Cutting the cord? Here are some options for streaming services
Let’s face it, cable television has been one of the most revolutionizing inventions in technological history. Since the late 1940s, the cable industry has been a giant for innovation on how we watch our favorite shows and movies. Today, over 93 percent of Americans have access of cable television with around 800 different programming networks to watch. Though like most trends, they can change in an instant.
According to study from Fluent LLC done earlier this year, 67 percent of American internet users watch or have access to a streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu, while just 61 percent still have cable. Not surprisingly, millennials, or ages 18-34, can be the reason for the rise of streaming services, but also because cable can be pricey. The Leichtman Research Group reports that subscribers to cable television spend an average of $85 a month! If you’re looking cut the cord, here are some options for streaming services.
How much? $8 a month for standard video on one device, $11 per month can get you high-def video on up to two devices and $14 a month gets you 4K Ultra high-def video on up to four devices.
Why choose it? If you’re looking for a service with a wide variety of movies, tv shows and original programming, Netflix is a great option. This service has some popular shows including "Orange is the New Black", "Stranger Things" and "House of Cards." Netflix also offers exclusive shows with Marvel such as, "Daredevil" and "Luke Cage" as well as access to Disney titles through the end of next year. It’s a great choice for all age groups ranging from kid-friendly shows, to some more mature- themed programming.
How much? $8 per month with ads or $12 per month without ads.
Why choose it? If you’re a fan of watching all your favorite shows on your favorite broadcast networks, Hulu has you covered. The service has current and classic shows from all major networks including ABC, FOX, NBC and CBS. Along with current shows, Hulu also has their own original programming with shows like, "The Handmaid’s Tale" and "Shut Eye." The service also has an offer in you’re a big music fan. Spotify has teamed up with Hulu to offer a bundle package to college students for $5 a month.
How much? A video only subscription is $9 a month, but if you have Amazon Prime, it’s included. Amazon Prime costs $99 per year or about $8.25 a month.
Why choose it? As mentioned, it’s already included in your Amazon Prime account if you have one. They also have a wide variety of movies and TV shows, including their own shows like, “The Grand Tour” and “Lore.” Amazon Prime members also have several exclusive shows such as “Downtown Abbey” and “The Americans.” If you’re interested in adding channels like HBO and Showtime, you can do for about $9-$15 a month.
How much? There are a few different options. The Sling Orange pack is $20 a month, Sling Blue is $25 a month and a combo of the two is $40 a month.
Why choose it? If you’re looking for a simple way to ditch cable. With this service, you get several channels, not shows. With the orange pack, about 20 cable channels are offered including A&E, TBS and Comedy Central. For sports fans, Sling is one of the few choices where you can also watch ESPN without a cable service. You can also add several different themes to your service such as sports, comedy and news.
How much? $35 a month for close to 60 channels or $50 a month for 80 channels.
Why choose it? It’s a great way to watch live television on the go without the need for a satellite dish. Using this service, you can watch live and local ABC, NBC and FOX affiliates. You can also add HBO and Cinemax to any package for $5 each.
How much? Starts at $35 a month.
Why choose it? It’s another option for those looking to cut the cord, but this service also offers cloud DVR with unlimited storage. The service offers access to live programming to over 50 providers like Disney, FX, ESPN, MSBC and National Geographic. The service also offers support to up to six accounts, which means you can share it with your family and friends. Just make sure that no more than three accounts are watching at once.
How much? $40 a month
Why choose it? The service is another option for those looking to cut the cable cord. It offers close 50 channels, including major ones such as ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. You also receive several other channels like Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney, FX, TNT and TBS. If you’re a sports fan, CBS Sports, FOX Sports and ESPN are also offered. The Live TV service is also compatible on several different devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire, PlayStation and Xbox.