Back in a day when there was no legal alternatives to cable TV, before Sling and Hulu, I was running a successful “grey side” niche business. I was selling innovative network devices that allow you to watch TV and movies for free or almost for free.
Back then I came to realization, that people can save a huge amount if they cut their cable TV expenses. Learning how to not spend money is just as important as learning how to make it.
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Today things are changed. You can cut the cord, save your money and still be able to watch your favorite movies, shows and TV programs legally.
Right now, there are so many great alternatives to cable TV. There are options for people who are into sports. People who fancy lots of movies. People who want to watch latest season Westworld and for people who simply love live TV.
You can cancel your cable subscription, and you will not miss it one bit. Seriously, I can guarantee that.
Why should I cut the cord
Out of all of options you can watch live TV, shows and movies, cable is definitely the most expensive solution out there. According to DecisionData.org, the average household cable package costs in 2020 is $217.42 per month. So, if you have cable right now, then you are likely spending around $2,600 a year on cable alone.
I personally know many people who spend over $250 a month on their cable bill. If you are paying for cable TV, just think of what else you could do with that money if you take one of the many considerable alternatives to cable TV!
By learning how to get rid of cable, you can learn how to save a lot of money over your lifetime. That money could be better spent on something else. In my humble opinion cutting the cable is great way how to not spend money.
Sounds great, wright?! Even though getting rid of cable seems like an evident way to save some money, it can still be hard for some people.
Without further ado let´s see what the options are if you get rid of cable so you can start saving money immediately.
Legal alternatives to cable TV to watch Live TV
There are literally thousands of legal alternatives to cable TV wright now. Growing speeds of internet connections and with development of digital technologies gave kickstart to online streaming services.
At the same time evolution of Digital television broadcasting replaced analog and enables more efficient use of limited radio spectrum bandwidth, provision of more television channels than analog, better quality images, and potentially lower operating costs for broadcasters.
Digital Terrestrial Television
Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) is an advanced broadcasting technology that has transformed the television viewing experience. DTT make possible for broadcasters to offer television with high definition picture and superior sound quality, and multiple channels of programming. According to FCC, since June 13, 2009, full-power television stations nationwide have been required to broadcast exclusively in a digital format.
As result, today exist more than fifty national free-to-air networks.
This is probably the cheapest alternative to cable TV because there is no monthly cost – just a small upfront cost to buy the antenna. However, you just spend money for the antenna once and then watch local channels forever.
For example, DrillTop indoor with amplifier currently costs only $28.95. This simple plug and play device will leave you head-ache free.
If you are wondering, how to not spend money, here is the answer. Cut the cord on your cable. Buy DrillTop indoor DTT antena and enjoy ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, pbs, the Cw, Univision. Ah yes, and also local news, weather, sitcoms, kids and sports for free.
Internet Protocol Television or IPTV
Live TV streaming services are designed to replace cable TV by letting you stream live channels over the internet.
The best live TV streaming services offer everything you get with cable TV packages, without hidden fees or hard-to-cancel contracts. And you can still get all the broadcast, entertainment, news and sports channels you want to watch (and add on premiums like HBO and Showtime).
YouTube TV is Google’s live TV streaming product. Designed for those who want to cut the cord and ditch their cable or satellite subscriptions. Actually, one of their promo slogans says: “Cut the cord and save $500/year”.
YouTube TV offers a unique mix of features that make it very appealing. It’s the only livestreaming service that includes PBS stations and content. In the beginning of 2020, Google says YouTube TV has over 2M paid subscribers.
YouTube TV costs $64.99 and offers its customers 3 streams and 6 accounts per household
Today you’ll find Youtube TV app on most 4K TVs from brands like Sony, Samsung LG, etc.
If you’re ready to lower TV monthly bill, Sling TV is arguably the best option to stream live TV on a budget. Sling TV offers cord-cutters a reasonable selection of live channels for an affordable price. This is great way how to not spend much money, but still enjoy your favorite TV channels.
On Sling, you can watch Disney, AMC, TNT, TBS, Comedy Central, and more.
Indisputably Sling TV is one of the best alternatives to cable TV for sports lovers. Because Sling has ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, NFL Network, and add-ons like SEC Network, NHL Network, and NBA TV.
Sling has three pricing plans:
- range $30/month comes with channels like Disney, Food Network, Comedy Central, and more.
- Blue $30/month comes with channels like Bravo, E!, TLC, and more.
- Sling Blue and Orange $45/month comes with all the channels in Blue and Orange.
Plan Orange restricts users to a single stream, while Sling Blue allows you to watch on three screens at a time.
Sling TV has a long list of supported devices. You will find full device list on their webpage. Currently You can even get free streaming device when you subscribe and prepay for 2 months of SLING.
Philo is extremely cheap! It’s the most affordable TV streaming service we’ve seen. So it is almost ideal for those who are searching for ways how to not spend money.
This streaming service offers simple pricing and gives you access to 63 channels for live and on-demand TV. Together with unlimited recording option it costs only $20 a month. No contract, so you can cancel it anytime.
