The world has changed in several ways in the past couple of decades. It’s almost unrecognizable now; even the simple act of watching television has been turned on its head.
TV now means cable, hundreds of channels, and the ability to record any missed shows automatically. In fact, you can record anything and everything that relates to a certain issue you are interested in.
This sort of automation is great if it saves time and helps you relax. However, is cable really worth it? After all, you are out of the house most of the day when you are not sleeping. You watch a handful of shows, and the huge cable bill could be wreaking havoc on your budgeted spending plan.
Still, you do need your entertainment. With long-running sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory and thrilling successes like Game of Thrones, you simply don’t have any option… or do you? Believe it or not, you can watch TV as much and in the way you want without running up those cable bills! Check out these cable-less alternatives below:
1. Cable Without Cable
If you like to watch what cable gives you access to, there’s an alternative that could set you free from cable as well. All you have to do in subscribe to Hulu Plus, which currently costs around 8 dollars a month. For this paltry amount, you can get programs from channels like NBC, FOX, CW, Freeform, etc.
You also get to watch shows from channels with delayed content or archived reruns. These include Comedy Central, FX, and many more! If you’re a fan of CBS shows, they can be added in for another token fee of roughly 6 dollars.
Even with the most premium version of Hulu, your monthly cost wouldn’t be even a fraction as high as it was with regular cable.
However, you may still want the best internet TV service 2018 that would also give you a complete cable experience. You may, hence, opt for Sling TV for The Walking Dead and Mad Men. TNT would give you Falling Skies, and A&E has The Returned. All these services can give you the full package that you initially needed cable for.
Of course, having all these services would mean the dollars will pile up. Interestingly, though, even all of them put together wouldn’t exceed the cost of your regular cable bill. In fact, you can last around thirteen TV seasons before cable becomes the less expensive choice.
If you want even more savings, it may be even more cost-effective to buy up the seasons – if you can stand the wait for them to come out. Most episodes on the shows mentioned above do become available quite quickly on iTunes, though. The individual DVDs don’t cost that much, and they can be stored for repeat viewing when you get nostalgic.
2. Focusing on the Best
The best television was on the networks at first and then moved to cable. Now, streaming services like Netflix are fast producing and selling shows of their own. Shows like House of Cards and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are universally acclaimed, even though they aren’t available on local television. Amazon also has some excellent shows under its belt.
If you just want the best shows to watch, a subscription to Netflix and Amazon may be all you need for your entertainment. Both subscriptions are less than a hundred dollars for a whole year, which is around a third of the average cable bill.
The networks providing these shows are called prestige networks. HBO, with its loyal following, is another such option. Buying up the seasons when they come out is not such a good option here since that could take months.
Even if you get Netflix, HBO, and Amazon all together, the combined cost would save you more than thirty dollars a month than if you stuck with cable. Again, you would get more than a dozen seasons out of this option before cable becomes the cheaper decision.
3. Live TV Services
Having live television streamed directly onto your TV screen is the best way to get the cable experience without having cable. This setting is familiar to the viewer but doesn’t even rack up a small percentage of the cable bill cost.
One of the most popular options here is YouTube TV. This can be bought for around $35 per month, which is not at all a bad bargain. You would get highly popular channels like NBC, Freeform, ESPN, Disney – in short, all channels which make you subscribe to regular cable in the first place!
The best perhaps is that with such a subscription, you can use several accounts with the service. This is perfect for a family or a small apartment building. There could be six accounts created for this subscription within one residency. Each could have its own passcode. You can even hook it up to a DVR for recording all your favorite shows in one place.
Another example of a live TV service is Direct TV Now. You get 60 channels for $35, but there are more available for higher fees. There’s no need of any contract, satellite dish, or cable box. Missing an important channel? Add it in for an additional token fee!
With live TV services, you can have whatever channels you wish in a highly convenient cable-like style. The difference here is not just the price but the close attention paid to your preferences and convenience. For instance, you could choose to simply have HBO Now as a way of watching your favorite shows, such as The Wire or Games of Thrones.
The practice of watching TV without cable service is something that many call ‘cord-cutting.’ This is becoming a massively popular practice that’s benefiting people all over the developed world.
Of course, not all the options would be beneficial or even viable for everyone. It’s, hence, recommended that you try out what looks like the easiest choice and see if it works out. If it doesn’t, you wouldn’t be wasting much money anyway. Move on to the next option until a decent cable alternative clicks into place. Happy viewing!