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How to Watch Your Favorite Shows Without Cable TV – 2021 Guide

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Written by John Marmolejo

Being a TV buff, I remember making plans with my friends according to the schedule of my favorite TV shows. Repeat telecasts would always disturb the whole anatomy of my routine and so I had to make sure to watch these shows on time. I remember how many times I left parties to get back home and have my little party with the Gilmore Girls or how during exams, I used to sneak into the TV lounge to solve crimes with the Law & Order team. Today, all of this is by far unnecessary because today we have been bestowed with the technology to watch our favorite shows anywhere, anytime, and on any display device.

Costs of satellite and cable TV have increased significantly over the past years and an average U.S. household now pays over 200 USD per month for cable TV. If you stay with me for this article, you will find ways to slash your monthly expenses and still enjoy loads of entertainment quotient.

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AM I DONE WITH CABLE TV?

The most important question to ask yourself is if you are ready to move on from cable TV and we can decide it right now with some simple questions.

  • Do you want to be the one deciding your entertainment picks?
  • Are you tired of the never-ending commercials ruining the essence of your favorite TV shows?
  • Do you want control over your schedule?
  • Do you want to access your favorite TV shows from anywhere you want?
  • Do you want to save money every month?

If your answer to these questions is an instant yes, you are more than ready to switch to cable alternatives and I will help you throughout the process.

WHAT DO I NEED TO MOVE ON FROM CABLE TV?

To watch your favorite movies and TV shows without satellite or cable, you need only three things:

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  1. Internet Connection

Most households are already equipped with an internet connection but making a shift from cable means relying on the internet through and through and for that matter, you need a reliable and high-speed internet connection. By clicking here, you can check  out why high-speed internet is important and some different options.

The average monthly internet bill is almost 50 USD but it might vary from 10 USD to 120 USD based on your internet usage and the chosen speed. For example, you can stream your video in standard definition with only 3 Mbps of speed although to stream in 4K, or ultra-HD, you will require 25 Mbps. You might need to increase your speed if your connection supports multiple devices.

  1. Streaming Device

Switching from cable TV and depending entirely on streaming is a whole lot better with a streaming device. Right now, you might be thinking that it is a lot to think about and change but trust me, it is a one-time investment and you need to get out of the monthly rabbit hole.

You can easily use your laptop, tablet, or smartphone to watch your favorite movies and shows but if you are anything like me, you might just want to watch stuff on your TV and for that, a streaming device is a right way to go.

However, if you own a smart TV, the good news is that you don’t have to worry a tinkle bit because smart TVs have streaming service applications already installed and so you can just move onto the next point.

Some of the best streaming device options are summarized below:

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  • Fire TV – it is compatible with Alexa and is perfect for Amazon users. In-built applications include HBO, Prime Video, Netflix, Sling, Hulu, and Disney Plus, etc.
  • Roku – simplified user interface and affordability make Roku the ideal choice for customers. In-built applications include Disney Plus, Hulu, Showtime, Netflix, NBC, HGTV, ESPN, Stars, and Disney Now, etc.
  • Apple TV – tad bit expensive than its competitors, Apple TV is classy and works brilliantly. In-built applications include Sling, YouTube TV, iTunes, HBO Go, ESPN, Netflix, and Hulu, etc. You are also able to download new apps from the app store.
  • Android TV – highly customizable and adaptable with a wide range of devices. Android TV has a well-established library of in-built applications.
  • Gaming Console – if you are a gamer and own a gaming console like Xbox One, you can use it as a streaming device.
  1. Streaming Service

This section is the lead protagonist of the article. We have listed all the ways you can watch your favorite shows without cable TV.

Streaming Video on Demand (SVOD) Services:

There are a lot of video-on-demand streaming platforms and the most popular ones are discussed here:

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  • Netflix – being the oldest SVOD, Netflix offers TV shows and movies from all the different studios, countries, timelines, and genres. You can find brilliant A-list stars in original scripts as well as classic and hit licensed content on the service platform. It has three packages ranging from 8.99 USD to 15.99 USD per month for individual and family subscriptions.
  • Amazon Prime Video – Amazon has always been revolutionizing ways to benefit its customers and Prime Video is yet another amazing way to help its users define and quench their entertainment appetite. Prime Video provides you with the best and incomparable library for classic movies. With its licensed and original content, one might forget cable TV all at once. For anyone who wants access to Prime Video only has to pay 8.99 USD per month although, for a full prime experience, you can choose the package costing 12.99 USD per month.
  • Hulu – comes with a vast variety of your favorite movies and TV shows. It has also produced originals like The Handmaid’s Tale, The Mindy Project, and 11.22.63. Hulu features commercials unless you pay a little extra and therefore its cost is relatively less with an ad-featuring package costing 5.99 USD per month and an ad-free package costing 11.99 USD per month. You can also subscribe to a bundle package of Hulu, Disney Plus, and ESPN for only 12.99 USD per month.
  • HBO Max – with HBO Max, it is guaranteed that you would never miss out on any of your favorite cable TV shows, that is considering that most of the best TV shows come right out of the HBO network. HBO has licensed popular shows like Friends as well and its original content like Game of Thrones is also available on HBO Max. This service will cost you 14.99 USD per month.

Live TV Streaming Services:

If you are one of the people who have to have certain channels on your TV, this is your time to shine. Streaming companies have now integrated technology to come up with live streaming channels that you can access from anywhere and at any display device multiplying your convenience. You can get network TV channels like ESPN, TBS, AMC, etc. with these services. You also have the option to subscribe to broadcasting networks like CBS, Fox, ABC, and NBC while premium channels like HBO can also be hooked into the subscriptions.

For your reference, few live TV streaming options are briefed below.

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  • fuboTV – provides you a good collection of channels including a lot of sports channels although ESPN is missing. It also gives you thirty hours’ worth of DVR recording with the basic package that starting from 55 USD per month with a free trial of 7 days.
  • AT&T TV Now – starting from 65 USD per month, this service comes along your favorite channels.
  • Hulu with Live TV – starting from 54.99 USD, Hulu Live TV offers channels availability depending upon your location. You get a wide range of authentic news channels like CNN, CNBC, HLN, Fox Business, and MSNBC, and Sports channels with the service include TNT, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN U, FS1, FS2, NBC Golf, and a lot more.
  • Sling TV – offers three package options to suit everyone’s needs tastefully. It also facilitates customers with the ability to customize their packages with the range starting from 30 USD per month. Once you select the base package, it allows you to add some additional channels for a few extra bucks.
  • YouTube TV – starting from 49.99 USD per month, YouTube TV offers almost all channels including local channels.

Free OTA TV:

Since the government ordered networks to broadcast their analog signals to digital ones through its ‘Switch to Digital’ initiative, you can watch your favorite local channels free of cost, with aid of an antenna.

You can use either type of antenna listed below:

  • Indoor Antenna – the size of a paper sheet that would cost you somewhere between 17 USD to 100 USD depending on its signal strength.
  • Outdoor Antenna – better for catching the signal.

SUMMING UP

With technology touching new highs every day, it is time for you to take control of your life into your hands. The money you can and would save by cutting the cord can be put to some good use and so give this a thought. Keep yourself entertained!

About the author

John Marmolejo