With pay TV prices skyrocketing, a lot of people are looking to cut the cord. For some, however, it’s hard to imagine life without TV. Of course, in today’s world, you don’t have to go without. There are plenty of ways to get a cheap or even free TV fix.
Recently, Comcast announced plans to launch: Stream, a new service that will deliver live TV from a dozen different networks—for $15 a month.
Stream won’t: require a tech visit, added equipment or even a TV. Instead, the service is exactly what it sounds like; it will allow subscribers to stream content to laptops, tablets and phones. The newly announced service will also include access to TV Everywhere and a cloud DVR, so you can even record shows for viewing on your own time.
Comcast is expecting: to launch Stream in Boston by the end of the summer, with plans to make it available everywhere by early 2016.
Will this type of service help you to finally cut the cord? If you don’t want to wait (or deal with Comcast), there are plenty of ways to get a: cheap or even free TV fix.
This one seems like a no-brainer. The popular service is almost everywhere, boasting streams up to 1080p with 7.1 surround sound (when available). In fact, the company can even stream 4K for an added fee. It’s hard to imagine that most cord cutters would care about 4K, but it’s nice to have: options. Another thing that’s an option: a lot of content. There are tons of familiar movies and TV shows, but also a lot of original content—and it’s good stuff, such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. The programming: and availability make Netflix one of the most popular streaming services out there today. Recently, there have been rumblings that the price will increase, but if they keep cranking out quality original programming, it should be worth it. However, at last peek, a month’s worth of streaming service was still priced at $7.99.
For More Information: Netflix
Amazon offers plenty of streaming options a la carte, but the true cord cutter will want to splurge on Amazon Prime. The $99 annual fee may seem tough to swallow at first, but know that this boils down to a mere $8.25 per month—and for what you get, it may be the best deal: going. Yes, it’s a few cents more than Netflix, but that cost does include unlimited 4K streaming, 1080p and 5.1 sound for movies, TV shows, and plenty of Amazon Originals. It’s featured on a lot of the same devices where you’d find Netflix, but Amazon even makes its own devices (Fire TV, Fire TV Stick), which provide the option for voice search. Also, that Prime subscription comes with the perk of free 2-day shipping on Amazon purchases, as well as photo storage, music and even Kindle books.
For More Information: Amazon Prime
Hulu (no longer Plus) doesn’t have the 4K. Heck, they don’t even have the 1080p. (Supposedly, it’s coming.) However, for $7.99, you get access to more TV shows than any other service—good ones, anyway. If the series: you want to watch isn’t on Amazon or Netflix, chances are it’s on Hulu. It may even be an exclusive. Of course, even if you’re a paying customer, you still have to endure ads. (Just like regular TV!) Still, the service has a ton of options, including original programming. If you love TV, this may be worth the splurge.
For More Information: Hulu
Like the aforementioned Comcast service, Sling TV comes from a service provider (DISH Network) that has plenty of pricier, heartier plans. However, just so the company doesn’t miss out on the cheap-Os out there, Sling TV offers 23 channels (and counting) for $20 per month. That fee also includes DVR features, video-on-demand content and the option to watch shows from almost anywhere. And if you start running out of interesting channels, the company offers add-on packages for $5 each. The company promises streams in 720p and 1080p, but the real hook is the price and the fact that there’s no commitment, contract, credit check or hardware installation. However, you do need a web connection and one of the compatible devices that can actually bring the service to your TV.
For More Information: Review: Dish’s Sling TV Online Streaming Video Service
This one doesn’t even need web service. It’s a good, old antenna—and it’s come a long way since the days of rabbit ears. Today, antennas come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, with options for indoors and outside. Just connect the antenna to your digital TV and you can actually enjoy free TV broadcasts in HD quality. Several companies make antennas, including Antennas Direct (pictured), Mohu, Terk and more. I’ve always had the best results with roof antennas, but your mileage may vary. Whatever you decide to go with, check the range to make sure it’s worth the purchase price. You don’t want to end up with one channel, although it’s a free channel. Check out websites such as AntennaWeb.org and TVFool to see what channel options may be available in your area.
For More Information: 4 Awesome Indoor Antennas That Can Score You Free TV