Carson is an iOS and Android junkie. Tinkering with new apps and sites keeps her weekends busy.
Let's Face It—It's Time to Cut the Cord
Ever since the advent of online streaming services, cable TV service providers have seen a rapid decline in their user base. There are two major causes of this sudden downward curve in popularity. First, streaming services don't require users to sign long-term contracts, and second, they don't charge exorbitant fees.
Why would you want to pay almost double for a service that doesn't even offer half as many shows that streaming services provide? Given this situation, it's only natural to start looking for cable TV alternatives.
In fact, recent reports show that 69% of viewers have switched to online streaming services compared to 65% of viewers who still use cable TV. This is the first time that streaming services have edged beyond traditional cable TV providers in terms of number of users.
If you feel that cable TV costs too much or doesn't offer the shows and movies that you want to watch, here are some of the best streaming platforms you should check out instead. They not only provide a wider range of shows and movies, but they also cost significantly less than cable TV.
10 TV and Movie Streaming Services to Use Instead of Cable
- Amazon Prime Video
- HBO Now
- Apple TV+
Netflix needs no introduction. It is the pioneer when it comes to standing against cable companies. This is the platform that encouraged thousands to cut the cord and go online to watch the latest shows and movies. If you want to shift from cable TV to a streaming service, there isn't a better platform to start with than Netflix. From thrilling TV shows to mind-boggling documentaries, Netflix has it all.
If you are a lover of unique stories that don't necessarily fit into the mainstream Hollywood genre, then you should definitely try Netflix. In fact, it also streams licensed content from some of the major studios like Fox, HBO, and Warner Bros. You can stream them on various platforms too, such as Android, iOS, Chromecast, Apple TV, and more. It costs just $8.99 per month and also comes with a 30-day trial period.
2. Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is one of the best video streaming platforms available right now. If you want to enjoy tons of exclusive shows and movies, then you should subscribe to this platform immediately. It is also trying to introduce live TV services, including sports channels. In fact, Prime Video even streamed NFL games every Thursday night a few months ago.
Apart from that, it provides you with an on-demand library of hundreds of shows and movies without additional charges. What's more amazing is that if you have a Prime subscription, you can enjoy a few perks like free shipping while shopping anything from Amazon. At $12.99 per month and a 30-day trial period, this is undoubtedly one of the more pocket-friendly streaming platforms that encourage you to move away from cable TV.
3. HBO Now
HBO content is available on two platforms: HBO Now and HBO Go. The primary difference between these two platforms is device compatibility. HBO Now is compatible with a wider range of devices compared to HBO Go. It is now one of the leading competitors in streaming services with Netflix as its main rival.
Once you subscribe to HBO Now, it opens doors to world-famous shows like Rome, The Sopranos, and Game of Thrones. If you want to move from cable TV, then an HBO Now subscription is a must. It covers almost everything that you usually watch on TV. Moreover, the picture quality is top-notch. And you only need to spend $14.99 per month. It also offers a 7-day trial period.
4. Apple TV+
Apple TV+ is another streaming service that you shouldn't miss if you want an alternative to cable TV. Although it's still not the best streaming platform, it has enough potential to keep you entertained. There are many Golden Globe-nominated shows to watch, including See, All Mankind, and The Morning Show.
When it comes to picture quality, there's hardly any platform that beats Apple TV+. With shows available on 4K, you wouldn't want to watch regular cable TV anymore. And all you need to pay is $4.99 per month after enjoying a 7-day trial period.
Disney+ is relatively new in the video streaming space, but it has already become a favorite among those who love watching movies and shows online. In fact, it is giving fierce competition to the likes of Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, two of the giants in the video streaming industry. Over the years, Disney has distributed its content to various channels, but now that they have their own platform, you can stream all their content under one roof.
From Star Wars to Pinocchio, everything is available on Disney+. Whether you want to go back to your childhood days to watch cartoons or watch some of the action flicks from Marvel, Disney+ is here to entertain you. After a 7-day trial period, you can subscribe to a $6.99 package per month.
Kodi is an open-source media player that also streams live TV. With tons of live TV add-ons, it won't make you miss your cable TV anymore. And most importantly, it's free. You don't have to pay a penny to use Kodi. All you need is a stable internet connection to stream the live TV channels.
But it's challenging to find the right add-ons that would enable free TV service. The software isn't the most user-friendly. But if you have the patience to go through the list of add-ons, then there's nothing better than Kodi to watch live TV for free. It is compatible with various platforms, such as Android, Apple TV, iOS, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, macOS, Windows, and Linux.
Hulu not only streams its original content but also shows from local channels and cable networks. If you want to watch the latest episodes of your favorite TV shows, you should subscribe to Hulu now. This saves you a whole lot of money that you would otherwise pay to your cable TV service provider.
The only downside to this streaming platform is it's only available in the US and Japan. The basic package starts at just $5.99 per month. But if you want to access both live TV streaming and all the content in Hulu's library, you should subscribe to the $44.99 per month plan.
Philo is an on-demand platform that also offers live TV options. It comes with over 50 channels, such as AMC, BBC, Comedy Central, Food Network, Vice, Animal Planet, and VH1 to name a few. The content in this platform mostly focuses on education, lifestyle, and entertainment. If you usually watch similar channels on cable TV, it's time you move to Philo and save a few bucks.
There is a flat subscription charge of $20 per month after a 7-day trial period. It also offers on-demand content, including movies and the latest shows. The best part is, you can connect up to 3 devices simultaneously and even save your favorite episodes for 30 days.
Mubi is a movie-streaming app that contains award-winning films from different countries. It adds one movie every day to its library but also deletes one at the same time. If you had planned to watch a movie during the weekend but forgot to watch it, you may not find it on Mubi anymore. That's the only drawback of this platform.
Apart from that, it releases some of the most famous movies in the world in the best picture quality possible. In addition to the $10.99 monthly subscription, you can also rent movies from this platform. The rental charges depend on the popularity of the film but their price ranges from $2.99 to $5.99.
Like Kodi, Crackle is a free video streaming platform. But it doesn't involve spending hours to find the right add-ons to watch live TV. The only drawback that this platform has is the ads. They may interrupt you while watching a show or a movie. But nonetheless, if you can live with the ads, you can enjoy some timeless classics like Ace Ventura, About Last Night, and Starship Troopers on Crackle.
Although there are a few limited shows and movies right now, you can expect Crackle to expand its library. When you can enjoy almost the same content that you see via cable TV without paying anything, why should you spend money on a cable service provider?
Are You Ready to Cut the Cord?
With so many cable alternatives available, it is high time you make the decision to move from cable TV to online streaming services. You not only get thousands of shows and movies but you also save a lot every month. Yes, a few of them have some downsides, but their content is more than enough to cover those drawbacks. Most importantly, you can skip a show if you don't like it, something that you can't do on cable TV.
Dale Anderson from The High Seas on September 15, 2020:
I learn so much reading your hubs here, please keep them coming. I'm going to try Philo I think. I've never heard anyone talking about it so I'll have to explore it for myself.