Philo allows you stream on up to three devices at the same time. And, it has some of the most popular channels, like AMC, TLC, Nickelodeon, Food Network, and more.
All live TV streaming services mentioned previously offer some sports content, but fuboTV is one of the best cable TV alternatives with a heavy focus on sports. It has practically every single sport you could ask for.
You get access to live sports and top TV channels, cloud DVR, and can share your account across multiple devices.
fuboTV has three different plans:
- fubo Family $64.99/month. 116 channels, 250 hours of cloud DVR, sharing on three screens.
- fubo Elite $79.99/month. 162 channels, 1000 hours of cloud DVR, sharing on five screens.
- fubo Latino $29.99/month. 32 channels, 250 hours of cloud DVR, sharing on two screens at once..
Hulu With Live TV
Imagine Netflix mixed with live TV – that’s Hulu. If you want live TV included then Hulu is one of the best alternatives to cable TV for you.
Hulu started as an on-demand streaming service but has more recently expanded into offering live TV as well. Plus, Hulu has been releasing their own content with Hulu Original series like The Path, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Casual. They also have pretty big movie library.
Depending on your location, your channel lineup may vary. However, every subscription package will come with a crucial line-up of sports, entertainment, news, and local networks, to include ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, AMC, A&E, HGTV and more.
Here are Hulu’s plan options and pricing:
- Hulu $5.99/month- You can stream over 85,000 episode of your favorite shows, movies, and Hulu Originals.
- (No Ads) Hulu (No Ads)” $11.99/month- Same as the above, but you get a completely ad-free experience.
- Hulu + Live TV $54.99/month- You get access to everything in Hulu’s library and streaming live TV.
You can also take Hulu Disney ESPN bundle for $61.99/month. This will give you ans access best movies, shows, and sports, along with 65+ channels of live TV.
Apple TV Plus is Apple’s premium subscription streaming service that endeavor to compete with Netflix and Cable TV.
It features some great original content that could be worth the subscription fee for serious TV junkies.
The Apple TV+ streaming includes up to six family members, 4K quality, and media downloads. The service is currently priced at $4.99 a month or $49.99 for a year subscription in the US. There are a seven-day free trial.
Besides, if you purchase a new Apple product (iPhone, MacBook etc.) Apple TV+ service is offered free for one year.
The Apple TV Channels program is essentially an a la carte selection of TV channels. So, you can build your own channel list.
Apple TV plus subscription fees will vary by channel, but typically hang about $5 or more. Apple TV Channel availability may vary by region.
Currently Apple TV is available on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac and third-generation Apple TV devices, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.
If you don´t have an Apple TV device jet, you can buy 4th Generation Apple TV on Amazon and you will get 12 month of Apple TV plus subscription for free.
Here is another alternative for sports lovers – ESPN+ is one of the lowest cost alternatives to cable TV. It’s $5.99 per month and you can watch live sporting events and ESPN+ Originals.
Video on demand as legal alternative to cable TV
Netflix – The best cord cutting service
Netflix is what majority has been using to watch TV lately. Itnis also one of my favorite alternatives to cable TV.
Netflix’s large collection of TV shows and movies, including some superb originals like Stranger Things, House of Cards and Arrested Development make it one of the best video streaming services today.
They constantly add more titles too, which keeps this alternative feeling fresh. It’s also very good at learning the types of shows you watch and making recommendations.
There are three different Netflix plans:
Basic $8.99/month- You can watch unlimited movies and shows on one device only.
Standard $12.99/month. Same as Basic, with HD level picture quality, and you can watch on up to two screens at a time.
Premium $15.99/month. This has HD and Ultra HD and you can watch unlimited Netflix on up to four devices at a time.
Unfortunately, Netflix is no longer using a free trial membership to attract new subscribers in the U.S.
However, you can start and cancel your subscription anytime.
Amazon Prime Video
If you currently have an Amazon Prime subscription, then you already have access to Amazon Prime Video. This gives you access to tons of movies and TV shows in Amazon library and is one of the greatest Cable tv alternatives!
Amazon Prime Video is included with an Amazon Prime Subscription, which is $119 per year or $12.99 per month.
The company doesn’t promote this, but you can sign up also for a standalone Amazon Video membership. Which gives you access to the company’s video content but does not include the other goodies, like Amazon’s free two-day shipping. There are also premium channel add-ons like HBO, Showtime, and more.
Disney+ is a brand new streaming service launched in November 2019. At the moment Disney Plus can’t compete with Netflix when it comes to original content. Although its fair price and iconic franchises make it a tremendous value for families.
This streaming service includes thousands of Disney-owned TV shows and movies. Together with clean, easy-to-use interface, it makes it well worth the $6.99 per month.
Since Disney also owns Hulu and ESPN, here is also a discounted bundle package available. This includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ and costs $12.99 per month.
Legal free alternatives to cable TV
Usually with free streaming services, you generally get far less content than you would with a paid service like Netflix. However, if you are interested in news, second tire sports or some original content, there are plenty of options.
Also, for fans of horror films or cult comedies, though, there’s some fairly decent stuff for free.
