Save up to $700 a year. Cut the cord and switch to streaming.

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Ready to cut the cord and switch to TV streaming? Many people are, and we can help.

The average basic cable package costs about $792 annually ($66 per month), excluding the various taxes, fees and other junk that all too often gets tacked onto our bill. With the arrival of a variety of high-quality content providers such as Netflix, HBO Now, and Hulu, we finally have some serious digital-only alternatives to dealing with the cable companies. Even better, they can also bring significant annual savings. With our guide to help you cut the cord, this just might be the year you decide to cut cable out of your life and replace it with a custom-built bundle that’s perfect for what you love to watch.

If you don’t fit neatly into one of the below buckets, don’t worry – the prices of each individual service are posted as well, allowing you to pick and choose your own custom streaming bundle from our extensive buffet of options. And even if you choose to remain plugged in with a cable subscription, don’t fear; we can help you put together a great package for just about anyone!
And if you really are ready to finally cut the cord, be sure that you’ve got the right Internet plan to handle all the extra bandwidth you’ll need for that TV streaming. Don’t miss our guide on lowering your monthly Internet subscription cost for more details!

 

For the Binge Watcher

Recommended Bundle: Netflix ($9.99 per month for 2 HD-quality simultaneous streams), Amazon Prime Instant Video ($99 per year), Hulu ($7.99 per month)

Annual Savings: $477
Overview: With a seriously diverse offering of TV shows, this bundle is for people who just can’t watch enough great television. This package gives you the best of both worlds, with Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video providing you with some of the highest quality original content being produced today, coupled with Hulu’s deep offering of network and primetime TV shows. As an added bonus, you also get Amazon Prime’s free shipping, and Amazon allows you to download content for viewing offline later. At a price point significantly lower than cable, at the end of the year you’ve saved nearly $500. If you enjoy sitting down and knocking out 12 episodes straight of Breaking Bad and still crave more, this bundle is for you.

Headline titles: House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad (Netflix); Transparent, Bosch, Man in the High Castle (Amazon Prime); Saturday Night Live, South Park, The Mindy Project (Hulu)

For the Random Sampler

Recommended Bundle: Netflix ($9.99 per month for 2 HD-quality simultaneous stream), Sling TV ($20 per month), HBO Now ($14.99 per month)
Annual Savings: $252
Overview: This bundle is perfect for people who want a little bit of everything – some blockbuster movies, some high-quality TV shows, and an option to watch a handful of network TV channels live, just like you get with cable. Netflix and HBO Now give you top quality television and a variety of movies across a number of genres. Sling TV delivers an experience that’s pretty close to the traditional TV experience, with live access to channels like AMC, TBS, The Food Network, CNN, TNT, and even ESPN. If you like to pick and choose what you watch, this bundle is a great solution.
Headline titles: Arrested Development (Netflix); Select Live Television Networks (Sling TV); Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Girls (HBO Now)

For the Sports Fanatic

Recommended Bundle: NFL Game Pass ($99.99 annually), MLB TV ($130 annually), NBA Game Time ($199 annually), NHL GameCenter Live ($170 annually), indoor HD Antenna ($30 one time cost)
Annual Savings: $163
Overview: If you always find yourself scouring TV channels or the internet for the Big Game of the week, this is the perfect bundle for you. Cut the cord and switch to this quartet of online network options, putting nearly every professional football, baseball, basketball and hockey game at your fingertips. When complemented by an indoor HD antenna, you’ll have access to any blacked-out home games as well. You’ll only have to pay for the HD antenna once, meaning that your annual savings increase to nearly $200 after the first year. And as an added bonus, you’ll also get all of the locally broadcast networks in HD by using the antenna as well. This is the perfect package for the sports fan who just can’t get enough.
Headline titles: Just about every football, baseball, basketball and hockey game available, along with the locally broadcast networks

For the Primetime Enthusiast

Recommended Bundle: Hulu ($7.99 per month), CBS All Access ($5.99 per month), indoor HD Antenna ($30 one time cost)
Annual Savings: $594
Overview: If your weekly TV routine focuses primarily on the major broadcast networks, but you want a few extra amenities that don’t come with the HD antenna alone, this bundle has you covered. Hulu complemented with CBS All Access will provide you with the standard broadcast networks as well as a few cable channels, and allows you to catch up on any episodes you missed when they aired. You’ll also get live local sports match ups (as long as they’re available using the HD antenna). While the offering is a bit limited, the price point can’t be beat!
Headline titles: Local broadcast networks and select cable networks

For the Amateur TV Critic

Recommended Bundle: Netflix ($9.99 per month for 2 HD-quality simultaneous streams), Amazon Prime Instant Video ($99 annually), HBO Now ($14.99 per month), Hulu ($7.99 per month), Showtime ($8.99 per month when purchased through Hulu; $10.99 otherwise), CBS All Access ($5.99 per month), indoor HD Antenna ($30 one time cost)
Annual Savings: $88
Overview: If the idea of being excluded from any conversation about the latest hit show gives you social anxiety, you can rest easy with this bundle. And while it’s not cheap, you get just about everything you’d expect to have from cable with almost none of the hassle of dealing with annual contracts or terrible customer service representatives. This bundle gives you all of the locally broadcast networks, a handful of popular cable channels, HBO and Showtime premium channels, and the best of Netflix and Amazon’s original content. Most impressive is that even after subscribing to all of these services, you still manage to come out ahead with an extra $88 in your pocket at the end of the year.
Headline titles: Just about everything you’d expect to have from cable, and then some

