Cut That Cord! How to Ditch Cable
Hulu is a great option if you want to watch a Hulu original series or currently airing shows right after they broadcast. The only catch? Still, it's one of the best cable alternatives on the market. Sure, watching shows live in real time is nice, but the best thing about Hulu Live might just be the ability to record shows and watch them later. Netflix is a great place for binge-watching entire seasons all at once. But hey, no commercials! You probably have 10 devices in your house right now that came preloaded with the Netflix app.
A membership to Amazon Prime Video gives you access to a wide selection of popular movies and TV series, plus a bunch of Amazon original series. If you were already saving up for a new gadget, they just sweetened the deal. After HBO launched its own streaming service a few years ago, Showtime and Starz wised up and followed suit. If you really want to cut back, all it takes is an antenna.
Not only do they look better than the finicky metal rods, but the HD quality is better. If traditional cable still has your heart, fear not—here comes Philo to the rescue. You can stream it on up to three devices and record as many shows as you want. That means no more family feuds over what you watch every Friday night! Other: Have a TiVo? Depending on the model, you might be able to use it to watch Netflix and Hulu among other services , even after you cut the cord.
A lot of modern Blu-ray players, should you be among the minority who still watch Blu-rays or DVDs, will also allow you to watch some services. The Roku Streaming Stick offers the largest selection of streaming content, a responsive user interface and useful search function. More Wirecutter streaming devices. Once you have all the needed equipment, it's helpful to understand all of the streaming services available, from the big players that will likely provide the most variety of content to the more niche services that interest those who like to venture beyond the mainstream.
It got a head-start on its competitors by producing must-see original content, and it continues to expand its library every month with new series and movies that generate a lot of buzz. The lowest pricing tier here offers standard definition streaming on one screen at a time. Mid-tier adds High Def and would allow you to watch a Netflix show on your TV at the same time that another family member was watching something different on his or her own device. The top tier includes 4K streams and covers four screens for simultaneous viewing. The lower price tier includes commercial breaks.
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The higher tier kills the ads. Lower tier subscriptions include a rotating selection. FilmStruck, which is developed and managed by Turner Classic Movies, has been adding hundreds of classic titles since February from the Warner Archive, which until recently had its own streaming service. ESPN, for example, offers a free streaming option as part of most cable and satellite packages. Once you stop paying your bills, though, no more.
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This does not mean, however, that you can never watch ESPN again after you cancel cable. Nearly every major media brand is moving toward offering its own standalone subscription service. The various streaming services have invested heavily in original programming over the past few years, and have built up a formidable library of TV series and movies, running the gamut from kids shows to arty foreign imports. The best way to navigate all of this?
The New York Times has you covered with Watching , a curated site and recommendation engine that suggests worthwhile TV shows and movies based on your particular interests, tastes, and whims. In the mood for something empowering with a female lead? We can narrow that down for you.
Poke around on Watching to get the most out of your subscriptions. Tell us what shows or movies you like and we will suggest other great ones. Click on the titles below to start adding them to your personal Watchlist on Watching:. Titus Welliver plays the grizzled, razor-sharp detective Harry Bosch. This may change in the future as major media companies put more of their products behind a paywall, but for now, some major channels like ABC, Fox, the CW and PBS make select episodes of their shows available online for nothing, for a limited time after their original broadcasts.
Modern homes and apartments are no longer wired-up with antennas the way they were 30 years ago. So what if you eliminate cable and still want to watch your local news, or get a weather update, or watch a football game on one of the major networks? The new growth area in streaming services is subscriptions that offer an array of cable and broadcast channels, available to watch in real-time.
Here are the six biggest:. The base price also includes everything that standard Hulu has to offer and up to 50 hours of DVR recording of live telecasts. You do, however, need to pay a premium. Check out this 1-week free trial to see if you like it. There is no contract so you can cancel anytime.
Check here for more information. Are your tastes not satisfied by mainstream services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
The Complete Cord Cutter’s Guide: Streaming Devices and Services for a Post-Cable World
Then, you should check out my posts on some of the lesser known TV streaming services. While the pay subscriptions offer the most content, some channels deliver content at no charge. However, the content may be limited, and you may have to watch ads. Many services offer 30 day free trials if you want to binge on content. For example, CuriosityStream allows you to watch free documentaries online for seven days.
What Do I Need to Cut the Cord?
There are numerous ways to get the service. All of which are highlighted in my post on watching HBO without cable. Check out this free trial to Starz. You can watch Starz on-demand or live without having a cable TV subscription. For information on the Starz app, read my post on watching Starz Without Cable.
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If shows like Billions on Showtime are more your speed, then no need to worry. There are tons of ways to watch Showtime online. For details, check out my post on how to watch Showtime without cable. Amazon Prime carries Showtime and Starz. Furthermore, Sling TV added a Cinemax add-on package.
Back to Table of Contents. Once you have decided the streaming services you would like to use; the next step is figuring out which streaming device to use. I recommend getting a Roku.