For many people, including myself, YouTube is substitute for Live TV. Due to this, YouTube is one of the best cutting the cord options. It is a great way how to not spend money and watch tv for free!
YouTube has a wide variety of content. You can find things from your favorite YouTubers, web only content from your favorite TV channels, and clips from comedy series (like SNL) and interviews.
If you want the feeling of cable TV without actually paying for it, Pluto TV is a notably decent substitute. It has good deal of the kinds of channels that actually need to be watched live: news and sports.
Out of Pluto’s 100+ channels, 15 of them are dedicated entirely to covering the news. Big names like NBC, CBS and CNN are present on Pluto. If you just want to keep up with the news without paying for cable, Pluto is more than sufficient.
It also does have some recognizable sports channels like Fox Sports 1, NFL Channel and Major League Soccer (which airs some live MLS games). But truth to be told, for the most part, Pluto covers second-tier American sports like archery, surfing, and wrestling.
Also Xumo has a lot of alternative content from channels you know. It has almost the exact same collection of news channels, including CBS and NBC, but not CNN. Its sports section is pretty comparable to Pluto, too, with channels from Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated and Stadium.
Xumo really stands out with its collection of channels from digital and print publications like The New Yorker, Bon Appetit, Refinery 29 and The Hollywood Reporter. There are dozens of such channels, all of which seemed to have pretty interesting original content.
In my opinion, Locast is the best option for free live TV streaming. The problem is, it is only available in about 34% of the US. On their webpage you can check out if your location is covered. If yes, you’ll get local channels like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, The CW and PBS, all without paying a dime.
Popcornflix is a free on-demand streaming service that offers movies and TV episodes without the hassle of a monthly subscription. In exchange for the free content, Popcornflix inserts advertisements into the viewing experience.
Their documentary selection is solid. As well as e kids’ programming is fairly extensive. Although more into retro side (a lot of the animated content dates back to the 80s and 90s).
Since there is no charge to watch the content on Popcornflix, the signup process is optional. The service is available on a wide variety of platforms. If you have any android device, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a way to consume it.
Crackle is an on-demand streaming TV service produced by entertainment industry giant Sony. On this service there is a pretty good selection of entertainment. With a content mix that includes movies, TV series and some original programming.
Crackle is accessible on a variety of televisions, streaming devices, phones, tablets and computers. Crackle is widely available on many of the popular devices on the market, including Amazon Fire TV and Roku.
Netflix and Hulu have some new competition from free streaming services. You might never have heard of before about Tubi TV. This is free, legal streaming service which lets you watch films and TV shows that aren’t on Netflix for free. On this platform you will find a handful of gems, like The Terminator, True Grit and Oldboy.
It’s also available on a wide variety of devices, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, PlayStation and smart TVs. You can access it through a browser too.
Go straight to the source for TV options
For many cable and network channels, you can go straight to their website online and watch their TV shows right there for free. All you need is decent internet! Depending on the channel, you might only be able to watch the most recent episodes or ones that are a little older.
Do anything else!
In my humble opinion, this might be the best alternative to cable TV.
In 2020, an average U.S. consumer spent 3 hours and 29 minutes daily watching TV. That’s more than 24 hours per week. Just think about it!
If you use just half of those hours finding things to do instead of watching TV, you could probably accomplish something great!
I’m not saying you should cut TV completely. Netflix is still the great option how to spend cold, rainy afternoon together with your loved ones.
Yet, for the most part, the average person spends way too much time just flipping through channels or watching something, many times useless like Kardashian show.
If you feel like you aren’t accomplishing your goals in life or that you never have time, then you should first analyze how much time you’re wasting each day, especially when it comes to how much TV you watch.
You might realize that TV is part of your problem. Cut the cord and you will save money and gain some extra time for yourself.
Be smart, put your time to better use like:
- Start Your Own Online Embroidery Business From Home
- Read a story Here is a story How I Went From Not Knowing What a Freight Broker Was to Doing Over $80 Million a Year in Sales!
- Master your skills how to set up WooCommerce store
- Go to a museum.
- Learn everything about Print On Demand Drop Shipping
- Go for a walk.
- Look at the stars.
- Go fishing.
- Read how to set up OpenCart store.
- Start a garden. Fresh food is the best!
- Find a way to make money from home
Getting rid of cable and finding cord cutting options will change your life
As you can see, there are many alternative options other than cable so that you can find cheap tv service! Finding ways to replace cable is easy! No more excuses! There are dozens of channels and hundreds of movies you can save money on.
You can find an alternative. Learn how not to spend money and use your savings to put towards debt. Invest it for retirement, or it can be used to pursue your passions.
Or go extreme! What if you got rid of TV and cable streaming services altogether for one month? Or maybe one year?!
Just think what you can accomplish – spend more time outside, spend more time with friends and family, get more sleep at night, and live healthier both mind and body.
Now, you can still rent a movie or pay for a month of Netflix here and there, but living without TV for longer periods is something you can try if you are looking foe ways how not to spend money. Or If you want to find a way to change your life.
Are you considering get rid of cable? What is your strategy how not to spend money? Which alternatives to cable TV do you have?