 per month, not only are you able to watch eight live TV channels, but you’ll also have access to an enormous back catalog of Showtime originals going back decades. With shows such as Homeland, Dexter, Shameless, Billions, and Nurse Jackie, you’re guaranteed to find something you’d like. Showtime also offers a good range of licensed movies to suit different tastes, including Mean Girls, District 9, and Superbad.
Showtime provides a generous 30-day free trial, making it another good choice for those still unsure about cutting the cord. If you don’t like it, you’re under no obligation to continue and you won’t pay a penny. Showtime is great for family viewing too. You’re able to stream on up to three devices simultaneously, so you and the kids aren’t fighting over what to watch. Showtime makes this even more convenient for you with easy-to-set-up parental controls. Being relatively inexpensive, you can also choose to subscribe to another streaming service and not break the bank.
Hulu has been growing from strength to strength in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. With a flexible range of packages offering cheaper, on-demand only services, to a good selection of live TV packages, Hulu’s annual growth is now outpacing Netflix. It has a long way to go to catch up and overtake, but if Hulu continues to offer good quality content we might see them close the gap even further. Hulu has also been working hard on producing in-house original content, and with acclaimed hits like The Handmaid’s Tale, The Great, and Normal People, you’ve got a lot of options to enjoy. On-demand services start from just $5.99 per month so you really have nothing to lose.
However, its live TV offering is what really makes Hulu stand out from other streaming providers. For just $54.99 per month, Hulu offers more than 60 network channels, including live sports and ESPN. This makes it a great halfway house for those not wanting to completely cut the cord with cable. Like Showtime, Hulu is another service that offers a generous 30-day free trial, giving you more than enough time to decide whether it’s the right streaming service or not.
Whether you’re ready to cut the cord completely with your cable company or if you’re not quite willing to give up live TV just yet, there are a plethora of alternate TV streaming services to cater to your tastes.
The good news is, you’ll almost certainly find something you like at only a fraction of the cost of your current cable subscription. All streaming services offer a free trial period so you can mix and match different providers to find a combination that works, all at no risk to your wallet.
Multiple options and viewing flexibility are fast becoming the norm for the modern TV viewer. If you do your research you’ll be able to tailor the perfect streaming package for the entire family and be enjoying high-quality content for years to come.