In uncertain economic times, people do what they can to save money. One way they can cut back on expenses is by finding out if there are less expensive alternatives to the things they are making monthly payments on such as utilities, groceries and more.
One thing that many people are looking into is how they can lower their cable bills. Fortunately, there are many cable alternatives that may help them cut their expenses including Sling TV and YouTube TV as well as streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. However, consumers should research carefully before making the decision to switch.
This article will talk about what you need to think about before making the switch while discussing some worthwhile alternatives.
Consider How Much You’ll Save
One thing to think about before switching is how much you will save. It’s likely you will still need your cable service for internet access so you have to determine how much you will be paying on alternate TV services or streaming services as well as internet.
In many cases, your rates for internet alone will go up since you are no longer bundling. This may mean that you end up spending more money.
You may consider finding a new cable company that offers lower rates on internet alone, but make sure you go with a reliable company that offers the data and connection you need. (Keep in mind that streaming services require a fast connection and use a lot of data so you will need an internet service that can support that).
Another thing to think about is whether or not you are under contract with your cable company. If you are, you may be hit with additional fees by canceling the contract early.
Finally, you should consider that your cable company may offer money saving incentives to get you to stay. It’s a good idea to call them to find out what kind of deals they are willing to make before actually making the switch.
What Do Alternate TV and Streaming Services Have to Offer?
If you and your family have certain shows you can’t live without, you should find out if you will still have access to them when using alternate TV or streaming services. Sports, in particular, can be difficult to access on streaming services. Many of them do not carry Regional Sports Networks and certain sports broadcasts, like NFL football, are usually limited to major broadcast networks only.
To get a better grasp on your options, here are some alternate TV and streaming services and what they have to offer:
Disney Plus: $7-13 a month: The Disney streaming service is a great place to watch Disney movies, Marvel movies, Pixar movies, National Geographic and Star Wars. With the triple package bundle, you can also get Hulu and ESPN + so sports fans don’t have to worry too much about missing their games. However, the ESPN catalogue is not as extensive as compared to what other networks have to offer so you may not be able to see everything you would like to see.
Hulu: $6 a month: Hulu has a variety of original series and also broadcasts shows right after they air. ABC News broadcasts are also included. However, they tend to run a lot of commercials. If commercials really annoy you, you may be better off springing for the $12 a month commercial free version.
Hulu Live: $45-51 a month: Hulu Live is a great way to enjoy live news and sports. It also gives you the option to record broadcasts so you can watch them later.
Netflix: $9-16 a month: Netflix is a good choice if you like to binge watch TV show series. However, unless the show is a Netflix original, you’ll have to wait until it airs before you can watch it through this platform.
Netflix is convenient because it works on a variety of devices and there’s guaranteed to be one in your household that already has the Netflix app on it. However, if you want to watch it on more than one device, you will have to upgrade to the $13 or $16 plan.
Another bonus, Netflix now has a feature called Netflix Party that allows you to watch shows and movies with friends and family even if you’re in different locations. It’s perfect for these socially distant times.
Sling TV: Starts at $25 a month: Sling has an advantage over other services because you don’t have to wait for the show you want to watch to air before you can watch it on their service. You can watch it live just like you would on cable, only you’d be watching it on the internet.
Sling’s basic package offers 30 live channels including AMC, CNN, ESPN, ESPN2, HGTV and the Disney channel. You can pick the blue or orange package to get the channels you like best or opt for both for $40 a month. You can also get $5 or $10 add-ons to see more movies, sports or whatever you prefer to watch.
You Tube TV: $50 a month: With the right devices, you can get YouTube to run through your television set, but YouTube TV is something different. It lets you stream more than 70 of your favorite channels including CNBC, Fox News, CNN and sports channels like ESPN, CBS Sports, the Tennis Channel and the Olympic Channel.
Amazon Prime Video: $9 a month: In addition to being a major online shopping platform, Amazon is now offering streaming services that allow you to watch a variety of movies, TV shows and original series. If it doesn’t have a movie or show available, it is probably available to rent as a digital download.
If you are a frequent Amazon shopper, you may end up saving money by joining Amazon Prime. This will give you a discount subscription to the service as well as free shipping on the items you buy through their platform.
Apple TV: $5 a month: Apple has put its foot in the ring with an alternate TV service that offers original TV series and movies. At $5 a month, it can’t be beat, and if you buy an Apple device, they will give you a one-year subscription for free.
If you are ready to make the cable cut, it’s advisable to try out the streaming services you are thinking of purchasing to see how you like them before making a final decision. Most of these channels give you a free trial that you can take advantage of to determine whether or not you will satisfied with their service. Will you be making the switch?