4 Video Streaming Services That Can Help You Ditch Your Cable Subscription

By on March 20, 2015 | 8:01 am
March 20, 2015 | 8:01 am
Family Video Streaming Services
March 20, 2015 | 8:01 am

Before, if we wanted to watch things on TV we’d have no choice but to lock ourselves into year long contracts that we’d have to pay no matter what. But with online video streaming services we are able to ‘cut the cord’ and have more flexibility with what we watch and how we do it. Plus, many of these services allow us to watch TV across several devices too.

It can be difficult to choose the right video streaming service for you though, as there are quite a few out there, so with this quick list you can figure out which one will suit you best.

1. Netflix

This one’s the big one. Everyone knows Netflix and it has over 50 million subscribers the world over, but why should you take the plunge too?

Well first of all, it’s incredibly affordable. It costs just $9 a month and for that price you get a veritable feast of all on-demand content, including all of your favorite movies and TV shows e.g Breaking Bad, Homeland, Brave, Zero Dark Thirty and much more. Netflix also has a good variety of original content that you can’t find anywhere else, from the very popular series’ Orange is the New Black and House of Cards to hilarious debut The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. There are also exclusive standup performances from people like Aziz Ansari and Chelsea Handler.

2. Amazon Prime Instant Video

Like Netflix, one of Amazon Prime Instant Video’s biggest draws is its original programming. While there’s a lot of content from other networks such as PBS and HBO and a decent back catalogue of movies, Amazon has put together a fantastic slate or original content that has been critically acclaimed. These include the show Transparent, which features a father who comes out as transgender to her adult children. The show even picked up the award for Best TV Show at the Golden Globes.

As for cost, Amazon Prime Instant Video costs $99 for the year (which is technically cheaper than Netflix) but it does mean that you’re locked in for 12 months. However, for this price, you also gain Amazon Prime’s other benefits in the process including expedited shipping that you don’t have to pay extra for. This is a must have for anyone who shops with Amazon a lot and watches plenty of TV.

3. Hulu

While it’s unfortunately only available in the United States, Hulu may be the answers to your troubles if you’re strapped for cash. There’s a free version called Hulu.com and a $7.99 a month version called Hulu Plus.

With Hulu.com you can only watch on computers, only the last 5 episodes or so of a TV show are available, you have to sit through a fair amount of ads and streams are only available in standard definition. With Hulu Plus there are a limited amount of ads to sit through, you can stream full current seasons and back catalogues of TV shows, you can watch in HD (when available) and you can watch shows on any device too.

Other than the price plans, the other good reason to sign up with Hulu is the fact that episodes generally pop up on the service a day after they’ve aired so if you don’t want to get spoiled by something, you’ll only have to wait 24 hours or so to watch.

4. Sling TV

Offered by the Dish Network, Sling TV is your go to video streaming service if you want live television and not just on-demand content that you can watch after it airs.

There are about 20 cable channels here that you can watch 24/7, including the Disney Channel, ESPN, CNN, TNT and AMC. Plus you can also watch live sports via the service which is a serious win since none of the other services I’ve mentioned on the list or new live TV streaming rival PlayStation Vue (which I haven’t mentioned on the list since it only launched this week) offer sports streams as they happen.

Sling TV is also quite reasonably priced at $20 a month which is cheaper than most cable subscriptions – though it should be noted that the service doesn’t let you record content at all.

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