For the Shopaholic

Recommended Bundle: Amazon Prime Instant Video ($99 annually)
Annual Savings: $693
Overview: While Amazon Prime Instant Video doesn’t have a particularly comprehensive content offering, it does come with Amazon’s free shipping and Amazon Music. This is also the only major video streaming service that allows you to download titles to your computer for viewing offline. Look for the “Prime” banner for selections that stream for free from Amazon’s library. At only $99 annually, this option leaves plenty of additional spending room in your budget for whatever you really want.
Headline titles: Transparent, Bosch, Man in the High Castle (Amazon’s original TV content); Curb Your Enthusiasm, Banshee, Boardwalk Empire (TV content produced by other networks); A Most Wanted Man, The Expendables 3, Dr. Strangelove (movies)

For the New Parent

Recommended Bundle: Netflix Kids ($9.99 per month for 2 HD-quality simultaneous streams), Sling TV ($20 per month + $5 per month add on for Kids & Family Extra), Amazon FreeTime Unlimited ($2.99 per month w/Amazon Prime; otherwise $4.99)
Annual Savings: $336
Overview: If you’ve got young kids running around your house, you probably know that making sure they don’t get into anything they’re not supposed to can be a full time job. Thankfully, there are some affordable options that allow you to cut the cord while still making your life a lot easier. Netflix Kids comes with your normal subscription, and gives you the option of making your child a separate profile that can only access kids’ content. Sling TV’s Kids & Family extra gives you can’t-live-without networks like the Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is an all-in-one subscription just for kids, with movies, TV shows, apps and games tailored specifically to them. While it’s very inexpensive, note that you’ll need a Kindle Fire or Amazon Fire TV product for this option.
Headline titles: Curious George, The Boxtrolls, The Magic Schoolbus (Netflix Kids); live network broadcasts of the Disney Channel, Cartoon Network and Boomerang (Sling TV); Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Hey Arnold (Amazon FreeTime Unlimited)

For the News Junkie

Recommended Bundle: Sling TV ($20 per month + $5 per month add on for News & Info Extra)
Annual Savings: $492
Overview: If you’re an avid consumer of the news, but like to watch stories break in real-time, Sling TV’s News & Extras package gives you everything you’ll need to remain informed. Offering live broadcasts of CNN, HLN, Bloomberg TV, Euronews and others, you’ll never have to worry that you missed a big story without cable.
Headline titles: A diverse offering of major news networks

For the Niche Content Connoisseur

Overview and Options: For viewers with slightly more particular preferences, there are a number of options available for people who want to cut the cord while still getting the best content in a specific genre.
  • For people who love British TV, Acorn TV has the best exclusive content out there, and at the can’t-be-beat price point of just $4.99 per month.
  • For fans of anime and manga, Crunchyroll is your source of all things East Asian. The service is free to watch in Standard Definition, and if you want to enjoy 1080p quality, you’ll only have to chip in $6.95 a month. Just be sure to check out the 14 day trial period before you open your wallet.
  • For hardcore gamers, Twitch (formerly known as Justin.TV) is a live streaming platform that focuses on videogames. You can find videos of people playing your favorite games, as well as videos of the world’s best players competing for the title of Global Champion. The best part? It’s completely free.
  • For real cinema buffs, Mubi is a curated online cinema bringing you cult, classic, indy and award-winning movies. Touting itself as a world cinema, their professional critics introduce you to a great film every day for just $5.99 per month or $39.99 per year.

 

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16 Comments

  1. Hi. I only re joined with cable because Internet was cheaper that way. Who do you get your internet from? That’s the only reason I keep cable is they bundle it. I can’t find a vendor who will give me internet alone at a reasonable price

  2. what about savings with internet suppliers? A suggestion of the speed and bandwidth I order to properly stream without long pauses for content download would be very helpful! that is missing a key part in this story, you usually have to upgrade your internet package in order to seamlessly stream.

  3. So, how can you switch from cable to streaming when you still need cable for the internet access to stream? I’ve already eliminated tv with this method, but now I’m stuck with pricey internet. Where can I find that at a reasonable price in MD?

  4. How do I get cheap internet at home please?
    I had Clear but they’ve gone out of business and all the streaming ideas involve a good WiFi connection, no? :-(

  5. Has anyone tried getting unlimited packages on Internet through their cell phone provider? Get a hotspot and save that way! You only need an iPad or computer that will connect to your TV with the proper cord.

  6. Youtube is huge and not only has free older movies and PPV videos, but also has original content, created by artists like Issa Rae.

    Also, kweli.tv, which is just a few bucks a year. I paid 12.99 for the first year, while it’s in beta, and it’s $19.99 a year now, created by/for people of color, great documentaries and original content, good global content, as well.

  7. Gail on Jan. 28 on

    We receive internet through landline. AND I’d like to reduce DISH charges. Don’t ever want TWC back – I know I could get internet with them. I’ve tried indoor antenna, can’t find one that works for three TVs, would use outdoor antenna IF I could find one and a knowledgeable person to install it.

    Suggestions more than welcome

  8. We have a smart tv that has Netflix and Hulu already on it and pay $12 month for Netflix for 4 screens, $10 Mo for Hulu, WiFi through AT&T that is bundled with a land line we don’t use, but it is $45 Mo vs $85. We have a Prime Membership and have an Amazon fire Stick, which is a streaming device that allows you to watch almost anything and everything with live news channels and others with no monthly charge. It’s more than anyone could watch and No cable bills. There are several different streaming sticks that are inexpensive and watch anything and even download music and apps to your device. We also have an indoor antenna from our cell company a few years ago so it’s amazing how much money you can cut out not having a cable or dish service.

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