On average, a typical U.S. household spends $123.00 monthly on cable TV. If you happen to be one of these families, cutting the cord could potentially save you close to $1,500 annually. Internet access is nearly everywhere. With the technological strides that are being made daily, there are more affordable options to watch TV than traditional cable providers.
Cutting the cord and making the transition to streaming TV may feel overwhelming or confusing. Our quick guide summarizes the main points of each streaming device option and streaming provider option, allowing you to make the best choice and ultimately save you money.
After making the decision to cut your cord, decide if you will need a streaming device. Most TVs manufactured within the last few years are Smart TVs. These TVs do not require the use of an additional device to live-stream. However, if you do not have a Smart TV, there are several affordable device options for streaming. But please do keep in mind that you will need internet access to utilize these services!
Device Streaming Options:
· Fire Stick: Perfect for fans of Amazon; it can sync directly to your Amazon account and other devices. The remote is also Alexa-enabled, which is a lifesaver! Priced at $40.00.
· Roku: Offering a wide-variety of streaming devices, prices start at $30 for the Roku Express, and increase to $100 for the Roku Ultra - with a variety of different options in between. As the price increases, additional features are included.
· Apple TV: Best for existing Mac users; prices start at $149.00 and extend to $199. As with most Apple devices, the amount of storage you need will dictate the price.
· Google Chromecast: Now on the third generation, Google continues to make improvements to their streaming device. Google Chromebook users may benefit from the compatibility of the Chromecast. Priced at $35.00.
Once you have your Smart TV or streaming device up and running, it’s time to select your streaming provider. Just a head’s up: most providers have a basic plan, or even a few to choose from, but certain channels will cost extra. A few examples include HBO, Showtime, Starz and ESPN. This also includes foreign language channels. Most providers will allow the you to choose individual channels or package a few together.
· Netflix: Pricing is $9.00 - $16.00. Constantly adding new content, Netflix provides a ton of movies, as well as some show episodes. If you are a movie-buff, this may be the best option for you.
· Amazon Prime: Pricing is $13.00 per month or $130.00 for a full-year. If you happen to be a student, you will receive a significant discount; monthly pricing is at $6.49 or $59.00 for a full-year. An Amazon prime membership also has other perks, such as free 2-day shipping on millions of products, access to Prime video, Prime Music and Prime Reading, just to name a few. Amazon may the best choice if you are looking for a mix of content.
· Hulu: Starting at $6.00 per month, Hulu provides movies and TV show episodes. If you are a sitcom or soap-opera junky, this may be the best option for you.
· Sling TV: The cheapest cable replacement service we have found; starting at $25.00 per month. Prices can increase, depending on additional channels selected.
· PlayStation Vue: Starting at $40.00 per month, can increase to $80.00, depending on additional channels selected.
· DirecTV Now: Starting at $40.00 per month, can increase to $75.00, depending on additional channels selected.
· YouTube TV: Starting at $40.00 per month.
· Hulu Live TV: Starting at $40.00 per month.